Best Music Of 2019

author PP date 14/01/20

As is customary each year, music magazines across the globe gather around and form an arbitrary ranking of the best music released that year. Since music is largely a matter of taste, no magazine typically agrees, not necessarily even internally on what is the best album, the second best album, and so forth.

So here at Rockfreaks.net we have always taken a different approach: we think it's far more important to try to capture all relevant albums from a given year of release that will have some significance a few years down the line. That is to say: if you look back at the albums we've picked three years down the line, will you still remember them and go: "oh yeah, that IS a good release", even if you hadn't listened to it for a while.

So our writers were given the usual task: pick and mix your favorite records from 2019 and combine them into an ordered list of sorts. No particular minimum or maximum limit for each list. The only catch? They had to be releases you'd reflect back on three to five years from now, thinking along the lines of "damn, that album was good", or ones that you'd keep returning to as they pass the test of time, thus cementing their place among the highlights in their given genre when we look back at the decade gone by at some point in the future.

Thus whatever you take interest in from below, you can rest assured that we have listened to it many times over and ultimately found that these records satisfy from the first track to the last. And usually, the ones in top three or top five are typically assumed to become classics in their respective genres as time passes by. PP

Petteri Pertola (PP)

PP is the Editor In Chief for Rockfreaks.net, primarily covering punk, hardcore, and related genres with occasional ventures into other genres as well. With between to one and two hundred album reviews a year for more than a decade straight, you can be sure that if an album is on this list, it's still worth a listen a few years down the line.

Disappointing Records:

Aleksi Pertola (AP)

2019 saw our editor AP look further down the rabbit hole of avant-garde, experimental and extreme music, while some of his other genres of interest, such as progressive and stoner rock, did not yield as many worthwhile releases as previous years in his eyes. In 2020 he is hoping for the trend of mocking conventions, creating bold fusions and pushing boundaries will continue — perhaps even influencing the Danish scene, in which such agnosticism is still viewed by many with suspicion, to a greater degree as well. His mind is ready to be bent as it was by the albums and shows listed below.

AP’s top albums of 2019

AP’s top gigs of 2019

Rune Bøgelund (RUB)

As one of our two resident Århusian metalheads, the tall viking is as synonymous with metal as they come. If it growls and blastbeats, it has probably caught Rune's attention during the course of the year. His list is, therefore, a unique insight into what have been the best (and the heaviest) metal releases during the past year. Prepare for some serious headbanging below.

Honourable mentions – in no particular order:

  • Rotting Christ - The Heretics (melodic black metal)
  • Opeth - In Cauda Venenum (progressive rock)
  • This Gift Is A Curse – A Throne Of Ash (black / sludge / crust)
  • Vitriol - The Bathe From The Throat Of Cowardice (death metal)
  • Wolfbridge - The Enemy: Reality (hardcore / crust)
  • Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen (black metal)
  • Waldegeflüster - Mondscheinsonaten (black metal)
  • Implore - Alienated Despair (blackened death metal / crust / grindcore)
  • Firespawn - Abominate (death metal)
  • Nile - Vile Nilotic Rites (death metal)
  • Denial Of God - The Hallow Mass (black metal)
  • Blood Incantation - Hidden History Of The Human Race (death metal)
  • Altarage - The Approaching Roar (blackened death metal)
  • The Great Old Ones - Cosmicism (black metal)
  • Matyrdöd - Hexhammaren (hardcore / crust)
  • Devin Townsend - Empath (alternative metal)

Best Gigs:

Gigs that blew my mind, but didn’t review:

Elder @ Voxhall

Vital Remains @ Studenterhuset, Aalborg

...And probably a lot more as 2019 has been absolutely insane, simply put!

Kristoffer Witt (KW)

The second of our Århus-based writers, Kristoffer's broad taste in anything technical, atmospheric, progressive and far-reaching takes him across a wide array of genres ranging from technical death metal to post-rock. Those of you whose music tastes aren't limited to just one style of rock or metal will find plenty of progressive gems in his list, and much more!

Best albums:

Album runner-ups:

Best live gigs:

YOUR TURN

And with that note, dear readers, we invite you to list your favorite records of the year below in the comments section. Feel free to argue, praise, or defame if you so wish, but please do provide your own 'best of' list that consists primarily of records you know you'll be listening to in years to come as well.

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