All of the modern music – including all the different movements, genres, and subgenres – went through a serious evolution in the 2010s. As trends changed, we got some pretty interesting pieces, with things finally cumulating in 2019.
Since we here are focused mostly on rock and metal music, we decided to sort out our very own definite list of the best songs of the year. Many tough decisions were made, many artists were (unfortunately) left out, but according to our own rules and criteria, this is the rundown that we came up with at the end.
10. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Self-Immolate
After their successful streak of psychedelic rock albums, no one could have expected that King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard would release an actual thrash metal material. All the fishes from “Fishing for Fishies” were completely fried on “Infest the Rat’s Nest,” especially on “Self-Immolate” which is filled with some unconventional time signatures paired with thrashing riffs.
9. Dream Theater – Untethered Angel
“Distance Over Time” was quite a refreshment after “The Astonishing” record. “Untethered Angel” is a modern progressive metal gem, done in Dream Theater’s classic style. Slowly building up and exploding into some serious lead sections by John Petrucci, it presents a great way to open an album.
8. Slipknot – Solway Firth
Slipknot’s new music also brought some serious old school punches on their 2019’s record “We Are Not Your Kind.” From all these new tracks, we bring you “Solway Firth,” one of the band’s heaviest and most honest songs of all time.
You can find Slipknot concert tickets at this location.
7. Devin Townsend – Genesis
Devin Townsend finally got some time to sit down, write, and record his highly-anticipated masterpiece, an album titled “Empath.” The stuff is just all over the place and it’s really difficult to point out the exact stylistic direction. But that’s what we love about Devin, as he pushes all the boundaries of the genre, especially on a song like “Genesis.”
6. Rammstein – Radio
Rammstein’s new collection of songs released in 2019 was met with critical acclaim. Although bearing no title, the 2019’s album sits down well with the rest of their catalog. While a lot of the fans were fascinated by “Deutschland,” “Radio” from this record kind of stands out to us. We can’t really point out why, but it’s probably due to those great riffs and overall tightness.
5. Ghost – Mary on a Cross
The success of the Ghost’s “Prequelle” album was followed by an equally impressive tour. However, it seems that Tobias Forge just can’t help himself but write and release new music. Belonging to the “Seven Inches of Satanic Panic” that’s not exactly an EP and not exactly a single, “Mary on a Cross” is a psychedelic-drenched tune with some of the Ghost’s classic elements in it. Strong 1970s vibes can be felt in this one.
4. Candlemass ft. Tony Iommi – Astorolus (The Great Octopus)
Although Black Sabbath has called it a day, Tony Iommi took some time to get back to guitar playing. He wrote and record a solo for Candlemass in their ultra doomy “Astorolus (The Great Octopus).” The sinister-sounding lead part fits the song and its context really well. Being the lead single of their “The Door to Doom” album, this song was the very first release with Johan L‰ngqvist on vocals since 1986.
3. Periphery – Reptile
Periphery clearly doesn’t care about the conventional rules of modern music-making, so they just released an album with a 16-minute-long epic opener, titled “Reptile.” However, the song is way more than just random prog show-off wankery, but rather a well-conceived piece with so many ups and downs and other intricate parts.
2. Alter Bridge – Wouldn’t You Rather
Another opening track on the list, “Wouldn’t You Rather” shows Alter Bridge entering some of the heaviest territories in their career. The banging down-tuned modern riffs are accompanied by Myles Kennedy’s soft yet really powerful vocals. The band will keep on supporting their new record “Walk the Sky” on tour in 2020. You can find Alter Bridge tickets here.
1. Tool – Pneuma
Tool continued their musical journey into the unknown with their record “Fear Inoculum.” It was extremely hard to pick our favorite from this album, but we ultimately decided on “Pneuma.” Thematically, it’s somewhat close to “Parabola,” while musical elements have reminded many of “Schism.” However, it is in no way a rehash, but an elaborate piece by artists who constantly evolve.