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2019 Extravaganza

Top 100 Albums of 2019: The Messick Edition

2019 marks an incredible year for extreme metal, with a resurgence of the raw, old school death metal sound popularized in the pre-digital days, as well as many acts that extend far beyond the boundaries of subgenre norms.  Below is a list of one-hundred fantastic albums that came out this year, including LPs, splits, and EPs (not including demos, which can be found HERE on a separate list).  It is a great time to be a fan of extreme music, and this list is a perfect example of why.  Of course, a list of one-hundred albums is a practice in excess, but the point of including such a list isn’t to make definitive claims about one album being better than another, but rather, it is to draw attention to quality releases and bands that you might have missed.  As is always the case with these lists, I wouldn’t get caught up in the order (musical preference is subjective, after all), but rather, what is important is acknowledging that these are quality works, and the brief descriptions provided for each will hopefully help you find something new that falls within your musical preferences.  Raw death metal especially tickles my fancy, so you’ll find an abundance of that in this list, especially once you approach #1. I’ve spanned this list across two pages so that you can play music from each release directly from here without your device getting bogged down. Enjoy!

100. Maggot Crown – Suffering to the Conquered EP
Intense death metal with vocals that remind me of Hura Crepitans, which is awesome in my book.

99. Sulfuric Cautery – Chainsaws Clogged With The Underdeveloped Brain Matter Of Xenophobes
One of the ugliest, nastiest, heaviest deathgrind albums I’ve ever heard.

98.Obsequiae- The Palms Of Sorrowed Kings
are a band I absolutely adore, because no one sounds quite like their version of medieval-styled black metal. I just wish the production wasn’t quite as clean, so that this album could approach the greatness of Aria of Vernal Tombs.

97. Rattenfänger – Geisslerlieder
Members of Drudkh throw in some great death metal grooves, even if their formula seems to be missing something.

96. Musmahhu – Reign of the Odious
Iron Bonehead Records always delivers this goods. Case in point: this intense blackened death metal debut from Sweden’s Musmahhu.

95. Coffin Rot – A Monument to the Dead
Grimy death metal from Oregon. Really grimy.

94. Andavald – Undir skyggðarhaldi
A masterpiece of a debut and a perfect example of why Icelandic black metal is so incredible.

93. 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.

92. Urn – Iron Will of Power
Blackened death/thrash from Finland with actually discernible lyrics.

91. Prostitute Disfigurement – Prostitute Disfigurement
This is a great comeback album from Holland’s death metal powerhouse Prostitute Disfigurement. It’s easily their best release since Niels changed his vocal style away from the “punch bowl” style of the early albums.

90. Coffins – Beyond the Circular Demise
Death-doom from one of the most well-known bands to come out of Japan. Their first LP in six years is nasty and well worth the wait.

89. Deathspell Omega – The Furnaces of Palingenesia
These avant-garde dissonant black metal maestros need no introduction, and this is their latest opus.

88. Gatecreeper – Deserted
Death-doom from Arizona that I really enjoy, with a great album cover by Brad Moore.

87. Horrified – Sentinel EP
Melodic death with some superb basswork from England. FFO: Horrendous

86. Evoked – Ravenous Compulsion
Old school death metal with lots of thrash influence from Germany. FFO: Early Pestilence & Morgoth

85. Feeble Minded – Collapsing Existence
The Czech Republic’s faithful answer to Suffocation. It’s basically a continuation of Pierced and Effigy.

84. Carcinoid – Metastatic Declination
Death doom from Australia with a unique bass mix

83. Gaahls WYRD – GastiR – Ghosts Invited
Avant-garde black metal from the legendary Gaahl from Gorgoroth

82. November’s Doom – Nephilim Grove
This is the eleventh album from one of death-doom’s most consistent and prominent acts. Plenty of feels to be had.

81. Krypts – Cadaveric Circulation
Third album of quality death doom from these Finnish titans of the subgenre

80. Exhumed – Horror
Simply said: their best album since All Guts, No Glory

79. Esoteric – A Pyrrhic Existence
A beautiful, melodic death-doom album by one of the progenitors of the genre

78. Skáphe & Wormlust – Kosmískur Hryllingur
A wonderful split featuring some of the best psychedelic black metal out there.

77. Apostate – At the Tomb of Sanity
New York style brutal death metal out of England

76. Kaleikr – Heart of Lead
Some of the best extreme metal has consistently been coming out of Iceland lately. This is a debut by Iceland’s Kaleikr, which is a mix of beautiful, progressive black and death.

75. 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.

74. Takafumi Matsubara – Strange, Beautiful And Fast
The mastermind behind Gridlink returns to the genre he revolutionized with a new full length of unique grindcore perfection.

73. Bethledeign – Iconography of Suffering
An excellent blackened death debut out of Virginia

72. Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark
A surprisingly great avant-garde black metal masterpiece

71. Devourment – Obscene Majesty
The slam titans return with what is probably their best album since their classic, Molesting the Decapitated. They’ve distanced themselves from misogynistic lyrics, but they’ve doubled down on the raw, earth-shattering slams that they specialize in.

70. Vastum – Orificial Purge EP
Raw old school death metal. Everything Vastum have put out rules.

69. Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance
Tomb Mold’s third LP is some of their best material yet, and proves they’re worth the hype. They play old style death metal with a focus on riffs and murky atmosphere.

68. Teitanblood – The Baneful Choir
Teitanblood are a band that consistently show how suffocating and oppressive blackened death metal can be, and their third album, The Baneful Choir, is a perfect example of that.

67. Crypt Sermon – The Ruins of Fading Light
For me these guys are pretty much the top doom/heavy metal band with clean vocals going. I just hope frontman Brooks eventually makes a new Trenchrot album.

66. Bölzer – Lese Majesty EP
Bölzer from Switzerland continue to be one of my favorite black metal acts just because no one else sounds quite like them. I imagine this release won’t be as polarizing as 2016’s Hero, but it is similarly great.

65. Dissociative Healing / Repulsive Creation – Rakka split
Crazy technical, brutal death metal split from Lord of the Sick Recordings

64. Sun of the Dying – The Earth is Silent
Beautiful Spanish death-doom reminiscent of November’s Doom and My Dying Bride.

63. Rendered Helpless – Suffer, Seraphim
Sci-fi one-man slamming brutal death metal project from New Zealand

62. Horrific Demise – Excruciating Extermination
Featuring past and current members of Lividity, Gorgasm, Regurgitation, Heinous Killings, Necrotic Disgorgement, Human Filleted, and Sarcophagy, it’s no surprise that this brutal death metal supergroup has put out a satisfyingly brutal debut. And the classical solos are a nice touch.

61. Disentomb – The Decaying Light
Australian death metal titans Disentomb continue to push brutal death metal in new directions, and with this, their third album, they experiment more with dissonance in their brew of technical brutal death.

60. Jig-Ai – Entrails Tsunami
This is the fourth LP from this hentai-themed goregrind act out of the Czech Republic. It’s a fun listen, and I’d also like the acknowledge how awesome the album cover is (especially the full gatefold version).

59. 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.

58. Repugnance – Shroud of Deceit
An excellent brutal death metal debut out of Malta. It’s crisp and jam-packed with great riffs.

57. Wormed – Metaportal EP
Wormed return with this EP of spacey tech brutal death that’s some of their best material in a while due to how much the songs are allowed to breathe. The only downside is how short this is.

56. Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race
Blood Incantation continue to push cavernous death metal in new directions, as found on this psychedelic follow-up to their masterpiece Starspawn, and it’s worth celebrating even if it doesn’t reach the heights of their previous effort.

55. Pissgrave – Posthumous Humiliation
Raw, noisy, and furiously aggressive death grinding audio diarrhea. Not for the meek.

54. 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.

53. Frosthelm – Pyrrhic
North Dakota’s Frosthelm potently mix catchy riffing into their well-written black metal, accented well with classical solos. They’re consistently a band that doesn’t get as much love as I’d expect them to.

52. Drastus – La Croix De Sang
Intense black metal out of France

51. Mortiferum – Disgorged From Psychotic Depths
A fantastic cavernous death metal debut out of Washington

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