2019 was a banner year in heavy metal, with an absurd amount of incredible releases. I can’t remember another year that had so many excellent releases in tech death, old school death, melodic and slam. Here’s my list of the best metal albums of 2019, in no particular order:


Xoth – “Interdimensional Invocations”

Killer space thrash with unique and catchy riffs. A lot of the melody parts use the whammy bar in creative ways which I love. Fantastic interdimensional creature album art as well.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://xoth.bandcamp.com/

Iapetus “The Body Cosmic”

Great melodic/tech that’s an audio adventure throughout the whole album. This one’s a huge improvement over their first effort, plus an equally great album cover.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://iapetus1.bandcamp.com/album/the-body-cosmic

Thot Purge – “Live, Laugh, Love”

Hilarious grind/slam. The song titles alone earn them a top 10 spot. This one is probably my most listened to album of the year. Horrendous (on purpose) album art, but never fear – I did an album cover for the Live, Laugh, Love reissue coming out in 2020.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://thotpurge.bandcamp.com/

Firelink – “The Invetrate Fire”

Awesome melodic black(ish) metal based on Dark Souls that really evokes the theme of the game. Really surprised more people didn’t mention these guys as this is a fantastic album from start to finish.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://firelink.bandcamp.com/

Blood Incantation – “Hidden History of the Human Race”

Really unique prog/old school death. Love the themes of the album as well. Can’t say much for the album art though, they could’ve gotten something cooler.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hidden-history-of-the-human-race

Hideous Divinity – “Simulacrum”

Crushing death metal that never lets up. Brutal af and catchy/memorable at the same time. Fantastic album art as well.

Buy a CD copy here: https://everlastingspew.com/28-hideous-divinity
Listen on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlnqtDP6Kzs

Equipoise – “Demiurgus”

My favorite tech death release of the year and a brilliant debut from a hard-working band full of elite musicians. Lots of cool integration of flamenco guitar as well. Catchy as hell with cool album art and a great logo courtesy of my boy Arpad from ArpKor Design.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://equipoiseofficial.bandcamp.com/

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged & Unbound
Sheer brutality with one of the best album covers of the year. A huge step in the right direction for these guys and a real surprise as they’ve never grabbed my attention before. If you like Hideous Divinity you’ll like Unfathomable Ruination as well.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://unfathomableruination.bandcamp.com/album/enraged-unbound

The Ritual Aura – “Velothi”

Unique and memorable prog/tech that tells a story.  Cool album art and jazzy touches make these guys an interesting ride from start to finish. Wish it was a bit longer, 30 mins just isn’t enough.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://theritualaura.bandcamp.com/album/velothi

Eternal Storm – “Come The Tide”

Hands down the best melodeath album in years. A truly monumental album filled with atmosphere, memorable songwriting and flow. There’s even a sax in a few places. Can’t be beat.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://eternalstorm.bandcamp.com/album/come-the-tide-death-metal

Tool – Fear Inoculum

Everybody knows Tool. Not exactly metal, but a great comeback album and total 90s/early 2000s nostalgia trip. Minus one weak instrumental, they really knocked it out of the park.

Buy on Amazon (affiliate link – I make some money at no cost to you) – https://amzn.to/2ZIlZQm
Listen on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7DfQMPmJRI

Aborted Earth – “Cut The Chord”

I played bass on several of their EPs, but the full length is the standout. Aborted Earth is all over the place, from grind to synth pop including a Men Without Hats cover. Love playing with these guys and working on their art. This album is really good, and not just because I’m in the band sometimes. Check it out!

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://abortedearth.bandcamp.com/album/cut-the-chord

Encoffinized – “Chambers of Deprivation”

Pure old school death metal done right. This could’ve come straight out of the 90s. Even the album art, text and band members’ sunglasses and mullets looks 90s. Now that’s dedication!

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://encoffinized-maggotstomp.bandcamp.com/album/chambers-of-deprivation

Astronoid – “Astronoid”

Is there a such thing as “not-heavy metal”? “Light metal”? Whatever it is, Astronoid do an excellent, “floaty” style that’s really out-of-the-box.

Listen/Buy on Bandcamp: https://blood-music.bandcamp.com/album/astronoid

What are your favorites, metal or non-metal? What did I miss? Drop some suggestions in the comments. 

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