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.
That bastard goose bit me mere moments after this photograph was taken
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 óreiðuIcelandic black metal perfection.2. Cloud Rat - QlipthothThe future of grind.3. Vastum - Hole BelowAn album that perfectly articulated death metal's messy, hairy, ugly humanity.4. Mgla - Exercises in FutilityThe pinnacle of orthodox black metal in 2015.5. Death Karma - The History Of Death & Burial Rituals Part IA truly morbid triumph of black/death.6. Chrch - Unanswered HymnsCosmic, crushing doom that elevates and amazes; the first time I saw them, I knew I was witnessing something special.7. Yellow Eyes - Sick with BloomThe future of American black metal.8. Genocide Shrines - Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil (Scriptures Of Reversed Puraana Dharmurder)Sri Lankan death metal supremacy.9. Cosmic Church - VigiliaCriminally underlooked, astonishingly great melodic Finnish black metal.10. Disemballerina - Poison GownThe most beautiful thing you'll ever hear.
KIM KELLY'S TOP 10 (MOSTLY) METAL ALBUMS OF 2015
MY OTHER 40 FAVORITE METAL (AND OCCASIONALLY NOT METAL) ALBUMS OF 2015 IN MOSTLY ARBITRARY ORDER BECAUSE I LOVE THEM ALL VERY MUCH
Spectral Wound - Terra NulliusBlack Cilice - MysteriesAbyssion - Luonnon harmonia ja vihreä liekkiFalse - UntitledEye of Nix - MorosLeila Abdul-Rauf - InsomniaObsequiae - Aria of Vernal TombsKhemmis - AbsolutionBell Witch - Four PhantomsAres Kingdom - The Unburiable Dead
Abyssion / Photo courtesy of Svart Records
Locrian - Infinite DissolutionPyramids - A Northern MeadowChristian Mistress - To Your DeathEthereal Shroud - They Became the Falling AshGloam - Hex of Nine HeadsTribulation - The Children of the NightRevenge - Behold.Total.RejectionNachtlieder - The Female of the SpeciesTovarish - This Terrible BurdenVattnet Viskar - Settler
Christian Mistress / Photo by Marit Schmidt
Macabre Omen - Gods of War - At WarChaos Echoes - TransientAbominor - Opus: DecaySivyg Yar - Burial ShroudsLluvia - Eternidad SolemneMagic Circle - Journey BlindTyranny - Aeons in Tectonic InternmentNightfell - Darkness EvermoreRAM - SvbversvmSkepticism - Ordeal
RAM / Photo courtesy of Metal Blade
Thou & The Body - You, Whom I Have Always HatedBlood Incantation - Interdimensional ExtinctionDark Buddha Rising - InversumNapalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy MeatDevouring Star - Through Lung and HeartCult of Occult - Five Degrees of Insanity
Devouring Star / Photo courtesy of Daemon Worship
Cruciamentum - Charnal PassagesPrimitive Man - Home Is Where the Hatred IsCorrupted - LossSaturnine - Mors VocatNot all of these artists are on Spotify, but I made a little introductory playlist of the ones that are; check it out, and go buy all of these records!Kim Kelly is an editor at Noisey, and wishes she'd kept the bloody thing to 15 at this point. She's on Twitter.