Chris Nee’s Albums Of The Year 2019: 10 to 1

Scraping in on three wheels before New Year arrives, we have revealed our Albums Of The Year.

There are a couple of Spotify playlists to go along with this. There’s a playlist of our favourite songs from our Top 20 lists, and there’s my annual playlist of the best songs of the year.

And so, to the Top 10. Here are my 20 to 11 along with Dave’s picks, and we’ve recorded a podcast too.

10. Stray From The Path – Internal Atomics

A late arrival in my Top 20 and it goes into the Top 10 simply by virtue of its collection of dirty, dirty riffs and a low end that I just can’t resist. Forza Stray From The Path.

9. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – End Of Suffering

It’s a new direction – or at least a twist on the existing one – and this year’s Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes hasn’t been as widely adored by fans as its predecessors. Me? I fucking love it.

8. Cult Of Luna – A Dawn To Fear

If there’s an album from this year that bears repeated deployment as distraction from the irreparable misery of everything around it, Cult Of Luna’s is it. Truly absorbing, albeit not an album for all moods.

7. Fox Medicine – Procedures Mystiques

Portland pair Fox Medicine offered up this baffling little slice of freakery in 2019 and it hooked me immediately. I return to it often and there’s no higher praise I can award than that.

6. Opium Lord – Vore

Local lads Opium Lord have triumphed on their new album, a stompingly heavy example of slow, methodical doom metal with plenty of groove. For my money, the year’s sleeper metal hit.

5. Notexist – Memories Aren’t Invited

Meet Notexist. Russia’s answer to Trent Reznor has produced a consistently excellent line in ambient dark-synth and his latest album is my discovery of the year bar none.

4. Employed To Serve – Eternal Forward Motion

The mighty Employed To Serve just keep on getting better. They have three banging albums to their name and spent the last month tearing up some pretty big stages in support of a band that isn’t fit to load out for them.

3. Tool – Fear Inoculum

Whether or not the long awaited new Tool record is as good as what came before it is not really my concern. This is the year I finally became a Tool fan, just in time for the new release. It doesn’t disappoint.

2. Venom Prison – Samsara

Outright death metal aggression with monstrous riffing and guitar solos that’ll rip the skin off your face. Venom Prison had a job on their hands to follow up their full-length debut. They tore it a new one.

And my Album Of The Year for 2019 is…

1. Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind

Where Slipknot found this level of fire is anybody’s guess. They sound angry, heavy and smart, and when they do that they’re angrier, heavier and smarter than just about every band going.

We Are Not Your Kind will be looked back upon as a Slipknot masterpiece. Talk about growing old disgracefully. This album is mature and demonstrates the forbidden fruits two full decades of experience.

Phenomenal. There aren’t many albums that bring me to the brink of tears just by their sheer fucking quality.

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Chris Nee