The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


BEST OF 2015

The Rockpit Best Of 2015

It's that time of the year again when we round up the very best of rock and metal for the year and 2015 had some great releases and some fantastic highlights. From the biggest albums of the year to the local heroes kicking it in the underground, we heard it all and so we present to you our top albums and highlights of 2015. Here is part 2 of our highlights, part 1 can be seen HERE.


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Best Metal Albums of 2015
Counting down the top metal picks by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie

10. Coal Chamber
I start my top 10 with Coal Chamber's triumphant return after many years away from the business. I'll be straight up honest here first and foremost - I was never a big fan of Coal Chamber during their first time around and was always more of a DevilDriver fan which came after Coal Chamber's breakup - but after seeing them at the Soundwave Festival back in 2012 and then hearing this very album, I had a new appreciation for the band. Not so much for the older material but just what the band are doing as of now. Coal Chamber should be super proud of this album, it has all the grooves and hooks of what a great metal album should always have and for that reason, it made my list for 2015.
Interview w/ Dez Fafara
9. Leave Scars - Chains Of Redemption
Leave Scars is an old school Belgian metal band that I discovered when reviewing their album and this is actually their first full length album. Mighty impressive I must say and debuts like that only come once every so often like Machine Head's "Burn My Eyes" or Down's "Nola". I love the fresh take on the thrash genre that can sometimes sound a little old or rehashed, it's albums like this that keep me interested in the underground...always. I look forward to what these guys will come up with next.
8. Harlott - Proliferation
This Aussie thrash band made their stamp in 2015 with a great album that is not only thrashy but aggressive as well. Melbourne has some truly great thrash bands going around right now and with "Proliferation", Harlott have stepped up as contenders for one of the best in the country. They also got to open for Annihilator on tour which I completely envy! More on Annihilator a bit later in this list...
Interview w/ Andrew Hudson
7. Ghost - Meliora
With the disappointing "Infestissumam", the band had some fairly big expectations to fill and I believe they did it with "Meliora". All the hooks and cool riffs and solid beats of "Opus Eponymous" return but without repeating themselves entirely which is a hard thing to do. It may be satanic but it doesn't have to be Norwegian black metal to be this good!
Interview w/ A Nameless Ghoul
6. Pro-Pain - Voice Of Rebellion
After much thought, I decided this album had to be included in my top 10 for the simple reason that I kept playing this thing over and over in the last couple of months. I've been a fan of Pro-Pain for years now and always casually liked their albums but for whatever reason, "Voice Of Rebellion" just kept in my playlist on heavy rotation. It could be that the songs just sounded so fantastic when cranked up, sonically this thing just hits you in the face especially with tracks like "No Fly Zone" where headbanging is the only option in reacting. But every song is great and that's a fairly rare thing these days.
Interview w/ Gary Meskil
5. Cradle Of Filth - Hammer Of The Witches
Like with Coal Chamber, Cradle Of Filth were another band I was never a super fan of. Black metal wasn't my thing back in the 90's and the goth scene wasn't to my taste either but damned if I know how "Hammer Of The Witches" turned me around! I guess the thrashy riffs and guitar harmonies really got me going for this one and even after all these years, Dani Filth still sounds amazing on vocals. But whatever it was, it's the surprise album of the year for me personally.
Interview w/ Dani Filth
4. Annihilator - Suicide Society
At some point, my bias in certain bands in certain genres was going to take it's place and Annihilator's latest album "Suicide Society" is it. As far as I'm concerned, Jeff Waters is Midas and everything he touches is gold. What's there to say that isn't in the review? It's another brilliant effort from the Candaian thrashers, simple as that.
3. Lamb Of God - VII Sturm Und Drang
It actually took more than a few listens before this album really got me hooked to be honest. On first listen, it sounded great and there were certainly mixes of traditional Lamb Of God along with some new stuff going on. A few surprises, Randy's vocals in particular and tracks like "Torches" and Embers" that really pushed the boundariies of what Lamb Of God are known for. But the tracks that grew with me over time like "512", "Footprints" and "Anthropoid" are just phenomenal songs and the more I listen to them along with the entire album, the more I dig it. It's just one of those albums that needs to be listened to in it's entirety so that tracks like "Torches" just meld in perfectly.
Interview w/ Mark Morton
2. Fear Factory - Genexus
It may not come as a surprise to those that know me that Fear Factory's new album made my top 10 list but as big a fan as I am of the band and have been almost since the very beginning of their career, I genuinely think this album is perfect. Everything a fan loves about this band, is here on this album. With throwbacks to earlier albums like "Demanufacture", "Obsolete" and "Digimortal", this is Fear Factory at their very best. Many will argue that this is not as good as those earlier albums and I probably agree but this was never about competition. This album simply represents what Fear Factory is, a brutal machine that shoots out machine gun riffs and hammering drums with Burton himself spitting out the world of man vs machine. The industrial metal story continues...
Interview w/ Dino Cazares
1. Battlecross - Rise To Power
If it wasn't for this album, Fear Factory's "Genexus" would have been number 1. But I came across this album in my review list earlier in the year and I was completely blown away. I hadn't felt that way about an album in some time now, hearing an underground band do something like this is what I look for everyday and it's a rarity when it happens. So when these songs hit my ears, I knew straight away this was going to be a serious contender for my favorite album of 2015 and I waited for another album to top it. The big hitters came, Slayer, Children Of Bodom, even Fear Factory who came close, but "Rise To Power" just blew everything else out of the water. Just the track "Not Your Slave" alone did it for me but the entire album is just flawless, this is what good music is all about.
Interview w/ Tony Asta

Top Albums of 2015
Alternative picks by Steve Monaghan

1. Slayer - Repentless
2. Scientist - 1010II0101
3. Kublai Kahn - New Strength
4. Sevendust - Kill The Flaw
5. Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction
6. Thy Art Is Murder - Holy War
7. Coal Chamber - Rivals
8. King Parrot - Dead Set
9. Clutch - Psychic Warfare
10. Soulfly - Archangel

Best Australian Metal Releases of 2015
Selected by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie

1. Harlott - Proliferation
2. Orpheus Omega - Partum Vita Mortem
3. King Parrot - Dead Set
4. Psycroptic - Psycroptic
5. Whoretopsy - Never Tear Us Apart

Best Live Shows of 2015
Selected by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie

1. Toxic Holocaust - October 9th: Melbourne, Australia - Review
2. Lamb Of God & Killer Be Killed - February 24th: Melbourne, Australia - Review
3. Chris Cornell - December 8th: Perth, Australia - Review
4. Soundwave Festival - March 1st: Sydney, Australia - Review
5. Megadeth & Children Of Bodom - October 16th: Perth, Australia - Review
6. Fear Factory & Exodus - February 23rd: Melbourne, Australia - Review
7. The Dead Daisies - October 11th: Sydney, Australia - Review
8. Hellyeah - August 31st: Perth, Australia - Review
9. Machine Head - June 29th: Perth, Australia - Review
10. AC/DC - November 27th: Perth, Australia - Review

Best Live Shows of 2015
Selected by Tammie Molotov

1. Carcass & Napalm Death - April 16th: Perth, Australia - Review
2. Behemoth & Watain - September 29th: Perth, Australia - Review
3. Devin Townsend Project - October 22nd: Brisbane, Australia - Review
4. Nile - November 22nd: Perth, Australia - Review
5. Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society - November 25th: Perth, Australia - Review

Part 1 of The Rockpit's best of 2015 can be read HERE

Written and Compiled by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie & The Rockpit team