Best of 2019

Death Angel 2019 Promo Photo
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Top 20 Metal Albums of 2019

As always, the top albums of the year are for full albums (no EP’s or demos) released in 2019. They are new studio albums for the year, not re-recordings, re-releases, cover songs, or live albums. Below the combined top 20 you will find links to each individual staff members’ personal “best of” lists which besides their top albums contains such things as best new band, best DVD/Blu-Ray, best metal book, disappointments of the year, greatest hopes for 2020, personal metal discovery of the year, and various other categories. Enjoy!

#1. Death Angel – Humanicide

Death Angel has done it again. This is a catchy as hell album from start to finish. HUMANICIDE is destined to be yet another classic by one of the greatest bands on the planet who released the best album of 2019 and collectively chosen by! Powerful, aggressive and once again, very well written, are just some ways to describe this masterpiece. Death Angel has always been one of those bands that were never one dimensional. While they will always be dubbed as “Bay Area thrash metal”, the beauty of their music is that they blend other elements of metal and melody into the fold. They are one of the few bands that have a distinct sound and style all their own. (Read more here)

#2. Overkill – The Wings Of War

THE WINGS OF WAR is a great album that continues the killer streak OVERKILL has been on since the release of IRONBOUND. It’s hard to describe how a band that has gone through so many line up changes, and all current members are 50+, yet they’re able to sound as hungry and ferocious as monsters like Slayer, Metallica, Exodus, Testament, used to sound when they started. And when the newest album is capable of looking straight in they eyes of their best past moments, then you realize this how big of an accomplishment such a thing is! Definitely a must have! (Read more here)

#3. Sacred Reich – Awakening

Sacred Reich finally got it done. After about 23 years, they unleashed AWAKENING in 2019 to the masses. Sonically, Sacred Reich’s sound is still intact. Their southwest thrash style set them apart from the BAY AREA scene at the time giving them an almost cult-like following throughout the years. A little under rated? Indeed. But with that, and this great new offering by the band, fans of old will be over joyed when they get their hands on this one as well as those younger fans of thrash. (Read more here)

#4. Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion

Revelations of Oblivion is absolutely a continuation of the death/thrash goodness Possessed are known for. The instinct is to say that it picks right up where Beyond the Gates left off, but that’s only partly true, for the production values are much higher. Perhaps more than anything, this album is one surging with confidence, certainty and passion. It doesn’t attempt to re-invent the band, but why should it, after all they did to help establish such a cornerstone of heavy music as death metal? Instead, it screams, it bellows, it ROARS that Possessed are back, and still every bit as visceral and profane as ever. (Read more in out review)

#5. Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia “Moonglow”

Moonglow is the eighth full-length album by Tobias Sammet’s metal opera project Avantasia. If you’re familiar with the AVANTASIA back catalogue listening to Moonglow will be like putting on a brand new pair of your favourite shoes or jeans—the style and fit are familiar and perfect, but with the sense of crispness and novelty new items have. (Read more in our review)

#6. Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood

The group finally released its long-awaited, studio-album FLESH AND BLOOD in May. It’s the first album of new material since FOREVERMORE which came out in 2011. (Read more in our 2019 interview with Joel Hoekstra)

#7. Candlemass – The Door to Doom

THE DOOR TO DOOM (the 12th Candlemass studio album) this is easily the best and most consistent album since DEATHMAGIC DOOM. Edling’s bass is simply booming through the entire album and there is an unmistakable sense of renewed energy and enthusiasm from the band. Considering the instability of lineups through the band’s history, there is no guarantee that this incarnation will last for long. For now, we have an inspired Candlemass making new and vital music again and that is a good thing for all fans of doom metal. (See full review)

#8. Pretty Maids – Undress Your Madness

Pretty Maids – Undress Your Madness

Undress Your Madness is the sixteenth studio album by the under-rated long running Danish hard rock/heavy metal band Pretty Maids. The album was released in November 2019.

#9. Black Star Riders – Another Sate Of Grace

Black Star Riders “Another Sate Of Grace”

Hard rockers Black Star Riders released their fourth studio album ANOTHER STATE OF GRACE in September  2019. Read more about the band in our Dec. 2019 and August 2019 interviews with them.

Building on the success of their previous three releases Heavy Fire [2017], All Hell Breaks Loose [2013] and Killer Instinct [2015] the band has paved the way to be recognized as a powerful force in hard rock.

#10. Queensrÿche – The Verdict

The Verdict is the 15th studio album by the progressive/heavy metal band Queensrÿche. This is the band’s 3rd studio album with vocalist Todd La Torre, who additionally performed drum parts on the album due to the continued absence of drummer Scott Rockenfield.


11. Sabaton – The Great War


Sabaton – The Great War

12. Tyr – Hel


Týr – Hel

13. Devin Townsend – Empath

 Devin Townsend – Empath

14. Vltimas – Something Wicked Marches In


Vltimas – Something Wicked Marches In

15. Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas


Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas

16. Mayhem – Daemon

Interview (Jan. 2020)

Mayhem – Daemon

17. Nocturnus AD – Paradox


 Nocturnus AD – Paradox

18. Darkthrone – Old Star


Darkthrone - Old Star

19. Avatarium – The Fire I Long For

Avatarium – The Fire I Long For

20. Rotting Christ – The Heretics

Interview (Dec. 2019)

 Rotting Christ – The Heretics

Staff Top Listings