At this point, it's basically tradition: The last show of the year is dedicated to the loud, the fast, the heavy, the cosmic and the sublime. A.K.A., when All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and I talk about metal, punk and a broad definition of experimental music. Maybe you've listened to some of these outliers in my Viking's Choice column or even on the podcast — they definitely stick out like a sore, headbanging thumb.

In 2015, Iron Maiden reminded us all why it's one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time, a once-mysterious sacred music collective from Liverpool returned after 20 years away and some Olympia punks smashed the patriarchy with a boot to the head.

If this is a sonic realm you wish to enter on the regular, it's best to follow me on Twitter, Bandcamp and Spotify. I've also written up 50 of my favorite musical ephemera on Tumblr.

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