The Best of 2015

Steven WilsonAs 2015 comes to a close, we look back as we always do at our favorites from the year. There are a few changes in how things have ran the past few years however. First, contributor Joseph Tingle will be joining Nick and Mason in adding choices to the yearly list. Secondly, instead of the three of us recording audio separately, we will be presenting discussion style, going over our picks together.

In this post you will see the image of Steven Wilson, whose latest album, Hand. Cannot. Erase., earned a bronze, silver, and gold amongst the three judges this year. This makes it the highest consensus pick amongst the staff, and the overall When Prog and Power Unite album of the year. I’d like to think this is the most prestigious award that this exceptionally obscure and young artist has ever received. Congratulations Steven!

If viewing on the web, head to the end of this post you will find the play button to hear the 96 minute discussion as we discuss our picks, as well as several that didn’t make the lists. We hope you all enjoyed 2015 as much as we did, and look forward to spreading the joy in 2016!

Top 10 Albums of 2015
Nick:
10. Exovex – Radio Silence
9. Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls
8. The Dear Hunter – Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise
7. Queensryche – Condition Human
6. The Gentle Storm – The Diary
5. Von Hertzen Brothers – New Day Rising
4. Vanden Plas – Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II
3. Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2. Riverside – Love, Fear and the Time Machine
1. Beardfish – +4626- ComfortZone

Mason:
10. Arena – The Unquiet Sky
9. Mystery – Delusion Rain
8. Magic Pie – King For a Day
7. Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls
6. Subsignal – The Beacons of Somewhere Sometime
5. The Dear Hunter – Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise
4. Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic
3. Iris Divine – Karma Sown
2. Riverside – Love, Fear and the Time Machine
1. Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase

Joe:
10. Not a Good Sign – From a Distance
9. The Aristrocrats – Tres Caballeros
8. Nordic Giants – A Séance of Dark Delusions
7. Beardfish – +4626- ComfortZone
6. The Dear Hunter – Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise
5. Puscifer – Money Shot
4. Caspian – Dust and Disquiet
3. Foxing – Dealer
2. Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.
1. Vennart – The Demon Joke

Songwriter/Composer of the Year
Nick: Casey Crescenzo (The Dear Hunter)
Mason: Steven Wilson (Steven Wilson)
Joe: Maynard James Keenan (Puscifer)

Vocalist of the Year
Nick: Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)
Mason: Casey Crescenzo (The Dear Hunter)
Joe: Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)

Guitarist of the Year
Nick: Eric Gillette (The Neal Morse Band)
Mason: Navid Rashid (Iris Divine)
Joe: Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats)

Bassist of the Year
Nick: Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs)
Mason: Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson)
Joe: Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson)

Keyboardist of the Year
Nick: Michal Lapaj (Riverside)
Mason: David Bertok (Subsignal)
Joe: Rikard Sjöblom (Beardfish)

Drummer of the Year
Nick: Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats)
Mason: Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats)
Joe: Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats)

Song of the Year (Song Under 10 Minutes)
Nick: Hand Cannot Erase (Steven Wilson)
Mason: Happy Returns (Steven Wilson)
Joe: Vennart (Amends)

Epic of the Year (Song Over 10 Minutes)
Nick: Alive Again (Neal Morse Band)
Mason: Empire of the Clouds (Iron Maiden)
Joe: If We Must Be Apart (Beardfish)

Ballad of the Year
Nick: Time Travelers (Riverside)
Mason: Time Travelers (Riverside)
Joe: Glass Coughs (Foxing)

Disappointment of the Year
Nick: District 97 – In Vaults
Mason: Leprous – The Congregation
Joe: Intervals – The Colour of Sound

Comeback Album of the Year
Nick: Queensryche – Condition Human
Mason: Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls
Joe: The Dear Hunter – Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

Newcomer of the Year
Nick: Exovex – Radio Silence
Mason: Iris Divine – Karma Sown
Joe: Nordic Giants – A Séance of Dark Delusions

Album Cover/Artwork of the Year
Nick: Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Mason: Native Construct – Quiet World
Joe: Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Top 3 Shows/Tours of the Year
Nick:
3. Evergrey, Voyager,  Borealis, and MindMaze in Baltimore
2. Rush in Newark
1. Steven Wilson in Glenside

Mason:
3. Blind Guardian in Orlando
2. Steven Wilson in Glenside
1. RoSFest in Gettysburg

Joe:
3. Steven Wilson in New York City
2. Enslaved in Philadelphia
1. Blind Guardian in Philadelphia

Top Concert Video of the Year
Nick: Rush – R40 Live
Mason: Flying Colors – Second Flight: Live at the Z7

Most Anticipated Releases in 2016
Nick: Haken
Mason: Dream Theater, Haken, Redemption, and Circus Maximus
Joe: Blackfield

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