NOW... Normally it is not my policy to share links to pay downloads however in many of the cases here I am either friends on facebook or in real life with some of these bands or I would risk being shut down by the copyright police so here I have given you links to where you can listen to or buy a download or buy an actual physical album by these bands we're all locked down and stuck in what else are you gonna spend your money on we can't even go to a gig or out for a drink right now SO BUY A DOWNLOAD YA CHEAP BASTIDS! HA HA HA!
(NOTE - Every album on this list i either bought the CD or paid for the download also this was copied and pasted from facebook because I couldn't be arsed retyping it all so any references to facebook pages welll just go find them)
Firstly I have to say this wasn't easy.,not because of the usual TOO MUCH MAN! but actually the opposite, I started with 35 albums and I cannot believe how quick I got down to 20 then 8 then finally 10 ha ha!
The problem was a lot of stuff I have been impressed by this year...actually came out in 2018 which woulda been an easier list than this!
For my money there hasn't been enough stuff of top 10 standard for me this year.
I'm gonna put these in descending order with a bandcamp link if there is one if not I've provided alternatives!
10 - Crypt Trip - "Haze County" (HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS)
Blistering garage tinged 70's rock influenced Rock 'N'Roll with some psychy touches that just put a huge smile on my face and nod approvingly (I strongly recommend you check any and all of the Ctypt Trip and Heavy Psych Records stuff)
09 - Sanction This - "Sanction This" (Anthrax/Self released)
I needed something punk to restore my faith and these guys were the antidote they channel the spirits of anarcho gods like Flux & Rudimentary Peni but add a a level of variety,Bitterness, anger and aggressiveness that gives it serious bite without straying too far into fast/noisy territory all the time! They also write great songs you can actually discern and remember!
08 - Pinkish Black - The Great Unification (Relapse)
Where do you even start with this band? They combine a wealth of elements from doom, psychedelia, experimental noise etc etc However it's not messy and not at all hard to listen to! The vocals on this current album were a bit Josh Homme-esque but I got over it!
07 - Hot Lunch - "Seconds" (Tee Pee Records )
Hot Lunch's first album never left my playlist for about a year after i discovered it however I had to wait 5 years for another helping! Being so familiar with the debut it had a lot to live up to and at first it didn't but it was a grower! Amazing playing, fantastic riffing, great vocals this band are the full package of psychedelic, heavy, rock 'N' Roll!
06 - Cain - Cain (Rise Above Records)
A Reissue but for me I was unaware of this being released in 1992 so it's NEW to me plus it's been remastered and re-ordered and repackaged Featuring Members of Doom, Police Bastard, Filthkick and a future member of Rainbow Grave This slice of Industrial tinged heavy doom was an amazing shock to me and how i missed it in 1992 I don't know!
05 - Workshed - Workshed (Rise Above Records)
I was surprised as anyone that something this heavy or metal would make my top 10! Ex members of Cathedral? I was expecting traditional doom metal however this is a beast of an album from the opening chords to the dying strains it blends a heavy Celtic Frost/Slaughter (Can) influence with the best of crunching old school death metal to stunning doom parts that blend together seamlessly to make an album that is memorable and dare i say "catchy"!
4 - Henge - "Nothing Head" (God Unknown Records)
This was news to me as I had got onto Henge way back in 2013 they even played Liverpool at Mello Mello once! and thought with the rise of a completely shitty band with the same name they prob gave up or changed the name. They had not! This is a blinder of an album bravely opening with a 7 min instrumental this album has elements of Psych and doom but also an ever present edge of corrosive guitar noise. couple that with some really anguished vocals that just ooze anger,despair and loss and there you have it! Why these guys have as little as 644 likes on here is shocking!
3 - Swans - "Leaving Meaning" (Young God Records or Mute in the UK)
Yeah This was a controversial one for me I did not like the teaser songs they released one bit and i didn't even pre-order the album I downloaded it when it came out scanned it dismissed it etc! it just wasn't what i wanted from them. Helen then put up a post saying she had listened and how amazing it was (she eventually bought it! ) and then after asking her about it she urged me to listen again! I waited till we were both available and gave it another shot! Lo and behold i get it! It is a long album and really I have only got my head round the first disc! However the quality of what i heard guaranteed it a place here! here's a link to soundcloud where you can stream the whole album I suggest you do it's not an album you can judge on 1 song
2 - Rainbow Grave - "Not You" (God Unknown Records)
This was my assured choice for the number 1 slot! Featuring ex members of Napalm Death, Scorn, Cain, Doom and many more I was very excited when I heard about this band! Billed as Psychedelic punk i was not prepared for this at all! Shades of early Scorn stuff (obv with Nic Bullen in the band on bass & vocals) Head of David, Flipper at their most twisted a hefty dose of SLAB! and stuff that reminded me of Side 2 of Black Flag's "My War" and that was on first listen to the "Sex Threat" single! This is a great album it's not happy music nor is it easy to listen to this is aggressive, hate filled dirge with basslines that crumble speakers and vocals that just drip despair and anguish! This was a mindblowing find for me as I had a strong affinity with the bands i mention above and there simply isn't enough music of this calibre and sound available! PLEASE listen to both the "Sex Threat" & Split 7" W/ Orthodox because they are every bit as good as the album all 3 links are here
1 - Battery Hens - "Ascension" (Self released/Bandcamp)
Well there it is no surprises here i have been banging on about them on social media for weeks! This band came out of nowhere by chance discovery because Tezz from Discharge shared a post of a attery Henbs album teaser song Called "Discharge" I then went absolutely nuts when i listened to them! having a brace of EP's and singles out since 2014 I was a bit late! However they had lost inspiration and had some personal troubles and the band are on indefinite hiatus...but with an album as yet unreleased! So they dropped it last month and I was floored here is a band playing a blend of post punk/post rock & guitar noise making complex songs seem effortless and with a grasp of dynamics that is mind blowing! Guitars SKRIING and soar The Bass rumbles the floor but remains clear and vital backed by some fucked up keyboard textures great English accented vocals and some AMAZING and tight drumming this is a band that really have their shit together and the production and sound of the album is spot on! I have not been so profoundly and immediately impacted by an album this way for years! So it sneaked in and knocked Rainbow Grave from it's previously guaranteed #1 slot! If what I have said before and now if that doesn't convince you that this band languishing in obscurity is an absolute crime against music then I am gonna shut up about BATTER BLOODY HENS!
SO I AM AN IDIOT WITH NO CONCEPT OF TIME.......
OK so that was the final straw I have just seen something this morning that made me question my concept of time. I did my top 10 albums of 2019 and straight away I started finding things that I thought were released in 2018 that were actually released this year and then a couple of things came out after I compiled the list that after a listen would have made my top 10 or I would have expanded it to include them!
SO here is an addendum to my top 10! I am not ordering these that was the hardest part of doing the first one so here goes better late than never!
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard: "Yn Ol I Annwn" (New Heavy Sounds)
I have been following this band since their debut release everything they have done has gone from strength to strength culminating in this, their apparent penultimate album! This band take the heaviest of riffs and tones and twist them into shapes like i have never heard before top that with their phenomenal 4AD (Think Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance) vocals and some gorgeous subtle electronics and you have sound that is all encompassing and completely engaging! Without a doubt the most interesting and unique band to come out of the UK heavy/doom scene.
Cities of Mars - "The Horologist" (Ripple Music)
Another band I have been following since their inception and funnily an album that is titled for the study of timepieces should be the one that makes me question my concept of time! CoM have been one of the doom bands that always stood out for me and this album (their 2nd) was for me a stunning progression Taking elements of Psych/Stoner and Doom but blending their heaviness with a well crafted dynamic touch and an almost "pop" (I use that word in a VERY loose sense) sensibility to craft songs that have memorable hooks as well as utterly crushing riffs and the vocals are aggressive and melodic as serves the songs best this adds a further great dimension to an already accomplished sound, their underlying concept is also fascinating (I won't spoil check it out for yourself) Don't let my use of the word "pop" there make you balk these guys are heavy as fuck! and this album left me with my jaw on the floor!
Carter Tutti Void : "Triumvirate" (Conspiracy International)
This collaboration has no bandcamp link and is self released so I can't link you up on this one but I was put onto this band by Helen who got onto their debut in 2012 and when she played it I loved it, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti should need no introduction as founding members of Throbbing Gristle and having a plethora of projects under their belts over 40 plus years. Nikki Colk the 3rd member of this collaboration is someone I don't know. CRV make what I would describe loosely as Techno, tho this is not the kind of techno simply aimed at the dancefloor released on 12" that is disposable in a week, NO this is something new taking their cues from the darker side and adding subtleties and layers that reveal themselves only after repeated listening and of course there is also an ever present industrial edge to this pounding grinding thump. This album is a cracking listening I would recommend checking out in the dark on headphones.
Fitted - "First Fits" (ORG Music)
This one sneaked under my radar it was out in November but when I saw the people involved i nearly choked on my coffee Featuring Graham Lewis of Wire and Mike Watt of Minutemen, Firehose, Stooges etc I was sold, I had worried it wouldn't live up to it's parts but it did, this is a kinda post punk/guitar noise sorta sound made with a mastery that only 2 guys like these steeped in this kind of music for decades could make. Not a million miles away from the kinda stuff Wire have been doing for the last 10 years or more but the addition of Watt gives this an edge that just pushes it past that and makes for a phenomenal listen! If it's any indication of how good this is I bought it the same day I heard it! yeah THAT good.
Deadly Avenger - "Your God Is Too Small" (Burning Witches Records)
This wasn't an artist I would have any interest it was only on the recommendation of my good friend Chris Davies who put this in his top 10 for 2019! I was aware of DA as I had got onto his Deep Red album back in the 90's trip hop days and never thought of him as a contender but boy has he come a long way... This album marries electro and dancefloor beats to a John Carpenter type synth template and makes absolutely stunning music that not only grabs your attention but makes your mind soar! I am gutted I sold this artist short on his previous work because this album and the 3 preceding it are great!
Torche - "Admission" (Relapse Records)
I have a long history with Torche I have known their guitarist/vocalist Steve a long time but for some reason this was another release that slipped under my radar this year until they came on tour through Liverpool! I'm not a metalhead and i am not a fan of much modern metal however Torche have been doing this for a decade and a half and have mastered their sound. This album is a gripping listen crafting songs with multiple parts and riffs that are as once complex as they are compelling and memorable and not to mention HEAVY, Steve has a stunning clean vocal style that reminds me of so many vocalists but yet it's uniquely his, riffs ascend and descend with stunning effect and these songs soar and ricochet round the room with a beauty that just floors me like no other "metal" I have ever heard and this album is just incredibly accomplished and has a sound like nothing else i have ever heard from this scene
NOTE - As of March 2020 Torche have suffered huge revenue loss due to tour cancellation due to corona virus buying something from their Bandcamp will really help them.
There you have it dumbass Dave's "oh shit I can't remember anything beyond 5 mins ago attention span of a goldfish" addendum to the best of 2019 I can't stress enough that each of the 6 albums here should have been considered for my original list and it would have been more than 10 if I'd remembered these had come out this year, each of these was as important to me as the original 10 were and all of them are worth your time to check out I just as i said seem to have lost my concept of time!
Honorable mentions need to go to one EP vthat if it had been full albums woulda made it in this list
Hellripper "Black Arts and Alchemy" EP (Reaper Metal Productions)
I'm not surprised about this blistering EP of old school riffage straight out of the early 80's Venom, Hellhammer, Bathory, Sodom song book (But faster and tighter) being on here, these guys destroy! The previous stuff had been great but this EP just takes it up a HUGE notch in sound and quality! Retro thrash bands take note... You just got SCHOOLED by a one man band) Now signed to Peaceville new album incoming next year I'll be waiting!!!
That's all folks Dave's 2019 Picks Hope you find something new to check out and support some of these smaller artists who definitely need it!