Wednesday, December 11, 2019
the Top 10 Hard Rock Albums of 2019
It's that time of year again, to sort through the top 10 albums of all the respective genres, then use them, to compile the top 10 albums of the year. Later in the month I am making the top 10 lists for the decade, though to be blunt this is the decade's weakest year for music. Especially when it comes to new artists, there is only one new band on this list . We are once again defining hard rock as having more edge than rock, but not being metal, as how metal is defined by people who know music outside of the trailer park. As in past years I am giving a brief explanation as to why these albums stand over their peers in lower positions on the list. The very fact these bands made it on the list speaks to how great these albums are so it's not a slight that the number 8 album is above the 9th album, there is something that just gives it an edge that makes me want to listen to it more.
After all we can try to look cool and pick the hippest bands for a list, but at the end of the day what makes an album the best is that it makes you want more, you look forward to listening to it again. Sure you can bitch and complain about your favorite band not being on the list. However I listen to five new albums a day so yes I heard your favorite album and was not impressed. No, I do not care what you think about it. I do hope you can find your next favorite on this list and have included links to reviews of these albums if you want to check out audio on these guys. Anyways here are the top 10 hard rock albums of 2019 .
10- Cold - "the Things We Can't Stop"
This is more of an honorable mention. I am more invested in their first few albums . It brings back those memories though is more of a watered down reflection, but that is better than most of the bands they share streaming radio space with.
9- Korn-"the Nothing"
There first album is metal. This album has more of an edge than some of the more questionable choices they have made since "Issues". Their sense of groove has always been their strong point and this go around it feels like they actually give a shit again instead of just punching a clock and throwing dub step at thigs to see what sticks. That is enough to earn them the
number 9 spot.
8-Steel Panther- "Heavy Metal Rules "
Perhaps the joke here is they are not a metal band, or are they that self aware. Even in the title track are not metal, Dokken , Van Halen and Kiss. The lyrics are still clever, perhaps not as on point as the previous album, but even when these guys punch the clock it's entertaining as they do not make music like this any more.
7-Slipknot - "We Are Not Your Kind"
Sure they have been raging against the label of nu-metal for years. While there is a fine line between mainstream metal and hard rock, I think all of the bandsw on the mainstream metal list who were just not heavy enough to make it on death metal or black metal lists are still heavier than what these guys are doing now. Heaviness aside they are writing some catch poppy rock dittys with an edge. This song writing is superior to that of Steel Panther.
6-He is Legend - "White Bat"
6 albums in you pretty much know what you are going to get from these guys. Though there might be a more spastic energy to this album than what I have heard from them in the past. If Corrosion of Conformity smokes a bunch of meth, the results might be the same. It is most interesting at it's most melodic. I think fans of this band will have little issue embracing this album. More real than Slipknot, they do not need gimmicks.
5-LA Guns -'The Devil You Know"
The band survived the 90s so they are not going to be giving up any time soon. I think the fact that they had more of a metal edge than their peers all along helps with this. Phil doesn't sound like he had aged. These guys are holding up better...musically than the bulk of their peers from these time. Yeah some of the guys in Skid Row or Motley Crue might look better, but these guys might have made their heaviest album yet, which is more than you can say for those bands. Easier listen than He is Legend as it's not as spastic.
4- A Pale Horse Called Death- "When the World Becomes Undone"
Of the two bands who have former members of Type O Negative in them, this one comes closer to upholding that legacy. The other is more psychedelic where these guys have more heft in their guitar playing. Heavy but not really metal due to some of it's more ambitious melodic leanings . The focus of the song writing puts them over their other peers on this list.
3-Emil Bull - "Mix Tape"
This German band came out wit ha covers album that grew on me this year. The highlights of being their cover of the Killer's "Mr. Brightside " which they nailed and the Billie Ellish song "Crown" which is way better than the original because this guy puts some power to the chorus it lacked before.
2- Brume- "Rabbits "
This female fronted band was not what I expected when I first heard them. They are melancholy in a manner that is close to doom with out packing that kind of punch. Instead it just works off sublime vocals . It's heavy without committing to being metal. The vocals tip the scale and give them the edge over most of their competition.
1- New Years Day- "Unbreakable"
For mainstream rock bands in the post -nu metal world, I typically liked what this band does. Ash Costello's vocals seem to get better with every album. Slick arena sounding production helps the overall sound, but it is the hooks to their choruses that sell it. These are strong songs and pretty fucking catchy one s at that. and the grooves do tend to stick with you. To most who read this blog this is going to feel more like pop than metal, but genre be damned they are good at what they do. This year what they do is better than every one else in the same sonic zip code.