Editors’ choice 2019

Like every year, some of our editors have created a year list for you with their metal highlights.
Enjoy some our opinions below!

Ingrid
2019 hasn’t been my most active year when it comes to releases and concerts.
Since I took over metal-exposure I’ve mainly been busy with keeping it running, than with being able to explore a lot of new music. Nevertheless I obviously had highlights this year.

Most memorable releases have been in the first half of the year.
First to mention is the ‘comeback’ of one of my personal favourite bands Kampfar with Ofidians Manifest. I’m glad they’re back, even though they’re on a bit of a new track, all music they make comes straight from their souls and touches me.

Another band that never disappoints is Rotting Christ. I’ve listened endlessly to The Heretics and so far it doesn’t bore me yet. They produced yet another masterwork that’s new, but yet recognizable.
Biggest discoveries for me this year are as usually in the black metal world and would be Vargrav  -Reign in Supreme Darkness, Numenorean -Adore, Barshasketh – Barshasketh, Kalmankantaja – Korpi and last but not least: Misthyrming – Algleymi.

Blut Aus Nord – Hallucinogen is worth mentioning as well.
I found that I still have a secret weak spot for catchy Power metal, by listening to Sabaton – The Great War a bit too much ….

Last but certainly not least is no metal band, but folk band Osi and The Jupiter. Their 2019 release Nordlige Rúnaskog had many spins in my home as well and will have many more. It’s the perfect music to listen to when I’m in a ‘calmer’ mood.

While writing this bit, I’m listening to Null – Lore of a Sleeping Forest. It’s their first release and was brought out the last week of 2019. Considering the fact that I’m listening to this for two days straight now, I guess it deserves a mention as well, but truly judging it is hard.

When it comes to concerts and festivals, my first trip ever to Iceland to attend Reykjavik Metalfest has been the highlight of the year!
Also Wardruna their show in Utrecht was as mesmerizing as always.

Erik

Best albums:

1. Drab Majesty – Modern Mirror
2. Gold – Why Aren’t You Laughing?
3. She Past Away – Disko Anksiyete
4. Ice Ages – Nullify
5. Gaahls Wyrd – GastiR – Ghosts Invited
6. The Great Old Ones – Cosmicism
7. Alcest – Animal Instinct
8. Murg – Stravan
9. Abbath – Outstrider
10. Tyranni – Baron af avoghetens smarta

Best live performances:
1. Drab Majesty – Doornroosje, Nijmegen
2. Traitrs – Kult tempel, Oberhausen
3. She Past Away – Dynamo, Eindhoven
4. Vemod – Unholy Congregation, Oudenaarde (BE)
5. Sunn O))) – Doornroosje, Nijmegen
6. Emperor – Beyond the Gates, Bergen (NO)
7. Gaahl’s Wyrd -Doornroosje, Nijmegen
8. Taake – Eindhoven Metal Meeting
9. Ministry – Doornroosje
10. Whispering Sons – Doornroosje

Worst live performance:
Malphas, Willemeen Arnhem (please practice and don’t smoke weed before playing).

Michael

Album/show of the year
2019 has been a good year. A new Gloryhammer, Blind Guardian, Heilung, Insomnium and more. I have never listened to a lot of records by this band, and some of the die hard Metal fans will call this blasphemy, but I truly enjoyed Slipknot’s latest release “We are not your kind”. It’s heavy, fast and full of aggression. Until this date, it’s still a record that I play a lot. The same goes for Lacuna Coil’s latest record “Black Anima”. But the record I have listened to the most must have been Cellar Darlings “The Spell”.
My main highlight for 2019 was Heilungs performance in Utrecht. During the whole show there was an insane atmosphere which only happens at a Heilung show. All around us people seemed to enjoy themselves and there was a trance like vibe, as people were dancing, chanting and more.

Disappointment of the year
For years I have been a big Sonata Arctica fan. Sadly for me, their latest records have been increasingly “soft” and not as exciting as I wanted them to be. Before Talviyö was released, I was hoping that they would once again make a new power metal record like the good old days. But, as their recent records have proven, this truly is a thing of the past. As you can read in my review, I would recommend playing the record at 1,25 speed to make it more enjoyable.
Same goes with Delain’s EP. The PR machine was very busy and the band really got me excited for their new EP. Some songs were released, but when the full EP was released, it only contained four new songs and once again a lot of live tracks. To be fair, in my opinion we have seen way too many of those releases by Delain.

Most anticipated album / show of 2020
At first, I wanted to say that I was looking forward to Dream Theater’s January show, when they would also play Metropolis pt 2: Scenes from a memory. Until I saw the price. Over seventy euro’s for one show is just too steep for me.
So instead, I’m looking forward to Delain’s new release Apocolypse & Chill. Even though their previous release was one of my biggest disappointments of 2019, this new full release is something I’m looking forward to. The first released single, “One Second” already promises something great, as well that their latest records have improved every time.

Ian’s Top 10 List of 2019
(No Particular Order)
Blood Red Throne– Fit to Kill (Death Metal)
Rotting Christ– Heretics (Melodic Black Metal)
Vitriol– To Bathe From The Throat Of Cowardice (Blackend Death Metal)
Prostitute Disfigurement– Prostitute Disfigurement (Death Metal)
Devin Townsend– Empath (Progressive/metal)
Immanifest– Microbial (Symphonic progressive black metal)
Nile- Vile Nilotic Rights (Death metal)
Cattle Decapitation– Death Atlas (Deathgrind)
Abigail Williams- Walk Beyond the Dark (Symphonic Black Metal)
Second to Sun– Legacy (Post Black Metal)

2018 Personal Recommendation:
1914– Blind Leading The Blind (Death/Doom metal)