2015 has sucked in almost every way for me and for a lot of people that I know, too. You could say it was full of Trials and Tribulation (that’ll be funny AFTER you see the top of my list). Fortunately, we were gifted a litany of top-shelf metal albums to get us through it without losing our minds. The following are the top 20 metal records that I subjected my children to while driving them all over L.A. I have to admit that there was so much great stuff this year that I sort of cheated here by including a very extensive “honorable mentions” category for all of the other albums that might have made the list had the year ended when they came out. All of them are excellent efforts that I know I’ll be listening to for years to come.
Check out the list and let me know what you think in the comments below because if I know metalheads (and believe me, I do) you’ll all have some very strong opinions about your own likes and dislikes. The best thing about other people’s year-end “best of” list is that I always discover a few absolute gems that got past me during the year. Last year, you, the readers, even turned me on to Ne Obliviscaris and Solstafir, two amazing bands that I was unfamiliar with and whose albums should have been on my list. It is my hope that no matter what your opinion of my personal list is, that it will inspire you to check out some artists or records that you haven’t yet discovered. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite metal band contained herein.
Have a wonderful holiday season and rest up, because 2016 promises to be another pummeling year in extreme music. And be sure to stay tuned here at GoD because you know we’ll be doing our very best to keep you informed about all of it.
Baroness is a progressive heavy metal band from Savannah, Georgia, that was formed by a group of high school friends who had grown up together in Virginia. Since the band’s formation in 2003, they have released an increasingly impressive string of albums. But, their trajectory was very nearly cut short when the tour bus that they were traveling on plummeted 30 feet off of an overpass near Bath, England. Singer/guitarist John Baizley was left with a broken arm and broken leg, and a long road to recovery.
The good news is that Baizley has fully recovered from his injuries, and Baroness is back with a new rhythm section and a brand new record on the horizon. Continuing their tradition of naming their albums after colors, Baroness will release Purple on December 18, 2015. Today’s Massive Metal Monday track is the lead single from that record. This is “Chlorine and Wine.”
Be sure to stay tuned right here at GoD for more info on Baroness and Purple as December approaches.
The list continues with some rock, some roll, and everything in between!
Death Cab For Cutie‘s Benjamin Gibbard made his solo debut this year with Former Lives, an inviting record that feels like you’ve known and loved it for years. Gibbard’s flair for experimentation can be heard on the a cappella ‘Shepherd’s Bush Lullaby’, as well as on the mariachi influenced track ‘Something’s Rattling (Cowpoke)’. The reverb soaked vocals and production on ‘Duncan, Where Have You Gone?’ make the track sound like a long lost John Lennon tune. Aimee Mann guests on ‘Bigger Than Love’, a bouncy ode that will, much like all of Former Lives, keep you smiling from start to finish.
Former Lives is not available for streaming, but you can preview tracks at iTunes and Amazon