The 100 best albums of 2015: 70-61

Happy Christmas!

Here’s the fourth instalment of our rundown of the greatest album releases of 2015 from TeamRock, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Blues…

70. STEVE HACKETT – Wolflight (Century Media)
Prog said: “On Wolflight, he emphatically establishes one thing yet again: Steve Hackett may be ex-Genesis, but he’s also very much his own man.”

69. ENSLAVED – In Times (Nuclear Blast)
** Prog said:** “In some ways, In Times is the most vicious album Enslaved have made since their early days as Viking metal mavericks caught up in Norwegian black metal’s bloody gestation. More important, for prog aficionados at least, is the obvious fact that Enslaved are able to affirm those formative values via songs that evolve and mutate at an exhilarating pace, without ever losing the wonderful fluidity that makes each sideways step seem as natural as the night sky.”

68. ALABAMA SHAKES – Sound & Color (Rough Trade)
Blues said: “The bluesy roots-rock of Alabama Shakes’ 2012 debut album Boys & Girls won the band universal acclaim and swiftly made them one of the biggest names in the US. Its follow-up, however, is resolutely disparate, a little strange and, frankly, all the better for it. By the time The Greatest has blindsided you with its Strokes-infused garage tumble you may be disorientated, but only in a good way that will make you want to spin the record again.”

67. HENRY GRAY AND BOB CORRITORE – Blues Won’t Let Me Take My Rest Vol.1
Blues said: “The songs and styles belong to the 40s, 50s and 60s, with a centre of gravity, represented by tracks like Blues Won’t Let Me Take My Rest and She Don’t, in the idiom of the Muddy Waters band in its heyday. If you are responsive to that, and are prepared to forgo hot licks in exchange for a warm and collaborative ambience, you should have a very good time hanging out with Gray, Corritore and company.”

66. VON HERTZEN BROTHERS – New Day Rising (Spinefarm)
Prog said: “There are still a few bands with the musical imagination and resilience to create an album as all-embracing as this. Thankfully, the Von Hertzen Brothers are only part of the way through their journey.”

65. NAPALM DEATH – Apex Predator – Easy Meat (Century Media)
Metal Hammer said: “Napalm have made a career out of ‘good old dependable speed’, but you don’t last as long they have without being open to new ideas and continuing to challenge your listeners. To that end, Apex Predator – Easy Meat, an album conceived as an exposé of modern, worldwide slavery, is perhaps the most experimental LP the band have produced in the 22 years since the current lineup was solidified.”

64. ROLO TOMASSI – Grievances (Holy Roar)
Metal Hammer said: “While some bands are keen to take the listener on a journey through time and space, Rolo Tomassi sneak up behind you and push you down the stairs. Grievances is the most ferocious album yet.”

63. NORDIC GIANTS – A Seance Of Dark Delusions (Kscope)
** Prog said: **“The trouble with so much ambient rock is that it often seems too thin to sustain itself, let alone the listener. Nordic Giants, however, have no such problem. A Séance Of Dark Delusions is a bold, imagistic panorama of textures, rhythms and volume. And, as befits their name, Nordic Giants’ debut has genuine, dramatic presence.”

62. THE GRAVELTONES – Love Lies Dying
We said: “Graveltones frontman Jimmy O effortlessly delivers slowburning blues riffs with dirt under its fingernails, and, when joined by the primal, muscular clatter of Mikey Sorbello, songs like Big Money are an irresistible proposition. Imagine if the White Stripes had John Bonham behind the kit. Stunning.”

61. PUSCIFER – Money Shot (Puscifer Entertainment)
Metal Hammer said: “While fans have come to expect such gratifying irreverence, Puscifer’s puerile posturing largely cedes to a more vulnerable and viscerally arresting vision, casting Money Shot as the band’s, dare we say, most mature and utterly enthralling campaign yet.”