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The Best Metal Albums Of 2015
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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The Best Metal Albums of 2015

2015 has sucked in almost every way for me and for a lot of people that I know, too. You could say it was full of Trials and Tribulation (that’ll be funny AFTER you see the top of my list). Fortunately, we were gifted a litany of top-shelf metal albums to get us through it without losing our minds. The following are the top 20 metal records that I subjected my children to while driving them all over L.A. I have to admit that there was so much great stuff this year that I sort of cheated here by including a very extensive “honorable mentions” category for all of the other albums that might have made the list had the year ended when they came out. All of them are excellent efforts that I know I’ll be listening to for years to come.

Check out the list and let me know what you think in the comments below because if I know metalheads (and believe me, I do) you’ll all have some very strong opinions about your own likes and dislikes. The best thing about other people’s year-end “best of” list is that I always discover a few absolute gems that got past me during the year. Last year, you, the readers, even turned me on to Ne Obliviscaris and Solstafir, two amazing bands that I was unfamiliar with and whose albums should have been on my list. It is my hope that no matter what your opinion of my personal list is, that it will inspire you to check out some artists or records that you haven’t yet discovered. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite metal band contained herein.

Have a wonderful holiday season and rest up, because 2016 promises to be another pummeling year in extreme music. And be sure to stay tuned here at GoD because you know we’ll be doing our very best to keep you informed about all of it.

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Massive Metal Monday: High On Fire “Snakes For The Divine”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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High On Fire Snakes for the Divine Album Cover

Oakland power trio High On Fire is the heir apparent to Motorhead. Matt Pike’s massive riffs are pummeling and often played at a breakneck speed (much in contrast to the axeman’s other band, the sludgy stoner doom kings Sleep). The rhythm section of bassist Jeff Matz and Dez Kenzel also sound like a the rumbling of a tank barreling down the listener.

Pike recently completed rehab and has emerged sober, focused and hell-bent on creating the most massive riffs that metal has ever known. High On Fire’s seventh studio album, Luminiferous, is out now and I highly recommend that you run out and grab a copy (or, you know, stay in and download it… legally, of course).

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High On Fire Streaming New Album ‘Luminiferous’ In Its Entirety
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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High on Fire Band Photo 2015

Oakland metal powerhouse High On Fire is set to release its seventh studio album Luminiferous next Tuesday, June 16th, but for a limited time the full album is available for streaming.

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Listen Now: New High On Fire Song “The Black Plot”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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High On Fire

Oakland metal megalith High On Fire has just given us the first glimpse of their highly anticipated seventh studio album with the release of the album’s first single over at RollingStone.com. The Track is titled “The Black Plot” and is proof positive that HOF are only sharpening their brutal aural assault with age. As per usual, the riff rules supreme for this power trio lead by guitarist/singer Matt Pike.

More below.

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High On Fire Reveal New Album Title, Artwork, and Release Date
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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High On Fire Band Photo 2015 Lineup

Legendary Oakland metal trio High On Fire has made a major announcement regarding their highly anticipated upcoming seventh studio album. We now know that the disc is titled Luminiferous and it will be unleashed upon the world June 23, 2015 via eOne Music.

Once again, the album was produced by Converge guitarist and engineer extraordinaire Kurt Ballou at his God City Studios in Salem, MA. Luminiferous is being hailed as “a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume, delivering calculated catharsis as a volcano of revolving riffs and hailstorm of thundering drums combine to beam a blazing spotlight towards the future of modern metal music.”

I am extremely excited by this news since HOF is one of my three favorite bands (I even have a tattoo of the cover art of their masterpiece Snakes For The Divine that takes up my entire inner right forearm!) and you can bet that as soon as humanly possible I’ll be giving you a full review. Until then, enjoy the official video for their classic track “Rumors of War.”

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High On Fire Choose Kurt Ballou to Produce New Album
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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High On Fire Band Photo

Stoner/doom metal legends High On Fire have announced that they plan to commence recording for their seventh studio album in late January at Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer Kurt Ballou. Ballou, who is also the guitarist in legendary hardcore/metalcore band Converge, is currently one of the most critically acclaimed and sought-after producers in extreme music. In addition to producing HOF’s most recent album, 2012’s De Vermis Mysteriis, he has helmed numerous classics from the likes of Nails, Baptists, All Pigs Must Die, Code Orange Kids, Trap Them, Skeletonwitch, Vallenfyre, Black Breath, Kvelertak, and countless others.

High On Fire wrote the material for the new disc over the past year in both their hometown of Oakland and in New Orleans. The songs have been described as “epic” and “sonically huge.”

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Behold! The Monolith Overcome Tragedy, Return To The Stage With New Lineup
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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behold_the_monolith

The Spring of 2013 was shaping up very nicely for L.A. stoner/doom rock outfit Behold! The Monolith. The band had just released its second full-length album, Defender, Redeemist, which was recorded with legendary producer Billy Anderson at the helm. The record was gathering steam and the band was set to embark on a nationwide tour. Then on June 21, two weeks before the tour was to commence, the unthinkable happened: lead singer and bassist Kevin McDade was killed in an automobile accident at the all too young age of 29.

Devastated by the loss of the man who they considered as much a brother as a bandmate, remaining members Chase Manhattan (drums) and Matt Price (guitar) could not initially even conceive of continuing on without their beloved frontman. It was only after receiving the blessings and encouragement of the McDade family that they could begin to pick up the pieces.

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