My Top 10 Metal Albums From 2015

I actually had this post finished a while ago but forgot to post it! 2015 was a great year for metal, and many albums born in this year are some of my all time favourites. So without further ado, here are my top 10 favourite albums from 2015:

 

10. My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery

I’ll be completely honest, I’m quite new to doom metal, but I really enjoyed this album and it has gotten me into more doom metal. I fell in love with the overall sound of the album because while the lyrics and music are very deep and often dark, the music has a seemingly melancholic ambiance at the same time.

 

9. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls

Who doesn’t get excited when a new Iron Maiden album is released? This album is overall beautifully composed as always and of course since hearing that Iron Maiden will be blessing our country with their presence this year, this album has had a greater impact on many of us South Africans than some of their previous albums (not that there has ever been an unsatisfactory Iron Maiden album!). Unfortunately it is obvious that Bruce doesn’t have the power in his voice that he used to have, but at least he’s not letting that stop him.

 

8. Stratovarius – Eternal

Before this album I honestly didn’t listen to Stratovarius much as I prefer Sonata Arctica’s sound (I have often heard the two being compared to each other), but this album may have converted me to a Stratovarius fan. The melodic and symphonic elements had me hooked from the first song. This album seems to be heavier than some of their other recent work, but it’s definitely a good change.

 

7. Ensiferum – One Man Army

This album was an excellent comeback after their slightly disappointing previous album Unsung Heroes, where I only enjoyed about half the songs on the album. There were quite a few negative reviews for this album, but I think that everyone is still just angry about Unsung Heroes and probably won’t let it go for a while. While this release isn’t as folkish (if that makes sense) as their previous albums it’s still a very good listen. It mostly features heavier songs with the catchy sing-along choruses that Ensiferum fans love. Definitely a staple album in any folk metal fan’s library.

 

6. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead

As a relatively new Orden Ogan fan, I was impressed by this album as it has stronger melodies and songwriting than To The End, the only other Orden Ogan album I really know well enough to comment on. This is also a great sing-along album with catchy choruses and typical power riffs.

 

5. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish seemed to have lost their hype in recent years, but this album put them back on the map. New vocalist Floor Jansen (ex-After Forever) did an amazing job stepping out of her comfort zone and taking on the task of becoming the frontwoman of one of the once most loved symphonic metal bands in a very successful mission to revive them. Tuomas Holopainen is a musical genius and this album is the embodiment of perfection. It might even be his best work yet. Rumour has it that they will also be visiting South Africa this year and you can be sure that I will be right in front for this show!

 

4. Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards

Super cheesy power metal at its finest. This is one of those albums that I can listen to over and over again. While I know this type of music is not everyone’s cup of tea, this is definitely one of my favourite albums of all time. I love the weird and wonderful story that the album reveals about the epic adventures through the kingdom of Fife. This album is much more symphonic and epic than their debut album and has a possibly Rhapsody of Fire inspired sound.

 

3. Månegarm – Månegarm

One of the more recent metal releases, this one is still very fresh in my mind. I don’t think I have ever wanted to get my hands on a band’s entire discography after listening to one album before until I found this one. I had known about Månegarm for a while but for some reason never actually listened to them before this album. I regret not listening to them sooner because this album has me hooked! They might very well be one of my favourite bands now!

 

2. Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

Another great release from Powerwolf, but this one actually took a while to catch on. In the beginning I was not so impressed and complained a lot, but this really is an excellent release. Their fusion of operatic and “churchy” vocals and keyboards with power metal works absolutely perfectly. Powerwolf never fails to impress and I’m yet to find another band who does something even similar to what they do!

 

1. Korpiklaani – Noita

Naturally my favourite band is at the top of this list, but even though I always anticipate a Korpiklaani release, this album blew me away. It definitely exceeded my expectations in every way and is by far my favourite Korpiklaani album to date! This album definitely has more of a drinking song vibe than some of their other stuff and is amazing to sing along to (I would know! Seeing them live in September was the best day of my life!). Korpiklaani really is like wine, getting better and better with age. I’m excited to hear what they produce next.

 

Do you agree with my list? What are your favourite metal albums from 2015?

 

 

Don’t forget that the Metal Warriors Show returns this Tuesday, 5th January, 9-11pm (GMT+2) on The Grind Radio!

 

J
xx

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Metal Warriors Playlist 25.08.15

Here’s the playlist from tonight’s Metal Warriors Show! Tune in every Tuesday 9-11pm (GMT+2) on The Grind Radio!

 

Iron Maiden – Speed Of Light

Judas Priest – Metal Meltdown

Dio – Gypsy

 

Helloween – Battle’s Won

Hammerfall – Blood Bound

Manowar – Dawn Of Battle

 

Stratovarius – Eagleheart

Axenstar – Demise

 

Accept – Fall Of The Empire

Judas Priest – Crossfire

Saxon – Coming To The Rescue

 

Ghost – Mummy Dust

Year Of The Goat – Spirit Of Fire

 

Sabaton – Carolux Rex

Battle Beast – Unholy Savior

Powerwolf – Blessed And Possessed

 

Pentagram – Devil’s Playground

Candlemass – Seven Silver Keys

 

Demons & Wizards – Love’s Tragedy Asunder

Iced Earth – Dystopia

Primal Fear – Fight To Survive

 

White Wizzard – Night Stalker

Ross The Boss – Dead Man’s Curve

 

Album Review – Axenstar – Where Dreams Are Forgotten

Artist: Axenstar

Album: When Dreams Are Forgotten

Genre: Power Metal

Released: 28th November 2014

 

Track listing:

01. Fear
02. Inside The Maze
03. My Sacrifice
04. Curse Of The Tyrant
05. The Return
06. Demise
07. Annihilation
08. Greed
09. The Reaper
10. This False Imagery
11. Sweet Farewell

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this album from start to finish. I honestly can’t think of one bad thing to say about Axenstar’s latest release. I only discovered Axenstar recently and fell in love with their sound. The album stays true to the classic Axenstar sound and is a great addition to any power metal fan’s collection. If you like Sonata Arctica’s vibe, you’ll love this. The album features a perfect balance between catchy sing-along choruses, more aggressive (almost Iced Earth style) vocals and superb solos.

It’s difficult to choose a favourite track off the album because I don’t dislike any of the songs, but I think it’s between Curse Of The Tyrant and Inside The Maze. Both are very catchy and are the type of songs you can listen to over and over again. Curse Of The Tyrant is such a diverse song, featuring all of the above characteristics combined into one song perfectly. Great guitar solos, catchy chorus and very skilled vocals. Inside The Maze is one of the more melodic tracks off the album. What I love about this song (and the album) is that they mostly create their epic sound with guitars and the vocal style, keeping keyboards as a backing instrument, rather than having it the focus as most similar bands do.

This album is easily one of my favourites for the year and in my opinion an essential for any power metal fan, or a perfect introduction to those who are unfamiliar with the genre.

 

 

J

xx