Best Rock Album of 2015 – 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards
Simply put, 2015 rocked! All you have to do is check out some of the albums that left an imprint on the year that was. There’s an intriguing collection of acts out there that delivered standout releases and they turn up in the 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards ballot.
2015 could be the year of the comeback, with Faith No More, Breaking Benjamin, Disturbed and Failure all returning after spending some time away from the music scene. You’ve also got a new album from music vets Three Days Grace, who kept the momentum going despite a vocalist change.
Acts like Halestorm, Pop Evil, Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown continued to keep radio populated with hits thanks to their new albums, and you have acts like Coheed and Cambria, Puscifer and Bring Me the Horizon making musical leaps with their latest releases.
See all of the acts and releases we’ve nominated for the Best Rock Album of 2015 and vote for which one you feel was the best. The poll is at the bottom of this post and you can vote once per hour through the deadline of Dec. 1 at 8AM ET. So get those votes in to make sure your favorite wins the Best Rock Album in the 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards.
‘Dark Before Dawn’
Breaking Benjamin returned in a big way in 2015, with Dark Before Dawn debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The disc yielded the singles “Failure,” “Angels Fall” and “Defeated,” showing the band’s new lineup was as strong and powerful as ever.
‘That’s the Spirit’
Bring Me the Horizon continued their musical evolution in 2015, serving up the That’s the Spirit album and delivering a more accessible sound. As a result, the song “Throne” has rocketed up the airplay charts and tracks like “Happy Song” and “True Friends” have also garnered recognition from the band’s fans.
Riding the hot streak from 2013’s Earth Rocker, Clutch returned quickly with the follow-up Psychic Warfare, delivering more concise tracks that pack an electrifying punch. With songs like “X-Ray Visions,” “Firebirds,” “A Quick Death in Texas” and “Noble Savage,” Clutch keep the uptick in their career on the right trajectory.
‘The Color Before the Sun’
Coheed and Cambria made a creative leap in 2015 with The Color Before the Sun, a disc that found the band straying from The Amory Wars concept that threaded their albums together. The disc has yielded such stellar cuts as “You Got Spirit, Kid,” “Here to Mars” and the triumphant “Island.”
‘Last of Our Kind’
The Darkness released their fourth album, Last of Our Kind, and continued to deliver the straight-forward, anthem-infused rock that fans have come to love. Led by the single “Barbarian,” as well as the follow-up tracks “Open Fire” and “Last of Our Kind,” The Darkness scored with one of the year’s underrated gems.
‘Pleasure to Meet You’
Dead Sara enjoyed a breakout in 2012 with their self-titled disc, but the band’s Pleasure to Meet You follow-up flew under the radar. The gem did generate a couple of singles in the form of the infectious “Mona Lisa” and its follow-up “Something Good” and deserves a closer inspection if you missed it.
How much did we miss Disturbed? Fans found out this summer when the band sprung a new album on the music scene. Hitting hard out of the gate with “The Vengeful One,” Immortalized got off to a great start, and with the titled track, “The Light” and the band’s cover of “The Sound of Silence,” the group sounds as vital as ever.
Faith No More‘s touring reunion has been a highlight of the past few years, but in 2015 we got the band’s first new music in just shy of two full decades with the release of Sol Invictus. What we got was a fresh-sounding effort, unique to what else was going on in the music scene. With tracks like “Motherf—er,” “Superhero” and the recently released “Sunny Side Up,” the band proved to be back at the top of their game.
‘The Heart Is a Monster’
Add Failure to the list of bands reuniting for new music, and it feels as though the Ken Andrews-led group hasn’t missed a step. Their The Heart Is a Monster album is a compelling collection featuring such standout cuts as “Hot Traveler,” “Counterfeit Sky” and “Come Crashing.”
‘Got Your Six’
After releasing two big-selling companion discs in 2013, Five Finger Death Punch showed no signs of slowing down, immediately churning out the Got Your Six follow-up. After starting with the aggressive “Jekyll and Hyde,” the band generated the heavy, thought-provoking follow-up “Wash It All Away,” and they’re just getting started on this new album.
‘Innocence & Decadence’
Swedish rockers Graveyard have raised the bar a little higher with their fourth studio album, Innocence & Decadence. Their retro rock sound shines through on such stellar tracks as “The Apple and the Tree” and “Too Much Is Not Enough.”
‘Into the Wild Life’
Halestorm continued their ascent to becoming rock superstars with their third studio album Into the Wild Life. Kicking off the year with the hard rocking favorite “Apocalyptic,” switching gears to the chugging rocker “Amen” and finishing out the year with “I Am the Fire,” the band has dominated radio. Songs like the chaotic “Mayhem,” the anthemic closer “I Like It Heavy” and the touching “Dear Daughter” make this one of the year’s standout releases.
‘The Pale Emperor’
Marilyn Manson‘s creative uptick continues with his release of The Pale Emperor earlier this year. Though the singles “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge” and “Deep Six” got play in 2014, the album itself arrived in January and went on to yield some additional stellar tracks in “Cupid Carries a Gun” and “The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles.”
As their hit song “Footsteps” says, Pop Evil continued to “go higher, go higher” with their latest album UP. The rock radio favorites scored another big single with the chart-topping “Footsteps,” and with songs like “In Disarray,” “Dead in the Water,” “Ghost of Muskegon,” “Take It All” and the ballad hit in waiting “If Only for Now,” we should be hearing more from Pop Evil in 2016.
The Maynard James Keenan-led Puscifer continue to evolve musically and in 2015 we got the band’s third studio album, Money Shot. Highlights include the majestic sounding “Grand Canyon” and more crunchy, rocking title track. The album just arrived in stores, so look for more songs to roll out over the next year.
Royal Thunder reached new heights in 2015 with their early year Crooked Doors release. Mlny Parsonz and Josh Weaver continue to thrive in their musical partnership, with tracks like “Time Machine,” “Glow,” “Ear on the Fool” and the unique sounding “Forgive Me, Karma” leading the way.
‘Kill the Flaw’
After detouring with an acoustic collection, Sevendust are back and rocking as hard as ever with their Kill the Flaw album. The band introduced the disc with the preview track “Not Today,” then really connected with the single “Thank You” and show great promise in the coming year with tracks like “Torched” and “Cease and Desist” yet to get their due.
‘Threat to Survival’
Returning refreshed and energized, Shinedown carved out yet another stellar rock set with the Threat to Survival album. They kicked things off with “Cut the Cord,” one of the heaviest songs in the band’s catalog. Tracks like “Dangerous,” “Oblivion,” “State of My Head” and “Black Cadillac” also got a preview before the album arrived, and with a late year release we expect even bigger things in 2016.
How would Three Days Grace fare with new vocalist Matt Walst? Quite well, actually. “Painkiller” and “I Am Machine” topped the charts before the album even sniffed record racks, and the band continued to keep the music coming in 2015 with the singles “Human Race” and “Fallen Angel.”
Mark Tremonti‘s self-titled band is chugging along with the Cauterize album arriving earlier this year and quieting any notion of a sophomore slump. Tracks like “Another Heart,” “Flying Monkeys” and “Radical Change” have garnered the attention of radio, and he’s already got another disc lined up for early 2016.