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Best of 2019

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 2019

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 2019

This was a great year for music, and here are my favorite albums of the year.

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 201910. BRING ME THE HORIZON Amo
(Sony Records, RCA Records)

Although this album is rarely “metal” or even “rock”, it’s grown on me since I first reviewed it. It’s actually surprisingly creative, and there are plenty of details hidden deep in the mix to reward listeners with enough patience. Bring Me The Horizon may be almost unrecognizable to listeners familiar with Sempiternal and the band’s earlier efforts, but they can go almost anywhere from here. Let’s hope they get heavier next time.

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 20199. BABYMETAL Metal Galaxy
(BabyMetal Records)

Having finally been accepted by the metal community, Babymetal have just dropped the most mature album of their careers to date. Drawing on influences from around the globe, the creative team behind the whole Babymetal project have crafted a fascinatingly diverse array of songs that add entirely new dimensions to the act’s well-established sound. Babymetal tracks may be challenging to the uninitiated, but they’re plenty of fun once you get into them.

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 20198. RAMMSTEIN Rammstein
(Universal Music)

Still capable of courting controversy after decades in the game, Rammstein catapulted themselves to new levels of commercial success with their self-titled opus. Arenas across the world have either been devastated by several cuts from this record, or will be in the not-too-distant future. A worthy effort from one of Germany’s finest exports.

Employed to Serve7. EMPLOYED TO SERVE Eternal Forward Motion
(Spinefarm Records)

Employed To Serve have long been Metal Injection favorites, and with good reason. If you’re into face-frying and mind-destroying riffage, you’re in good hands here. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Employed To Serve hail from Woking – the original setting of War of the Worlds – and they sound suitably apocalyptic throughout Eternal Forward Motion. Also, a good choice if you’re politically oriented, as are the next band on this list…

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 20196. WHILE SHE SLEEPS So What?
(Spinefarm Records)

The UK’s metalcore scene is in rude health right now, and While She Sleeps have positioned themselves on the front line with some ridiculously sick albums. So What? is sure to remain relevant for years to come, thanks to its politically charged lyricism and focused rage. One to bear in mind with multiple elections on the horizon.

Slipknot5. SLIPKNOT We Are Not Your Kind
(Roadrunner Records)

As much as I’ve always loved Slipknot, they can easily come off as immature. Still, there’s no denying the sheer savagery that fuels We Are Not Your Kind, and it’s my favourite Slipknot album so far. Perfectly on-point production, stunning riffs, grinding grooves, and Slipknot’s signature percussive attack are all present and correct, guaranteeing this record pride of place in the band’s catalog.

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 20194. HEART OF A COWARD The Disconnect
(Arising Empire)

With new vocalist Kaan Tasan onboard and winning over Heart Of A Coward fans old and new, The Disconnect marks the dawn of a new era for one of the UK’s most-loved metalcore outfits. Referring to their new sound as Linkin Park on steroids (a creative goal the band successfully set themselves) might sound controversial, but if you listen closely to the chorus hooks and Tasan’s Bennington-influenced vocals, it’s all there. A scintillating rebirth, and a well-earned victory.

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 20193. OPETH In Cauda Venenum
(Moderbolaget, Nuclear Blast Records)

Opeth are absolute masters of dynamically varied and highly immersive prog – and In Cauda Venenum showcases their skills beautifully. From tightly-wound shredding to lilting acoustic guitars and luxurious basslines, this record has everything any self-respecting prog fan could possibly ask for.

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 20192. PERIPHERY Periphery IV: Hail Stan
(3Dot Recordings)

When that subtitle is as close to a misstep as you’ve ever come, you’re doing very well indeed. Any seeds of doubt sown by those two cryptic words will be immediately annihilated by Periphery IV’s 17-minute opener “Reptile”, and the rest of this record completely crushes it. After seeing so many fan-suggested subtitle alternatives, I can’t wait for Periphery V: Shrek Forever After, Periphery V: Toy Story 4, or Periphery V: Aladdin.

Leon TK's Top 10 Albums of 20191. JINJER Macro
(Napalm Records)

Every time I show someone a Jinjer video, they’re blown away not only by Tatiana Shmailyuk’s vocal versatility but also by Jinjer’s idiosyncratic songwriting and compositional chops. Macro is chaotically unpredictable, formidably deep, and as consistently rewarding as Jinjer’s previous record King of Everything. This band is utterly irreplaceable, and Macro is by far my favourite and most-repeated album of 2019.

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