First, as a disclaimer I am not familiar with the full gamut of upcoming releases slated for the 2015 calendar year. More items are sure to pop up as the year progresses, which like every year I look forward to finding about with baited breath. Collecting is, after all, one of my few hobbies. Whether new albums or old albums I lost along the way, adding to my stable of metal is something I look forward to consistently, along with the ability to share what treasures I happen across with friends both on and (mostly) off the internet. So here's a handful of what I know about now that I'm most stoked for:
Jef Whitehead's Wrest persona's Leviathan project has been one of my longest running favorite artists for some time now. I often champion his Lurker of Chalice album as an indisputable classic of the genre and Leviathan's own "Massive Conspiracy Against All Life" the unofficial sequel. Apparently "Scar Sighted" will be the follow-up to the latter. Expect squalling dissonance and gurgling grime supremely recorded and performed, with production via Billy Anderson. The CD will be released as a box set only, containing eleven two-sided inserts of artwork created by Wrest specifically for the album with the Leviathan logo watermarked as shown with this accompanied graphic. Updates for this can be gotten via the Profound Lore website as well as the True Leviathan Bandcamp which is currently taking preorders on a couple of sick Leviathan hoodies to be released in conjunction with the album.
I get a lot of shit for my opinions on Archgoat vs my opinions on their Finnish compatriot Beherit. I have dug the former over the latter for as long as I can remember, going back to the late 90's when I unearthed their 1993 "Angelcunt: Tales of Desecration" EP on Necropolis Records in a local record store's used section, usually only littered with beat up copies of mid-era Judas Priest or Raven LP's. But I digress. There have been a couple of advance tracks so far in anticipation of this, only their third full length, and they are excellent. Bestial blackened death metal with equal hints of Demilich and Adramalech, Sadistik Exekution and Blasphemy.
"Slaughtercult" represents my favorite effort from Exhumed, which is stating a lot considering how strong just about all of their output has been over the years. I think it represents them at their pinnacle, just before breaking out, and at the height of their brand of Carcass worship. It is for them what "Mondo Medicale" is for Impaled. A frenzied blast of goregrind that was just as much fun as it was vicious and seething. Hell's Headbangers will be re-releasing Slaughtercult later this year, and given HH's treatment of classics by Mortician, Incantation, and Destroyer 666 just to name a few you can expect lavish treatment for the vinyl that's to come. Colored wax, A2 posters and enhanced liner notes generally go without saying in these cases, and sometimes a remaster is included. Either way, this is extremely high on my radar this year and I'll be copping it as soon as it drops.
4) Prurient - Untitled 2015 Profound Lore Release
Dominick Fernow's debut for Profound Lore Records in 2015 has no working title as of yet that I know of, but that doesn't mean I'm any less stoked on the pending release. His prior albums "Bermuda Drain" and "Cocaine Death" (my favorite of his catalog under the Prurient name) were incredible explorations of sound, the former an accessible cross of power electronics and electro and the latter a roiling trip through distorted electronics and harsh noise, so cacophonous it dipped into drone territory. I expect the next album to be different, and hopefully still a reflection of Fernow's many monikers: Prurient, Vatican Shadow, Cold Cave, Ash Pool to name just a few.
Terrible grammar in the album title aside, Perdition Temple's debut is one of many upcoming offerings from Hell's Headbangers that I have been looking forward to since it's announcement. With a lineup featuring veterans from renowned acts such as Black Witchery, Immolation, and Angelcorpse, it should be evident that the project will be a festering juggernaut of blackened death metal, but based on the advance tracks has more in common with the tight musicianship of Angelcorpse while leaning closer to Immolation's pace and having far less in common with the bestial thrash that Black Witchery is notorious for. Fine with me, the samples on Hell's Headbangers site for the album are both excellently twisted examples of superior death metal, which really, should be expected by now.
Make note: I have not been psyched on the prospect of a new Marduk album since "La Grande Dance Macabre". After that album I kind of willfully lost track of the band and their desire to steamroll listeners with lackluster violent black metal that lacked the vitriol of their earlier albums. Legion was a hit or miss frontman, more often missing, and thankfully he is not featured on this release. "Frontschwein" is apparently the spiritual successor to "Panzer Division Marduk" as it's their first war themed record since that beast was beset upon their legions of fans. That alone wouldn't be enough to hype me up for the release, but the music in this case speaks volumes. Wartheland is a slow burning beast of heaviness and Rope of Regret rages so intensely you'd hardly guess the band to be 20+ years old.
Sure the only sample up from this upcoming grindfest is a horribly rendered quick track, but it still rages exactly the way the Napalm Death I fell in love with on "Utopia Banished" back in 1993 should rage. Barney is just as full of venom and the band just rocks with more chemistry than basically any other band of their era could hope to muster. The band has tried several different directions since their inception as the world's premier grindcore band, but they have nailed what it is they do best, and I only hope that the rest of their upcoming project is as jaw droppingly intense as what we can hear in the above snippet.