Everyone can attend LEMMY’s Memorial Service via Webcast On Saturday, January 9th

January 5th, 2016
by EvilG

Family and close friends will observe a service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood, commencing at 3 p.m. PST and ending at 4:30 p.m. With such limited space available on site, MOTÖRHEAD is respectfully asking that fans don’t attend the service at the cemetery, but the band wants everyone to be a part of this, so they are setting up a live feed of the service via the Internet on MOTÖRHEAD‘s official YouTube channel.

Motorhead4From Motorhead:

We want you ALL to be a part of this memorial service.

So wherever you are, PLEASE get together and watch with fellow Motörheadbangers and friends. GO to your favorite bar, or your favorite club, make sure they have access to an internet connection and toast along with us.  Or simply invite your pals around and celebrate Lemm’s life at home.

Whatever your venue, and however you can, let’s be sure to gather globally on Saturday 9th and celebrate the life of our dear friend and irreplaceable icon.

NOTE: For anyone wishing to send flowers, please contact Karen Brando at
Flowers by Michael
(310) 276-1003

www.flowersbymichael.com
kbrando@flowersbymichael.com

If you’d like to make a charitable donation under Lemmy’s name, please go to:

Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund: http://www.diocancerfund.org/

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Nightwish @ Wembley Arena, London

January 4th, 2016
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Nightwish + Arch Enemy + Amorphis

@ Wembley Arena

19th December 2015

Review by Jacob Ovington

Photography by Graham Hilling

Nightwish

Nightwish

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Best Metal Albums of 2015

January 4th, 2016
by Metal Rules

As always, the top albums of the year are for full albums (no EP’s or demos) released in 2015. They are new studio albums for the year, not re-recordings, re-releases, cover songs, or live albums. Below the combined TOP 30 are links to each individual staff members’ personal “best of” lists which besides their top albums contains such things as best new band, best DVD/Blu-Ray, best metal book, disappointments of the year, greatest hopes for 2016, personal metal discovery of the year, and various other categories. Enjoy!

1. Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls

Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls

It should come as no surprise that this comes in at #1. After all, this is a double album that just about everyone into metal and hard rock has now checked out, with most liking it quite a bit. THE BOOK OF SOULS is easily the freshest Iron Maiden album in 15 long years – since BRAVE NEW WORLD. The band are still in full stride, mature, confident, with nothing left to prove, yet they can still bring some fire to the table!

Review

2. Slayer – Repentless

Slayer - Repentless

Slayer – Repentless

Overcoming near insurmountable odds, Slayer returned with an unrelenting and brutal album in 2015 with REPENTLESS.  While many thought this was not going to live up to the past glories, Slayer shocked many and kicked everyone’s ass with the best thrash/speed metal album of the year.

Review

3. Helloween – My God Given Right

Helloween - My God-Given Right

Helloween – My God-Given Right

MY GOD GIVEN-RIGHT is Helloween’s 15th studio album after more than thirty years together. Helloween invented European power metal as we know it, so their legacy is intact. They have taken their own path, much as they did 30 years ago, and in doing so prove that they still have much to offer.

Review

4. Stratovarius – Eternal

Stratovarius - Eternal

Stratovarius – Eternal

ETERNAL sees the veteran Finnish Power Metal act firing on all cylinders and more. The band comes back with another one word album title, another 10 song album that runs just under an hour. Everything you need, want and expect is in full force, Kotipelto’s soaring range, fiery solos, pounding double-kick drums and keyboard washes. The production is superb on this largely fast album of the standard 4-5 minute long songs. The choruses are huge and catchy and very easily memorable. As the band celebrates their 30th anniversary, we are delighted they still produce superb albums, 15 albums deep.

Review

5. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Paradise Lost returns with their 14th album in THE PLAGUE WITHIN, an album that on first listen brings the band full circle. It is tempting to call this album a return to the roots, and in many ways it is, THE PLAGUE WITHIN encompassing elements of all the band’s many phases.

Review

 

6. Queensryche – Condition Human

QUEENSRŸCHE - Condition Hüman

QUEENSRŸCHE – Condition Hüman

Queensryche returned in 2015 with their 14th album, CONDITION HUMAN. It fully put the band back on the CURRENT map of  prog/melodic metal. This was a spot that they once owned, up until the EMPIRE album, before their fall from the metal realms. Overall, this album sounds like a perfect follow up to EMPIRE  in terms of style and tone.  If you liked Queensryche from 1983-1991, grab this album immediately.

Review

7. Motorhead – Bad Magic

Motorhead - Bad Magic

Motorhead – Bad Magic

This is Motorhead’s 22nd, and sadly, final, studio album. While it’s not their best album, it’s hardly a clunker. There are plenty of ass-kicking tracks and even (in retrospect) poignant moments on here.  Despite being the band’s final studio album, it still had plenty of fire and metal. They did what they do best – right until the end. RIP LEMMY!

Review

8. Saxon – Battering Ram

Saxon - Battering Ram

Saxon – Battering Ram

Another year, another Saxon album. As of 2015, Saxon is in a rarified class of band, having existed for nearly 40 years and now, with the offering of BATTERING RAM, have released 21 full-length studio albums. That’s an astonishing pace of music production. Unbelievably, the band has remained stable with the newest member joining 20 years ago. In that same 20 years, the band has been on an incredible run, releasing nine albums prior to this one and each one has been high quality and worth owning!

Review

9. Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow

CAIN’S OFFERING - STORMCROW

CAIN’S OFFERING – STORMCROW

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly 6 full years since power metal “super group” Cain’s Offering released their highly acclaimed debut album, GATHER THE FAITHFUL. The band was initially formed by ex-Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen when he joined forces with Stratovarius singer Timo Kotipelto. STORMCROW is a very rewarding and entertaining album to listen to. Timo Kotipelto sounds as great as he ever has, and Liimatainen’s writing and playing is at the top of his game. One of the best power metal albums of 2015.

Review

10. Blind Guardian – Beyond the Red Mirror

Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror

Blind Guardian – Beyond The Red Mirror

Blind Guardian proved to be still very much alive in 2015, despite a 5 year gap between albums, with BEYOND THE RED MIRROR. For their power/symphonic metal style, Blind Guardian is nearly without equal. The band assembled three different choirs (from Prague, Budapest and Boston) and a ninety-piece orchestra for the creation of “Beyond the Red Mirror”, and the presentation of the album is downright Broadway caliber. This is some busy and rewarding music to delve into that does not get boring with repeated spins.

Review

11. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

12. Kamelot – Haven

Kamelot - Haven

Kamelot – Haven

13. Stryper – Fallen

Stryper - Fallen

Stryper – Fallen

14. Eclipse – Armageddonize

Eclipse – Armageddonize

Eclipse – Armageddonize

15. Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction

Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

16. Angra – Secret Garden

Angra - Secret Garden

Angra – Secret Garden

17. Mgla – Exercises in Futility

Mgla - Exercises in Futility

Mgla – Exercises in Futility

18. Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Gloryhammer - Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

19. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead

Orden Ogan - Ravenhead

Orden Ogan – Ravenhead

20. Moonspell – Extinct

Moonspell - Extinct

Moonspell – Extinct

21. Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud

AMORPHIS to release “Under The Red Cloud” this September 2015

AMORPHIS “Under The Red Cloud”

22. Royal Hunt – Devil’s Dozen

Royal Hunt - Devil's Dozen

Royal Hunt – Devil’s Dozen

23. Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat

Napalm Death - Apex Predator – Easy Meat

Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat

24. Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

Serious Black - As Daylight Breaks

Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

25. Marduk – Frontschwein

Marduk - Frontschwein

Marduk – Frontschwein

26. Gruesome – Savage Land

Gruesome - Savage Land

Gruesome – Savage Land

27. Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

Powerwolf - Blessed & Possessed

Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

28. Armored Saint – Win Hands Down

Armored Saint - Win Hands Down

Armored Saint – Win Hands Down

29. Europe – War of Kings

Europe - War of Kings

Europe – War of Kings

30. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus (Symphonia Ignis Divinus)

Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY - PROMETHEUS, SYMPHONIA IGNIS DIVINUS

Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY – PROMETHEUS, SYMPHONIA IGNIS DIVINUS

 


 

Staff Lists

EvilG

JP

Celtic Bob

Arto

Waspman

Anders

Aaron

Erich

Helias

Jo Blackened

Peter

Jarod

Infamous Butcher

Brat

Robert

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Best of 2015 – JP

January 4th, 2016
by J P

Top 20 Albums

1. Helloween – My God Given Right (Nuclear Blast)

Helloween - My God-Given Right

Helloween – My God-Given Right

2015 was a  superb 30th anniversary for one of my all-time favourite bands.  The start of a world tour, a massive (550+ page) 30th anniversary coffee-table book AND their best album in several years.  MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT has it all… speed, power, melody, humour  making me realize that it is my god given obligation to rank this as my #1 album!

2. Stratovarius-Eternal (EarMusic)
3. Stryper-Fallen (Frontiers)
4. Gloryhammer-Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards (Napalm)
5. Royal Hunt-The Devil’s Dozen (Frontiers)
6. Saxon-Battering Ram (UDR)
7. Serious Black-As Daylight Breaks (AFM)
8. Kamelot-Haven (Napalm)
9. Cain’s Offering-Stormcrow (Frontiers)
10. Eclipse-Armageddonize (Frontiers)
11. Angra-Secret Garden (Ear music)
12. Blind Guardian-Beyond The Red Mirror (Nuclear Blast)
13. W.A.S.P.-Golgotha (Napalm)
14. Armoured Saint-Win Hands Down (Metal Blade)
15. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody-Prometheus (Nuclear Blast)
16. Nightwish-Endless Froms Most Beautiful (Nuclear Blast)
17. Blackwelder-Survival Of The Fittest (Golden Core)
18. Melechesh-Enki (Nuclear Blast)
19. Powerwolf-Blessed And Possessed (Napalm)
20. Europe-War Of Kings (Frontiers)

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Fear Factory @ Kentish Town Forum, London

January 3rd, 2016
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Fear Factory Demanufacture 20th Anniversary

Kentish Town Forum, London

13th December 2015

Reviewer: Steve Allen
Photographer: Michelle Murphy

When it was announced that one of the most celebrated yet also underrated bands formed in the 90’s would be performing their most successful albums in full to celebrate its 20th anniversary, it’s fair to say that anticipation was high. Only something of this magnitude could get the atmosphere around Kentish Town’s Forum was buzzing with excitement on a cold, grey and wet Sunday night in London.

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Gamma Ray + Serious Black + Neonfly @ O2 Academy Islington, London

January 3rd, 2016
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Gamma Ray + Serious Black + Neonfly

@ O2 Academy Islington, London

8th December 2015

Review by Oliver M.

Photography by Inty Malcolm

12314730_1077148245630320_915742325303571056_o

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Best of 2015 – EvilG

January 3rd, 2016
by EvilG

Top 20

  1. Helloween – My God Given Right

    Helloween - My God-Given Right

    Helloween – My God-Given Right

    Not only was this this best power metal album this year, for me it was easily the best album of 2015. The masters and originators of the power metal genre prove they are as relevant in 2015 as they were in the 80’s. As with many long running bands, a lot of comments will be “their best album since <<insert classic album title>>”. With Helloween, this line of thought has become less and less relevant as they continue to deliver what fans want: catchy power metal, with enough humor and balls to keep fans happy.


    I have to admit, I kinda like the campy cover art (and other associated album artwork – see above) reminiscent of the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” – and yes, even the pumpkin stormtroopers! 🙂

 

  1. Moonspell – Extinct

    Moonspell - Extinct

    Moonspell – Extinct

This one came as a surprise to me. I’ve been a fan of Moonspell since I first heard the IRRELIGIOUS album in 1996. I’ve always most enjoyed their albums that are most like IRRELIGIOUS – ones that blend the black metal and goth metal elements. When they lean too far in either direction, I’ve not been as interested. EXTINCT is a little more goth metal leaning, but it’s so catchy and extremely well written and recorded, that over the months, I found myself listening to this over and over – moreso than any recent Moonspell release. For that reason, I had to have this one very high on my list.

 

  1. Queensryche – Condition Human

    QUEENSRŸCHE - Condition Hüman

    QUEENSRŸCHE – Condition Hüman

The second album with Todd on vocals really turned things around. I like his first album with the band, but this one is much better thanks to the album containing more metal and driving songs. I’d go so far to say that it’s the best since Operation Mindcrime or at least since Empire.

 

  1. Slayer – Repentless

    Slayer - Repentless

    Slayer – Repentless

Didn’t expect to like this as much as I do. Without Lombardo or Hannemann, I was not expecting this to be so awesome! Tom still sounds great and they still have the fire. Lets hope it burns brightly for a few more years.

 

  1. Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

    Gloryhammer - Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

    Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Yes, this is super cheesy, but it’s funny and killer. They manage to out-Rhapsody Rhapsody with bombastic epic choruses. Not only is the music memorable, the lyrics…just wow…total over the top hilarity! I love it!

  1. Blind Guardian – Beyond the Red Mirror
  2. Stratovarius – Eternal
  3. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead
  4. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful
  5. Iron Maiden – Book Of Souls
  6. Scanner – The Judgement
  7. Ambush – Desecrator
  8. Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow
  9. Kiske/Somerville – City of Heroes
  10. Kamelot – Haven
  11. Saxon – Battering Ram
  12. Motorhead – Bad Magic
  13. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus
  14. Death Dealer – Hallowed Ground
  15. Stryper – Fallen

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Best of 2015 – Aaron

January 3rd, 2016
by Metal Rules
  1. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

    Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

    Paradise Lost – The Plague Within


    Almost 30 years into their career, Paradise Lost released what’s arguably the strongest album in their canon.  Gems like “No Hope in Sight”, “Terminal” and “Beneath Broken Earth” are just as powerful as classics like “Eternal”, “Gothic”, or “As I Die”.  Often imitated but never duplicated, Paradise Lost makes balancing delicate melodic gloom with crushing deathly aggression sound so easy.

  2. Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

    Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction

    Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction


    Cattle Decap did the impossible in 2015 and released an album that bested MONOLITH OF INHUMANITY.  Pushing the limits of acceptability within death metal, THE ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION was a more self-confident and mature release that leveled the competition with blinding speed, technical mastery and some stark predictions for the end of the human race.

     

  3. Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls

    Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

    Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls


    Does Iron Maiden really need an explanation?  I love classic Maiden, but it’d been ages since I really cared about anything new from them.  That all changed with THE BOOK OF SOULS; I don’t think I’ve been able to play this album without listening to the entire thing.  THE BOOK OF SOULS is a reminder for those of us who may have fallen off the wagon as to why we fell in love with Iron Maiden in the first place.

  4. Napalm Death – Apex Predator-Easy Meat
  5. My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery
  6. Mgla – Exercises in Futility
  7. Moonspell – Extinct
  8. Rivers of Nihil – Monarchy
  9. Tribulation – Children of the Night
  10. Swallow the Sun – Tales from the North I, II, & III
  11. Gruesome – Savage Land
  12. Motorhead – Bad Magic
  13. Soilwork – The Ride Majestic
  14. Goatsnake – Black Age Blues
  15. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth – S/T
  16. Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed
  17. Vhöl – Deeper Than Sky
  18. Jungle Rot – Order Shall Prevail
  19. Plaugewielder – Chambers of Death
  20. Skepticism – Ordeal

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Best of 2015 – Helias

January 2nd, 2016
by Metal Rules

Top 20

1. Slayer – Repentless

Slayer - Repentless

Slayer – Repentless

2. Iron Maiden – The book of Souls
3. Angra – Secret Garden
4. Motorhead – Bad Magic
5. Pentagram – Curious Volume
6. Saxon – Battering Ram
7. Powerwolf – Bessed and Possessed
8. Amorphis – Uner the Red Cloud
9. Ghost – Meliora
10. Paradise Lost – The plague within
11. Enslaved – In times
12. Symphony X – Underworld
13. Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker
14. High on fire – Luminiferous
15. Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches
16. Statovarious – Eternal
17. Operation: Mindcrime – The key
18. Kamelot – Haven
19. Kylesa – Exhausting Fire
20. Periphery – Juggernat: Alpha and Omega

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Best of 2015 – Infamous Butcher

January 2nd, 2016
by Metal Rules

Top Albums of 2015

  1. Malevolent Creation – Dead Man’s Path

    Malevolent Creation - Dead Man’s Path

    Malevolent Creation – Dead Man’s Path

    The album is a full out assault! Brett Hoffman is at the top of his game here, sounding as furious as he did back in 1992 on RETRIBUTION, still able to elongate a growl like nobody else can, see “Fragmental Sanity” for the best example of this. The chugging riffing is fantastic, reminiscent of TEN COMMANDMENTS, catchy and a touch thrashy . Drumming is intense and sick; Justin DiPinto is doing a great job following in the footsteps of prior Malevolent drummers like Alex Marquez and Dave Culross. There are no filler tracks here; everything is killer and exactly what a death metal fan wants, unrelenting flowing brutality with hooky riffs and breakdowns.

     

  2. Grave – Out of Respect For the Dead

    Grave - Out of Respect For the Dead

    Grave – Out of Respect For the Dead


    Old school death metal fans love consistency and Sweden’s Grave is one of the most dependably brutal bands out there. 24 years after their genre defining debut INTO THE GRAVE, Grave is still putting out quality punishing, dark themed death metal. The aptly titled OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE DEAD is another exercise in lead heavy riffs, thunderous drumming, ominous moods, and guttural vocals.

  3. Motorhead – Bad Magic

    Motorhead - Bad Magic

    Motorhead – Bad Magic


    Sounds exactly like you think it would – loud, raunchy and fun! 40 years into their career, Lemmy and the boys can still put out a great album. Consistency is their middle name. BAD MAGIC immediately kicks you in the ass with “Victory or Die”; a fast Motorhead barnstormer that starts with Lemmy yelling a split second before the ginga ginga bass and guitar kick in with Mikkey’s insane drumming! I immediately smiled and started banging my head!

  4. Gruesome – Savage Land

    Gruesome - Savage Land

    Gruesome – Savage Land


    Death Metal supergroup does early Death worship! If you love LEPROSY, SPIRITUAL HEALING, and HUMAN, then you’ll love this! Nothing original here but that is the idea! Great catchy riffs, killer drums and bass, Chuck-esque vocals from Mr. Harvey.

  5. Slayer – Repentless

    Slayer - Repentless

    Slayer – Repentless


    Many fans have turned their backs on Slayer, saying they shouldn’t continue without Jeff and Dave. Indeed, how could Slayer continue without their main songwriter Jeff? Would a new album be watered down crap or what? Well, now we know that Slayer can still bring it in their 50s without Jeff and Dave, even if REPENTLESS can’t compare to their classic 80s / early 90s material.

  6. Entrails – Obliteration
  7. Darkapathy – Condemned in Black
  8. Iron Maiden – Book of Souls
  9. Horrendous – Anareta
  10. Rooms of Ruin – Into The Black
  11. Wombbath – Downfall Rising
  12. Napalm Death – Apex Predator Easy Meat
  13. Unleashed – Dawn of the Nine
  14. Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed
  15. Krisiun – Forged in Fury
  16. Hate Eternal – Infernus
  17. Pentagram – Curious Volume
  18. Saxon – Battering Ram
  19. Jungle Rot – Order Shall Prevail
  20. Fear Factory – Genexus

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2015-Canadian Metal-A Year In Review

January 2nd, 2016
by J P

2015-Canadian Metal-A Year In Review

by JP

cdn

2015 was a superb year for Canadian Metal in terms of music, tours and the industry. Not surprisingly, Quebec lead the charge with that single province producing a large percentage of all the Metal albums released in Canada.

In exciting industry news, the veteran  Metal record label, AFM Records, signs their first Canadian act ever with the addition of Borealis to their roster who join such artists as Evergrey, Iron Savior and U.D.O.  Germany’s AFM follows perhaps in the footsteps of Austria’s Napalm Records, who have been on a Canadian signing spree as of late, and AFM’s entry into the Canadian market bodes well for the industry as a whole.  Our nations Metal scene continues to gain global recognition with Vesperia winning the 2015 Wacken Metal Battle, the second Canadian band in three years to win the prestigious international contest.

Other highlights include the Newfoundland based Metal-Rules.com, one of the worlds largest and longest running Metal webzines, celebrated their 20th anniversary and the publication of over 12,000 reviews.

In Calgary, long standing Metal radio show Megawatt Mayhem entered their 30th consecutive year on air on CJSW 90.9FM.  In Edmonton, the announcement of a new Metal Festival and International industry  conference, dubbed Shredmonton, slated for March 2016, generated much interest.

Heading West to Vancouver, BC, Test Your Metal Records opened for business (joining a precious select few active Canadian Metal Record labels) with a coupe, by signing Brazilian Power Metal powerhouse, Hibria.   In sadder news, JJ Caithcart owner of Vancouver’s SCRAPE Records, Canada’s only all-Metal record store, announced his retirement and struggles to find a buyer to keep it alive.

Back in Toronto Sam Dunn and Banger Films announce the creation of three new excellent series, ROCK ICONS, LOCK HORNS and METAL EVOLUTION-ALBUMS. In addition they announced the creation of an all-Metal, 24-hour, TV channel anchored by the hundreds of hours of footage of archived material from Banger Films previous projects and documentaries.   Also in Toronto, author Martin Popoff hits another milestone with the publication of his 50th book about Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.

Perhaps most importantly the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) finally after a 35 year drought introduce a ‘Heavy Metal Album Of The Year’ category into their national music award program the JUNO’s.

As for my personal list, bolstered by a couple of old favourite veteran bands,  these young guns are the brightest hope for the future of Canadian Metal and represented the best of 2015. Listed alphabetically .

ANNIHILATOR-Suicide Society

(UDR) Ottawa, 15th album

ann

ASCENDIA-The Lion and the Jester

(Indie) Toronto, 1st album

asc

BOREALIS-Purgatory

(AFM)  Orangeville, 3rd album

bor

DISTORIAM-Chapter 1: Vinlanders

(Indie) Montreal, 1st album

dis

DRAGON NATION-Dragon Nation

(Indie) Montreal, 1st album

dra

ELDEROTH-Mystic

(Indie) Montreal, 2nd album

eld

HROM-Legends of Powerheart Part 1

(Indie) Calgary, 2nd album

hro

IRON KINGDOM-Ride For Glory

(Indie) Surrey, 3rd album

iro

THOR-Metal Avenger

(Deadline)Victoria, 20th (?) album

tho

TIMELESS OCEANS-Enigma of a Lost World

(Indie) Quebec City, 2nd album

tim

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Best of 2015 – Brat

January 2nd, 2016
by Brat

Top 20 Albums

1. Eclipse – Armageddonize

Eclipse – Armageddonize

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.

Angra - Secret Garden

Angra – Secret Garden

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’.

Stratovarius - Eternal

Stratovarius – Eternal

4. Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

Serious Black - As Daylight Breaks

Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

5. Helloween – My God-Given Right

Helloween - My God-Given Right

Helloween – My God-Given Right

6. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus

Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY - PROMETHEUS, SYMPHONIA IGNIS DIVINUS

Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY – PROMETHEUS, SYMPHONIA IGNIS DIVINUS

 7. Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow

CAIN’S OFFERING - STORMCROW

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.

Unleash the Archers - Time Stands Still

Unleash the Archers – Time Stands Still

9. Europe – War of Kings

Europe - War of Kings

Europe – War of Kings

10. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead

Orden Ogan - Ravenhead

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.

Powerwolf - Blessed & Possessed

Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

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.

Sirenia - The Seventh Life Path

Sirenia – The Seventh Life Path

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.

Soto - Inside the Vertigo

Soto – Inside the Vertigo

14. Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology

Keep of Kalessin - Epistemology

Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology

15. Lindemann – Skills in Pills

Lindemann - Skills In Pills

Lindemann – Skills In Pills

16. Ensiferum – One Man Army

Ensiferum - One Man Army

Ensiferum – One Man Army

17. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

18. Circle II Cirle – Reign of Darkness

Circle II Circle - Reign Of Darkness

Circle II Circle – Reign Of Darkness

19. Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker

Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker

Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker

20. Alpha Tiger – identity

Alpha Tiger - iDentity

Alpha Tiger – iDentity

Best New Band

Serious Black

Serious Black - As Daylight Breaks

Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

Best EP

LORD – What Tomorrow Brings

LORD - What Tomorrow Brings

LORD – What Tomorrow Brings

Xandria – Fire & Ashes

Xandria - Fire & Ashes

Xandria – Fire & Ashes

Best Live Album

Paradise Lost – Symphony for the Lost

Paradise Lost - Symphony for the Lost

Paradise Lost – Symphony for the Lost

Best Fancy-Schmancy Box Releases

Voodoo Circle – Whisky Fingers

Voodoo Circle - Whisky Fingers deluxe edition

Voodoo Circle – Whisky Fingers deluxe edition

Ensiferum – One Man Army

Ensiferum - One Man Army deluxe edition

Ensiferum – One Man Army deluxe edition

Best Remake/Re-release Album

Secret Sphere – A Time Nevercome 2015

Secret Sphere - A Time Nevercome 2015 edition

Secret Sphere – A Time Nevercome 2015 edition

Best ‘Best of…’

Heavens Gate – Best for Sale!

Heavens Gate - Best For Sale!

Heavens Gate – Best For Sale!

Best Tribute/Cover Album

Whitesnake – The Purple Album

The Purple Album by Whitesnake

The Purple Album by Whitesnake

Best Concert

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.

Def Leppard in concert, Sydney 2015

Def Leppard in concert, Sydney 2015

Best Music DVD/Blu-Ray

Axel Rudi Pell & Friends – Magic Moments 25th Anniversary Special

Axel Rudi Pell & Friends - Magic Moments Blu-Ray

Axel Rudi Pell & Friends – Magic Moments Blu-Ray

Europe – War of Kings (live at Wacken)

Best Metal Movie

DEATHGASM from my New Zealand neighbours.

Deathgasm Blu-Ray

Deathgasm Blu-Ray

2015 Disappointments

My absence from the live metal scene.

2016 Hopes

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.

 

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Best of 2015 – Jo Blackened

January 1st, 2016
by Metal Rules

Top 20 albums of 2015

  1. GORGOROTH – Instinctus Bestialis

    GORGOROTH - Instinctus Bestialis

    GORGOROTH – Instinctus Bestialis


  2. Marduk- Frontschwein
  3. Ethereal – Opus Aethereum
  4. Helllight – Journey Through Endless Storms
  5. Myrkur- M
  6. MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY – Shards Of Silver Fade
  7. Ninkharsag – Blood Of Celestial Kings
  8. The Dying of the Light – Amidst the Withering
  9. Creeping – Revenant
  10. Eïs “Bannstein
  11. Outre – Ghost Chants
  12. Images At Twilight – Kings
  13. AKHLYS – The Dreaming I
  14. Deafheaven- New Bermuda
  15. Nahtrunar – Symbolismus
  16. Temple of Gnosis – Mystervm Magnvm
  17. Tony Mills – Over my Dead Body
  18. Nightland – Obsession
  19. ALFAHANNE – Blod Eld Alfa
  20. Lychgate – “An Antidote for the Glass Pill

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Best of 2015 – Celtic Bob

January 1st, 2016
by Metal Rules

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.

  1. Motörhead – Bad Magic

    Motorhead - Bad Magic

    Motorhead – Bad Magic

  2. Armored Saint – Win Hands Down
  3. Faith No More – Sol Invictus
  4. Slayer – Repentless
  5. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
  6. Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct
  7. Ugly Kid Joe – Uglier Than They Used Ta Be
  8. Mike Tramp – Nomad
  9. The Answer – Raise A Little Hell
  10. Whitesnake – The Purple Album
  11. BulletBoys – Elefante
  12. Queensryche – Condition Human
  13. Trixter – Human Era
  14. Nelson – Peace Out
  15. UFO – A Conspiracy Of Stars
  16. Voodoo Circle – Whiskey Fingers
  17. Europe – War Of Kings
  18. Ghost – Meliora
  19. Scorpions – Return To Forever
  20. Def Leppard

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Best of 2015 – Erich

January 1st, 2016
by Metal Rules

Top 20 Metal Albums 2015

  1. Queensrÿche  – Condition Human

    QUEENSRŸCHE - Condition Hüman

    QUEENSRŸCHE – Condition Hüman

    Pair this with Operation: Mindcrime’s The Key and it is clear that Queensrÿche is wiping the floor with Tate’s post- Queensrÿche efforts.  I will not lie and say Condition Human rivals classic Ryche albums, but after so many years of piss-poor Tate led efforts (Tribe sucks), Condition Human is a welcome and worthy effort.  Todd La Torre has assumed the vacancy left by Tate with confidence and execution while the reinvigorated core of the band has constructed songs worthy of La Torre’s performance.

  2. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
    Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

    Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

    It took a damn long time to get from One Second to The Plague Within, but the band finally came full-circle, thanks to Nick Holmes and Greg Mackintosh’s renewed interest in the band’s death metal roots.  Combining that with the band’s gothic brand of melodic doom, The Plague Within pleased large sections of the fan base.  The Plague Within will almost certainly (and deservedly) vie for the top metal album of the year in most metal circles.

  3. Slayer – Repentless
    Slayer - Repentless

    Slayer – Repentless

    I am going to go ahead and piss off some Slayer fans by stating that Jeff Hanneman was a much better guitarist than Kerry King.  For this reason, I truly expected Repentless to suck, with King left to compose and construct all the guitar work for the new album.  I am big enough to admit I was completely wrong.  King reached deep down and channeled Hanneman while retaining his own style.  As a result, Repentless is the best Slayer album in my opinion since Seasons In The Abyss, high, but worthy praise.

  4. Stryper – Fallen
    Every year I have an album make it into my top 5 that I would never have predicted. Stryper’s Fallen is this year’s WTF.  I honestly have never been a huge Stryper fan, though I did enjoy some of their work through the years.  Fallen is the band’s heaviest album but being heavy does not always mean good.  Fortunately, the band are spot-on with the songs and riffs, everything adding up to a well-constructed album that blows all past efforts from the band out of the water.
  5. Chris Caffery – Your Heaven Is Real
    You want Savatage back and so do I.  Fortunately, Chris is happy to deliver, forging classic Savatage with Caffery’s other efforts in Doctor Butcher and his solo work.  Your Heaven Is Real is classic metal with a bite, Chris managing to deliver more edge and aggression than his old band but with well-crafted and catchy songs.
  6. Ghost – Meliora
  7. Trixter – Human Era
  8. Millennial Reign – Carry The Fire
  9. Helloween – My God-Given Right
  10. Hardcore Superstar – HCSS
  11. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead
  12. Air Raid – Point Of Impact
  13. Pyramaze – Disciples Of The Sun
  14. Lethal Saint – WWIII
  15. Artizan – The Furthest Reaches
  16. Amorphis – Under The Red Cloud
  17. My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery
  18. Hollow Haze – Memories Of An Ancient Time
  19. Blind Guardian- Beyond The Red Mirror
  20. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls

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