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Top Season Of Mist Releases Of 2015

Formed in 1996, Season of Mist is one of metal’s leading record labels. In the start the label only focused on more extreme genres such as black and death metal, but has since expanded to include all forms of metal as well as none metal genres such as punk and goth rock. To this day, they put out some of the best albums the underground has known. Here in no order are their best releases from 2015.

Benighted – Brutalive the Sick

Made as a late celebration of the band’s 15th anniversary, Brutalive the Sick is a sick live album. This CD/DVD combo really shows off the strength of these French deathgrind great’s live performances as they play the Sylak Festival in their home country. This is without a doubt the best way to experience the band.

Rotting Christ – Lucifer over Athens

Speaking of awesome live albums, Greek black metal veterans Rotting Christ have also given fans a take home taste of their live sound. Lucifer Over Athens is a live double album that also celebrates the band’s entire career. With songs ranging from their early demos to some of their most recent stuff, this release works as both a good live album and a best of album.

Weedeater – Golliathan

Coming from the swamps of South Carolina comes a new release from stoner metal blazers Weedeater. This album has many of the same elements of all Weedeater releases including short simple songs, use of non-metal instruments such as banjo and organ and lots of fuzz, however it is done in a way that gives this album its own identity. Like the last two albums this one is produced by Steve Albini which is always a plus.

Drudkh – A Furrow Short Cut

Back in 2010 these Ukrainian nationalists released a post-rock album called Handful of Stars.  In 2012 the band returned to its atmospheric black metal roots with Ethereal Turn the Wheel and continues down this path with A Furrow Short Cut. Like most bands in this sect of black metal, this album is good at bringing on a variety of emotions. This record is beautiful and sad when it needs to be, but is also not afraid to punch you in the face with heaviness when it wants to. A great album for driving or working on artwork.


Kylesa – Exhausting Fire

Savannah Georgia is known as America’s most haunted city as well as one of it’s most creative and Kylesa’s new release really helps show this. Mixing in the atmosphere of their later sound with the aggressiveness of their older sound, Exhausting Fire is a melodic,sludgy, trip at the brain. Definitely one of the best sludge metal albums of the 2010’s.

Hate Eternal – Infernus

After their legendary third album I Monarch, Hate Eternal seemed to have lost their touch. On their latest album Infernus, the band came back strong. This album’s crispy sound, atmosphere and great musicianship make this a must hear for any death metal fan.


Revenge – Total.Behold.Rejection

Canada’s savage black/death metal machine is back with another serving of chaos! Like all releases from Revenge, this album punches you in the face with its heaviness. The production is very raw but done to a degree where you can still make out the songs.; this album is minimalist metal at its finest and rivals the band’s early work.

Shining – IX Everyone, Everything, Everywhere Ends

From the mind of madman Niklas Kvarforth comes the bands most melodic and progressive release to date. The album focuses on epic and slow song structures which bring on a mix of emotions. This is also the band’s more versatile effort to date mixing in elements of industrial, folk and other genres and shows that Niklas is still at his creative peak this late in his career.


Top 10 Japanese Horror Films That Aren’t About Ghost Or Kaiju

Japanese horror films or J-horror have always been a force to be reckoned with. The country has produced some of the scariest, weirdest and most extreme films the genre has known. In Western pop culture, people normally think of giant monsters (aka Kaiju) or ghost children when it comes to horror flicks from Japan, though the country has produced a diverse wealth of them spanning multiple subgenres. Here, in no order, are ten of the country’s best horror films that feature neither of those things.

Suicide Club (2002)

During the late 90’s to mid 2000’s Japan was making many controversial horror films, one of the most notable being Suicide Club. The film is about police investigating a wave of unconnected suicides and is most notorious for a scene where schools girls happily jump in front of a train. Despite having such a dark subject matter, the film has plenty of humor. Recommended for fans of films that are disturbing and funny at the same time.

Versus (2000)

Versus is a horror, comedy, martial arts, gunplay fusion directed by the now acclaimed Ryuhei Kitamura. Set in a place known as The Forrest of Resurrection, a gang of Yakuzas fights hordes of zombies while trying to stop their leader from opening a portal to hell. With good laughs, gore and fight choreography, the film has stuff to please just about any kind of geek. In 2004 an extended edition called Ultimate Versus was released. This is the best version to see.

Wicked City (1987)

In the 1980’s anime was known for being very violent and this horror anime is a prime example of that. Set near the dawn of the year 2000, a human agent named Taki and a female demon named Makie take on a group of demons called The Radicals. They must also protect a 200-year-old man named Giuesspi who is the only one who can bring peace to the human and demon worlds. The film mixes frightening visuals with high-octane action and explicit gore and nudity and never feels slow for a minute, but at the same time is able to tell a good story.

Kuroneko (1968)

During a civil war, two women are raped and murdered by samurai. After the war, many samurai start mysteriously dying. A young hero is then called in from the government who are convinced it’s the work of a demon. Though the film’s plot does involve ghosts, the film is not structured like a ghost movie and is different in style than what Japan’s horror scene would be known for.  The black and white look mixed with its feudal setting gives the film great atmosphere. The acting is also very good and you really feel for the characters, something that is lost in a lot of horror.

Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (1988)

Yet another genre blender, this film mixes horror with science fiction and historical fantasy. The plot is about a demonic reincarnation of an old Japaneses emperor on a mission to destroy all of Toyko. The film was a major part of the occult crazes that swept Japan from the late 80’s-early 90’s. Though very slow at times, this film is full of atmosphere and a story that just draws you in and shocks you at when it wants to. The emperor from this film was the inspiration for M. Bison from the game series Street Fighter.

Onibaba (1964)

From Kaneto Shindo, director of Kuroneko, comes another feudal era horror film. Two women have a hobby that involves killing soldiers and stealing their belongings. The women then meet a mysterious man who wears a bizarre mask. Like Kuronekothe film’s setting and lack of color give it good atmosphere. The free-jazz and tribal score also help give the film a bit of a bizarre tone. If Akira Kurosawa made a horror film, it would be Onibaba.

Tetsuo:The Iron Man (1989)

Shinya Tsukamoto is known for directing some of Japan’s craziest films and Tetsuo is no exception. The film is about a businessman who accidentally kills a man who has a fetish for sticking scrap metal in his body. The businessman then starts sprouting metal appendages such as drills out of random parts of his body (not making this up). Shot in black and white and on a low budget this film feels like Eraserhead on crack.  The industrial score is also very good and fits the film perfectly. The film would get two sequels, Tetsuo II: The Body Hammer and Tetsuo: Bullet Man.

Vampire Hunter D (1985)

Based on the first of the Vampire Hunter D novels, this film is horror anime at it’s finest. In the year 12,090 AD, a young woman named Doris hires a half-vampire half human named D to protect her from a powerful vampire lord who has bitten her and wants to make her his new bride. Vampire Hunter D is mostly known as the film that inspired the game series Castlevania. Some of the similarities include Doris using a whip as her main weapon and D resembling recurring Castlevania character Alucard. In 2000, the film would receive a sequel titled Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, based on the third book in the series.

Ichi The Killer (2001) 

Considered to be one of the most disturbing films of all time. The film is directed by famed Japanese director Takashi Miike and is based off the manga of the same name. The film is about a Yakuza named Kakihara who gets turned on when he feels pain. While torturing a rival Yakuza, he learns of an assassin named Ichi who is a great martial artist who gets turned on when he inflicts pain (not making this up) . The film was banned in many countries due to its explicit violence. Though it is full of shock value, the film doesn’t fail in the story and character departments. The film has a prequel called 1-Ichi, which is done in the style of an anime.

Audition (1999)

Also from Takashi Miike, Audition is one of the most well-known and greatest J-horror films out there. A father who lost his wife looks for a new girlfriend. The method he uses is a false movie audition held by his friend, who is a filmmaker. Eventually, he finds the girl he wants. The two relate real well though, though the film hints that this girl is not right in the head, leading to an unforgettable climax. The film is known for its roller coaster-like story structure. Most of it is like a romantic drama with hints of horror; you know things are going to get bad, but you don’t know when. The film is very disturbing and creepy without the use of much onscreen gore.

Slayer’s Albums Get Ranked Up!

The most extreme of the “Big Four” Slayer is a household name to casual metal listeners and die hard metal-heads alike. To celebrate Slayer headlining this year’s Mayhem Festival, as well as their upcoming album, we have decided to make the third installment of Alternative Nation’s “Ranked Up” series focus on Slayer. This list will include studio albums only; the band’s EP, demos, and cover album will not be included.


Diablous In Musica – 1998

Last and certainly least on this list is this notorious record from Slayer.The 1990’s were the worst time for Slayer, and this album shows. On this release Slayer jumped on the Nu-metal bandwagon that was starting to plague the metal scene. The album is normally considered to be the band’s worst and the tracks are long gone from Slayer’s setlists.


Divine Intervention – 1994

1994 marked a year where almost all the thrash metal bands moved away from the genre that made them famous. Slayer, on the other hand decided to stick to their guns and put out another thrash album… of course, the previous album on this list came out four years later.  Sadly this album is very bland. The album is very uninspired and feels like a watered downed version of Seasons in the Abyss. Notably, this was the first album to feature ex-Forbidden drummer Paul Bostaph. If you want to hear Paul play some really good thrash check out the Forbidden albums, Forbidden Evil and Twisted into Form.


Christ Illusion –  2006

Originally planned to be released on 6/6/06, this album marked the return of original drummer Dave Lombardo, which makes Christ Illusion the first album with the original line up since 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss. The music is fast and thrash again, but some of the groove elements from God Hates Us All still remain.

Most of the tracks on this album sound exactly the same, and the whole album feels like a Slayer parody, with God bashing lyrics in almost every song  that sound like they were written by an angsty 14 year old. For the most part this album was a missed opportunity at something that could have been awesome.


World Painted Blood – 2009

Released six years ago, World Painted Blood is Slayer’s latest, as well the last album that will ever feature guitarist Jeff Hanneman due to his death in 2013 and Dave Lombardo as he left the band around the same time. The album has good ideas and the lyrics are drastically improved, though it sounds really overproduced. The best track from this album is “Hate Worldwide“.


God Hates Us All -2001

Released on 9/11/01, the album’s original cover of a bible with nails and blood caused a lot of controversy. This caused a censored version of the album art to be released. The album style adds back the thrash elements while still sounding modern. While not Slayer’s best work, the album is a lot of dumb fun with over-the-top lyrics like “Paybacks a bitch motherfucker“. After this album, Paul left and Dave Lombardo would come back for a short while only to leave again then come back in the same year (not making this up).


Seasons in the Abyss – 1990

Seasons in the Abyss is the fifth Slayer album and considered by many to be their last great one. The album was more mid-paced than previous ones expanding on a trait started on the last album. The album spawned several classic tracks including “Dead Skin Mask” and “War Ensemble“. The lyrics deal more with war and society instead of Slayer’s usual horror and Satan lyrics. To celebrate this release, Slayer toured for the album with Megadeth, Anthrax and Alice in Chains. Twenty years later, they would tour for the album again with both Megadeth and Anthrax returning.


Hell Awaits – 1985

Slayer’s second album is also one of their most underrated. The album is Slayer’s first full thrash effort, as the last one had more of a classic metal feel. The lyrics on this album are all about Hell, Satan, and horror, just like on the last one. The title track is one of Slayer’s most well known songs and is still a concert staple to this day. The album though includes other killer tracks such as “Necrophiliac” and “At Dawn They Sleep“.


Reign in Blood – 1986

Reign in Blood is the third album by Slayer and the band’s most popular. The album is also the band’s fastest album to date and the first one to be produced by Rick Rubin, who would produce most of the band’s albums. The album spawned Slayer’s two most popular songs “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death“. The album has many cool deep cuts like “Altar of Sacrifice“, “Criminally Insane“,and “Postmortem” . Dave’s first departure was soon after the release of this album, though he would return… and leave again, then return, and leave again, and so on.


Show No Mercy – 1983

Back in the 80’s a little known band called Slayer was playing L.A. bars. They played a style similar to Venom and Mercyful Fate. They then saw Metallica play live and decided they needed to play faster than them, thus the sound of Show No Mercy was born. Unlike later albums which are mostly pure thrash, this album has a traditional metal feel, with some songs, such as “Tormentor“, not sounding like thrash at all. Best tracks from this album include “Die By The Sword“,“Black Magic“, The Antichrist” and “Evil Has No Boundaries“. Sadly, songs from this album are rarely ever played live nowadays.


South of Heaven – 1988

Slayer’s fourth album, South of Heaven is the band’s best album. On the first three albums,Slayer tried to be the fastest band on the planet. Each one would be faster then the one before it. On South of Heaven the band slowed down their tempos and tone down the vocals. The album focuses more on having good riffs and diverse songwriting. The songs “South of Heaven” and “Mandatory Suicide” to this day are concerts staples. The album is loaded with other amazing tracks such as “Ghosts of War“,”Silent Scream“,”Spill the Blood” and pretty much every other track on the album. This is one of the best thrash albums of the 80’s and a must listen for any fan of the genre.