Being a publicist I didn’t listen to a ton of new music that was outside of stuff I was pushing. I mean, I did listen to a ton of music but in all honesty a lot of it was catch up and as a result I probably only heard about 50 albums of stuff from 2015 that I wasn’t working on. That being said, I still heard quite a few great albums and these are the ten that I felt were stellar in 2015. This list is in no particular order
Slayer – Repentless
Yeah I know the conventional wisdom around the blogsphere is that the new Slayer album sucks and you know what? The people that say that are wrong and are just saying that to look cool, or they never really liked Slayer to begin with. Either way, fuck you I loved this album and I am proud to admit it.
Satan’s Hollow – The Horror
Despite the fact that that this is a two track EP this still made it onto my list because goddammit this is good. This is awesome traditional metal that sounds like a mixture of Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate. It’s too bad that hardly anyone else has made a peep about this because it rules.
Venemous Maximus – Firewalker
This album blew me away and completely took me by surprise. I had never been able to get into this band in the past due to the vocals which for some reason just sounded odd and off-putting to me. While I still can’t say I love the vocals, I will say that they work incredibly well with the songs. This is catchy, hooky metal that went criminally unnoticed by the vast majority this year.
Stereo Nasty – Nasty By Nature
Nasty by Nature is another amazing album that went virtually unnoticed by the vast majority of metal press. This Irish band play metal that fans of W.A.S.P. would love with Blackie Lawless style vocals and hooks to match. Seriously, you need to listen to this album if you haven’t yet.
This is probably the one album that most bloggers/magazines seem to agree with me about. I’m not sure why, but the people who slagged their previous album Infestissumam (which was a great album in my opinion) now seem to be praising Meliora. I don’t get it, but I am glad that people are listening to this album as it’s probably Ghost’s best yet with 10 tracks that keep you hooked from beginning to end. There is literally not a bad track on this album.
Europe – War of Kings
I have to be honest, my knowledge of Europe has always been limited to their excellent The Final Countdown album, so to say that the War of Kings caught me off-guard is an understatement. This is an excellent album full of gritty had rock and a surprising contender for album of the year.
Enforcer – From Beyond
Enforcer are a band that has yet to disappoint me. Each one of their albums have been excellent with awesome, thrashy tracks. While I enjoyed the whole album, the title track threw me off a bit with it’s eerie similarity to the “Final Countdown”. It’s still an excellent track, just something I wasn’t entirely expecting.
Stryper – Fallen
It was awesome to see so many people speak positively about this album as the band gets unfairly slagged for being a christian band. While I’m not convinced that Fallen is superior to the band’s previous album No More Hell to Pay, it is definitely an awesome album.
Denner/Shermann – Satan’s Tomb
This was a last minute entry for me as I had no idea this EP even existed until last week. I have no idea how I missed it but this 4 tack EP from the Legenday Michael Denner and Hank Shermann is fantastic.
Settler should have been an album I hated but for some reason I loved it. While I wouldn’t call it a pure black metal album by any stretch of the imagination, I did really like album. Hopefully these guys end up getting a lot more attention in the future, as they deserve it.