We are now starting to get into the nitty gritty of the list. Reaching over the half way point. The more I look at the list. I feel this is an absolute strong list of albums and one of my favorite years as far as releases, which is not an easy thing to say in the slightest. These next 20 are absolutely incredible. I hope you dig them as much as I do!
60.) Beardfish- +4626-Comfortzone
FFO- Progressive Rock
Winner of the strangest album title of 2015. Beardfish returns again for the band's 8th album. This album goes back into the band's more proggy side instead of focusing more on the heavier side as shown on the band's last two albums Mammoth and The Void. The music is just a quirky as ever. It goes from mellow to heavy with ease all while having their Swedish style of Prog fun injected in the music. Overall, just a very fun album!
59.) Aurae- Paths Aligned
FFO- Progressive Metal, Atmospheric Metal
Easily my favorite up and coming band from Minnesota. These guys are doing it right on so many levels. In a scene (Minnesota) that is layered with Nu Metal or Brutal Death Metal/Grindcore, these guys are doing their own brand of metal that hits really close to home to music that I love. Progressive, Atmospheric, and not afraid of being Melodic during heavy parts and not afraid to be brutal in more mellow parts; while not making it sound like bands like After The Burial and Reflections. While the band considers this album an EP. It is album length and I really did want to include this album in my top 100, so I hope they forgive me! They are working on their next release and hopefully it will come out in 2016. Seriously, if this is what the generation below me is capable of, I can't wait to see where Metal goes from here!
58.) Scale The Summit- V
FFO- Instrumental Metal, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
The 5th release from this amazing Texas band is right on par with what the band is known and capable of. Combining more of the melodic moments of Carving Desert Canyons and The Migration while still having a healthy does of heavy just like The Collective (Still my favorite after all this time) V really hits home with their style. The music takes you away on a great journey while doing the best thing an instrumental band can do, never writing riffs just to play riffs. They are real songs. While the songs are technical, they aren't wanky. Very melodic and harmonic with the right doses of mellowness and heaviness when needed. It's great to see the band being as strong as ever after all these years with no signs of slowing down. Easily the best instrumental band in the game!
57.) Wolfheart- Shadow World
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
Finland has never had a shortage of mindblowing Melodic Death Metal bands and Wolfheart is an amazing example of that. If you love bands such as Amorphis, Omnium Gatherum, Dark Tranquility and Insomnium, there is no reason not to love Wolfheart! If it wasn't such a late entry for me in the year, this album would be up so much higher than it is. Perfect amounts of melody and brutality. Hope this one gets the MDM fans that aren't already familiar with the band. They deserve all the love they can get.
56.) Moonspell- Extinct
FFO- Gothic Metal, Melodic Death Metal
Moonspell does it right once again with Extinct! Simply an amazing piece of MDM and Gothic Metal. Superior melodies mixed with great dark and heavy moments. While not nearly as fast or evil as previous albums, this blows me away upon every listen. Breathe (Until We Are No More) is one of my favorite songs of the year, without question. This can't be recommended enough.
55.) The Man Eating Tree- In The Absence Of Light
FFO- Atmospheric Gothic Metal
On another end of the Gothic Metal spectrum is an amazing band to come out of the ashes of the legendary Gothic Metal band, Sentenced, The Man Eating Tree. Combining Gothic Metal, MDM and lots of atmosphere, the band strikes a chord with everything you'd want in this style of music. The music is beyond catchy, the hooks are undeniable, and with a great, dark atmosphere to it all. This is one of the more upbeat (musically) Gothic albums of 2015 and it works so very, very well. With the band's 3rd album, I hope this album is a great sign for things to come.
54.) Thulcandra- Ascension Lost
FFO- Black Metal, Dissection
There is seriously no greater tribute to the legendary Black Metal band, Dissection in 2015. It's almost as good, if not better than Dissection itself! While possessing all the evil necessities of Black Metal, the band has no shortage of melodic riffs that make this style of Black Metal easily the best subgenre of Black Metal. This band's 3rd album is easily their best work to date. All you need to know about this band is that if you need your Black Metal super melodic, yet evil, Thulcandra is the band for you.
53.) Ghost Bath- Moonlover
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal
Ghost Bath is a very haunting name which means "the act of committing suicide by submerging yourself in a body of water" That accurately describe the music here coming all the way from China! I do mean that in the best way possible too. The music while being very evil in it's Black Metal, it does have moments of sheer beauty, as the right kind of Atmospheric Black Metal does. The album is long in length, but it sticks with you till the end. Ghost band is definitely a must have band for anyone into Atmospheric Black Metal.
52.) Trailight- The Primitive Mountain
FFO- Progressive Metal. Progressive Rock, Ambient
An absolutely fantastic debut album from photographer, Omer Cordell. It also features Ryan Van Poederooyen (Drums) and Dave Padden who also works with RVP in the band Terror Syndrome. The album is an amazing journey of progressive sound that, while staying mellow in comparison to what the members usually play, features superior creativity in all the instruments involved and incredible songwriting. The song We Are The Ocean is one of the best examples of that with being one of the heavier songs on the album, still maintaining fantastic melodies and harmonies and a great message. With this being the debut album, I wish for nothing but the best in this band and I hope that more music will be happening in the future because I know it will only get stronger and stronger from this point out!
51.) Next To None- Next To None
FFO- Progressive Metal, Alternative Metal, Progressive Rock
Most notably known for being the band featuring Max Portnoy (Mike Portnoy's son) on drums, this debut album from a band still in high school is easily one of the finest albums of 2015. Combining influences of *obviously* Dream Theater, it also shows a great appreciation for other styles as well. Hitting home with Metalcore style vocals and cleans. The band is not afraid to show off everything the band loves and that only makes the music better. The music could not be filled with more great hooks and tangents of instrumental goodness. We were all young once and some of us actually did have a band in high school. It's not very often that your high school band was able to catch on enough to be on a major Prog label and lead to a very successful run for a band. If this is what the band is capable of when they are also in high school, just imagine when the band becomes even more comfortable with each other, writing even stronger material and gracing us as potentially one of the strongest Progressive Metal bands in out future. I really hope it happens. If this is indeed the future of Prog Metal, color me excited!
50.) Teenage Time Killers- Greatest Hits (Vol. 1)
FFO- Hardcore, Punk, Heavy Metal)
The brainchild of Corrosion Of Conformity's Reed Mullin, Teenage Time Killers features an all star cast of musicians from Randy Blythe, Neil Fallon, Corey Taylor and Reed Mullin himself doing vocals. This album is short and sweet and begs you for repeated listens. It's really too bad there hasn't been a 80's Hardcore revival yet, but if that time ever comes, I would not be more excited for that day to come. Hopefully Teenage Time Killers can lead to this happening!
49.) Silence Lies Fear- Future: The Return
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
Absolute perfection of a band. If you love Dark Tranquillity, but need even more melody, this is the band for you. While the album does maintain a lot of the same tempo throughout, it does not affect the power this album has. The melodic segments are easily some of the greatest elements of melody in 2015 of any genre. Every time I throw this album on, I can't shut it off and that is such a great feeling.
48.) Kamelot- Haven
FFO- Power Metal, Symphonic Metal
The first Kamelot album I have enjoyed that's been released in the time I became fan. Everything between Ghost Opera till now has been stuff that has either been, as a whole, bland or boring (sorry for honesty) Haven finally brings back the greatness that Kamelot is known for. While albums from that period has some amazing moments, no album felt right from start to finish. This does! The song Liar Liar is easily my favorite song since Forever. And another controversial statement, I thoroughly enjoy Tommy Karevik's vocals so much more than I ever enjoyed Roy Kahn's vocals (I can sense the hatred coming already, bring it on!). Tommy is such a force to be reckoned with as a frontman and Kamelot could not have picked a better choice than Tommy when he joined on board for their last album, Silverthorn. Thankfully Tommy's other band, Seventh Wonder is not affected by his work with Kamelot, so he can showcase both of his styles perfectly. In short. If Haven is what Kamelot is capable of in 2015, their next album could be an absolute masterpiece. Let's see what happens.
47.) Faith No More- Sol Invictus
FFO- Faith No More
There's no real way to give Faith No More a genre title. They have yet to write the same genre twice in their career. You either get it or you don't. Faith No More is back with their first album since 1997's Album Of The Year. This album was in my top 10 and 20 for quite a long time, but in that time fell off the top and landed in the top half of my Top 50. The album is completely solid from start to finish. I would not call it a masterpiece in any way, but again, it's solid! If the band can hold themselves together long enough to write their next album, I really feel that the next album would be Faith No More at their most inspired again. This is a great start for what could be in the future. I'd honestly be very disappointed if this was their last album. I hope they keep going for as long as they can. We all do.
46.) Gloryhammer- Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards
FFO- The Cheesiest Power Metal You'll Ever Hear
If Dragonforce is way too serious of a band for you to enjoy, you need some Gloryhammer in your life. A side project of the Pirate Metal band, Alestorm, Gloryhammer hits us with their 2nd album. The album could not be filled with any more cheese, cliches, and over the top Power Metal...and that's exactly the point! The title alone shows the seriousness of the band! I wouldn't have it any other way. This is the most fun album of 2015, bar none. Just pure bliss in hilarity and great songwriting. It really shows you that Power Metal fans need to take a step off their high horse galloping through the valley of the storm and just enjoy music for that it is, music!
45.) Mgla- Exercises In Futility
FFO- Black Metal
While not being my number 1 Black Metal album of 2015, it is, without question, the best, Black Metal song of 2015 as it's one song split into 6 tracks. There are so many evil peaks and valleys to this album that leaves the listener begging for more. There's no needed for the extra frills of subgenres that bands are adding now a days, Mgla proves that as long as you have great production, all you need is to write memorable Black Metal to be the best. I simply can't get enough of this album and would love to see these guys in the future.
44.) Cain's Offering- Stormcrow
FFO- All Star Symphonic Power Metal
A side project or past and present members of Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius and Wintersun. Cain's Offering is back with their 2nd album, Stormcrow. Compared to their debut album, this album features more cohesive music and more song orientated music. Everyone on this album completely shines, possibly the most within all of the member's careers. It is quite the shame the band is not able to tour as these songs must be heard live, somehow. Most supergroups really faultier with their 2nd album. But given the band's 6 year break in between albums, that did not happen here. they are stronger than ever. I really hope that this will not be another 6 year wait till the next album.
43.) Amorphis- Under The Red Cloud
FFO- Melodic Death Metal, Folk Metal
Amorphis has come out with quite possibly their most accessible album in their career! The song, Sacrifice is proof of that alone, being one of the only songs in their career to feature entirely all clean vocals. Even with Amorphis doing special anniversary shows for Tales From The Thousand Lakes, their use of melody is still very much intact. This album showcases some of the best that Amorphis is known for. Fantastic songwriting, great mix of growls and cleans, folky moments, heavy moments, and almost radio friendly moments. This album has it all. It is a great starter album for anyone just getting into the band. It deserves all the love it gets.
42.) False- Untitled (2015)
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal
False has taken the Black Metal world by storm this year and it is awesome to say that they are from Minnesota. All this while staying very underground (no social media, no website, no names for this album and their debut EP). The band does an amazing mix of Atmospheric Black Metal. While all the songs are long, they never get meandering or boring. It is still just as solid from the start of the song to the finish. That's what Black Metal needs and that's what False delivers. False will be continuing to take over the world and we need that, we really, really do!
41.) Coheed And Cambria- The Color Before The Sun
FFO- Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock
Their second album that is not attached to their legendary Armory Wars story. The band is just focusing on writing very solid songs. Not worrying about how heavy, how accessible, how anything the songs are. Just writing what they want to. And that's what we need in life right now is more bands that are willing to do that. You Got Spirit, Kid is without a doubt one of my favorite songs of 2015 and of the last 15 or so years. The message is perfect for the world we live in right now. C&C has always stayed true to themselves and nothing shows that more than The Color Before The Sun. I commend these guys more and more with every album and love what they are doing right now. For something that's not Metal in anyway at all, check this out!
COMING SOON- PART V: ALBUMS 40-21!
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.