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The Top 10 of Metal (and Mosh!) 2015

I'm drawn back to this empty screen each year to secrete my opinion on what I enjoyed this year. I've been doing it since at least 2009, back when I thought writing about music conferred some kind of numinous insight into music. I listen to a lot of bullshit and I'm cynical as hell. Sometimes, I leap out of my chair and whip my (no) hair back and forth in ecstacy. Some of those discs did that to me this year. Here's a numbered list of them.

1. Gazpacho - Molok

These guys are out of this world. Prog rock that's actually progressive and actually rock. It runs from ancient esoterics to futurist wanderings. This is such a trip. At the end there's this code that might blow the world up. For a second there, I tensed up and clenched my eyes tight...

2. Ghost - Meliora

It's pop music painted black. If metal had something close to Pet Sounds, this might be it.

3. Melechesh - Enki

Invoking ancient evil never sounded so badass.

4. Four Year Strong - Four Year Strong

Pop-punk? Fuck off, Tom. This can't be good. Actually no, fuck you. It's brilliant.

5. Hellions - Indian Summer

Saviours of Australian heavy music. Get into them before they burn out in a haze of cocaine dust.

6. Baroness - Purple

Sublime and surreal sounds from Savannah, again. John Baizley is a true artist in every sense.

7. Steven Wilson - Hand.Cannot.Erase

The concept reads like a Hugo winner and sounds like a stoner's dream.

8. Trials - This Ruined World

Thrash done with brains and heart. Riffs born with destinies deeper than "must imitate Metallica" are winners.

9. Soilwork - The Ride Majestic

I never thought Soilwork would make one of these lists again. Boy, I was wrong. Hard.

10. Pyramaze - Disciples of the Sun

lol Power metal. I thought these guys were just a cheap, clean version of Mercenary. Nope. Crisp production and brain-worming hooks do justice to the genre. Finally.

The Honourable Mentions

Gold Award - Black Breath - Slaves Beyond Death
Silver Award - Sigh - Graveward
Bronze Award - Gloryhammer - Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

14. The Black Dahlia Murder - Abysmal
15. Deafheaven - New Bermuda
16. My Dying Bride - Feel The Misery
17. Killing Joke - Pylon
18. Cancer Bats - Searching for Zero
19. Earth Caller - Degenerate
20. Born Lion - Final Words


Check Hysteria's albums of the year, here!


THE HYST LIST: The Best Ages to Be (According to Rock Stars)

What's the best age to be (according to rock stars?) We answered that question over at

(Yes, I know you never asked!)


Review: Clowns - Bad Blood (Beat)

Hey! Hardcore punx Clowns are from my home town. Which one? I'll never tell! In Beat #1461.



The Top 10 of Metal (and Mosh!) 2014

I have real trouble defining the parameters of my 2014 list. Swinging low on my Digital Editor perch at Hysteria Mag, I’ve kinda sorta found myself not hating a lot of the stuff thrown across my table. Punk and hardcore. Metalcore and deathcore. Rockcore and Applecore. “Fuck it,” I said, downing another cup of coffee-flavoured battery acid, “I’ll add whatever bullshit I want to my list.”

A long pause. Heavy silence. I turn to a non-existent camera. Straight down the barrel, I intone:

“Cos it’s my fuckin’ list.”

Adhering to my own editorial advice of “omit needless words!” Here's year’s musical journey summed up in one DELUXE page. So here we go:



1. Sleepwave - Broken Compass 

Spencer Chamberlain saved rock n’ roll. He did it not only with great tunes, but courage.

2. Decapitated - Blood Mantra

Growing tired of death metal is easy. Decapitated settle for nothing less than perfection. Blood Mantra is that perfection.

3. Gazpacho - Demon

Classifying this one is like expressing frustrations in an arcane tongue. Prog rock that's simple, haunting, beautiful. Jan Henrik-Ohme's androgyne vocals transcend music as's a language of humanity.

4. Killer Be Killed - Killer Be Killed

Metal supergroup? Well that'll be shit. Wait, no. It's the polar opposite of shit.

5. A Breach of Silence - The Darkest Road

Metal and 'core will never find a more perfect chimera. Go home, Iron Maiden tee wearing fuckboys; your shit is OVER.

6. Amplifier - Mystoria

Pure rock delivered in a punch through your ear box. They trip on shrooms, they love big riffs, they kick total ass. Cat's Cradle is a rock masterpiece.

7. Goatwhore - Constricting Rage of the Merciless

Recorded on analogue, crushing as always. Goatwhore with Erik Rutan producing is unstoppable. It's hinted with real imitation crazy, feeling oh so frighteningly satisfying.

8. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

"Doom" has been hijacked by skinny-tee wearing SJWs set on finding life's answers in the back of a Foucault book. Fuck them. This is the real shit. No trust funds, no saviours.

9. Primordial - Where Greater Men Have Fallen

A late entry, but adding psychedelic touches and stoner jammin' really bumped them up the list. Primordial are ALWAYS God tier. This proves it.

10. Voyager  - V

If Australia has one metal export you should be spruiking incessantly (apart from King Parrot) it's Voyager. Prog metal's been sucking its own dick since Scenes from a Memory. Voyager bravely fly free outta prog's masturbatory hugbox. Keep it up, boys and girl.

Honourable Mentions:

Gold Award: Soen - Tellurian

Remember when Tool and Opeth were the only "prog metal" masters back in the winter of 2000? Imagine if they combined. Perfectly.

Silver Award: KXM - KXM

Metal supergroups seem to be kickin' major ass, and KXM is no exception. Down home blues and rock sung with Dug Pinnick's "I been around some" heart and soul. Can't beat that.

Bronze Award: Audrey Horne – Get Heavy

Are we absolutely sure the ghosts of Phil Lynott and Gary Moore aren't cutting these?

The Near Misses:

  • Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun
  • DZ Deathrays - Black Rat
  • Agalloch - The Serpent and the Sphere
  • Anathema - Distant Satellites
  • Aversions Crown - Tyrant
  • Desecration - Cemetary Sickness
  • St. Vincent - St. Vincent
  • The Amity Affliction - Let The Ocean Take Me
  • Darkest Era - Severance
  • Devin Townsend Project - Sky Blue
  • Crosses - +++
  • At the Gates - At War With Reality

Review: Rancid - ...Honor is All We Know (Beat)



In the early ‘90s, Rancid were fresh-faced punk rockers from Berkeley, California. Charged up on youth nitro, Rancid figured they could rattle cages forever. Partly true. On their eighth record, time hasn’t wearied Rancid so much as hardened them.


In the early ‘90s, Rancid were fresh-faced punk rockers from Berkeley, California. Charged up on youth nitro, Rancid figured they could rattle cages forever. Partly true. On their eighth record, time hasn’t wearied Rancid so much as hardened them. - See more at: