As the year draws to a close and the holidays send us into nostalgia and reflection one questions begs to be answered: What Were The Top 5 Albums of 2015?
Juggernaut: Alpha & Omega – Periphery
A double album that landed on many Top of 2015 lists, Periphery really took things to the next level with their third album(s). Juggernaut as a concept album set out to showcase a more focused and disciplined Periphery. Rather than running with the tried and true up-tempo and playful sound of Periphery 2, Periphery sought out to make sure every song on Juggernaut exists for a reason. Moreover, the number of thematic melodies, grooves and lyrics laced throughout every song is astonishing. Mostly because everything works so well, you’ll find that you don’t even realize how intentional the thematic elements are across the album. It’s been almost a year and I’m still finding little Easter eggs. Hopefully the Juggernaut story finds its way into a more concrete form soon so that we can all know the real story.
The Story So Far – The Story So Far
The Story So Far have washed over the pop punk scene like a tsunami and there’s no signs of the wave slowing down any day soon. With their third full length release, the pop-punk 5-piece out of Walnut Creek California continue to craft their sound with each release. While the album did not make as strong a first impression on me as 2013’s What You Don’t See, it quickly grew on me. Now almost 7 months later I’ve found that track 5, “Mock”, is my favorite song the band has released thus far. Overall, the self-titled release takes a more somber approach than the previous albums and with it a more earnest tone.
Copacetic – Knuckle Puck
I’ve been following Knuckle Puck for a few years now and I along with many KP fans could not wait for them to finally release a full length. After the release of While I Stay Secluded I found myself wondering what direction these dudes from Chicago were taking their music. The more emo sounds of The Weight You Buried had been boiled down to their conventions for WISS, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Their full length was to be their first non-self-released work and wow did they kill it with Copacetic. Copacetic took all of the angst-ridden, shout at the top of your lungs and jump energy of The Weight You Buried, but much like The Story So Far, incorporated an element of raw honesty that brought them to a whole new level. Not to mention the first tasteful use of a blast beat in a pop-punk song I’ve ever heard! This is arguably their best work and has put Knuckle Puck on the map as a household name. Lets see how long it takes for Rise Records to ruin them.
Matriarch – Veil of Maya
Everyone was afraid for the future of VOM when vocalist Brandon Butler announced his departure from the band. I truly loved the brutality of early Veil of Maya, but Brandon’s vocals were the primary reason for why it took me a while to even get into the band. It seems the band opted for broader appeal when they chose Lukas Magyar as the new vocalist. While the loss of Brandon’s INSANE guttural vocals was obvious on Matriarch, the sum of positives: Marc’s amazing song writing, Taylor Larson’s unparalleled production and Lukas’s fantastic vocal range and melodies on this album brought VOM out of the “deathcore” playpen and into the broader world of metal music. The increased accessibility and the more frequent adherence to pop song structure produced a more well-rounded, listener-friendly, and overall better product than the most VOM’s previous albums.
Polaris – TesseracT
Not sure what to say here. There really aren’t any bands out there that sound quite like TesseracT. Their grooves are unparalleled. Find me a band that blends trippy and groovy half as well as TesseracT. You won’t (ok Uneven Structure is close but still…). On Polaris TesseracT pickup right where they left off with Altered State, but this time with their original singer Daniel Tompkins. Say what you will (I personally preferred Ashe as a vocalist for TesseracT) but Dan was able to borrow a bit from Ashe’s style on Altered State and effortlessly blend it with his own original style when singing with the band. When any song on this album plays I dare you not to nod your head or tap your foot. It’s IMPOSSIBRU!!!!!!!!
The Shape and Colour – Intervals
No Closer To Heaven – The Wonder Years
Peace ‘n blessin’s