These are MY favourite albums for 2019. I normally try to get a top 10 but there's been too many to narrow it down to 10. Hard to separate the top 3 for album of the year for me.
SOILWORK - VERKLIGHETEN
Just an incredible album from one of my favourite bands.
A band at the top of their game. All killer, no filler.
SULDUSK - LUNAR FALLS
The promo email came through for this and had it labelled 'Blackened neo-folk'.
I thought, 'Ooooookay, let's see where this heads.'
Right up there for album of the year, that's where it headed.
Incidentally my son saw the album cover and the name 'Suldusk', and said, 'What part of Scandinavia are they from?'
It's basically a project by Emily Highfield from Melbourne (yes, Melbourne, Victoria), which has grown into a live band I'm happy to say. I hope to catch a gig one of these days.
I'm not one that is much good at describing how a band fits (or doesn't fit) a genre, but I guess the 'Blackened neo-folk' bit fits as good as any in my mind.
Give it a listen, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Late at night, when the family is asleep, listen to it with good quality headphones on is my best bit of advice.
MAJESTICA - RIDE THE SKY
Formerly ReinXeed, then guitarist Tommy Johansson joins SABATON, and nothing much happens with ReinXeed for a while. New album gets recorded, they saw fit to re-invent the band under a different name and here we are.
EPIC, just EPIC Swedish Power Metal of the highest order.
AVATARIUM - THE FIRE I LONG FOR
From Sweden again (I know, right?), they've been one of my recent faves for a few years now. This is doomy metal with the soulful voice of Jennie-Ann Smith. Just an amazingly beautiful voice on this lady. She could sing the menu at McDonald's and make it sound interesting. This album shows her off to full extent I believe. On heavy rotation in my house.
IN THE BURIAL - LAMENTATIONS OF DECEIPT AND REDEMPTION
Symphonic Blackened Extreme Metal is the label on the bandcamp page, sounds about right.
Heavy as fuck! Hard to believe this has come from little old Adelaide.
If Dimmu Borgir stepped up their game, they could be like IN THE BURIAL.
Keep an eye and ear out, wherever you may be.
TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION - HIGH IN THE SADDLE
I knew absolutely zero about this band so this was a pleasant surprise. An album full of (as singer Big Dad Ritch put it) 'good arena songs, good party songs, good driving around, you know, in your vehicle songs, running from the law songs'.
The mood of this album took me back to the late 80s. Give it a listen, see if it does the same for you.
GYPSY - GYPSY
Saw these guys for the first time at Churches Of Steel Festival and they blew me away. By the time I got to the merch desk ready to buy the album late in the day, the merch desk was closed. Bought it instead through Bandcamp, link below. An energetic 3 piece from Sydney who will blow you away as well.
Check them out.
QUEENSRYCHE - THE VERDICT
Gotta say I was surprised by this one. Been a fan since the very first EP but I haven't been that impressed with too much since the classic Mindcrime album. This album changed that.
Sometimes Todd makes you forget that Geoff Tate is no longer in the band, and on this album he even handles the drums according to the liner notes anyway, however you'll spot Casey Grillo (ex-Kamelot) handling drums in the following video.
ANTHEM - NUCLEUS
Anthem are from Japan, originally formed a bit before Loudness I believe. They haven't been together the whole time and a couple of them have performed with Loudness when Anthem were 'taking a break'. Bit of an odd one this one, as technically this is an album of older songs re-recorded with English vocals. How did this band slip by me? Just amazingly melodic Japanese metal. The guitarist has obviously grown up with Michael Schenker as a bit of an influence, which is fine by me.
SONATA ARCTICA - TALVIYO
Probably gonna be a few Sonata Arctica fans around the world complaining about this one but I love it. I'm not far enough IN to get caught up in that sort of stuff, I just see this for what it is, a really good album. Some really great lyrics which some of the younger crowd probably can't relate to yet, but hey, I can, because I'm old.
BLACK STAR RIDERS - ANOTHER STATE OF GRACE
Their best album so far. Sounds like the gradual changes they have made with every album have been leading to this point. More of the same, only better. Has a cocky swagger about it.
Long may they continue.
DRAGONFORCE - EXTREME POWER METAL
This band seems to divide people, seems you either love them or hate them. I love them. Yeah sure, they're outrageous, and everything about this album is over the top, but that's the point.
Get in, hold on, and shut up, not that we could hear you anyway.
RAMMSTEIN - 'untitled'
This is Rammstein picking up where they left off nearly a decade ago.
They have their own sound and style so they know it best I suppose.
Yoohoo, we're over here, tour please.
Search your own videos, but be careful, lol. Some stuff is NSFW.
LINDEMANN - F & M
Til Lindemann's 'other' band.
Quite surprising this one. Some of it would fit in quite easily on a Rammstein album, some other stuff not...
Same deal as Rammstein as far as videos go.
LORD - FALLEN IDOLS
Australian Metal coming at you between the eyes. Hard, fast, and really melodic. Love it.
Quality album full of quality songs done really well. My 'focus track' (cool edgy modern terminology) is 'Master Of Darkness'.
SAMMY HAGAR AND THE CIRCLE - SPACE BETWEEN
Sammy Hagar on vocals, Vic Johnson on guitars, Michael Anthony on bass, Jason Bonham on drums - YOU DO THE MATHS.
AVANTASIA - MOONGLOW
See why Tobias Sammet's Avantasia is one of the biggest things to happen lately. Just a huge metal opera supergroup concept.
TURILLI / LIONE RHAPSODY - ZERO GRAVITY (REBIRTH AND EVOLUTION)
A band with a complicated history. Symphonic power metal.
FOREVER STILL - BREATHE IN COLOURS
Female fronted hard rock band from Denmark, that are a bit different from the rest.
Check them out.
BATTLE BEAST - NO MORE HOLLYWOOD ENDINGS
These guys (and girl) are out there. Very catchy, poppy stuff. 'Aerobic Metal'
Well, there you have it. I could go on, but where do you stop?
About the author
Metalhead who hates bad parking.