Top 10 Albums
10. Patience– Mannequin Pussy
9. Fear Inoculum– Tool
8. The Valley– Whitechapel
7. Macro– Jinjer
6. Sociopathic Concstructs– Abnormality
5. Gidim– Rings of Saturn
4. Love Exchange Failure– White Ward
3. Vile Nilotic Rites– Nile
2. Humanicide– Death Angel
1. The Battle of Yaldabaoth– Infant Annihilator
Best Live Performance: Slayer
For the third and last time, I will be giving SLAYER the best live performance of the year. Metal lost one of their titans for good in December. Some of my best memories will be seeing the legendary thrashers dominate the stage. The second cycle of the final tour was better than the previous year. Playing personal favorites such as Temptation and Gemini was bitter sweet! It’s a shame the younger generations won’t get to experience something as beautiful as a SLAYER show. I will give credit to other bands I saw kill it live this year including Korn, Whitesnake, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Dying Fetus.
Best EP: Desolation– Portals
I had the honor of booking these guys twice in 2019. Both shows were a success. I am proud to call them friends. This release was nasty to say the least. One review hit the nail on the head explaining this isn’t some boring breakdown deathcore band. Portals rights heavy riffs and grooves that are sex to the ears. These guys continue working hard on stage and in the studio. A full length release is in the works and I can only imagine the brutalness in the making. If you haven’t checked these guys out, YouTube them NOW!
Best Local Release: Low Life– Freely Spoken
This was a tough call. So many good local releases this year. Some of my favorites include Featherweight, Olathia, In Malum, Goosed, Dynamo Love, Big Ugly, Curse Them, and Trephine. So how does the Kent rapper pull the best local release? For the record, I am very picky with rap. So if I like you, you’re at least half way decent. I think the main reason Freely Spoken pulls off the best local release of the year is watching his journey to get to this point. Every artist has a story, and his is interesting one to say the list. Honestly, I don’t even know half of it. This kid works his ass off day in and day out to give the people something to talk about. Not only has he made an impact on local rap but hardcore and metal as well. He has a loyal following that would do anything he asked and shows their support at every show. In 2019, he played multiple shows outside of Ohio including a few in California. His name is out there.
The album itself has good production, great lyrics, and includes an Albert Fish reference (my favorite serial killer). It pumps you up and it hits you on a personal level. This “low life” is just one of us trying to make it somewhere with his art. Keep it up Feely! GREAT start!
Top 10 Songs:
10. “Cold”- Korn
9. “The Signal Fire”- Killswitch Engage featuring Howard Jones
8. “Anguish”- Featherweight
7. “Ravensflight”- Amon Amarth
6. “Old News/New Fire”- Lo-Pan
5. “Maiden Mother Crone”- Bask
4. “Welcome Home”- Hellyeah
3. “Broken Halo”- Baroness
2. “Plaguebearer”- Infant Annihilator
1. “Curb Stomp”- Abnormality
Top 10 Most Anticipated for 2020:
These Spain doom metallers are one of my underground favorites. Last August, they released a video of them tracking demos for the next album. It was just a minute long clip but it kept my ears craving for more. Looking forward to the new release.
The year 2019 came and went without anything new from the djent rising stars from Portland, Oregon. On December 30th, the band announced their new EP, “Primordial” would be released on April 17th. New song “Memento Mori” available on all streaming platforms, and it is fantastic to say the least.
The thrash legends are hinting at their heaviest album yet. Their last two since the return of Joey Belladona have been some of their best releases of their 30 year career. Let’s see if they live up to the hype. At this rate, I think they will.
These thrash legends have hinted at a diverse album with a little something of everything in the mix. Some fans may get nervous about those comments, but come on!! It’s freaking Testament for crying out loud!!! You can throw out an doubt! New album will drop on April 3rd.
6. Code Orange
Pittsburgh hardcore kids had been hinting about new music in December. On January 10th, the band announced the album and title track, “Underneath”. The song was one of their more interesting releases, but I don’t define a whole album by one song. Anxious to hear the rest. “Underneath” will be released on March 10th.
Word got out around September that they were in the studio. I really hope it’s true. The past few albums have been stellar and I hope it continues to get better. The only change I would recommend to them is more trips to North America on the next tour cycle.
4. Lamb of God
Now that they’re done touring with Slayer, they can focus on their next release. Band members have hinted at a late 2020 release for over a year now. A video recently surfaced of the band’s new drummer in the studio. Looks promising. I’m ready for some new Lamb of God!!!
The legendary Megadeth took a break for most of 2020 while Dave Mustaine was busy kicking cancer’s ass. Now the focus is on touring and finishing the new album. Both Mustaine and Ellefson have been talking up this record. The world needs new Megadeth!!
If you read my Best Noise of 2018 last year you may remember I had Gojira as number 1 most anticipated for 2019. In the notes I mentioned that if Tool did indeed release an album, they would be number 1 and Gojira would be number 2 in my book. Well hell froze over and Tool put out their album after thirteen years. Gojira, however, did not release anything new. They instead toured with Slipknot and other big names, which is fantastic for their sake. New Gojira is over due. They said there would be a smaller release gap between albums and it’s looking like the same amount of time. I’m getting antsy.
1. Iron Maiden
The producer of their last release, “Book of Souls”, posted on his twitter page he just finished recording an album for a very loud and famous band from August to November. This sparked rumors that Iron Maiden had secretly been in the studio. If that’s the case, and I believe it is, we could have a treat coming in 2020. I don’t know how many albums these guys have left in them, but I’ll take as much Maiden music as I can get. “Book of Souls” was a grade A release and I hope they build a good follow up. I know many fans are on the fence about their albums the past 10 even 20 years, but this is still one of the best bands in the history of music. Anything they write is worth hearing out. HAIL MAIDEN!!!