Since 2019 is half over, we thought now would be a good time to share some of our favorite metal releases of the year so far. What’s your top ten? Let us know in the comments below.
Chris Latta (Managing Editor)
So far, 2019 has been a year all about shaking things up. There seem to be more bands than ever attempting to craft their own distinct identities, often by combining aspects of previously established styles and genres. I’ve personally taken greater steps to find worthy albums beyond my beloved doom and traditional metal, but even though tried and true staples have seen some novel releases come to light. Perhaps it’s a reflection of the 2010s ending and the beginning of the 2020s. Either way, we’ve already seen some crazy stuff come out and I’m sure there’ll be even more to follow in the coming months!
10) The Devil and the Almighty Blues – Tre
9) Twisted Tower Dire – Wars in the Unknown
8) Hexvessel – All Tree
7) Gold – Why Aren’t You Laughing?
6) Sanhedrin – The Poisoner
5) The Riven – The Riven
4) Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
3) Tanith – In Another Time
2) Waste of Space Orchestra – Syntheosis
1) Idle Hands – Mana
Kyle Messick (Contributing Editor)
We are halfway through the year, and so I’ve picked eleven of my favorite black and death metal albums that you might have missed. Making a list of ten items is nearly impossible, so I try to use Nigel Tufnel as an excuse to squeeze one more in. It’s hard to say which albums will pass the test of time, but I can confidently say that this year is incredible for extreme metal. I focused on new LPs and EPs, but note that there are amazing reissues that came out this year (e.g., Regurgitation’s 1999 Tales of Necrophilia; Excruciate’s 1993 Passage of Life), some excellent compilations (Hyperdontia’s A Vessel Forlorn), and some incredible demos have received physical pressings and reissues (e.g., Gutless’ Mass Extinction; Intestine Baalism’s The Energumenus), so be sure to check those out too!
Abyssal – A Beacon in the Husk
Oppressive, heavy, and with an atmosphere dense enough to suffocate even the most optimistic of people, Abyssal’s fourth album mixing black, death, and doom consumes all who dare to listen to it.
Батюшка (Krzysztof Drabikowski)- Панихида
As messy as the Batushka drama has been, it only takes a few seconds into Панихида to understand who the primary songwriter was in the band. Litourgiya is regarded as a modern-day classic, and I feel that this second album marvelously builds off of their debut. Whatever name Krzysztof uses in the future, I’ll keep supporting any music of this quality.
Desecravity – Anathema
One of my favorite bands that combine technical and brutal death metal, this is their third album that continues their whirlwind of precision insanity.
Deus Mortem – Kosmocide
Imagine raw black metal perfection boiled down to its most fundamental elements and you have this terrific second album by Poland’s Deus Mortem.
Disgruntled Anthropophagi – Violently Expunged
Intense and absolutely vicious brutal death metal with a raw production and plenty of gravity blasting.
Equipoise – Demiurgus
It isn’t easy to make a tech death album that doesn’t sound like a computer-generated wankfest, but bring Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilist, Cosmic Atrophy, First Fragment, Eternity’s End, etc.) in and break up the tech with a variety of tracks in other styles, including Spanish guitar, and you get this pleasant and superb debut that admittedly is an odd duckling amongst my list.
Fetid – Steeping Corporeal Mess
This filthy porridge of death metal sounds like it bubbled up from the depths of a murky swamp. I love it.
Lurid Panacea – The Insidious Poisons
47 grindy brutal death metal songs in 24 minutes. If you come up for air, you’re doing it wrong.
Mord’A’Stigmata – Dreams of Quiet Places
If Akercocke were a black metal band from Poland, their brand of avant-garde metal might sound like this.
Pissgrave – Posthumous Humiliation
Raw, noisy, and furiously aggressive death grinding audio diarrhea. Not for the meek.
Véhémence – Par le Sang Versé
Beautiful medieval-style black metal from France. Fans of Obsequiae should love it.
Abnormality – Sociopathic Constructs
Andavald – Undir skyggðarhaldi
Apostate – At the Tomb of Sanity
Carnal – Lecherous Acts of Hedonism
Consummation – The Great Solar Hunter
Deathspell Omega – The Furnaces of Palingenesia
Defecrator – Abortion of Humanity
Despondency – Excruciating Metamorphosis
Dreadnought – The Light Shalt Be Ungiven
Dissolution – Insects and Interlopers
Drastus – La Croix de Sang
Elephant Watchtower – The Church is at Fault
Festerday – Iihtallan
Funereal Presence – Achatius
Gaahls Wyrd – GastiR – Ghosts Invited
Hereza – Death Metal Drunks
Horrisonous – A Culinary Cacophony
Imprecation – Damnatio ad Bestias
Kaleikr – Heart of Lead
Krypts – Cadaver Circulation
L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale
Misþyrming – Algleymi
Musmahhu – Reign of the Odious
Mystifier – Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia
Nahum – Within Destruction
Ossuarium – Living Tomb
Perverticon – Wounds of Divinity
Prion – Aberrant Calamity
Rendered Helpless – Suffer, Seraphim
Repugnance – Shrouds of Deceit
Sinmara – Hvísl Stjarnanna
Skáphe + Wormlust – Kosmískur hryllingur
Stellar Master Elite – Hologram Temple
Superstition – The Anatomy of Unholy Transformation
Traveler – Traveler
Vile Apparition – Depravity Ordained
Vulgore – Crevices of Obscura
01101111011101100110111001101001 – SDSS J0333+0651
Cerebral Rot – Odious Descent into Decay
Devourment – Obscene Majesty
Disentomb – The Decaying Light
Esophageal – Upon the Tombs of Ancient Impossibilities
Siderate – Shadow Behind the Cross (first CD pressing)
Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance
Wormed – Metaportal