The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2015

“Good day
My name is Necropolis
I am formed of the dead
I am the harvester of the soul meat
And I suck the lives from around my bed
My own two sons I gave them breath
And I filled their living corpses with my bile
What humanity I knew I have long forgotten
For me eternity is nothing
But a short while…” 

– If Eternity Should Fail, by Iron Maiden

Eternity might be nothing but a short while for the harvester of the soul meat, but for us mere mortals it looked like 2015 was never going to reach its end. Well, the year is finally phasing out and 2016 is already knocking on our doors, promising to be a much better (and less tragic) time for mankind. With that said, once again as a tribute to all bands and musicians who kept our hearts warm in the throes of a world crisis, here is The Headbanging Moose’s Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2015, excluding of course all EP’s, best of’s and live albums. Profitez-en bien!

Iron Maiden_The Book of Souls1. Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls (REVIEW)
As you read through the pages of The Book Of Souls you’ll inevitably realize that Iron Maiden’s gonna get us all, no matter how far.
Best song of the album: The Red and the Black

moonspell_extinct2. Moonspell – Extinct (REVIEW)
While this distinguished Portuguese Dark Metal band is among us, we can rest assured good and meaningful music is far from being extinct.
Best song of the album: Extinct

Stratovarius_Eternal3. Stratovarius – Eternal (REVIEW)
The Finnish masters of Power Metal are back with a beautiful album made to be eternal.
Best song of the album: My Eternal Dream

battle beast_unholy savior4. Battle Beast – Unholy Savior (REVIEW)
Battle Beast want the world and everything in it, and they’re definitely on their way to conquer it all with their brilliant brand new album.
Best song of the album: I Want The World… And Everything In It

My God-Given Right5. Helloween – My God-Given Right (REVIEW)
It’s our God-given right to keep banging our heads to the music by the happiest and most awesome Power Metal band in the world.
Best song of the album: Creatures in Heaven

scorpions_return to forever6. Scorpions – Return to Forever (REVIEW)
This rock may be rolling home after so many years of good service, but it still has A LOT to teach the world on how to make true Hard Rock.
Best song of the album: Rock ‘N’ Roll Band

cover7. Marduk – Frontschwein (REVIEW)
The Babylonian gods of Black Metal return with more of their blasphemous and apocalyptic war-themed music.
Best song of the album: Thousand-Fold Death

CoF_Hammer of the Witches8. Cradle of Filth – Hammer Of The Witches (REVIEW)
The metallic coven instituted by one of the most important Extreme Metal bands of all time keeps haunting our world with their music.
Best song of the album: Onward Christian Soldiers

Survivalist Album Cover9. 4ARM – Survivalist (REVIEW)
A phenomenal heavy music album full of groove, fury and energy by an extremely talented Thrash Metal band from Down Under.
Best song of the album: Poisoned Mind

Slayer_Repentless10. Slayer – Repentless (REVIEW)
Live fast, on high, repentless, and keep listening to Slayer until the day you die.
Best song of the album: Repentless

And here we have the runner-ups, completing the top 20 for the year:

11. Vanden Plas – Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld II (REVIEW)
12. Monolith – Against The Wall Of Forever (REVIEW)
13. The Agonist – Eye of Providence (REVIEW)
14. Acrassicauda – Gilgamesh (REVIEW)
15. Vingulmork – Chiaroscuro (REVIEW)
16. Vorna – Ei Valo Minua Seuraa (REVIEW)
17. Dys Inbunden – One With Morbidity, The Opus Misanthropy (REVIEW)
18. Deadly Circus Fire – The Hydra’s Tailor (REVIEW)
19. Tsar Bomb – Exterminans IX:XI (REVIEW)
20. Profane And The Sacred – Chapter 1 : A Long Time Coming (REVIEW)

As this year we had tons of amazing EP’s being released by extremely talented bands from all over the world, why not providing you our Top 10 EP’s of 2015, right? (To be fair, although shorter in duration, some of them are significantly better and more complex than several full-length albums that became available throughout the year.)

1. Goatchrist – The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil (REVIEW)
2. Dö – Den (REVIEW)
3. Chip DiMonick – Uncaged (REVIEW)
4. Omega Diatribe – Abstract Ritual (REVIEW)
5. The Passion Of Our Souls – Soulmates (REVIEW)
6. Velaverante – My Dark Images (REVIEW)
7. Novallo – Novallo II (REVIEW)
8. Meridius – Meridius (REVIEW)
9. Judas Avenger – Judas Avenger (REVIEW)
10. Pergana – The Visit (REVIEW)

One thing that 2015 taught us all is that Heavy Fuckin’ Metal is still alive and on fire, and based on the music by countless independent bands reviewed here (that for different reasons did not make it to our top 10/20), it will keep shining brighter than ever for many years to come. Take a listen at the music by Rifftera and Amanita Virosa (Finland); Reanimator and Fractal Generator (Canada); Sarpentra and The Prophet (Russia); Dzhatinga and Irreversible Mechanism (Belarus); Helligators and Lykaion (Italy); Warmask and Hateful Warfare (Brazil); Morkesagn and Gasoline Guns (Ukraine); Void Creation (Austria); Nachtlieder (Sweden); Fjorsvartnir (Denmark); Broken Rain (Slovakia); Lanthanein (Argentina), among many others, and there you have the future of heavy music. And, obviously, don’t forget to listen to the METAL MOOSE RADIO SHOW every week, and to always HAIL SANTA!

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2016!

And now, last but not least, a Christmas message from Eddie and the boys…

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Accessories Review – Iron Maiden 2015 Calendar

If you don’t have the new Iron Maiden calendar embellishing your wall and your house yet, run to the hills!

Rating6

00_Iron Maiden Calendar 2015As another year comes to an end, it’s time to get ready for 2015 in style with the brand new Iron Maiden 2015 Calendar, by Heavy Metal titans Iron Maiden. Do not even think about purchasing one of those mellow calendar full of puppies, or that one with boring flowers from who knows where. You don’t want to let “Uncle Eddie” down with that meaningless sensitive attitude not suitable for a true Maidenmaniac, do you?

Once again published by Danilo Promotions Limited, the material, dimensions (42.3 x 29.7 x 1 cm) and weight (322 g) are very similar to all previous editions, but I’m pretty sure you don’t care that much about those minor details, right? What you really want to know is: which Eddies and/or images were selected to make all your months in 2015 a lot more beastly and fun?

First of all, the layout is a slightly different from the superb 2014 edition of the calendar, with Iron Maiden “abandoning” their traditional typography for a more generic style. Although I understand they wanted to freshen up the final product with this move, I believe all Maidenmaniacs around the world will be a little disappointed with that. I mean, this was one of the most unique characteristics of their calendar, so why changing it to something so bland?

In regards to the images chosen for each month, Iron Maiden applied the same idea as for their 2013 edition, which means they mixed some Eddies from their event T-shirts with live pictures taken during their terrific Maiden England Tour 2014. I don’t know if their plan is to do the same stuff every two years, intercalating a calendar with only event T-shirts/images with a calendar with a mix of images and pictures of the band, but for me the ones without those live shots are a lot more interesting. Besides, they can always add their live photos as an extra smaller item to each month if they want to, which is something they already did in the past.

From the 12 months of 2015, my favorite ones are by far July and September, which represent their event T-shirts from their 2014 Nordic events and their epic performances at Hellfest and Main Square Festival in France, respectively. From their live shots, I would say March, April and October are the best ones.

One suggestion I would make to the band regarding the content of the calendar would be very easy to do and something awesome for all their fans: why not adding a simple note (it can be just a couple of words) to the days where Maiden has a song about? For instance, the song The Longest Day is about the D-Day, the Allied invasion of France during World War II that commenced on June 6, 1944, so there could be something like “D-DAY (The Longest Day)” on June 6, as straightforward as that. Or maybe October 25 for The Trooper, July 31 for Paschendale, and so on.

In summary, despite not being a boring calendar, it’s not brilliant either. It’s still worth the investment, especially because it’s cheap compared to many other calendar types available in the market, but it could have been a lot better and not just one more calendar. You can purchase it at the Iron Maiden official  webshop, at Amazon, and many other online or physical stores. If you don’t have it hanging on your wall yet, what are you waiting for to run to the closest store or buy it online? The Iron Maiden 2015 Calendar is gonna get ya, no matter how far. As long as it’s before 2015 actually starts, of course.

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