While we can still hear some naysayers persuading us that rock and metal music is dead, we’re still going strong and celebrating our favorite movement in music. Now that we’re getting to the end of the year, we figured to come up with our very own list of the best rock and metal albums of 2019. This wasn’t exactly an easy list to make since we had to leave out many of the great releases. Nonetheless, it’s still a rundown of some of the best albums you’ll hear in modern music.
10. Periphery – Periphery IV: Hail Stan
Modern prog champions Periphery treated us with nine brand new songs, all of which enter the unexplored depths of the djent waters. The one we would single out from the bizarrely titled “Hail Stan” record is the opening track “Reptile.” Barely do we stumble upon such a long piece that keeps the attention all the way through.
9. Devin Townsend – Empath
While many were disappointed by the fact that Devin Townsend disbanded his DTP, it came as great news that he finally got the chance to work on his long-awaited project “Empath.” Completely liberated from all the expectations, the record has Devin’s signature style all over it, bringing all the elements that he loves in one coherent artistic whole.
8. Leprous – Pitfalls
While the band continues to experiment further with some pop elements, Leprous fans don’t seem to mind. In fact, this record further fuels their success and widens their constantly growing fanbase. Vocalist Einar Solberg completely took over the creative control on the album, partially distancing them from the previous records while still somehow retaining those signature Leprous elements.
7. Korn – The Nothing
One of the bands that pushed the boundaries the most back in the ’90s was Korn. But they never stopped with their innovation as 2019’s “The Nothing” further improves the genre and manages to keep it fresh. Now, that’s a great success for a metal band that’s been around for a quarter of a century. However, before you dig into it, bear in mind that the album goes into some really dark and depressing territories.
6. Dream Theater – Distance Over Time
After a somewhat disappointing 2016 album “The Astonishing,” Dream Theater got back to their old school style and brought those hard-hitting progressive metal songs. At the same time, they managed to add new elements and keep things fresh and up to date.
Dream Theater will be continuing to tour in support of the record in early 2020. Find their tickets at this location.
5. Opeth – In Cauda Venenum
In 2019, Opeth continued with their exciting road into the retro-like progressive rock, further distancing themselves from the growling death metal past of Mikael Akerfeldt. They keep doing things their own way, a practice that the most of rock and metal community has accepted by now. The album also has two versions, one in English and other in Swedish. Pretty exciting stuff on “In Cauda Venenum.”
4. Rammstein – Untitled
We’ve waited one full decade for Rammstein to launch their new album. Many have speculated where this new record will take them, questioning whether it will be any good. However, it was far from a disappointment. Yes, the classic Rammstein elements are still there, but almost magically enhanced by some of the new songwriting and production practices we can hear in there. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another 10 years until the release of their next record.
3. Alter Bridge – Walk the Sky
In 2019, Alter Bridge came back together to write and record their new album. The resulting collection of songs, titled “Walk the Sky,” presents them in never before seen light. Anything from their mellow and emotional parts, up to sinister heavy detuned riffs. “Walk the Sky” is unlike anything they’ve released so far.
2. Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
On “We Are Not Your Kind” album, Slipknot got closer to their roots and the work they’ve done on the groundbreaking “Iowa” album. However, this isn’t a rehash by any means, rather a clear sign of the band’s evolution. From top to bottom, the record is filled with some pretty surprising combinations of styles, as well as exciting lyrical themes.
You can find Slipknot concert tickets here.
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
This is a no-brainer. After a 13-year-long wait, Tool released the phenomenal “Fear Inoculum” showcasing some of their best work so far. All the eyes were upon them, waiting to hear what they’ve been cooking up for such a long time. Of course, it will take some time for such a progressive metal record to sit in (you need some time to process those long songs), but one thing remains certain – it will go down in history as one of the most important metal records of all time.