1/04/2020

The 20 Best Hard Rock & Metal Albums of 2019

Sorry, for the bit of the delay, on this list, but regular work had kept me very busy. Regardless, 2019 proved to be another great year for heavy music. Many big name veterans put out some great music, but there are some young, up and comers who kicked major ass, as well. The year proved to be really good for thrash and death metal, in particular, I feel. Making this list wasn't easy and involved a lot of continuous, to the last minute, changes. Anyway, here we go! On a side note, man was black and grey a popular choice for artists as their cover color schemes last year!

Honorable Mentions:
Amon Amarth- Berserker
Korn- The Nothing
Lindsey Schoolcraft- Martyr 
Belzebubs- Pantheon of the Nightside Gods
Flotsam and Jetsam- The End of Chaos 


20. Entombed A.D.- Bowels of the Earth- The mighty Entombed A.D. are back motherfuckers! My full review: https://www.themastergio.com/2019/08/entombed-ad-bowels-of-earth-album-review.html






19. Darkthrone- Old Star- Majestically dark and cold, Darkthrone's latest release is an all engulfing and encompassing assault of old school Norwegian black metal. It combines with an epicness, and even bits of catchieness in songs like "The Hardships of the Scots", that helps to cement it as one the best black metal releases of last year. 

18. Traveler- Traveler- Canadian band Traveler makes their debut and give us what is the best music from a new group playing old school style heavy metal. My full review: https://www.themastergio.com/2019/02/traveler-traveler-album-review.html








17. Chelsea Wolfe- Birth of Violence- Chelsea Wolfe, one of the most original musicians of recent memory, gives us a haunting, powerful, and beautiful acoustic album with her latest release. It is the perfect album to heal and soothe my dark soul.  











16. Fit For An Autopsy- The Sea of Tragic Beasts- One of the best acts in all of deathcore, Fit For An Autopsy have delivered a monster of an album. One of their finest recordings ever, The Sea of Tragic Beasts is heavy, groove-filled, and sure to get mosh pits a blaze. For proof just listen to bangers like "No Man Is Without Fear" and the title track.


15. Possessed- Revelations of Oblivion- Possessed are back to kick your fucking ass straight to hell! Revelations of Oblivion is their absolute finest work since their rightfully heralded classic Seven Churches. This album is a wonderfully satanic mix of pounding death metal and unrelenting thrash. In all, one of the most killer genre benders in many a moon.  




14. Creeping Death- Wretched Illusions- 2019's best debut album came from this old school death metal styled Texas act. My full review: https://www.themastergio.com/2019/09/creeping-death-wretched-illusions-album.html








13. Toxic Holocaust- Primal Future: 2019- The best Toxic Holocaust album yet, and here is my review of it: https://www.themastergio.com/2019/10/toxic-holocaust-primal-future-2019.html








12. Mayhem- Daemon- It feels like forever since I last really enjoyed a Mayhem album. But, unholy fuck is it ever great to have that change. This is an awesome and dark blast of old school and righteously evil Norwegian sounds. From the cold feeling production to the raspy, demonic vocals to the blast-beat assaults this is everything we black metal fans fucking want and need!






11. Rammstein- Rammstein- All these years later Rammstein remain one of the kings of industrial. And, this self-titled rocker proves it. Hard hitting, fun, and catchy it really ranks among their best albums. The excellent production is among the best that you were likely to hear last year. And, the single "Deutschland" is one of my favorite singles that was released in 2019.





 10. Carnifex- World War X- Carnifex continue to grow outside of the confines of deathcore, while remaining entrenched in it. They do this by continuing to expand on the use of taking influences from other sub-genres, like black metal, as they have been doing for the last couple of releases. Tracks like "Visions of the End" are among some of the songs that got my adrenaline most pumped up. In short, World War X is brutal, angry, dark, merciless, and absolutely fucking kills! . 



9. Periphery- Periphery IV: Hail Stan- Periphery continue to be one of the best bands in their style of metal, being head and shoulders above many of the others like them. Their epic, complex, and diverse fourth album continues to prove that. On a side note, it has one of the most fun sounding titles of 2019!







8. Whitechapel- The Valley- This is a dark, powerful, and honest release from one of the kings of deathcore. It is perhaps their most mature album, yet despite some moments where it slows down, the band never loses any of its ferocity. The Valley is a haunting work and one among their finest recordings.








7. Death Angel- Humanicide- One of the great classic thrash bands, Death Angel have put out 2019's absolute best thrash album in Humanicide. As fucking good as their preceding album, The Evil Divide, was this album is even better. As a matter of fact, it is their best work since their classic heyday.







6. Jinjer- Macro- Jinjer is the metal success story of the year. The hardworking band achieved their biggest success yet, and I honestly believe that they are only going to get bigger. Their latest LP Macro is a killer bit of progressive/ d'jent metal. Killer groove, complex song structures, and varied influences (including reggae!) and sounds make this a record that, I feel, will be looked upon as a classic in the future. For now, it is their best yet and one of the coolest of 2019. 




5. Slipknot- We Are Not Your Kind- One of the biggest bands in all of metal, Slipknot put out their latest last year. And, honestly it ranks among the very best the band has ever done. It takes the best elements of their finest work mixes it all in a great and varied sounding disc. Heavy, catchy, and featuring excellent production proves that they are worthy of all the continued popularity and success that they continue to have.





4. The Agonist- Orphans- It is a crying shame that The Agonist are so underrated. They remain a fucking killer group, one that not only continues to make spectacular music, but in fact, with this album, have made their best one, yet! I absolute adore them and this album, is one of my most listened to of all of last year. 







3. Killswitch Engage- Atonement- The masters and gods of metalcore gave us another masterwork this time in the form of the amazing Atonement. It is an album that early on looked like it could take the top place. And, even though it didn't, it did come close. But, then featuring team-ups with former signer and current Light The Torch frontman Howard Jones ("The Signal Fire") and Testament frontman Chuck Billy ("The Crownless King") and more truly fucking ass kicking songs, how could it not?




2. Cattle Decapitation- Death Atlas- Fuck is this album ever brutal!! Cattle Decapitation is always a band that I am excited to hear their latest, and despite one or two reviews I heard/ read giving it a lower rating, I fucking LOVED this one!! It is yet another great release from one of the best extreme metal bands around. I spent a lot of time debating whether this should be number one or two. This may have taken the silver medal, but it came ever so fucking close to gold!




1. Abbath- Outstrider- From the moment I heard this album it felt like it would take the top spot. While, it wasn't easy to choose over the KsE or especially over Cattle Decapitation, it ultimately won. Now, while I absolutely adored the self-titled debut, this one is even better. Which in my book is saying a lot! Abbath's brand of fun, but still unquestionably ass kicking black metal is completely up my alley. With it's musicianship and awesome track list, Oustrtider makes it to the very top of this super competitive list, and in my eyes is the best metal album of 2019!


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