2015 was a great year for metal and it was very hard to narrow down this list. There are some very tenured bands that released killer albums this year, such as Trivium, Slayer, Fear Factory and All That Remains that garner an honorable mention here. While they are all great albums, I had to go with what I listened to and enjoyed most this year.
10. Swallow The Sun: Songs From the North I, II & III
This release is like a fine classical listen. All three discs take you through a range of emotions not seen anywhere else but maybe an opera. The mixture of doom, goth, and folk metal is textured and layered to perfection.
9. Vattnet Viskar: Settler
Vattnet Viskar slammed open the door to their own brand of sludgy black metal. They have an original sound that is unmistakable and instantly recognizable. Settler is chock full of chugging rhythms laced with razor-sharp riffs.
8. Tribulation: Children Of The Night
These Swedish youngsters are taking the metal scene by storm! They have a sound that is an eclectic blend of Opeth and Enslaved in the rawest form. The album has a ’60s psychedelic feel, yet it retains a heaviness all it’s own.
7. Frosthelm: The Endless Winter
Frosthelm need to be at the tip of everyone’s tongues. These guys know how to make some of the most vicious, thrashy black metal you will ever hear. Their sound is like a mixture of The Black Dahlia Murder, Skeletonwitch and Immortal, but it retains an originality that will pique your interest and keep you listening from beginning to end.
6. Twitching Tongues: Disharmony
Twitching Tongues are fucking pissed off and their raw, riff-laden music proves it. The vocals are unabashedly haunting and in-your-face, and every song on Disharmony is crushing in it’s own way. This is a must-own album.
5. Cattle Decapitation: The Anthropocene Extinction
Cattle Decapitation do brutal their own way, and they take it to the next level here! Their stories of the abuse of mother Earth and the damage it is causing to her inhabitants is haunting, raw and schizophrenic all at the same time!
4. Iron Maiden: The Book Of Souls
Easily Maiden’s best release since No Prayer For The Dying, in my humble opinion of course! Killer songwriting, musicianship and the traditional Iron Maiden sound are all here, topped off with some of Bruce Dickinson‘s best vocal work, make this album stellar.
3. Paradise Lost: The Plague Within
Paradise Lost are back and heavier and more brutal than they’ve been in a long time! Their sound on this album is a mixture of what they’ve done in the past, combined with some truly incredible vocals and chock-full of incredible riffs.
2. Cancer Bats: Searching For Zero
Searching for Zero is one of the albums I have played the most this year. Cancer Bats lay down some serious punk attitude, and front to back, this album totally shreds!
1. Lamb Of God: VII: Sturm Und Drang
Lamb of God‘s VII: Sturm Und Drang logged the most plays for me, bar none. They are truly honed to perfection here and lay down their most consistent album ever. Songs like “Embers” and “Overlord” are a different cut of the cloth, but they pull it off in spades. “512” and “Still Echoes” have that familiar Lamb of God sound, but it’s taken to a new level.