Greetings, everyone! I hope you all have been enjoying the holiday season and everything it has to offer. As we roll into our second week of our Best of 2015 series, we are honored to feature the doom metallers out of Seattle known simply as Un. Guitarist and vocalist Monte McCleery was kind enough to share his favorite albums of the past year with us, and subsequently with you. Check them out below.
Monte McCleery’s Best of 2015
This album took me some time to warm up to. Ahab is not a band that repeats themselves and after I took the time to really dig into this record it became clear that it easily stands up against their previous releases. The songs are faster and (dare I say) more accessible, but still nonetheless an incredible effort from the masters of Nautik Doom!
Big|Brave – Au De La
If an album confuses me or leaves me feeling awkward or uncomfortable, that’s typically the first sign that I am going to love it. That’s exactly what Au De La did for me. It is somehow both angry and soothing. A challenging piece of musical art that makes you put in the work before giving up any semblance of understanding. Really outstanding!
The album title says it all. Heavy and brooding and absolutely dripping with darkness. Hooded Menace proves once again that they are the masters of death and despair.
Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
I’ll be the first to admit that I have never been much of a Chelsea Wolfe fan. Her previous efforts just fell a bit flat for me, but Abyss is a completely different story. Heavy and beautiful. This one will be in regular rotation for the foreseeable future.
I’m not really into much death metal these days, but I’ve been waiting years for this release. Intransigence blends the perfect amount of raw brutality and complex dynamic textures. Dense and unforgiving.
Everyone has their own set of subgenres they like to plug VV into, and with every release they continue to break the mold. Settler is no different. It’s really no surprise this album has been popping up on year-end lists all over the place. Emotionally vivid and quite powerful.
Elder – Lore
This was probably my most anticipated release all year, and it definitely did not disappoint. Elder seems to almost reinvent themselves with every new effort and the vivid melodic soundscapes on Lore keep you coming back.
Bell Witch – Four Phantoms
The immeasurable depth of this album makes it easy to forget that Bell Witch only consists of two people. A harrowing introspective journey that will leave you contemplating the deep corners of your soul.
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution
Another challenging release from one of my favorite bands. Locrian’s follow up to 2013’s ‘Return to Annihilation’ is everything I wanted and more. The thick atmosphere and almost alien textures will send you to another dimension entirely.
Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields
This album floored me. Devastating and beautiful, every song strikes a chord deep within my soul. This is the type of album that makes you curious about what kind of mind it takes to create such desolate and haunting music. Both bleak and romantic, Monotony Fields brings to light every loss you’ve suffered and every truth you’ve yearned.
Thank you to Monte for his time! If you weren’t previously familiar with Un, be sure to check out the immense The Tomb of All Things, which dropped earlier this month. For more information on Un, be sure to visit their Bandcamp and Facebook pages.