REVIEW! The Best Of 2019

December 30, 2019

Its that time of year again where we all come up with our favourites of the year. Top ten lists surface on the internet in their absolute droves, a reflection of what the year had, or did not have to offer. For some its often a reminder of those things forgotten about throughout a long year of release after release. 


2019 has been no different. Starting strong and continuing to power through with many publications shouting ‘album of the year’ almost on a monthly basis. Black Metal was once again being screamed about from the rooftops with so many top quality albums surfacing as if from nowhere with the likes of MGLA & Downfall Of Gaia continuing to fly the flag high. Mayhem returned with ‘Daemon’ to reclaim their throne. We had soundtracks to our summer time in the form of Bokassa, who continue to grow fresh of that Metallica tour. Slipknot surprised many with ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ proving to their fans that they were far from done. Thrash wasn’t too far behind either with some serious hard hitters with veterans Overkill and Death Angel proving theres still plenty left in the tank. 


Too much is never enough though as they say. Lets take a short but sweet glimpse into’s favourites of 2019 in no particular order.




Downfall Of Gaia - Ethic Of Radical Finitude

8th Feb 2019 // Metal Blade Records


One of the absolute standouts of the year personally for me. Every track as majestic as they come. Visceral yet absolutely beautiful in its own right. Ethic Of Radical Finitude doesn't just go down as one of my favourite Black Metal albums of 2019 but one of my favourites of all time. Modern, yet raw, captivating and dark with plenty of atmosphere. A cut above the rest. [Jay Russell]





Mgła - Age Of Excuse

3rd Sept 2019 // No Solace


You only have to look at Zbigniew M. Bielak's artwork for this to know its going to be something special. Everything about this album was beautiful. We all knew it was coming but we didn't know when until that very day arrived. Thats what I love about MGLA, they do things on their own terms, everything from songwriting to when and how they release. Age Of Excuse III has probably been played every day since I heard the track. An undeniable expertly crafted slab of Black Metal. [Jay Russell]




Bokassa - Crimson Riders

21st June 2019 // MVKA


You want riffs? Just play Crimson Riders loud. Pop open that beer and enjoy. From the moment we started writing about Bokassa on our site, we never really stopped shutting up about them. They are really that good. Catchy punk anthems with the biggest metal riffs you've ever heard. Crimson Riders undoubtedly became the soundtrack to my summer, along with many other fans! It will take a while for me to get bored of this one, I promise you. Norway right now are on FIRE and Bokassa are leading the way! [Jay Russell]




Krzysztof Drabikowski's Batushka - Panihida

30th May 2019 // Self Release


Say what you will surrounding the whole Batushka controversy, Panihida is an album you would be silly to miss out on. For me, this was the far superior of the two Batushka albums released this year and conformed more to its Litourgiya roots. Its absolutely stunning and continues to showcase the true Batushka sound we all came to know and love with that first release. Roll on 2020 for the UK show!  [Jay Russell]





Lingua Ignota- Caligula

19th July 2019 // Profound Lore Records


Kristin Hayter is just incredible. Her music doesn't fit to a genre, but it's intensity, abrasive nature and subject matter fits it perfectly to the metal community. Beautiful, harrowing liturgical organ and piano mixed with classical vocals, screams and noise expertly express songs of domestic abuse. One of the most powerful albums I've ever heard. [Gary White]






Nile - Vile Nilotic Rites

1st November 2019 // Nuclear Blast Records


 'Vile Nilotic Rites'. 'Rites' combines pummelling drums, ear-shredding riffs and sheer brutality along with songs based on well researched and fascinating subject material (it's well worth reading the lyrics and accompanying song explanations). Easily one of Nile's best yet, this stands out as one of 2019's most interesting death metal efforts. A sublime and blood-drenched offering to the ancient Egyptian pantheon. [Grant Sykes]





Tomb Mold - Planetary Clairvoyance

19th July 2019 // 20 Buck Spin


2019 was strangely rich with alien and/or spaced themed contenders for the death metal album of the year, seeing Tomb Mold face off against the mighty Blood Incantation in a cosmic battle of sonic titans. Whichever you preferred, it's clear that Planetary Clairvoyance is a prime slice of death metal, and a more than worthy follow-up to Tomb Mold's massively well respected debut 'Manor of Infinite Forms'. Planetary Clairvoyance solidifies Tomb Mold's place among the stars with the interplanetary heavy metal gods and monsters.[Grant Sykes]



Cult Of Luna - A Dawn To Fear

20th September 2019 // Metal Blade Records


A Dawn to Fear is Cult of Luna’s follow up release after Mariner and, yet again, the band have delivered a master-class in ferocity and atmosphere. Sometime hard as granite, other times delicate as gossamer, Cult of Luna’s capacity to create compelling musical tapestries appears to know no bounds. [Dan Barnes]












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