Five great metal EPs released so far in 2019
Bells of Awakening (Metal Blade Records)
Heavy metal songs about Dark Souls? There is nothing else to add here except - it is perfect.
The Crescendo of Dusk (independent)
Two tracks that are odes to the northern lights, one rendered in aggressive black metal and the other in folky sweetness. Both are Panopticon to the core.
Jusqu'à la mort (Sepulchral Productions)
Métal Noir Québécois has its own sound and Monarque are one of the leading lights of this scene. Having been quiet for almost six years, Jusqu'à la mort is a reminder that Monarque are not to be forgotten about.
Urine of Abomination (Vrasubatlat)
Death metal that doesn't hold back from its ideas and confronts them directly and with minimal grace. In this case you can most definitely judge this by its front cover. Yikes.
Sacrament (Dark Descent Records)
Lvcifyre have been a long time in releasing new music after 2014s Svn Eater and Sacrament is just enough to tide us over until more new music is forthcoming. It's a fantastically written work that creates a dark atmosphere from the outset.
The best of metal in 2019 so far
Gods Without Name (Debemur Morti Productions)
I am pretty sure this is what nightmares are made of. Aoratos plays black metal that is mixed with dark ambient. The end-result is not an album that grabs you by the throat, but rather one that creeps up on you and slowly drains all oxygen from your surroundings. If you like Akhlys or Nightbringer, you need this in your life. Those two references are no coincidence as they all are the works of one dark mind.
Algleymi (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
Algleymi is the second album of this Icelandic black metal band. It is dark and raw, dissonant at times, but somehow very engaging. It is slightly more accessible than their debut, but maintains that dark energy. Great stuff!
Satan Spits On Children Of Light (Relapse)
Can you mix black metal and punk? Of course you can. Devil Master proved it on their demo and EP and now on their debut album as well. It is almost comical how many influences are mixed together. There is Japanese hardcore, Discharge, Venom, NWOBHM riffs, you name it, this record has it. What it also has, in heaps, is fun. Highly recommended.
neànder (Through Love Records)
neànder (no capital letter, indeed) is a German band that plays some kind of instrumental post-metal sludge hybrid. It is heavy as a really heavy thing and dreamy at the same time. This self-titled album only has four songs, but as true post-metallers, four songs is enough to fill an entire album. Want to give this a spin? Be ready to be taken to a different place!
La Mort Triomphante (Big Bad Wolf Records)
I am cheating a bit here as this is not an album, but an EP. It is just so good I can not not mention it here. So here we go: do you like speed metal? I mean the satanic kind that is so heavily rooted in the 80’s it might have been from that era. I can tell you you need this in your life. The vocals are over the top (plenty of helium high pitched screams coming along), the production is top notch, and,I like this so much: you can actually hear the bass guitar. From experience I can tell you to go check ‘m out live if you have the opportunity.
Things We’ve Missed (and are already aware of missing out on)
S/T (Erste Theke Thontrager)
There are a couple of albums that really deserve my attention, but somehow I missed until now. Endless Column's self titled album is one of those albums. I checked out their debut EP a couple years ago because of the Red Dons connection. I could argue that this band deserves your attention if you like the Red Dons, but what I hope for is that they prove they don’t need any namedropping.
Entity (Unspeakable Axe)
I am a sucker for sci-fi themed bands. Especially if they can translate that theme into music. Enter Nucleus. They’re debut featured death metal with a couple of strange effects that launched me into space immediately. On a split the band experimented with different influences, but remained spacey as hell. I can only hope this album can live up to my high expectations!
Western Stars (Columbia Records)
When I discovered The Gaslight Anthem I read about Bruce Springsteen influences in about every review I found. After ignoring this man almost my whole life I discovered he has made some awesome music. It took me a couple of years, but I collected his entire discography. Well, his full albums that is. Not every album is a classic, but every album has a at least a couple of songs that I’ve come to love. I know I need to add this album to my collection as well. Perhaps this is also a good time to buy a live album, but where to start?
Pantheon Of The Nightside Gods (Century Media)
A comic about black metal that is actually really funny. And then you find out that the band in the comic has actually released an album. I have had the time to watch one video and it is right up my alley. Now all I need to do is find the time to check this symphonic black metal album and give it some proper play time. I’d say summer is the perfect time for that, wouldn’t you?
Stereoghosts (Shallow Grave Records)
As you might or might not know I am a sucker for horrorpunk. There was a time I would buy everything released under that moniker. I am a bit more picky nowadays, but a new album by The Rosedales after all this time is something that I need to invest in!
Top 5 Badasses in 2019 so far
Cuz I Love You (Nice Life / Atlantic)
Lizzo is the definition of a badass—her music is uncompromising and bold, much like herself. She pours her personality into her music making it charismatic, yet soulful; I mean how many artists out there can play the hell out of the flute and twerk at the same time? Lizzo’s blend of genres not only propels her music out of this world, but it also makes her the top badass of 2019 thus far.
thank u, next (Republic)
When I tell people I listen to Ariana Grande they are always so surprised—mostly because she’s a ‘mainstream’ artist—but it’s 2019 and are we really judging music based on how mainstream it is? I used to be a music snob, and now, I’m just a music listener. Grande is killing the game with entire albums (not just singles) and her autobiographical music is more relatable than you might think. Plus, have you heard her voice? One word to describe it: Badass.
EP 6 (Checkbook)
This isn’t Qveen Herby’s first time releasing music, but she was determined to reinvent her true self and empower others to do the same. And she’s been killing it ever since like the badass she is. This is her second (yes, second) EP of the year, and with no signs of slowing down, you better get on board or else get out of her way.
Unemployed Single (Interscope)
Do yourself a favor and check out Tierra Whack’s second single of 2019. Actually, do yourself a bigger favor and check out all of her music. This badass from Philly is releasing some of the sickest and smoothest tracks I’ve ever heard. Whether you’re new to contemporary rap music or you want a fresh take on new music; Tierra Whack is where to start.
Dancing With Your Ghost Single (RCA)
Although Sasha Sloan has been writing music for a few years now, she’s only been releasing her own since 2018. But with a heartbreakingly beautiful voice and lyrics to assist, Sloan is only getting started. There’s an elegant, rawness to her music that makes her a badass to watch out for in 2019.