Ok, so this is the part of the Top 10 list where you’re supposed to say “Oh boy, what a great year for new music!” or “Man, this past year saw a crap load of awesome new albums come out!” Well, as cheesy as all that sounds, it’s also pretty true. In fact, figuring out my top ten proved to be a rather difficult task this year, and I’m sure as soon as you read this, I’ll realize at least one album I completely forgot about. So before I start rethinking my list, here’s my top 10 favorite albums of 2015, along with a few honorable mentions.
My #10 slot ended up going to a tie between two albums that almost didn’t make it onto my list at all, but for different reasons. First, there’s Coheed And Cambria’s The Color Before The Sun, which frankly isn’t a metal album at all. I mean sure, Coheed And Cambria has always been a rock band that metal fans could appreciate (or despise depending on the fan) for its prog leaning technicality. However, this album is possibly the most accessible and poppy effort they’ve released to date. Yet something about the riffs and melodies in songs like “Eraser” and “Here To Mars” makes this album so irresistible. Plus, “Island” is simply a damn fun tune, channeling anthem rock hooks of the early 80s.
Key Track: “Island”
And then there was Trivium’s seventh effort. So first let me admit the obvious: I’m a sucker for pop/commercial metal, and their last album Vengeance Falls made it pretty clear that the band was headed in a more accessible direction. Despite that, I was still taken aback by how accessible/hard rock driven the songs on Silence In The Snow were, even turned off by it after the first few listens. But despite my initial reactions, I kept having urges to hear the album over and over again, because frankly the songs are so god damn catchy (Don’t believe me? Listen to “Dead And Gone” and “The Ghost That’s Haunting You” once, and tell you didn’t end up listening to it five more times an hour later). Plus, Matt Heafy’s clean vocals and the band’s songwriting have become even strong over the past few years (let alone since they first broke out on the scene). Trivium may not be so subtle about trying to go mainstream, but Silence In The Snow became a surprising pleasant attempt at doing so.
Key Track: “The Ghost That’s Haunting You”