Another year has come and gone (well, almost) in the world of Rock, Heavy Metal, and Pop music. Here are our favorites from 2019, and as always thank you for your support, my friends!
THE ALCALDE: Here are my Top 10 Albums of 2019!
1. SLIPKNOT – We Are Not Your Kind. Five years after their previous release, this iconic band managed to prove why they’re one of the most representative bands of metal today. SLIPKNOT has shown the world that metal is here to stay for a very long time.
2. AMON AMARTH – Berserker. This Viking band managed to create an album that is just as epic as their previous release. There’s a handful of songs that will stick around in our heads for a long time and there’s not one single second that has a bad taste.
3. DEATH ANGEL – Humanicide. One of the most underrated thrash metal bands today is in celebration for being nominated for a Grammy award with this release, which has some badass songs that sound even better in live venues. DEATH ANGEL has remained true to their roots, and the hard work is reflected in this phenomenal album.
4. SABATON – The Great War. This Swedish band has increased their popularity tremendously with the release of metal music that can perfectly fin into anybody’s ears. The world needs SABATON to tell the untold stories of our humanity in company of high energy music.
5. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – Atonement. KsE is probably one of the most hard-working metal bands today, and it’s satisfying to see how they’ve managed to top their own game.
6. WHITECHAPEL – The Valley. I was completely blown away since I played the first track of this album. WHITECHAPEL didn’t stay away from their roots, but all six members of the band were able to produce a different album that stands out from the rest.
7. JINJER – Macro. JINJER is probably one of the most unique bands that I’ve seen in the last few years, and while there are hundreds out there that do an amazing job, this one stands out in particular for their ability to combine different musical roots.
8. CATTLE DECAPITATION – Death Atlas. I wish that this band would release albums more often, but at the same time, this album is phenomenal, completely full of the brutality that only technical death metal can deliver.
9. FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – Veleno. This Italian band is one of the most unique groups in metal today, and the combination of opera elements, along with classical string instruments, makes this one even better.
10. ELUVEITIE – Ategnatos. ELUVEITIE has struggled as a band in recent years, and yet, the group was reborn and create some of the finest folk metal that I’ve listened to in the recent years. Folk metal always delivers, and this band is proof of that.
THE MAESTRO: With increased responsibilities and a Texas-sized workload at the day gig, I listened to way less music this year than in any of the six we’ve been in business. Still, I found some killer stuff to blast over the past 365. And here they are, my Top 25 of 2019!!
1. TAYLOR SWIFT – Lover: The brilliant follow-up to Reputation shows our girl being funny, sassy, dark, and longing, sometimes all within the same song. The colors of love, life, happy, and sad are painted across an 18-track canvas that changes hues with each new listen.
2. OVERKILL – The Wings of War: Without a doubt THE best Thrash Metal offering of the year. If you’re looking to get your head kicked in and severe neck damage, then look no further.
3. MICHAEL SWEET – Ten: With a who’s who of guest guitarists, Sweet unleashes big riffs, bigger hooks, and the biggest singing of his career. Facts.
4. ROTTING CHRIST – The Heretics: The Greek Black Metal Machine hit us right upside the head with this masterpiece, and at least two songs from it were in consideration for my Songs of the Year list.
5. ECLIPSE – Paradigm: Erik Mårtensson and company have come up with their best stuff yet, an album that spent the entire month of November on REPEAT in my ears, and still getting heavy play here in December.
6. SOILWORK – Verkligheten: Simply a fantastic record from beginning to end, and Björn Strid is singing his ass off across these songs.
7. TRUTH CORRODED – Bloodlands: This Australian band put out the best fucking Death Metal album of 2019 and that is an unassailable fact. They’ll crack your head open with this one, folks.
8. SACRED REICH – Awakening: This record was right behind OVERKILL’S for my favorite Thrash Metal effort.. 23 years since their last album, and this band absolutely destroyed every tune. Can’t wait to see them live in 2020!
9. AMON AMARTH – Berserker: It should come as no surprise that an album from these guys makes it not only onto my list, but into the Top 10. Let’s face it, no one does Swedish Melodic Death Metal like this band, and this record cements their status as Kings for me.
10. CHILDREN OF BODOM – Hexed: This band released an absolute gem with this disc, and “Under Glass and Clover” is one of the best songs they’ve ever recorded, case closed.
11. ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE – Get It Out: Two giants of Thrash Metal, Frank Bello and David Ellefson team up to give us a record that sounds unlike anything either of them have done before, and It. Is. AWESOME!!
12. DREAM THEATER – Distance Over Time: When this band gets it right, they REALLY get it right. And that’s exactly what happened with this album. No plodding, no wankery, just great tunes.
13. SUICIDAL ANGELS – Years of Aggression: Man oh man, this band put on a clinic in Thrash Metal 101 with this latest release. Gus Drax is a Guitar God, and they only get better with each release.
14. JOHN 5 and the Creatures – Invasion: For the fourth album cycle in a row, and second with The Creatures, JOHN 5 (another Guitar God) blazes up and down the fretboard with a top-notch rhythm section, making some of the best music of the year.
15. CRUSADIST – The Unholy Grail: The band had been hard at work on this one for a while, and the results speak for themselves, simple as that.
16. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – Atonement: Another monster record from one of Metal’s biggest and hardest-working bands out there, period.
17. WHITECHAPEL – The Valley: As close to perfection as there is from this band. If this one didn’t make it into your collection, you are sorely missing out.
18. IN FLAMES – I, The Mask: Anders Fridén does some of his best singing ever, and the band rebounds nicely from 2016’s severely underwhelming Battles.
19. DEATH ANGEL – Humanicide: What a year for Thrash Metal, and these masters deliver a winner once again!
20. ARDOURS – Last Place On Earth: I love Mariangela Demurtas’ singing, and this debut album is an absolute home run. “Last Moment” alone is proof of that.
21. LOVEKILLERS Feat. TONY HARNELL: Another stunning debut disc. Harnell’s voice seemingly defies age, and the rock riffs and choruses are arena-sized on this one.
22. WEST OF HELL – Blood of the Infidel: After a six-year gap, the boys showed they were worth the wait and then some. Their best yet.
23. COLLECTIVE SOUL – Blood: This is the best record they’ve made since Youth, and it encapsulates everything I love about the band.
24. ENTRAILS – Rise of the Reaper: How the Hell this band gets better and better with each new album is beyond me. Can’t wait to see/hear what’s next from them.
25. CARLY RAE JEPSEN – Dedicated: A more focused and complete album from the songstress. A big leap forward with some catchy songs to boot!
MAESTRO’S SONGS OF THE YEAR:
1. “You Need to Calm Down” – TAYLOR SWIFT
2. “Set Me Free” – LOVEKILLERS
3. “I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling” – STEEL PANTHER
4. “Porch Swing” – COLLECTIVE SOUL
5. “The Archer” – TAYLOR SWIFT
6. “OMG” – ASHLAND
7. “Under Grass and Clover” – CHILDREN OF BODOM
8. “Last Moment” – ARDOURS
9. “Fire God and Fear” – ROTTING CHRIST
10. “Firesoul Fly” – PRETTY MAIDS
So there you have it, folks. Our top picks from 2019. As I say every year, I hope our lists inspire you to maybe go out and take in some new music that might have passed you by. And once again, from our Amps and Green Screens family to yours,
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, AND HAVE A VERY METAL NEW YEAR IN 2020!! \m/ \m/