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The 20 Greatest Albums of 2015

Thanks 2015, you kicked ass....

12. Fear Factory – Genexus

Source // apochs.net

Source // apochs.net

When Burton C Bell and Dino Cazares are truly in sync the results are often mesmeric and Genexus saw Fear Factory’s linchpins operating at full strength.

Honing a formula they pioneered on 1995’s Demanufacture, Genexus felt like a natural follow-up to that legendary release. The huge clean choruses and mechanised riffing locked into an earth-shattering groove with robotic drumming  were ever present – as expected – and the overall impact was apocalyptic.

Astonishingly versatile and accessible, Fear Factory’s formula needs little  tinkering to deliver the requisite goods. In fact, it’s the reliability of their clinically unique sound interspersed with industrialised samples that enabled Genexus to hit so damn hard.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it lads!

11. Symphony X – Underworld

Source // www.viernesbrutal.com

Source // www.viernesbrutal.com

One of the finest progenitors of Prog on the planet returned in 2015  and Underworld was yet another cast-iron classic from a band who can seemingly do no wrong. Proving once and for all that technically astonishing experimentation can sit side-by-side with heavy metal thunder and neck-breaking rhythms, the likes of “Nevermore” and “Kiss Of Fire”, with their thrash riffs, channeled aggression and Russell Allen’s ever-powerful vocals, were sure-fire, fan favourites in the making.

Even the ballads, so often a damp squib when scattered amongst such high-tempo ground-shakers, captured the imagination. From the epic grandeur of “Without You“‘ to the spectacular “Swansong”, the slower reflective moments complimented the relatively fearsome nature of the majority of the album. Not that melody had been jettisoned in favour of macho posturing of course but there was a fever-pitch pace to Underworld that practically screamed ‘pay-attention’ in your face; neo-classical noodling this wasn’t, pure progressive metal it most certainly was!

About Chris Jennings (1985 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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