Hey Everybody! It's That Drummer Guy here back with my yearly tradition of showing off the top 100 albums of the year. I simply can't believe that not only the year is almost up, but the DECADE is almost over as well. 2020 will be 9 years since I started as That Drummer Guy and I have been thankful to be able to check out, discover, and promote so many good bands and albums in that time. So let's kick off the end of the decade right with Part II of this gigantic list. For anyone confused, the Honorable Mentions (20 albums in total) are part one and can be checked out here.
Let's go over the ground rules:
1.) This is my own personal top 100 list, that is made in 6 parts. Parts II-VI is the Top 100 and Part I is the Honorable Mentions. Check back every day for a new part till all six are available.
2.) This is done 20 albums per part, in countdown order (100-1).
3.) As mentioned, this is my own list. I am not paid, asked, or sponsored by any band, label, etc.My choices are mine and mine alone.
4.) 2019 has been an incredibly horrible year for my personal life and I have not been able to cover nearly as much music as I had hoped. There is many albums that I really dug that I had to cut from the list do to not being able to hear it enough, giving it enough time or simply it wasn't my bag...baby.
5.) CHECK OUT EVERY PART OF THIS LIST!!! My favorite one may be yours as well. Your favorite album may be number 17 or 34 or 89 or even an honorable mention. You simply don't know if you skip any part. The numbers don't matter; a good album is a good album. All of these are good albums.
6.) All 100 albums of the list will be made into a Spotify list (or at least as many that are on Spotify), where I'll pick a track from each album and show it off countdown style. Check back every day for the playlist to updated till the list is complete.
7.) The whole purpose of list is to not only show off my favorite albums of the year, but to try to get every person who reads this recommendations for new music to check out. My goal is to have everyone make one new discovery they dig. If you do, spread the joy!
Now let's do this thing!
100.) Odd Logic- Last Watch of the Nightingale
FFO- Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal
Odd Logic's new album is a tad bit more on the darker side compared to their previous material, but it strongly benefits the band. From catchy hooks, amazing twists and turns and undeniable songwriting; Odd Logic is an underground prog band that deserves your love and attention. If you want a mix of Dream Theater, Riverside, Opeth, and Porcupine Tree; this is the band for you.
99.) Car Bomb- Mordial
FFO- Mathcore, Experimental, Progressive Metal
Car Bomb's 4th album is one that features some of it's catchiest moments ever, while showing off some of the most experimental and left of center genre shifts you may hear all year. It bone crushingly heavy, with crystal clear production and off the charts musicianship. If you want your music unconventional, Car Bomb is your gateway into what's possible in to heavy side of unconventional and Mordial is your welcome pamphlet.
98.) Freedom Call- M.E.T.A.L.
FFO- Power Metal, Fun
Gloryhammer or Rage are the only other power metal band's that come close to rivaling Freedom Call for the amount of fun you can have listening to an album and seeing a band live. The latest album from this longstanding German band has some of their most fun moments matching with their most sing along worthy choruses and the undeniable mention that metal is for everyone. Elitists can go away, Freedom Call is here to stay!
97.) Kadavar- For The Dead Travel Fast
FFO- Occult Rock, Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Kadavar's latest album shows the band returning to it's horror roots with not only their lyrics, production, and writing style; but the band literally took their album cover picture right in front of Dracula's castle! The band still continues to show off their diversity and each song is a great horror story in and of itself. For the uninitiated; if you want Ghost without the theatrics, Kadavar should be your new favorite band.
96.) Ringworm- Death Becomes My Voice
FFO- Hardcore, Crossover Thrash
There is not many vocalists that can match even a tenth of the anger, power and intensity that Human Furnace shows off on every single album. The latest release from Ringworm shows the band becoming even more intense yet with some of the musical moments and killer solos of the band's career. This is simply how you make some of the most intense music you can ever hear. Check out Ringworm!
95.) Despised Icon- Purgatory
FFO- Deathcore, Death Metal
Easily the band's best work to date; Purgatory show's the band show off more of their diversity while never losing what made the band stand out in the first place. The riffs and breakdowns are some of the best in this style all year. This is the return of the band that no one knew they needed. If this is how brutal the album sounds, the live shows will be absolutely insane!
94.) Turilli/ Lione Rhapsody- Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution)
FFO- Symphonic Metal, Neoclassical Metal, Modern Metal
WHile there have been so many renditions of Rhapsody that it can be very hard to keep track; Turilli and Lione have rejoined forces for their version of the band and created a new chapter of the band's legacy. WHile still keeping tinges of their original sound; the band added a sense of modern metal, synths, and shorter songs that really make the band appeal not only to a potential new fanbase, but appealing to the band themselves instead of making the same music over and over again. This is one of the most refreshing Rhapsody albums ever and you really need to give it a spin.
93.) Lord- Fallen Idols
FFO- Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Lord's 6th album shows the band with blistering riffs, soaring vocals, and some of the catchiest choruses in power metal this year. This Australian band has only gotten stronger over the years and 16 years in, the band has no signs of slowing down or writing stale songs. Watch as this band continues to rise and rise with fantastic albums.
92.) Aenimus- Dreamcatcher
FFO- Extreme Progressive Metal
Taking the works of Stephen King and making songs surrounding some of the band's favorite novels; Aenimus continues to grow and grow with each subsequent album and Dreamcatcher is undoubtedly their best work to date. The unique sense of atmosphere really add to the band sound of heavy breakdowns, insane riff changes and crisp production style. Whether you like horror, extreme music or both, do yourself a favor and pick up Dreamcatcher!
91.) Nile- Vile Nilotic Rites
FFO- Brutal Death Metal, Technical Death Metal
Gotta be completely and utterly honest here, I never thought I'd enjoy a Nile album again. The last several albums haven't really been my bag sansa a few songs here and there. That completely changed here with Vile Nilotic Rites. The band has evolved and become the strongest they have been since possibly the beginning of the band. Inspired songs, not just brutal for the sake of being brutal, every note matter. Nile is back in top form and you left the river, it's time to get back in and see where the band is at now.
90.) Destruction- Born To Perish
FFO- Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal
There's not much to say about this legendary German thrash band that hasn't been said over the year. THis band is one of the most underrated bands in all of thrash and every album they release is a pure gem. Born to Perish is no different. A perfect thrash album from start to finish from one of the best bands in thrash. What else could you possibly as for?
89.) Afterhand- Escaping Misfortune
FFO- Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
Afterhand is a prog band from Salt Lake City and they have come in like a firestorm with Escaping Misfortune. The band's debut album is such a unique blend of prog styles that really makes the band stand out. Sing along choruses, heavy riffs, great production, and excelled musicianship and songwriting; Afterhand has what it takes to become one of the standout bands of the next decade. Check them out now before the explode to the masses.
88.) Rotting Christ- The Heretics
FFO- Experimental Black Metal, Melodic Black Metal
Simply put, this is the best Rotting Christ album ever. This is what I've always wanted from the band. Their awesome black metal styling but diverse, captivating and the absolutely perfect closing track with The Raven. While the name will scare away many (possibly that's the point) I highly suggest going into this album with no reservations, let this album play and see what you enjoy. No preconceived notions and see that names are not all a band has going for it; it's the music.
87.) Ardours- Last Place On Earth
FFO- Gothic Metal, Alternative Metal
Had I been able to check out this album more, this could have easily been in my top 20 of the year; it's that good. Some of the most inspired songs of the year combining such a great gothic atmosphere with alternative metal and hints of 80s power choruses. Imagine mid era Anathema mixed with Coheed and Cambria and hints of Eurythmics. Just because it's low on this list doesn't mean it's not one of the best albums of the year. Seriously, give this one a go, It's more than worth it.
86.) Plague of Stars- Daedalus
FFO- Gothic Metal, Alternative Metal, Black Metal
There's many more genres I could throw into that FFO section as well, but that gives a good stance of what Plague of Stars has to offer. With some jaw dropping vocals, mindblowing songwriting, and the perfect raw, dark, and haunting production; Plague of Stars is one of the....ugh, sorry for the pun...shining stars of the Minnesota Metal scene. Give them a shot and understand why genre labels only can define so much of a band's sound.
85.) Abrahma- In Time for the Last Rays of Light
FFO- Post Metal, Doom Metal
A discovery I made earlier this year that has be constantly going back to it is Abrahma's 3rd album and there's good reason for it. It's not that often where you hear a band that is classified in the doom, post metal, stoner rock genres that really stands out unless they innovate something first. With Abrahma, they definitely do that and then some with excelled vocals, fantastic songwriting, and brilliant musicianship. Think of a French version of Pallbearer, but give it it's own spins and you have this band. Seriously don't sleep on these guys, this is amazing work.
84.) Drifting Sun- Planet Junkie
FFO- Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal
This studio band is some of the best prog bands releasing an album in 2019. not being shackled by having to play live or touring or worrying if something will translate live; Drifting Sun literally just focuses on making the best songs possible. Their styles of early prog mixed with enough modern styles and catchy flair makes this band stand out in the sea of prog bands that you see how other bands get lost in the shuffle. If you want some forward thinking prog this year, check out Drifting Sun.
83.) Aspherium- The Embers of Eternity
FFO- Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore, Progressive Metal
You don't often hear about Norwegian melodeath the way you hear about Swedish melodeath; but it's there and it is ferocious. This band's third album is with melodeath riffs and sensibility, metalcore tendencies, and progressive changes and time lengths. This band truly shows what a band is capable of by being themselves and writing the best music they can. A band you may miss, but you must remedy that now.
82.) Une Misere- Sermon
FFO- Blackened Hardcore
The debut album from this brilliant Icelandic band is one that you need to experience. Throwing away any need to stay true to one main style; The band has such a unique blend of black metal and hardcore and mathcore that it's just an apocalyptic mix of breakdowns and black metal tremolos and blasts. This is a band that will take the world by storm in the next decade, just you wait and see.
81.) Puppy- The Goat
FFO- Alternative Metal, Occult Rock
As I mentioned in my best EPs of the year list; Puppy is like King's X making occult rock; though on The Goat, the band added much more to their sound from that EP (or did they strip down for iii to sound more KX?) with more abstract sounds, catchy hook after catchy hook and a band that should be on the top of the rock rocks right now. In a perfect world they would be there touring stadiums. Maybe one day. But till then, check out the band's debut LP (4th release overall) and see what this band is all about before the masses discover the band.
And there we go folks, 20 albums down, 80 to go. I hope you enjoyed tis list and come back tomorrow for Part III: 80-61. See Ya!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)