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Smalls' Music Reviews

Smalls' Top Albums of 2015

Created on 12/13/15 by Smalls

Hooray, it's that time of year again where I list my top albums of the year. It's been an amazing year in music releases (At least for my tastes in music) and I've bought way too many albums. I don't even care that I did that.

10. Bring me the Horizon - That's the Spirit [Spotify | Youtube]

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Normally I would say that Bring me the Horizon is a terrible band, but... Ever since Sempiternal I've grown to respect their music. I still don't like their older music, but I really liked a lot of their songs on Sempiternal. That's the Spirit is a jump into mainstream appeal dropping the metalcore aspects and most people didn't like that, but I actually really like this album. Sure it has some really cringe worthy songs and lyrics here and there (Like the whole song True Friends and the "Cause a square doesn't fit the circle" in Avalanche), but the album is well made and I've found myself listening to it a lot.

9. Coheed and Cambria - The Color Before the Sun [Spotify | Youtube]

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I wouldn't exactly call myself a huge Coheed and Cambria fan, but I enjoy their music. All of their albums all fit together into this one concept story called the Armory Wars, but this album isn't apart of it. This is just a personal album and it's great to jam out to.

8. Trivium - Silence in the Snow [Spotify | Youtube]

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Silence in the Snow is yet another style and drummer change for the band. They've dropped the Disturbed-like vocals from Vengeance Falls and have shifted their sound to a more generic metal sound. That's not a bad thing, but it's a little jarring for a lot of long time Trivium fans. Especially since Matt Heafy hardly has scream sections in this album. There's really just one song from the album I absolutely hate and that's Pull Me From the Void, but the rest of the songs are great.

7. August Burns Red - Found in Far Away Places [Spotify | Youtube]

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August Burns Red is just as creative as they have always been. Found in Far Away Places is one of those albums you can just jam out to and enjoy the creativity they put into distinguishing themselves. From the surfer vibe of Identity to the western section of Majoring in the Minors, I enjoyed this album's creativity from start to finish.

6. Between the Buried and Me - Coma Ecliptic [Spotify | Youtube]

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One of the many concept albums of this year, which had an interesting story but at the same time hard to follow. The story is kinda like Inception, but not really. A guy puts himself into a coma, but discovers past lives of his. It's a progressive metal and it's weird. It flows weirdly and I like it.

5. Riverside - Love, Fear, and the Time Machine [Spotify | Youtube]

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This is a very relaxing album that I personally enjoyed for it's proggy style and great lyrics. Saturate Me and Discard Your Fear really resonated with me. The album is very relaxing and I find myself listening to it when I want to wind down.

4. Tesseract - Polaris [Spotify | Youtube]

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So Tesseract went back to their original vocalist who was also the vocalist for Skyharbor until he rejoined Tesseract. Confusing, but it's nice to have him back. He brings back a lot of energy to the band on an album and live. Polaris is very ambient. It's an enjoyable but surprisingly short album. It's relaxing, but head bang worthy. My only concern is that I don't think the band can continue with their play style for another album. This is album number 3 and I feel like if they stick with their play style on their next album, they're gonna be stale.

3. Lamb of God - VII: Sturm Und Drang [Spotify | Youtube]

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This album actually came out of nowhere to me. I didn't expect a Lamb of God album at all this year. It's a heavy album, but it flows really well. It's standout track, Overlord, is one of my favorite songs. It starts off as a very Alice in Chains like song and sounds amazing, but suddenly switches to a high tempo beat and drops the Alice in Chains vibe. Randy Blythe has great vocals on it.

2. Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase. [No streamable links]

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I actually did a review for this already, but to summarize it all up... Hand. Cannot. Erase. is a concept album that is emotional from start to finish. It's very proggy, but I think anyone who is willing to sit down and listen could get into the album.

1. Periphery - Juggernaut Alpha/Omega [Spotify | Youtube]

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Not really a shocker, because I have talked about this album all year. Juggernaut Alpha/Omega is one of my favorite concept albums of all time. It's got mainstream appeal, but at the same time it is dark and twisted. It's story is about a cult, a person, a demon, death, and searching for a second chance. There hasn't been an official explanation of what's all involved in the story, but it's certainly grabbed my attention. I have listened to this album so many times since it's release back in January, which I think is over 1,000 times according to Last.fm. The album starts with a creepy melody of a ritual and gradually expands to the main character killing a lot of people to him travelling through the underworld and being reincarnated. Honestly I never thought I would find myself screaming "Kill them slow" at the top of my lungs every time I would hear Psychosphere.

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