As hard as it is to believe, we are at the half way mark of this list when we get to the end today. But till then, we got another 20 albums that deserve any and all listening ears and hopefully you will agree. Let's not waste too much time and get into the list rules shall we?
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!
80.) Angel Witch- Angel of Light
It is so great to see Angel Witch still in prime form in 2019 and Angel of Light is prime example of that fact. With their signature blend of riffs, catchy choruses,a and pure NWOBHM vibes, this is a perfect representation of what can happen when you stick to your guns and just want to make the best music you possibly can. Seriously, throw on your denim vest, grab some PBRs and throw this one on for a raging good time.
79.) Leprous- Pitfalls
FFO- Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock
Well, Leprous has never been known for making the same album twice, but I'm not sure who was expecting an album like this from the band ever. For some this will turn you off the band completely, for others, this is exactly what you wanted from the band. Unless you are brand new to the band, I can't imagine that you were just feeling meh on the album. But anyways, the production is crisp and clear, the vocal melodies are so intoxicating, and seeing the music being explored to intently. It really feels like an antidepressant album in the best way. With more listens this would be way higher and it will get there in time. It is indeed worthy of you checking it out and seeing if it for you.
78.) Hyvmine- Retaliation
FFO- Groove Metal, Progressive Metal, Hard Rock
I didn't get this album until recently as I apparently don't have their press contact info anymore...but that's besides the point. Last year's debut LP and EP are masterful works and seeing the band back again for their sophomore album is a fantastic listen. The songs are even catchier, the tones are even heavier and the musicianship is only getting stronger and stronger. That great blend of prog, groove and modern metal really makes this band stand out and they will only get better as time goes on. I only wish i had heard this sooner.
77.) Entombed A.D.- Bowels of Earth
FFO- Swedish Death Metal
While the band has been split in two, Entombed A.D.'s side of Entombed have returned in 2019 for an excellent display of death metal. fast, heavy, brooding and just what you want from some of the pioneers of one of the strongest genres in death metal. Pure gem of an album and exactly what you need in 2019 if you're into death metal.
76.) Forever Still- Breathe in Colours
FFO- Melodic Metal, Alternative Metal
THis band's sophomore album showcases the band becoming even stronger in their sound. A wonderful mix of melodic metal, alternative metal, and dark overtones makes this album stand out and phenomenal vocals from soaring cleans to haunting raspy lows. This is what you wish you were hearing on top 40 radio and once you listen to the band you'll understand why. This is phenomenal work.
75.) Silvertomb- Edge of Existence
FFO- Gothic Rock, Hard Rock, Doom Metal
The debut album from Silvertomb shows all the members of the band branching out from their former bands and showing sides you'd never expect. While the album does get heavy and brooding, there are these melodic riffs and styles that really stand out and makes the music speak for itself. Once you give it a spin, I think you'll understand better. this is an underrated album that should be on your radar.
74.) Crazy Lixx- Forever Wild
FFO- Glam Metal, Hard Rock
What a perfect throwback to the best music parts of the 80s glam scene. Crazy Lixx has been making fantastic music since 2002 and 17 years later, it's like they just started with their enthusiasm, inspired riffs and just a fun atmosphere that is missing in rock music today. Sometimes going back is truly going forward and that's what Crazy Lixx brings to the table. Go check this one out!
73.) Thy Art Is Murder- Human Target
If I am going to check out a deathcore band, it better be in this style. Substance over style. TAIM is much more than just breakdowns and pits; While both of those are there in spades, the music actually stands out no matter how blistering fast or deceivingly slow it gets. This is for the heavy fan that wants it all in deathcore from the lyrics to riffs to great production and what you know will be a killer show when you hear these songs live. Even for my non deathcore fans *or at least the people who read these lists every year* go give this a shot, you may be happily surprised.
72.) Chrome Waves- A Grief Observed
FFO- Post Black Metal
For as long as I've been a fan of this band, it blows my mind that this is only their debut LP that has been released this year. The post balck metal band shows off their signature blend of atmospheric black metal, post rock, and a heart ripping lyrical presence that makes this band one that brings you to the bowels of the grave, but it returns you feeling less alone. This is what I want from my post black metal and Chrome Waves pioneered it before it became cool with their 2012 EP, go find out what you've been missing all this time.
71.) Misery Index- Rituals of Power
FFO- Death Metal, Grindcore
This was my favorite deathgrind album of the year for quite some time, and for good reason. This is the most inspired I've ever heard the band been ever. The production really shows off the brutality so well. The songwriting is also at levels that other bands can only aspire to obtain one day. This is THE Misery Index album from the band so far and if you missed it, remedy that now.
70.) Exhorder- Mourn The Southern Skies
FFO- Groove Metal, Thrash Metal
This is an album I never thought I'd get to talk about as I never thought the band would return to make a new album. I am so happy to have been wrong. Mourn The Southern Skies sounds like the band never left, yet it feels like all of the time they took recharged their batteries to become a new entity. WHile yes, it has their signature southern metal style all over this album, it's updated and just different enough to make this album you always wanted from the band and we are so honored to have it here for your enjoyment. If you want to know where southern groove metal came from, check out Exhorder.
69.) Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra- Legacy of the Dark Lands
If you go into this album thinking it is going to be a full on Blind Guardian power metal album, you will be disappointed. If you go into this thinking it's just an orchestral album with Hansi on vocals, you will also be disappointed album. While you do not hear the electric guitar, bass and double bass drums you know in the band, this is a full on Blind Guardian album with the power of the Twilight Orchestra backing the band musically to tell an amazing story that brings you back to days such as NIghtfall in Middle Earth. It's not traditional metal nor is it what you will expect to hear at your local symphony orchestra; It's Bl;ind Guardian at arguably their best. Just let the music flow and enjoy.
68.) Vitriol- To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice
FFO- Death Metal
No nonsense death metal. This debut album from this Portland band is the perfect showcase of amazing talent and amazing restraint. While everyone in the band is capable of so much on their respective instruments, they only show it off in doses and let the songs speak for themselves. This is a 44 minute attack of the sense that brings you back to when death metal can be brutal yet musical and not over the top wanking. Vitriol is going to destroy everything in it's path. Just you wait!
67.) Nott- The Great Furnace
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal, Progressive Metal
Another debut album featuring the same vocalist of Chrome Waves featured earlier. Nott is an Atmospheric Black Metal band that pushes the boundaries of their sound, it gets proggy, it gets avant garde, it gets folky at times. There are no boundaries that are left unturned here. A fantastic display of what creative minds can do when they make the music they want to make. Nott is going to continue making big waves in the future and I can't wait to see what's next.
66.) Gygax- High Fantasy
FFO- Heavy Metal, hard Rock, D&D
The band's 3rd album since 2019 is another fantastic display of what a table top game can truly inspire. While the band is not breaking new ground or reinventing the wheel; that was never their intention. They are writing what fits the band, fits the style and making sure every song is as solid as the next. That's all you need in Gygax and they bring it to us in spades. Go check this out and see what you roll!
65.) Eluveitie- Ategnatos
FFO- Folk Metal
As much as I've loved the band over the last decade; the band is FINALLY back to their roots of the first two albums and it is amazing to hear that. This album rivals my love of their debut album Spirit as their best album to date. In a lot of ways, the band is back to that spirit but with updated production and even more killer songwriting. This is what I've missed about Eluveitie and I am so happy to see it come back home. The band will only get better from here on out.
64.) Gloryhammer- Legends from Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex
FFO- Come On, You Know Who This Is For
As mentioned on my Top Epics of 2019 list. Gloryhammer is THE power metal band. While Dragonforce and Twilight Force come close, no one envisions the absolute power and glory that the genre is defined by than Gloryhammer. While this album is simply a solid Gloryhammer album, it doesn't need to be anything else. It's fun, catchy, doesn't take itself seriously at all, and just makes you smile when you hear it. That's what I go to power metal for and as long as they keep this up, I'll never be dissatisfied.
63.) Ashbringer- Absolution
FFO- Atmospheric Black Metal, Folk Metal
There sure is a lot of Minnesota bands on my list this year for someone who is accused of not caring about Minnesota bands by a particular scene, but I'll digress. Ashbringer's 3rd album shows the band at their most diverse. Showing off more of their post rock, folk, and acoustic elements that really give the band a fantastic touch. It's almost feels like a Minnesota version of Agalloch. I am also so happy to see the band got signed to Prosthetic Records as they are a band that truly deserved to be able to get out their and show the world their style of atmospheric black metal. I've loved Ashbringer since they started and I know as long as they keep at it, they will only get bigger and stronger from here on out. Go! Go listen to them now!
62.) Dream Theater- Distance Over Time
FFO- Progressive Metal
Yeah, who saw this coming? I know I didn't. There is so much I could say about this that I even maybe should say, but I will say this. It's the band's best album in the Post-Portnoy era. It's actually the first album to be under an hour since Images in Words in 1992. The songs are concise, as long as they need to be. The tones are magnificent, the production is quite clear this go around, and the band seems to be in a great headspace. For personal reasons, this came out at a time I simply couldn't devote to listening to it as much as others did and in my line of work, I lost track of it over time. Far from a bad or even a mediocre album. It's a solid DT album and may even win over those that gave up on the band long ago. Let's see if it does.
61.) Opeth- In Cauda Venenum
FFO- Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal, Psychedelic
Another band in the prog world that bands jumped ship from nearly a decade ago (where does the time go?) Opeth returned for their 4th album since dropping the death metal elements of the band to be a proggy, psychedelic, nearly fusion type band. Many say they lost their intensity over the years and that is simply not true. This album sees the band at their absolute darkest possibly ever (just read the lyrics). And the band also is showcasing if not their heaviest material in this new era, it's quite close. The music is also the most inspired since Blackwater Park, which I think truly says a lot. It's also really cool that there are two versions of this album; one sung in English one sung in Swedish (a first for the band). It's great to see that after all this time, the band continues to push the boundaries of what their sound can be. Will this win back the growling fans, of course not, but at this point, they don't need to. They get to be themselves and that is truly for the best.
And there you go folks! Another 20 albums down and only 3 parts left of this monolith of a list. Come back tomorrow for Part IV: 60-41
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)