Album(s) Of The Month(s) 2019

This time last year we pulled together our list of releases which had well and truly blown our minds in 2018, but broken down to each month, rather than the year in total. It was a whole lot of fun to see who had impressed the people who step up to make Slow Dragon Music all it can be, as well as the in-house choice. So, we’ve decided to do it again. 2019 has turned over no less of an intriguing selection. Hope you enjoy!


January: Flotsam & Jetsam – The End Of Chaos (AFM Records)

“While these lads have been back in it of late, going from strength to strength, TEOC is musically ridiculous, peak F&J. Everything there was to love about this band when I first heard them is right here!”

– Slow Dragon

Bonus entry: Soilwork – Verkligheten (Nuclear Blast)

“Magnificent guitar work and just outstanding drums. Björn Strid continuing to do what he does best with his ripping harsh vocals and massive cleans, securing his place as one of my favourite vocalists. Could listen to this album start to finish all day. And I have done plenty!”

– Nick Laidlaw (Hordes X Outreach Inverness)


February: Rotting Christ – The Heretics (Season Of Mist)

“A voyage into the eye of the storm of extreme metal offerings in 2019. Wave after wave of polished, anthemic compositions. A band most deserving of playing to a sea of stadium audiences. “

– Princess Sapphire (Hordes X merch stall manager/various art)


March:  Whitechapel – The Valley (Metal Blade)

“I’m normally not a fan of the Deathcore trope, but after hearing one of the singles on this I was hooked – tonnes of really emotional melodies, furious lyrics and outrageous groove make it unmissable.”

– Drew Cochrane (live reviewer)

Bonus entry: Dirty Honey – Dirty Honey EP (self-released)

 

“Capturing Bon Scott era AC/DC, with a country sensibility. First unsigned band in history to top the Billboard mainstream rock chart without a label. Toweringly powerful vocals, and riffs you can’t shake for days afterwards.”

– Andrew Mill (guest reviewer)


April: Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult – Mardom (War Anthem)

“Germany’s Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult have always stayed trve to traditional black metal. Mardom is another masterpiece, the instrumentation is raw but precise and Oneilar’s vocals possess an other-worldy creepiness second to none.”

– Mark Gølder (Hordes X Outreach Dunfermline: Noise Night)


May: Rammstein – Rammstein (Universal Music)

“This album flows really well, unapologetically Rammstein. It doesn’t take much for each song to etch itself in your ears. Future classic.”

– Greg Mckenzie-Milne (interviewer)

Bonus entry: Darkthrone – Old Star (Peaceville)

 

“What I like best is that they refuse to conform to typical musical conventions and aren’t afraid to venture out of their allotted genre. Old Star delivers a very retro sounding aesthetic and goes everywhere from doom to punk whilst still sounding as misanthropic as it gets.”

– Mark Gølder (Hordes X Outreach Dunfermline: Noise Night)


June: *DOUBLE-HEADER* Memoriam – Requiem For Mankind (Nuclear Blast)

“EPIC! BEAST! THRASHY, SLUDGY DEATH! There’s not a lot more to be said about this one. It is simply a fantastic number, and one that’s sure to stick with many in the extreme metal scene. Tell your friends. Tell your lovers. Hide your parents!

– Slow Dragon

 

*DOUBLE-HEADER* Heilung – Futha (Season Of Mist)

“Delivered to great anticipation, Heilung’s second album did not disappoint. Again, this bizarre cult takes you to somewhere ‘other’, twisting their tribal soundscapes through the tapestry of time. Pure escapism!”

– Slow Dragon

Bonus entry: Centrilia – In The Name Of Nothing (233 Records)

“When a band is recommended for fans of Machine Head and is mixed by Terry Date, I have to check it out. A furious slab of groove – interesting writing, great production, there’s nothing to dislike about this album!”

– Drew Cochrane (live reviewer)


July: Thy Art Is Murder – Human Target (Nuclear Blast)

“Hard-hitting music and intense vocal assaults really pin the meaningful lyrics and subject matters to the wall for everyone to see.”

– Greg Mckenzie-Milne (interviewer)


August: Krysthla – Worldwide Negative (Plastic Head)

“This band. This f*CK*Ng band man. Worldwide Negative shows just how great. When the single for the release Zero Sum Game was released it was just a taster of what to expect from the full album and it absolutely crushes!  It’s hard to listen to without pulling a stank face. It’s nasty as hell. And I love it!”

– Nick Laidlaw (Hordes X Outreach Inverness)

 

Bonus entry: Shadow Of Intent – Melancholy (self-released)

“Vocals are next level, symphonic production is beautiful, and the songs have such an eclectic mix of brutal grooves, catchy riffs, and solid drum work.”

– Craig Law (Hordes X Outreach Glasgow: Goddamned Promotions)

Bonus entry: Northlane – Alien (UNFD)

“This whole album sounds like the lost soundtrack to The Matrix. Anthemic choruses, impressive electronic elements, and breakdowns!”

– Craig Law (Hordes X Outreach Glasgow: Goddamned Promotions)


September: *DOUBLE-HEADER* Acid Reign – The Age Of Entitlement (Dissonance Productions)

“This has been getting weekly rotation since I finally managed to get on with reviewing it. Powered up, urban thrash, with quirky yet thunderous attack. And more hooks than a Candyman convention.”

– Slow Dragon

 

*DOUBLE-HEADER* Dog Tired – The Electric Abyss (self-released)

“A game changer, not just for Dog Tired themselves, but for the independent metal scene, this is injected with the art of brutiful noise, and further defines this band as something special and rather timeless.”

– Slow Dragon

Bonus entry: Wind Rose – Wintersaga (Napalm Records)

 

“Wintersaga, the fourth release from Wind Rose, is perhaps the most fun and uplifting album I have listened to this year. A brilliant assortment of Tolkien (and Minecraft!) inspired power/folk from Tuscany the Mines of Moria that will have you singing and drinking until you pass out!”

– Gary Paton (sponsor: Distorted)


October: In Mourning – Garden Of Storms (Agonia Records)

 

“As surprise entry from these Swedes, purely because I’m new to the party, and this is a bit of a step up in songwriting from previous efforts. The band alone may deserve a spot; this album certainly does. Lovely, dark, semi-technical death, with a whole lot of travel”

– Slow Dragon


November: *DOUBLE-HEADER* Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas (Metal Blade)

 

“2019 has had no shortage of superb albums, loaded with technical majesty, brutal riffs, mind-blowing drumming, and vocals sent straight from hell itself; and yet none of them hold a torch to Death Atlas. Let’s hope we can stop the environmental crisis, lest we not get the chance to admire each master-worked component before we all go up in flames. We have been warned…”

– Gary Paton (sponsor: Distorted)

*DOUBLE-HEADER* Blood Incantation – Hidden History Of The Human Race (Dark Descent Records)

 

“This is an eerie little gem. A lot of work on soundscaping – to bring across that otherworldly essence – has paid off, and HHOTHR is a spectral, astral, and musical success. This gets in the list for me as a concept recording is hard to pull off like this”

– Slow Dragon


December: Nothing Left – Disconnected (Facedown Records)

“This sneaky little sod nearly managed to creep out the end of the year without be noticed, but we managed catch the blighter just in time! Crushing, twitchy noise, akin to a cross between Hatebreed and Dillinger Escape Plan.”

– Slow Dragon


Honourable mentions: 1349 – The Infernal Pathway, Abbath – Outsrider, Angel Witch – Angel Of Light, Barshasketh – Barshasketh, Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile, Destruction – Born To Perish, Dog Fashion Disco – Committed To A Bright Future, Dust Bolt – Trapped In Chaos, Entombed AD – Bowels Of The Earth, Fen – The Dead Light, Gatecreeper – Deserted,  Hate – Auric Gates Of Veles, Hecate Enthroned – Embrace Of The Godless Aeon, Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites, Overkill – The Wings Of War, Sacred Reich – Awakening, Saor – Forgotten Paths, Skinlab – Venomous, Tyr – Hel, Xentrix – Bury The Pain,


And that’s it! Our 2019 list! Believe me, if we were confident people would read more, we’d could add to this for days. This was actually kept pretty strict, while still aiming for a wide spread. Mission achieved, I say! If you made it this far, I hope you had fun trawling through it all, and who knows, maybe discovered a brand new favourite album, just before the end of the year!


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