Five albums that left a mark in 2015

We’ve been talking about this for the past couple of months and now have got around to doing it. This is a list of 5 albums, each recommended by one of us. Albums that we’ve either discovered last year or that we’ve revisited and derived inspiration from.

 


 

Marius Copel’s choice:
Nils Frahm – Spaces 

As it happens, this year I discovered a truly special artist: Nils Frahm. His act is clear but very distinct: playing the classical piano alongside modular and digital electronic machines. Simple and complicated, straightforward and enigmatic.  In his seminal album “Spaces”, melodic sound waves compliment the bass lines to create infectious grooves. Frahm’s performances guide you towards a trance-like experience which you ultimately feel grateful for. The audience’s unconscious feedback creates unexpected states of mind. Just watch one of his shows!

 


 

Ioan Gherasim’s choice:
Mogwai – Rave Tapes

The beauty of music is that it always reinvents itself.

Even tough some say that rock is dead, that there s nothing more to offer, that musicians just try to create a second wave to something that was already complete. Mogwai, along with others, defy this conception.

The elders achievements are for them to use, so they take everything that was before, filter it, and use it as a new language. A new language that transcend notes and scales and virtuosity and make s its purpose clear: to lift you up and take you with it on a trip of thoughts and feelings.

For me that s a perfect example for the post modern era in music, and art for that matter. Rave tapes is just an episode of this ongoing trip.

 


 

Vlad Osiac’s choice:
Rishloo – Living As Ghosts With Buildings for Teeth

Why Rishloo is still an unknown band is beyond me. Not only their albums are teeming with talent and virtuosity, each release features new and strange compositions that end up enveloping the listener in a fabric of deep and changing feelings. For fucks sake, one can take any song from Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth, and use the themes to write an entire album. I mean the changes of patterns, tempos, riffs, mood and atmosphere in one song is terrifying. You get this brutal, face cutting, head breaking, “makes you wanna fuckin ripp your clothes off” riff bashing your headphones, and the next thing you know it you are on a sureal landscape playing backgamon with Borges and smoking Dali’s mustache. Best song? Dead Rope Machine. It’s the third. Start there.

 


 

Tudor Pătrașcu’s choice:
Symphony X – The Odyssey

There’s always those second tier bands that you learn about  when listening to another band, and it just blows you away. And I don’t mean second tier as in a bad way, I am just implying that bands become connected. When I got into Iced Earth, I got into it through Blind Guardian. Got into Trans-siberian Orchestra through Savatage. And I got into Symphony X through Dream Theatre.

Symphony X is one of those bands that came out of nowhere and completely enthralled all my listening attention.

I listened to some of their new stuff at first, but i soon found The Odyssey. With classical tones, rough vocals and a musically driven rhythm sections, the mood is set. Throw over that lyrics inspired by a quintessential mythical tale and I can lock myself away with this album and just enjoy the journey.

My highlights on the album would be the starting track, Inferno (unleash the fire), that is kind of a proggy, powery, full metal anthem song with a great intro riff to get you hooked right from the first notes and a great sing along part at the middle, that opens its magnificent embrace upon you; and the title track of the album, The Odyssey that is an endeavor that not many bands get to begin, let alone finish. This is a 24 minute musical experience of the final struggle of Ulysses upon reaching his homeland after 20 years of exile. Orchestral sections that set moods, alternate with power metal parts that propel the story forward, the whole thing is fun and engaging, especially when Odysseus has to string his bow and defeat the intruders in his home. The entire piece resonates with me on a special level few other have.

I really hope that more people get behind the Symphony X band wagon, as its a great band that I’ve barely scratched the surface of.

 


 

Mihai Velcescu’s choice:
Tuber – Desert Overcrowded

The rolling power of Tuber’s music adds yet another twist to the already ample genre of post rock. Like a train, Desert Overcrowded kicks in with the title track, steamrolling its way in your mind. Once there it stretches your mood across a spectrum of states, from powerful wide openness to meditative solitude and all in between. And, just as a train might do, it keeps on going, taking you on a trip through other pieces, such as Sucker Punch or Last Drop, retaining momentum all the way to The South Will Prevail. Their tone reaches a contemporary take on blues, while the repetitiveness anchors the sound in a post-rock, electronic place with a heaviness more reminiscent of metal.

Highly memorable and moving listening experience as a whole.

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