We’ve reached the end of 2015 and this year I’m personally editing these Top Ten lists. For the first time (ever) I am reading the production of the different writers we’ve assembled over the last few years. I am shocked. I am dismayed. I feel angry, offended, galled. But I am not surprised. Under Steel Druhm and Madam X‘s indulgent care and averted gaze the young Angry Metal Staffers have run amok. Alas, after having actually consumed of the words these gentlemen produce, I’m firing them all. It’s back to the drawing board: me, Steel Druhm, and as much metalcore as you can eat!

So enjoy your time in the sun, boys. Thanks for the fanart and the invention of the Jørnicorn! Thanks for the excellent company you kept with me at the Opeth concert in London and thanks for the occasionally excellent musical tips! Thanks especially for writing so many reviews that make use of moderately competent constructions of the English language and hitting deadlines from time to time; we’ve really appreciated it. Your contribution to this blog has been revolutionary for us in terms of popularity, genres covered, and Steel Druhm and Madam X‘s developing understanding of copy editing.

But like all things, nostalgia eventually strikes the Jaded Angry Guy and the insight hits: everything was better before. I miss the slow publication schedule, the constant personality clashes between myself and Druhm, and a lust for life.

I also miss lists made of music I could really get behind.

But this self-portrait that little Kronos drew really brings a tear to my eye for all the good memories that we’ve shared. Spheres. Jørnicorns. A weird dude with 4 balls… wtf is that, even?

Anyway, all these feels have made me decide to give you a reprieve from your semiannual mass-firing. It’s a Christmas miracle! <3

jornicorn

An AngryMetalGuy.com self-portrait by Kronos


L. Saunders

10. Trials // This Ruined World
9. Nechochwen // Heart of Akamon
8. Alkaloid // The Malkuth Grimoire
7. Sulphur Aeon // Gateway to the Antisphere
6. Obsequiae // Aria of Vernal Tombs
5. Wilderun // Sleep at the Edge of the Earth
4. Chelsea Wolfe // Abyss
3. Horrendous // Anareta
2. Vhöl // Deeper than Sky
1. Steven Wilson // Hand.Cannot.Erase.Steven Wilson’s status as a modern-day marvel of progressive music was well and truly established even before he busted out into solo territory. However, it wasn’t until he dropped 2013’s sublime The Raven that Refused to Sing that he convincingly sold me on his musical direction as a solo artist. Hand.Cannot.Erase. signals an ambitious and melancholic chapter in Wilson’s career, finding him boldly veering down a more contemporary and adventurous songwriting path without eschewing his soulful connection to vintage progressive rock. Beautifully written, produced and performed, Hand.Cannot.Erase. is a haunting conceptual masterwork that’s arguably the most emotive and heart-wrenching album of Wilson’s illustrious career.

Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Honorable Mentions:
Beaten to Death // Unplugged
Royal Thunder // Crooked Doors
Slugdge // Dim and Slimeridden kingdoms
Mgla // Exercises in Futility
Satan // Atom by Atom
Alustrium // A Tunnel to Eden

Song o’ the Year: Vhöl – “Deeper Than Sky


El Cuervo

10. Obsequiae // Aria of Vernal Tombs
9. Deadspace // The Promise of Oblivion
8. The Grand Astoria // The Mighty Few
7. Oceanwake // Sunless
6. Nechochwen // Heart of Akamon
5. Beardfish // +4616–Comfortzone
4. Lik // Mass Funeral Evocation
3. The Night Flight Orchestra // Skyline Whispers
2. Serious Black // As Daylight Breaks
1. Wilderun // Sleep at the Edge of the Earth – Where do I even begin with this one? I happen to be in the camp backing 2015 as a great year for metal, but Wilderun was just so far ahead of the competition. I would literally not change a single aspect of Sleep at the Edge of the Earth and I’m convinced it will go on to be a truly standout album of the 2010s. Though broadly folk metal, the myriad of genres at play are executed and integrated with sincerity and skill, including black metal, melodeath, prog and classical. Full of pomp, bombast and yet realizing an earthy mysticism, this was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

Wilderun - Sleep at the Edge of the Earth 01

Honorable Mentions:
Beaten to Death // Unplugged
Alustrium // A Tunnel to Eden
Panopticon // Autumn Eternal

Song o’ the Year: Finsterforst“Mach Dich Frei”


 

Dr. A.N. Grier

10. Jørn Lande and Trond Holter // Dracula: The Swing of Death
9. Enshine // Singularity
8. Tau Cross // Tau Cross
7. Leviathan // Scar Sighted
6. Trials // This Ruined World
5. Kampfar // Profan
4. Serious Black // As Daylight Breaks
3. Ethereal Shroud // They Became the Falling Ash
2. Gorgoroth // Instinctus Bestialis
1. Reign of Fury // Death Be Thy Shepherd – This year has been a combination of new beginnings and nostalgia for Dr. Grier. Losing my job at the end of last year led me on a cyclic journey of relocation to the very town I obtained my undergraduate education years before. The difference, however, being that I graduated from student to professor. So, it’s only fitting that my Record o’ the Year further chills me to the bone with déjà vu and nostalgia. Based solely on the Bay Area thrash of yesteryear, Reign of Fury‘s Death Be Thy Shepherd is undeniably classic and unashamedly precise; producing material for those of us that grew up when Metallica, et al. (1983, 1984, 1986, 1988) ruled the underground. Besides being the most fun I have had all year, Death Be Thy Shepherd ceases to bore me and—without a doubt—is my most-spun album of 2015. Being one that selects top picks based on the number of return visits, Death Be Thy Shepherd took the crown without a fight.

Reign of Fury Death By Thy Shepherd 01

Honorable Mentions:
Ghost // Meliora
Spock’s Beard // The Oblivion Particle
Death Alley // Black Magick Boogieland
Cattle Decapitation // The Anthropocene Extinction
Stellar Master Elite // III: Eternalism – The Psychospherical Chapter
War Curse // Final Days

Song o’ the Year: Reign of Fury – “Death Be Thy Shepherd”


 

Diabolus in Muzaka

10. Gorelust // We Are the Undead
9. Deathhammer // Evil Power
8. Gorgoroth // Instinctus Bestialis
7. Acherontas // Ma IoN: Formulas of Reptilian Unification
6. Paradise Lost // The Plague Within
5. Predatoria // Unmarked Graves…Tell No Tales
4. Kataklysm // Of Ghosts and Gods
3. Kjeld // Skym
2. Visigoth // The Revenant King
1. Sulphur Aeon // Gateway to the Antisphere – Melodic death metal that draws from the wellsprings of Morbid Angel and Immolation instead of sucking Slaughter of the Soul even more dry, Gateway to the Antisphere stands as a testament to what metal should be in 2015. Instead of being purely revivalist or obnoxiously modern, Sulphur Aeon craft music that will sound fresh, timely, and vital when we’re listening to it a decade from now; the only thing that will put a date stamp on this is when we fondly remember it as 2015’s best offering. I’ve been listening to this consistently since April, and that shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Gateway to the Antisphere is the whole package: incredible songs, a nearly flawless listen from front to back, stunning cover art, and the best song of the year. 2015 wasn’t a good year for Sulphur Aeon, 2015 belonged to Sulphur Aeon.

Sulphur Aeon - Gateway to the Antisphere 01

Honorable Mentions:
Dwell // Vermin and Ashes
Thornesbreed // GTRD
Pyramaze // Disciples of the Sun
Perdition Temple // The Tempter’s Victorious
Remains // Evoking Darkness
Horrendous // Anareta

Song o’ the Year: Sulphur Aeon – “He is the Gate


 

Jean-Luc Ricard

10. Gorod  // A Maze of Recycled Creeds
9. Sarpanitum // Blessed Be My Brothers…
8. Satan // Atom by Atom
7. Slugdge // Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms
6. Night Flight Orchestra // Skyline Whispers
5. Lychgate // An Antidote for the Glass Pill
4. The Gentle Storm // The Diary
3. Horrendous // Anareta
2. Beaten to Death // Unplugged
1. Vhöl // Deeper than Sky – It was a super tricky pick between the top two, but Vhöl just about edged it. This album has everything good about heavy metal densely packed into forty-two insane minutes of sheer delight. Brilliant songs, hammering riffs, insane vocals, righteous attitude, and plenty of curveballs have me reaching for the play button again every time this finishes. The ludicrously tight performances, great production and awesome cover art provide the icing, cherries and magic candles on top of this scrumptious and unique aural gateaux.

Vhol_DeeperThanSky_01

Honorable Mentions:
Trials
// This Ruined World
Ghost // Meliora
Killing Joke // Pylon
Obsequiae // Aria of Vernal Tombs
Cult Leader // Lightless Walk
Mutoid Man // Bleeder
Myrkur // M

Song o’ the Year: Ghost – “Cirice


 

Mark Z

10. Deathhammer // Evil Power
9. Iskra // Ruins
8. Cult Leader // Lightless Walk
7. Infernal War // Axiom
6. Frosthelm // The Endless Winter
5. Scythian // Hubris in Excelsis
4. Mgla // Exercises in Futility
3. Abstracter // Wound Empire
2. Vattnet Viskar // Settler
1. Macabre Omen // Gods of War – At War – I went full metal nerd this year developing my Top 10 list, meticulously documenting every new album I listened to with a series of color-coded spreadsheets and cryptic iPhone notes. In the end it didn’t matter—by my third or fourth listen of Gods, it was clear this was going to trump everything else from 2015 anyway. As discussed in my Things You Might Have Missed, Gods is simply an outstanding album through and through: dynamic and richly layered without being overbearing, epic without a trace of cheese, and with some of the most potent and triumphant melodies I heard this year. Songs like the title track and “Rhodian Pride” feel raw, powerful, and genuine, and the rest of the album follows suit with soaring operatic vocals and well-placed acoustic flourishes. The concept, production, songwriting—everything here is top-notch, resulting in a record that serves as a reminder of just how great metal can be.

Macabre Omen Gods of War

 

Song o’ the Year: Mgla – “Exercises in Futility VI


 

Roquentin

10. Khost // Corrosive Shroud
9. Sulphur Aeon // Gateway to the Antisphere
8. Ufomammut // Ecate
7. Cruciamentum // Charnel Passages
6. Chaos Echœs // Transient
5. Kampfar // Profan
4. Amestigon // Thier
3. Batushka // Litourgiya
2. Lychgate // An Antidote for the Glass Pill
1. Liturgy // The Ark Work – While I had a hard time picking only 10 entries for this list and many great records were left out (My Dying Bride and Krallice, for example), I didn’t have any doubts whatsoever about #1. Because when I think of 2015 in music, and not just metal, it’s Liturgy‘s divisive, yet unequivocably unique and forward-thinking, record that steals the limelight. I find The Ark Work to be one of those idiosyncratic albums whose radical challenges towards the status quo make belittling and derision inevitable, but that carry the potential of becoming influential cult classics once the dust settles. Time will tell whether I’m a fool or a prophet.

Liturgy - The Ark Work 01

Honorable Mentions:
Crypt Sermon // Out of the Garden
Kingcrow // Eidos
Iskra // Ruins
Mgła // Exercises in Futility

Song o’ the Year: Ghost – “Cirice


 

Al Kikuras

10. Unleashed // Dawn of the Nine
9. Down among the Dead Men // Exterminate! Annihilate! Destroy!
8. Vassafor/Temple Nightside // Call of the Maelstrom
7. Perdition Temple // The Tempter’s Victorious
6. Revenge // Behold. Total. Rejection.
5. Trials // This Ruined World
4. Ghoulgotha // The Deathmass Cloak
3. Watchtower // (3 songs from) Mathematics
2. Ares Kingdom // The Unburiable Dead
1. Faith No More // Sol Invictus – Few albums this year have polarized the general public and the AMG staff as much as Sol Invictus. Clearly I am on the “pro” team. A challenging album from a band that has pretty much always refused to do what the fans want (besides still playing “Epic” at live shows for some unfathomable reason). If everyone loved it, it probably wouldn’t be so fucking great.

Faith No More Sol Invictus

Song o’ the Year: Faith No More – “Cone of Shame


 

Sentynel (our tireless and ever wigilant IT nerd)

10. Steven Wilson // Hand.Cannot.Erase.
9. Myrkur // M
8. Jess and the Ancient Ones // Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes
7. Year of the Goat // The Unspeakable
6. Avatarium // The Girl with the Raven Mask
5. Gloryhammer // Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards
4. Ghost // Meliora
3. Public Service Broadcasting // The Race for Space
2. The Night Flight Orchestra // Skyline Whispers
1. The Gentle Storm // The Diary

The Gentle Storm - The Diary

Song o’ the Year: The Gentle Storm – “Heart of Amsterdam

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  • Ghoulgotha ahead of Trials on Al’s list is just so damn funny on many levels.

    • Pimpolho

      Onward to Ghoulgotha!

    • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

      I didn’t read the Ghoulgotha review so I’ve taken a little detour before commenting… My spider-sense is telling me that there is some kind of inside joke besides the obvious and hilarious one so I’ll leave it there…
      But I hope 2016 is full of AMAZING good metal and STUPIDLY bad albums or controversial ones. No middle ground. No generic shit. The moments when I’ve most enjoyed this site are those when shit hit the fan or when the music was astounding.
      It was this year when I discovered this site, and I hope the years to come will be better for everyone! :D

      • That Ghoulgotha album is a one percenter. Not in the financial sense of the word, but more of the outlaw biker gang sense in that it doesn’t abide by the laws, does so much wrong that it is right. I may request at some point to do a retro review of it myself (and then get fired for sure) because I like the damn thing.

        • If you weren’t someone I’d known since the days of Unholy Metal…

        • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

          It can’t be worse than “Tetragrammacide: Whatever the fucking title was”, that’s for damn sure, so I’ll give it a try while I slaughter some mutants in the wastelands and rejoice in their much deserved demises.

    • You wot m8?

      Not having Alustrium on anyone’s list is just so damn funny…

      • Well, not on the youngsters lists anyway. More lists to come.

        • You wot m8?

          Better be. Not seeing a Kronos or Druhm list got me all worried.

      • Dethjesta

        I was surprised – only one Enshine pick too.

        • Enshine I don’t get at all. I don’t like that record really even a little. Alustrium, on the other hand… that was a pretty decent record.

          • You’re nutty as a Christmas rum cake.

          • I think you just really like a certain sound that I see very little good in. It’s called “loud, slow, sad and fake.”

          • El_Cuervo

            rip

          • Fake??

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Yea, I really don’t get that. A lot of the stuff that scored 2.0 and lower these last few months might be worthy of such a moniker, but not, in my opinion, Enshine.

          • Like the production quality sounds like overproduced studio sound ca 2007.

          • Pimpolho

            I don’t get it. I really like Insomnium, Omnium, Wintersun (and every other freaking project) but i just don’t understand this Enshine thing. D:

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Love Enshine. Can’t keep still when I play that one.

          • Artorias Pyrelord

            I was a fan of their debut, but I was left with a “meh” reaction to their second. Really boring.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Enshine!!!!!

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Hey! Alustrium is on two lists: L. Saunders and El Cuervo.

    • That surprised even me. I started listening to Ghoulgotha just out of curiosity after Grymm’s scathing review and it grew on me like a fungus.

      • Grymm

        You can have their next album in consolation!

      • Dr. Scorpion

        Cyclosporin. Followed by sodium arsenite. That ought to cure it. By it i mean life.

    • Angry Metal Guy is having difficulty abiding…

  • mindbleach

    I’m surprised with the Reign of Fury pick. I love their first album but the second leaves me really cold. It feels a bit directionless to me?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Wha??!!!! I actually feel the opposite. The first is quite good but the second hit me. But I am only one dude, with one opinion. And I’m also demented.

      • And Jorn’s Dracula is on your list, so….

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          That is the catchiest shit ever. But yeah… I have issues.

      • Pimpolho

        Too much headbanging with Reign of Fury is known to cause these kind of stuff…

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          For sure. Ouch.

  • Good lists, writers!

  • Pimpolho

    Kronos, you miserable bastard, that is the best drawing i ever saw in my entire life. I feel a little tear ruining my black mascara.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Nice to see Ethereal Shroud (go Noctus!) and Visigoth on the lists. And…. Reign of Fury!!!

  • Kronos

    Not enough death metal!
    Actually, probably the right amount. Wasn’t the genre’s best year, overall.

    • Pimpolho

      It really wasn’t. I’m afraid most list will consist of mostly *shivers* black metal…

      • Kronos

        I journeyed far afield to find the year’s best dm for my list, although I’m afraid one of the top picks is… hardcore.

        • Pimpolho

          Coming from you, nothing to be surprised about. :D

    • You wot m8?

      “Wasn’t the genre’s best year-”
      Sulphur Aeon, Alustrium, Kronos, Gorod…

      Yeah, I guess we didn’t get a lot of good DM, but the tidbits we did get were pretty damn excellent.

  • Pimpolho

    El Cuervo is the man!

  • Dethjesta

    Gotta be honest, my favourite list goes to IT guy.
    Well Done Sentynel.

    EDIT: Although it is missing Vhol.

    • Sentyneli

      I’m not just technically skilled, I also have impeccable* taste!

      *or at least only slightly peccable

      • You wot m8?

        “slightly peccable”?
        Is that a thing?

        • Sentyneli

          Sure is. Peccable means “capable of sinning”, though you almost never hear it used without the inversion.

          • You wot m8?

            Capable of sinning…

            That’s some metal shit right there.

          • [not a Dr]

            Why aren’t those a band name and album title?
            Peccable: Capable Of Sinning

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            What about Peccablest with an inverted cross for a “T”?

          • You wot m8?

            It should be. Unfortunately, I’m already the lead singer of The Metal Sporks, so you’ll have to have to form Peccable without me.

  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    Comment section top ten!

    • You wot m8?

      That, sir, is quite a list.

      • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

        I’m pretty happy with it. There’s a bunch of other stuff I loved that didn’t make it, pretty solid year all around for those willing to dig.

        • You wot m8?

          Indeed. Personally, I’m having trouble picking any small number of favorite albums. If we were to pick top 10 songs from the lineups this year, I’d be all over that though…

      • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

        Peste Noie put out an album this year? How did I miss that?

        • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

          Probably because it’s run by crazy people who hate everything.

          I also feel like the Gazpacho album got no well deserved love.

          • Thatguy

            Ha.

            Didn’t listen, won’t comment.

    • Gabriel PérezMolphe

      Whats the album below Peste Noire’s one and the one above Ghost?

      • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

        Akhlys: The Dreaming I
        Satan: Atom by Atom
        Howls of Ebb: The Marrow Veil
        Bloodway: Mapping The Moment With The Logic Of Dreams
        Ghost: Meliora
        Vhol: Deeper Than Sky
        Peste Noire: La Chaise-Dyable
        Gazpacho: Molok
        Ad Nauseam: Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est
        Profondo Delle Tenebre: Esoterica

    • Heifer Madness

      My top 10:
      1. Uncle Acid- The Night Creeper
      2. Tribulation- Children of the Night
      3. High On Fire- Luminiferous
      4. Sigh- Graveward
      5. The Body & Krieg- The Body & Krieg
      6. Al Namrood- Diaj al Noor
      7. Valkyrie- Shadows
      8. Raventale- Dark Substance of Dharma
      9. Khemmis- Absolution
      10. Leviathan- Scar Sighted

    • Dion Ka

      My top 10:

      1. Leprous – The Congregation
      2. A swarm of the sun – the rifts
      3. Dead to a dying world – Litany
      4. Peste Noire – A la chaise dyable
      5. This Gift is a Curse – All hail the Swinelord
      6. My dying bride – feel the misery
      7. Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise of the chaos wizards
      8. Bloodway – Mapping the Moment with the logic of dreams
      9. Cranial – Dead Ends
      10.Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed

      and also Honorable mention:
      Kampfar – Profan, Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss, Grift – Syner, Mgla – exercises in futility, Ghost – Meliora, Locrian – Infinite Dissolution, THURM – THURM, Ufomammut – Ecate

  • You wot m8?

    I’m amazed that A Tunnel To Eden didn’t score in anyone’s top 10 here. Such a damn fine album. Oh well, interesting set of lists, and I’ll have to go back through the year and find some of the oddities I might have forgotten.

    • Kronos

      Hence AMG’s attempted mass firing, I’m sure.

    • Luke_22

      It pushed strongly for a spot on mine, hence the honourable mention.

  • Alex Pertsovitis

    Mostly agree with Mark Z’s list, but overall great picks.

  • ┼yree

    Figured I’d see Tetragrammacide – Typhonian Wormholes: Indecipherable Anti-Structural Formulæ on these lists.

    • Grymm

      My list comes out tomorrow. ;)

  • Monsterth Goatom

    As usual, I look forward to investigating the picks that didn’t get reviews on AMG. That’s how I discovered Young and In the Way.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    This seems as good a place as any to thank you guys for all the hard work you’ve done this year in bringing all this good music to our attention. Monsterth Goatom raises a glass of banana egg nog and salutes you!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Appreciated. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Mr T

    Murg – Varg och Björn
    Grift – Syner
    Anna von Hauswolff – the Miraculous
    Unleashed – Dawn of the Nine

    And some of your picks.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Grift just missed out on my Honorable Mentions. Great album.

    • You wot m8?

      Syner was a great album for sure…

    • Wilhelm

      I just heard a song from Anna von Hauswolff on NPR. Amazing, I’m checking the rest of the album out now.

  • Fuinha

    El Cuervo, L.Saunders and the IT guy should overthrow AMG.

    • Sentyneli

      If you’re going to stage an internet coup, make sure you have the IT guy on your side.

      • Kronos

        You could quite handily overthrow the site without their help, I’m sure.

        • Yeah, that’s why I spent a good amount of time buttering him up while in London.

    • I tried it and AMG has a surprising amount of Force Lightning at his disposal.

    • Um, the irony is that their lists have more overlap with my list than anyone else’s. So, actually, they should just join with me.

  • pfk505

    Fuck yeah Mark Z, picked the best album of recent memory IMO

  • Greg Hasbrouck

    I would have guessed the end of the year lists would have contained a lot of the same releases that won Record o’ the Month. However, it seems that those records were largely absent from the Top 10s (excluding Honorable Mentions):

    Angra – 0
    Crypt Sermon – 0
    Steve Wilson – 2
    Tribulation – 0
    Wilderun – 2
    Goatsnake – 0
    Trials – 3
    Myrkur – 1
    Gloryhammer – 1
    Beaten to Death – 1
    Our Oceans – 0

    And yes… I’m bored.

    • Dethjesta

      Ah but only AMG gets a say in Record o’ the Month (this has been made very clear lately in light of near revolts) – be interesting to compare his list to the above.

      • Greg Hasbrouck

        Thanks. Not sure I was aware of that.

      • You wot m8?

        “near revolts”

      • This is a bit hand-wavey, actually. Steel Druhm is responsible for some of the above… The idea that it’s “only” my taste is a bit for show. The reality is that I take into account what others say, and Steel Druhm speaks with the kind of authority that only a man with an extremely large collective of automatic weapons can have.

        • Semi-auto! Stop trying to get me on more goverment watch lists!

          • Hulksteraus

            It’s too late, you’re on all of them anyway, including here in Aus…

          • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

            Don’t try to hide the fact that you love to collect pink AK-47s while listening to Gloryhammer.

          • I never said different!

          • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

            JUST IN CASE… xD

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          So you´re telling me the “angry” is all for show? Come on! Don´t tell me now you ACTUALLY don’t look like a Black Metal Mona Lisa!
          What´s next? Pro wrestling is fake?

          • No, I’m pretty sure pro wrestling is more real than I am angry.

    • I’m not entirely sure that there’s supposed to be a 1:1 correlation.

    • Heifer Madness

      The lack of Tribulation is disturbing.

  • beurbs

    Thanks for all the great info this year!

  • Odious – Skin Age .. best album of the year.

    • Luke_22

      Just recently been checking this one out, solid stuff but again not enough time spent with it to fully appreciate. Interesting band though, really enjoyed their very different sounding Mirror of Vibrations album.

  • Can we talk about how Jorn(icorn) stole my goddamn beer?

    • Kronos

      That’s what you get for running the Dracula review. No more beer for Mr. Druhm.

  • Paul Doran

    No Cattle Decapitation?!?!

    • Not a single decapitated cattle!

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: vegans and metal do not mix!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I gave it an honorable mention.

    • Luke_22

      i could easily have added another 10 great albums into the honourable mentions list but due to overkill and all that i didn’t. Cattle Decapitation would have been the next name on the list. Killer album for sure.

  • kmal666

    Where is Marduk? I hate all of you. I’m going to go cry and listen to Thousandfold Death again.

    • There’s one song on that Marduk record that is elite, but the rest is not so elite.

  • I’m just kidding, man. No worries. I just like to have fun with the perception of the band.

  • Diego Molero

    El Cuervo is damn right, Wilderun-Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is the best record of the year by faaaar

    • 517H

      It’s definitely up there. I keep telling my mates to check it out to no avail. I put it on par with Blackwater Park in terms of ambitiousness and storytelling

      • Diego Molero

        I think that not only in terms of ambitiousness bit also in terms of greatness, thid record is fucking perfect

  • Wilhelm

    I’m sad to see some of my favs did not make it like Cradle of Filth, Shape of Despair, My Dying Bride, and Seagrave. And Horrendous only made 2 lists; obviously the best DM album I’ve heard in a while.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      I really liked MDB when it came out, but for whatever reason it grew boring very quickly and paled in comparison to The Plague Within for mope-core.

      • Wilhelm

        I didn’t like The Plague Within, especially Nick’s re-imagined growls (which are pretty terrible). Tragic Idol was a much better album.

        • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

          Tragic Idol is better, but I love that record to an unhealthy degree. Nick’s current growls were enjoyable to me here and on Bloodbath’s latest, there was just something about them that clicked. I’m in the minority regarding Plague here.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Shape of Despair was close for me. Enjoy that album a lot.

  • testiklees

    Song o’ the Year: Faith No More – “Cone of Shame”

    Indeed.

  • Pimpolho

    Also, i think Roquentin only chose Liturgy because the weird-ass logo in the middle of the art resembles his own avatar.

    • Roquentin

      Twist: I am Hunter Hunt-Hendrix!

  • brutal_sushi

    Not one Kauan mention…

    • El_Cuervo

      I discovered it too late in the year. I really really like it but hadn’t spent enough time with it before lists were due. TYMHM may be incoming.

      • brutal_sushi

        Thank god! I stumbled upon Kauan with Kuu… and have been a fan ever since. I will really look forward to the TYMHM thoughts on Sorni Nai. Stay awesome!

    • Oh, it will be mentioned.

  • Pimpolho

    Also, Al Kikuras was written Al Kikurass. I wish i had it printed now. :D

    • You have a keen eye and a slow screen capture finger.

  • BarryLeFreak

    While I agree with many of these choices, I still feel a little cut up that Visigoth and Imperial Triumphant are so absent. I loved the shit out of the former (and Gloryhammer, unironically) and I think that any band that can integrate a ukulele break is deserving of at least an honourable mention :3

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Holy shit, you’re right about no IT! Man. It was one of the highlights of the year for me. But then, as SD, says, 6 more lists to come. I’m sure Grymm will have something to say about it.

    • El_Cuervo

      I really rated 2015 for metal, there’s so much which didn’t make my list which could have done, Imperial Triumphant being one of them.

    • Luke_22

      Imperial Triumphant is a very good album but also an extremely dense and challenging listen. I just didn’t spend enough time with it yet to fully absorb. While I haven’t checked out Visigoth, but will soon.

      • BarryLeFreak

        Do check out Visigoth, I’ve been spinning it on repeat (well, metaphorically) ever since I found it on this website. That raw baritone (??) voice combined with those thick doom sections on top of the unabashedly nerdy classic metal riffage make it the fuckin’ meatiest mothafuckin’ beefcake of an album to be released this year. (Of course, Gloryhammer is close)

    • IT was indeed good, but Lychgate has it beaten in the abrasive experimental black metal stakes.

  • dnky666

    Thanks for all the reading in 2015.

    • Kronos

      We do it all for you guys. And free music. And out delicate egos.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Thanks for another excellent year of metal criticism! I discover so much brilliant music through you guys.
    L. Saunders and El.C are the two lists that are closest for me. I’m a bit sad that I’m not seeing any love for Crypt Sermon, Pentagram and A Forest of Stars, I also thought Symphony X I might have got a bit more attention…
    I’m already looking forward to checking out the albums I missed!

    • 6 more lists to go!

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I think it was a pretty good year for Heavy Metal, or retro-metal, or…. Whatever one calls it. The Enforcer and Ironsword releases have really grown on me over the year.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          Yeah the enforcer album is great fun, Ironsword too

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Oh yeah I know the AMG list countdown is one of my favourite things on the interwebs! I’m still trying to figure out what my favourites for the year are. As MG says below I think it’s been a huge year!
        I hope you guys are doing a top ten songs too

    • El_Cuervo

      Much obliged Carlos, you’re one of the friendliest faces around these parts and we’re very thankful for your readership and contribution.

      Addressing those records, I see Khemmis as the superior Crypt Sermon (though it still didn’t make my list!), and A Forest of Stars was strong but not strong enough for me. And I way preferred Borealis to Symphony X this year – bite-sized, catchy and less pretentious I think.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Thanks man it’s my pleasure it’s definitely the best place hang around on the internet, but damn that Crypt Sermon release is so classy its really stuck with me through the year.

    • Luke_22

      Thanks as always Carlos for your thoughtful comments and loyal readership, it’s much appreciated by all. This year was huge and I’m still sifting through albums I missed or simply haven’t had proper time to appreciate. Crypt Sermon was solid and I enjoyed quite a few doom/stoner releases this year but none really blew me away. Khemmis could have potentially been a top 10 contender but the ill-fitting harsh vocals turned me off. Right now I’m catching up on Elder, Vastum and the excellent new Baroness album.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Cheers, As far as stoner doom went Ufomammat was a big winner for me. I couldn’t agree more on Khemmis that band would be so much better without the harsh vocals…that said ‘The bereaved’ is one of my top songs for the year.

      • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

        Fucking Elder. Their last album is ACOJONANTE/10.

    • Roquentin

      I liked Crypt Sermon a lot, enough to get a spot in my “honorable mentions”.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Nevermore is a great song, but as a full record Underworld didn’t quite make the cut. It’s very good though. Thanks for helping make 2015 great Carlos!

    • Steve

      Underworld was ultimately quite a disappointing release. Solid but nothing much more than that and brought nothing new to the table – which is disappointing given the 5 year gap and the bands previous track record.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        I had never really given this band a go before. I knew they were important to people but it had never really clicked for me. This one though, was very accessible to me… At some point thanks to Underworld, I’ll go back through their catalog paying a bit more attention.

        • Steve

          That’s cool, I’d give V or The Odyssey a listen next.

  • Alexandros

    I find the lack of Solefald’s “World Metal” disturbing. I feel that it was a heavily overlooked album (you didn’t even review it) but it’s definitely my album of the year.

    • I didn’t like it and I intentionally didn’t review it because I didn’t want to trash it publicly due to its extremely personal nature.

      • Alexandros

        Won’t you even write a few lines in a comment section? What made you dislike the album? As far as I can tell, most reviews were very positive about it.

      • John Mosley

        Stay classy, San Diego.

        • Are you making fun of me?

          • John Mosley

            Not at all. Classy reason for not reviewing. Quoting Anchorman is a sign of respect.

    • Wilhelm

      I thought it was a good album that would have been better with a better production/mastering job which is the main reason I didn’t include it in my list.

  • 517H

    Thanks Dr. I missed Reign of Fury but am thrashing out now, mate. Awesome stuff

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Glad you enjoy it. Love that fucking album.

  • Vice-President of Hell

    Ghoulgotha? hmm

  • André Snyde Lopes

    This brings a tear to my eye… Not the fact that the year is ending but the fact that Dracula: Swing of Death was mentioned in someone’s top 10. Good show Grier!

    Also glad to see a lot of Vhol. That record is totes amazeballs.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I do what I can.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Congratulations on the album it’s a cracker

    • Pimpolho

      I think he’s just quoting the link, man, it’s not actually someone from the band. I thought the same thing for a second. Hehe :D.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Ahhh I thought that was a bit OTT for a band to respond in a comments section, but yeah there’s “”

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Best thing about 2015 in Metal? Every one gets to pick 10 great albums, plus a lot of Honorable mentions and we still get to complain about the MANY great albums left out of the lists.

    • Artorias Pyrelord

      Not having Tribulation in any of the lists is a fucking crime.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Their new one didn’t click with me at all. Their last didn’t so much either, but “Apparitions” was a gnarly tune.

  • Good to see Nechochwen got some love!

  • Art Saves

    1.Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.
    2.Ghost – Meliora
    3.Tribulation – The Children Of The Night
    4.Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit
    5.Datura4 – Demon Blues
    6.Heavy Minds – Treasure Coast
    7.Second Sun – Hopp/Förtvivlan
    8.Jess And The Ancient Ones – Second Psychedelic Coming
    9.Holy Serpent – Holy Serpent
    10.Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor

    But so many more that could have been close around the 10.
    And Roger Waters definitely released the best concert dvd.

  • DyslexicWorkersUntie .

    I dont understand how Arcturus wasnt in your top 10’s?

    I know its a matter of opinion.. but they are the most diverse and talent bands around for the last 10+ yrs?

    Am I the only person who thinks this?

    • I liked it, but not as much as the other records in my top ten/honourable mentions.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Another one that fought for my list but just didn’t quite make it. Still a great album.

    • I really do think you’re pretty alone in liking this record. I love Arcturus and really didn’t enjoy the new one at all.

    • BranMakMorn

      Not the only one. There’s a lot of amazing younger bands out there, but Arcturus will always have a place in my top 10s :)
      (and come on, it was way better than Sideshow Symphonies)

  • Shangsean

    For what it’s worth, I’ll throw in my list:

    1. Corpo-Mente – S/T
    2. Vhol – Deeper than Sky
    3. Steven Wilson – Hand Cannot Erase
    4. Riverside – Love, Fear and the Time Machine
    5. Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction
    6. Enslaved – In Times
    7. Hope Drone – Cloak of Ash
    8. Krallice – Ygg Huur
    9. With the Dead – S/T
    10. Sivyj Yar – Burial Shrouds

    Not metal in any way, but awesome:
    The Mountain Goats – Beat the Champ

    Wish I didn’t buy that:
    Spock’s Beard – The Oblivion Particle
    King Crow – Eidos

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Voting El as staff member of the year, Mark Z as a close second

    • Even after El’s Indefensible Position travesty?!

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        There is no absolute! Let opinion reign!

        *clears throat* Hyphens in names are so last millennium

        From a less gushy standpoint, every damn staff member did a fine job this year. This blog has stolen all me time for important activity such as fencing and sabotage of interior decoration classes!

    • El_Cuervo

      Tried to reply yesterday but apparently it didn’t go through.

      Thanks dude. As a result of this vote of confidence, I’ll be making a number of demands if AMG wants to retain my services:

      – £125,000 per review I write, with full reimbursement for all reviews already written;
      – Rebrand to Angry MetEl Cuervo;
      – Big boy year-end list privileges.

      I think these demands are perfectly reasonable. Failure to comply with them will result in me leaving and taking all my fan with me!

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        If Angry MetEl Cuervo happened for even one day, i’d probably combust into flames

        Hear that, AMG? About to loose a few clicks matey!

  • Artorias Pyrelord

    Where the fuck is The Children Of The Night?

  • lennymccall

    Nice to see the love for Gorgoroth and the last minute addition of Jess and the Ancient Ones just barely making 2015.

    This was mine:
    1. Tribulation, Children Of the Night
    2. Black Breath, Slaves Beyond Death
    3. Deafheaven, New Bermuda
    4. Ramming Speed, No Epitaphs
    5. Noisem, Blossoming Decay
    6. Graves, Fides Ad nauseam
    7. Cowards, Rise to Infamy
    8. Gorgoroth, Instinctus Bestialis
    9. Lucifer, Lucifer I
    10. Leviathan, Scar Sighted
    11. Venomus Maximus, Firewalker
    12. Call of The Void, Ageless
    13. Aklhys, The Dreaming

    Not metal but my fave record of the year was:
    Grave Pleasures, Dream Crash

    2016 records I never got around too, just found out about,
    or just came out:
    Satan’s Wrath, Die Evil
    Uncle Acid, Night Creeper
    Baroness, Purple
    Pigs, Wronger
    Christian Mistress, To Your Death
    Huntress, Static
    Kylesa, Exhausting Fire
    Hate Eternal, Infernus
    Orchid, Sign of the Witch
    Svffer, Empathist
    Lord Dying, Poisoned Altars
    Jess and the Ancient Ones, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

    Fave new to me records:
    The Oath, S/T
    Earthling, Dark Path

    Let downs:
    Horrendous, Arneta (kinda sort growing on me, but not a lot)
    Vhol, Deeper than Sky (sorry just no…)
    Liturgy, The Ark Work (didn’t even make it through once)
    Danzig, Skeletons (huge fan here and oh man is this horrible)
    Faith No More, Sol Invictus (it’s ok but nothing compared to the last 3)

  • Arjan Zwamborn

    Oh my, I was actually almost convinced after reading the introduction that you’ve fired all your staff AMG, until I looked closer and saw that there was another line after the drawing. You had me there. After blasphemously denouncing Swallow the Sun’s release That Will Shape The Future Of Metal in your last records of the month, I was beginning to think you were capable of anything.

    As for my not asked and not wanted opinion about this year’s musical output, I will digitally wave it in your faces nonetheless. As long as you know I strongly considered placing all three separate Songs From The North albums as #1, 2 and 3, just to further stress my malcontent with this putrid website’s position towards this album. To further strengthen this, I will continue to read this website daily in 2016, all the while stressing my disapproval with extreme facial expressions! Hah!

    1. Vattnet Viskar – Settler (brilliance that is not masked by a lackluster production, methinks)

    2. Zatokrev – Silk Spiders Underwater (hasn’t been reviewed here, hasn’t it? This one desperately requires your attention, though)

    3. Barren Earth – On Lonely Towers (whoever thought losing the famous lead singer would be a good thing?)

    4. Swallow the Sun – Songs From the North (a historic effort I’d say, and a divisive one at that – which makes it all the more fun)

    5. Hanging Garden – Blackout Whiteout (I am a fanboy and I did not mind that they went full post-rock on this one. Hate me)

    6.Panopticon – Autumn Eternal (with Roads to the North they had my interest; NOW they have my attention)

    7. Paradise Lost – Plague Within (the album that finally sees the light of day, after being 18 years late. A strange thing that it does not seem dated at all, though)

    8. Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss (the heaviest album this year was not a metal one)

    9. Deafheaven – New Bermuda (I have enjoyed every review I read on the interwebs that annihilated this album, but honestly: I think it’s stellar. And I do not care whether it is (black) metal or not)

    10. Draconian – Sovran (Again; losing one’s front(wo)man does not have to be a bad thing, necessarily).
    —-
    Thanks for another great year of snobbery, AMG, Mr. Druhm & staff!

    • I don’t think we have anyone left on staff that would enjoy Zatokrev. Also, I almost did fire them. I do that nearly twice or even three times a year.

      • Thank God for tenure!

      • Arjan Zwamborn

        Not even yourself? If you haven’t heard it I would most certainly give it a go!

        I’m not sure whether you’re in your lately troll mood or actually did consider that, but I guess my hypothesis of you being capable of anything is hereby more or less confirmed. And there’s nothing wrong with that :)

  • Wilhelm

    I thank this site for turning me on to a few things this year. The Seagrave and Nechochwen in particular.

    1) Ghost – Meliora / I just love everything the band is about, when it comes to writing a song they have a tendency to touch on that something that is both highly artistic and mass-appealing.

    2) Horrendous – Anareta/ Even better than their last one, It’s old school death metal without sounding dated, and has amazing production.

    3) Cradle Of Filth – Hammer
    Of The Witches/ Haven’t heard CoF this good since the 90’s. The new members seem to have an impact on quality methinks.

    4) Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields/ Funeral Doom that is heavy on atmosphere, it’s almost a perfect example of what I like about the genre.

    5) Obsequiae – Aria of
    Vernal Tombs/ Highly engaging Medieval-esque, opeth-morningrise-ish take on black metal. Superb.

    6) My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery/ They got that something back, I think the next one will be even better.

    7) Nechochwen – Heart of
    Akamon/ Classy, well written folk/black metal, great concept+lyrics

    8) Seagrave – Stabwound/ I love this one, black metal mixed with Post-hardcore with hardcore shouts. Not something I normally would go for but there’s a huge ton of melody running through the songs.

    9) Angellore – 2015 – La Litanie
    Des Cendres / French band paying homage to a style nobody cares about anymore, gothic metal, ala Tristania.

    10) Nightfell – Darkness Evermore / Another great release from this doomy death metal band.

    Honorable mention would be Iron Maiden’s Book of Souls. It’s a shame they couldn’t have trimmed the album to about 50 minutes. I think it would have fared much better.

  • Nick

    There is a SERIOUS lack of Khemmis on all of these lists. Did they get forgotten all of a sudden? They put out a monster of an album this year which was praised on this site, yet is not on any of the lists (as far as I can see). I usually look forward to these lists at the end of the year, as I’ve gotten a lot of good recommendations from AMG, but this year the lists feel very…uninspired, for a lack of a better word. But don’t get me wrong, I love the work you do. It’s the work I’d love to do as well. Keep it up, fellas! (And PS: Edit in Khemmis, they deserve it!)

    • Khemmis was good, but I don’t know that I experienced them as roty material.

  • Reese Burns

    It didn’t get much love around these parts, but Soilwork’s latest is my go-to album this year.
    So fucking good.

  • Steve

    Not very much seemed to chime with me this year. Only Blind Guardian and Steven Wilson released albums that i truly loved, while I didn’t really hear anything from a band that I was previously unaware of that I thought was anything more than simply OK. Maybe i’m getting old and cynical but it’s getting harder and harder to discover new music that does it for me.

  • Oberon

    Diabolus wins the wild card draw with his number 2 pick. That blew my mind

  • John Mosley

    Imperial Triumphant. Horrendous. Ad Nauseam. Panzerballet. Sumac.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Nice! Sadly, forgot about Sumac.

      • John Mosley

        That album was a slow burn this year. Find myself revisiting often.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          It is indeed a slow burner. Still not sure it’d make it on my list but still good stuff.

  • Krzystov

    Nice selections AMG crew! I didn’t always agree with your ‘views (and I only commented then too), but it’s always fun to come back here every now and then to see what you think. To another bangin’ year! Cheers!

  • Nick Maestas

    Best shit I’ve heard this year:
    1.) The Black Dahlia Murder “Abysmal”
    2.) Amorphis “Under the Red Cloud”
    3.) Horrendous “Anareta”
    4.) Macabre Omen “Gods of War- At War”
    5.) High on Fire “Lumiferous”

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Really enjoying the Remains release. Thanks DiM! Tasty growls, killer drums, and crunchy guitars. Some echt Death Metal there.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Hey Al, I can see the whole Cone of Shame thing, but I think we should Kickurass for the Ghoulgotha misstep!

  • noisemonkey

    Thanks for writing some really interesting reviews even though I don’t agree with many of them they’re always well written and thought out :) big metal love.

  • sir_c

    It’s been one throbbing hell of a year, no?

  • Daniel

    You guys and gals seem to love your prog rock. Checkout Arcane – Known/Learned from my homeland, Australia. Their singer is amazing and is also in another great Aussie prog band Caligula’s Horse.

    1. Arcane – Known/Learned
    2. Lamb of God – Sturm ung Drang
    3. Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors
    4. Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.
    5. Sevendust – Kill the Flaw
    6. Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction
    7. Kauan – Sorni Nai
    8. Baroness – Purple
    9. Parkway Drive – Ire
    10. Bellusira – The Healing

    Honorable Mentions
    Intronaut – The Direction of Last Things
    Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
    Clutch – Psychic Warfare
    Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence
    Black Breath – Slaves Beyond Death
    Thy Catafalque – Sgurr

  • I truly love you guys a lot. Keep up the good amazing work, and being a beacon for all things metal in the journalism field. To me specially you are kind of an inspiration to continue writing (in spanish of course, no business trying to do competition in english) and doing kinda the same at the other side of the world in South America (with rather… different not so metal music)

    KEEP THE ANGRY COMIN’!