What was a hit and what wasn’t in 2015? The Power Of Metal.dk staff give you their take on the best and the worst.

Thomas (Editor-in-Chief/writer)

1. Ten greatest releases in 2015

1. Moonspell – Extinct
THE album for me this year has been Moonspell’s ‘Extinct’. I keep coming back to this album because it so perfectly combines melodic catchiness and dark heaviness. Amazing work of art, this one.

2. Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat
Barney and the boys proved yet again that they are able to reinvent their brutality whilst keeping the core of what they are. Strong album!

3. Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud
Almost too perfect some would say, but ‘Under the Red Cloud’ is a powerful follow-up to ‘Circle’. Melody and heaviness the way only my favourite Finns can do it.

4. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
Perhaps not quite as strong as its predecessor, ‘The Plague Within’ is still a mighty effort from Yorkshire’s finest, and one that enjoyed and enjoys massive airplay on my car stereo.

5. Slayer – Repentless
The question was always hanging in the air before the release of the first album without Jeff Hannemann. What is this going to be like? Will it be a Slayer album at all? But, yes, it is. Kerry did well in taking over all writing responsibilities. ‘Repentless’ is as solid as it gets.

6. Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches
2015 saw COF doing a comeback of sorts. New line-up around Dani, new energy and fire, too. Smelt like old days, this one.

7. Ghost – Meliora
One of the big surprises for me this year was that I actually liked the new Ghost album. Hammer tunes somewhere between pop, rock and metal.

8. My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery
If MDB has released an album, they are bound to be on my list. They are equalled by none in matters doom in my book.

9. Metal Allegiance – Metal Allegiance
Some weren’t too happy with this allegiance of metal’s finest coming together, but, honestly, I think this album holds shitloads of good music performed by excellent musicians.

10. Coal Chamber – Rivals
Creating a bit of nostalgia for me, my favourite nu-metal band (well, actually, they were the only nu-metal band proper I listened to) during the mid- to late nineties released a fine comeback album and graciously agreed to an interview with the Power Of Metal.dk as well. What’s not to like?

2. Band of the year 2015
Moonspell. For me, this was the year of Moonspell. Amazing album. I wish I’d had the opportunity to see them live this year too. Can’t have it all, I suppose.

3. Newcomer of the year 2015
Norwegian Arkentype impressed massively with their debut album ‘Disorientated’. Extinction from the Basque country weren’t too shabby either.

4. Best concert in 2015
There’s been a few fantastic experiences in 2015, although I don’t go that much anymore… I have to mention My Dying Bride at Wacken. An enthralling experience, dark and magic. Savatage/TSO at Wacken was grand. Carcass at Aalborg Metal Festival has to be mentioned as well.

5. Musician of the year 2015
Devin Townsend. The 43-year-old geek is here, there and everywhere. Did a wonderful concert in Aarhus, Denmark, too. A night to remember.

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
Lemmy passing away. WTF? Lemmy can’t die! May he rest in peace.
Danzig – Skeletons. Why waste your own and our time on something like this, Glenn? Make a new hammer album, please.

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
There were many terrible albums out there, but one that stood out was Panzerballett’s ‘Breaking Brain’. Instrumental jazz metal from hell. Here’s the review.

8. My hopes for 2016
Will someone please let me finally see Bolt-Thrower live? And Rush. Thank you. Otherwise good health to my family and all that.

Kenn (Editor/writer)

1. Ten greatest releases in 2015

1. Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic
Still very experimental, but now with a lot of melody.

2. Zierler – ECS
Our Danish genius has done it again, brilliant, harder and heavier than Beyond Twilight.

3. Subsignal – The Beacons of Somewhere Sometime
Their best effort, maybe not at first glance. But once it gets under your skin… damn!

4. Riverside – Love, Fear and the Time Machine
Much better than “SoNGS”, great songwriting and deliverance.

5. Steven Wilson – Hand.Cannot.Erase
A true master. Music and concept merge to perfection.

6. TesseracT – Polaris
Melody takes the lead, and it works wonderfully.

7. Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman
…and the winner is: Queensrÿche. They deliver the goods and then some…

8. Spock’s Beard – The Oblivion Particle
Proves they are still amongst the best in the genre.

9. Mystery – Delusion Rain
Immensely underrated, a shame because they deliver outstanding prog rock

10. Periphery – Juggernaut: Alpha / Juggernaut: Omega
Beauty and power. Aggressive and tranquil. Their best so far…

Honourable omissions: Symphony X, Vanden Plas, Ghost, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Arcane.

2. Band of the year 2015
Iron Maiden

3. Newcomer of the year 2015
Zierler (does that count?)
Lonely Robot

4. Best concert in 2015
Didn’t attend any.

5. Musician of the year 2015
Steven Wilson

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
On the personal level: that my health has dictated so much this past year.
In music – boring releases from Evovex, District 97 and Special Providence. And Arcane splitting up…

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
Bullet for My Valentine – Venom (dull and without energy)

8. My hopes for 2016
That all my health issues are behind me!
Great new albums by: Dream Theater, Steven Wilson, Headspace, Fates Warning, Demians, Circus Maximus and many more…

Tommy (Writer/Tech-Wiz)

1. Ten greatest releases in 2015
(in no particular order)

Zierler – Esc
One of the biggest surprises of 2015. Zierler did take a very long break from the music scene since 2006. Who would have thought that this album would now finally see the day of light with almost 2 years in the making? Attention to detail that is his trademark! Finn Zierler has really have outdone himself this time and created a monster of dark progressive metal with the support from many gifted musicians like Kelly Sundown Carpenter (Outworld, Beyond Twilight, Darkology, Epysode), Truls Haugen (Circus Maximus), Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry) and Bobby Jarzombek (Fates Warning, Halford). A must buy for progheads!

Teramaze – Her Halo
Progressive metal of highest quality. Its pure aggressiveness spiced up with turn and twists to make any proghead spin around. With the addition of a new singer named Nathan Peachey they have reached their full potential and demonstrated to the metal world that they are truly gifted musicians and crafted one of the best prog metal albums to be released in 2015.

The Gentle Storm – The Diary
Dutch multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One and Guilt Machine) and singer Anneke van Giersbergen  (The Gathering, Devin Townsend Project) are both well-known and highly respected artists on the metal scene, and shouldn’t need any further introduction. They have created one of this year’s best musical journeys told through a love story. With their gifted musical abilities they have produce a very melodic and yet very heavy listening experience with the use of Lucassen’s trademark sounds combining folk with metal music. Kingcrow – Eidos Kingcrow proved with the predecessor “In Crescendo” that they belonged on the top shelf of melodic progressive music. With Eidos they have once again defended their position on the prog metal thrown and created one of the best concept albums in their career.

Symphony X – Underworld
The prog legends from the US have returned to their roots and not tried to reinvent the wheel again, just staying true to their own formula. They have delivered one of their best albums so far. Love it. Thanks Russel & Co.

Between The Buried And Me – Coma Ecliptic
I would categorize them as a progressive metalcore band, which is normally not my kind of thing, so why are they on the list? With “Coma Ecliptic” they made a wise decision to evolve and move away from their roots into a unknown territory of progressive experimentations and created a beautiful carved prog metal gem. I’m now official a “fan”.

Leprous – The Congregation
Overall, their latest creation has a rawer, more authentic and “down-tuned” metal vibe added to its sound compared to its predecessor “Coal”, which suits it very well, and it will definitely be the right cup of tea, a big one indeed, for any die-hard Leprous fan out there. As the great philosopher and composer Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Well, I will rephrase that quote to “Without Leprous, life would be a mistake”.

Earthside – A Dream in Static
The debut from the Connecticut-based instrumental band has taking me by storm. The highlights of the album features vocalists from around the world like Björn Strid (Soilwork) and Lajon Witherspoon (Sevendust) supported by Moscow Studio Orchestra, creating some of this year’s most memorable and unique moments in music history.

VOLA – Inmazes
My fellow countrymen from VOLA did deliver their debut in 2015, and what a surprise it was in terms of high quality and dynamic content. The Copenhagen-based quartet infused Inmazes with everything from heavy and djent-like chugs to calming/soothing soundscapes. Absolutely amazing musical journey from start to end.

Shattered Skies – The World We Used to Know
I have followed this band closely since their first baby steps in 2011. Finally, they unleashed years of hard work. It is progressive metal in the vein of TesseracT and Monuments, but they still sound very original and totally redefines the genre melodic groove metal. Newcomer of the year?

2. Band of the year 2015
‘Her Halo’ made Australian Teramaze the Band of the year for me. Guitarist/mastermind Dean Wells did create an ingenious concept and musical journey with support from his beloved band, and they are never afraid to step out of their own comfort zone to produce highly technical earth-shattering riffs and melodically memorable progressive metal.

3. Newcomer of the year 2015
The Gentle Storm
As I wrote, ‘The Diary’ is a true masterpiece, and by adding the limited and very beautiful storybook, it is a homerun. Yes, I love great artworks and covers!

4. Best concert in 2015
Sadly, I did not have much time left to spend on concerts during 2015. I even had to pass on one of Denmark’s biggest metal festivals, Copenhell, which has become a yearly attraction to my nearest friends and my company. I will try to make up for that in 2016! My lovely wife saw the tears in my eyes and graciously gave me a limited edition ticket for Copenhell as a Christmas present.

5. Musician of the year 2015
With no second thought, mastermind and guitarist Dean Wells of Teramaze is my choice for this category. This guy is a truly gifted musician, a so called multi-instrumentalist, capable of producing the most heavy and melodic guitar riffs, and able to sing his lungs out with such emotions that even the devil may cry when listening to his voice.

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
Shattered Skies – The World We Used to Know
Why did Shattered Skies end up as the biggest disappointment of 2015, when they produced and delivered one of the best debuts in 2015? Well, their amazing and skilled vocalist Sean Murphy left the band shortly after the release of their highly acclaimed debut. His voice will surely be missed, and his shoes difficult to be filled out. They are currently on a difficult mission to find his replacement.

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
I did not submit many reviews in 2015, but the debut album ‘Exodus’ from Waken Eyes was a huge disappointment in my opinion. The so-called all-star progressive metal group, fronted by Darkwater‘s voice Henrik Båth, Mike Lepond (Symphony X) on bass and Marco Minnemann (Aristocrats) were set out on a mission to conquer the hearts of the prog metal heads and were defeated. With such big muscles on board, it should have been an easy victory.

8. My hopes for 2016
Mighty Dream Theater have announced their presence in Denmark presenting their upcoming double concept album “The Astonishing” to their fans. Tickets please!

Greatly anticipated albums of 2016 by: Prospekt, Distorted Harmony, Dream Theater (The Astonishing), Circus Maximus (Havoc), Myrath (Legacy), Haken, Headspace (All That You Fear Is Gone), Wolverine, Teramaze, Anubis Gate and many many more…

Cristina (former Editor/writer)

1. Ten greatest releases in 2015

1. Deadly Circus Fire – The Hydra’s Tailor
Deadly Circus Fire simply never cease to surprise and enchant me. This album is very close to a 10/10 and definitely a modern masterpiece, so please listen to “The Hydra’s Tailor” and support this stellar band. Now!

2. Periphery – Juggernaut: Alpha
“Alpha” is, in my opinion, the better part of the Juggernaut albums. That probably because of the extremely catchy songs … I can’t help it, I simply love what Periphery have created this year. P.S.: Even my best friend (who actually doesn’t listen to any prog or djent at all) likes this album!

3. The Agonist – Eye Of Providence
The Agonist got their act together just by the time I lost interest in them. And now, just listen to what a killer album they released this year! “Eye Of Providence” is the result of great dedication, passion for music and the band’s iron will to reach as many people as possible with their music.

4. Sylosis – Dormant Heart
I believe that Sylosis will be one of the leading acts in metal one day, as they have been able to revive the classic thrash metal genre by throwing in delicate technical and progressive parts, and, particularly on this album, some slower and doomy parts.

5. Devil You Know – They Bleed Red
This album contains everything from extreme, riff-ridden tracks and melodic hymns to melancholic and slower songs and I adore all of them. There aren’t many bands out there that are able to create such diverse music, but Devil You Know definitely know what they are doing.

6. Periphery – Juggernaut: Omega
“Omega” is the second and slightly heavier part of the Juggernaut albums. Of course, it’s still very catchy at times, but this album is more about the band’s technical and insanely massive djent sound they were aiming for.

7. Kamelot – Haven
This is not Kamelot’s best release, but it’s a very solid one. It presents “new” singer Tommy Karevik’s authentic vocals and huge range and many powerful, but also heavenly beautiful pieces.

8. Negura Bunget – Tau
Alright, I admit it, I’ll hardly ever be able to not like anything by Negura Bunget. I believe that their whole concept is absolutely well-made. “Tau” is divine album about Romanian nature, tradition and mythology.

9. The Great Discord – Duende
As before, I really love the whole concept of this band. The Great Discord have managed to put out an impressive progressive metal debut that takes the listener on an emotional journey. “Duende” is as technical as it is a truly heart-warming record.

10. Soilwork – The Ride Majestic
Again, not exactly the best Soilwork record ever, but I do love the melancholic and dark vibe of “The Ride Majestic”, which is completely new ground for the Swedish band. Overall, well done!

2. Band of the year 2015
I’ll say The Agonist – these guys managed to survive the leaving of their phenomenal singer and to even grow stronger with their new and stunning vocalist this year. And we shouldn’t forget about their stellar new release!

3. Newcomer of the year 2015
The Great Discord – what a band. Just listen to those beautiful vocals!

4. Best concert in 2015
Sylosis/Wovenwar in Nuremberg: The concert took place in a very small venue, the bands played on an even tinier stage, I got to meet some of my favorite musicians and my best friend and I woke up with a sore throat, a headache and neck pain – but it was totally worth it.

5. Musician of the year 2015
Josh Middleton – there’s nothing this guy can’t do: He’s Sylosis’ main songwriter, lead guitarist and vocalist. Besides, I haven’t seen any other musician play it as clean and tight as Josh at live shows (trust me, I had a fine view over his guitar …). Hats off!

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
Probably that new Nightwish album. I bought it when it came out and only listened to it once since then. Other than that, I feel that 2015 wasn’t a strong year for metal in general.

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
Timo Tolkki didn’t release a new album yet, so no, there is no “worst album of 2015” for me (and I assure you – I certainly would have reviewed that album …).
No, seriously, I guess Promethee – Unrest was pretty disappointing. Other than that … nope, I didn’t come across any absolutely bad album, but many average albums and only one single perfect album that was released in 2014 … which is disappointing enough.

8. My hopes for 2016
I hope that some of my favorite bands like Deals Death, Mayan, HIM, Within Temptation, Killswitch Engage or Wovenwar will release new material.
I’d also love to listen to some more really great releases next year – sure, I didn’t get to listen to every single album of 2015, but only a few of the ones I did check out really impressed me.
Moreover, I’d like to have more time to do reviews [This one probably doesn’t apply anymore – Cristina decided to leave POM after this – the Editor], to read and to sing (which actually might happen, there are some things in the works …) more again.
Of course, I hope to attend one (or more) festivals and go on some short trips in 2016.

But most importantly, I wish to stay healthy and to continue to do great in school (and to even go above and beyond all expectations).

Haydee (Writer)

Ten greatest releases in 2015

1. Kamelot – Haven
2. Symphony X – Underworld
3. Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology
4. Arcturus – Arcturian
5. Leprous – The Congregation
6. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus
7. Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches
8. Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed
9. Stratovarius – Eternal
10. Soilwork – The Ride Majestic

Honourable Mentions:
Sky Forger – Senprūsija
Vanden Plas – Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld
Sonus Mortis – War Prophecy

2. Band of the year 2015
Queensrÿche was quite the buzz, I would say.

3. Newcomer of the year 2015

4. Best concert in 2015
Stam1na, Moonsorrow, Kamelot, Gus G.

5. Musician of the year 2015
Steffen Kummerer

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
Carach Angren’s This Is No Fairytale. It was a big letdown for me that I continue to shake my head.

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
Ensiferum’s One Man Army or Solution .45’s Nightmares in the Waking State – Part I

8. My hopes for 2016
I hope to have a restful early summer vacation in the tropics and good health for my loved ones. I hope to listen to more great music, watch great movies and have more adventures that will help me grow as a human being.

Reinier (Writer)

1. Ten greatest releases in 2015

The editor asked to put a few words to every album as why they are great. I suggest you to read my reviews for the albums. Only Amorphis I didn’t review, but that band is the perfect combination of melody, catchy and heavy music.

1. Armored Saint – Win Hands Down

2. Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud

3. Death Dealer – Hallowed Ground

4. Grave – Out Of Respect For the Dead

5. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

6. Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

7. RAM – Svbversvm

8. Slayer – Repentless

9. Sylosis – Dormant Heart

10. Reign Of Fury – Death Be Thy Shepherd

2. Band of the year 2015

3. Newcomer of the year 2015
Waken Eyes

4. Best concert in 2015
The Toy Dolls – Sneek, Bolwerk 28 November
Anthrax – Drachten, Iduna 24 October
Powerwolf – Dokkum, DOA 20 June

5. Musician of the year 2015
Sean Peck (such a busy man)

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
In music: The new album of Faith No More
In life: the passing away of Jonah, R.I.P. little star!

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
Dragonheart – The Battle Sanctuary

8. My hopes for 2016
I hope that the ones I love stay healthy. Of course winning the lottery, but the chance of a plane crashing on my house is bigger I think…


Markus (Writer)

1. Ten greatest releases in 2015
The ten greatest releases? There are so many albums that I enjoyed this year that I must say that I don’t want to pick ten albums in particular. How am I supposed to choose between all this great stuff? The new U.D.O. album is definitely amongst them, the same goes for Saxon’s latest release, but other than that?

2. Band of the year 2015
U.D.O.! His Navy Metal Nights album is simply amazing!

3. Newcomer of the year 2015
Incertain. They are a highly energetic female fronted Death/Thrash Metal band from Andernach (Germany) with only one EP under their belt so far. Check out their song “Mankind’s Grave” on Youtube to get an idea.

4. Best concert in 2015
And another tough choice. The Powerwolf gig I went to for PoM was awesome, but so was the
Miyavi gig I attended a bit later. He doesn’t play Metal, but he is an awesome entertainer and a master of the slap guitar. Very impressive. But what about the smaller gigs? The show where I saw Incertain play for the first time was also amazing. And don’t even get me started on the Metal Hat concert series in Duisburg. Seriously, kudos to Fabian Schwarz for supporting the underground scene with the Metal Hat (free entry, but donations are welcomed) concept!

5. Musician of the year 2015
Lemmy. May he rest in peace.

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
There are a couple of bands whom I felt to have let me down musical wise, but it happens. I do not want to name them though since I have the hope that they will come up with something good again sooner or later. I did experience one huge disappointment that I do want to mention though. I still don’t want to name the band, but maybe others will learn from it: When you send an album to a webzine in order to get it reviewed then please make sure that a) the files are not damaged and b) that you include all songs. The reaon why I write this? I was supposed to review an album, but decided against it because I insist to hear all of it before I get to write a review. What makes it particularly disappointing is that I really liked what I did get to hear from that album. The band missed out on an 8, maybe 9 devil review. Too bad.

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
See point 6. Seriously, check your files before you send us your albums for review.

8. My hopes for 2016
I hope for even more bands who are able to bring across that certain feeling that we all love so much about Heavy Metal.

Wade (writer)

1. Ten greatest releases in 2015

1. TesseracT – Polaris
This is a complete record from every angle, which is why I put it at number one.

2. My Sleeping Karma – Moksha
This could’ve been my number one album, as I do not think I listened to another album more than this one in 2015. Grooves for days!

3. Periphery – Juggernaut: Alpha & Juggernaut: Omega
The record(s) that Misha Mansoor had been wanting to put out for what seemed like forever were finally unleashed and they did not disappoint.

4. Rivers of Nihil – Monarchy
The sophomore slump couldn’t touch these guys, even after replacing two members. All hail the new heavyweights of tech-death!

5. Stryper – Fallen
The best record they have done since “To Hell with the Devil,” maybe even better.

6. Lamb of God – VII: Sturm und Drang
A powerful and emotional record for all involved, LoG are the reigning kings of American heavy metal.

7. Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors
The combo of Miny Parsonz voice and classic rock/90s grunge riffs are infectious to say the least.

8. Ahab – The Boats of the Glen Carrig
I am not generally one to listen to doom metal, but there was just something about this record that reminded me of Woods of Ypres and sucked me in.

9. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
After over 20 years and 10 studio albums, they continue to impress.

10. Sevendust – Kill the Flaw
After what I thought was a disappointing release of 2013s “Black Out the Sun,”, this was a very welcome return to form.

Honorable Mentions
Veil of Maya – Matriarch
Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

2. Band of the year 2015
Lamb of God

3. Newcomer of the year 2015
Good Tiger

4. Best concert in 2015

5. Musician of the year 2015
Anup Sastry

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
All That Remains –  The Order of Things

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
Psychomancer – Inject The Worms

8. My hopes for 2016
My hope for 2016 is for good health prosperity for myself, my fellow writers here at Power Of Metal.dk, and that Power Of Metal.dk continues to grow and prosper.

Jørgen (Writer)

1. Ten greatest releases in 2015

1. Strangelet – First Bite

2. Kyrie Ellison – Untold stories…

3. Crusader – Onward into Battle

4. The Deep – Premonition

5. Judicator – At the expense of Humanity

6. Asia – Armed to the Teeth

7. Toledo Steel – Zero Hour

8. Enforce – The final sign

9. Forgotten Disciple – Last Train to Heaven

10. Resistance – Battle Scars

2. Band of the year 2015
Strangelet, Kyrie Ellison.

3. Newcomer of the year 2015
Strangelet. Released one of the best Hard Rock albums in many, many years.

4. Best concert in 2015
Riot at Keep it True

5. Musician of the year 2015
Troy Norr from Coldsteel & Them.

6. Biggest disappointment in 2015
Born of Fire did not play in Europe.

7. Worst album I reviewed in 2015 (or decided not to review because it sucked so badly)
[Jørgen rejoined the site a couple of weeks ago – hardly had a chance to get any shite releases – the Editor]

8. My hopes for 2016
Attending more concerts.