Mass’ 2019 Albums Of The Year

Written by Mass

Album of the Year 2019 Ranking followed by the top 10 spotlight.

RankBand NameAlbum TitleCountryGenre
50Cult Of LunaA Dawn To FearSwedenAtmospheric Sludge
49Pretty Maids Undress Your MadnessDenmarkHard rock – Heavy Metal
48AbbathOutstriderNorwayBlack Metal
47Atrium Carceri And Cities Last Broadcast Black Stage Of NightUSA – SwedenDark Ambient 
46Hate Auric Gates of VelesPolandBlackened Death Metal
45Joep Beving HenosisThe NetherlandsNeo-classical – Ambient 
44Nurez SonnensterbenGermanyAtmospheric Black Metal – Progressive Black Metal
43Wolcensmen Fire In The White StoneEnglandDark Folk – Darkwave – Neo-folk
42Helheim RignirNorwayViking Metal – Black Metal
41Sleep Dealer This Winter was SomberRussia Post Rock – Experimental 
40Carcariass Planet ChaosFranceProgressive Melodic Death Metal
39Ofdrykkja GryningsvisorGermanyAtmospheric Black Metal – Black Metal – Doom Metal
38The Elysian FieldsNew World MisanthropiaGreeceHelenic Black Metal – Symphonic Blackened Death Metal
37Crows in the Rain Sorrow for an Unfinished DreamIranPost Rock – Ambient
36Numenorian AdoreCanadaPost Black Metal – Blackgaze – Atmospheric Black Metal
35Eternal Storm Come the TideSpain – Scotland Melodic Death Metal
34Tenebra Arcana Martiri dell’odioItaly Symphonic Black Metal
33Brymir Wings of FireFinlandSymphonic/Melodic Death Metal – Pagan Metal
32Aukai ReminiscenceUSAAmbient 
31Null Lore of a Sleeping ForestUSAAtmospheric Black Metal
30Deer Park Ranger WolfUSAPost Rock
29White Ward Love Exchange FailureUkraine Experimental Metal – Post Black Metal – Avant-garde Metal 
28Hanging Garden Into that Good NightFinlandMelodic Doom Death Metal
27Daigo Hanada OukaJapanNeoclassical – Ambient – Minimalist
26Illyria The Carpathian SummitAustraliaAtmospheric Black Metal -Blackgaze – Post Metal 
25Iapetus The Body CosmicUSAMelodic Death Metal – Progressive Extreme Metal
24Misery Index Rituals Of PowerUSADeath Metal – Grindcore
23Veldes FlamelessSloveniaAtmospheric Black Metal
22Slow VI DantalionBelgiumAtmospheric Funeral Doom Metal 
21Alaskan Tapes Views From Sixteen StoriesCanadaAmbient – Chillout 
20Rotting Christ The HereticsGreeceMelodic Black Metal
19Laveya Fortvilelse?Ambient – Atmospheric Black Metal 
18The Hu The GeregMongoliaFolk Rock – Folk Metal – Hunnu RockFOLK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
17Suldusk Lunar FallsAustraliaDark Folk – Neofolk – Post Rock – Atmospheric Black MetalDARK FOLK NEOFOLK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
16Shadow Of Intent MelancholyUSASymphonic/Melodic DeathcoreDEATH METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
15Ludovico EinaudiSeven Days Walking Project (Day 1 – 7)Italy Neoclassical – Ambient – Minimalist 
14Netherbird Into The Vast UnchartedSwedenSymphonic/Melodic Black Metal
13Hugar VardaIcelandAmbient – Post Rock – Neoclassical
12Sabaton The Great WarSwedenPower MetalPOWER METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR 
11Vukari AevumUSABlack Metal
10April Rain 7 Summer Days Noir OSTRussiaPost Rock – AmbientPOST ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
09Amon Amarth BerserkerSwedenMelodic Death Metal 
08Sun of the Dying The Earth Is SilentSpainAtmospheric Doom Metal – Doom Death Metal 
07VornaSateet Palata SaavatFinlandMelancholic Metal – Melodic Black Metal
06Tyr HelFaroe IslandsViking Metal – Folk Metal – Progressive Metal
05Wormwood NattarvetSweden Melodic Black Metal
04Death Angel HumanicideUSAThrash Metal 
03SoenLotusSwedenProgressive Metal
02Insomnium Heart Like a GraveFinlandMelodic Death Metal 
01Swallow the SunWhen a Shadow is Forced into the NightFinland Melodic Doom Death Metal

10. I am usually not a big fan of OST (official soundtrack) albums. I find them out of context and mostly lacking relevance; that would be even worse when I have not watched the film or played the game. This year however, we had some amazing soundtrack for movies and games which were released and made me have second thoughts. The Icelandic Hildur Guðnadóttir (Joker, Chernobyl) was the one who impressed me and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross did great on Watchmen. But it was this simple postrock band from Saint-Petersburg who even outperformed their previous and superb albums and created a piece so magnificent that even I, a big fan of them, was astonished. Truly a remarkable music album (and not just OST). POST ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR

09. It may have been uninspiring to some fans, but to me, it was Amon Freaking Amarth and it was damn cool. If it weren’t for this damn geographical determinism, I would have been a Viking and chanting songs along these guys on long boats drinking mead and raising shields and stuff, you know. So, I hugely enjoyed this album and that’s why it is this high on my list. 

08. Sun of the Dying was a big surprise for me. This year had gone pretty bland in the Doom domain and their album, which was released late in November, was a pleasant and gloomy gift for my winter. It is a pretty solid album where world class musicianship meets vocal prowess and lyrical ingenuity. DOOM METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR

07. Vorna was a band that I listened to actually after the year was through and it made things more challenging for me as I had to rearrange my picks of 2019 so I could fit this gem in. That’s how extraordinary this album was. It propelled its way right to the top 10 and without doubt, this band is one of those which I will return to and expect much of in the coming years. The Finnish beasts have done a great job on this album. 

06. Tyr has been a favorite since more than a decade ago. It was back in the 2008, 2009 that I discovered these Faroese Vikings and their progressive brand of melodic death which is filled with Viking lore and myths. I don’t know which came first: my love for Tyr the metal band or Tyr the ill-fated, self-sacrificing Norse god of war and justice. That is of no significance now as they both reside in the halls of the depths of my heart. VIKING METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR. 

05. This band was the major discovery of my year. Nattarvet is only Wormwood’s sophomore release and it has such an epic impact on the listener that it nothing grander can be expected. I mean this is a pinnacle just a few bands can reach; even veterans may not be able to produce such robust and haunting music. The musicianship is at its highest and lyricism is of aesthetic value indeed. BLACK METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR. 

04. Death Angel is my favorite American thrash metal band. Way higher than the so-called “big 4” and slightly above Testament, this band creates the brand of thrash I care much for. Humanicide is the best they have produced to date and it is a full-fledged thrash masterpiece with speedy riffs, bombastic drumming, uplifting soloes and ruthless vocals. THRASH ALBUM OF THE YEAR HANDS DOWN. 

03. Honestly I was rather disheartened when the first singles were released a few months before, but upon release and with a dramatic turn of events, it catapulted itself among the top albums of the year. The more I listened to this album, the more I learnt to enjoy it and the more I could appreciate its grandeur. It is profound, innovative, masterly, and in the meantime, immensely gratifying. PROGRESSIVE METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR 

02. Wow! Wow! Wow! I have listened to this album more than 20 or 30 times and I just can’t get enough of it. Insomnium has been one of my top 5 bands for more than a decade. Across the Dark was my serious gateway album to melodic death and ever since I have remained totally hooked on this genre and specifically this band. I cannot possibly say how contented I was after listening to this masterpiece. To tell you the truth, it was my AOTY up until maybe a few days ago and it would have been on the top spot, had it not been challenged by the next one on the list. It is a praiseworthy and heart-winning (if not award-winning; who cares about them anyway?) album which sweeps the listener off their feet and takes them to the frigid Fennoscandian dead-lands. Heart Like a Grave sits so high and mighty on a top shelf within my heart. MELODIC DEATH METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR

01. When a Shadow is Forced into the Night is up here, situated on top with a minuscule margin of superiority over Heart Like a Grave, for two reasons: its enduring impactfulness and the appreciable undertone of grief underlying the whole album. I assume it was this level of sorrowfulness and the personal relevance I felt towards this work that made it stand atop the rest, not to mention the fact that I was still moved by every single track of this album even after about a year-long interlude between the last time I had listened to it last winter and this time, though it was always on my mind. They have always had an aura of loss and despair around them and they have used such motifs as the main subject matter of their lyrics and the message behind their music. This album, however, is on a higher plateau and is a true, invaluable gem of these Finnish gods of melodic doom. ALBUM OF THE YEAR

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