Top Metal Albums of 2015 (So Far)

The top metal albums of 2015 (so far), according to the charts at Rate Your Music.

As we’re approaching the halfway point of 2015, I thought it might be interesting to cast an eye over what are regarded as the top metal albums of 2015, according to the collated votes of users at Rate Your Music (which, by the way, tends to provide an excellent choice of albums, not to mention a varied one, in its year-by-year charts). The site’s charts were updated this week, so this snapshot is about as current as it gets, and should hopefully point you in the direction of some absolutely fantastic heavy releases from this year. Here’s hoping the rest of 2015 can continue to provide us with an equal or greater number of top-quality listening experiences.

  1. Leprous – The Congregation
  2. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
  3. Enslaved – In Times
  4. Tribulation – The Children of the Night
  5. Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat
  6. Melechesh – Enki
  7. Kamelot – Haven
  8. Leviathan – Scar Sighted
  9. Sulphur Aeon – Gateway to the Antisphere
  10. Enforcer – From Beyond
  11. Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu
  12. Moonspell – Extinct
  13. Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs
  14. Visigoth – The Revenant King
  15. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful
  16. Blind Guardian – Beyond the Red Mirror
  17. Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow
  18. Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields
  19. Pyramaze – Disciples of the Sun
  20. Jorn Lande & Trond Holter – Dracula: Swing of Death
  21. The Gentle Storm – The Diary
  22. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead
  23. Arcane – Known – Learned
  24. Monolord – Vænir
  25. Ad Nauseam – Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est
  26. Gruesome – Savage Land
  27. Midnight Odyssey – Shards of Silver Fade
  28. Bosse-de-Nage – All Fours
  29. Ghost Bath – Moonlover
  30. Civil War – Gods and Generals
  31. Arcturus – Arcturian
  32. A Forest of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See
  33. Der Weg einer Freiheit – Stellar
  34. Glaciation – Sur les falaises de marbre
  35. Angelus Apatrida – Hidden Evolution
  36. Akhlys – The Dreaming I
  37. Desolate Shrine – The Heart of the Netherworld
  38. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus
  39. High on Fire – Luminiferous
  40. Wilderun – Sleep at the Edge of the Earth
  41. Guardians of Time – Rage and Fire
  42. Entrails – Obliteration
  43. Thurisaz – The Pulse of Mourning
  44. Wind Rose – Wardens of the West Wind
  45. Judicator – At the Expense of Humanity
  46. Sorcerer – In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross
  47. Infernal War – Axiom
  48. Forefather – Curse of the Cwelled
  49. Drudkh – A Furrow Cut Short
  50. Faith No More – Sol Invictus
  51. Bell Witch – Four Phantoms
  52. Sarpanitum – Blessed Be My Brothers
  53. Phantom Winter – Cvlt
  54. Finsterforst – Mach dich frei
  55. Distillator – Revolutionary Cells
  56. Ensiferum – One Man Army
  57. Unleashed – Dawn of the Nine
  58. Alkaloid – The Malkuth Grimoire
  59. Armored Saint – Win Hands Down
  60. Vola – Inmazes
  61. Tempel – The Moon Lit Our Path
  62. Peste Noire – La Chaise-Dyable
  63. Macabre Omen – Gods of War – At War
  64. Winterage – The Harmonic Passage
  65. Rosetta – Quintessential Ephemera
  66. Damnation Angels – The Valiant Fire
  67. Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic
  68. Native Construct – Quiet World
  69. Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks
  70. Barren Earth – On Lonely Towers
  71. Crypt Sermon – Out of the Garden
  72. Chaos Divine – Colliding Skies
  73. Minsk – The Crash & the Draw
  74. Thou & The Body – You, Whom I Have Always Hated
  75. Ufomammut – Ecate
  76. Chapel of Disease – The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art
  77. Dødheimsgard – A Umbra Omega
  78. Red Apollo – Altruist
  79. Magic Kingdom – Savage Requiem
  80. Subterranean Masquerade – The Grand Bazaar
  81. Goatsnake – Black Age Blues
  82. Kroda – Ginnungagap Ginnungagaldr Ginnungakaos
  83. Frosttide – Blood Oath
  84. Ruby the Hatchet – Valley of the Snake
  85. Helloween – My God-Given Right
  86. Ascendia – The Lion and the Jester
  87. An Autumn for Crippled Children – The Long Goodbye
  88. Kiske / Somerville – City of Heroes
  89. Periphery – Juggernaut: Omega
  90. Ethereal Shroud – They Became the Falling Ash
  91. Marduk – Frontschwein
  92. Noisem – Blossoming Decay
  93. Pyramids – A Northern Meadow
  94. Mechina – Acheron
  95. John Zorn – Simulacrum
  96. Valkyrie – Shadows
  97. Lucifer – Lucifer I
  98. Acid King – Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere
  99. Izah – Sistere
  100. Dopethrone – Hochelaga

What do you think? Is anything likely to knock Leprous’ The Congregation from the top spot? Feel that Paradise Lost’s The Plague Within is overrated at number 2 currently? Are there new releases that you think belong in this top 100 that don’t currently appear? Have your say in the comments!

New Arcturus Song a Sign of Things to Come?

Prophecy release the opening track to the first Arcturus album in a decade

Ahead of the release of the new Arcturus album, Arcturian, in May, Prophecy have released the opening track, ‘The Arcturian Sign’, as a single today on Spotify.

It’s been 10 years since Arcturus last released any new studio material, with the Season of Mist-released Sideshow Symphonies, which showcased the new ICS Vortex-fronted lineup of the band. Despite not reaching the heights of the masterpiece that was 2002’s The Sham Mirrors, nonetheless it was great to see the band trying to remain more of an active project than had been the case in past years.

However, after just a string of live shows in the interim, the band otherwise disappeared down the rabbit hole once more, only to re-emerge now as they prepare to release their fifth studio album. Says guitarist Knut Magne Valle on the new material:

‘Arcturian’ contains elements from entire Arcturus’ history and as a result it is both harder and softer than ever before. We went back to real drums, real strings and ‘first take’ improvised guitar solos to give it an authenticity and life that not many records tend to have these days. We worked hard to mix the old Arcturus sound into the newer material and the result was: We obtained a more homogeneous, mystic Arcturus sound picture.

If this opening track is representative of the quality of the rest of the album, Arcturian might well be a highlight of 2015. Listen to it below, and let me know what you think in the comments.