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It’s time for our yearly tribute with the best 20 albums of 2015! If you consider the new releases of bands such as IRON MAIDEN, SLAYER, MOTORHEAD, LAMB OF GOD and GHOST, the expectations of the year were really high but….who finally made it to our best of list? Below you can find the best 20 albums of 2015 according to Metalpaths’ editors and some statements of featured artists.

[page_title text=”BEST 20″]

draconian-sovran

20. Draconian – Sovran

Draconian regardless their changes in their ranks did an amazing job with this album! Great atmospheres, heavy riffs, ethereal female vocals from their new singer, Heike Langhans and some of their best songwriting ever. With Anders Jacobssons’ fearsome brutal vocals the result is astonishing at the least, her lovely voice with all the pain and suffering is fitting perfectly. “Stellar Tombs”, “Rivers Between Us” and “Pale Torture Blue” are surely some great samples of melancholic icons “jumping” out of the album making the hearer sink in a sea of feelings. It  is a dark and melancholic musical trip that a fan should take!
– Paris Dimitropoulos 

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19. A Forest Of Stars – Beware The Sword You Cannot See

Some albums mesmerize you from the very first minute, and stick to you long after the end of the hearing. This album is one of those cases. Undoubtedly, it’s not an easy album, but as it unfolds, you feel more and more captive of it. Alternate rhythms and incredibly theatrical and unique melodies combined in a mix of stormy, yet psychedelic black metal with avant-garde, doom and progressive metal elements. The songs are carefully constructed until the last detail. The transitions from the more melodic to the darker parts and back, are made in a way that makes them sound as a natural evolution. A fascinating release, totally worthy of your time that surely deserves a place in your collection.
– Leonidas Papadodimas

clutch-psychic-warfare

18. Clutch – Psychic Warfare

“Psychic Warfare” is one of the albums that I was expecting the most in 2015. CLUTCH is a band I personally worship and after the release of the awesome “Earth Rocker” in 2013, I had really high expectations for the new album as well. Finally, the American rockers from Germantown not only reached my expectations but also took a place on this list releasing a powerful rock album with dynamic rhythms and blues choruses that you will love listening in a bar. Honestly, “Psychic Warfare” is a kickass record in its whole and in my opinion is going to turn into a landmark in the history of the band.
– Panagiotis Karagiannidis 

symphony-x-underworld

17. Symphony X – Underworld

This year, I discovered a lot of great bands and I instantly became a fan of them. SYMPHONY X is one of those bands. One of the most criminally underrated progressive metal bands of all time, in their darkest and heavier work to date. Never once they have released a mediocre album, with genre-defining classics like “Divine Wings Of Tragedy” and “Twilight In Olympus”, being loved among progsters. Their latest album “Underworld” sounds like the ideal combination of the modern SYMPHONY X (as shown in “Paradise Lost” and “Iconoclast”) and the darker neoclassical vibe of albums like “The Odyssey” and before. A metal masterpiece that deserved to be on everybody’s top 20 list for 2015.
– John Savvidis 

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16. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower

Majestically crushing and ethereally dreamy, this is WINDHAND’s greatest work, until the next one. From the first glance of Arik Roper’s exquisite artwork, to the last amplifier static and Dorthia’s whisper, it’s obvious that this is a huge album for this scene. This is doom/stoner as it has not been heard since some of ELECTRIC WIZARD’s finest moments. And mind you, it’s very difficult to merge those two genres with little to zero “stumbles”. The great emotional weight Dorthia’s sweet voice carries, forms a hellish couple with the melancholic yet titanic groove of the other four beasts and produces hymns like “Crypt Key” or “Forest Clouds”, immersing us to their world. You did fantastically WINDHAND, “like I knew you would”…
– Achilles Pantogyios 

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15. Macabre Omen – Gods Of War At War

Not many metal bands survive through time in a country with no support at all to this part of music and we’ve seen a lot of great musicians just give up or sell out. MACABRE OMEN is not one of them fortunately. I was more than happy to see “Gods of War At War’’ released and make such a great impact in the black metal scene. It is an ode to the Ancient Hellenic Gods and myths, an epic true and real black metal album that makes us all proud. Just listen to the self titled son “Gods of war” or “From Son To Father” and you’ll understand. Fans of old Bathory will surely adore this album.
– Stelios “Powertrip” Makris 

my-sleeping-karma-moksha

14. My Sleeping Karma – Moksha

The fifth album of the German psychedelic rockers was one of the most solid releases of 2015 that can be appreciated by everyone. “Moksha” is a voyage of emotions, imaginative, creative and harmonious are some of its special qualities and I feel lucky to have been introduced to their sound by this album. Dreamy melodies dancing between the sounds of rock and metal music forging the perfect atmosphere to accompany disparate moments of every day – and every night. Such albums should  and must be given more credit; it is a definite recommendation for all music lovers and travel lovers – in the general sense of the term.
– Maria Aga 

Godspeed-You-Black-Emperor-Asunder-Sweet-And-Other-Distress

13. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress

Once again, reaching places that no other band has ever fathomed to touch; Once again, diving deep in the most inexplicable feeling that only they can create; Once again, sonically recreating the agonizing pulse of their era, the distance, the anxiety and the confusion, in their abstract, yet most powerful of ways; Like the rain nurturing the barren earth, they trickled 40 minutes of their theatrical, poetic light and darkness down our hungry emotions, until we meet again. Perhaps this time their noise experimentations lead them to not create a milestone for human thought, but merely a pure 10/10 album. But it’s alright, because “Piss Crowns Are Trebled”. And the violin will forever echo in our souls.
– Achilles Pantogyios 

My-Dying-Bride-FEEL-THE-MISERY

12. My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery

One of the pillars of doom/death metal returned this year with a new masterpiece. Aaron and his company delivered an album that is surely one of the best for My Dying Bride. Here we can find all the My Dying Bride trademarks that we loved in this band. Twisted guitar riffs which only this band can write and Aarons’ voice at his best. The violin makes the result even more pessimistic but that’s the purpose here. There aren’t big surprises here but that’s not bad sometimes. Turn off the lights, light some candles and have a glass of wine. The doom pioneers are back!
– Paris Dimitropoulos 

leprous-the-congregation

11. Leprous – The Congregation

LEPROUS’ “The Congregation” is truly a fascinating, mature album in line with the band’s earlier spontaneous sound. There’s  a fine balance of technicality, atmosphere and catchy ideas. While LEPROUS’ sound has changed radically since their official debut “Tall Poppy Syndrome”, their ability of writing clearly-defined and catchy choruses, while still sounding fresh and exciting, still remains. They combine prog and avant-garde in a way no other band really does nowadays. With the album initially seeming like a bunch of rather same songs, some listening sessions later, I eventually caught myself hooked with punchy, technical and groovy songs like “The Price”, “Third Law”, “Red” or “Down”. Definitely a winner on all aspects for year 2015, in metal music in general!
– Andrew Koran 

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10. Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Stellar

Germany has given us lately a lot of powerful black metal albums often flirting with post or atmospheric sounds but also being raw and epic the same time. This band seems to combine all of the above elements to produce quality albums that pass the narrow borders of labeling their music. Full of aggression, rampaging blast beats and ruthless melancholy “Stellar” is already one of my favorite black metal albums ever. I thought their previous album “Unstille” which is a masterpiece was hard to overcome but DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT proved me wrong coming with fresh songs full of energy and metallic darkness that raises them to one of the top black metal bands.
– Stelios “Powertrip” Makris 

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09. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

I’m in love with PARADISE LOST for over ten years. This one is the 5th amazing album in a series of revisiting their classic sound after a series of Depeche Mode-like experiments. “The Plague Within” though, contains the heaviest PARADISE LOST sound in almost 15-20 years (Nick Holmes is young again!), while maintaning the perfect balance between everything they’ve ever done in their classic days, and use their experimental days, to give the songs that extra something, taking a more mature look on their entire history. Our friends from Yorkshire have never let us down record-wise in almost a decade. I don’t think they’ll do it anytime soon. Hail!
– John Savvidis 

deafheaven-new-bermuda

08. Deafheaven – New Bermuda

DEAFHEAVEN were made to create contradictions. Their first demo was recorded with an acoustic guitar and with borrowed equipment. Their first album was met with praise, while the second was criticized heavily. Not many metal fans can see the reasons behind DEAFHEAVEN’s mixing of black metal and shoegaze. But they can. They want to create such contradictions and to express themselves in two phases. Starting, as they do in this album, with their angry feelings and expressions, and continuing to their softer side. Still angry, but more realized of the reasons that made them angry. In this album (their third) they seem able to fully express all this range of emotions through their music.
– Markos Skyrianos 

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07. Amorphis – Under The Red Cloud

Only two years may have passed since AMORPHIS released “Circles” and the Finnish metalheads return with “Under The Red Cloud”. The record fits perfectly into the ‘best of’ list of 2015, because we can see Amorphis get deep into their musical roots once more. The music of Under the Red Cloud reaches the modern, melodic metal sound with epic and folk elements to be mixed almost in every song. Tomi Joutsen’s vocals are both harsh and melodic when needed, fitting perfectly with the changes in the guitars, creating a completed sound from every possible aspect. Under the Red Cloud is possible the best record of the new Amorphis era, surpassing its predecessors, especially the last three ones.
– Kostas Tsotsanis 

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06. Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang

LAMB OF GOD is one of the few metal bands to be considered as a “standard value”. From 1999 to this day, they come with the same line-up, same style, same attitude, and same sound. No discount, no change. Three years since their last release, the NWOAHM pioneers are back with an angry, aggressive, yet balanced and mature album that contains all the things you expect to hear from them. “VII: Sturm und Drang” is full of the band’s distinctive groove, Willie Adler and Mark Morton’s fiery riffs, sweeping break downs and on top of all Randy Blythe’s deep internal lyrics and raging vocals. Definitely one of the band’s best releases to date.
– Leonidas Papadodimas 

swallow-the-sun-songs-of-the-north

05. Swallow The Sun – Songs From The North

What can I say about this record? To be honest, I haven’t been following that much the previous releases of the Finnish metallers. However, when I listened to “Songs From The North I,II & III” it really blew my mind away! Here we have an epic trilogy of melodic death/doom metal condensed in one triple full-length album and trust me, I would need hours describing each of the three and probably, I would fail. A deep dark record full of emotions and progresiveness with beautiful melodies and smart alterations between clean and harsh vocals; “Songs From The North” is not the album you want to headbang with but is definitely a magical and delifghtful the same time journey to the darkest paths of the genre.
– Panagiotis Karagiannidis 

ghost-meliora

04. Ghost – Meliora

With a new Papa elected and great ideas, GHOST returned with their third full-length record, “Meliora”. Without leaving back behind all the traces and characteristics of the previous two records, GHOST has finally managed to create the ideal album which somehow finds the heavy sound of rock and mixes it with…pop.  Being called the ABBA of metal, GHOST’s unique style and professionalism offered the fans the dark songs with the essence of mysticism that can be found in “Meliora”. The specific record may be the best one in their career and pretty much the most mature one, while the voice of the new Papa Emeritus seems to perfectly fit with the gentle and right-to-the-point guitar riffs, which orchestrate a pluralistic record such as “Meliora”.
– Kostas Tsotsanis 

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03. Arcturus – Arcturian

On their comeback release “Arctuarian”, ARCTURUS don’t take any risks in changing their chaotic and theatrical metal. There’s an old-school perspective to the songs ,containing many black/ atmospheric metal parts, inspired by their Aspera Hiems…/La Masquerade days, though combined with their familiar spacey sound. You’ll get to hear harsh black metal vocals and Vortex’s unique and characteristic falsettos, Hellhammer’ s complete palette of drumming, and the rest of their symphonic sound, with chilling moments and trippy soundscapes, produced by both guitar riffs and keyboards!  High quality music and overall standards that this release has enclosed within its entity! You can’t have anything going wrong when so many respectful  people write and record music! Join their circus and you’ll never regret!
– Andrew Koran 

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02. Mgla – Exercises In Futility

The Polish black metallers did it again; a highly melodic black metal album compared only with MGLA’s sound. There is something special in their melodic approach, the sharp riffing and the rapid tempo in their music. It was not by chance voted as second best album for 2015 from Metalpaths but a decision driven by very good reasons; addictive, torrential, dark and full of energy. “Exercises In Futility” is definitely an opus that can satisfy even the demanding ‘ears’ with utter success as well as introduce the beauty of this extreme sound to those not accustomed to it yet.
– Maria Aga 

ahab-the-boats-of-the-glen-carrig

01. Ahab – The Boats Of Glen Carrig

In the beginning, there was doom metal. Which was way slower than your usual “doom metal band”. So, it was funeral doom metal. But the concepts were constantly evolving around the idea and the essence of the sea. So, there was nautik funeral doom, as declared by the band. The “ship” called AHAB, was sailing through the “doom metal” waters for a few years and for three albums. Now that they have reached their fourth LP, it was about time for the band to unleash themselves. In this album, apart from your typical Ahab-doom-metal, the 4-piece from Germany incorporates the basic elements of death metal. They can sink the listeners, but they will not sink themselves. The best are yet to come.
– Markos Skyrianos 

[page_title text=”ARTISTS’ CORNER”]

artists-tribute-2015

Three artists whose bands are being featured in the tribute above, leave their comments and wishes for 2016;

Neil Fallon (Clutch):We are stoked that “Psychic Warfare” is among your picks for the best of 2015!  Hopefully, Clutch will be able to book some Greek dates in 2016 so we can bring the album to the stage. Greece has become one of our favorite places to play.  The fans make having a good time an easy thing to do!  We wish you all the very best in the coming year.

ICS Vortex (Arcturus): “Well I think it’s time for Arcturus to do two shows in Greece again, last time was fantastic! Hope to see you soon!

Nikita Kamprad (Der Weg Einer Freiheit):We feel very honoured and grateful to be on Metalpath’s list for the best albums of 2015 and would like to thank everyone for the huge support! We’re hoping for a debut appearance in Greece soon and keep on working hard on it!

[page_title text=”EDITORS’ LISTS”]

ghost-meliora

PANAGIOTIS KARAGIANNIDIS
20. Fear Factory – Genexus
19. Sylosis – Dormand Heart
18. Napalm Death – Apex Predator, Easy Meat
17. Torche – Restarter
16. The Black Dahlia Murder – Abysmal
15. Drudkh – A Furrow Cut Short
14. Deafheaven – New Bermuda
13. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower
12. Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang
11. Minsk – The Crash And The Draw
10. Leprous – The Congregation
09. Arcturus – Arcturian
08. Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Stellar
07. Dopethrone – Hochelaga
06. My Sleeping Karma – Moksha
05. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
04. Mgla – Exercises In Futility
03. Swallow The Sun – Songs From The North
02. Ahab – The Boats Of Glen Carrig
01. Ghost – Meliora

chelsea-wolf-abyss

KOSTAS TSOTSANIS
20. My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery
19. Enforcer – From Beyond
18. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
17. Leviathan – Sacar Sighted
16. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower
15. Amorphis Under The Red Cloud
14. Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats – The Night Creeper
13. Arcturus – Arcturian
12. Dodheimsgard – A Umbra Omega
11. Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang
10. Ahab – The Boats Of Glen Carrig
09. Lindemann – Skills In Pills
08. Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor
07. Deafheaven – New Bermuda
06. Grave Pleasures – Dreamcrush
05. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
04. Ghost – Meliora
03. Myrkur – M
02. Mgla – Exercises In Futility
01. Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss

Sacral-Rage-Illusions-in-Infinite-Void

JOHN SAVVIDIS
20. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful
19. Raven – Extermination
18. Children Of Bodom – I Worship Chaos
17. Cradle Of Filth – Hammer Of The Witches
16. Ganzi Gun – Welcome To The Show
15. Bio-Cancer – Tormenting The Innocent
14. Endless Recovery – Revel In Demise
13. Rapture – Crimes Against Humanity
12. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
11. Marduk – Frontschwein
10. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
09. Annihilator – Suicide Society
08. Black Trip – Shadowline
07. Symphony X – Underworld
06. Blind Guardian – Beyond The Red Mirror
05. Benefactor Decease – Anatomy Of An Angel
04. Slayer – Repentless
03. Acid Death – Hall Of Mirrors
02. Enforcer – From Beyond
01. Sacral Rage – Illusions In Infinite Void

leprous-the-congregation

ANDREW KORAN
20. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
19. Amorphis – Under The Red Cloud
18. Mgla – Exercises In Futility
17. Leviathan – Scar Sighted
16. Napalm Death – Apex Predator/Easy Meat
15. Ne Obliviscaris – Hiraeth
14. Negura Bunget – Tau
13. Callisto – Secret Youth
12. Between The Buried And Me – Coma Ecliptic
11. Draconian – Sovran
10. Anekdoten – Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
09. Dodheimsgard – A Umbra Omega
08. Kayser – Read Your Enemy
07. Voices – London
06. Swallow The Sun – Songs From The North
05. Periphery – Juggernaut (Alpha And Omega)
04. Arcturus – Arcturian
03. Execration – Morbid Dimensions
02. Steven Wilson – Head Cannot Erase
01. Leprous – The Congregation

Godspeed-You-Black-Emperor-Asunder-Sweet-And-Other-Distress

ACHILLES PANTOGYIOS
20. Ensiferum – One Man Army
19. Enforcer – From Beyond
18. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – The Night Creeper
17. Monolord – Vaenir
16. Motorhead – Bad Magic
15. Yuri Gagarin – At The Center Of All Infinity
14. Misþyrming – Songvar Elds Og Oreidu
13. Macabre Omen – Gods Of War-At War
12. MGLA – Exercises In Futility
11. All Them Witches – Dying Surfer Meets His Maker
10. Dopethrone – Hochelaga
9. Ufomammut – Ecate
8. A Forest Of Stars – Beware The Sword You Cannot See
7. Downfall Of Nur – Umbras De Barbagia
6. Chrch – Unanswered Humns
5. Elder – Lore
4. All Them Witches – A Sweet Release
3. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower
2. Arcturus – Arcturian
1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress

Macabre-Omen_Gods-of-War_cover

MARIA AGA
20. Kampfar – Profan
19. Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs
18. Dødheimsgard – A Umbra Omega
17. Baptism – Gloria Tibi Satana
16. Shining – IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, End
15. Nocturnal Depression – Spleen Black Metal
14. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
13. A forest of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See
12. Ghost – Meliora
11. Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields
10. Ratatat – Magnifique
09. Year Of The Goat – The Unspeakable
08. Swallow the Sun – Songs from the North I, II & III
07. My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery
06. Sulphur Aeon – Gateway To The Antisphere
05. Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Stellar
04. Mgla – Exercises in Futility
03. Ahab – The Boats of Glenn Carrig
02. My Sleeping Karma – Moksha
01. Macabre Omen – Gods of War – At War

paradise-lost-the-plague-within

PARIS DIMITROPOULOS
20. Avatarium – The Girl With The Raven Mask
19. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful
18. George Kollias – Invictus
17. Cradle Of Filth – Hammer Of The Witches
16. Wolfheart – Aeon Of Cold
15. Hanging Garden – Blackout Whiteout
14. Kataklysm – Of Ghosts And Gods
13. Karma Violens – Skin Of Existence
12. Melechesh – Enki
11. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
10. Enshine – Singularity
09. Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang
08. Leprous – The Congregation
07. Mechina – Acheron
06. Draconian – Sovran
05. Swallow The Sun – Songs From The North
04. My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery
03. Ghost – Meliora
02. Amorphis – Under The Red Cloud
01. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Godspeed-You-Black-Emperor-Asunder-Sweet-And-Other-Distress

MARKOS SKYRIANOS
20. 4Bitten – Rewind & Erase
19. Coheed and Cambria – The Color Before The Sun
18. Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction
17. Kylesa – Exhausting Fire
16. Dog Fashion Disco – Ad Nauseam
15. Crypt Sermon – Out Of The Garden
14. Moonspell – Extinct
13. Goatsnake – Black Age Blues
12. Sixfornine – Sixfornine
11. Sorrowful Winds – Non-Aligned
10. Hibria – Hibria
09. Melechesh – Enki
08. Amorphis – Under The Red Cloud
07. Consecration – Grob
06. Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang
05. Avatarium – The Girl With The Raven Mask
04. Deafheaven – New Bermuda
03. Ahab – The Boats Of Glenn Carrig
02. Kataklysm – Of Ghosts And Gods
01. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress

cover ok copie

LEONIDAS PAPADODIMAS
20. Intronaut – The Direction Of Last Things
19. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
18. Demon Lung – A Dracula
17. Acid Death – Hall Of Mirrors
16. Nightrage – The Puritan
15. Arcane – Known/Learned
14. Gentlemans Pistols – Hustler’s Row
13. Grave – Out Of Respect For The Dead
12. Stratovarius – Eternal
11. Heart Of A Coward – Deliverance
10. Luciferian Light Orchestra – Luciferian Light Orchestra
09. My Dying Bride – Feel The Mysery
08. Sevendust – Kill The Flaw
07. Nile – What Should Never Be Unearthed
06. Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang
05. Symphony X – Underworld
04. Horisont – Odyssey
03. A Forest Of Stars – Beware The Sword You Cannot See
02. Sigh – Graveward
01. Amorphis – Under The Red Moon

deafheaven-new-bermuda

STELIOS “POWERTRIP” MAKRIS
20. Zatokrev – Silk Spiders Underwater
19. Ufomammut – Ecate
18. Tau Cross – Tau Cross
17. Myrkur- M
16. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower
15. Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology
14. Mgla – Exercises In Futility
13. Ghost Bath – Moonlover
12. Abstracter –Wound empire
11. Hooded Menace – Darkness Drips Forth
10. Morgoth – Ungod
09. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
08. Drudkh – A Furrow Cut Short
07. Negura Bunget – Tau
06. Vattnet Viskar – Settler
05. Arcturus – Arcturian
04. Tribulation -The Children Of The Night
03. Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Stellar
02. Ahab – The Boats Of The Glen Carrig
01. Deafheaven – New Bermuda