Can’t believe we’re half way through 2019 already. It only seems like yesterday we were entering the new year. For the past six months, I have had the pleasure of coming across many great releases. I am splitting the post in half; the first half containing a handful of albums that have made my year and the second half containing a handful of 2019 songs. I am also including songs from albums that have proved favourites of mine in a special playlist. Like last year, it will be split in two parts as there was a lot I wanted to include. So, without further ado, let’s start with the albums.
Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters – Show Me Your Teeth
This album kicked off my year in style, so much so that they were the last-minute addition to my Bands To Look Out For post at the beginning of the year. Show Me Your Teeth is an eclectic selection of kick ass hard rock containing dominant vocals, slick guitar work and beats that will either have you jumping, foot stomping and head banging. The song I have chosen for the playlist is You & I. Out of all the songs, I related to this one the most. It’s about being stuck in a situation you know is toxic and finding the courage to leave. The lyrics and music arrangements in that track work together well to reinforce this message.
Amon Amarth – Berserker
I am a huge fan of Viking metal and it’s no secret that AMON AMARTH are gods when it comes to producing this. Berserker is a fantastic album that will make you want to raid villages and drink a tonne of mead afterwards. There is a great array of songs about a number of historical elements. Songs like Shield Wall are full of fist pumping energy, great guitar work and those vocals from Johan Hegg remain stronger than ever before.
Aephanemer – Prokopton
Ever since they got in touch with me about their latest album, AEPHANEMER have been on the Rock Out Stand Out radar and it’s been a great pleasure to help promote their work this year. Their latest album Prokopton has been high on the list for albums of the year. It contains an amazing selection of majestic and brutal metal. If you scratch the surface of these songs, there are actually some profound messages within the songs about the art of practising stoicism. Definitely a band to look out for and this album is solid proof.
Massive – Rebuild Destroy
If you want a straight up, no nonsense Hard Rock record then look no further than Aussie rockers MASSIVE. The songs for this album were written during a rough period the band were experiencing and all that energy has come out in a positive way through this album. The title of this album is more than appropriate for the message behind the album. There is a great array of songs on there such the opening belter Generation Riot, new party anthem Gettin Heavy and the slick single Bullet.
Majestica – Above The Sky
Ever since the release of their catchy single Rising Tide, I have been keeping a sharp eye on the band MAJESTICA. Their album was well worth the wait. I loved the mixed array of melodies; from ones you would expect on a Power Metal album like The Rat Pack to ones you wouldn’t expect such as the strange goings-on in Father Time (Where Are You Now). Definitely a band to keeping an eye out for.
Beast In Black – From Hell With Love
So far, I have to say this has been on the best albums I have heard to date. To say BEAST IN BLACK are an upcoming band would be a huge understatement, From Hell With Love is a strong portfolio of punchy and strong melodies that help you feel empowered. It’s straight up, no frills, heavy metal with an eighties tinge. I chose Oceandeep for the playlist, it provides a beautifully relaxing break from the pumping energy. Not that the pumping energy isn’t great, it’s nice to have a break ready to face the music again. A brilliant with an excellent variety of tracks.
Bloodbound – Rise Of The Dragon Empire
Ever since watching BLOODBOUND opening up for SABATON a few years ago, I have been following their news and releases. After the strong release of War Of Dragons, there was anticipation whether Rise Of The Dragon Empire was going to top it. I needn’t have worried; it is just as powerful and mighty. There is a great array of songs including a mighty introduction from the title track, the majestic sweepings of Blackwater Bay and the beautiful ray of hope Reign Of Fire. This album is an adventure from start to finish.
So that’s the handful of albums that have made my year so far. Honourable mentions go to NIGHT SCREAMER, GRIMGOTTS, DARKWATER, ROTTING CHRIST, INGLORIOUS, STARKILL, MYRATH and GLORYHAMMER.
What would you have chosen? Stay tuned for the singles that have made my 2019 so far.
Words: Lotty Whittingham