As 2019 comes to a close, so does the decade, and that means everybody’s not only looking back at the past year but the past ten. Contrarian as we are, we’re not going to do that here and just concentrate on what 2019 brought us in music. Also because ten years seems like a lot of work. So here we go, here’s what we enjoyed most this year.
Wander’s 2019 Music List Of Still Stomping Dinosaurs
After some number crunching it turns out that my year list is full of sheer veterans. With 23.7 years of musical activity at average these ten tiers have little room for the young and the restless. The average could have turned out higher if Tool’s long awaited return wasn’t such an obvious conversation piece. Of course, the below is just an incomplete reflection of my 2019 listening habits. Nevertheless, among others, we really enjoyed King Gizz’s chaotic escape to Venus, Callahan’s circle of life, Yorke’s nightmarish deconstructed beats and Sunn O)))’s quality power ambient. The best of this year’s stuff however does come from a few young ones and is topped off by a bunch of seasoned alt-rockers who never stop to amaze. Let’s roll:
10. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – The Brian Jonestown Massacre (SftDS review)
9. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Infest the Rats’ Nest (SftDS review)
8. Bill Callahan – Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (SftDS review)
7. Motorpsycho – The Crucible (SftDS review)
6. Damien Jurado – In the Shape of a Storm (SftDS review)
5. Thom Yorke – ANIMA (SftDS review)
4. Sun O))) – Life Metal
3. Tropical Fuck Storm – Braindrops (SftDS review)
Braindrops is the living proof that TFS could well grow out to be an established name in the alternative rock scene. Fuzzy ballads, distorted guitars, shrill voices and total dystopia, it’s all here. The band is having a ton of fun at this moment while moving forward at the same so let’s hope they keep on the good work.
2. black midi – Schlagenheim (SftDS review)
The sudden rise of black midi from the London underground to the international stage is exactly what 2019 needed. Schlagenheim is unquiet search of four very talented math rockers who seem determined to explore beyond the conventional.
1. Swans – leaving meaning. (SftDS review)
leaving meaning. is less brutal than previous albums. But make no mistake thinking it loses out on intensity. The material still is oppressive and in many ways Michael Gira still sings, speaks or spits out mesmerizing mantras. Swans remain king in the joyous depths of darkness.
Concerts of 2019:
- Colin Stetson – TivoliVredenburg – Hertz, Utrecht, 24-4-2019
- Sunn O))) – Doornroosje, Nijmegen, 22-10-2019
- Tropical Fuck Storm – TivoliVredenburg – Pandora @ Le Guess Who?, Utrecht, 10-11-2019
Anticipated for 2020:
- Dinosaur Jr.(Expected in 2020)
- U.S. Girls (Expected in 2020)
- Hinds (Expected in 2020)
Ralph’s 2019 list of Mostly Loud Stuff
For me, 2019 started out rather uneventful with only Cellar Darling and Kull really standing out amongst the rest. There were good albums, but no high flyers until later in the year. And let’s not look at the amount of concerts visited, which I can’t remember being this low for over ten years. Here’s to hoping 2020 will be better, and here’s what I enjoyed nonetheless. Cheers!
10. Sabaton – The Great War (SftDS Review)
9. D-A-D – A Prayer for the Loud (SftDS Review)
8. Mägo de Oz – Ira Dei (SftDS Review)
7. Ancient Bards – Origine – The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2 (SftDS Review)
6. The Lord Weird Slough Feg – New Organon
5. Turilli / Lione Rhapsody – Zero Gravity: Rebirth and Evolution
4. Cellar Darling – The Spell (SftDS Review)
3. Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire (SftDS Review)
An absolutely huge sounding metal record, Atlantean Kodex’ third effort defies expectations and at the end even managed to kick Cellar Darling from a long-held top three spot. Metal doesn’t get more epic than this.
2. Kull – Exile (SftDS Review)
Basically a return of Bal-Sagoth sans vocalist Byron Roberts, Exile delivers frantic riffing and bombast in spades, making the Maudling brothers’ return to the fray a glorious one.
1. Wilderun – Veil of Imagination (SftDS Review)
Wilderun really managed to screw up my list this year, arriving unexpectedly and being so utterly fantastic in its mix of death metal and folk that it went straight to the top spot without looking back.
Concerts of 2019:
- Therapy? – FLUOR, Amersfoort, 25-1-2019 (SftDS Review)
- Cellar Darling – De Helling, Utrecht, 2-4-2019 (SftDS Review)
- Motorpsycho – TivoliVredenburg – Pandora, Utrecht, 19-5-2019
Anticipated for 2020:
- Demons & Wizards – III (Expected 21-2-2020)
- Iron Maiden (Rumoured for 2020)
- Nightwish (Expected in 2020)
So that’s it! 2019’s done, time to look forward and see what the next year and decade will bring us. We might even do a decade list in ten years, who knows? For now, the best wishes for 2020 and have a good one from us as Sounds from the Dark Side.
Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 101219
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