2015 has been a great year in metal music with some fantastic split and collaboration albums/EPs released along with full lengths from some of my favourite artists. That being said, populating this list was no easy task. We have albums that were released earlier in the year that are still occupying my thoughts and playlists after most of a year and albums that have been released in the last month or so that will likely be smashing my eardrums long into 2016. So without further ado, lets begin.
10. Shining - IX - Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends.
Love them or hate them, Shining are undeniably talented musicians with a particular knack for wringing the despair, depression and bleakness out of their unique brand of black metal. Though not their best release, it is a fantastic album and more than worthy of your time.
9. The Body / Thou - You, Whom I Have Always Hated
If I remember rightly, The Body occupied a space on my Top Ten of 2014 but this is my first taste of Thou and it definitely left an impression on me. This is a punishing blend of industrial, sludge, doom and drone that should not be passed by. There's also a cover of Nine Inch Nail's 'Terrible Lie' that is different, to say the least.
Check out immediately - 'The Devils of Trust Steal The Souls of The Free'
8. Vreid - Sólverv
I warned in my review of this album that it would end up here and, evidently, I wasn't lying. There's not much more I can say that I didn't already say in the review (so go check that out) but this is a great album from a fantastic Norwegian black metal band.
Check out immediately - 'Haust'
7. - Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat
If you've never heard of these gods of grindcore then you're probably reading the wrong list. Though not faultless, this album is still a masterclass in grind and has some tracks that instantly became some of my favourites from these veterans. Great stuff.
Check out immediately - 'How The Years Condemn' & 'Smash a Single Digit'
6 - Between The Buried and Me - Coma Ecliptic
I caught these guys on tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan and Stolen Babies way back in 2007 and if I'm honest they did little to impress. Therefore I stayed away from them for a long time but I'm more than glad I checked out this one. It is a fantastic prog metal album full of catchy tunes with plenty of hooks for even the most casual of listeners to grab hold of. I never thought I'd be putting these guys into a Top Ten list but holy shit do they deserve it.
Check out immediately - 'Famine Wolf'
5. Svffer - Empathist
Last years 'Lies We Live' from these grind, crusty geniuses was a fantastic album and they've kept up the pace with 'Empathist'. Honestly, this band can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned and this album is on their band camp as a name your price download so you've no reason not to check them out and maybe even support them.
Check out immediately - 'Error'
4. Black Wing - ...Is Doomed
Being a mainly electronic affair, this is not something I'd normally check out but expanding my horizons has once again paid off in the form of this dark, experimental masterpiece from Have A Nice Life's Dan Barrett. This is fantastic stuff and The Flenser are fast becoming one of my favourite labels.
Check out immediately - 'Black Wing' & 'My Body Betrayed Me'
3. Gnaw Their Tongues / Dragged Into Sunlight - N.V.
This is a collaboration that I absolutely could not wait for and my excitement was rewarded with a chaotic five track release with the sole intention of ruining eardrums. Without a doubt the most disgustingly dark and brutal thing to have been released this year.
Check out immediately - 'Visceral Repulsion'
2. Sunn O))) - Kannon
With Attila Csihar once again handling vocal duties, this is Sunn O)))'s first solo release in six years, following a few collaborative albums, most notably last years collab with Scott Walker. This release sees the band taking their music back to it's drone/experimental roots and it is an absolute triumph.
Check out immediately - All of it.
1. Enslaved - In Times
Released in March this year, I checked out Enslaved's thirteenth album upon release and haven't stopped checking it out since. An absolute titan of a progressive black metal album and easily one of my favourite releases from the band.
Check out immediately - 'Building With Fire' & 'One Thousand Years of Rain'