Last Rites’ Top EPs Of 2015 – Brilliance Through Brevity

Everyone is always eager to label any given year as “The Year of X.” It’s the year of the pitcher! The year of the veteran band! The year of deathcore’s end! The year of the sci-fi action blockbuster! Something like that. Almost always an exaggeration, but also almost always based in some truth.

In the interest of furthering such nonsensical aggrandizement, Last Rites is here to call 2015 The Year of the EP. This year has been absolutely loaded with the so-called extended play, filling all of the various roles that such releases can fill. Some are mere bursts of a band’s usual sound, others a great venue in which to express some other side of the typical art. The point is that there have been many worth your time and money during this calendar year, and plenty more than we have listed below, as our post-voting arguments revealed. (No Blood Incantation? No Yautja? No Aosoth?!)

Praise the EP. Praise brevity and succinctness (or at least relative brevity in the case of our #4). Praise the stop-gap release as musical palate cleanser for the bands. Praise that extra bit of experimentation or odd expression. But mostly, praise the tunes, which the list below has in heaps.

But before the list, some (widely varying) honorable mentions, all of which received very enthusiastic votes:

OwlAeon Cult
SelvansClangores Plenilunio
Denner/ShermannSatan’s Tomb



“This is death metal played for the sheer joy of it, and thus while Vorum almost certainly take themselves Very Seriously, you can still hear the smiles shining through. The half-time stomp break in the middle of “In Grime In Lust” is only one example of the unabashed fun to be found, and while Current Mouth occasionally sounds like the unhinged spiritual twin to Deathspell Omega‘s Drought, at other times it spits out a gruesomely beautiful set of leads that sounds like someone took Dissection‘s The Somberlain and dredged it through 10,000 sewers.” [Dan Obstkrieg]

Released: Sepulchral Voice May 18th
Last Rites Review




“The guitar work is absolutely stellar, with distorted riffs and acoustical passages going hand in hand. The guitars are highlighted on this release, even more so than on past efforts, and, although not very technical, it is perhaps with Gnosis that Ayloss comes into his own as a distinctive master of riffs and melody. He also appears to be experimenting with several different regional styles, perhaps at the intersection of East and West. I’ve no doubt that if this EP gets the exposure that it deserves, people will be mentioning Ayloss and Dagon of Inquisition in the same breath as wholly distinctive guitarists.” [Dave Schalek]

Released: I, Voidhanger December 7th
Last Rites Review




“If any single thing defines Grimoire’s brilliance, it is Fiel’s ability to take basic musical figures and simple gestures and build an entire landscape by stretching them out, shading them with menace here and delicate clarity there, embellishing them until they have revealed all of their possible selves. Music isn’t medicine, exactly, but the almost painfully sharp beauty of L’Aorasie des Spectres Rêveurs has felt restorative to me this winter. Maybe you, too, can find those sounds here, the ones that hold your hand and remind you that the future is opening up in front of you.” [Dan Obstkrieg]

Released: Eisenwald Tonschmiede January 26th
Last Rites Review




“…easily the best thing that Cryptopsy has released since And Then You’ll Beg. This EP is frenetic, frenetic like nothing you’ve heard from Cryptopsy since, perhaps, None So Vile. Chock full of slap happy bass lines, all-over-the-fretboard guitar work, and chaotic vocals from Matt McGachy, The Book Of Suffering – Tome I is a blast of foul smelling fresh air. McGachy, in particular, convincingly reveals why he was hired as vocalist in the first place with a strong performance, and Olivier Pinard is, finally, a true replacement for Eric Langlois on bass.” [Dave Schalek]

Released: Independently, October 30th
Last Rites Review




“In Pyrrhon’s music, as in Moore’s consistently evocative lyrics, entropy beckons. The sound is frayed at the edges and collapse is always imminent, but it all holds together. Each song races as much as it wanders, but there’s a compositional nucleus that tethers each instrumental freakout, and while Moore’s lyrics are both smart and sad, they never succumb to nihilism. Growth Without End, then, bears a kind of strident traditionalism in its weird bones: music can mean something.” [Dan Obstkrieg]

Released: Handshake, Inc. June 2nd
Last Rites Review


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