20 Best Metal Albums of 2015

Nineties legends and future-minded grinders: The year in heavy

Cloud Rat, ‘Qliphoth'
20
20/20

20. Cloud Rat, ‘Qliphoth'

Michigan blursters Cloud Rat turn tail on grindcore's neverending arms race for savagery and velocity, instead giving their tantrums a dynamic, cinematic feel that makes room for more far emotions than fury. Blasts are bookended or supported by gauzy 4AD vocals, blurry shoegaze textures, Tortoise-style post rock and all sorts of squeaks, squalls and rumbles from new electronics technician Brandon Hill. Without the mechanical precision of, say, Napalm Death or Pig Destroyer, their churn is closer to punk or hardcore — a more relatable and humanized swirl for vocalist Madison Marshall to bark out murder fantasies that take heel or boltgun to bigots, kings and oppressors. C.W.