Top 20 Albums
1. Eclipse – Armageddonize
While it’s not metal technically, most of the tracks on this album are heavier and faster than a lot of metal I’m hearing these days. The last few albums have been pearlers and this one is no different.
2. Angra – Secret Garden
Four/five years is a long time between albums for a band of this calibre. While I thought the announcement of Fabio Lione as frontman for the band felt ‘wrong’ even though I’m a fan of his, he actually works.
3. Stratovarius – Eternal
Unprecedented writing quality puts this Stratovarius album ahead of all the others. With Eternal, the band can finally shake free of something I once read ‘Stratovarius has written the best power metal album of our generation, it’s a pity it’s spread across their entire catalogue’.
4. Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks
5. Helloween – My God-Given Right
6. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus
7. Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow
8. Unleash the Archers – Time Stands Still
It’s been a long time between wailing power metal vocal albums for me, but this one has returned my inner ‘Bruce Dickinson’ giving private performances for my dogs and the local kookaburras and cockatoos.
9. Europe – War of Kings
10. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead
11. Powerwolf – Blessed and Possessed
Get out your jaffle makers metalheads, because there’s enough blasphemous cheese here to feed a festival full of hungry metalheads.
12. Sirenia – The Seventh Life Path
Because it wouldn’t be my list without some female-fronted symphonic power metal. And, with the male growl vocals it’s got even more layers of metal.
13. Soto – Inside the Vertigo
Finally Jeff Scott Soto has released a solo album worthy of his talents. It’s dark, it’s heavy (for Soto) and has decent tempo.
14. Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology
15. Lindemann – Skills in Pills
16. Ensiferum – One Man Army
17. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful
18. Circle II Cirle – Reign of Darkness
19. Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker
20. Alpha Tiger – identity
Best New Band
LORD – What Tomorrow Brings
Xandria – Fire & Ashes
Best Live Album
Paradise Lost – Symphony for the Lost
Best Fancy-Schmancy Box Releases
Voodoo Circle – Whisky Fingers
Ensiferum – One Man Army
Best Remake/Re-release Album
Secret Sphere – A Time Nevercome 2015
Best ‘Best of…’
Heavens Gate – Best for Sale!
Best Tribute/Cover Album
Whitesnake – The Purple Album
I’ve been mostly absent from the live scene and the only show I saw was Def Leppard. I’ve seen them every time they’ve toured Australia and they are definitely a worthy band live to be listed as my best concert for the year.
Best Music DVD/Blu-Ray
Axel Rudi Pell & Friends – Magic Moments 25th Anniversary Special
Europe – War of Kings (live at Wacken)
Best Metal Movie
DEATHGASM from my New Zealand neighbours.
My absence from the live metal scene.
One is already coming to fruition with the announcement of the first MelodicRock.com festival in Melbourne Australia, featuring Eclipse, Vanishing Point, Black Majesty, Paul Laine, Erik Grönwall (H.E.A.T.) and bucket list singer (one-time candidate to sing for Van Halen) Mitch Malloy.
To get to more metal shows – local and international.