End of 2015 Best of lists…
(in no particular order, with comments from yours truly)
Released: October 28th 2014
When news broke in 2014 that the album was happening, I braced myself for disappointment. I had to give it a fair shot but not expect Slaughter of the Soul #2 from it. When I heard the newest album from The Haunted, I knew this would be the album I'd hoped for. I'm sure most of you know members of ATG went on to form The Haunted and after a few great albums, the music went in an unflattering direction. Their newest made me feel like they were back to greatness and the songwriting there would carry over into the new ATG album.
At War with Reality picked up right where Slaughter of the Soul left off. It's got the feel and the tenacity that it needed. It's the ashy, crushing and melodic all at once... the sound that they made famous. That Gothenburg sound! Riffs were in a similar vein without it feeling like a clone of the 19 year old, heavily acclaimed album. The main difference is that this album is more mature than their last. It's not necessarily better or worse, just more mature. I can't figure out if this is better or just slightly not as great as one of my all-time favorite metal albums (top 5, probably even top 3!), I know I can safely say this was metal album of the year.
Slaughter of the Soul as well!
Released: May 15th 2015
A big thing to put into perspective for how much I needed to see this movie is the fact that I actually went to the theater to see it. I'm a bit of a recluse. I don't like going places I know other people will be, including the theater. Fury Road was the first movie I was excited enough about to go out to see since 28 Days Later (*One of Feind’s all-time favorites as well). Seriously, it's been that long.
Everybody's all hyped on the new Star Wars movie and no one will shut up about it. I have no doubt Disney will bring it back to glory after episodes 1-3 disappointed the hell out of everyone old enough to have seen the original trilogy first. It looks really good, but I'm not heading to the theater to see it. Mad Max was the one.
I was skeptical when talk started about Fury Road. My thoughts were that pretty much nobody is putting out anything worth a shit in the horror/sci-fi/post apocalypse realm if they're working with a big budget or getting mainstream media attention. This is especially true when it comes to remakes of cult classics and those trying to reboot an old franchise. The trailer instantly hooked me, though. I knew this one would be good.
The almost nonstop action, the bleakness of this post-apocalyptic world, the constant intensity... it's just awesome! The visuals are outstanding, as well. Tom Hardy does a great job of taking over as Max and Charlize Theron is awesome as Furiosa. Like the other Mad Max movies, it's just another chapter of his life after the end and it fits so well into the 36 year old franchise.
I think the biggest complaint I heard about this one was the dislike for the guitar guy. I actually liked this character. I felt like he was with the drummers, making the war music. They were all getting everybody fired up to go to war. Cheesy? Sure, but it's about the only break from the intensity in Fury Road. Any more of a break, it would've gone too far in the wrong direction. It was done just right, in my opinion.
Released: September 19th 2014 (on the Horror Fest circuit)
DVD Release: August 4th 2015
Available now on Netflix