|UserReviews 10Approval 100%Soundoffs 10Album Ratings 2496Objectivity 93%Last Active 02-15-20 9:28 pmJoined 07-12-19Forum Posts 40Review Comments 204
|MementoMori's Top 15 Albums of 2019|
This list contains fifteen of my favourite records released this year. I'm sure there are some records that I haven't listened to yet to from 2019 that could've easily made onto this list. This notwithstanding, I wanted to publish this selection of records sooner rather than later, so here it is!
Reverie of the Revolving Diamond
Seizures’ newest release blends immensely beautiful post-hardcore-esque guitar melodies with equally immensely destructive and frenetic mathcore-esque breakdown moments. Between these two extremes the music endlessly ebbs and flows and these constant vacillations constitute a fascinating musical juxtaposition between deeply moving beauty and utter darkness, floating sereneness and unbridled fury. Combine this with a perfectly polished production befitting of the music’s conspicuously complicated character and some fantastically executed harsh-vocals, and you have yourself one hell of a metallic-hardcore record.
|14||Billy Woods, Kenny Segal|
Hiding Places is an amazing hip-hop collaborations between rapper Billy Woods and producer and DJ Kenny Sagal. The record features some admirable lyricism which is sometimes rather socially consciousness and conceptually profound, at times uncompromising facetious, yet nevertheless manages to land with merely positive effects. The productions and beats are strange yet always awfully appropriated and surprisingly varied, the hooks decidedly sharp and catchy as hell, the compositions immediate and coherent, and the record? The record is strikingly excellent, there is no two ways about it.
Hidden History of the Human Race
One of the most hotly anticipated metal releases of 2019, and rightfully so, because this release offered everything it promised it would: a proprietary mixture of galactic lyrical themes, stupefying instrumental and compositional complexity and intricacy, amazing riffs, fantastically brutal growls and a productions which perfectly balances pristineness and grittiness. 2019 best death-metal release without a shadow of a doubt.
A Pyrrhic Existence
One of the best funeral-doom bands on the planet returns in 2019 with another stroke of genius, containing all of funeral-dooms typical elements in their highest form: gut-wrenching death growls, drums with a depth of sound equalling that of the ocean, massively sounding guitars and some of the most expansive compositional structures you will ever come across. This record is a patience-testing yet profoundly immersive journey through unimaginable depths of darkness and despair; a record you ‘really have to sit down and take your time’ for, yet in the end, I assure you, providing a musical experience that seems to take one to another plane of existence.
|11||The Comet Is Coming|
Trust in the Lifeforce of Deep Mystery
Combining some of the most lush, beautiful and down-right tasty saxophone playing that has ever graced my ears with appropriately implemented electronic influences poured into some excellent, unconventional compositional structures, makes for a hugely enjoyable modern-jazz experience. As one sound-off stated: “It's like this strange mix of Synth-pop/Vaporwave and one nutty-ass Saxophone... and it works.” Yeah, it totally, absolutely, most definitely, indisputably 'works'.
Take an exceedingly pleasant production style, blissful electro-pop and aesthetically delicate orchestral arrangements alongside Natalie Mering’s serenely tranquil and graceful vocalizations and combine those elements with some rather immediate well-constructed compositional sequences and you get Titantic Rising: a profoundly scrumptious baroque pop record which tackles this issue of climate change in a subtle manner and combines all of the attractive elements pop-music might have to offer without constantly falling prey to any odious forms of hyper-commercialization: this isn’t late-capitalism distilled into music, far from it, this is a work of unambiguous beauty and devoted artistry.
Succeeding their flamboyant debut outing, Chromaparagon, comes progressive-metal outfit Moon Tooth’s sophomore record: Crux. Mixing various genres of music from groove metal to stoner rock, with singer John Carbone’s idiosyncratic jazzy vocal harmonies, Ray Marte inexorable yet unmistakably precise drumming, Nick Lee’s unbelievably intricate and varied guitar playing as well as Vincent Romanelli’s pounding bass grooves to create an incredibly catchy and accessible yet technically complex progressive-metal record, once again showcasing their unbelievable potential as a band.
Love Exchange Failure
As fate would have it, Ukrainian post black-metal outfit White Ward followed up their lovely debut record, Futility Report, with their 2019 release, Love Exchange Failure: providing a powerful concoction comprised of saxophone infused, atmospheric black-metal madness. This time around the compositions are far more comprehensive, the atmosphere is far more immersive and the intensity is crammed up to the maximum. A truly worthwhile musical experience of dark-jazz influenced metal that is as beautifully convoluted as it is emotionally fulfilling.
There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Hailing from the ‘City of Angels’, experimental hip-hop trio clipping, create a most terrifying horrorcore record with a unique blend of mind-bending rapping, courtesy of Daveed Diggs, alongside their idiosyncratic, musique concrete-esque eerie instrumentals and unbelievable story-telling abilities to craft a musical experience that is as musically enthralling as it is emotionally exhausting.
|6||Falls of Rauros|
Patterns in Mythology
Atmospheric black-metal outfit Falls of Rauros returned in 2019 to release arguably their finest release to date: an absolutely engrossing black-metal album which is as unmistakably beautiful, gut-wrenchingly intense and wonderfully textured as it is fluid and intricate in its compositions and musical progressions. Combine all of the aforementioned qualities with a fantastically gargantuan production and you have yourself the finest black-metal release of 2019. Holy hell what an album!
We enter the top 5 with Devind Towsend’s latest release: Empath. One of his most ambitious projects to date and it shows: combining every possible genre under the sun with his traditionally massive production and bombastic tendencies Townsend creates one of the most varied, creative, textured and epically composed progressive records of 2019; the album’s 23-minute epic piece provides us with one of the best, if not the best, tracks Devin Townsend has ever created – an absolute masterpiece of a song, which is an integral part of one amazing release.
Hailing from my neighbouring country of Belgium, the musical trio known as Brutus combines the remarkable finesse and unswerving precision of math-rock with the atmospheric vastness and melodic subtleties of post-rock and the unrelenting intensity of hardcore to create a truly mesmerizing sonic experience. Combined with the walloping drumming and emotive vocals from Stefanie Mannaerts and some of the grooviest base-tones you’ll ever hear, Nest is one of 2019’s most inspired and emotionally powerful releases.
This Swedish Jazz big-band collective produced a stunning record in Arrival, combining gorgeous vocal melodies with a sprawling sonic palette to produce an experimental-jazz record that can be as stunningly beautiful as it can be overwhelmingly and cacophonously vociferous, as elegantly minimalistic as it can be dazzlingly intricate - without a doubt one of the best records of 2019.
|2||Thank You Scientist|
Coming close to emulating the quality of Thank You Scientist’s absolutely fantastic debut record, Terraformer is, as its review puts it: ‘another masterclass in progressive music’. Comprised of a group of musicians who possess an astonishing level of virtuosity on each of their respective instruments, Thank You Scientist manage to produce another scintillating blend of jazz and progressive rock, with 84 minutes of music that is as catchy and emotionally rewarding as it is textured and intricately complex.
|1||Cult of Luna|
A Dawn to Fear
My undisputed album of the year from the moment its sounds first found their way in to my ear canals. This record is indubitably post-metal in optima forma: pummelling drum barrages, powerful and infectiously groovy bass-lines, riffs as monolithic and gargantuan as the record’s production, harrowingly crushing vocals, wonderfully complex, fluid and textured compositions as well as an absolutely engulfing atmosphere and a nigh-incomparable emotional intensity. With this record the ‘Moon Cult’ have created something akin to a masterpiece – an unbelievable record which stands alone as 2019’s best release.
|Honorable mentions (some of which could have just as easily ended up on this list): |
- Mizmor with Cairn
- Liturgy with H.A.Q.Q.
- The Great Old Ones with Cosmicism
- Hath with Of Rot and Ruin (best debut of 2019)
- The Moth Gatherer with Esoteric Oppresion
- Numenorean with Adore
- Inter Arma with Sulphur English
- The Odious with Vesica Piscis
- Wilderun with Veil of Imagination
|better than the inevitable dumpster Sput top 50 list|
|Many of these I agree with. Nice job!|
|I can endorse this list and to a certain extent, it's ranking. |
|@BlazinBlitzer Thanks a lot! |
@Nocte I suppose you would definitely place FoR and Esoteric higher, something I certainly considered. Then again, my top 4 was set for quite some time.
|Now that the site has stopped going spacko for the time being we could probably get back to chatting music,|
In re: to Falls Of Rauros, have you checked out Saor?
|@Nocte I have certainly checked out Saor. Thought it was fairly great, although the record wore off on me after a while. Might have to re-listen to it again some time. |
|Aura and Guardians remain my favourites. |
|Judging by the items on this list I can basically see where our tastes divide, not that that's a bad thing. It's always good to see how different people rate the entirety of the year. |
|I see both similarities and distinctions as far as our tastes our concerned. And yes variety in end-of-year retrospectives is certainly a good thing. Must say though, I can see were you are coming from in regard to your favourites from this year. Your list contained a lot of possible end-of-year canditates that could've easily made it onto my end-of-year ranking. |