Alright everyone, it's time, it's time. It's Vader ti....wait wrong area of entertainment. We're back here again for another year of great music that you either missed out on, haven't heard yet, are your favorites, or think completely suck. 2019 has had a lot of great things happen musically and I got 100 albums to show you next week, but until then, I got 20 that didn't make the cut. I can pretty much say for all of these, it either comes down to I didn't have enough time to hear these to rank them higher, I heard them too late to fairly put them on the list, or simply found other albums I dug more. 2019 has been a really rough year on my end and I sadly have not been able to cover as much as I have wanted to. With that in mind I only have 20 honorable mentions this year. Though to make up for that, I have a special list coming at the end of the year that just may be up your alley if you dig 2010s music. I simply can't stress this enough, especially if you are new...I don't think these albums suck. I dig all of them and that's why I am taking the time to write these up for you as one of these could be your Album of the Year. All 120 in these lists are worthy of my time and they be worthy of yours, don't let the ranking numbers fool you, a good album is a good album.
As these are the honorable mentions, I am doing these 20 in alphabetical order, but numbered on the side, in case you get lost on where an album you're interested is located. The Top 100 will be in countdown order. Let's Begin!
1.) Allegaeon- Apoptosis
FFO- Technical Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Progressive Metal
Back with their signature belnd of tech, prog and melodeath comes the brand new album from Allegaeon. Musically, this is a grand step up from their previous album, Proponent of Sentience, which made the top 100 in 2016. The band feels even tighter, the songs feel stronger, and the overall vibe has this great sense of structure and wonder that makes a fan of almost any style of metal take notice and enjoy. Plus if you are big on science, science fiction, & philosophy; this is the band for you! GO check them out!
2.) The Aristocrats- You Know What...?
FFO- Instrumental Progressive Rock
Sadly this and one other album are the only instrumental albums I have in contention for the best albums this year. It is not for a lack of albums, but a lack of time on my end to hear them. This is an album that deserves all the attention it can get. The band's 4th album shows the band at their most diverse, creative, and tightest. Between these three monsters of their crafts; there is no shortage of jaw dropping moments and moments that will tug on your heart and really make you think.You know what? If you dig 3 musical virtuosos creating instrumental music together; go check this album out immediately!
3.) Boris- Love & Evol
FFO- Doom Metal, Post Rock, Drone
I'm actually shocked to see Boris just in the honorable mentions this year, but that's just how it rolls sometimes. With the diverse catalog Boris has, you never know what a new album will bring. With Love & Evol, You hear the band bring back many of it's doom metal and drone sides that many long time fans crave. The release is separated into two discs (yet each album is roughly a half hour) both showcase the darker side of the band compared to their lighter side shown on 2017's Dear. If you dig the band's earlier works, this will be right up your alley.
4.) Cellar Darling- The Spell
FFO- Progressive Folk Metal
Ever notice when a band says they are going to release a heavier album and it ends up sounding very light, fluffy and mainstream? That's not what happened here. The band's sophomore album takes a much darker and sinister turn. The songs are still catchy as all get go, but the whole vibe of the album really feels like this is what the band has been trying to achieve. I only wish I had been able to take more time to appreciate it as it is more than worthy of all the praise it has recieved.
5.) Edenbridge- Dynamind
FFO- Symphonic Power Metal, Progressive Metal
One of the most consistently great bands of their style, Edenbridge has released another album that is perfect for long time fans and those that are just getting acquainted with the band. Catchy, heavy in the right moments, epic as it can get; Dynamind has all the flavors that brings in the symphonic power metal masses and it's just another fantastically solid album.
6.) Falaise- A Place I Don't Belong To
FFO- Depressive Blackgaze
Falaise's 3rd album is such a beautiful and depressing album at the same time. the production is just clean/raw enough to make you feel the emotion in the lyrics. The songs themselves are wonderfully crafted and the lyrics are so bittersweet and relateable. While the vocals will not be for everyone, I highly advise anyone that digs blackgaze to give this album a shot it is an album you simply do not want to miss.
7.) Frantic Amber- Bellatrix
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
This international sensation is back with their sophomore album and they have returned with some of the most ferocious songs you'll hear all year. With a concept celebrating great women of history and war; Bellatrix represents each woman talked about perfectly in the metal sense and really gives you a very cool look of history while you try not to snap your neck headbanging, easily a band and album that deserves your ears.
8.) Kayo Dot- Blasphemy
FFO- Kayo Dot
You simply won't hear the same style of Kayo Dot album done twice. the band is incapable of it. with Blasphemy, they take on more of their avant garde stylings, but combine it with synth heavy moments, post rock inklings, and just that overall sense that Toby Driver and Co have release another fantastic Kayo Dot album. Again it's hard to describe the band with words, you simply must check it out and see if it's for you. If not, they may released an album that is totally for you.
9.) Mgla- Age of Excuse
FFO- Black Metal
Mgla's 4th album is the first to come out in four years and they have been missed. I sadly did not have the time to be able to give this album the ranking it deserves (which is much higher), but this album is a perfect black metal album. 42 Minutes, covering the gambit of black metal, making some of the most cohesive music this year; yeah, this album rules. Honestly, you're missing out if you dig Black Metal and never heard of Mgla.
10.) The Mute Gods- Atheists & Believers
FFO- Depressing Progressive Rock
Another album that breaks me to put in the honorable mentions list and not in the top 100, but it is because I just was not able to give this album the spins it deserves. The band continues to grow more cynical with each album, and rightfully so. The lyrics are so dreadful, but honest in today's world. Plus the music perfectly captures that prog rock sound, and just upbeat and catchy enough to feel like a paradox with the lyrical content. The Mute Gods are such a fantastic band and you really should give this new album a shot.
11.) Myrath- Shehili
FFO- Middle Eastern Progressive Metal
Myrath is a band that's incapable of putting out a bad album. With Shehili, the band has it's best production to date, soaring vocals, and that ever flavorful Middle Eastern/folk vibe that makes the songs truly stand out and grab your attention. Myrath deserve to be one of the biggest prog bands in the world, go check them out and help them get to the top.
12.) Oceanwake- Light Flashing in Mute Scenery
FFO- Doom Metal, Progressive Death Metal, Post Metal
Another band releasing their 4th outing, Oceanwake brings some of the most somber sounding death/doom metal to 2019. Bordering on straight up funeral doom metal, Oceanwake have that keen sense of dread, somber tones, and moody vibes that truly make the band one of the most powerful in it's style. An overlooked band by some, but one that should be no longer. I mean it, this is some amazing work!
13.) Rise Twain- Rise Twain
FFO- Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
Rise Twain released their self titled debut this year and it's not being talked about enough. With such a unique sense of musical chemistry, the band has written some of the most ear catching and attention grabbing prog rock of the year. It won't be up everyone's stream, but for that's that enjoy it, you will have found a new favorite band and they are worthy of that attention you give.
14.) Satan Takes A Holiday- A New Sensation
FFO- Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
Proving once again that Sweden is not all ABBA and melodic death metal; Satan Takes A Holiday brings on one of their most electric outing's in the band's career. Such a fun, catchy album that really gives off great vibes that you want to hear on top 40 radio, but is currently lacking. A New Sensation is literally that; it feels like a new yet familiar take on the band with the band improving and writing their best material to date. An album and band that should not be overlooked.
15.) The Three Tremors- The Three Tremors
FFO- Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Thrash Metal
Ripper Owens, Sean Peck, and The Tyrant on one album, singing together showing off their amazing pipes over some perfectly tracked and mood setting evil sounding heavy metal. What more could you possibly ask for? This is a power metal, heavy metal and thrash metal treat and this album helps you savor the flavor. THis is what a group of well known singers making an album should sound like and I'm grateful this happened. Can't wait to see what's next.
16.) Varaha- A Passage For Lost Years
FFO- Post Metal, Gothic Metal, Doom Metal
The debut release from Varaha has that perfect blend of gothic, doom and post metal that many bands try to achieve but never grasp. Combining elements of early day Anathema, Paradise Lost and Opeth into one hauntingly perfect album is no easy feat, but it's done here in strides. I wish I h ad more time wit this one, but you should not overlook it if you want something on the heartbreaking, relateable yet uplifting side.
17.) Vaura- Sables
FFO- Gothic Rock, Post Punk, Avant Garde
I can't beleive that it's been 6 years since the band's last album. That may explain why I was so late to this party. Every album Vaura releases feels like such a different adventure and on Sables, it really feels like the band took their nods to post punk and updated enough with a modern sound and layered it in this goth rock tinge that makes it such a unique experience. Quite unconventional, but that's what makes it so intriguing and enjoyable.
18.) Witchden- Deus Nihil
FFO- Sludge Metal, Black Metal
YOu didn't know you wanted a band that combined elements of Celtic Frost, Bathory, The Melvins, and Weedeater...did you? That's what this MInnesota band brings to the table with their unique blend of sludgy black metal that just hits home with all of the bases covered. A great raw production that is clear and presentable amongst it's rich heavy tones and atmosphere. WItchden is one of the best bands going in Minnesota, time you find out why.
19.) Yurei- Saudade
FFO- Instrumental Modern Metal
One of the most mindblowing instrumental debuts I've ever heard. Combining a love of video game soundtracks, modern metal, and some of the most insane guitar playing you'll see this side of Guthrie Govan or Tosin Abasi. The album itself feels like a video game, going through every level and fighting your way through with a killer soundtrack backing you. THis is how you make music with no vocals. Memorable, catchy, monumental and leave you wanting more.
20.) The 69 Eyes- West End
FFO- Gothic Rock, Glam Metal
This band has been going strong for 30 years and the band has no sign of slowing down. West End provides some of the heaviest, catchiest and darkest songs the band has ever created. The song 27 and Done is the perfect example of all three. Finland has provided some of the best bands to ever exist in rock and metal and The 69 Eyes goes underappreciated. That needs to change, Check out West End and see what you've been missing.
And there we go folks, My 20 honorable mentions for 2019. HOpefully you found something to enjoy here. If not, Don't Fret. My Top 100 Albums of 2019 starts on Monday with Part II: 100-81. See you then!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)