The 20 Greatest Albums of 2015
Thanks 2015, you kicked ass....
2. Tribulation – The Children Of The Night
Seemingly on nearly everyone’s end of year list, Tribulation’s The Children Of The Night garnered endless plaudits for a bloody good reason. Their reworking of Swedish death metal – chart their progress from their Entombed/Dismember sounding debut to present and you’ll fully appreciate how far they’ve come – into an eerie, unnervingly simple, brand of melodic death metal excellence was a joy to behold.
For Tribulation mood is paramount and each and every nuance, carefully chosen tempo and perfectly delivered blackened death metal vocal, felt flawlessly paced and decadently deliberate.
Drenched in sweat after a hallucinatory nightmare bought on by fever, the ghost story made flesh vibe of each and every mesmerising track held a relentless grip over your senses; the kind of atmosphere you feel fellow Swede’s Ghost are aiming for but not delivering with quite so much cunning guile.
One of those few albums where genre pigeonholing feels redundant, The Children Of The Night is death metal that inhabits a realm far removed from fellow purveyors of said genre; black is rarely this grey!
1. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
The all-conquering Clutch returned in 2015 and unsurprisingly Psychic Warfare was a world-beating exercise in groove, boogie, exceptional lyrics and insane levels of songwriting talent.
Like Earth Rocker before it, Psychic Warfare was an immediate attention-grabber with “X-Ray Visions” kicking off proceedings in inimitable Clutch style and the pure rock fury hits to the throat just kept on coming.
With the power to turn water into whiskey, Clutch have been plying their fairly straight-forward, bar-room brawling trade for so long now that you’d be forgiven for thinking they were going to drop the ball at some point. Of course, Psychic Warfare suggested otherwise. These guys aren’t just running with an unbeatable formula, they’re sprinting and hopefully the finish line is a long way off in the distance. We need more of this shit, even if our liver aches and our head hurts from all the good time rabble-rousing Clutch continue to cause!
Proof that hard work, integrity and a desire to deliver the most shit-kicking riffs on the planet does pay off, Psychic Warfare may not be the greatest album of Clutch’s illustrious career (Earth Rocker and Blast Tyrant are tied for that particular honour) but it is the greatest album of 2015.
“You’d better believe me, brother!”
Did we forget your favourite album of 2015? Did our complete disregard for the snooze-fest that was Iron Maiden’s The Book Of Souls damage your fragile sensibility? Pop a message in the comments below and we’ll discuss it in a civil and respectful manner….
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/