The 20 Greatest Albums of 2015
Thanks 2015, you kicked ass....
Its been a tip-top year for hard rock and heavy metal in all its guises and the scene is going from strength to strength; with veterans releasing career-defining albums and new maniacs on the block announcing their arrival with aplomb.
We covered thrash metal’s huge contribution to 2015 in another countdown, so you won’t find any thrashin’ here. Instead, this list is for the doom metal, the death metal and everything in between….and, before you ask, you’ll find no predictable Iron Maiden inclusion here!
If 2015 taught us one thing it’s that heavy metal is certainly NOT dead. In fact, it’s just warming up!
20. Fuck The Facts – Desire Will Rot
Never ones to repeat themselves, the evolution of Fuck The Facts continued unabated in 2015; their reverence to the grindcore scene magnified by a truly outstanding release that proved this grindcore-hybrid has many legs and many paths still to travel.
With no fucking around to be found, Desire Will Rot’s opener “Everywhere Yet Nowhere” removed teeth with its off-time rhythms and snarling vitriol while “Shadows Collide” continued the rampage before segueing into melodic death metal country; the first indication that Desire Will Rot was be an album that embraced a myriad of styles, often within the same song, often within the same millisecond!
Extreme metal, hardcore, punk, death metal, doom metal and the obligatory grindcore all got a look in but not one of these sub-genres accurately surmised the true nature of this punishing, parameter-pushing work of art.
19. Krallice – Ygg Huur
Once again transcending the limited confines of black metal, New York’s Krallice have long left behind such easy genre ‘labelling’ and Ygg Huur – album number 5 – was another unsettling excursion into their diabolically distorted dimension of blackened progressive metal.
In comparison to previous releases, Ygg Huur was surprisngly short – clocking in at a relatively taut 35 minutes – but don’t assume this frugality had resulted in Krallice devolving and limiting their ideas. In actuality, the reverse was true; Krallice had never been so wilfully obscure. With angular riffs twisting and turning through thunderous walls of percussion, they appeared leaner and meaner than on the likes of career highlights Dimensional Bleedthrough and Years Past Matter.
A swirling maelstrom of tumultuous, cacophonous carnage, Ygg Huur was an osciallating head-fuck of an album that proved Krallice were painting on a canvas much bigger than the majority of their peers.
I think that “under the red cloud” from Amorphis should be on here. Or the new luca turilli album “Prometheus” or the new blind guardian ” beyond the red mirror”.
Good call on Amorphis Johan, Under The Red Cloud made the shortlist incidentally! Thanks for reading and commenting \m/
Clutch on pole position? Well done! Saxon just number three? Are you kidding? 😉 But hey, good work!
Number 3 is pretty high though right! 😉 Cheers Joshua, glad you liked the feature \m/
Nice to see Paradise Lost on the list. Awesome album, also fantastic to see Saxon at number 3. Well compiled.
Cheers Andrew, Paradise Lost’s The Plague Within was a cracking return to form (if you prefer their death/doom period of course). Battering Ram was just exceptional! \m/
Byzantine album “To Release Is To Resolve” should be on this list and in the top 10… otherwise very well done
Byzantine are a good shout Richard, thanks for reading and commenting \m/
if you love heavy metal, where’s iron maiden?
How dare you question my love for HEAVY METAL! 😉
Look, in my opinion (and that’s just my opinion) The Book Of Souls was average. I still love Iron Maiden (and heavy metal, obviously!), I just did not love The Book Of Souls.
How about some 2015 masterpieces like Iron Maiden’s Book of Souls, Slayer’s Repentless, Lamb of God’s Sturm und Drang, Kataklysm’s Of Ghosts and God… and the list goes on.
Hey Andy, the lack of Maiden is covered above, Relentless was in our 2015 Best of Thrash feature, the L.O.G & Kataklysm albums were great, just not better than the albums selected. As ever, selecting just 20 albums always means some fall foul of the cull, regardless of merit. Thanks for reading and commenting \m/
Awesome list, Andy! As always your articles are rich and great to read. The exclusion of My Dying Bride’s “Feel The Misery”, Queensryche’s “Condition Human”, and Mgla’s “Exercises In Futility”, (Melechesh’s “Enki” wasn’t as good as previous works but I would take it over that Nile album)are quite glaring omissions. Ares Kingdom also made a truly remarkable album and although I really love Manilla Road, I would substitute “The Blessed Curse” with Tulsadoom’s “Storms Of The Netherworld” easily.
All that aside, a really awesome list actually. Nice to see Swallow The Sun’s magnum opus celebrated. To me, it really is the finest they’ve ever been…and on a triple album???? Fancy that! More than I can say for a certain classic heavy metal band that also went big with the album format…
Cheers Victor, totally agree with you regarding Swallow The Sun. An outstanding achievement!
Oh, and the name’s Chris by the way….Andy appears to be someone who didn’t appreciate my list as much as you 😉 \m/
Hahaha…yeah! I absolutely meant you,Chris!
Thought as much 😉 haha \m/
Obviously you did not listen to Michael Schenker’s new effort. It sounds simultaneously fresh and familiar – a sure sign things have been done right. As a classic heavy effort it is miles more inspired than the latest Priest or Maiden albums. The tunes, tones and playing leave no other address besides heavy metal to file it under, so it should be considered here.
Was it really that obvious? Actually, you’re right, we didn’t…but we will now! Thanks for reading and commenting \m/