This is our official "Year In Review" article; a look back at 2015 and the albums that we thought were the best of the best. In this list, we count down our Top 25 Best Reviewed Releases of 2015, including EPs, compilations, remix albums, singles, and full albums. This list does not include anything that was reviewed during our 2015 run but was released before that. So, here goes: 

25. "The Madrean" by Whale Fall

This five piece instrumental ambient band from LA managed to start off our list, wherein the original review for their album scored a lovely 9 out of 10. Basing the sound of "The Madrean" off of the North American southwest and cacti infested region, the music had Layla boasting, "Each track on this album is meant to be connected to the previous. Each track is also an amazing sonic journey on the microcosm while the interconnected journey of the whole album works on the macrocosm."


24. "Carbon Black" by Amelia Arsenic

Artist. Fashion designer. Music producer. It would seem as if Amelia Arsenic just can't stop creating no matter what industry she dives into, and she sure proved her chops with electro house, industrial infused beats with her EP "Carbon Black", which had myself raving, "...fuck me if I haven't found quite one of the most addicting releases of January thus far. Amelia Arsenic has just proven that she's just as lethal as a music producer as she is in the fashion industry..." 


23. "Fable" by iVardensphere

I think it's fair to say that anyone could have seen this one coming. iVardensphere has a knack for making heavily addicting music and have been applauded up and down all over the scene by fans, other artists, and various magazines. That includes ours, wherein the original review stated, "The tribal-industrial champs that are iVardensphere have struck a blow in 2015 and have knocked me down flat on my ass."



22. "Outside The Night" by The Silicon Scientist

As a fan of the Silicon Scientist's work since he first heard 2006's "Windows on the World", Luke appreciate every ounce of this synthpop's high technical skills and synthpop melodies. When it came to this year's release, he said, "Throughout the entire output The Silicon Scientist takes the listener into beautifully crafted chimerical worlds where electronic dreams take the stage and pull us into many wondrous directions."



21. "Carnival of Catharsis" by Ecstasphere

There is even room on this list for well crafted IDM and rhythmic noise, as is such the case with Ecstasphere's "Carnival Of Catharsis". The title tells all; Ecstasphere's signature sounds combine with that of a carnival, but is so much more than that, which led to myself saying, "Ecstasphere is able to tell this story masterfully through her wise electronic techniques and skills."




20. "Total Fucking War" by Judda

While technically none of these songs released in 2015, Armalyte Industries combined all the industrial punk band's singles together in one collaboration. This turned out to be a highlight in the label's roster, with the original review stating, "After listening to this album multiple times, I come off "Total Fucking War" with only one hope. And that hope is that Judda will totally fucking come back and deliver some new songs."



19. "State Of War" by Serpents

Originating from 1989, this old school EBM and dark electro hybrid entertained Luke so much that he wrote a very long review for the album complete with chapters and the like. However, if there is one quip you should take from the long digested write-up, it would be, "With ‘State Of War’ being the final piece of the EAR trilogy, we have been spoiled with 6 discs of all out amazement."



18. "The Remix Album" by E-Sassin

What? A remix album? On our Top Reviewed Releases of 2015? That's right. The LA D'n'B scene put together a fantastic remix album with Sound Sphere's compilation. This had Layla saying, "All these styles and subgenres may be filtered through the prism of E-Sassin’s long and storied career, but they also reveal an important cross-section of drum and bass in the U.S."





17.
"Deeper" by The Soft Moon

70s and 80s post-punk got a revival shot from The Soft Moon when they first came to life in 2009 and they have kept going since then. Their 2015 album "Deeper" had William praising their album stating, "...the album as a whole is a wonderful achievement, oozing with mysticism, angst, and a unique voice learnign to set itself free from underneath layers of historical reference, while still wearing its influences on its sleeve."



16. "Communications From The Bombshelter Vol. 2 Future Past" by Various Artists

Taking our 16th place on this list is a gigantic compilation of Canadian New Wave/Synthpop gems. Yes, it may only be four tracks, but this is an example of quality over quantity, and had Luke saying in his review, "This is an amazing door-opener to the underground synthpop/new wave scene out of Canada!"




15. "Lotharia" by Beauty Queen Autopsy

Caustic + Unwoman = Beauty Queen Autopsy. It's a very simple formula that you would think many would flock to without any other reason given yet I still feel as if not enough people have gobbled up this collaboration's music. In my original review, I stated,  "I am absolutely floored by the hard and work and dedication Fanale and Mulkey have poured into 'Lotharia'."




14. "The Great Nothing" by Starving Insect

This is one for fans of solid techno and doomcore, as Starving Insect's "The Great Nothing" is a wonderfully well paced hit. Perfect music for listening in the dark, I could only state in my review that you should "Give some love to this Swedish beast."






13. "The Adversarial Light" by Urilia

Urilia's "The Adversial Light" is one of my top favorites of 2015, so I'm glad to see it take position 13 on this light. Formed by Dawn of Ashes frontman Kristof Bathory, the album was an all out blast of fantastic extreme metal. I quote myself from the review, "Your body will be torn to bits. Your mind will be corrupted. Your soul will be damned. But you won't care, because every time you dive into this album you will revel in pride."



12. "Psychogenesis" by Encephalon

Encephalon's "Psychogenesis" is an awesome inclusion in the electro-industrial scene. The album avoids conventions and plays out like an epic sci-fi space opera which I described as, "...a rare delicacy that only comes around every so often."






11. "Meradiam" by Le Seul Element

When a man chooses to hide himself so his art can be more appreciated than himself as a person, you know you're coming across something great. That's exactly how French Le Seul Element presents himself and his dark ambient work, which made Jaime cry, "Once I heard the riveting 'Tehee,' I knew I had to hear the rest of Meradiam; it's that irresistible."



10. "St. Phenome Alley" by Thaw

Thaw has already claimed Album of the Month for December, but that's not stopping this black metal and experimental from going further to claim our tenth spot on this list. Andrew was so impressed with the band's work that he said, "It is a great pleasure to see that there are still bands out there which can express themselves through different genres and Thaw is definitely one of them."



09. "Three of Three: Rubedo" by XP8

XP8 may have had a controversial career as they upset many by stating their opinion bluntly without giving a shit for the feelings of other, but I say that they had balls unlike others. Their final release, "Three of Three: Rubedo" is perhaps one of their best releases in their career. I gave a heartfelt goodbye to the Italian duo by writing, "XP8 may be dead, but their music will forever hold a place within my soul."



08. "Burden's Landing" by Winchester Revival
 
Layla praised their stance against indie music trends with their rock and noise sounds by saying, "They're rallying against some of the more boring elements of indie music right now."






07. "I'm Considering Being a Cloud" by 061180

Though this experimental/ambient album had mixed reception from the crew, Layla praised it highly scoring it a 9.5 out of 10. An independent and off label release, the album had Layla putting out philosophical questions such as, "When does sound cease to be something we can qualify as music? When does noise turn into rhythm, when do tones turn into art?"



06. "Insomnia" by Leila Abdul-Rauf

Coming off the esteemed Malignant Records label, Leila Abdul-Rauf's haunting Darkwave and Ambient "Insomnia" had Andrew ranting and raving about the musician's work. He went so far as to say, "The pain of severance and loneliness fills the air while a dead-like vocal of Leila plays with naked strings of my soul."





05. "The Void Trilogy" by Die Sektor

Oh, yes, this one definitely deserves the fifth spot on this list. "The Void Trilogy" combines Die Sektor's previous three albums, comes with bonus tracks for each of the discs, and comes with a fourth disc with self remixed work from Die Sektor themselves and comes in a gorgeous, fat DVD box complete with a full lyric booklet and the like. All I could say in my review was, "When there's more Die Sektor out there, there's nothing to complain about." 


04. "The Earthen Siphon" by Various Artists

From Kalpamantra comes this monstrous compilation of the darkest sounds you'll hear from all four corners of the Earth. Honestly, if you haven't heard it as of yet, I encourage you to do so, as does Andrew as he said of the compilation, "I am sure that no one will remain indifferent after immersing in almost four hours of the finest dark ambient, power electronics and death industrial materials."



03. "Klangportrats I+II" by Ecstasphere & Aphexia

I remember being caught in a bit of a drought when I reviewed this one earlier in 2015, and, yes, Ecstasphere also claimed a spot further up the list. I guess that just goes to show how skilled Ophelia The Suffering is as a producer. I even went onto say, "This EP is one of the best I've had the pleasure of listening to in 2015 thus far."




02. "Sitra Achra" by Worms of the Earth

Not only is this one of the highest scored releases of 2015, but it also has one of the highest crew scores of 2015 hitting in at a 9.5 from the review and a 9.8 from the crew. This ritual album had myself praising it left to right, remarking, "Sitra Achra marks another conquered stone in Worms of the Earth's shadow."





01. "Watch It Sparkle" by dsfečo

Claiming our number one spot would be Dsfečo's "Watch It Sparkle", which is the only album this year that has claimed the legendary 10 out of 10 score. Experimental classical music marked a high note for this musician's career, and had Layla gloating, "As far as I’m concerned as a music lover, dsfečo’s first solo album has it all: complex song composition, beautiful, emotive melodies, just the right amount of dissonance and well-placed syncopation and vocals which drive home the point of all this strange music."

What do you think of our list? Do you agree? What are your favorite releases of 2015?
Top 25 Reviewed Releases of 2015
January 2, 2016
Brutal Resonance

Top 25 Reviewed Releases of 2015

This is our official "Year In Review" article; a look back at 2015 and the albums that we thought were the best of the best. In this list, we count down our Top 25 Best Reviewed Releases of 2015, including EPs, compilations, remix albums, singles, and full albums. This list does not include anything that was reviewed during our 2015 run but was released before that. So, here goes: 

25. "The Madrean" by Whale Fall

This five piece instrumental ambient band from LA managed to start off our list, wherein the original review for their album scored a lovely 9 out of 10. Basing the sound of "The Madrean" off of the North American southwest and cacti infested region, the music had Layla boasting, "Each track on this album is meant to be connected to the previous. Each track is also an amazing sonic journey on the microcosm while the interconnected journey of the whole album works on the macrocosm."


24. "Carbon Black" by Amelia Arsenic

Artist. Fashion designer. Music producer. It would seem as if Amelia Arsenic just can't stop creating no matter what industry she dives into, and she sure proved her chops with electro house, industrial infused beats with her EP "Carbon Black", which had myself raving, "...fuck me if I haven't found quite one of the most addicting releases of January thus far. Amelia Arsenic has just proven that she's just as lethal as a music producer as she is in the fashion industry..." 


23. "Fable" by iVardensphere

I think it's fair to say that anyone could have seen this one coming. iVardensphere has a knack for making heavily addicting music and have been applauded up and down all over the scene by fans, other artists, and various magazines. That includes ours, wherein the original review stated, "The tribal-industrial champs that are iVardensphere have struck a blow in 2015 and have knocked me down flat on my ass."



22. "Outside The Night" by The Silicon Scientist

As a fan of the Silicon Scientist's work since he first heard 2006's "Windows on the World", Luke appreciate every ounce of this synthpop's high technical skills and synthpop melodies. When it came to this year's release, he said, "Throughout the entire output The Silicon Scientist takes the listener into beautifully crafted chimerical worlds where electronic dreams take the stage and pull us into many wondrous directions."



21. "Carnival of Catharsis" by Ecstasphere

There is even room on this list for well crafted IDM and rhythmic noise, as is such the case with Ecstasphere's "Carnival Of Catharsis". The title tells all; Ecstasphere's signature sounds combine with that of a carnival, but is so much more than that, which led to myself saying, "Ecstasphere is able to tell this story masterfully through her wise electronic techniques and skills."




20. "Total Fucking War" by Judda

While technically none of these songs released in 2015, Armalyte Industries combined all the industrial punk band's singles together in one collaboration. This turned out to be a highlight in the label's roster, with the original review stating, "After listening to this album multiple times, I come off "Total Fucking War" with only one hope. And that hope is that Judda will totally fucking come back and deliver some new songs."



19. "State Of War" by Serpents

Originating from 1989, this old school EBM and dark electro hybrid entertained Luke so much that he wrote a very long review for the album complete with chapters and the like. However, if there is one quip you should take from the long digested write-up, it would be, "With ‘State Of War’ being the final piece of the EAR trilogy, we have been spoiled with 6 discs of all out amazement."



18. "The Remix Album" by E-Sassin

What? A remix album? On our Top Reviewed Releases of 2015? That's right. The LA D'n'B scene put together a fantastic remix album with Sound Sphere's compilation. This had Layla saying, "All these styles and subgenres may be filtered through the prism of E-Sassin’s long and storied career, but they also reveal an important cross-section of drum and bass in the U.S."





17.
"Deeper" by The Soft Moon

70s and 80s post-punk got a revival shot from The Soft Moon when they first came to life in 2009 and they have kept going since then. Their 2015 album "Deeper" had William praising their album stating, "...the album as a whole is a wonderful achievement, oozing with mysticism, angst, and a unique voice learnign to set itself free from underneath layers of historical reference, while still wearing its influences on its sleeve."



16. "Communications From The Bombshelter Vol. 2 Future Past" by Various Artists

Taking our 16th place on this list is a gigantic compilation of Canadian New Wave/Synthpop gems. Yes, it may only be four tracks, but this is an example of quality over quantity, and had Luke saying in his review, "This is an amazing door-opener to the underground synthpop/new wave scene out of Canada!"




15. "Lotharia" by Beauty Queen Autopsy

Caustic + Unwoman = Beauty Queen Autopsy. It's a very simple formula that you would think many would flock to without any other reason given yet I still feel as if not enough people have gobbled up this collaboration's music. In my original review, I stated,  "I am absolutely floored by the hard and work and dedication Fanale and Mulkey have poured into 'Lotharia'."




14. "The Great Nothing" by Starving Insect

This is one for fans of solid techno and doomcore, as Starving Insect's "The Great Nothing" is a wonderfully well paced hit. Perfect music for listening in the dark, I could only state in my review that you should "Give some love to this Swedish beast."






13. "The Adversarial Light" by Urilia

Urilia's "The Adversial Light" is one of my top favorites of 2015, so I'm glad to see it take position 13 on this light. Formed by Dawn of Ashes frontman Kristof Bathory, the album was an all out blast of fantastic extreme metal. I quote myself from the review, "Your body will be torn to bits. Your mind will be corrupted. Your soul will be damned. But you won't care, because every time you dive into this album you will revel in pride."



12. "Psychogenesis" by Encephalon

Encephalon's "Psychogenesis" is an awesome inclusion in the electro-industrial scene. The album avoids conventions and plays out like an epic sci-fi space opera which I described as, "...a rare delicacy that only comes around every so often."






11. "Meradiam" by Le Seul Element

When a man chooses to hide himself so his art can be more appreciated than himself as a person, you know you're coming across something great. That's exactly how French Le Seul Element presents himself and his dark ambient work, which made Jaime cry, "Once I heard the riveting 'Tehee,' I knew I had to hear the rest of Meradiam; it's that irresistible."



10. "St. Phenome Alley" by Thaw

Thaw has already claimed Album of the Month for December, but that's not stopping this black metal and experimental from going further to claim our tenth spot on this list. Andrew was so impressed with the band's work that he said, "It is a great pleasure to see that there are still bands out there which can express themselves through different genres and Thaw is definitely one of them."



09. "Three of Three: Rubedo" by XP8

XP8 may have had a controversial career as they upset many by stating their opinion bluntly without giving a shit for the feelings of other, but I say that they had balls unlike others. Their final release, "Three of Three: Rubedo" is perhaps one of their best releases in their career. I gave a heartfelt goodbye to the Italian duo by writing, "XP8 may be dead, but their music will forever hold a place within my soul."



08. "Burden's Landing" by Winchester Revival
 
Layla praised their stance against indie music trends with their rock and noise sounds by saying, "They're rallying against some of the more boring elements of indie music right now."






07. "I'm Considering Being a Cloud" by 061180

Though this experimental/ambient album had mixed reception from the crew, Layla praised it highly scoring it a 9.5 out of 10. An independent and off label release, the album had Layla putting out philosophical questions such as, "When does sound cease to be something we can qualify as music? When does noise turn into rhythm, when do tones turn into art?"



06. "Insomnia" by Leila Abdul-Rauf

Coming off the esteemed Malignant Records label, Leila Abdul-Rauf's haunting Darkwave and Ambient "Insomnia" had Andrew ranting and raving about the musician's work. He went so far as to say, "The pain of severance and loneliness fills the air while a dead-like vocal of Leila plays with naked strings of my soul."





05. "The Void Trilogy" by Die Sektor

Oh, yes, this one definitely deserves the fifth spot on this list. "The Void Trilogy" combines Die Sektor's previous three albums, comes with bonus tracks for each of the discs, and comes with a fourth disc with self remixed work from Die Sektor themselves and comes in a gorgeous, fat DVD box complete with a full lyric booklet and the like. All I could say in my review was, "When there's more Die Sektor out there, there's nothing to complain about." 


04. "The Earthen Siphon" by Various Artists

From Kalpamantra comes this monstrous compilation of the darkest sounds you'll hear from all four corners of the Earth. Honestly, if you haven't heard it as of yet, I encourage you to do so, as does Andrew as he said of the compilation, "I am sure that no one will remain indifferent after immersing in almost four hours of the finest dark ambient, power electronics and death industrial materials."



03. "Klangportrats I+II" by Ecstasphere & Aphexia

I remember being caught in a bit of a drought when I reviewed this one earlier in 2015, and, yes, Ecstasphere also claimed a spot further up the list. I guess that just goes to show how skilled Ophelia The Suffering is as a producer. I even went onto say, "This EP is one of the best I've had the pleasure of listening to in 2015 thus far."




02. "Sitra Achra" by Worms of the Earth

Not only is this one of the highest scored releases of 2015, but it also has one of the highest crew scores of 2015 hitting in at a 9.5 from the review and a 9.8 from the crew. This ritual album had myself praising it left to right, remarking, "Sitra Achra marks another conquered stone in Worms of the Earth's shadow."





01. "Watch It Sparkle" by dsfečo

Claiming our number one spot would be Dsfečo's "Watch It Sparkle", which is the only album this year that has claimed the legendary 10 out of 10 score. Experimental classical music marked a high note for this musician's career, and had Layla gloating, "As far as I’m concerned as a music lover, dsfečo’s first solo album has it all: complex song composition, beautiful, emotive melodies, just the right amount of dissonance and well-placed syncopation and vocals which drive home the point of all this strange music."

What do you think of our list? Do you agree? What are your favorite releases of 2015?
Jan 02 2016

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

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