20 Best Metal Albums of 2015

Nineties legends and future-minded grinders: The year in heavy

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Clutch, 'Psychic Warfare'

18. Clutch, 'Psychic Warfare'

The success of 2013's robust Earth Rocker and the constant touring that followed must have hardened Maryland's kings of go-go-infused muscle rock. Their 2015 release takes the band's psychedelic tendencies to dark and hungry places, full of government conspiracies and American witchcraft. Speeding ticket anthems like "X-Ray Visions," "Firebirds" and "Noble Savage" are complimented by hip-swingers like "A Quick Death In Texas" and "Our Lady of Electric Light," all of them glazed with atmospheric Southern blues. The result is a danger-fueled but stoner-friendly gem that reminds the listener of the days where the hippie and biker culture intermingled in psychotic harmony. C.K.

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