2015 drew to a close last night but the Distorted Sound End of Year Awards continue! Eddie Sims joined Distorted Sound many moons ago and has developed into our album review editor thanks to a consistently brilliant writing style and unfathomed enthusiasm. Let’s see what Eddie made of 2015!
New Bermuda – DEAFHEAVEN
When talking about a band like DEAFHEAVEN words like stunning, beautiful and heartbreaking come to mind, but with the release of New Bermuda these Californian black metal pioneers added teeth-grinding aggression to the mix and in turn created the most sonically stunning albums of the year. Progression was rife and they continued to push the boundaries of what we can expect from a black metal outfit as well as retaining the massive emotional weight that made their previous works such heralded and praised albums. This band are brilliant and you need this album in your life.
Honourable Mentions: Brainwashed – WHILE SHE SLEEPS, Meliora – GHOST, The Mindsweep – ENTER SHIKARI
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
From The Pinnacle To The Pit – GHOST
Despite the fact that GHOST have already created a brilliant image and niche for themselves within the heavy metal community, they still continue to push the boundaries of their own image and ethos with the brilliant video for From the Pinnacle to the Pit. Staging a silent movie based around the discovery of ultimate power through the mighty S’tan, it’s a mini movie with an ace soundtrack.
Honourable Mentions: Obelisk – NORTHLANE, Brainwashed – WHILE SHE SLEEPS, Holy War – THY ART IS MURDER
GIG OF THE YEAR
REEL BIG FISH @ The Sugarmill, Stoke
There aren’t many genres of music that can cause you to smile like a complete moron for a full night but Ska is certainly one of them. With REEL BIG FISH being one of the pioneers of Ska Punk and having a massive catalogue of tracks under their belt, the sold out sweat box that is Stoke’s The Sugarmill was absolutely bouncing from start to finish and saw everyone leave with a massive, shit-eating grin on their face once it was all over.
Honourable Mentions: GHOST @ Bristol 02 Academy, NOVELISTS @ Bunker 13, Stoke, DARWIN DEEZ @ The Rainbow, Birmingham
BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR
Now most people would probably be championing Download Festival for this, but I personally think that Donnington’s annual party has been a boring, repetitive mess over the past few years. Enter this mighty metal beast. Bloodstock has been booking new headliners for each year for the past 3-4 years and has received flak for some bookings that have only gone onto blow the entire crowd away (see HATEBREED and TRIVIUM), but not only this, Bloodstock has a well deserved reputation for being the friendliest festival full of smiling chaps and dancing ladies who are all there to listen and bath in the glory of heavy metal and rock and roll. Bless you Bloodstock for being so fabulous.
BEST FESTIVAL PEFORMANCE
OPETH @ BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR
It’s safe to say that anywhere OPETH play it’s gonna be a fantastically tight and spellbinding set, but when the sun started to set over Catton Hall and basked these progressive Swedes in a glorious orange glow, everything simply took off. The performance was utterly jaw dropping and as everyone watched OPETH play through a widely selected setlist that saw new material being paired with their stellar older material it created an utterly mesmerising atmosphere that saw OPETH steal the weekend.
Honourable Mentions: TRC @ Hype Fest, HATEBREED @ Ghostfest, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE @ Bloodstock Open Air
MOST DISAPPOINTING ALBUM
The Day Is My Enemy – THE PRODIGY
THE PRODIGY are one of Britain’s best musical exports, with their previous works being rightly heralded as electronic landmarks, but with their most recent release they seemed to just lose their way with it all. None of the songs present bar maybe Wall Of Death had any real bite or grit that made all their previous albums really shine, instead it simply dragged itself through a painful 40 minutes of mediocrity. THE PRODIGY seem to have reached a comfort level in their career and it’s seeing them not go the full distance that got them to this point in their career and their music is really starting to falter for it.
Dishonourable Mentions: Node – NORTHLANE, Repentless – SLAYER, Being As An Ocean – BEING AS AN OCEAN
Starting a band is always hard, but when you’re as good as these French lads, it can be a pretty easy endeavour. Admitedly they still have a long ways to go but with the rightly deserved hype building around their progressive metalcore sound, it’s really not difficult to imagine these guys going the distance. Releasing their fantastic debut this year in the form of Souvenirs, it really offered a showcase of just how good these guys are at not only writing songs but writing compelling pieces of music that balance heavy and melody so perfectly it’s almost laughable. Honestly, go listen to Novelists and thank me later.
Honourable Mentions: WORLDEATER, DEAD HARTS, CONTINENTS