Reggie’s Top 15 Albums of the Year + Honorable Mentions

2015-woodWell, here we are again, another end of year list.  First, big thanks to you for reading and engaging with us.  I have to say, this year’s list is more well-rounded than previous year-end lists.  I guess it is because I continue to get exposed to new bands and others that have been out a while, but are new to me.  Take my #1 for example.  I knew they were out there, but took it took me a while to sit down and have a serious listen.  I am glad I did.  One major difference between this year and my other lists is the (almost) absence of thrash metal bands.  While there are a few, not as much as I would normally have on my list.  Seems as though my taste in progressive based metal is expanding.  I guess it’s time to see for yourself.  Enjoy, and let’s have another great year in metal.

15.  Symphony X – Underworld

I didn’t get into Symphony X until they released their last album, Iconoclast.  It made my “best of” list for 2011 at #4.  I enjoy their smooth blend of rhythm, power, and thrash.  As far as their entire discography, I don’t know much about how they evolved over the years, but I do like where they are now.

14.  Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors

While the entire album is a blissful indulgence of 70s era hard rock, Time Machine is probably going to go down as one of my top 3 songs of the year.  Such a good song!

13.  Intronaut – The Direction of Last Things

Another new one for me.  I hadn’t heard Intronaut before this album was released.  Sometimes it’s a bit much to handle with its technical/progressive prowess overload.  There is a lot going on with The Direction of Last Things.  If you give it some time and several listens…it sinks in.  Great stuff here.

12.  Leprous – The Congregation

It took me a while to take the plunge into Leprous despite hearing a few songs here and there.  This is another one on the progressive side with its numerous time signatures and tempo variations.  Excellent vocalist!

11.  Sylosis – Dormant Heart

I can’t remember exactly when Dormant Heart was released, but it did make my mid-year best of list I posted in July.  Overall very nice, heavy, and thrashy.

10.  Soilwork – The Ride Majestic

Soilwork’s double album made my list at #4 back in 2013.  The Ride Majestic isn’t a whole lot different, but I still like it a lot…enough to make my list this year.  All Along Echoing Paths is one of my favorite songs on the album.

9.  Baroness – Purple

The newest of all the albums on my list this year…still very fresh and getting many spins at the moment.  Yellow & Green was my first taste of the band.  Purple is excellent as well.

8.  Trials – The Ruined World

This could very well be a band on my list you might not have heard of.  I don’t see their name in lights if you know what I mean.  The Ruined World is a heavy, sludgy, and at times thrashy blend of blistering beauty.

7.  Ensiferum – One Man Army

While Unsung Heroes made my list in 2012, One Man Army outshines it.  This album is fun, heavy, folky, surprising, and likable.  In the end, they do what they do best and did it well on One Man Army.  Two of Spades is cool song with an interesting tempo change in the middle.

6.  Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman

I feared the end of this band when all the legal troubles hit the newsstands.  However, they persevered and came back with a vengeance.  This gets a lot of plays.

5.  Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls

I had a hard time placing this album.  It’s almost as if they should have seniority at the top of the list.  Maiden did a great job on The Book of Souls.  Not that they needed to be this good anymore, but the album sounds great and in many ways brings me back to Seventh Son.

4.  Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

Geez, this album is heavy.  Another new (to me) band to my digital library.  Despite hearing of them and even seeing some disgustingly beautiful videos, it wasn’t until now that I gave their music a serious listen.  Damn, this is damaging shit…but, I mean that in a good way.

3.  Finsterforst – Mach Dich Frei

I made three transoceanic trips this year and Finsterforst was my go-to band for the long trips.  They have a bit of everything going on from stuff that sounds a little like Rammstein to thrash, to folk, to black metal all seamlessly intertwined.  I found myself wanting to hear more…so, I did.  I kind of surprise myself seeing a band with this style so high on my list.  If you haven’t heard it, please watch the video.

2.  Ghost – Meliora

No surprises here.  This album, if I remember correctly, was the highest rated album on our roundtable reviews.  That means the four of us pretty much thought the same thing.  It’s pretty f’kin great even if it’s not really “that” metal.

1.  Caligula’s Horse – Bloom

Lastly, another of several bands on my list this year that I had little knowledge of coming into 2015.  While a few of my blog partners raved about the band, finding time to hear new stuff often escaped me.  Sitting down with Bloom was obviously one of the best musical choices I made this year.  It knocked Ghost out of its place because while I love both my #1 and #2, Caligula’s Horse moved me a little differently that Ghost.

Honorable Mentions

6:33 – Deadly Scenes

Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Clutch – Psychic Warfare

Forgotten Tomb – Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love

Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic


About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on December 30, 2015, in Best of 2015 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. ChristopherMammal

    Excellent and eclectic selection, Reggie.

  2. Great to see so many well known bands in your list, we don’t all have to be all “hipster” like myself! We have the same #1 😀 That’s awesome! C-Horse’s music is really moving, like you say. It’ll move me for the rest of my life.

    Going to take your advice and listen to Finsterforst right now. Intronaut was a very dense and complicated listen, and while I do like it, I think it’s going to take lots more time for me to really appreciate it enough. Great band though! Same thing with Baroness, wasn’t immediately enjoyable for me. Soilwork though, that’s another impressive, very solid album!

    • I’m glad you liked Soilwork. I guess none of us had a chance to review it, so I wasn’t sure anyone was really into it. I also went back and got Caligula’s Horse’s previous album and I enjoy that too.

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