Top 10 Metal Albums Of 2015

2015 has been a pretty memorable year for metal. We had many over the top news stories including Brett Hinds of Mastodon revealing his hatred for metal as well as a couple proposing on stage at a Napalm Death concert. America’s biggest metal festival, Maryland Death featured the debut performance of grind legends Agoraphobic Nosebleed while Hell’s Head Bash featured the first ever US show of black metal titan Satanic Warmaster. We have also sadly lost many metal greats including Bolt Thrower’s Martin Kearns, Gorgoroth’s Frank Watkins, Nunslaughter’s Jim Sadist, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead as well as the band’s original drummer Phil Taylor.

2015 has also brought us many great metal albums. So many quality releases came out this year that it took the combined tastes of writers Birdman and Anthony to pin point the best of them. Here is our top 10 metal albums of the year, with 8 bonus albums.

Archgoat – The Apocalyptic Trumphator

Anthony: This year had several extremely intense war metal albums released including the latest offering from Revenge as well as the debut album from Goat Semen, but the best of all these is Archgoat’s latest release. This album is extremely raw and filthy sounding. Mix that with Lord Angelslayer’s haunting vocals and you get one of the most sinister sounding albums of the year.

 Arcturus Arcturian

Birdman:  This is the 5th album from the Norwegian avant-garde powerhouse. It is also their debut on German label Prophecy Productions. One can hear influences from all across the musical spectrum on this record.

Between The Buried And MeComa Ecliptic

Birdman: Like previous releases, Coma Ecliptic is a concept album, or rock opera as the band would say. The album tells the story of a man stuck in a coma traveling through his past lives. It is very reminiscent of the progressive side of Queen, shying from their death metal and hardcore roots.

Leviathan – Scar Sighted

Anthony: In 2011, one man black metal project Leviathan released True Traitor, True Whore. This album was of pretty poor quality and made fans wonder if he was loosing it. His new one, Scar Sighted though proved them wrong. The album has cleaner production then previous efforts which actually fits well with the atmosphere. This album is of his best releases up there with The Tentacles of Whorror.

Napalm Death- Apex Predator Easy Meat

Anthony: This year has been a huge one for Napalm Death as they have been in the news several times as well as put out a killer new album. On this release the band mixes in elements from post punk bands most notably Swans. We are also treated to some old school straight up grindcore tracks to help even out the mix. Easily the grindcore album of the year.

OceanoAscendants

Birdman: Album number 4, for the deathcore quintet from Illinois. Oceano have extended the range of their guitars even more, with their new songs sounding heavier than the band has ever been. The atmosphere that the band perfected since 2009’s Depths has been maintained as well.

 Rivers Of NihilMonarchy

BirdmanThe sophomore album by RoN is a little more progressive than their debut. Production does justice for this assault of technical death metal. Basically, if you’re a bass guitar kind of guy, you’ll want to check out this record.

Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls

Anthony: Iron Maiden’s epic double album is the best album from a mainstream metal act this year beating both Ghost’s Meliora and Motorhead’s Bad Magic. At around 92 minutes this is the band’s longest album to date. With that said it doesn’t drag on for a second and almost all the tracks are very addicting. Maiden is still at the top of their game.

Deathammer – Evil Power

Anthony: From Hell’s Head Bangers Records comes this tasty scoop of Norse thrash. With a sound very similar to Slayer’s Show No Mercy, Evil Power is thrash album of the year.

High On FireLuminiferous

Birdman: An album that draws on anything that has influenced frontman Matt Pike over the years. You can still hear Pike’s guitar vibrato, some very fast thrash-influenced tracks, and slower doom tracks from their early years. You can even hear a track that sounds akin to Pike’s other band Sleep.

StratovariusEternal

Birdman: Eternal marks full-length number 15 for Stradivarius. While no original members of this band are left, Vocalist Timo Kotipelto is still going strong with his songwriting collaborating once again with Jani Liimatainen (Cain’s Offering, ex-Sonata Arctica). The album is a blend of old school power metal and modern European-style power metal.

Shining – IX Everyone, Everything, Everywhere Ends

Anthony: From the mind of madman Niklas Kvarforth comes the bands most melodic and progressive release to date. The album focuses on epic and slow song structures which bring on a mix of emotions. This is also the band’s more versatile effort to date mixing in elements of industrial, folk and other genres and shows that Niklas is still at his creative peak this late in his career

Sulphur Aeon – Gateway to Antisphere

Anthony: Once again these German’s are back with their brand of Lovecraft themed death metal. With brutal vocals, brutal drums and heavy in your face bass and guitar, Gateway to Antisphere is this year’s best death metal release.

ArmageddonCaptivity & Devourment

 Birdman: This band is the brainchild of Chris Amott (ex-Arch Enemy). It began as a side project that took off in the interim period between Arch Enemy’s first and second albums. The debut was a melodic death metal approach similar to that of Amos’s main band. The band then, released two power metal albums afterwards, but this year saw the band had returned to their melodeath roots.

NeurotechStigma

Birdman: Likely the least known artist on this list, Neurotech is a one-man symphonic industrial project hailing from Slovenia . It is the brainchild of Andrej Vovk, better known as “Wulf”. He actually released two albums this year, though the second one is more of a futurepop/trance album. Stigma is the type of cyber metal album that builds and builds and builds, notably with the first and final tracks.

Mgla – Exercises in Futility

Anthony: Out of all the great black metal releases from this year, this latest entry in the Mgla saga is by far the best. With all of the band’s signature traits such as melodic mid paced song structures, distinct vocals, killer riffs, and great drumming are still intact and in full force. A great album for both newcomers and veteran fans alike.

Cain’s OfferingStormcrow

Birdman: It was originally thought that this power metal supergroup would be a one-album deal. Right after the release of the debut, members got busy with their main projects. With Stormcrow the band has retained their vocalist, guitarist, and drummer while bringing in a new bassist and the keyboardist from Stratovarius. Not only that, the band has gained social media presence with this sophomore album as well as a tour in Japan to support the album.

Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower

Anthony: Windhand’s third release isn’t much different then the last in style. While in a lot of cases that could be a bad thing, here the band is able to pull it off well as the songs still sound fresh and not like a carbon copy of the last album. As Windhand continues to grow bigger and bigger they also continue to show the world that they are a band that well deserves this attention. Vocalist Dorthia Cottrell also put out a self titled solo album this year. While not very metal, it is still recommended for fans of her vocals that want to hear a different side of her.

  • name

    Based on this list you may consider them hard rock but Uncle Acid’s ‘Night ‘Creeper’ is worth a mention as one of 2015’s great albums.

    • Anthony Carioscia

      Yeah they are more psych rock to me but great band though

    • Backdoorman

      Great album too…I saw them live

  • Corndog

    Baroness – Purple.

    • name

      Great album. The songs are fantastic but the production makes it tough to listen to.

      • Felonious Punk

        That’s kind of the point though, according to lead singer John Dyer Baizley

        • name

          Then I would say he successfully made his point

          • Felonious Punk

            LoL right?

  • Junior Moore

    Sunn O))) – Kannon

  • Bruno Sílvio Martins

    Ghost’s “Meliora” is the best metal album of 2015. I can’t believe it didn’t even made your list.

    • dakotablue

      I was just gonna say the same.

  • Felonious Punk

    You leave off Baroness’ Purple record and the new Deafheaven album in place of six or seven metal bands who aren’t doing anything original and you expect us to take this list seriously?

  • Backdoorman

    Windhand…Great Album