This year, I mostly listened to black metal and post metal, but the awesome death metal resurgence didn’t leave me totally untouched. Enjoy!
1. Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race
Old-school or straightforward death metal isn’t always my go-to when I’m driving or putting on records by myself, but I found myself turning to Hidden Hands of the Human Race again and again. It’s not just the awesome art, the sci-fi themes, and the fact that they’re from my home base of Denver. It’s also an incredibly powerful record full of catchy, borderline-melodic riffs and insanely catchy melodies. Please give this a chance even if you’re not a die-hard death metal fan.
2. Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence
Chelsea Wolfe has been an absolute favorite for a while now. I like her heavier, synthier stuff a little better, but this record brings it back to the basics with some seriously haunting ballads that once again play with country and Americana tropes. Plus, every song on this record is amazingly well-executed.
3. Drowning the Light – A Gleam in the Eye of Set
I couldn’t wait to see what black metal titans Drowning the Light had in store after their amazing 2018 record Cursed Beneath the Waves. This EP is just as heavy, trippy, and introspective as previous works and carries their sound even further on the four stand-out tracks.
4. Health – Vol. 4 :: Slaves of Fear
Health never really disappoint, but this record exceeded my expectations. They bring back the same dark, heavy vibes they had on earlier releases like Death Magic, yet they do it in a way that doesn’t feel dated at all. This was one of the best surprise records in 2019.
5. Batushka – Hospodi
Despite all the hype and drama over names and touring, Batushka’s Hospodi is still one of the strongest albums of the year. This record is nothing short of remarkable. From some of the most ripping, catchy riffs of the century to some serious song construction, it’s a banger from start to finish.