Fellow mutants and odious comrades, the new year is almost upon us! Before we’re swallowed by 2020’s promising onslaught of releases, let’s take a glance back at some of my favorite records of 2019. I felt physically harmed while trimming this list down to 20, and I can easily recommend up to 100 heavy albums that warranted enthusiastic revisitation this year. So if your favorite band or your own band isn’t here, please restrict your disapproval to a strongly-worded complaint written in seraph blood and bury it in haunted soil by moonlight. When your curse catches up to me, you’ll know it.
When I first started writing for Decibel Magazine almost 7 years ago my wheelhouse was pretty much old school death and the murkiest sludge. Over the years I’ve seen my taste morph into an affinity for psychedelic genre-bending and most things that can be described as “cosmic.” While my boots might be a foot deep in rat shit and taxes here on Earth, my mind is chasing riffs into black holes and astral planes. That said, I think my list reflects the sprawl of my extreme tastes. There’s everything from epic crust and black ‘n’ roll to desert rock and trad doom. The ratio of clean singing to growls and snarls has also skyrocketed over the past few years. Am I softening like weathered leather after years of uncompromising brutality, or is this an unreliable and temporary change in vocal preferences? As a stat nerd I’m happy to verify next year once I have another 365 days of data. Until then, check out my favorite albums from 2019 below: