It was another exciting year for metal across all of its countless subgenres! Some of the biggest bands released stellar new albums and a added a dizzying amount of memorable tunes to the heavy metal canon.
From traditional to progressive to death to black to industrial to thrash to, well, you get the point, we've got 20 songs for you to vote on to determine the Best Metal Song of 2015 in the 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards! Fans can vote once per hour through the deadline of Dec. 1 at 8AM ET, so get those votes in to pick the winner of Best Metal Song of 2015 in the 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards!
"Death of a King"Amorphis
Amorphis deliver their Finnish folk inspired brand of melodic metal in perfect form on "Death of a King." Singer Tomi Joutsen once again uses his harsh and clean vocals to navigate the ebbs and flows of the song with a massive choral hook.
"Road of Resistance"BabyMetal
Japanese sensation BabyMetal take metal to epic heights on "Road of Resistance" mounting the tension in the beginning and giving way to a relentless fury with delightful soaring vocals. The song has a video-game feel, which is undoubtedly part of the main attraction to this band.
"Memory Palace"Between the Buried and Me
Defining the word progressive, Between the Buried and Me traverse a host of musical stylings on "Memory Palace." Perhaps the most impressive thing about the song is the way everything is cohesively stitched together across the song's near 10 minute span.
"Vlad, Son of the Dragon"The Black Dahlia Murder
The Black Dahlia Murder take care of business in just under three minutes, ripping through riff after riff and scorching lead after scorching lead. The highs and lows of vocalist Trevor Strnad give the song a grandiose feel along with triumphant chord progressions.
"Manufactured Extinct"Cattle Decapitation
Cattle Decapitation spend the first minute of "Manufactured Exctinct" with an ominous and foreboding build-up before tearing it all down with malevolent riffs and Travis Ryan's swamp monster voice. The songwriting here is diverse, coalescing into one of the year's best songs.
"Right Wing of the Garden Triptych"Cradle of Filth
Cradle of Filth open "Right Wing of the Garden Triptych" with a cinematic moment spotlighting Lindsay Schoolcraft's ethereal voice. Orchestral sounds come in shortly after and not before long the band re-establish their extreme metal leanings. The band constantly switch gears with ceaseless energy making this an epic track.
"Planet A"The Devil Wears Prada
Opening "Planet A" is the distorted voice of mission control radioing into an astronaut. After a short while, the Devil Wears Prada explode, dominated by a synth heavy background that creates a spacey atmosphere to properly reflect the theme of the song.
"Soul Hacker"Fear Factory
Fear Factory are still at the forefront of the industrial metal scene, never sounding a day older than when they started. "Soul Hacker" is a rhythmic juggernaut, riding a chug-laden groove with Burton C. Bell's animated barks fusing the intensity.
Opening with a soft acoustic guitar, Ghost blend this into a soft electric guitar before breaking into the stompy riffing with the honey-throated voice of Papa Emeritus III leading the congregation. The song is a hypnotic dirge with the band's effervescent pop hooks in just the right places.
"The Black Plot"High on Fire
High on Fire are a machine, churning out a focused and punishing album each time. Luminiferous is no exception and "The Black Plot" makes that known right from the start. Opening the album, the song has all the High on Fire trademarks and is a fist-raising psalm of speedy sludge.
"Empire of the Clouds"Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden's most ambitious endeavor is inarguably the Bruce Dickinson-penned "Empire of the Clouds." The 18-minute opus builds and builds and builds, then keeps building. Sweeping from movement to movement, the song is unpredictable and boasts gorgeous piano melodies, Dickinson's operatic voice, and some of the band's most triumphant moments to date.
With Lamb of God releasing their first album since singer Randy Blythe's acquittal of manslaughter in the Czech Republic, everyone knew the band would be ready to explode with new new music. Sounding as fresh as ever, "512" mostly enjoys a midtempo groove with atmospheric disharmony and Blythe's banshee vocals taking charge.
While fans eagerly await Megadeth's new album, Dystopia, and its January 2016 release date, they've been whetting their appetite with "Fatal Illusion." With a chugging opening, the band give way to some furious thrashing that falls just in line with what we all expect from Dave Mustaine and the rest of his crew.
Verging more on goth rock territory with a Sisters of Mercy vibe, Moonspell inject the brooding yet pop-like feel to their dark metal with "Medusalem." The song is quite danceable, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best metal songs of 2015.
"Smash a Single Digit"Napalm Death
"Smash a Single Digit" is over just as fast as it started, but it leaves a trail of smoldering destruction in its path. The grind champions Napalm Death are just as lethal as they were when they pioneered the genre over 30 years ago. The maddening barks of Barney Greenway and the frenzy behind him sound downright pissed off.
"Call to Destruction"Nile
Nile love their history, with an obvious focus on ancient Egyptian and the Middle East. "Call to Destruction" brings to light the recent destruction of ancient artifacts in these areas due to war. The band uses their unmistakable brand of death metal to raise awareness of what is going on in the world.
Periphery's double album boasts a wide display of what the band's capabilities. The song "Alpha" comes off the first disc of the same name and showcases the lighter side of the band, carefully weaving its metal foundation around the pop-infused track.
The rolling sticks of Scott Rockenfield give "Guardian" a ceaseless energy with its bouncy guitar playing and devastating vocal delivery from Todd La Torre. The heavily accented chorus has a wonderful push and pull and is purely anthemic the way Queensryche are meant to be.
"Sand Baptism"Rivers of Nihil
Technical death metal outfit Rivers of Nihil created a beast with "Sand Baptism." Careful to not overplay, the band string together a virulent concoction of dizzying leads, slugging rhythms, and textured atmosphere. Able to switch gears at a moment's notice, "Sand Baptism" is a lot to take in at once, but there's no problem just listening to it over and over.
Many wondered how Slayer would fare without Jeff Hanneman, but "Repentless" is proof positive that the band can soldier on and remain definitively Slayer. The song is a ripper featuring some trademark riffs and Tom Araya's angsty vocals delivering the message.