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The 20 Greatest Albums of 2015

Thanks 2015, you kicked ass....

18. My Silent Wake – Damnatio Memoriae

Source // i.ytimg.com

Source // i.ytimg.com

For nigh on a decade now My Silent Wake have released a plethora of outstanding albums – from straight-up death/doom to entirely acoustic releases and ambient instrumentals – but Damnatio Memoriae marked a return to heavier realms for My Silent Wake.

The fast and playful tempos of “Highwire” toyed with the notion that doom has to lurch from one painfully drawn-out riff to another and ably recalled the majesty and traditional metal melody’s of Trouble’s “Assassin” while “And So It Comes To An End” drew warranted comparisons with the savage yet melancholy classics found on My Dying Bride’s Turn Loose The Swans.

Cleanly sung passages and a mournful baritone jostled with deathly – yet audibly clear – growls and beautifully sparse guitars added light to the considerable shade cast by the kind of chest-crushingly heavy riffing that would make Tony Iommi proud. In 2015, you’d be hard pressed to find a truer representation of death/doom’s simple yet ornate power to suffocatingly soothe the listener. An engrossing work.

17. Manilla Road – The Blessed Curse

Source // metal-archives.com

Source // metal-archives.com

The production’s shite and the band are an ancient throwback to a time forgotten so why the hell are Manilla Road included here? The answer’s simple, The Blessed Curse is true metal, forged with a fearless dedication to the golden age of mysticism, god-sized riffs and unparalleled atmosphere.

These cult heroes have released a few classics since their inception in the late 70’s – Open The Gates and Crystal Logic are mandatory – and The Blessed Curse was a welcome, if a little surprising, return to the quality of their finest moments. A double album – what else(!) – it was the tracks on Disc 1 that proved the most alluring; a psychedelic and mellow vibe tempered by moments of unbridled aggression.

Nearly 40 years in the business and Manilla Road are still writing and recording classic metal that never once feels trite or lacking in enthusiasm. A quality release from one of metal’s most revered cult bands.

About Chris Jennings (1976 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

18 Comments on The 20 Greatest Albums of 2015

  1. 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”.

    • Chris Jennings // January 1, 2016 at 1:23 pm // Reply

      Good call on Amorphis Johan, Under The Red Cloud made the shortlist incidentally! Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

  2. Clutch on pole position? Well done! Saxon just number three? Are you kidding? 😉 But hey, good work!

  3. Andrew Davey // January 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm // Reply

    Nice to see Paradise Lost on the list. Awesome album, also fantastic to see Saxon at number 3. Well compiled.

    • Chris Jennings // January 1, 2016 at 6:34 pm // Reply

      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/

  4. Byzantine album “To Release Is To Resolve” should be on this list and in the top 10… otherwise very well done

  5. if you love heavy metal, where’s iron maiden?

    • Chris Jennings // January 1, 2016 at 6:42 pm // Reply

      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.

  6. 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.

    • Chris Jennings // January 1, 2016 at 6:58 pm // Reply

      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/

  7. Victor T. Arthur // January 2, 2016 at 9:49 am // Reply

    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…

  8. 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.

    • Chris Jennings // January 2, 2016 at 11:09 pm // Reply

      Was it really that obvious? Actually, you’re right, we didn’t…but we will now! Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

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