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Dewinged's AOTY 2019

2019 has been a year of extreme highs and lows. It was the year I became contributor and hey! I won that weird popularity contest that got me a big avy! Work was stable, wife was healthy and I started playing again shows in a couple of bands. I was doing great until on September 12th my mother passed away. The last quarter of the year has been devastating for me, but I gotta thank a good bunch of users and specially the contributor team for the support and for putting up with me during those difficult days. With that said, here are the albums i personally enjoyed the most this year. I know I missed a lot, maybe I missed your entire top 10! But that was the idea, to hoard less, to go deeper with each album, something I am planning to keep doing next year (lies though, cause I gotta jam almost 5 years worth of releases to do that goddamn decade list you all are pouring out). As always, thanks for the good times and see you all next year!
101Sol Distorsion
Sol Distorsion

Released: April 12th
Label: Self released
Genre: Shoegaze / Post Rock
Track: Bloom

Shameless self promotion#1. In April this year I mustered the courage to put this together and found people to bring it live. Fun fact: after three shows, drummer and bass player had a fallout and now I am back to zero. Oh well, I guess the new year will provide.
100o'summer vacation
Wicked Heart

Released: February 14th
Label: Self released
Genre: Noise Punk
Track: Black Heat

Shameless self promotion#2. I hadn't played drums in a while, and I was starting to feel old and rusty, so joined Miki and Ami in their crazy noise core punk math adventure. MAN, that was quite a hot summer of live shows and debauchery. Next year is looking good too, with new recording and hopefully touring somewhere outside Japan.
99Lingua Ignota

Released: July 19th
Label: Profound Lore
Genre: Neoclassical / Industrial
Track: If the Poison Won't Take You My Dogs Will

So this is the deal with Lingua Ignota. I don't think that, if you haven't seen her live, if you haven't shared the space with her persona and have been made an acquaintance of her story, there is absolutely no way you are going to connect with this album as someone that has been in a cage with her. I loved, LOVED, her work with The Body, but no matter how much I tried to connect with this album, there is that piece missing, crucial for the process, and as long as I miss it, this album won't tear down my walls.
98The Comet Is Coming
Trust in the Lifeforce of Deep Mystery

Released: March 15th
Label: Impulse!
Genre: Jazz Fusion
Track: Blood of the Past

The feature of Kate Tempest is the best thing happening in this otherwise decent jazz album.
97Inter Arma
Sulphur English

Released: April 12th
Label: Relapse Records
Genre: Sludge / Doom
Track: The Atavist's Meridian

Not gonna argue that this is a good or a bad album, it's obviously good, but it bored me gently the few times I've listened to it.
96Blood Incantation
Hidden History of the Human Race

Released: November 22nd
Label: Dark Descent
Genre: Death Metal
Track: The Giza Power Plant

I don't think this is the defining album for the genre, but again, I don't know shit about the genre to start with.
Nighttime Stories

Released: June 7th
Label: Southern Lord
Genre: Post Metal / Post Rock
Track: Midnight and Mescalyne

"Midnight and Mescalyne" is the kind of soundtrack you need when in route to buy narcotics for the long weekend at 3am.

Released: Match 1st
Label: Run for Cover
Genre: Shoegaze / Indie Rock
Track: Drive

I know these guys are capable of much more, this barely makes the cut.
93Silversun Pickups
Widow's Weeds

Released: June 7th
Label: New Machine
Genre: Indie Rock
Track: Neon Wound

Yes, it was underwhelming. At first, at least, but they still managed to squeeze in some classic SP tunes in this last release, "Neon Wound" being the most immediate example.
92Falls of Rauros
Patterns in Mythology

Released: July 19th
Label: Gilead
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Track: Memory at Night

I tried to get into this one, mostly because it's Noctebro's AOTY but man, I just can't get into it. I mean, it's a good album but I don't vibe with it much as other people here. And that also applies to the rest of their albums.
Light in All of It

Released: July 19th
Label: Self Released?
Genre: Dream Pop
Track: The Race

There were days I felt this was great, and there were days I though it was incredibly boring.

Released: November 8th
Label: Hummus
Genre: Sludge Metal
Track: I'd Done My Duty to My Mother and Father. and More Than That I'd Found Love

Great, massive album. But man, those song titles...
89Russian Circles
Blood Year

Released: August 2nd
Label: Sargent House
Genre: Post Metal / Post Rock
Track: Arluck

Got tickets to see these guys in February next year and I am more excited about the local band that is actually opening for them lol

It's probably my favorite cover this year though!
88Press Club
Wasted Energy

Released: August 16th
Label: Self Released?
Genre: Punk Rock
Track: I'm in Hell

I feel they lost a bit of fuel from their debut, or maybe the surprise factor is gone, but they still managed to convince me and I ended up reserving them a spot here.
Living Tomb

Released: February 1st
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Genre: Death Metal
Track: Corrosive Hallucinations

The clumsy drumming has its charm.

Released: March 15th
Label: Neurot Recordings
Genre: Industrial / Experimental Punk
Track: Mente Bicameral

When Steve Von Till suggests you should listen to something, he is not suggesting, he is commanding your soul from another plane of existence, and you will abide to his command.
85Blut Aus Nord

Released: October 11th
Label: Debemur Morti
Genre: Atmospherick Black Metal
Track: Nebeleste

I would have wanted to spend more time with this one, but I quite squeezed it in when i realized I had totally missed it on release.
84Angel Olsen
All Mirrors

Released: October 4th
Label: Jagjaguwar
Genre: Indie Pop
Track: All Mirrors

I was honestly expecting more after the single destroyed my senses. It's a good album but too many songs walk at a very slow pace and it makes me boil somehow. The title track is something else completely. One of the best songs she has ever written/performed.
83Bent Knee
You Know What They Mean

Released: October 11th
Label: InsideOut
Genre: Art Rock
Track: Give Us the Gold

They went all over the top on this one and that will shut down some fans, but I appreciate the effort they have put on this album. I think it's a bit long and too complicated, but there are plenty of jaw dropping moments.
Lunar Falls

Released: April 12th
Label: Northern Silence
Genre: Dark Folk / Atmospheric Black Metal
Track: Solus Ipse

Enya running through a forest in Finland, wearing a white tunic with blood stains while being chased by a dragon. Suddenly she stops, reaches her arms to the sky, creating a vortex of black clouds and lightning which summons a big fat thunder that befalls on the poor creature roasting it to a crisp.
81Church of the Cosmic Skull
Everybody's Going to Die

Released: November 29th
Label: Septaphonic Records
Genre: Pyche Hard Rock
Track: Do You Believe in Magic?

The latest arrival to the list, it would have probably been higher if I had more time with it.
A Gaze Among Them

Released: May 10th
Label: Southern Lord
Genre: Drone / Post metal
Track: Mute Shifting of Space

These guys have lightning in a bottle, for real. But sometimes they indulge themselves in way too much distortion.
79Ty Segall
First Taste

Released: August 2nd
Label: Drag City
Genre: Psyche Rock
Track: Taste

God knows I hate Ty Segall. But when I heard "Taste" for the first time, with those 2 drummers, that conga, that fuzz, that swag. You shut me up, Ty, you really did.
78Courtney Swain
Between Blood and Ocean

Released: May 1st
Label: Self Released
Genre: Art Pop
Track: White Trees

Mrs. Swain you have been busy this year, owning the year, that is. Between this and Bent Knee's latest. She has made up for the next five years or so.
Nowhere Now Here

Released: January 25th
Label: Temporary Residence
Genre: Post Rock
Track: After You Comes The Flood

Not their best release but they still function as one of the best post rock live acts of the planet.
76Kayo Dot

Released: September 6th
Label: Prophecy
Genre: Prog Experimental Rock
Track: The Something Opal

Kayo Dot is so weird, man, but it's so good too.

Released: July 19th
Label: Self released
Genre: Shoegaze Punk
Track: Mirror

Garage rock that sounds like shoegaze with a dose of punk rock. It's not revolutionary but believe me, it's so enjoyable for some reason.

Released: November 1st
Label: Self released
Genre: Cyber Metal
Track: Realm Breaker

Oh boy, was I hyped for this one... When "Realm Breaker" dropped, with Mel Rose fronting the track with her gorgeous vocals I lost it. "The MADMAN! He did it again!" I thought. Then the album unfolds, (after a 6 minute intro of someone getting off a cryo capsule), and it's all very convoluted and over the top and I like it, or i think I like it. I don't know anymore. "Realm Breaker" is a jam though.

Released: January 25th
Label: Bella Union
Genre: Art Pop
Track: Go for a Walk

This was one of the biggest let downs of the year for me. Their debut, "Heba", was on my top 10 only 2 years ago. One of the most promising pop bands out there, I was so unbelievably hyped about the follow up. Turns out, they made a really good album, but I don't know, something's missing, and I feel they over complicated their songwriting. Still... a damn fine, artsy, ambient pop album.
72A Swarm of the Sun
The Woods

Released: January 11th
Label: Version Studio
Genre: Post Rock
Track: An Heir to the Throne

Doesn't have the dynamics and staying power of their debut, "Zenith", but I feel these guys are criminally underrated.

Released: January 11th
Label: Kanine
Genre: Dream Pop
Track: Trouble

Sarah Cogan's voice reminds me a lot to Emma Ruth Rundle, and you know where I come from, so there's that. This debut has some low moments but it's pretty decent. Definitely a band to keep on the radar.
Triumphant Master of Fates

Released: March 2nd
Label: Boris
Genre: Black Metal
Track: Adversarial Impetus Ignition

That withered beauty I love in the genre.
69Pom Poko

Released: February 22nd
Label: Bella Union
Genre: Prog Pop
Track: Follow the Lights

Cheers to the good soul that rec'd me this recently. Sort of Bent Knee business here. This is what happens when jazz students get bored of studying and decide to blow off some steam.
O Cão de Toda Noite

Released: November 8th
Label: Mercurio
Genre: Jazzy Post Rock
Track: Corpo Frágil

Crazy Brasilian jazz infused post rock. Really, a pleasant surprise.

Released: November 8th
Label: Brainfeeder
Genre: Ambient Pop
Track: Limb to Limb

When you surround yourself with artists like JFDR, Gabi or Lilia is almost like cheating, man! Really good stuff, complimentary to "Ruinism" in a way. I also included this album so Potsy doesn't bully my list to oblivion.
66Emily Jane White
Immanent Fire

Released: November 25th
Label: Talitres
Genre: Dark Folk
Track: Surrender

I like the term Gothic Country. Chelsea Wolfe, Marissa Nadler, or Anna Von Hausswolff, they all belong to this covenant of dark americana that is just so appealing to me.
65Tomb Mold
Planetary Clairvoyance

It's been a great year for Death Metal! (or so I've read somewhere around here...)
64Drei Affen
Seguimos Ciegxs

Released: June 13th
Label: Pifia
Genre: Screamo
Track: Seguimos Ciegxs

Proof that screamo sounds way better in Spanish.

Released: April 12th
Label: Season of Mist
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal / Post Metal
Track: Horizon

You could argue they are a Deafheaven spawn but fuck me, I would say they do this kind of stuff better than them. Like... Way better.
62Kadavar (DE)
For the Dead Travel Fast

Released: October 11th
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Occult Rock
Track: The Devil's Master

Abra Kadavar! These guys pull another trick from the hat, another solid slab of Transylvanian stoner with occult themes.
61Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard
Yn Ol I Annwn

Released: March 1st
Label: New Heavy
Genre: Doom
Track: Fata Morgana

I love the contrast between Jessica's voice and the heavy sludge but I always end up with the feeling that they could do much more.
60Black Mountain

Released: May 24th
Label: Jagjaguwar
Genre: Psychedelic Rock / Fuzz Rock
Track: Horns Arising

If the second half of this thing would be as good as the first one, "Destroyer" would have gone straight into my top 10. It's the first thing I hear of these guys but I am really curious to visit their back catalogue. The track I recommend is worth a shot if you are slightly into psyche and/or prog rock.
Old Star

Released: May 31st
Label: Peaceville
Genre: Black Metal Punk
Track: I Muffle Your Inner Chore

Fenriz and Nocturno Culto don't need to make a revolution out of the genre anymore. They did with this album what they needed to do, a solid come back doing what they do best.
58Cross Record
Cross Record

Released: August 2nd
Label: Ba Da Bing!
Genre: Ambient Pop
Track: PYSOL My Castle

With Dan Duszynski out of the picture, Cross Record has become 100% the solo project of Emily Cross. It also means that there'll be no Loma in the near future? Hell if I know, but I hope I am wrong! "Half Silences" was a promising single but alas...!
Fear Inoculum

Released: August 2nd
Label: Ba Da Bing!
Genre: Ambient Pop
Track: Fear In Your Rectum

Let's start with a confession. I'm a Tooltard. I've been one since my young years, because hell, when you are in your 20 somethings and your friends throw something like Aenima to your face, and you are like 420ing every day... holy hells! The thing has an impact on you, believe me. So I waited, all these years, like many of you, praying for that game changing album, the fucking prog messiah of releases that supposedly never came. it never happened. And you know what? That's fine anyway. Tool is still the same, but us? We are not the same anymore, and that might be the problem, after all.
Luz Devora

Released: July 2nd
Label: Penelope
Genre: Post Hardcore / Mathcore
Track: Vacío

And this is the confirmation. Post hardcore sounds so much better in Spanish.

Released: June 7th
Label: Bella Union
Genre: Post Rock
Track: Square Wave

Post Rock with Korean traditional instruments and superb vocals. Another rec I was blessed with recently.

Released: January 11th
Label: Crispin Glover
Genre: Hard Rock
Track: Twentyfourseven

Fans of Motorpsycho can't miss on this. If you would like to hear a less complicated, more in your face version of the legends themselves (they share the drummer), you have to listen to this one.
53Alexia Avina
All That I Can't See

Released: March 22
Label: Self released /Never Content
Genre: Ambient Folk
Track: All That I Can't See

Like Johanna Warren last year, who broke my mind with "Gemini II", from which lost lake of tears where unicorns drink in full moon nights did this girl come from?
52Tropical Fuck Storm

Released: May 24th
Label: Joyful Noise
Genre: Experimental Rock / Noise Punk
Track: Who's My Eugene?

Gareth, I love you man, but let the ladies take over the singing, really, there's no competition at this point. Less abrasive than debut, more bluesy, equally enjoyable.
In Cauda Venenum

Released: September 27th
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Prog these days I guess
Track: Dignity

I honestly jumped on the Opeth train fairly late, so I never suffered the transition of sound that old fans did. All I know is that this is a more than decent prog rock album, and Akerfeldt is a hell of a vocalist and songwriter.
50Ioanna Gika

Released: April 5th
Label: Sargent House
Genre: Art Pop / Synth Pop
Track: Roseate

A tour this year around the US with Chelsea Wolfe has brought to the front the amazing debut of this enigmatic Greek American artist.
49Drab Majesty
Modern Mirror

Released: July 12th
Label: Dais
Genre: Darkwave
Track: The Other Side

Aaaahhh, those 80s vibes. No one does this stuff like these two lovable pale alien doppelgangers from Venus.

Released: June 14th
Label: Fightless
Genre: Stoner / Psyche / Doom
Track: Woman

Somewhere in the deep valleys of Australia there is a proud Black Sabbath fan and father of 4 beautiful ladies whose life long plan has been succesfully executed.
47Mellow Gang

Released: May 10th
Label: Self released?
Genre: Dream Pop
Track: Big Builds

budgiecore to the bone. Btw, budgie, where are thou?
Hearts of No Light

Released: November 8th
Label: Prosthetic
Genre: Black Metal / (and Goth Rock???)
Track: A Paradigm of Beauty

Please, for the love of all things defiled, someone go and tell this band that they NAIL goth rock. Jesus, they are not even trying and they absolutely kill it. Like seriously, it's ridiculous. Listen to that gem of a track that I quoted above.
45Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

Released: October 4th
Label: Bad Seed
Genre: Sadcore
Track: Night Raid

I want Nick to speak at my funeral.

Released: September 6th
Label: Gilead
Genre: Doom / Black Metal
Track: Desert of Absurdity

It's strange. This came at a time in my life when I actually needed to do a review to exorcize some of the grief that I was dealing with. Reading his interview with Emma Ruth Rundle was healing in a way and inspiring in another, so I decided to give it the review treatment ( I basically ripped off the interview lol).
43Jay Som
Anak Ko

Released: August 23rd
Label: Polyvinyl
Genre: Dream Pop
Track: Superbike

This dominated summer.
A Pyrrhic Existence

Released: November 8th
Label: Season of Mist
Genre: Funeral Doom
Track: Sick and Tired

Sick and Tired is how I felt at the end of the album. I use to jam it in 2 times, cause I think jamming it in one sit would bury me. But make no mistake, this is exhaustingly good.
41Jesca Hoop

Released: July 5th
Label: Memphies Industries
Genre: Singer Songwriter
Track: Old Fear of Father

Ignored by staff, by contributors, by almost the totality of the user base here, and even by me until like a month ago when I realized it had passed me by. Absolutely stunning beauty, so glad I gave it a chance in the very last minute.
40The Day
Midnight Parade

Released: January 18th
Label: Sinnbus
Genre: Dream Pop
Track: Island

The rest of the album is not as strong as to guarantee a place among the best, but "Island" does have a spot on my top 10 songs of the year, so go check that one!
39Common Holly
When I say to you Black Lightning

Released: October 18th
Label: Self released
Genre: Singer Songwriter
Track: Uuu

I wasn't expecting much of that cover. Maybe some bedroom whining recorded with 2 mics at best. What I didn't expect is a superb folk record that reminded me the old say: never judge a book by its cover.
38The Stargazer Lilies

Released: November 1st
Label: Rad Cult
Genre: Shoegaze
Track: Magenta Sunrise

I feel they really stroke a nice balance of noise and melody on this one.
The Chosen One

Released: May 24th
Label: Metal Blade
Genre: Prog Metal (or smth like that)
Track: About That

The Italians are on top of their game. This is the closest I have come to a band like Fair to Midland, which is sadly gone for the time being. The second half of the album doesn't stand as strongly as the first half but it's because of absolute bangers like "About That". No way to keep that momentum throughout the whole album.

Released: February 15th
Label: Tooth and Nail
Genre: Indie Pop
Track: As Above, So Alone

I didn't expect them to surpass "You Are my Sunshine", which is one of my favorite albums of all time, and you know what? They didn't! But still, they managed to craft an album worth the wait!

Released: May 17th
Label: Universal
Genre: Industrial Metal
Track: Auslander

What a comeback. Please watch the videos, cause they are probably the best thing I've watched this year in that category. Be specially sure to watch the video for "Sex" either at work or with your parents.
34White Ward
Love Exchange Failure

Released: September 20th
Label: Debemur Morti
Genre: Noir Blackgaze
Track: Love Exchange Failure

Blackgaze with jazz elements and ambient passages. This is quite the ride.

Released: February 1st
Label: Silver Lining
Genre: Progressive Metal
Track: Lascivious

tfw your album gets featured in some lad's list and it's ranked higher than seldom albums of the two bands you have been inspired by.
32Cave In
Final Transmission

Released: June 7th
Label: Hydra Head / Daymare
Genre: Post Hardcore / Alternative
Track: Shake My Blood

Beyond death. Caleb forever. R.I.P.
Will of the Primordial

Released: August 3rd
Label: Naturmacht
Genre: Black Metal
Track: Siberian Sorrow

Only a BM band from Russia would have the square balls to release their album in August. Turns out, it's a hell of an album. You know I'm still no conosseur, I leave that to Nazz and co. (also, I never finished my Black Metal Odyssey so still haven't got my degree), but believe me when I say, this is a damn fine atmo black metal album.

Released: January 11th
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Melodeath
Track: The Nurturing Glance

I wonder if they went for January 11th because it is their 11th album. Anyway, stars align, the dead dance inside their graves and Soilwork releases another album. I don't think I've liked them as much since the days of Figure Number Five. It's one of those bands that I'm always glad they are still around.
29Night Flowers
Fortune Teller

Released: October 25th
Label: Dirty Bingo
Genre: Indie Pop
Track: I've Loved You (Such a Long Time)

No one makes such gorgeous pop like Night Flowers these days. And they do it so effortlessly that it's almost insulting. Their sophomore release doesn't include any track that reaches the highs of my all time favorite "Cruel Wind" but I don't think there's a band that can pull off a track like that twice. Break-up album, by the way. Don't listen to it if you are going through one or it will destroy you.
28Otoboke Beaver
Itekoma Hits

Released: April 26th
Label: Damnably
Genre: Punk
Track: 脱・日陰の女

I remember 4 or 5 years ago seeing guitarist Yoshie surfing the crowd at some small club in Osaka, while her SG busted the heads of the few otakus gathered there. Fast forward to 2019 and these girls have taken over Coachella, SXSW and Lowlands to name a few crowds. So happy for them.
Forgotten Paths

Released: February 15th
Label: Avantgarde
Genre: Black Metal
Track: Brón

Andy Marshall is the man. Bathe me in celtic riffs and bury me with the chorus of "Brón" on repeat in some Skyrim mountain.

Released: October 4th
Label: Captured Tracks
Genre: Shoegaze
Track: Horsehead

Damn, they really stepped up their game since their last album, to the point of feeling bad of accusing them of rich kids with expensive instruments in the past.
25Earth Tongue
Floating Being

Released: June 21st
Label: Stolen Bodies
Genre: Psychedelic / Prog
Track: Astonishing Comet

Debut album from these 2 personalities. This is quite difficult to describe, so I'll let your curiosity do the job for me.
24Glen Hansard
This Wild Willing

Released: April 12th
Label: Plateau Records
Genre: Singer Songwriter
Track: Don't Settle

What a gap from his previous album. You really hyped this one with a reason Sput, the man is already a legend in my book.
23Jenny Hval
The Practice of Love

Released: September 13th
Label: Sacred Bones
Genre: Synthpop / Dance
Track: Ashes to Ashes

This is what happens when an artist like Jenny Hval puts aside the artsy nonsense and focuses in doing a good album.
22Black Midi

Released: June 21st
Label: Rough Trades
Genre: Noise Rock / Post Punk
Track: 953

Featuring one of my favorite new drummers of recent times (or months), after a few seconds into 953 you soon realize these guys are their own thing. One of the most promising acts for the years to come.
21The Cranberries
In the End

Released: April 26th
Label: BMG
Genre: Pop Rock
Track: All Over Now

This is a gift from the heavens above for long ass fans of the Cranberries like myself. I couldn't have asked for a better album to cement their legacy and it's incredible how it feels like Dolores just recorded it like nothing had ever happened. Hearing her singing "it's all over now" just sends shivers down my spine.
20Green Milk From the Planet Orange

Released: May 15th
Label: Self released
Genre: Prog Rock
Track: Phoenix

Another band I met "on the road" so to speak and that made my jaw fall flat to the floor with their last live show. Hear to believe.
19Full of Hell
Weeping Choir

Released: May 17th
Label: Relapse
Genre: Grindcore / Death Metal
Track: Ygramul the Many

When a band has their whole fucking tour van stolen, instruments and merchandise included, and they are able to get 3 times the donation they needed to continue the tour in only a few hours, you know the band is somehow special. Probably the most rabid, virulent, venomous album released this year.
The Crucible

Released: February 15th
Label: Stickman
Genre: Prog Rock
Track: The Crucible

They probably recorded this album one afternoon during Christmas holidays last year cause they were hungovered and had nothing better to do.
17Cherry Glazerr
Stuffed and Ready

Released: February 1st
Label: Secretly Canadian
Genre: Indie Rock
Track: Juicy Socks

Best production work at this side of the genre. With Apocalipstick they showed they can write killer tunes and with this one they showed it was not coincidence. Banger after banger.
16Brutus (BE)

Released: March 29th
Label: Sargent House / Hassle
Genre: Post Hardcore
Track: War

I personally prefer their debut but in only two albums these guys are already touring the world. Impressive to say the least, but not a surprise.
15Swallow the Sun
When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light

Released: January 25th
Label: Century Media
Genre: Doom
Track: Firelights

Never understood the whip this album got on release. I can't compare it to previous releases cause this is my first contact with them, but this superb mix of Paradise Lost and Type O' Negative is all I wanted this year from a doom album. "Firelights" makes me very, very soft.
Love and Evol

Released: October 4th
Label: Third Man
Genre: Boris
Track: Evol

There are many ways to make friends when you live in Japan, but if you wanna be friends with the really cool folk, tell them you listen to Boris.
13Cult of Luna
A Dawn to Fear

Released: September 20th
Label: Metal Blade
Genre: Post Metal
Track: Inland Rain

Not gonna lie. I had a dim flame of hope for Julie Christmas to be featured on this one and my first blind play was of disappointment. After that, you realize this didn't need her.
12Chelsea Wolfe
Birth of Violence

Released: October 4th
Label: Sargent House
Genre: Dark Americana (this time)
Track: The Mother Road

Oh your Highness! We are not worthy!
11Helms Alee

Released: April 26th
Label: Sargent House
Genre: Atmo Sludge
Track: Play Dead

Sargent House has become my favorite label in the last two years, so even if I don-t know the band, I automatically check whatever they curate. That's how I discovered Helms Alee and fell in love almost immediately. "Play Dead" is one of my favorite tracks of the year.
True North

Released: April 26th
Label: Century Media
Genre: Heavy Metal
Track: Up North

Only took 11 albums to know about these guys. If someone in the future asked me how was Heavy metal in 2019 this is the album and the track I'd show them.
9Big Thief

Released: May 3rd
Label: 4AD
Genre: Indie Folk
Track: U.F.O.F.

This album has something that "Two Hands" doesn't have, I don't know what it is. This is folk made with a magic potion recipe, so tasty you can almost drink it.
After Its own Death/ Walking in a Spiral

Released: February 8th
Label: Yellowelectric
Genre: Ambient / Drone
Track: After its own death (Side B)

Grouper was not enough for Liz Harris. She needed to go beyond, cross the twilight zone and bring back whatever she had found. And here it is.
Spiritual Instinct

Released: October 25th
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Blackgaze
Track: Sapphire

Neige and co. are regulars in my AOTY lists with every release. "Kodama" came close to beat Emma Ruth Rundle and Cult of Luna w/ Julie Christmas in 2016 and "Ecailles de Lune" got the fist spot in 2010. I really wanna live inside that guitar tone.
6Elizabeth Colour Wheel

Released: March 15th
Label: The Flenser
Genre: Noise Rock / Shoegaze / Sludgecore
Track: Hide Behind (Emmett's Song)

One of the most thrilling and unpredictable albums I've heard this year. Lane Shi's voice is bewitching. The band goes from Neurosis to shoegaze and then turns into post hardcore in not over a freaking minute. I highly recommend them.
5Lightning Bolt
Sonic Citadel

Released: October 11th
Label: Thrill Jockey
Genre: Noise Math
Track: Air Condition

The return of Chip and Gibson couldn't have been more spectacular. "Sonic Citadel" is a noise rock torpedo from start to finish, a relentless assault. Also am I the only one hearing Iron Maiden influences on this one??
4Devil Master
Satan Spits On Children Of Light

Released: Match 1st
Label: Relapse Records
Genre: Blackened Punk
Track: Her Thirsty Whip

They already won me over with the EP they released last year. If you are lucky you'll be able to catch them live in someone's basement or living room near you.
3オオハシ (Ohashi)
波のはじまり (Nami no Hajimari)

Released: March 3rd
Label: Self released
Genre: Math Rock
Track: 暮らす (Kurasu)

At the beginning of the year I started frequenting local live houses more often, scouting for members to make my own project. One of the bands that absolutely blew my wig off were Ohashi, a 3-piece from Osaka that mixes math rock with tropicalia, shoegaze and entrancing vocal harmonies. Their live show was amazing but my real surprise came when I checked this album back home.
2Fire! Orchestra

Released: May 24th
Label: Rune Grammofon
Genre: Jazz
Track: Blue Crystal Fire

Reigned during a few months as AOTY but after many revisits and discussions with myself I decided to give the spot to Two People. Nevertheless, this is a must-listen for this year. This is how jazz should sound in the year we are in, and one of the most impressive vocal performances I've heard all year.
1Two People
First Body

Released: January 18th
Label: Terrible Records
Genre: Ambient Pop / Downtempo
Track: I'm Tied to You

Released a few days into January, this album has tanked through the rest of the year undefeated. Outstanding debut. Sex.
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