Hypertension - Worlds Torn Apart

Taken from the upcoming EP "Dark Storms Arise", out soon on Lockyard Records.


Lockyard Best Of 2015 part 3: Albums

1. Tribulation – The Children Of The Night (Century Media)

Third masterpiece in a row by the best band in Sweden. I must admit that I was a bit skeptic toward how they moved even further away from their death metal-roots at first, but the more time I gave it, the more it grew. This band seem to be totally incapable of being anything else than brilliant.

2. Crypt Sermon – Out Of The Garden (Dark Descent)

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this Philadelphia quartet came saw and conquered us all with the best doom metal-album since Procession's To Reap Heavens Apart. A ridiculously strong effort, that most likely will be remembered as one of the milestones from our time in this genre.

3. Bäddat För Trubbel – Två Sjundedelar Av Ett Liv (Ljudkassett)

With an incredibly stripped down, honest and straight forward album, the third album by the Malmö-band was definitely one of the most diverse, engaging and absolutely best albums of 2015.

4. Blind Guardian – Beyond The Red Mirror (Nuclear Blast)

With their previous album being very strong, almost a return to the glory of their olden days (best band of the 90's, all cathegories, if you're asking me), the question was now if that was just a coincidence, or if they would be able to stay on the same high level. And I think they did, Beyond The Red Mirror might be a bit uneven, but the tops are ridiculously high.

5. Kadavar – Berlin (Nuclear Blast)

An album got some heavy rotation during the late summer, and hence slowly but steady grew to become one of my absolute favorites from the year that passed. Perfect album for the heavy rockers.

6. Ram – Svbversvm (Metal Blade)

Long awaited return by the Swedish iron tyrants. 2009's Lightbringer remains my favorite album of theirs, as well as one of the best heavy metal albums released in modern time, but Svbversvm is not far behind. Heavy metal supremacy.

7. Rocka Rollas – Pagan Ritual (Stormspell)

The band with the most insane productivity returns once again. I enjoyed last years The Road To Destruction a lot, but this is definitely their best album so far. We'll see if that curve keeps rising this year, I find it very unlikely that they wont have another album ready quite soon.

8. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls (Parlophone)

An album that shouldn't have passed anyone by, that I despite it's ambitious lenght find very qualitative, if not fantastic in its brightest moments. Maybe some parts of the longer tracks could have been shortened a bit, but I don't really consider any of the songs to be fillers. No doubt that the one and only heavy metal masters still has got it.

9. Dark Quarterer - Ithaca (Metal On Metal)

A super bombastic and surprisingly strong album from this cult band from Italy, whose first album should be mandatory in everyone's collection. Better than I ever had hoped for, and containing some tracks that are in the same league with their classics.

10. Circle II Circle - Reign Of Darkness (Ear Music)

The longing for something new from Savatage is as great as always, but the new album by Circle II Circle is an excellent substitute, their best one since the debut. Filled with the characteristic dark riffs and atmosphere that you desperately want more of, just as good from C II C as fromthe ”main” band.

11. Black Trip - Shadowline (SPV) 

12. Manilla Road - The Blessed Curse (Golden Core) 

13. Terminus - The Reaper's Spiral (Stormspell)

14.Satan's Host - Pre-dating God part II (Moribund)

15. Satan's Host - Pre-dating God part I (Moribund)

16. Enforcer - From Beyond (Nuclear Blast)

17. Lord Fist - Green Eyleen (Ektro)

18. Stonegriff - Come Taste The Blood (Metal On Metal)

19. Imperial State Electric - Honk Machine (Psychout)

20. Trial -Vessel (High Roller)

21. Horisont - Odyssey (Rise Above)

22. Marduk - Frontschwein (Century Media)

23. Arkham Witch - I Am Providence (Metal On Metal)

24. Speedtrap - Straight Shooter (Svart)

25. Ironsword - None But The Brave (Shadow Kingdom)


Arkham Witch – I Am Providence (Metal On Metal 2015 CD)

 Before summing up the list of 2015's best albums, I'll have a go with this nice release, since the people at MoM Records always so kindly send me their releases. What we have here is the third album by this exceptional band. Before I even listened to it the first time, I reacted on the tracklist that showed not less than 20 songs, of which most weren't longer than 2-3 minutes. A huge change compared to the one on their previous album, Legions Of The Deep, were the 10 songs were between 2 and 8 minutes long. And when inserting I Am Providence in the CD-player, it quickly becomes clear that more things than the duration of the songs has changed since their last album.

 While I consider Legions Of The Deep more or less a pure heavy metal assault (with some hints of doom), and even though it might not be a complete change of their sound, this album has got a whole different vibe. The short and straight forward songwriting makes actually makes me think of punk a lot of times. 

 Lyrically though, things have basically stayed the same. The fascination of weird tales with a sense of humor always present is something that I guess always will stay intact when it comes to this band. I can't say that I'm very familiar with this kind of fiction they seems to be very obsessed with, other than bumping into such themes in metal-songs every now and then, but I must say that the frequent referring to it in Arkham Witch's songs is something that definitely makes them more memorable. If you're looking for something unique and out of the norm-sounding, I recommend you to check this out. I can't imagine that there's any band out there that sounds even close to this. 7,5/10

P.S. In addition to the new album, a re-issue of it's sold out precursor Legions Of The Deep (Respawned) was also released at the same time. Even though I must say that they really managed to renew themselves in a very interesting way with I Am Providence, I think this one is just a little bit better. I remember listening a lot to this when it came out about three years ago. Such a perfect and powerful fusion of heavy metal, speed metal and doom. The cover art is stunning a well, needs to be released on vinyl! 8/10


Lockyard best of 2015 part 2: Singles, EP's & Demos

5. Lamp Of Thoth – This Is Not Doom! (Sarlaac 2015 MC)

Definitely a worthy swansong (?) from the unchallenged weird lords of strangeness. In addition to this, we've also been blessed with several releases from the closely related Arkham Witch as well, so I feel relieved to know that the weird spirit lives on.

4. Zodiac – Stone Command (Heavy Chains 2015 MC)

Phenomenal demo from this Australian band which delivers doom of absolutely finest quality, a tape that shouldn't be missed by any worshiper of the genre. Just listen to The Noose, and you'll be convinced in a matter of seconds.

3. Terminal – Satanski Narocila (Ljudkassett 2015 MC)

A re-invention of the first praised single, released last year, that succeeds to follow it up without a doubt. I never thought that it would be possible to top Heavy Metal Lokomotiva, but the title track of this tape is just as good.

2. The Dahmers - Terror On Wheels (Lovely 2015 7”)

Yet another sign of strength from these messy rock 'n' rollers. The Ripper is definitely one of the most frequently played tracks of 2015 by yours truly. Hope to see a new LP this year.

1. Herzel – Unis Dans La Gloire (Impous Desecration 2015 MC)

Even though I really enjoyed the rest of the releases on tbis list, and some others too, none of them were really quite close to this one. The two majestic tracks on this tape is the best French metal I've heard since the glory days of bands like Sortilège and ADX. The band that we most desperately need an album from right now!