PART 1: A Brief Introduction
There’s something to be said about heavy metal and pro wrestling. The mere mention of professional wrestling makes some people scoff and turn away, but so does metal. There is indeed a nice market for each of these forms of entertainment, and even a few subcultures (or sub-genres, if you will) within each field. With this in mind, heavy metal and pro wrestling are actually quite wonderful bedfellows and there is an incredible and undeniable connection between the too. Being seen as “underground” and “counterculture” by many, these two groups are quite connected, and in many ways now more than possibly ever. For the purposes of the article, we will include all forms of metal, from the more traditional to the nü-metal along with aspects of pro wrestling from the “big leagues” to the underground and independent promotions trying to make an impact on the scene.
“Louder and louder, wilder and wilder, mounted the shrieking and whining of that desperate viol. The player was dripping with an uncanny perspiration and twisted like a monkey, always looking frantically at the curtained window. In his frenzied strains I could almost see shadowy satyrs and Bacchanals dancing and whirling insanely through seething abysses of clouds and smoke and lightning.”
- H. P. Lovecraft, “The Music of Erich Zann” (1922)
As we reflect back on the year that was, and the year that lies ahead, it’s difficult to escape the fact that there are some bands that haven’t graced our eager ears with new music in quite some time. Names like Anata, Wintersun, Necrophagist, and Metallica immediately spring to mind in this regard.
Of course, there are a plethora of reasons that might cause bands and/or releases to fall into a state of extended limbo — family responsibilities, full-time jobs, line-up changes contractual disputes, lack of distribution, lack of creativity, financial constraints etc. There is an endless list of obstacles that might throw a wrench in the works between the time a band initially starts tinkering around with creative ideas in the rehearsal space and the time the finished product hits the market, yet my eternally impatient inner fanboy is always inclined to go on some entitled and self-righteous ”if you’re in a band, and you’re not releasing new music, you’re not doing your damn job!” rants.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 20 bands that are taking their merry time to release music upon the great unwashed masses. More after the jump.
*Note: Bands are listed alphabetically.
My general perspective on metal has always been through the lens of good vs. evil, and I’ve tended to get a good mix of both sides into my metal diet, and 2015 certainly delivered a fair share of both. As with any list of greatest albums of any particular category, individual perspective makes for an imperfect result, and limited time caused me to miss a number of truly exceptional albums (Bane Of Winterstorm’s The War Of Shadows II: Upon The Throne of Ravnorakk and Ghost City’s Tragic Soul Symphony were just a couple from the power metal sub-genre alone). But hey, this is why we have so many different perspectives on this webzine. So without further adieu, here’s my Top 30 of 2015!
Another year down, not enough moshing accomplished. This is the same issue I have every year and at this point, I’m not sure how much moshing is enough moshing. However, I did roll out and rank my top 30 thrash albums of the year to try and help out any other individuals that are suffering from the same lack of moshing that I found myself in throughout 2015. There are some interesting mixtures to be found here, some newer bands clawed their way onto the list – including a rip roaring debut from Skeleton Pit, but a lot of the list is made up of more seasoned bands with multiple albums under their belt now like In Malice’s Wake or the ultra-fun punk spunk of Dr. Living Dead. There are even some “classic” bands throwing their hats into the ring like The Crown or Slayer, so there is plenty of variety for all kinds of thrashers here. Not to mention plenty of different styles of thrash that stretch from death metal influences all the way into the industrial arena and into the all too overlooked groove department.
2015 was another excellent year. While there are some fairly obvious candidates for a top 30 I missed out on or discovered too late in the year (Nechochwen, and Obsequiae to name two) there was still plenty of good material out there this year. Here’s some of it:
It is done – the Brotherhood of “The Metal Observer”‘s convent has come to an end, the votes have been cast.
Enter to find out who survived the fire and emerged victorious!