The 100 best albums of 2015: 20-11

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Here’s the penultimate part of our greatest album releases of 2015 from TeamRock, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Blues. Do you agree with choices so far? Tell us in the comments section below. But please, play nice.

20. SKINDRED – Volume (Napalm Records)
We said: ”This is classic Skindred, shot through with Benji Webbe’s infectious rapping and propulsive dub reggae rhythms. You’d be hard-pressed to find another metal album from 2015 that makes you want to dance as much as Volume.”

**19. COHEED AND CAMBRIA – The Color Before The Sun (300 Entertainment)
Prog said: **“Perhaps the biggest surprise of The Color Before The Sun is how much it seems like business as usual for Coheed despite the seismic shift that underpins its creation. Moreover, when judged against the progression of the band so far, it is a great record, and their most accessible yet.

18. DEF LEPPARD – Def Leppard (earMUSIC)
Classic Rock said: “Joe Elliott seems to have spent most of the past 30 years grumbling about how Def Leppard aren’t given the respect they’re due. He has a point – you don’t become the 27th biggest-selling British band of all time without doing something right. But credibility in the eyes of the cultural gatekeepers still evades them. In truth, he should get over it. For one thing, there are a lot worse places to be than sitting atop the proceeds of 100 million record sales. And for another, his band have just made their finest record since the glory days of the 1980s…”

17. FRANK TURNER – Positive Songs For Negative People (Polydor)
We said: “It’s on Mittens that serves up the real ace. A lovelorn tale that’s as much full of hope as it is regret, it seems to embody exactly what Positive Songs For Negative People, a song that moves away from the past even as it ruminates over it, and is somehow okay with the fact that things don’t always work out how we want them to. It’s a powerful rock song full of bombast, but also riddled with fragility and tenderness that gives it that sincerity that’s so central to Turner’s music.”

16. REFUSED – Freedom (Epitaph)
Metal Hammer said: “Refused may still have fire in their bellies and creative genius running through their veins, but they’re not the angry young men they were. Freedom is a much more straight-ahead rock album – despite Dennis Lyxzén’s impassioned, poetic vocals – albeit one with way more thrills than you’d get from your average punk band. The visceral thrill of old has been replaced by a poise and thoughtful grace befitting the stage of life they find themselves in, but the intelligence shining at the heart of Freedom makes their return to the studio a welcome one.”

15. BRING ME THE HORIZON – That’s The Spirit (RCA)
Metal Hammer said:That’s The Spirit is the sound of a metal band writing arena-filling rock, firmly holding on to their identity but taking the biggest leap yet in their consistent album-by-album evolution. This record is set to take the band right back into the arenas where they belong, and straight to the top of festival bills.”

14. NO DEVOTION – Permanence (Collect)
We said: “The good news is that No Devotion’s debut supersedes anything their former band ever recorded. In something of a role reversal they’ve replaced style with substance. It’s liberated, more adventurous than Lostprophets ever were and far less haunted than one might expect. Instead there is a widescreen cinematic soundtrack quality to noir-pop songs reminiscent of Placebo, Depeche Mode and Bloc Party, in aesthetic if not entirely in sound. This an album more concerned with melodies than riffs, tones rather than poses. It will also rightfully see No Devotion shake off the unwieldy shackles of the past and embrace a new future.”

13. VENNART – The Demon Joke (Superball)
Prog said: “Some will be expecting a continuation of Oceansize; others, a more straightforward alternative rock album, or an electronic record in the vein of British Theatre, Mike Vennart’s other project with ex-Oceansize collaborator Richard ‘Gambler’ Ingram. Well, The Demon Joke is at once all of these, and none of them. Vennart has always talked of his enthusiasm for the Cardiacs’ chameleonic music as well as the angular, autodidactic alt-rock of Biffy Clyro, and these influences are writ large here. The Demon Joke is a stunning effort – youthful and vigorous and knowing and wry when it needs to be. Crucially, it fulfils that most pressing of expectations: Oceansize fans are going to love it.”

12. GHOST – Meliora (Spinefarm)
Classic Rock said: “Beneath the lurid, macabre showmanship and spectacle, there beats the heart of a truly accomplished rock band. With its Latin title roughly translating as ‘a yearning to be better’, Meliora is easily the sextet’s finest outing to date, a meticulously executed, artful collection of black-souled retro doom-pop, as heavy as Metallica, as melodically sophisticated as ABBA. This cult is only going to grow.”

11. BUDDY GUY – Born To Play Guitar (Sony)
Blues said: “The title’s a dead giveaway; the emphasis is on Guy’s guitar playing, and with songs dedicated to Muddy Waters and BB King, it’s clear his mission is to safeguard the blues. He says as much – ‘I was born to play this guitar, I got the blues running through my veins,’ he sings on the title track, an excellent slow blues and his statement of intent. His place in blues history as a true great is assured.