This is precisely that time of the year that I begin to speak this way: Another year has passed. Good or bad. Full of moments that made us happy, sad, shocked or excited. We have experienced countless moments where we found ourselves immersed in tension and bitterness. But it was music that ultimately saved us from difficult situations. Some of them may have disappointed us but accompanied us in our best moments of joy. And I’m glad that I had the chance to listen to many albums for another year, experiencing new sounds and moments. Saw myself next to the members of the bands, and exploring the undiscovered worlds from their point of view. And that’s enough for me.
I have had the chance to listen to more than 700 albums this year as well as every year. I gave around 200 albums 4 stars out of 5 and these 50 albums are selected from those releases. There is no limit to the format of the music. You can find EPs and demos all together in this list. I also thank Inhale the Heavy, and my friend, my brother, Ken Kopija, for giving me the opportunity to share the list of the best of the year with you.
I’m sure there’ll be plenty of astonishing albums this year and they are coming to surprise us all. I appreciate you for reading this list. Cheers.
50. Vitriol – To Bathe From the Throat of Cowardice
49. SECT – Blood of the Beasts
48. Flesh of the Stars – Mercy
47. Carnal Forge – Gun to Mouth Salvation
46. Allegaeon – Apoptosis
45. Disentomb – The Decaying Light
44. El Altar Del Holocausto – -I T-
43. Mechina – Telesterion
42. Fallujah – Undying Light
41. Angel Witch – Angel of Light
40. Hath – Of Rot and Ruin
39. Vous Autres – Champ du sang
38. Spirit Adrift – Divided by Darkness
37. Advent Sorrow – Kali Yuga Crown
36. Full of Hell – Weeping Choir
35. Truth Corroded – Bloodlands
34. Varaha – A Passage for Lost Years
33. False – Portent
32. Borknagar – True North
31. Whitechapel – The Valley
30. Mgła – Age of Excuse
29. Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas
28. Wolfbrigade – The Enemy: Reality
27. The Great Old Ones – Cosmicism
26. The Moth Gatherer – Esoteric Oppression
25. Wrvth – No Rising Sun
24. As I Lay Dying – Shaped By Fire
23. Venom Prison – Samsara
22. Mayhem – Daemon
21. No One Knows What the Dead Think – No One Knows What the Dead Think
20. Necroticgorebeast – Necroticgorebeast
Crushing mixture of slam and brutal death metal, integrated with heavy presence of technical death metal. Necroticgorebeast have made a thrilling record. This isn’t that kind of stupid bree-bree slamming brutal death metal.
19. Forest of Tygers – I Will Die of Violence
Forest of Tygers gave birth to their monstrous, brutal music back in 2014, with the release of Bruises EP, but I Will Die of Violence is something beyond that. This is one of gloomiest, darkest and wildest albums of the year. A powerful and hypnotic journey to human’s darkest moments. Blackened sludge metal at its finest.
18. Kampfar – Ofidians Manifest
Mare, Djevelmakt, Profan, and now Ofidians Manifest. Kampfar’s new dark and atmospheric opus has impressive emotional moments which have marked this album as Kampfar’s best album to date.
17. Darkthrone – Old Star
Nocturno Culto and Fenriz mixed black metal with heavy metal overtones once again, and gave birth to this absolute thrilling album. Old Star has so many outstanding moments and songs that will last forever.
16. Fvneral Fvkk – Carnal Confessions
One of the most surprising albums of the year, Fvneral Fvkk’s debut full length, Carnal Confessions is one hell of an epic doom metal. Along with the album’s magnificent songwriting, Cantor Cinaedicus is doing an amazing job as the vocalist.
15. Imperium Dekadenz – When We Are Forgotten
When We Are Forgotten is melancholic and atmospheric. Brilliant songwriting and impressive performances by both Vespasian and Horaz have transcended the musical journey of Imperium Dekadenz to the whole new dimension.
14. Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion
One of the greatest comebacks of the year, it was worth the long wait. Three decades later Jeff Becerra still knows how to write astounding death/thrash metal songs, the genre that he invented.
13. Batushka / Батюшка – Hospodi / Панихида
Nope! This is not a joke. I don’t give a damn about the war between these two bands and I don’t a damn either who owns the name or rights or whatever. Both bands have released two of the greatest black metal albums of the year.
12. Satans Taint – Destruction Ritual
What can I say? It’s Bobby Gustafson the great, and he’s always brining good old heavy/thrash metal riffs, and he still got the good old vibes. Destruction Ritual is utterly crushing.
11. Vi som älskade varandra så mycket – Det Onda. Det Goda. Det Vackra. Det Fula.
I always have a love-hate relationship with emo/screamo genre. But when I come across such a powerful album like this, I can’t resist. And Det Onda… is more than just a emo/scremo album. It’s a breathtaking mix of post-metal and post-hardcore with massive post-rock undertones. Det Onda… is hypnotic and mournful.
10. Fit for an Autopsy – The Sea of Tragic Beasts
I’ve been a fan of Fit for an Autopsy since The Process of Human Extermination, and they have improved their music every time with each album. The Sea of Tragic Beasts is a powerful, intriguing album from start to finish, with brilliant production and Fit for an Autopsy have set new standards for deathcore with this album.
9. Ashbringer – Absolution
An hour long epic, dramatic and utterly sensational piece of atmospheric black metal. If nature were talking to you, it would probably sound like Ashbringer’s Absolution.
8. Xentrix – Bury the Pain
Another breathtaking comeback of the year. Bury the Pain is Xentrix’s first album since 1996, and, well, this is a thrash metal masterpiece of the modern era. Xentrix have given more prominent power to thrash metal with stellar songwriting and vigorous performances.
7. Soen – Lotus
Over the past few years Soen have borrowed many elements from many well-known alternative/progressive metal bands, but they’ve reshaped all those elements and have formed a musical structure which is more like an extraterrestrial invention. And Lotus stands at the very top of this process, as Soen’s best album to date. Also I name Penance as the best song of 2019.
6. Disillusion – The Liberation
Disillusion’s The Liberation stands as the best comeback of the year. 13 years after Gloria, Disillusion have proved once again that they are the magicians, the sorcerers of progressive [death] metal. The Liberation is phenomenal.
5. Misþyrming – Algleymi
It’s hard to find the right words to describe this album. Icelandic black metal are conquering the world year after year, and Algleymi has become [one of] the best albums ever came out from Iceland. It is dissonant, dark, melodic, catchy and esoteric. Just look at the album cover. It gives you the chills.
4. Hypno5e – A Distant (Dark) Source
It’s hard to say that Hypno5e have created the term “cinematic metal”, true or not they have definitely sent it to the whole new level. A Distant (Dark) Source is an absolute captivating movie of French cinema, which you have to listen to it. Hypno5e’s songwriting on this album is otherworldly. This album is more like new wave of French cinema meets avant-garde [metal] music.
3. Vukari – Aevum
Vukari always surprise me, and I probably shouldn’t be surprised, because I know they will eventually surprise me, but again, I’m surprised when they release a new album. And yes! The story continues. Heavily fused with tangible classical music, Aevum is nothing short of a post-black metal masterpiece. The soundscape in this album is, I hope I’ve found the right word, incomparable.
2. Dead to a Dying World – Elegy
Back in 2015, I selected Litany as the third best album of the year and called it as “a grieving masterpiece”. And now in 2019 I’ve selected Dead to a Dying World’s Elegy as the second best album of the year and I’m still calling it as a grieving masterpiece. Dead to a Dying World are the masters of blending so many musical genres together, to make an epic and dark vision to the human’s sorrowful existence.
1. Latitudes – Part Island
The hauntingly beautiful Old Sunlight was my second best album of the year back in 2016. Three years later Latitudes have created their breathtaking masterpiece, Part Island, and this album left me no other choice to choose it as the best album of the year. Extraordinary tons of guitars riffs and melodies, the delicate sound of synth hiding in the underlying layers of music and highly passionate vocal harmonies which all have made a magnificent and epic symphony of human pains and darkest corners. Part Island has many messages, many outstanding moments in it, which will easily remain in your mind for a long time.