Metal

Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud (2015)

Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud (2015)

In a year that, for me at least, has been largely uninspiring on the music front, Amorphis’ ‘Under the Red Cloud’ is a glittering jewel.

Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

Glenn Danzig has a pretty good history with covers, and ‘Skeletons’ makes a direct reference to that with another Elvis Presley song.

Louis Minus XVI – Kindergarten (2015)

Louis Minus XVI – Kindergarten (2015)

Experimental French quartet Louis Minus XVI’s ‘Kindergarten’ is easier to like because it’s harder to pin down.

Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor (2015)

Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor (2015)

‘The Pale Emperor,’ more than any from Marilyn Manson in the intervening years, seems like the natural successor to ‘Mechanical Animals.’

Kiss’ return-to-form Sonic Boom was anything but a guilty pleasure for me

Kiss’ return-to-form Sonic Boom was anything but a guilty pleasure for me

Kiss’ ‘Sonic Boom,’ released on Oct. 6, 2009, was packed with hooks, anthemic choruses, and a lifetime supply of innuendo. What’s not to like?

Inside a life-changing moment from Savatage’s 1991 triumph Streets: A Rock Opera

Inside a life-changing moment from Savatage’s 1991 triumph Streets: A Rock Opera

A key track from Savatage’s Streets: A Rock Opera, released on Oct. 4, 1991, made all the difference in the world for one troubled fan.

Slayer – Repentless (2015)

Slayer – Repentless (2015)

Does ‘Repentless’ match Slayer’s classics? Not really. But it’s probably the best complete album they’ve done in decades and, for me, that’ll do.

Savatage, “Prelude to Madness / Hall of the Mountain King” (1987): One Track Mind

Savatage, “Prelude to Madness / Hall of the Mountain King” (1987): One Track Mind

Savatage’s classic ‘Hall of the Mountain King,’ released on Sept. 28, 1987, was an eye-opening experience for first-time producer Paul O’Neill.

The Wicked Fools, “Beverly” (2015): One Track Mind

The Wicked Fools, “Beverly” (2015): One Track Mind

Aside from being a great song, the story of how the Wicked Fools’ “Beverly” dropped in my lap is simply unbelievable.

Iron Maiden – Book of Souls (2015)

Iron Maiden – Book of Souls (2015)

‘Book of Souls’ is a good by comparison to recent Iron Maiden efforts, but within the context of their entire catalog, it’s mediocre at best.