2019 has been an amazing year for music, especially Rock and Metal Music. We’ve seen the return of Rammstein after a long ten year wait, TOOL emerged victoriously and dominated charts globally, Nu Metal kings Korn released a super heavy new LP, The Nothing, and Sweden's Kings Of Sleaze, CRASHDÏET returned with a new leader, Gabriel Keyes, as well as an incredible new record, RUST. We were hoping for a new Marylin Manson record, or at least a new GNR single this year, but we’ll just have to wait. Let’s not forget Slipknot dropped a super heavy contender for album of the year this year also. Sweden is currently dominating the Rock and Metal scene, as well as helping to bring Hard Rock to the masses again. We had some great releases in 2018 from the cold land of Scandinavia, so how many Vikings will appear in this list? Spoiler, number one is from Stockholm...

And yes, they'll be a couple of albums that may not fall into the Rock or Metal genre, but who cares.

1
Opeth - In Cauda Venenum


Opeth have come a long way since forming in the back end of the 80s. Starting out as a “shit” Death Metal band (their words, not ours) and powering through the decades to land square on their 13th album released in September of this year.

“I don’t expect us to conquer the world,” says Åkerfeldt. “We’re not going to be the next big thing now that we’re 45 and into our thirteenth record. So, as time has moved on, OPETH is becoming more and more for us...In a way, that makes the music and the record more pure. We’re not trying to get to the next level of popularity. We’re trying to get to the next level of creativity. So, making the record in Swedish was the spark. It got the music going.” Don’t worry, there’s an English version.

2
CRASHDÏET - RUST


Sure, we could have gone with TOOL, Slipknot or Rammstein for 2nd best record of the year, all of which were probably the most highly anticipated records of 2019. But how predictable. However, CRASHDÏET are one of the most underrated bands around, especially when you consider the reckless history they’ve had to deal with, it’s astonishing they’re still going.

Rust ultimately sees the return of the Kings Of Sleaze Metal to their rightful throne. Originally signed to Universal for their first record back in 2006, Rest In Sleaze, these guys have powered through to deliver some incredible albums over the years, despite being ditched by singers who seemed to be only interested in their own careers, not the bands, twice!

CRASHDÏET fucking deserve this! True diamonds in the rough...

3
Enforcer - Zenith


Whether you wore one or not, the codpiece represented an era of incredibly authentic music, it represented true Metal, Metal with Satan at its very core. Many modern metal bands have fallen into a predictable trap of camo shorts, growling vocals and unnecessary aggression. There is an abundant lack of creativity, melody and diversity present throughout most of today's Metal scene. Too many people follow their ego instead of their passion.

This is exactly why we need Enforcer. A band that truly follow their hearts when it comes to music. Olof Wikstrand’s voice is one of the most underrated and unique you can hear in modern Metal music. Not only does he demonstrate an almost incomparable range with outstanding pitch, he manages to effortlessly complement every single melody on Enforcers new record, Zentih. This is a talent Olof has demonstrated on every single Enforcer record since their debut ‘Into The Night’ back in 2009 and it’s seriously impressive.

4
Rammstein - Untitled


It was a seriously long wait for this album. 2009 was the climax with Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da and the start of what would become an uneasy ten-year wait to see if Rammstein would enter the studio again.

They once again stirred up some much-needed controversy with their first single, Deutschland, by depicting Nazi officers at the gallows, as well as being in space, ancient wars, and some strange transexual kidnapping. Many fans were pretty disgruntled at the more mellow tone to this record, but it’s Rammstein, and Puppe was a beast, second only to SEX.

5
Andy McCoy - 21st Century Rocks


One of the most legendary guitar players of the modern era. Some call him the Finnish Keith Richards, most know him as the iconic axeman of 80s glam rockers, Hanoi Rocks. McCoy released his first solo record back in 1988, Too Much Ain't Enough, with an underground classic, Building On Tradition, being released in 1995.

After Hanoi Rocks officially called it quits in 2008, McCoy kind of vanished but now he's back with a powerful Rock N Roll record. his first solo effort in 23 years.

6
Dust Bolt - Trapped In Chaos


Although a relatively unknown band, German Thrashers Dust Bolt are the Metallica we all deserved. Dust Bolt are the next generation of true heavy metal bands. Formed in 2006 they released their first demo tape in 2010 followed by their debut Violent Demolition in 2012.

Dust Bolt embrace iconic 80’s style metal vocals, riffs, and attitude. Vocalist Lenny Bruce delivers the purest of Thrash Vocals that echo a time long lost but with a fresh and modern production.

7
Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind


It’s been a tough year for IOWA’s finest. Clowns daughter passing away in May devastated the metal community, along with an ongoing legal battle by he who shall not be named adding to the bands ongoing struggles.

However, that didn't stop them from releasing one of the heaviest records of the year, decade even. Nero Forte and Unsainted becoming fan favourites from the get go, and Spiders offering an interesting abstract from the norm.

8
Bring Me the Horizon - AMO


Yeah we get it, you hate them, you think they’re shit, but guess what? They’re creating more interesting music than most bands out there, and they came from a hardcore scremo background and magaed to totally transfomr their art. Did they sell out? Who cares. Bring Me The Horizon have always tried to develop their sound and their skill sets as musicians and songwriters, so even if you hate the music, you can’t deny their passion for wanting to experiment and try to break down genre boundaries.

9
The 69 Eyes - West End


The original Helsinki Vampires have not only released another incredible record this year with their 12th studio album, West End, they also celebrate their 30th anniversary as a band.

“After a night out at a bar, I didn’t go to sleep and I went out to sit on my hotel room’s balcony and watched the sunrise over Sunset Strip. And I thought: I have time for myself, so I listened to the new demos and started to write lyrics” Jyrki explains. This is the reason The 69 Eyes have lasted so long and done it with style. It’s called passion. “...everybody’s a legend and they should realize that we should enjoy what we do instead of worrying what other people think.”

10
Backyard Babies - Sliver & Gold


Although one of the most influential artists throughout the Rock scene, dating back to the late 80s, Backyard Babies are also one of the most underrated bands out there. You can’t help but feel during their multi decade long career they deserve to be a globally dominating force up there with the likes of Velvet Revolver and GNR. We are, however, constantly reminded that Rock is apparently dead. It clearly is not. Just listen to this record.

11
TOOL - FEAR INOCULUM


Are you pissed that we put Bring Me The Horizon above TOOL? Good.

12
Desert Sessions - Vol 11 & 12


We never thought this day would come, but Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, has not disappointed. Many people simply will not be aware of The Desert Sessions, despite some huge names being involved such as Soundgarden, Monster Magnet, Dave Grohl, Billy Gibbons, Pj Harvey, and Troy Van Leeuwen, Homme started the Desert Sessions in 1997 releasing all 5 albums on vinyl between 97 and 2003. Records that are now very difficult to come by. If you love collaborations, you need to hear this record.

13
Megadeath - Warheads on Foreheads


One of the original “Big Four” along side Anthrax, Metallica, and Slayer, Megadeth have been relentless in releasing new records over the years. Despite Dave Mustaine being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, he’s still powering through and delivering some of the fastest and aggressive Thrash on the planet! Warheads on Foreheads is exactly what you’d expect to hear from Megadeath. Pure hell raising Thrash Metal music!

14
MISTER MISERY - Unalive


There’s a good chance you have no idea who this band are. They recently signed to iconic Heavy Metal label, Nuclear Blast to release this debut record. A young band from Sweden who have taken elements of Metal, Horror and focused on songwriting as opposed to just trying to be “Heavy”, and it’s paid off for them.

15
Steel Panther - Heavy Metal Rules


You can either cry about Steel Panther constantly making jokes about sensitive topics and playing up to that generic sexist male rockstar stereotype, or you can realise they are not actually serious and just enjoy their ridiculously catchy take on 80s Hair Metal. It’s over the top, it’s completely self indulgent, but most importantly, it’s fucking fun to listen. Their lyrics maybe childish but the truth of the matter is, musically, they wipe the floor with almost every Rock and Hard Rock band currently saturating YouTube with their dull music videos and predictable guitar solos. Long live the Panther.

16
Alter Bridge - Walk The Sky


When singer, Myles Kennedy isn’t busy ripping it up on stage with GNR legend Slash with his project, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, he is the dynamic frontman of Hard Rock outfit, Alter Bridge. 15 years and 6 albums into their career, Alter Bridge just keep getting heavier and heavier. Walk The Sky is easily their most powerfully cohesive album to date.

17
Jinjer - Macro


Another underground artist making waves in the Metal scene. Quite possibly the only Heavy Metal band to ever come out of the Ukraine, or at least the only one to become known outside of their home country. Frontwoman, Tatiana Shmailyuk, has become somewhat of a stylish female Heavy Metal role model and her voice is easily one of the most powerful in Metal today, regardless of gender. A band that can also match the aggression and quality of their studio recordings on stage.

18
Wednesday 13 - Necrophaze


The recurring themes of Necrophaze illuminate facets of real life horror. With the death of NECROPHAGIST frontman & friend Killjoy earlier this year, and while creating the mold for a new stage-show mask, the development of the ‘Necrophaze’ character and story naturally began to take shape. “It always starts with a title for me,” explains Wednesday, and from there began digging into a variety of terrible subjects.

While still consistently horrifying, this new album certainly carries with it a more humorous sentiment than its gloomy predecessor (and first album with Nuclear Blast Records), »Condolences« (2017). Songs like ‘Bring Your Own Blood (BYOB),’ clearly a play off the phrase “bring your own booze,” manage to intertwine opposing ideas of the blood sucking undead with a teenage house party. “In every 80’s horror movie there’s always a party,” Wednesday chuckles, “so we wanted to get that vibe.

19
Krysthla - Worldwide Negative


The 5-piece extreme metal band, who in the past have toured with Decapitated and supported the likes of Slayer and Gojira, implement a variety of sounds in this new release. Throughout their albums, they have worked up to creating a sound that stands out, with hints of atmosphere fused with progressive death metal and some of the most aggressive vocals, with a cherry of cleans on top. Worldwide Negative will make you want to punch somebody, but with emotion.

20
Killswitch Engage - Atonement


"This song is very near and dear to my heart," Leach explains. "I wanted the listener to feel the urgency, the heaviness of the topic as well as a possible connection. Many people suffer from mental illness in one form or another. I want nothing more than for people to feel like they are not alone in this struggle. There is always someone there to help, to listen, and to be there for you. Don't lose hope and don’t let your brokenness consume you. Broken can be fixed, or at the very least, maintained. No one is alone in this fight."

Regarding the decision to work with Hope for the Day, Leach says, "I personally chose Hope for the Day to be the organization we partner with for this song. I admire their tireless efforts to spread mental awareness and suicide prevention. The phrase and the hashtag #ItsOkNotToBeOk is a simple yet powerful statement.

21
Till Lindemann - F & M


22
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen


23
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - End of Suffering


24
Bitch Queens - City Of Class


25
Vex Red - Give Me The Dark


26
PHIL CAMPBELL - Old Lions Still Roar


27
Royal Republic - Club Majesty


28
Burning Witches


29
OVERKILL - The Wings Of War


30
In Flames - I, The Mask


31
THE DAMNED THINGS - High Crimes


32
While She Sleeps - SO WHAT?


33
MUNICIPAL WASTE - The Last Rager EP


34
Grave Robert - The Nightmare Begins


35
The Hip Priests - Stand For Nothing


36
Michael Monroe - One Man Gang


37
3TEETH - Metawar


38
The Darkness - Easter Is Cancelled


39
Pretty Wild - Interstate 13


40
Nitrate - Open Wide


41
Hellyeah - Welcome Home


42
Iggy Pop - Free


43
Hollywood Vampires - Rise


Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!

CONTACT ME HERE

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