2015 was quite a strong year. A few welcome and incredible returns, as well as a few surprises. Admittedly, it was a difficult task coming up with a top 30 albums, and there was some good back and forth on here. However, as it stands now, this is where I am at. It is possible things could change, as there were albums I did not get enough time with, or things I’m sure I’ll discover after the fact. Never-the-less, let me present my Top 30 Albums of 2015!
Leviathan – Scar Sighted
Wrest returned in 2015 with possibly his best collection of material to date.
Mispyrming – Söngvar Elds Og Óreiou
Icelandic black metal band made quite the impact in 2015 on their raw and cold debut.
Wrekmeister Harmonies – Night Of Your Ascension
Employing over 30 musicians, this was a dense, and non-stop album of emotional and musical range.
Gnaw Their Tongues – Abyss Of Longing Throats
One-man project does it yet again in creating a frightening, noisy collection of tracks that will induce nightmares of the unprepared.
Bell Witch – Four Phantoms
Doom duo solidified themselves as one of the top acts in the genre this year by creating a four part epic that crushes and levels the competition.
Merda Mundi – IV (Khaos)
A surprise that came out of nowhere for me. Managing to be insanely chaotic, but structured and never ceases to destroy.
Skepticism – Ordeal
Funeral doom masters returned with a live recording of all new material, showcasing that time away doesn’t mean they lose their place as masters of heavy and soul shattering music.
Corrections House – Know How To Carry A Whip
Supergroup Corrections House have done it again with a harsh collection of sludgy, industrial, and poetic tracks that end up being as poignant as they are disturbing.
Moon – Render Of The Veils
An incredibly dense piece of work that grow the more you listen to it. Each listen brings something new to the surface and a better listening experience.
Sivyj Yar – Burial Shrouds
Another hit from the one-man act. Proving to be a force in the scene, this album shows others how its done.
Vhol – Deeper Than Sky
The beautiful cover art does not even scratch the surface of the mind expanding journey Vhol takes you on with this sophomore release. Truly more than a sum of its parts, this is a very deserving band in their own right.
Scale The Summit – V
Instrumental music that shows that vocals are not always needed. The technical prowess is taken up a notch, but the songwriting is tighter and more memorable than ever before.
Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction
The last couple of albums from these death/grind dudes have shown some wonderful improvements. While perhaps not up the incredible standard of Monolith of Inhumanity, this is still one of the best, most disgusting death metal records of the year. Always recommended.
Pissgrave – Suicide Euphoria
Early the most raw death metal record of the year. This new band is just as nasty as their cover art, and their music is as depraved as you could imagine. Simply incredible death metal that makes the over-produced shredders weep.
Ghost Bath – Moonlover
Beauty, agony, serenity. While many people focused too much on where the band is actually from, the music speaks for itself as the highlight of the shoegaze/black metal/post black metal scene of the year.
Steve Von Till – A Life Unto Itself
Iconic vocalists returns with a new solo album. Nothing more need be said.
Verlies – Le Domine Des Hommes
Another surprise in 2015. An incredible debut that holds high the standard of French black metal.
Abigail Williams – The Accuser
Forget the ‘controversy’ surrounding the band and their past. The Accuser is a damn strong slab of black metal. In your face and undeniable.
Mgla – Exercise in Futility
What else can be said that everyone hasn’t already said? There is a reason this is on so many lists in 2015. One of the best black metal records of the year and one of the more consistent bands in the genre.
Immortal Bird – Empress/Abcess
The first full-length for this group is hard to nail down. Combining so many styles, each to great success. Showcasing that their EP was no fluke, this is a band truly on their way up.
The Body/Krieg – The Body/Krieg
Making room for only one collaboration this year, this is a release that hits the mark. Harsh, disturbing, and frightening. These two acts created one of the most impressive bits of intensity all year.
Monolithe – Epsilon Aurigae
The most recent of all the albums on the list. Monolithe cannot be denied regardless of changing their approach. Coming late to the party, but leaving it with one hell of an exit.
Panopticon – Autumn Eternal
Austin has never failed to disappoint and this new release continues that tradition. Beautiful while still being plenty in your face, Panopticon have proven to be one for the ages.
Nechochwen – Heart Of Akamon
Yet another album that has proven its with by how many lists its on. Different, and truly a breath of fresh air. The band manages to show case aggression and beauty with utter perfection.
Windhand – Greif’s Infernal Flower
The Virginia doom act returns with possibly the most anticipated doom release of the year. A more than worthy follow-up to the incredible sophomore release, Windhand are still proving why they are at the top of the genre two albums in a row.
Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls
Noise can be beautiful. Prurient prove on this newest release that noise can mix perfectly with emotion, and acoustics can be wonderful bedfellows with distorted vocals and pulsating beats. Prurient have created one of the more relaxing, yet haunting albums of the year.
Timecop1983 – Reflections
The biggest surprise of the year. A promo on a metal site from a dreamwave band? It was enticing and not once did I look back. Total 80s worship and some catchy and memorable beats make up possibly the most instantly gripping album I’ve heard in any non-metal music in years.
Dorthia Cottrell – Dorthia Cottrell
Leave it to the front-woman of Windhand to beat out her own full-time project. Much like the Von Till records, the dark Amricana and acoustic guitars are just nothing short of fascinating. A truly mesmerizing voice and songs that tel some incredible stories. From the first listen, it is impossible to deny the utter emotion in the performance, and it leaves such an impact after each and every listen.
Dodsferd- Wastes Of Life
Dodsferd are no strangers to the scene. The band has had a few different sounds over their releases, but the more DSBM side of the sound has always been more interesting to me. The new album is everything one could want from the sub-genre. The music and vocals tell sorrowful tales, and yet there is still a sense of hatred and anger in it all. The extra little elements throughout this release prove to make this one of the more interesting and standout albums of the genre this year, and it gets better with each spin.
Obsequiae – Aria Of Vernal Tombs
Since the release of this new album, it has been at the top of my list. Easily my most anticipated album of 2015, and it was everything I could have hoped for. The songwriting was stronger, the vocals more impressive and confident. The harp usage felt more true to the aesthetic of the band and the harsher instrumentation led to some of the best riffs and memorable drum patters of the year. One listen to tracks like ‘Autumnal Pyre’ or the perfect ‘Orphic Rites of The Mystic’ and you will see why this album deserves any and all praise it gets. Even then, it still deserves more. The best album of 2015.