The 100 best albums of 2015: 30-21

Here’s the eighth part of our greatest album releases of 2015 from TeamRock, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Blues. What albums have you rated this year? Let us know in the comments below…

30. HALESTORM – Into The Wild Life (Atlantic)
Classic Rock said:Into The Wild Life is oddly old-fashioned yet thoroughly modern, effortlessly entertaining, and enormous fun. It’s equal parts Pat Benatar, Big & Rich, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith and Lady Gaga, and it might just do for Halestorm what Pyromania did for Def Leppard. It’s a triumph, and Halestorm have arrived.

29. THERAPY? – Disquiet (Amazing Record Co)
Classic Rock said:Disquiet taps back into Troublegum’s black heart and emerges as something akin to a survivor’s manual for lost souls. There’s something perversely life-affirming about this salty bleakness, particularly when it’s accompanied by some of the sharpest riffs Cairns has crafted in years. And yet amid all this doom, Therapy? sound reborn, utterly at ease with a sound they largely abandoned 20 years back. If this brilliant set propels them from the margins once more, that would surely be the greatest irony of all.”

28. THE DARKNESS – Last Of Our Kind (Canary Dwarf Limited)
Classic Rock said: “The Darkness have only gone and made their finest album since Permission To Land… their return to form is a welcome surprise in these apocalyptically drab times. And even if the world turns its face away from them, at least they’re going to go down screeching.”

27. SLEATER-KINNEY – No Cities To Love (Sub Pop)
We said: ”Their first album in over a decade, No Cities To Love’s jagged ferocity represents a shrieking, hollering, riff-fuelled shot in the arm to the modern indie-rock scene. Tackling themes from the evils of Western capitalism to gender dynamics and the importance of female relationships, the three-piece’s original grrrl-power mission statement remains a prescient as ever.”

26. LAMB OF GOD – VII: Sturm Und Drang (Nuclear Blast)
Metal Hammer said:Sturm Und Drang delivers LOG’s finest outing in a decade – a filler-free showcase of anthemic choruses, bludgeoning grooves and some of the best damned riffs the band have ever written, squarely establishing that tension is indeed essential to all great art. In view of all they have overcome, anything less ambitious would be a grave disappointment.”

25. THE WONDER YEARS – No Closer To Heaven (Hopeless)
We said: “Pop-punk’s most literate and cerebral band get even more literate and cerebral with this fifth album. Darkly existential, it’s an album which ruminates on death, and on the injustices inherently inbuilt into contemporary American society. It also expanded their musical horizons, opening wide the door for what comes next.”

24. KILLING JOKE – Pylon (Spinefarm)
Classic Rock said: ”There is a soaring, epic quality about much of Pylon that reminds of U2 and The Cure at their big, early best, even bringing to mind The Teardrop Explodes. Had they been of a more conciliatory, upbeat temperament, maybe Killing Joke could have had an alternative career as air-punching stadium rockers. As it is, you can expect their upcoming gigs to be packed to the rafters. Their time has never really gone away.“

We said:Vintage Piss is a swarm of urgent downstrokes and masterful drumming, all wrapped up in Vincent’s defiant croon and shot through with Speedo’s unique guitar phrasing. It’s the perfect snapshot of 2003; on one hand, here’s a punk legend energised by a timely re-release and, in hindsight, it’s the energetic swan song of a band in the throes of breaking up. A rare, unexpected treat.”

22. MARILYN MANSON – The Pale Emperor (Cooking Vinyl)
Metal Hammer said: “Whether it’s a ‘return to form’ or ‘comeback’ in the classic rock’n’roll sense all depends on whether you make of Marilyn Manson’s career, be it the monstrous public enemy of his raucous formative years, or an ever-evolving artist of multiple layers and personas in the mould of his idol, David Bowie. Either way, The Pale Emperor’s real triumph is that it firmly re-establishes Manson’s ability to, on occasion, still be a relevant musical force.”

21. BARONESS – Purple (Abraxan Hymns)
** Classic Rock said:** “In August 2012, a horrific bus crash almost wiped the US band out, leaving singer/guitarist John Baizley hospitalised and in danger of losing his arm. You don’t have to be a shrink to work out that Purple is a work of pure catharsis, and a sometimes tortured one at that. But whether they meant to or not, Baroness have made an album that brims with hope. Right now, that’s a hell of an achievement.“