As the year rolls on, everyone slowly starts thinking more and more about year end lists and the discussion about the best metal album of the year gains more and more traction with each passing day. While any time before the last release in December is too early to declare a victor, it never hurts to start putting together a list of contenders.

We've compiled a collection of albums (above) that have made the biggest impact on metal fans, musicians, and the genre altogether. Sure, only one album will top the list at the end of 2015, but pay close attention because you're sure to see some of these make the cut at the end of the year, as well.

Check out our gallery of the Best Metal Albums of 2015 (So Far) above!