Is it that time already?! It always seems like the end of the year comes faster each and every year as I do my best to remember all the really good albums that I’ve heard over the year in order for them to get their due praise whether they’re a massive band or an unknown speck in the underground. This year was by far the most bombastic year for metal that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing yet across the board. From death metal to black to doom to metalcore to even orchestral, 2019 has been no less than extremely bountiful! But, I save the best for New Years Day. It is currently New Years Eve so today I’ll be tackling the albums that didn’t quite make it into my Top 30.
A key thing to note here: there’s an absolute fuck ton on this Honorable Mentions list to where I could almost make a Top 60 list if I included them all. While I do highly recommend each and every release that I single out whether it be “just” an honorable mention or not, there is a clear line to how much I enjoy them overall, as you might imagine. Here, these albums are still truly worthy of great commendation I feel but just miss the mark as becoming one of the best the year has thrown my way for one reason or another. Either way, I do truly recommend all the albums you’ll find below and I do hope to see you return tomorrow for even more marvelous works from dozens of hard-working bands!
Same thing as every year – click the band name and album title to be taken to a stream of the work whether it be via a full album on Bandcamp or a single via YouTube. These are also in no particular order so please don’t think they get better in my opinion or worse as the list progresses. Please do check out everything down below and I expect nothing less than excellence from the new decade!
“The very end of the year continues to be full of one magnificent piece after another as works like this are constantly being thrown around as if quality like this was commonplace, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth for “The Brink”…” (read the full review here)
“The very essence of this album could be likened to writhing maggots squirming wildly inside a rotting wall whilst fresh blood streams down its surface…” (read the full review here)
“…a grand maturation on every layer of their music from the breath-taking and emotive atmosphere, the heaviness that feels much more fleshed out, and the emphasis of the union between death and doom metal that’s constantly at play here to make every morsel of “Leaden Light” something to tremble before…” (read the full review here)
“…Big Scenic Nowhere is simultaneously showing us the start of a grand journey as well as not pulling a single punch in any scenario.” (read the full review here)
“If the idea of scathing death metal with an unbelievable flair of Aztec-themed folk metal that’s as entrancing and brutal doesn’t sound like a fucking awesome time to you then you need to get your head checked…” (read the full review here)
“…Frosthelm has created yet another monolithic and blistering piece of blackened thrash that’s to tower over the style for the entire year and many others…” (read the full review here)
“Blackened thrash has always been a magnificent home for riffs at what feels like every turn, but it’s with The Wandering Ascetic that we see their potential maximized in the hands of very capable masters…” (read the full review here)
“…it’s best to just lean back and just let the material take you wherever you may and “Sins of the Past” only further glorifies that fact as we’re granted long, drawn-out rhythms that are just as harsh as they are hypnotic…” (read the full review here)
“From spine-chilling melodies to gripping displays of sheer force to musicianship that is no less than top tier to hypnotic interludes to grand epics spanning over ten minutes to a sound that feels original up and down to an execution that can’t be viewed as any less than virtually immaculate “Come The Tide” fucking has it all!” (read the full review here)
“…a grand diversity amongst the tracks in every part of what Darkend provides us from the vocals to the performance of each song to the immaculate nature that adorns every single moment of “Spiritual Resonance”.” (read the full review here)
“It all comes together beautifully to create this rollercoaster of an experience through a sort of conscious awakening that can hardly be likened to anything else which truly allows “Sacramental Death Qualia” to quickly become something unique all on its own…” (read the full review here)
“…”A Dawn to Fear” is not just something to behold as a monstrous work of destruction but something to look deep into in order to see a special kind of spirit with soul that very few albums can achieve in such high quality.” (read the full review here)
“From the roaring entrances to the defiant endings, there isn’t a single ounce of what’s brought to the table here that isn’t done in the most exemplary fashion…” (read the full review here)
“…two mammoth tracks about twenty minutes each to give this EP a fantastic 40-minute runtime filled with riffs, ripping solos, and a gloriously devilish theme to make this EP yet another excellent addition to this band’s discography…” (read the full review here)
“It’s as corrosive to the mind as it is seductive to the ears, and Vacivus capitalizes at every potential moment to make “Annihilism” a work that should be heralded as their absolute best so far.” (read the full review here)
Gruzja -Jeszcze Nie Mamy Na Was Pomysłu
“There’s no possible way I could’ve expected it as it came right out of fucking nowhere. It’s almost as though Gruzja became experimental in nature…and it rarely persists but always delivers a unique sense of euphoria where this band shines in a completely different light than before.” (read the full review here)
“Týr is without a doubt one of the bands that have been able to keep the sound going so strong for so long, and it’s with their eighth album that we see this band return from a break with material that can easily be called some of their best.” (read the full review here)
“…Korn shine in a light they’ve very much basked in before but it feels so much more intense and stronger than we’ve seen in years.” (read the full review here)