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01.01.20 Oh look, another end of the year list12.31.18 Worst Top 50 List Ever

Oh look, another end of the year list

My top 50 of 2019! This also includes albums and EPs released in December of 2018 since I didn't have time to sit on them at the end of the year. Honorable mention to The Nothing by Korn since it barely missed out on making the list.
Periphery IV: Hail Stan

As much hate as Periphery gets, I have always thought their albums were pretty good. There are a few standout moments on every album that I really enjoy. This album however is mostly standout moments, with only a few things that I’m indifferent towards. This album is one of the heaviest they have made in a few years, and it’s better for it. The only real gripe I have is the clean vocals, that come out too nasally at times, and ruin the atmosphere they created.

Favorite song: Reptile
Erase the Pain

Finally Palisades realize their potential and release a great album! I have waited years since their first album for them to create an album better than that one. To be fair, in hindsight that album is just meh, but it showed their potential as a band. This is a great album with some amazing hooks on it. I feel a lot of people see this album as nothing more than a standard rock album, but I think they have really stepped up their game with this one.

Favorite song: Erase the Pain
48La Dispute

This album fell quite a bit from where I thought it would end up when it was released. I think it just goes to show how slow, for me at least, the beginning of the year was when it came to good music. It’s a good album, it’s just that so many better albums came out after this one. I love the atmosphere, as well as the overall vibe of the album, I just wish there was more substance to it. When we get away from the soft spoken, quiet parts of the album, it really shines. The album just lacks enough of those moments to really stand out.

Favorite song: Footsteps at the Pond
Gold and Grey

I’m still not sure where exactly I want this album on this list even as I’m writing this. I really enjoy this album, but there’s just something holding me back from loving it. To me it lacks that extra something, and I can’t quite say what it is. It’s really good, just not as good as I want it to be.

Favorite song: Throw Me An Anchor
46As Cities Burn
Scream Through The Walls

As Cities Burn is another one of those bands it took awhile for me to like. Nowadays, however, Son, I Loved You at Your Darkest is one of my favorite albums. This is a different band from that album. The vocals sound similar to that album, but everything else is different. It’s more mature in almost every way, and it’s an album that does well blending a lot of sounds together. However, there’s just something missing from this album, and I’m not entirely sure what it is, which is why it is placed so low on my top 50.

Favorite songs: 2020 AD, Maybe
The Correlation Between Entrance And Exit Wounds

The real tragedy of this album is how uninspired it feels. The overall performances are great on this album, and it’s a style of metalcore that I love. It lacks any sort of variance from that tried-and-true style of melodic metalcore that has been used for over a decade at this point. The album just feels stale at times. Sure, there are some moments that the band creeps out of that structure for glimpses of brilliance, but not enough to save the album as a whole.

Favorite song: With High Hopes and Crippled Wings

There’s never an album on my top 50 I don’t enjoy. However, there are times when the music that I’m listening to becomes stale. This is the case with Chon. Both the band and the album are very good, but I feel that every Chon album I’ve listened to is so similar to each other I can’t tell a difference between them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, it just losses its luster after awhile. This is a Chon album. Nothing more, nothing less.

Favorite song: Peace
43Thank You Scientist

This is probably an unpopular opinion is some groups, but albums longer than an hour are just too long. It’s too long to truly enjoy the art that has been made. There are exceptions to this of course, and Thank You Scientist’s previous album was one of them. This lacks the same spark that its predecessor had, and a lot of it comes from the run time of both the album and the songs inside it. If some of the songs had been trimmed down a couple of minutes, we’d be talking about this album a lot higher on the list. It’s a really good album, just 30 minutes too long.

Favorite song: FXMLDR
42Shadow Of Intent

There was a lot of hype around this album in the metal scene when it first came out. It’s a great album, but I don’t think it deserved as much attention as it did. There are some great aspects of the album, especially in the vocals and technical ability of the band. However, it does little to grab my attention and keep it there. It’s great to have on in the background, but I’ve felt the desire to sit down and listen to this album.

Favorite song: Baron and Breathless Macrocosm
41Earl Sweatshirt
Feet of Clay

Earl Sweatshirt is one of my favorite voices in rap right now. I love his flow, and I really like the way he talks about stuff. Some Rap Songs lacked that signature Earl Sweatshirt sound, but this EP is a return to the sound he had on Doris, but with a bit more instrumental experimentation. Each song seems to just fit together sonically, but has enough differences to where they don’t sounds like the same song. I just wish the EP was a tad bit longer.

Favorite song: EL TORO COMBO MEAL
40Fit for an Autopsy
The Sea of Tragic Beasts

Fit For an Autopsy write some pretty apocalyptic music. Sure, it’s not a rarity in metal, especially in deathcore, but this band does it better than most. The Sea of Tragic Beasts sees the band scale back some the experimentation in sound that was present on their last album and make one that is cranks up the volume and the heaviness. There are some absolute bangers on this album, and it honestly has taken me some time to really appreciate this album for what it is. I do miss some of the softer moments from the last album, but this new one is a worthy successor.

Favorite song: No Man is Without Fear
39Tyler, the Creator

I will admit that my musical tastes are biased toward rock, punk, and metal. I can’t help it, it’s just what I enjoy the most. I love rap and hip hop as well, I’m just pickier when it comes to what I enjoy. To me, lyrical substance make a great rap album in nearly all circumstances. What I mean by that is regardless of the message, it’s how it is conveyed that makes a great rap album in my opinion. This doesn’t apply to this album, however. It’s a beautiful album because of the sounds that Tyler has made. It’s not just the instrumental support of the album, but the overall vibe of the album is just beautiful, and there’s few albums this year that can beat it in that regard.

Favorite songs: New Magic Wand
38The Menzingers
Hello Exile

I came into 2019 with very high expectations of The Menzingers. After the Party continues to be one of my favorite albums from 2017, and I was hoping this album would be one of my favorites of 2019. Although it’s not one of my favorites from this year, it is an album that continues to grow on me with every listen. This has the same feel as their last album, but the band has taken the tempo down a notch to create a more mature feel to the overall album. It is as though the band started right where they left off, and I think that’s pretty accurate. They’re just talking about life again, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

Favorite songs: Anna, High School Friend
37King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
Fishing For Fishies

King Gizzard just has a knack for pumping out great album after album. The crazy part is that they alway find a way to change each one, so they all have a unique identity to them. This album feels like a King Gizzard album, and reminds me a bit of a couple albums they put out in 2017 with the instrumentation and the vocals. What makes this album stand out however is the political themes that are present in the lyrics, which was a theme in both King Gizzard’s albums this year. Besides from the message, this is probably the most fun King Gizzard album I’ve ever heard.

Favorite song: Plastic Boogie
Nothing Great About Britain

If I could describe this album in one word it would be perspective. Nothing Great About Britain gives us exactly that: a perspective through the eyes of slowthai. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m hella picky when it comes to rappers, but I’m not cautious when it comes to finding new artists. I’m really glad I found slowthai when he released this album. He has a great flow, and matches it with amazing lyricism as well. It’s the theme of the album that makes it great. How slowthai reacts to the world around him, and how he shows that through his songs is amazing. The only thing holding it back is that some of the songs sound a bit too similar to what others are doing, and not enough of what slowthai does to distinguish himself.

Favorite song: Doorman
Deeper Wells

Don’t you hate it when an artist releases extra songs that were cut from an album, only for those songs to be better than most of the ones that made it. That’s essentially what happened with Thrice on this excellent EP. Each song is great, with the first two in particular being amazing. I can understand why they were cut, however, as they don’t exactly fit the whole sound that Palms had when it was released.

Favorite songs: Deeper Wells, A Better Bridge
34Bad Omens
Finding God Before God Finds Me

To expect every band to bring some new or fresh idea to music is somewhat foolish. Sure, when it comes to metalcore, new ideas are desperately needed, but being able to create a sound perfects some of the best ideas of a genre is just as appreciated. Bad Omens has done that on this album. It’s just a good metalcore album that is undeniably from the 2010s. In 2019, it’s a great way to show just how the genre has come in the last 10 years.

Favorite song: Dethrone
33Cattle Decapitation
Death Atlas

It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten a Cattle Decapitation record. We have been eagerly awaiting to see what is quite possibly the heaviest band out there will do after The Anthropocene Extinction came out in 2015, and the result was an interesting one. Cattle Decap picked up where they left off, and didn’t really go anywhere. That’s not a bad thing by any means, but in terms up expectations it’s a bit disappointing.

Favorite song: Bring Back the Plague
32After the Burial

I was wondering how After the Burial was going to follow up their previous album, Dig Deep. I didn’t expect them to exceed my expectations as much as they did with Evergreen. The first half of the album is near perfection. It’s heavy, so freaking heavy. The band as a whole sounds amazing, topped off by some of the best screaming I’ve heard in years. The second half is not as good as the first, but still holds its own with a few very memorable songs.

Favorite songs: Exit, Exist, In Flux
31Danny Brown

Danny Brown is one of those artist that you love or can’t stand. I have friends on both sides of opinions, but I know few people that are in the middle. I like Danny Brown, but his last album was a bit too experimental for me. I liked it enough however to check out this one, and I am pleasantly surprised at what I found. Danny has chosen to take a step back, and presented us with a less experimental, more contemporary album, and a really good one at that. Nothing sounds old and used, but at the same time nothing ahead of its time.

Favorite songs:3 Tearz, Negro Spiritual
30Dance Gavin Dance
Acceptance Speech 2.0

This was the album that got me into Dance Gavin Dance. At the time, the production of the original didn’t really both me, but it did as the years past. This remastered edition actually makes this album great. Every song sounds immensely better than the original. It just makes Tillian era Dance Gavin Dance that much better.

Favorite song: Strawberry Swisher pt. 3
29Knocked Loose
Mistakes Like Fractures

So why pick this EP over the full-length album that came out this year as well? Well, there’s less filler, and the songs are just better. One of the biggest issues I had with the LP that Knocked Loosed released this year was that a lot of the songs sounds too similar to each other, and there was little variation from their structure. However, these three songs don’t have any space to waste and never let off the throttle.

Favorite song: Mistakes Like Fractures
28Stray From The Path
Internal Atomics

Oh man, this album slaps. To be more precise, the first half of this album slaps. One thing I love about Stray From the Path is how well you can feel the emotion in their songs. Regardless of what they’re talking about, you can feel their passion. This album takes it a whole new level. They’re much angrier now than they have been in years. Not only that, their song writing has gotten better as well. The grooves in the first half are phenomenal. The second half isn’t as catchy or fun, but it’s still rather enjoyable, making a great album overall.

Favorite song: Kickback

I’ve loved PVRIS for years. They were they one “pop” band I listened to in high school, and continue to be one of my favorites. This EP reflects the growth they’ve had as a band since their debut album back in 2014. It’s the next step forward for them from their last album, and continues down the darker side of pop music. The vocals are what makes this album, however, as Lynn sounds better than she ever has.

Favorite song: Nightmare
26King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
⁣Infest The Rats' Nest

This King Gizzard album is probably the most surprising album of the year. Not that the quality of the music was a surprise, rather the direction the band decided to take its musical endeavors. Thrash metal seemed like an unlikely way the band would choose to go, but I’m glad they did. This is one of the best thrash metal albums to come out this decade, and the concept behind this album is worthy of the same praise.

Favorite song: Mars For The Rich
25Tiny Moving Parts

As I continue down the nightmare that is adulthood, my love for the style of post-hardcore I grew up listening to has grown. It’s driven by nostalgia and longing for the care-free days of my youth. Breathe embodies the sounds I have grown to long for in one album. It has the emo and math-rock influences, as well as angsty lyrics and vocal performances. If you love that style of music, you’ll love this album.

Favorite songs: The Midwest Sky, Bloody Nose
Death is a Warm Blanket

I figured we’d see a similar album to their debut this year, but I was very wrong. We saw glimpses of heavier ideas on their debut, but I don’t think anyone was expecting Microwave to write an album as heavy as this. Not to say that it’s one of the most heavy albums of this year, but coming from a band that I thought would continue down the emo path, it’s heavy. However, this album is on the fringe of whether I love or just really like it. It’s great, but I think the debut was better because the emo-influenced hooks and songs were just better written.

Favorite songs: DIAWB, Carry
23Strawberry Girls
Tasmanian Glow

Strawberry Girls is probably my favorite instrumental band. They’ve always put out consistently amazing records for years, and this new release is no different. There is vocal features in this album, but the band does well creating catchy hooks even without a vocal melody. When a singer is featured, it’s done with perfection. I’m not sure if this is my favorite Strawberry Girls record, but it is the most fun, and a fitting addition to their catalog.

Favorite songs: Dreamgirl, Party Nights
Nothing Left to Love

Sometimes you have give bands a second chance, or three in the case of Counterparts. Their last couple albums have gotten better with each consecutive one, but each have failed to keep my attention past their initial release. This new album is different, however, as I find myself continually coming back to it. To pinpoint the difference is easier said than done, because sonically there is little difference between this and the last one. Perhaps it’s those tiny differences that have made all the difference. I’m not exactly sure, but I love this album.

Favorite song: Paradise and Plague
21The Drowned God
I'll Always Be The Same

Melodic hardcore is one of my favorite types of music when done right. There’s no other sound that blends light and dark together quite like it. The Drowned God take that duality and plunge it into the abyss. What I mean by that is there’s still the blend of light and dark, but instead of a gray as is common with this style, The Drowned God make a dark purple with the richer yet dark tone of the overall album. Color is the best way to describe this album because the color it creates is what makes it unique, and it’s a color I hope they continue to use.

Favorite song: Less Than An Exit
The Valley

Whitechapel have finally won me over with this new album. I’ve never been a fan of the style of deathcore that made them popular, but this new style changes that. You can’t even call it deathcore anymore since there are so many new elements to their sound that put them closer to the technical/progressive death metal side of things, which I am far fonder of. I hope they continue moving down the progressive route, as long as they keep their unique sound while doing so.

Favorite songs: When a Demon Defiles a Witch, Forgiveness is Weakness
Morbid Stuff

PUP missed out on my top 50 with their last album, which is one of the biggest regrets I have made so far on these. That album was amazing, but this one has blown their previous work out of the water. PUP has stepped up their game in almost every way, but the most notable improvement is the song writing. This album is much more consistent than The Dream is Over, and it’s much better for it.

Favorite songs: Kids, Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashely
I Let The Devil In

Currents is in my opinion the most exciting up-and-coming band in metalcore today. They’re not doing anything groundbreaking per se, but they are leading the genre when it comes to writing amazing hooks. No other band can channel emotion quite like Currents can, and that claim is solidified with their latest EP. They’ve always been angry, but not this angry. Rage is the best way to describe all five songs, and there’s never a moment where the band loosens its grasp on the listener. We need more Currents soon, and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.

Favorite song: Into Despair
The Missing Man

I’ve never been a huge fan of AFI. I respect their influence on post-hardcore, but their music has never stuck with me, at least until this EP came out. This is a near perfect EP, and breathes a breath of fresh air into AFI’s discography. Every song on here feels genuine, and shows some spectacular song writing. If we can get a full-length album that continues down this direction, we could be looking at a new era of AFI.

Favorite songs: Trash Bat, Get Dark
16Sturgill Simpson
Sound and Fury

It was Sturgill Simpson’s last album that exposed me to some of the lesser known artist in country music, and it saddens me that it this album goes in a different direction than his previous work. However, the change is for the better because Sturgill has never sounded better. He seems to thrive when the tempo is kicked up a bit and the guitars are louder. We saw glimpses of it on A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, but now he has fully embraced it on this album. I will miss his country side, but I am excited to see this side of Sturgill Simpson.

Favorite songs: Sing Along, Last Man Standing
15Norma Jean
All Hail

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this album was a disappointment, rather it just had unreachable expectations for me. I knew it wasn’t going to be as good as Polar Similar because that album is just that good, but they came close. This album is a continuation of the same ideas, minus a lot of the experimental passages. In other words, it got rid of the filler that hurt Polar Similar. However, there are few moments that match what Polar Similar was capable of, and that makes it lesser in my opinion.

Favorite songs: [Mind Over Mind], Safety Last

Few albums can truly reflect beauty the way Blushing does. Beauty is only word I can use to describe this album. Whether it’s found in the instrumentation, the lyrics, or the overall sound of the album, its inescapable. In every case, this beauty is found in the simplicity of the album. There’s few moments where more than a couple things going on in the album, and the softness of it all makes the album such an experience to listen to. On occasion the emptiness and softness are overcome by sound, but it’s never unexpected or unneeded, rather perfectly blended into the sound of the album.

Favorite songs: Lay Here, On Your Worst Day

Eluveitie are probably the biggest folk metal band out there right now, and there’s good reasons why. The instrumental variation is amazing, and every member is good at what play. This is apparent on Ategnatos, as there are always several different instruments on every song, from guitars to flutes, to hurdy gurdys (my personal favorite). The songs are well crafted, and don’t over stay their welcome, which can be an issue in extreme metal. What really makes this album is vocals, as both vocalists are amazing.

Favorite songs: Deathwalker, The Raven Hill
12He Is Legend
White Bat

One trend that I keep noticing this year in music is how many bands and artists I disregarded in the past, only to come back this year and find amazing albums. He Is Legend fits that trend, as I am relatively indifferent towards everything I have heard from them up until now. This is one of the best southern metal albums I have ever heard. The album is carried by an amazing frontman that really defines the tone of the entire album. The guitars are worth mentioning as well, because they are what gives the southern vibe throughout the album with some fantastic riffs and melodies. It’s a slightly unpleasant listen, but an amazing one once you embrace the sound He Is Legend has created.

Favorite songs: Burn All Your Rock Records, Eye Teeth
11The Devil Wears Prada
The Act

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little concerned about what The Devils Wears Prada were going to do next after Transit Blues. I wasn’t sure if Mike’s voice would hold up, and that was really my main point of concern. Although I think that his screams are pretty much gone after this album, the band have adapted perfectly. This album takes The Devil Wears Prada into a more mainstream direction, but also not abandoning the sound they have crafted over the past few albums. What makes this album great is song writing. The Devil Wears Prada in a lot of ways have never sounded better, and there’s no indication that they’re anywhere near done.

Favorite songs: Line of Your Hands, Chemical, The Thread
10Jimmy Eat World

This album has made me a Jimmy Eat World fan, which is odd coming from my musical background. I like The Middle, as does everyone else, but never explored their discography. Integrity Blues was good, but I never connected with that album. I went into this album expecting the same, but I have been blown away by how amazing this album is. It has that early 2000s sound to it, but doesn’t feel as old as that sound has become. It’s the opposite, it feels refreshing and inventive, but treads the same ground Jimmy Eat World did nearly 20 years ago.

Favorite songs: Criminal Energy, All The Way (Stay), Diamond
Burning Alive

Jarrod Alonge has transformed from just a funny guy on youtube to one of the rising stars in rock music. This transition started with Beating A Dead Horse back in 2015, but no one could’ve predicted the amount of talent he had back then. CrazyEightyEight have created one of the most creative and diverse rock albums of 2019. Every song is unique, and shows off the band’s ability to use several musical techniques to make amazing music. That’s what makes this album great. The overall versatility shown on the album is second-to-none.

Favorite songs: Shinebox, Nitroglycerin
wet milk

What Johnny Frank has done since leaving Attack Attack! is nothing short of extraordinary. He has pumped out new material under Bilmuri for a couple years now, and this is his best work yet. He is able to blend traditional rock and metal styles with electronics perfectly. This blend creates music that many have tried to master, but have not come close to what Johnny has done. This could very well be the future of rock music, and Bilmuri is ahead of the curve.

Favorite songs: lifeisgood, myfeelingshavefeelings

The brightest stars in rap a couple years ago have dimmed. They have been through so much recently that its no surprise how different this sounds to the Saturation trilogy from just two years ago. One thing that isn’t different is their ability to make amazing hooks. Ginger is full of some of their best material yet. It also their most consistent album in my opinion, where it feels like a complete album rather than a collection of songs, which is something that the Saturation trilogy lacked at times. The longer this album is out, the more I realize that this may be my favorite Brockhampton album to date, and the expectations for the next album are sky high.

6Carly Rae Jepsen

I always associated Carly Rae Jepsen with Call You Maybe. I am still not the biggest fan of that song, and that association affected my decision to not listen to Emotion. However, something in me changed when Dedicated came out, and I have been in love ever since. I love her voice, and there are few in the industry that match her ability to make catchy pop music. Even when most of what she talks about is her love life, she has an ability to keep the listener interesting in what she is saying. A lot of this comes from her lyrical talent and style. I love this album, and it’s one of the best pop album to come out in a long time.

Favorite songs: Want You In My Room, I’ll Be Your Girl
5Better Off
Reap What You Sow

Better Off is one of the most criminally underrated bands out there right now. They deserve so much more attention than they get. What they do isn’t game changing or inventive, but rather just create amazing music. This album is a perfect example of how crafting an album, rather than just a collection of songs, can change the way you view the songs on it. This is one of those albums where the songs have so much more impact when played in the order they were given in. Where each consecutive song improves upon the one that came before it, and vice versa.

Favorite songs: Reap What You Sow, Slingshot
4In Her Own Words
Steady Glow

I instantly fell in love with this band when I heard this band. It’s been years since a pop-punk album has impacted my listening habits like this one has. Nearly every song is infectious, every chorus stuck your head for days at a time. It’s not as heavy or punky as their last album, but this time around the band has managed to blend the punk and pop aspects seamlessly, creating a pure pop-punk album rather than one on either side of the spectrum. This is the first band since Yellowcard that, in my opinion, has managed to accomplish such a feat. However, what keeps it from being a true contender for album of the year is the consistency. The album is carried by a handful of amazing songs, and is dotted with just as many lesser songs throughout.

Favorite songs: February Weather, Delicate, Rose by the Ocean

Similar to last year, there are three albums that have legitimate claims to the title of album of the year in 2019. Bayside’s latest album does what Steady Glow could not, and that was consistency. Every song is just as good as the last, and showcases the mastery that Bayside has when it comes to their sound. Every member of the band is fantastic at what their do, but its the vocals that make this album great.

Favorite songs: Bury Me, Tall, Heaven
2American Football
American Football (LP3)

I know this is blasphemous, but I was never a fan of the first American Football album. To me, it came off as dull and forgettable, and I have never had the desire to give it another shot. Same can be said about the second album. I almost didn’t listen to this one, but I’m glad I did. This feels like a different band, and to an extent it is from their first album. This is 20 years later, and they’ve changed a lot since then, so it makes sense that their music would as well. The album overall is beautifully haunting, with little to no variation from the standard theme of the album. Each song feels unique despite this, and offers its own idea to the mix that creates a beautiful atmosphere for the listener to explore.

Favorite songs: Silhouettes, Uncomfortably Numb
1State Faults

We finally made it. The album of the year. If there’s any common ground a lot of the albums this year have in common, it’s the beauty that many albums have. Beauty in music is hard to describe in such a short amount of space, but for me its always a consistent style that I find “beautiful”. This consistency can be found across all genres, as if we need for evidence that the whole notion of “genre” is ridiculous. Regardless, this is an amazing album. It’s noisy, but also explores the quiet that can be found in music as well. It wears its influences on its sleeve, and it’s better for it. You can hear how albums like Jane Doe or Sunbather have influenced the sound on this album, but also how the band built upon those influences. For me, this is a near instant classic, and I hope others will think the same in years time.

Favorite songs: Moon Sign Gemini, Olive Tree
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