Saturday, December 7, 2019

Top 10 Black Metal 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,  9 of the 10 bands are veterans. When it comes to black metal I need more than blast beats, it one of my favorite sub-genres of metal, so the bar is high. 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 Black Metal   albums of 2019 .

10- Deathspell Omega - " The Furnaces of Palingenesia"

 This French metal band needs little introduction. Serious as heart attacks my favorite album from these guys is 2010's "Paracletus" . This one is not as angular of a ride , but the darkness and dissonance is there. The delivery puts them closer to Ulcerate than Emperor. There is a more straight forward chug to the dense heaviness.


9-Crowhurst- "III" 

The band is embarking into a new darker sonic space .The guitars are now really doing some interesting things which requires the drummer using the restraint to give them the space to do so. If you showed up for a another run of the mill black metal album you might be disappointed or confused , this blog is probably not for you anyways, so I will save you time and show you the door now. More song oriented than Deathspell.

8-Falls of Rauros - "Patterns in Mythology" 

 The fifth album from this Portland band finds the boundaries of the black metal label a little to confining. Five albums in can you blame them ? This is felt from the opening instrumental that could be one of Russian Circles more metallic moments.The guitar tones on this album are incredible . The over all production is very crisp. This might be a turn off for the trve neck beards. It was pretty close call with Crowhurst the over all sound giving this album the edge.

7-Zohamah- "Spread My Ashes" 

 At one point I might have predicted this to be the number one album. It is heavy as fuck. The scathing vocals are the most black metal element, aside from the oppressive mood. The guitars are big and powerful like more death metal, but conjure a more depressed mood. This often finds the album at my favorite sonic corner where black metal and doom meet. Falls of Rauros might have a better produced album, but these guys are more oppressive in the sonic wall of blackness.

6-Vimur- Triumphant Master of Fates

This is more black metal than the last album which was more blackened death metal. They don't get throw blast beats at you, but also carry some weighty chugs. Its a more matured effort for this band and finally finds them finding the darkness. It's the moment where this darkness has room to shimmer that is what gives this album it's own unique place. The overall aggression balanced with the cavernous atmosphere gives them the edge over Zohamah, simply because I listened to this album more

5- Darkthrone- "Old Star" 

 It is my love for these guys that keeps them on the black metal lsit rather than the thrash list. It is a funny turn of events where Darkthrone is the least black metal band o na list like this. I guess it depends on what era your are talking about. The Celtic Frost influence is all over this one. At the end of the day it has tyhe grim mood of black metal and the songs hold to their other black n roll moments pushing Vimur aside.

4-Mephorash- "Shem Ha Mephorash"

 The left hand path is clearly marked with what this band does. They seem to be more into the occult than just blasphemy to be shocking. Ritual is drama and they are dramatic in the scope of what they are creating. They pull this off better than Behemoth's more recent efforts. They beat Darkthrone out for this place as they encompass a wider sonic scope here.

3-Gaahl's Wyrd : " " GastiR - Ghosts Invited"

 In days where supposed fans of black metal and even other black metal musicians of lesser quality are calling into question church burnings, black metal needs someone who will stick to their guns. Gaahl's integrity as a person shines through in his music. That does not mean he is content with blast beats, in fact I was surprised how progressive this album is. He shows a wider breadth of what black metal can be. This range sets him above likes of Mephorash even as ambitious as they are.

2- Blut Aus Nord - "Hallucinogen"

 A French band with a German name who sounds like they are from Norway. They are so forward thinking at one point they were not even black metal. They are more blackened this time around thanks to the darker atmosphere they creates a flowing drone and the steady under current of double bass propelling them. At times vast and symphonic, though not in a Nightwish way, but retaining their own sonic flavor that almost had them at the number one spot.

1- Vous Autres - "Champ Du Sang"

This album grew on me. The top four album did some shuffling, but the more I listened to this album the more clarity I gained as to where it belongs. The heaviness comes from dealing in darkness more than blast beats. They o prove themselves capable of deviating from pulverizing you to incorporate dynamics with atmosphere, this gives a creep glaze to the monolithic stomp of the heavy riffs, we have darkness ,depression and creepy , is it any wonder this is number one. The feelings are made sounds and sonic in a way no other band tapped into like this.

No comments:

Post a Comment