2015 has been a rough year for me on a personal level which is why my list for 2015 is not as detailed as it normally is. Without making excuses or divulging details I will say that my list nearly never happened at all. I felt that would be unacceptable to all the bands, labels and PR firms that worked so hard this past year to bring you some fantastic music. Here is my list in basic form and let us hope 2016 is a better one.
- Motörhead – Bad Magic
- Armored Saint – Win Hands Down
- Faith No More – Sol Invictus
- Slayer – Repentless
- Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
- Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct
- Ugly Kid Joe – Uglier Than They Used Ta Be
- Mike Tramp – Nomad
- The Answer – Raise A Little Hell
- Whitesnake – The Purple Album
- BulletBoys – Elefante
- Queensryche – Condition Human
- Trixter – Human Era
- Nelson – Peace Out
- UFO – A Conspiracy Of Stars
- Voodoo Circle – Whiskey Fingers
- Europe – War Of Kings
- Ghost – Meliora
- Scorpions – Return To Forever
- Def Leppard
Top rock picks
- Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts – Blaster
- Keith Richards – Crosseyed Heart
- Five Finger Death Punch – Got Your Six
- Rod Stewart – Another Country
- JD McPhearson – Let The Good Times Roll
Surprise of 2015
Slayer’s new album was a big surprise to me this year. With the loss of Hanneman and the departure of Lombardo I had little hope for this release. It surprised the hell out of me as it is a very strong and solid album. While it’s no REIGN or SOUTH it is much better than the releases from SEASONS to ILLUSION which put them back on track.
Best Live Album
Van Halen – Tokyo Dome In Concert
Trainwreck? Yes but pure live the way it should be. Kudos to the VH camp for giving us a live album. Only downfall was there is no accompanying Blu-Ray (and Mikey was MIA).
Trapper – Go For The Heart
Not Metal but a fantastic EP that is goodtime 80’s Rock and Roll fun.
Best Remake album
Moxy – 40 Years And Still Ridin’ High
Tygers Of Pan Tang – Tygers Sessions: The First Wave
Canadian legends Moxy with Nick Walsh (Slik Toxik/Famous Underground) taking the vocal position to re-record some of their classic material helping expose them to a new audience. NWOBHM legends the Tygers Of Pan Tang issue re-recordings of 11 of their songs with current line-up. Like Moxy, exposing themselves to a legion of newer fans. Both albums are fantastic and got many, many plays since their release.
Best Metal Book of 2015
Another tie here. Martin Popoff’s trio of NWOBHM books. SMOKIN’ VALVES helped turn me onto many fantastic albums and bands this year. The latter two books have just been released so I have only had time to quickly skim through them but they deserve mention as they complete Matrin’s trilogy on the NWOBHM and like the other books I own by him, it looks to be an informative and interesting read (currently reading his book on Max Webster).
and John Tucker’s – The Story Of Neat Records
Best Covers album
Steel Panther: No shocker that a Steel Panther show is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Best new band
NWOBHM – While I never really dove deep in the NWOBHM I always enjoyed the basics such as early Motörhead, Maiden, Def Leppard, Girl, Venom…etc. With the help of Martin Popoff’s ‘Guide To NWOBHM’ and John Tucker’s book on ‘Neat Records’ I dove deeper and checked out some fantastic new (to me) music such as the Tygers Of Pan Tang. I just purchased Martin’s two new books for more reading on this magnificent genre of music.
Major events in the Metal world
First we lost Philthy Animal and now Lemmy. Words cannot express the loss to the music world. All I can say is GOD Is Dead! #RIPLemmy
Predictions for 2016
That it doesn’t SUCK like this one did.