Hello there and welcome to our last Sunday article of the year.
We decided to choose for you all some albums that marked us during this year that is almost over. Our team hope you enjoy it and enjoy the music as best you can.
Enjoy your Sunday.
Prion – Aberrant Calamity
22 February 2019, Comatose Music
This band from Buenos Aires, Argentina released its 10 tracks album in February. I can say that this DM recording is great!
They present a superb technical album, brutal, ruthless and that moves very well within the parameters of the sub-genre. Surprised by their quality and technique. We must pay more attention to this type of band in this part of the world.
Sentient Horror – Morbid Realms
29 November, Testimony Records/Redefining Darkness Records
New Jersey-based band, these guys are doing an amazing job, crushing skulls and trampling brains.
Killer album of pure death metal so you must be prepared to receive a good dose of brutality.
The production is exquisite, very well done and very enjoyable for death metal lovers.
Final comment: Both albums presents an amazing cover artworks
Rowsdower – The Michael Jordans of Suicide
02 August, Sludgelord Records
In a year where UK label Sludgelord Records really caught my attention with one great release after another, my pick “The Michael Jordans of Suicide” by ROWSDOWER is a hypnotic and almost casual sounding brand of Sludge Metal. Full of noisy feedback and distortion and slow, crashing rhythms; the band also happily throw in brief, quirky electronic experimentations. For the most part though, as on album centerpiece “P.C.P. Homeboy (I Am a Black Wizard”, it’s a grinding procession of droning, sludgy heaviness and vocals that go from a too-cool-for-school deadpan drone, to throat clenched screams. It’s pretty weird. I dig.
Veilburner – A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy
28 December, Transcending Obscurity Records
Releases coming out in the final days of December are always prone to slipping through the cracks of End of Year lists. VEILBURNER’s “A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy” was in fact released in the very tail-end of 2018, but I reviewed it at the start of this year anyway. It’s been a long time since I heard anything in Metal that excited me as much as this release, with its constant inventiveness and exhilarating, warped heaviness. Probably to be filed under Experimental or Progressive Death Metal (but showing flashes of Black and Thrash Metal), the duo fuse pummelling drums, great, guitar leads and fantastic, varied Metal vocals, that jump from brutal heaviness, to Mike Patton invoking, avant-garde, melodic weirdness. Never corny or self-indulgent, always interesting, definitely heavy as you could ask for.
Green Lung – Woodland Rites
20 March, Kozmik Artifactz
Sister, open up your heart and let the Devil in!
If you know me or follow me on Twitter, you already know this is my top album from 2019. I really can’t recall the moment I came about it at the beginning of the year, I wish I could because I surely got someone to thank for introducing me to the band.
There have been plenty of good stoner/doom/occult releases this year, but for me, GREEN LUNG excelled in transmitting a sense of danger in their music. Like if you were going to jeopardize your eternal soul if you pressed play. You feel like one of the characters in any of those 70´s movies about satanic rituals and witch-hunts.
Green Lung is always pushing forward with their music, they don’t wait for you to catch up and will run you over. Riffs aplenty that moves this beast from hell. But what most strike me first was the vocals somehow. A good friend told me he didn’t like them cause it sounded like an Ozzy copycat, I don’t agree, but again I see no foul in sounding like John Michael.
I also dig the presence of Keyboards as another distinct feature the band has over many of their genre brothers, a keyboard player is always a plus in my book.
You will find yourself singing the choruses, specially in “Let The Devil in and Call Of The Coven”. Not a single boring song here and you may enjoy their “ballad”, more of a pagan folk song May Queen as much as I did. Bummer she has to be sacrificed, but nature must have its gift for it to renew itself…
Join the call, come into the woods…
Magic Circle – Departed Souls
29 March, 20 Buck Spin Records
Yes, this might be my second fave of my AOTY if I had to rank them. Released in march as was Green Lung´s, and this one I could get my hands on. I’m a proud owner of a green coloured vinyl that constantly spins in my music machine. This one is another beast of an album. Again, vocals here are a highlight for me. Just love this guy delivery, the grit, the emotion he conveys. Damn this guy can wail!
Of course, this will get your Sabbathical nerves going with every riff. But you will catch many 80´s metal hooks also as this album drinks a lot form that fountain.
Good music is to be shared and that is why we write this stuff. So, feast your ears with some of Magic Circle sounds and come back to tell me your thoughts.
Grimdor – Stone of the Hapless (EP)
25 May – Independent
Grimdor delivers an utterly mesmerising blend of lo-fi raw black metal and dungeon synth, with themes that are deeply rooted in Tolkien’s work. Their “Stone of the Hapless” EP was my most exciting metal discovery of 2019 and the track “Repulse the Orcs” is very possibly my most-played track of the year. There are quite a few moments in this EP that feel reminiscent of some of the greats from the early second wave of black metal. So if you haven’t come across Grimdor before, I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Dødsfall – Døden Skal Ikke Vente
25 January, Osmose Productions
“Døden Skal Ikke Vente” was a release that I reviewed back in January and I haven’t been able to shake it’s grip on me, returning to re-listen throughout the year. Dødsfall’s approach in this album feels like a fusion of new and old black metal styles, and I find this combination enthralling. I still stand by the assessments made in that earlier review “The composition of this album is masterful, engaging and demands your attention… It’s grim, harsh, and foreboding, yet punctuated with moments of thrilling excitement and hints of melody”. Definitely a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable album for me in 2019.
Two albums from 2019? There have been too many good releases, too many bands around. However, the difference in quality hasn’t been that big as some years ago when really few standout albums had been released every year. Albums, blowing everything away for years ahead. Which albums from 2019 will be really remembered?
My top 50+ AOTY list includes basically what I have been listening to and enjoying the most throughout the whole (already gone) 2019. It can be seen here on my personal blog for everyone who is interested in… Naturally, I’m going to present here my #1 and #2 albums from this list. Don’t miss out on these two. Don’t enter into the new decade before giving them a listen. Wishing you all the best and enjoy the UG music!
Idle Hands – Mana
10 May, Eisenwald
Portland Oregon’s IDLE HANDS released really a great album. No, it is not the expected murky death metal. It is gothic darkness, sadness, melancholy…The album is so vivid in its dusky nuances though. Yes, it is a heavy metal/gothic rock album, delivering undefinitive style, with many influences. It is different in a good way of meaning.
I doubt you haven’t listened to IDLE HANDS already. And you know – every song in this record is so memorable, so enjoyable. Me and you can sing along every one of all the eleven tracks. “Mana” was in heavy rotation in 2019 with me and I keep on listening to the record with great pleasure. Naturally “Mana” is #1 in my 2019 AOTY list. Very powerful, impactful and distinctive! As already said – so vivid in its dark colors. This album will definitely be remembered!
Imperium Dekadenz – When We Are Forgotten
30 August, Napalm Records
Germany’s duo really surprised me with this album. Black metal is probably the most diverse genre of them all, bringing melodies, influences and inspirations from everywhere. Literally.
IMPERIUM DEKADNENZ released their sixth full-length the past summer and it got me instantly from the very first tune of the opener – the so addictive “When We Are Forgotten” track. The album? It is black, and it is not black. It’s melodic, and it’s harsh. It is calm and it is raging. It is desperate and it is uplifting. It is mournful and it makes you feel alive. “When We Are Forgotten” definitely cannot be forgotten easily and it represents a fantastic modern interpretation of the black metal.
The album took #2 spot in my AOTY list thanks to everything it represents and gives me as emotions. My golden limited vinyl of the album awaits me on my turntable now. You? Play it. Feel it. It’s a must.
Well that’s it folks, 2019 is in its dying moments and it’s been a hell of a ride. It was the year of 100 Batushka’s, with the stream of drama creating a string copycat bands. The excitement didn’t end here. Slayer played their “last” show, Arch Enemy made a bunch of photographers mad, Dee Snider fought some Australian political asshats, black metal became even more of a cartoon thanks to Belzebubs, Slipknot fired their drummer and got new masks, Tool upset pop fans, Metallica got kinky again, and Chris Barnes is probably still angry about one thing or the other. All the while we are one step closer to the singularity with an AI band dubbed Relentless Doppelganger currently streaming self generated technical death metal on youtube that makes Archspire sound like the Disney Channel. Some of my honourable mentions this year go to Cerebral Rot, Equipoise, Blood Incantation, Witch Vomit, Desecravity, and Revel in Flesh. There are way too many amazing records released this year to give credit, but here are two of my favourites that deserve your immediate attention. Cheers to the end of the decade and another crazy year of metal in 2020!
Smoulder – Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring
26 April, Cruz del Sur Music
Most of my attention this year was on the more extreme subgenres but Smoulder shines like a bonfire burning in a thunderstorm of brutality. They play brilliant epic doom with blazing clean vocals and absolutely wicked instrumentals that will be a boon for many traditional metalheads. The lead riff from The Sword Woman has been stuck in my head for a year and there are so many of these moments on this incredible debut LP. It also helps that they feature some of the coolest cover art of the year as well.
Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance
19 July, 20 Buck Spin
It was hard to choose my favourite death metal release of the year, but one that I have been going back to constantly is the latest from Tomb Mold. Relentless from start to finnish, every track on Planetary Clairvoyance is worth a spin. They sounded more refined on this album but still kept things powerful and raw as hell. I got a chance to see them live a few times this year as well which also helps set the hook so deep! Old school death metal of cosmic proportions, what’s not the love!?
I could put here so many, but so many albums, and the list could stay quite big to be honest. So… I choose these two albums cause what they transmitted to me on the time I heard it and still today do. The quality for me was/is/will be always very good.
Murk Rider – Exile Of Shadows
20 June, Independent
About this album divided in 3 songs… Well, I could say plenty or more things, much more and I did the review (here) but I think that is necessary. What I can say, is that this album was one of the best albums I heard during this year.
Canyon Of The Skull – Sins of the Past
20 November, Independent
Like I said in BAZFriday I chose this band by the cover when i talked a few words about them. But this time is because of the music and what it transmitted to me that time and still. It is a very good album and you must give a listen. They deserve.
The Key Keeper
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