2019: The Curtain Call (Jul-Dec)

Thumbs up: +2
I've just turned 27, I guess if I'm lucky I'll live long enough to finish this list.

Created by: musclassia | 12.07.2019

1. Disillusion - The Liberation
2019 [8.8] - A highly accomplished return after a similarly lengthy break to Tool, the SOAD-esque side on BttToS is mainly gone, but in its place there is more of a Nordic extreme prog vibe here that I got, particularly as a result of the vocals. The music is diverse and compelling, a fantastic surprise.
2. Tool - Fear Inoculum
2019 [8.5] - Honestly, the 'all long songs' approach wasn't really necessary - some variety in approach would have been nice. However, Tool are masters of their craft, and each of these six extended tracks, particularly Pneuma and 7empest, make for rewarding listens. Nothing here to rival classic epic tracks from their previous albums such as Rosetta Stoned or Reflection, however.
3. Föllakzoid - I
2019 [8.4] - Some banging minimalist techno, 60 minutes of pure, relentless, subdued electronic beats and ambience with various different additional elements to add some variety to the persistent music base.
4. Finsterforst - Zerfall
2019 [8.4] - The Moonsorrow influences are still clear to see, but Finsterforst are continuining to grow, and deliver a colossal success in the 30+ minute epic Ecce Homo.
5. Iamthemorning - The Bell
2019 [8.2] - Doesn't quite match the serenity of Too Many Years or the outro of Lighthouse on first listen, but another majestically dainty effort from a seriously impressive act.
6. Elder - The Gold & Silver Sessions
2019 [8.2] - A purely instrumental effort from the prog/stoner subgenre figureheads, this is stylistically a compilation of their dreamier, more psychedelic song segments, albeit with a bit of a kick at the end following the little organ bit. Really lush, nothing original for the genre with this particular sound but their sheer quality lifts them above the competition.
7. Grima - Will Of The Primordial
2019 [8.1] - Really solid atmos-black, perhaps a bit more melodic than some acts in the genre (particularly Panopticon, who the album artwork immediately inspired thoughts of), but without reaching anything approaching cheese.
8. Conjurer / Pijn - Curse These Metal Hands [Collaboration]
2019 [8.1] - Less nasty than Conjurer, this is more stoner/sludgy, with some heaviness still present but a bit more fuzz and groove than the intensity Conjurer typically summons up.
9. Shadow Of Intent - Melancholy
2019 [8.1] - Symphonic melodic death(core), I honestly thought this was miles ahead of the recent output by symph/death heavyweights such as Fleshgod Apocalpyse or SepticFlesh, with memorable hooks, solid growls and clean vocals, and a good audio balance so that everything doesn't blend into a mesh of blastbeats and synths.
10. Plaid - Polymer
2019 [8.1] - Enjoyably varied and well-measured IDM, with an impressive ability to build and expand songs in measured runtimes, and only really rubbing me the wrong way with its glitchier/wackier moments, most notably the in-your-face beats of Recall. All To Get Her and Crown Shy are highlights.
11. This Gift Is A Curse - A Throne Of Ash
2019 [8.1] - Intimidating, violent and sinister blackened sludge, with a somewhat industrial atmospheric opening before letting loose with an onslaught of frantic hardcore-infused sludge. The black metal influence is perhaps from the more dissonant side (Deathspell Omega), and with a bit of post-metal writing tendency, it manages to balance the hardcore assaults with occasional breathers for more mid-tempo, menacing material.
12. Mantra Machine - Heliosphere
2019 [8.0] - Been a while since I've ridden the old SMOD train, but this was linked on their home page and it's some pretty tasty and lush instrumental stoner/psychedelic rock jams, very laid back.
13. Vanishing Twin - The Age Of Immunology
2019 [8.0] - Some jazzy modern psychedelic pop, carried by the freeness of the instrumentation and the gentle, yet slightly aching vocals.
14. Immortal Bird - Thrive On Neglect
2019 [7.9] - Some ripping death metal drawing some influence from grind, sludge and black, but operating with a relentless savagery throughout most of its time. Also got some nice Gojira squeals in there.
15. Como Asesinar a Felipes - Naturaleza Muerta
2019 [7.8] - A brief but enjoyable jazz/hip-hop fusion album, with intelligent guest vocals from Chino Moreno and an intriguing interlude/song-interweaved tracklist.
16. Mgła - Age Of Excuse
2019 [7.8] - Like this band plays black metal really well, but it's a very typical black metal sound, I do get surprised how wildly people love them. Good stuff again though.
17. Sumatran Black - Elegy For A Lost Cosmonaut
2019 [7.8] - A really solid space ambient EP that effectively invokes at different times the curiousity and fear that many of us feel towards the black emptiness and mysteries of space.
18. Electric Youth - Memory Emotion
2019 [7.8] - A deft combination of synthwave and dream pop, carried by delicate, husky vocals delivering effective vocal melodies that complement the electronic instrumentation, whether weighted more towards the Drive soundtrack sound or more dreamy, poppy approaches.
19. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Infest The Rats' Nest
2019 [7.7] - A cool reinterpretation of the thrash/Motorhead sound, although the best track here is the stoner doom song 'Superbug'.
20. Arctic Sleep - Kindred Spirits
2019 [7.7] - Still maintains that curiously lush warm-melancholic vibe of Passage of Gaia, and has more variety in terms of approach to that album, but on the flip side it has less memorability, which may be partly a result of its extensive runtime.
21. False - Portent
2019 [7.6] - A fairly conventional 'epic' black metal album, with some long, blast-intensive songs, cold BM riffs, nice melodic breaks and segments, and dramatic synths. Perfectly enjoyable but doesn't necessarily add on what others have done before. The artwork however is pretty ace though.
22. Russian Circles - Blood Year
2019 [7.6] - Given their high standing in the genre, I've never been particularly won over by Russian Circles. This is a solid album, with some choice cuts bookending it; however, it remains a relatively underwhelming experience compared with some of their other contemporaries of similar renown in the post-metal sphere. Quartered is a stand out track.
23. Killswitch Engage - Atonement
2019 [7.5] - More of the same, but perfectly enjoyable and scratches the itch I want KSE to. Not as good as Disarm the Descent, but comparable to Incarnate.
24. E-an-na - Nesfârşite
2019 [7.5] - Slightly preferred this to Dirty Shirt's album from this year (which I'm comparing to because I'm lazy), some of the heavier parts I felt could have been toned down a bit to fit the sound more, but the folkier parts were generally pretty enjoyable, and there's some satisfying grooves across the album.
25. CFCF - Living Colours
2019 [7.5] - New age/drum n' bass easy-listening music designed as a soundtrack of a consumerist utopia; a few irritating moments pop up throughout, but in general it is an incredibly pleasant an uncontroversial listen.
26. Blanck Mass - Animated Violence Mild
2019 [7.5] - An eclectic experimental electronic-industrial album with songs that would fit in nicely at Ibiza clubs alongside others leaning more in the direction of Death Grips at times.
27. Wormwood - Nattarvet
2019 [7.4] - Meloblack with a bit of a viking vibe at times, and a Saor-esque folkier side at others. It's nice to listen to, and the clean vocals are enjoyable, but I didn't quite find myself getting pulled in by the songs. There's definite talent but I think there's also real room to further develop, like I feel Saor did this year.
28. State Faults - Clairvoyant
2019 [7.3] - Some decent post-hardcore, with its fair share of frantic screamo alongside some more delicate moments, inspired at different times by post-rock and indie.
29. Gloryhammer - Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex
2019 [7.2] - Epic cheese power metal, but not too shabby.
30. Hatriot - From Days Unto Darkness
2019 [7.2] - Effective thrash metal with Steve Souza-style vocals, which is probably not surprising given his son is the singer. It's very much 80's worship, but it's reasonable enough for what it is.
31. Pelican - Nighttime Stories
2019 [7.1] - Has some really neat moments, particularly in the opening and closing couple of tracks; however, the fully instrumental approach does mean it lacks a bit of direction at times, instead coming across as meandering chugging. The title track in particular is a bit of a turgid affair. Generally, however, it makes for a decent listen with a few highlights.
32. The Contortionist - Our Bones
2019 [6.8] - Somewhat underwhelming considering how much Clairvoyant captivated/captivates me, Early Grave and Hollow are fine but not jawdropping, and the Smashing Pumpkins cover they chose is far from my favourite song by that band.
33. 2814 - Lost Fragments
2019 [6.8] - Pleasant but somewhat monotonous ambient electronica produced by a collaboration between prominent vaporwave musicians. Nice background music but a bit gradual for a more focused listen.
34. Torche - Admission
2019 [6.4] - Sludge with a whole lot of 90's alt rock/heavy rock. I enjoyed some of the more melodic cuts, such as the title track, but I did find it had a tendency to be a bit flat and repetitive, and the vocals sadly undersold some parts, only truly convincing me on the title track.
35. Blood Stain Child - Amateras
2019 [6.2] - I don't know whether it's that I'm 27 instead of 18, or whether not having the great singer from the last album has really hampered things (definitely to some degree), but whilst a lot of the components on Epsilon are still present, the overall product just doesn't compare. It's missing the hooks and infectiousness of that album, but it's still listenable.
36. Cosmonauts - Star 69
2019 [6.1] - Psychedelic/garage rock with some nice instrumentation, but dreary 90's alt rock-style vocals that completely killed my interest.
37. Northlane - Alien
2019 [5.8] - I have an affinity for melodic metalcore even today, but haven't ever been particularly won over by Northlane, although I didn't mind Mesmer. This album is a clear step towards a more melodic, accessible sound compared with their previous efforts, with some danceable electronics in play. That by itself isn't necessarily a bad thing for me; however, the music in general on this album didn't particularly appeal or inspire.
38. Neoandertals - Neanderthal Parallax
2019 [4.8] - Sadly, for a 20-odd minute album, I found this to be a long and tedious listen. I understand it has the image of being primitive, and the rough production may play into it (and may also be a recording limitation, that I also understand), but from the opening seconds of 'Birth of the Enemy of Man', I am completely disengaged by both the production and instrumentation, which is a chore to decipher and would be personally unappealing even with a 'better' production. 'Night' is a particularly repetitive and irritating cut, which makes it odd to me that it's the auto-selected song when you open this song on Bandcamp.

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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Comments: 2   Visited by: 19 users
12.07.2019 - 21:38
I'll be following this

Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
12.07.2019 - 22:37
Written by RaduP on 12.07.2019 at 21:38

I'll be following this


In which case I'll make sure to misspell as many albums as possible to ruin the linking

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