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.
Cold, forlorn landscapes make the ideal breeding grounds for black metal bands. Maybe that’s why North Dakota is rapidly becoming the U.S. black metal (USBM) scene’s answer to Scandinavia. Earlier this year we were gifted with the release of ND natives Ghost Bath’s awe-inspiring masterpiece Moonlover. Now comes another stunning slab of USBM from their fellow Dakota residents Frosthelm.
After a couple of highly acclaimed independent releases Frosthelm has taken their blackened thrash attack to legendary metal producer Matt Hyde’s new label Black Work (Alkemy Brothers) and delivered the brilliant and pummeling album The Endless Winter. Skeletonwitch singer Chance Garnett may have summed these guys up best with this quote: “A definite Euro/cold guitar tone but with an American ‘something’ added. I hear Immortal meets The Black Dahlia Murder, and that’s something I’ve not yet heard.”