TOP 10 OF 2019
The following is the list of the best METAL/ROCK/PUNK releases for 2019 by staff members at Metal Revolution Webzine.
To view list of top 10 releases from previous years click on the button below.
Top 10 of 2019 by Bato
1 Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites (Nuclear Blast) South Californian Egypt-obsessed death metal heroes dust off their crown with Vile Nilotic Rites. Nile’s ninth release helps to reconnect Nile to their exceptional past reminding us exactly how unassailable they were at the turn of the millennium. 2 Life Of Agony – The Sound Of Scars (Napalm) The Sound Of Scars is a conceptually driven narrative, offering a different vibe from much of their back catalogue. The Sound Of Scars is an excellent addition to an excellent band’s canon. 3 Rob Halford With Family & Friends – Celestial (Legacy) Another metal Christmas album? Yes, and it is released by the Metal God himself with the help of his family. I’m usually not into the whole X-mas thing, but I believe Celestial will delight metalheads while not scaring off the kids. Ho ho ho! 4 Tool – Fear Inoculum (Tool Dissectional) Fear Inoculum is like its predecessor with the production that is perfectly executed. Tool is sticking to their guns by doing what they want, ever since the early beginnings of their career. Impressive release and one of my 2019 highlights. 5 Agnostic Front – Get Loud! (Nuclear Blast) NYC hardcore punk originals keep the home fires burning with the release of their 13th full-length Get Loud! earlier this year. With its release a band that have been fundamental to the evolution of hardcore are back with those 14 hearty nostalgia tracks. Big cheers for them! 6 Dream Theater - Distance Over Time (Inside Out) Distance Over Time, prog metal’s luminaries remind us that they’re still among the most inspiring groups in the scene. But it also shows that Dream Theater aren’t oblivious to new and current sounds, always expanding their sonic scope. 7 Killswitch Engage – Atonement (Metal Blade) Atonement is a high mark in the Killswitch Engage catalog and easily the metalcore icons' most dynamic release yet. The elements of aggression and catharsis remain present, but are in stronger focus individually. One of the best 'aggressive' album of the year! 8 Darkthrone – Old Star (Peaceville) Old Star is the type of album made by people who live and breath metal, every riff and songwriting turn handpicked and calculated. Fenrizseems to be at the top of his artistic career on this masterpiece. 9 Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race (Dark Descent) Brutal Denver quartet Blood Incantation have created an album that is beautiful mix of psychedelic and extreme death metal. With Hidden History Of The Human Race, Blood Incantation have created a contender for death metal album of the year. 10 Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner) The album is pure Slipknot, which means; raw aggression, percussive assault and well-crafted melodies, but with We Are Not Your Kind Slipknot have done more than play to their strengths, they’ve broadly expanded their parameters, taking the band in new musical directions.
Top 10 of 2019 by Simona
1 Lacuna Coil - Black Anima (Century Media) Black Anima. There is a lot of incredible sense of dark atmosphere mixed with glitchy rhythms & unsettling keys. Many thundering riff and impassioned roar. 2 Kobra And The Lotus - Evolution (Napalm) These Canadian melodic metallers shows again what they are capable of. The album's blend of guitars and vocals is great, and the rhythm section is tossed into the bottom end of the mix. The disc is very self-fulfilling and prophetic. These 10 tracks clearly show an evolution of the band as a unit. 3 Alice Cooper - The Breadcrumbs EP (Earmusic) The Breadcrumbs contains 10 mixes of covers from The Poison man himself. Overall, the entire effort is well meaning, entertaining, rocking, and just a bit of fun, and a nice little physical media item for collectible diehard Alice Cooper fan. 4 1349 - The Infernal Pathway (Season Of Mist) The Infernal Pathway includes fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style and heavily distorted guitars. The CD is perfectly pitched between arcane dissonance and the propulsive crunch of thrash and proto death metal. 5 In Flames - I, The Mask (Nuclear Blast) Once again, In Flames have bestowed upon this world a cookie-cutter melodic metal record. It is extremely well produced. The drums lay a good base throughout and are closely aligned with the other instruments. 6 Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner) On this disc there are tons of dramatic riffs, every song is like an unique story mixed with melancholic atmospheric rock, doom metal, art rock, progressive rock and other influences. This album is weighty, both musically and lyrically. 7 Abbath - Outstrider (Season Of Mist) It's all about brutality and speed, it’s raw and dirty as well. It's black magic at its best. It's just a cool, fun album of heavy black metal. 8 Cult Of Luna - A Down To Fear (Metal Blade) More than 20 years of creating some of the most epic, emotive and inventive music, Cult Of Luna returns back with a new new killer album, where their trademark approach has led the band to create a very special and unique piece of music that inspires a variety of emotion, from helpless desperation to empowered growth of spirit. 9 Rotting Christ - The Heretics (Season Of Mist) The cover says a lot about the music on this disc. It's all about brutality and speed, it’s raw and dirty as well. One of mine favourites from 2019! 10 Amon Amarth - Berserker (Metal Blade) Probably the best melodic death metal release anno 2019. I like the melodic lines as well as these typical melodic death metal trademark elements. There are some clean vocals here, which is fine because it fits the mood and tone of the whole record.
Top 10 of 2019 by Zoran
1 Tool – Fear Inoculum (Tool Dissectional) Fear Inoculum uses familiar ingredients to create something utterly new. Few manage to succeed by their own terms and at the same time change the landscape of an art form. Pink Floyd has done it. In 2019 Tool is still doing it 2 Holocaust – Elder Gods (Sleaszy Rider) Elder Gods continues down the same path where the band builds on that concrete NWOBHM foundation. This means that the band explores progressive rock, post punk, (first and second wave of) thrash metal as well as some more ambient influences. They do this with grace as well as purpose and not just as random toe-dipping while at the same time maintaining that rock solid NWOBHM feel. 3 Hypno5e – A Distant (Dark) Source (Pelagic Records) A Distant (Dark) Source, while at the same time being grand in a cinematic, rather than theatrical manner. It’s comfortable yet exhausting on several levels and isn’t that what we all want from art? It was hard to believe that the band will ever manage to match the eminence of Alba, but Hypno5e achieved just that, while using a very different approach. 4 Chasing Shadows – Reflections (Shadow Recordings) Reflections, is most certainly one such release. 5 Steve Hackett – At the End of Light (InsideOut) At The Edge Of Light sees the 68-year old guitar legend dial down on the massive Word Music influences of its predecessor, which gives this album bit more of a classic prog rock feel. This is yet another outstanding and inspiring release, from a man who has been in the music business for over four decades. 6 Baroness – Gold & Grey (Abraxan Hymns) Gold & Grey delivers just as many experimental songs, which explore the more experimental and softer sides of the band. The band excels at just about every aspect, nonetheless the song-writing. 7 Tom Keifer – Rise (Cleopatra) Rise is basically a flawless display of all of Keifer’s qualities. It’s an album that seamlessly blends all the trademarks of his career with songs that bear the catchiness of its predecessor, but are wrapped it in an approach that feels more genuine and bone deep. On top of all that, or in the root, if you will, former Cinderella frontman delivers some of the best and most honest songwriting of his career. 8 Idle Hands – Mana (Eisenwald) Mana lies. It’s simply filled with very gorgeous well-written songs. 9 The Claypool Lennon Delirium – South Of Reality (ATO Records) South Of Reality is blooming and material is catchy and filled with hooks that for the most part get your attention right away. But the beauty of the album is that the apparent simplicity is actually achieved, by rather complex arrangements and sequences, so, with each new spin you discover something new. 10 Abrahma – In Time for The Last Rays Of Light (Dead Light Records) In Time for The Last Rays Of Light come across as smooth and throughout the album the band stays on the main path.
Top 10 of 2019 by Brian
1 Slow – VI Dantalion (Code666) 2 Time Lurker / Cepheide - Lucide (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre) Lucide is a very short album – Two tracks under the Timer Lurker Moniker, and one under Cepheide. This adds up to about thirty-five minutes of playtime in total, but they make every last second count. 3 The Great Old Ones - Cosmicism (Season of Mist) The Great Old Ones as a band shifted from one record label to another late last year – This has means a slight change in musical style (faster and a bit shorter songs being the most obvious change), but it has not deterred them from their mission – They are still going strong. 4 Profetus – The Sadness of Time Passing (Avantgarde) One thing seems to be universal, across all genres and means of artistic expression: If you are looking for grand melancholy and a glimpse into the darker experiences in life, you look to the east – Either towards Finland or Russia. 5 Memoriam – Requiem for Mankind (Nuclear Blast) An off-shoot of the legendary Death Metal band Bolt Thrower – Need I say more? 6 Griffon / Darkenhöld – Atra Musica (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre) 7 Asphodèle – Jours Pâles (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre) 8 Zaum – Divination (Listenable) Divination delve into the religious and mythological aspects of the era, through several interesting and quite unique strategies. 9 Bethlehem – Lebe Dich Leer (Prophecy) Bethlehem released their ninth full-length album this year, their second while being fronted by Onielar (of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult fame). I heard once that they are considered one of the fore-runners of 'Depressive Black Metal' and with this release I would argue that this is still the case.
10 Athanasia – The Order of the Silver Compass (Seeing Red)
Top 10 of 2019 by Mia
1 Dream Theater - Distance Over Time (Inside Out) 2 Queensrÿche – The Verdict (Century Media) The Verdict has it all! Both catchy and darker melodies, amazing guitar riffs, Vocals with emotions. Overall a great production and album! 3 As I Lay Dying – Shaped by Fire (Nuclear Blast) Even though the band has gone through some difficulties, it does not show in their music. Or maybe that is exactly what it does; because this album is one of the best I have heard from As I lay Dying. It is metalcore. It is melodies. It is emotions. It is guitar shreds. It is Perfection! The seventh studio album from As I Lay Dying shows that music can truly tell a story and I guess the hard times the band has gone through is told in this album. Amazing! 4 Jinjer – Macro (Napalm Records) I have only recently discovered Ukrainian band Jinjer, and when they released their new EP Macro, I was blown away. This is only their second release, but they are already a band to be reckoned with. Their raw sound together with angelic vocals, their progressive and metalcore elements, makes them really interesting. Also, the fact that they use their native language in their songs, shows courage and innovation 5 Opeth - In Cauda Venenum (Nuclear Blast) Even though I am very much into progmetal, I am not a huge Opeth fan. BUT I must admit that this album is truly a masterpiece. The talent and musicality of Opeth is overwhelming, and there is a certain magic to the entire album. It is fair to say that this album has gotten me to revert on becoming an Opeth fan. It is a musical orgasm from beginning to the end. 6 Ethereal Kingdoms – Hollow Mirror (Mighty Music) One of my favorite debut albums of 2019 was released by Danish Theatrical Symphonic metal band Ethereal Kingdoms. An album that captures you from the very first song until the last. Very impressive and diverse album that I catch myself listening to over and over again. I predict that Hollow Mirror is only the first of many exciting albums to come. 7 Myrath – Shehili (earMUSIC) Myrath has really evolved and grown as musicians and as a band in this fifth album release under their current name. You can still hear it is classic Myrath with their oriental sound, but still one can hear them experimenting with new things and sounds. This is an album that I have grown to love the more I listen to it. 8 Children of Bodom – Hexed (Nuclear Blast) I really loved their previous album I Worship Chaos and it would be hard to live up to my expectations with their tenth release. Yes, they have taken a different turn on this album, but I am surely not disappointed by Hexed. I like the fact that they gave their audience and fans a “dare” and I buy it! 9 Forever Still – Breathe in Colours (Nuclear Blast) The second (and very much anticipated by me) album, Breathe in Colours, from Danish band Forever Still is truly showing the talents from these guys. Singer Maja Shining is truly “shining” throughout the entire album, and the songs and melodies keeps sticking to my brain like glue. This is an album I can keep listening to in repeat for hours.
10 KoЯn – The Nothing (Roadrunner Records / Electra) The Nothing album. There are some songs on the album that disappoints me a little bit. Even though there have been some other great album releases this year, I need to add KoЯn's album The Nothing to my top ten list this year. Only due to the pure fact that the songs on the album that I love, are so good that only because of that this album deserves to be on my Top 10.