Dec 222015

Patrick Bruss


(We invited musician and producer Patrick Bruss (Crypticus) to share with us his list of favorite 2015 releases, and — not surprisingly — it’s heavy as hell.)

This was a bit of a slow year, I felt, but the good albums that were good were good. Or something. Let’s get started:


Black Fast art

Black Fast – Terms of Surrender

Vektor, but with fewer carbs. These guys shred right in that savage early Voivod zone that bands like Deceased have made a home in. Amazing playing! Epic riffery! A Thrash Holocaust! For fans of: Vektor, Voivod, Deceased





Bloodstrike art

Bloodstrike – In Death We Rot

Crushingly heavy debut album from my Denver friends. Also happens to be my favorite Death Metal album of the year. (In the interest of full disclosure, it was also mixed by me, so understand I’m a bit biased here!) It shows the never-ending appeal of pure Old-School Death Metal done right. No bells, no whistles, just ten tons of meaty riffs. Bloodstrike lay down layers of thick volcanic groove and heaviness. For fans of: Bolt Thrower, Grave, Asphyx





Pissgrave-Suicide Euphoria

Pissgrave – Suicide Euphoria

As you can see from the cover art, not a great album to break buds on. Just found out about these guys — Total fucking armageddon! The unbelievable savagery and rawness approaches Grind and Black Metal levels, but this is definitely Old-School Death Metal. Brought to mind DR. Shrinker for some reason, but Pissgrave is eons heavier. Maybe Mental Horror is a better comparison. Also, some of the best “bad” production of the year, and I mean bad as in fantastic, of course.
For fans of: Mental Horror, Repugnant, Venenum





Cut Up-Forensic Nightmares

Cut Up – Forensic Nightmare

I was very bummed when Vomitory broke-up, so I was equally chuffed to hear they resurrected their Slayer-meets-Cannibal Corpse brutality under an EVEN WORSE band name: Cut Up.

Nothing ground-breaking, just good and nasty Death Metal produced by Ronnie Bjornstrom, so you know it’s goddamn heavy. Lots of groove, lots of D-Beats. For fans of: Vomitory, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer





Embrional-The Devil Inside

Embrional – The Devil Inside

I enjoy ugly things sometimes. I especially like when ugliness meets virtuosity, and that’s what we have here. It’s that Polish brand of cold Death Metal darkness that only they can conjure, with just enough progressive tendencies to keep the brutality interesting. This is what I always wanted Portal to sound like. For fans of: Damnation, Azarath, Sinister





Gorgoroth-Instinctus Bestialis

Gorgoroth – Instinctus Bestialis

Infernus seems rather lazy these days, but his guitar playing is as sharp as ever. I find his riffs hard to resist. He rides the perfect line between melodic sophistication, Black Metal savagery, and Death Metal heaviness. With the last three albums he’s been bringing their old sound back but with a more Thrash Metal production and precision. I miss Gaahl’s antics, but this band still releases great stuff. For fans of: Immortal, Taake, old Gorgoroth





The Grotesquery-Curse of the Skinless Bride

The Grotesquery – Curse of the Skinless Bride

A Lovecraftian project featuring Rogga Johansson on guitar, Crypticus drummer Brynjar Helgetun, and legendary Death Metal growler Kam Lee doing the storytelling. They’ve created several Horror Prog concept albums about secret cults, insane asylums, and horrible monsters, this being the third one. This is the kind of stuff that comes with pages out of diaries, maps, and all sorts of dangerous info, so be sure to get the vinyl! (I got all three!) Did I mention it’s produced by Dan Swanö? For fans of: Demiurg, Ribspreader, Bloodbath





Killing Joke-Pylon

Killing Joke – Pylon

This is their best in maybe 15 years. A return to the OG lineup. The only thing I miss is Paul Raven’s presence, otherwise it’s maybe my favorite KJ album since Extremities. Very Post Punk, and very classic KJ. For fans of: Voivod, Prong, old Killing Joke





Tombstalker-Black Crusades

Tombstalker – Black Crusades

Some SERIOUS Bolts being Thrown here. I liked their EP but this is a big step-up in all departments. If you thought Bolt Thrower “sold-out” after IBTINL, this is for you. Also, “Fate Weaver” is one of the best songs Dismember never wrote. For fans of: early Bolt Thrower, Axegrinder, Instinct of Survival





With the Dead

With The Dead – S/T

This is the heaviest Doom album of the year. I covered it ad-nauseum on the Pull The String! podcast, but it bears repeating: 1. I never much cared for Cathedral’s later output, and 2. Ramesses only ever had a few badly produced releases. But when you take Lee Dorian and add him to Ramesses, apparently you get a fucking Doom Metal Leviathan more powerful than its constituent parts. This shit’s heavier than Messiah Marcolin’s balls. Both of them. For fans of: Electric Wizard, The Wounded Kings, old Cathedral



  1. Really?…no comments on this list at all?

    This is a good list, lots of really solid death metal albums on here…makes me wonder if the tastes of the NCS audience are shifting a bit

  2. Nobody cares unless it’s Horrendous (yawn) apparently.

  3. Agree with most of these for sure especially pissgrave,heavier than marlon Brando’s casket.

  4. I’m liking what I hear from With The Dead.

    • It’s a fantastic album. I was never a huge Cathedral fan (Lee’s vox never really fit in with the rest of the band for me), but he fits in perfectly here, and the other two dudes basically wrote a bunch of riffs that sound like they came from the Dopethrone sessions. Easily way better than EW’s last album, which was a bit of a disappointment for me.

  5. Black Fast, Gorgoroth, Killing Joke, and With the Dead are my faves from this list. Just recently bought the latter, and I really need to get around to plunking down some change for the rest

  6. If Death had been a thrash band, it would’ve have been Black Fast. A+

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