2019 was easily one of the best years for metal this decade. While there were plenty of great releases I'm sure I'll be listening to for years to come, these ten have been absolutely unshakable for me. From black metal to death metal, and of course, a few progressive records thrown in there, these are my ten favorite records of 2019.
10. ABIGAIL WILLIAMS Walk Beyond The Dark
Walk Beyond The Dark stands on the shores of melancholy and plays bleak, dynamic music as cold waves lay washed-up bones upon the rocks. Ken Sorceron’s output should be closely paid attention to in the coming decade.
9. FALLS OF RAUROS Patterns in Mythology
Patterns in Mythology is beautiful black metal that isn't afraid to explore the darker depths of the genre. Falls of Rauros masters the art of ebb and flow and exploring the crevices between notes to breathtaking effect.
8. SPIRIT ADRIFT Divided by Darkness
(20 Buck Spin)
Spirit Adrift have become one of the leading authorities on American heavy metal. Divided by Darkness furthers their foray into the genre with more focused songwriting and twists at all the right times.
7. TORCHE Admission
Simply put, Torche retains their usual tuned-to-drop-fuck-ness and throws in a few radio bangers. Admission is by far the catchiest and best Torche has ever sounded.
6. BLOOD INCANTATION Hidden History of the Human Race
(Dark Descent Records)
Blood Incantation has penned the next textbook on death metal. Hidden History of the Human Race is a cosmos-sized death metal record spectacularly written and executed to hold any fan's attention with ease.
5. MAGIC CIRCLE Departed Souls
(20 Buck Spin)
Like Led Zeppelin on an acid trip jamming with Black Sabbath and Candlemass, Departed Souls is equal parts outright rock and experimental flourishes grounded in riffs so damn solid you could build a house on them.
4. FULL OF HELL Weeping Choir
Weeping Choir is a maelstrom of noise and chaos, harsh industrial grime, and straightforward death metal paired with lyrics vomited forth in only the most throat-destroying ways.
3. MONOLORD No Comfort
Reaching down to the depths of the low end, No Comfort is a finely-tuned sludge machine capable of churning out the chunkiest riffs this side of Cisneros, and with equally downtrodden lyrics to match the mood.
2. TOOL Fear Inoculum
(Tool Dissectional, Volcano, RCA)
Fear Inoculum is a massively dense album that expands Tool's progressive tendencies to the absolute maximum. Every rhythm and riff is explored to the fullest, stories are opened and closed lyrically, and even the drumming capabilities of Danny Carey are put on display in their own four minute solo.
1. MOON TOOTH Crux
(Pure Noise Records)
Crux is high-energy rock, face-melting progressive metal, a little blues and jazz, and loads of mind-bending guitar work wrapped up in songs that are just so much fun. And when you dig into each band member's performance, you'll find they're all impossibly good at what they're doing. Crux is the best record of 2019, and one of the best of the decade.