My 10 favourite albums of 2019

The new music I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in 2019 has been outstanding. For my musical tastes, this year has been amazing. Looking back—listening back too I suppose—my musical tastes have seemingly changed slightly as well. The amount of screaming I can not only tolerate, but honestly enjoy has increased dramatically.

Not only have Google Play Music and YouTube made some seriously impressive recommendations, they’ve made sure I knew as soon as my existing favourite bands released something new. That combination of recommendation types has resulted in a somewhat surprising list for me.

If you’d asked me a couple of months ago which album I’d have listened to the most this year, it would have easily been an album that I’d been listening to in heavy rotation since it came out in late August. Then a new recommendation came my way in September that changed everything. More on that in the list.

Here goes (in mostly no real order) …

Through Fire—All Animal

This band and album were both Google Play Music recommendations. All of the tracks on this release are simply easy to listen to on constant repeat. It’s a solid release and all of the tracks have the following vibe going on. I love it.

The Anchor—Breathe

The Anchor was another recommendation that came to me through Google Play Music. I’d never heard of the band and at first couldn’t work out how many vocalists I was listening to. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the varied vocal styles were being provided by the one person. Metalcore is seemingly becoming my new favourite genre.

Ocean Sleeper—Don’t Leave Me This Way

When I saw this album in the Recent Releases section of Google Play Music, I did think the genres had become messed up. Luckily for me, I decided to give it a listen anyway. Yay! More new metalcore for my year’s new listening. The year was continuing to provide me with musical goodness.

Korn—The Nothing

This album was one of those where I already knew the band—there’d be something wrong if I didn’t—and the new release was a Oh, this could be good moment. Upon listening, I quickly changed my thinking to Oh snap … this is better than good. I really liked what Korn had done with this latest release. I’m hoping they can continue to release this kind of music for years to come. I remain a fan.

While She Sleeps—SO WHAT?

When I saw this album drop this year I honestly couldn’t remember if I’d heard the band’s music before—I’m getting much older. The name sounded familiar so I checked the back catalogue and was quickly reminded that I had heard of them before. Regardless, upon listening to SO WHAT? I quickly worked out that even if I’d never heard their music before, this album was going to be a favourite for 2019.

Jinjer—Macro

I’m pretty sure that most people who have discovered Jinjer recently have done so through their Pisces (Live Session) video. If you’ve not seen that, you’re going to want to search for it on YouTube.

Having already done that, when I saw that they’d released Macro, I was keen to give it a listen. I’m glad I did. It’s an awesome release. I don’t recall hearing a blend of reggae with metal like Jinjer have done on at least one track on Macro. I like.

Mostly though, their new album sounds like On The Top with an impressive range of vocal styling from their vocalist Tatiana Shmaylyuk.

Of Mice & Men—EARTHANDSKY

I had been listening to the trickle feed of new releases by Of Mice & Men and couldn’t wait for the new album to drop. When it did, I was over the moon—which I guess is appropriate considering their new album’s name.

This is a seriously solid metalcore release. There are some catchy tunes to both rock along to and to sing along with. There are also some true moments for you to simply scream along to.

Yes!

This band has perfected this style of metal and I cannot wait for more.

Tool—Fear Inoculum

The album many a Tool fan had been waiting roughly fifteen years for. I include myself in that category of fan. I have listened to 10,000 Days many times over the years. I’ve listened to their other albums as well over the years, but I’d been curious to see what the follow-up was going to be to 10,000 Days.

When Fear Inoculum landed, I was ecstatic. This sounded like Tool. Weird time signatures, mesmerising vocals, mind blowing bass and drum tracks and lengthy track times. I let everybody in earshot know that Tool was back.

It’s definitely in my top 10 list, but the release surprisingly—to me at least—was not my favourite release of the year. It’s not a competition, but that speaks more to my genuine love for the amount of amazing music that was released in the genres I am so passionate about.

Wage War—Pressure

If I’m not mistaken, Pressure was released on the same day as Tool‘s Fear Inoculum. I was absolutely spoiled for choice on this day. It was also therefore a day of conflict. Who do I listen to on repeat? It honestly took me a few days of swapping, but I eventually worked out that I wanted to listen to Wage War‘s new release more.

It was mostly because of the track Who I Am—video below.

That intro. That “Go!” and that chorus. This song is epic. This album is almost all as solid as this track. It’s easy to blast this entire release on repeat for day after day. I can say that with confidence because that’s exactly what I did do. For weeks.

I was sure this was going to be my favourite album this year. It almost was. I will say this though … Who I Am is my song of the year.

Sometimes I look at my play count for Who I Am in Google Play Music and think “That doesn’t seem high enough” and then I realise that I’m responsible for three figures worth of the YouTube views for this song.

Dayseeker—Sleeptalk

I’m going to start this by saying that when I first saw this album recommended in Google Play Music I was 100% convinced that the recommendations were well and truly broken. This album artwork doesn’t look metal. Then I started listening to the track Sleeptalk and was convinced this was absolutely not my thing.

This band doesn’t look metal. This song doesn’t sound metal—at first. When that chorus kicks in though, the vocals of Rory Rodriguez go to a level I could only dream of ever achieving. Then I started to listen to the rest of this album.

I cannot adequately put into words how wrong I was and how happy I am now to realise I was wrong in my initial suspicions. Dayseeker are next level.

I am really hoping that they release future singles off this album. I believe there are at least a few in there. Burial Plot is amazing. Crooked Soul is brutally beautiful. Crash and Burn though … this is the song I’ve listened to more than any other song this year.

Crash and Burn is most likely the best album ending I can recall ever hearing. I can’t think of too many songs that grow, change and explode like this track does. If music is what emotions sound like, Crash and Burn is the soundtrack to my emotions.

I would never have predicted my love for Dayseeker at the beginning of 2019, but I couldn’t be happier to have landed where I have. I think it’s a bold statement to make in a Tweet, but I am going to end this by agreeing with Dayseeker themselves.

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