Well, a year winds down and a new year is before us. It is time to publish my list of the best heavy metal albums of 2015. It was not an easy selection, as bands both old and new released stellar albums this year. This list is not ranked, although albums are listed numerically. Here are the 10 albums listed stood out to me this year.
Motorhead – Bad Magic
You can’t keep a good dog down. Lemmy overcame a serious bout of illness to make one of the best album’s in Motorhead’s legendary career. The speed and ferocity from the group’s earlier albums is intact and in full force on this disc.
Jungle Rot – Order Shall Prevail
The band has been on a roll since signing with Victory Records roughly five years ago. The band’s signature groove is present, but there is also a technical element on this record too. The catchy brutality of “Paralyzed Prey” makes this album a keeper.
Napalm Death – Apex Predator: Easy Meat
Napalm are the preeminent grindcore band and on Apex Predator the band’s socio-political commentary came at the right time with everything going on in the world.
Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
Paradise Lost goes back to its death metal roots on Plague Within. The guttural vocals on this disc differ from the clean singing on the band’s previous album, Tragic Idol. Musically, the band’s gothic brand of doom metal has never sounded better.
Grave – Out of Respect for the Dead
This record slammed me from the opening riff. Grave proved once more how Stockholm death metal should be played. This record rips, pummels and assaults from beginning to end.
Battlecross – Rise to Power
Battlecross has given American metal a much needed shot in the arm. On its third record, the band continues to mix thrash and death metal with great results. These guys are poised to lead the new generation of American metal bands.
Firespawn – Shadow Realms
Supergroups can be a good thing or a thing. Well, in Firespawn’s case, it was a great thing. Shadow Realms is just loud, hard old school death metal done right. It is an album stripped of pretentiousness and oozes evil emotion.
With the Dead – With the Dead
Another supergroup. I suppose 2015 was the year of the metal supergroup. With the Dead is doom metal done right. The album is rife with molten riffs, low-fi production, and pulsating drums. It is exactly what you would expect from a band comprised of members from Cathedral and Electric Wizard.
Visigoth – The Revenant King
One doesn’t think of Utah as a haven for power metal. However, Visigoth just put the state on the map. The band’s love of kings, dungeons and warriors is upfront on The Revenant King. I know the term epic is used too much, however, this was an epic album.
Sevendust – Kill the Flaw
Atlanta’s own Sevendust rounds out the list as Kill the Flaw features a we love about Sevendust. The soulful vocals, heavy hooks, and no frills guitar riffs. The band is 11 albums into its career and shows no signs of stopping.