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The Noisey Editors' Best and Worst of 2015: Kim Kelly

From Misthyrming to Blood Incantation, editor Kim Kelly runs down her top 50 metal (and otherwise) albums of 2015.
December 16, 2015, 8:57pm

That bastard goose bit me mere moments after this photograph was taken

I usually go totally overboard on year-end list-making because 1. lists are fun, and 2. before I started working here, I was freelance for a billion years, so I settled into the habit of making 4 (or more—the record is 7) year-end lists per annum. This past year marked my first as a part of Noisey's editorial staff, so that do-or-die freelance hustle that's kept the lights on for the past 12 years has been supplanted by a more daily grind and the freedom to cover just about anything I want (which, more often than not, entails no-fun black metal or obnoxious doom). It's a privilege that, trust me, I don't take lightly—despite the evidence to the contrary that you're about to read below.

Now that I only had to make one sole, solitary, all-encompassing year-end list and no editor to rein me in, I was originally inclined to throw caution to the wind and just list every record I enjoyed this year. Since I highly doubt you want to read through several hundred lines of type, though, I managed to whittle it down to a spare 50. Yes, 50.


I've been lucky enough to cover a wide range of fantastic music this year, and the links below lead to my writing on the various bands that populate this absurdly long (but obviously, objectively correct) list. I had to make a few painful cuts, like the year's two best country albums (Whitey Morgan's Sonic Ranch, and Angaleena Presley's American Middle Class) but these are the metal-oriented albums I had the best time listening to this year. So much for not going overboard…


1. Misthyrming - Söngvar elds og óreiðu

Icelandic black metal perfection.

2. Cloud Rat - Qlipthoth

The future of grind.

3. Vastum - Hole Below

An album that perfectly articulated death metal's messy, hairy, ugly humanity.

4. Mgla - Exercises in Futility

The pinnacle of orthodox black metal in 2015.

5. Death Karma - The History Of Death & Burial Rituals Part I

A truly morbid triumph of black/death.

6. Chrch - Unanswered Hymns

Cosmic, crushing doom that elevates and amazes; the first time I saw them, I knew I was witnessing something special.

7. Yellow Eyes - Sick with Bloom

The future of American black metal.

8. Genocide Shrines - Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil (Scriptures Of Reversed Puraana Dharmurder)

Sri Lankan death metal supremacy.

9. Cosmic Church - Vigilia

Criminally underlooked, astonishingly great melodic Finnish black metal.

10. Disemballerina - Poison Gown

The most beautiful thing you'll ever hear.



Abyssion / Photo courtesy of Svart Records

Spectral Wound - Terra Nullius

Black Cilice - Mysteries

Abyssion - Luonnon harmonia ja vihreä liekki

False - Untitled

Eye of Nix - Moros

Leila Abdul-Rauf - Insomnia

Obsequiae - Aria of Vernal Tombs

Khemmis - Absolution

Bell Witch - Four Phantoms

Ares Kingdom - The Unburiable Dead

Christian Mistress / Photo by Marit Schmidt

Locrian - Infinite Dissolution

Pyramids - A Northern Meadow

Christian Mistress - To Your Death

Ethereal Shroud - They Became the Falling Ash

Gloam - Hex of Nine Heads

Tribulation - The Children of the Night

Revenge - Behold.Total.Rejection

Nachtlieder - The Female of the Species

Tovarish - This Terrible Burden

Vattnet Viskar - Settler

RAM / Photo courtesy of Metal Blade

Macabre Omen - Gods of War - At War

Chaos Echoes - Transient

Abominor - Opus: Decay

Sivyg Yar - Burial Shrouds

Lluvia - Eternidad Solemne

Magic Circle - Journey Blind

Tyranny - Aeons in Tectonic Internment

Nightfell - Darkness Evermore

RAM - Svbversvm

Skepticism - Ordeal

Devouring Star / Photo courtesy of Daemon Worship

Thou & The Body - You, Whom I Have Always Hated

Blood Incantation - Interdimensional Extinction

Dark Buddha Rising - Inversum

Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat

Devouring Star - Through Lung and Heart

Cult of Occult - Five Degrees of Insanity


Cruciamentum - Charnal Passages

Primitive Man - Home Is Where the Hatred Is

Corrupted - Loss

Saturnine - Mors Vocat

Kim Kelly is an editor at Noisey, and wishes she'd kept the bloody thing to 15 at this point. She's on Twitter.