It’s not enough to say that 2015 was a great year for metal. For the better part of the last decade, as the genre has enjoyed it’s most prolonged period of success since the 80s, almost every year has been great for metal. If that mutes the sweeping, metal-meant-this overtures that often accompany these things, apologies, but there is nothing I could write that would better illustrate how far the genre has come since the nü metal wasteland than this: Bands like Baroness, Deafheaven, and Tribulation all released new and—by most accounts—pretty great records this year, and none appear below.
While it might be hard to believe, we are now halfway through the year, and in our crusty, charred corner of the music journalism world that means one thing and one thing only: It’s time to start brandishing premature, list-based proclamations like a street oracle does his cardboard countdown to the coming rapture. Sure, in 6 months time when the world is still standing and the sun is still slung up there in the sky, we will look idiots, but for now that’s half the fun. So, without further rambling ado, I am psyched to present This One Goes To Eleven’s 11 Must-Hear Metal Albums of 2015 (so far). Whether you’ve been following along all year or are just stopping by for the first time, you’re sure to find something heavy to sink those fangs into.
For metal fans, today isn’t just grocery shopping on an empty stomach, it’s Ghandi walking into a goddamn Wegmans. After a couple of lean weeks, hell has officially risen on earth and, with it, a salivary gland-stimulating roster of new releases and wicked shows just begging to be devoured. So grab the cart and get at it, because much like bananas (fucking bananas, man) this stuff won’t last.