The staff here at A&GS has grown exponentially. As a result, our Top Albums lists have, too. What started out as something done solely by yours truly has now blossomed into a rather large affair, and I couldn’t be happier about that. So, after all the yelling, screaming, hitting, biting, and hair-pulling, here are The Amps and Green Screens Top Albums of 2015!!
KELLY SHARADIN: 2015 was a great year for metal. Here are my Top 10 records of the year in no particular order!
SLAYER– Repentless: Slayer still destroys and for those who say they’re stuck in “God Hates Us All” era that’s fine with me.
PSYCROPTIC-Psycroptic: .Incredible and mind numbing tech-death from Tasmania. I can’t get enough of this album, passionate delivery in every song.
HIGH ON FIRE- Luminiferous: Punishing speed and hypnotic riffing, complete with Matt Pike’s gruesome vocals depicting the epic atmosphere that is the High on Fire trademark.
CRADLE OF FILTH– Hammer of the Witches: Love ’em or hate ’em, Cradle of Filth’s back with a new line-up and bringing back the qualities that made me love them in the first place. Inhales, vulgar lyrics and intense harmonies.
CATTLE DECAPITATION– The Anthropocene Extinction: Madness from beginning to end and showcases songwriting maturity that should not be missed.
FAITH NO MORE– Sol Invictus: Patton and Gould gave me everything I wanted from FAITH NO MORE in this album. Worth the wait and worth picking up.
LANA DEL RAY– Honeymoon: Haunting and sexy, music to get down to.
José González– Vestiges and Claws: Simple and pure acoustic soul with thoughtful lyrics that resonate deep.
MADONNA– Rebel Heart: The Queen is back. Fully loaded with her provocative pop sensibility and infectious dance grooves.
WEEDEATER-Goliathan: True southern sludge, I love every element on this record. Satisfying riffs, crushing drums, sinister vocals and a touch of banjo.
FRANK ZABER: Here’s my Top 10 of 2015.
1. CAIN’S OFFERING – Stormcrow
2. SYMPHONY X – Underworld
3. JUDICATOR – At The Expense Of Humanity
4. GLORYHAMMER – Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards
5. PYRAMAZE – Disciples of the Sun
6. EUROPE – War of Kings
7. BLIND GUARDIAN – Beyond The Red Mirror
8. IMPELLITERI – Venom
9. ORDEN OGAN – Ravenhead
10. VOODOO CIRCLE – Whisky Fingers
ERIC THE BULL: Because there were so many great records put out over the course of 2015, I decided to do a list based on the genre I listened to most this year: Black Metal
1. LEVIATHAN – Scar Sighted: Wrest, the undisputed king of American black metal to many, returned with his first full-length release in four years that’s as demented as it is beautiful.
2. DROWNING THE LIGHT – From the Abyss: Azgorh broke his four year full-length silence in 13-track epic fashion with a start to finish experience that is extremely powerful.
3. MOONKNIGHT – Valinor: This album injects more of a progressive influence into Horus’ dark and depressive signature sound.
4. BLACK CILICE – Mysteries: Another one-man project rounds out my personal top four; floored by this since discovering it and I am anxiously awaiting more material.
5. ARCHGOAT – The Apocalyptic Triumphator: The most Satanic and blasphemous thing you will hear in 2015.
6. WHITEWURM – Negation of Life: It is a relentless assault that is just the beginning of a new American black metal powerhouse.
7. MISþYRMING – Söngvar elds og óreiðu: The debut record of the year comes from Iceland’s MISþYRMING with a nonstop bludgeoning of chaos and unstoppable riffs.
8. MGŁA – Exercises in Futility: This Polish duo delivered six songs, and over 40 minutes worth of some of the most mind-blowing riffs and atmosphere heard in 2015.
9. TSJUDER – Antiliv: True Norwegian Black Metal never gets old and the veterans prove they haven’t lost a step.
10.TRIBULATION – The Children of the Night: Although not a full on black metal record, the sinister and ethereal pieces of that genre are apparent.
NAZGHOR – Diabolical Teachings
VI – De praestigiis angelorum
DEAFHEAVEN – New Bermuda
DRUDKH – A Furrow Cut Short
HÆTHEN – Shaped by Aeolian Winds
MARDUK – Frontschwein
MELECHESH – Enki
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS – The Accuser
FRENCH CHEESE: As I write this, I’m still finding it hard to wrap my head around how fast 2015 has come and gone. With that, there have been some truly stellar releases in 2015; releases that have transcended the pace of time.
1. REST AMONG RUINS – Fugue: The only thing one may be left wishing for after listening to Fugue, is that the disc had been longer.
2. RIVERS OF NIHIL – Monarchy: Dark, beautifully melodic and hellishly enraged. The exacting of all that Death Metal can, will, and should be.
3. SCALE THE SUMMIT – V: Insanely adventurous and dynamic. This record is pure fun.
4. PERIPHERY – Juggernaut (Aplha and Omega): A tremendous undertaking that nears flawless delivery, offering some of the most enigmatic tunes released by the group to date.
5. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – Coma Ecliptic: BTBAM has always been on a different level, and Coma Ecliptic set them two steps above their closest counterpart.
6. POMEGRANATE TIGER – Boundless: This release is more expansive, yet more direct than their 2013 debut.
7. VISION OF DISORDER – Razed to the Ground: The fanatic return of a NY Hardcore pioneer. This disc rages with more ferocity than anything the genre has offered since the group’s hiatus.
8. SYLOSIS – Dormant Heart: This group is the next generation of thrash, taking the subset into a new era, instead of rehashing what METALLICA did in the ’80’s.
9. GOROD – A Maze of Recycled Creeds: Heavy. Technical. Focused. Raw. Real.
10. SEVENDUST – Kill the Flaw: Album after album, this group continues to find the perfect meshing of melody and anger.
ZALEN: Here are the albums that truly resonated with me in 2015.
1. COUNTERPARTS – Tragedy Will Find Us: Heart crushing lyrical content alongside masterfully arranged metalcore/hardcore tracks.
2. FRONTIERER – Orange Mathematics: These guys are off the radar a bit, but they should absolutely be on yours.
3. REFLECTIONS – The Color Clear: These guys REALLY brought their A-game for this release.
4. THE PLOT IN YOU – Happiness In Self Destruction: After a lengthy silence from record label shenanigans, TPIY comes back with bigger choruses, heavier riffs, and stellar production.
5. SWORN IN – The Lovers/The Devil: Definitely not a record for everyone, but if you like almost mentally deranged sad songs, along with hyper-eclectic songwriting like I do, then you’ll know why this release made my top 10.
6. BRING ME THE HORIZON – That’s The Spirit: Arena rock combined with touches of metalcore with a heavy electronic pop presence? Sign me the fuck up, this album is gold.
7. CROOKS (UK) – Are We All The Same Distance Apart – A very emotional post hardcore release with eloquent singing, and no breakdowns. Definitely super refreshing.
8. INSVRGENTS – Every Living Creature Dies Alone: Politically motivated and up front lyricism combined with a slew of trippy timing changes and a great mix with stupidly heavy tunes. Totally awesome piece of art.
9. VEIL OF MAYA – Matriarch: This is a completely new VOM, and I am so insanely impressed by the chorus work, and all the heavy parts combined. So shouts out to you Veil, you dudes knocked this one out of the park and then some.
10. NECK DEEP – Life’s Not Out To Get You: It’s not often that you get a pop-punk band with a positive outlook reflected in their music, but when you do, shit is excellent.
THE MAESTRO: While the sheer volume of terrific releases didn’t even come close to that of 2014, what DID come out was nothing short of interstellar, my boy! 2015 was definitely a year where extreme metal ruled supreme for me, while melodic rock also kicked a ton of ass. So, after much agonizing, screaming, and yelling I decided to expand my list this year ( (It’s good to be da king!), because each and every one of these records had a tremendous impact on me, and it would be a sin to leave any one of them out. Here are The Maestro’s Top 30 Albums of 2015:
1. BLACKLIST UNION – Back to Momo: Tony West is one of the most brilliant, tortured, artistic souls I have ever met, and his emotions bleed through all across his music. Plus, he’s never sounded better This is an album that hit me on so many levels, cementing its #1 status back in June.
2. TRIXTER – Human Era: Big hooks, fantastic songwriting, and a winning combo of killer vocals and ‘tear-your-heart-out” solos make this a monster record that gets played daily. The title track is also my Song of the Year!!
3. HOUSE OF LORDS – Indestructible: Absolute perfection that violates my REPEAT button.
4. IRON MAIDEN – The Book of Souls: Without a doubt, their absolute best since Brave New World, an album I STILL maintain is the best record of the last 15 years, bar none!!
5. DEIVOS – Theodicy: Polish Death Metal band absolutely destroyed the competition with this one and the record was a LOCK for Top 5 status after just one listen in January.
6. MICHAEL SCHENKER’S TEMPLE OF ROCK – Spirit On a Mission: An album so good, it left its predecessor Bridge the Gap in the dust!
7. CUT UP – Forensic Nightmares: Ripping, crushing, gnaw-at-the-bone Death Metal that quite frankly should be in everyone’s collection ASAP!!
8. LAMB OF GOD – VII: Sturm Und Drang – Returning after three years this band bites into your jugular and never lets go.
9. ISSA – Crossfire: One of the best AOR/Rock records I’ve heard in years, and THE feel-good album of 2015!!
10. BATTLECROSS – Rise to Power: You think you know Thrash Metal, then this band kicks you RIGHT UP THE ASS!!!
11. THE WINERY DOGS – Hot Streak: Is there really ANYTHING more to say about this amazing band???
12. DEMI LOVATO – Confident: I love everything about this woman, and this is near perfection.
13. BLOOD OF THE WOLF – I: The Law of Retaliation: Everyone should own this record, and I mean YESTERDAY!!
14. SWEET & LYNCH – Only to Rise: Powerhouse record from powerhouse players. ‘Nuff said.
15. GORGOROTH – Instinctus Bestialis: My Black Metal Album of the Year from the very first listen.
16. WE ARE HARLOT
17. MARDUK – Frontschwein
18. 4Arm – Survivalist
19. BLACK STAR RIDERS – The Killer Instinct
20. SKINLESS – Only the Ruthless Remain
21. UNBREAKABLE HATRED – Ruins
22. MARTINA EDOFF – Unity
23. HATCHET – Fear Beyond Lunacy
24. BEAUVOIR/FREE – American Trash
25. NILE – What Should Not Be Unearthed
26. ARMAGEDDON – Captivity & Devourment
27. ANGRA – Secret Garden
28. SERIOUS BLACK – As Daylight Breaks
29. RAVEN – ExtermiNation
30. SEVENDUST – Kill the Flaw
STRYPER – Fallen
TREMONTI – Cauterize
SERIAL BUTCHER – Brute Force Lobotomy
GRUESOME – Savage Land
WALK THE MOON – Talking Is Hard
GODDAMN!! This was exhausting!! I hope you all found something to agree/disagree with in our picks. I also hope they move you to check out bands you’ve never heard before. From all of us here at A&GS,
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, AND HAVE A VERY METAL NEW YEAR IN 2016!! \m/ \m/