Editor Dave Nowels Best of 2019

1. Queensryche The Verdict Century Media Recordings Despite having seen this incarnation of the legendary […]
December 25, 2019

1. Queensryche The Verdict
Century Media Recordings
Despite having seen this incarnation of the legendary Seattle Prog-Rockers last summer, I in no way expected to love "The Verdict" as much as I have. Todd LaTorre and band managed to capture that old glory, power and darker edge all while sounding fresh and very, very relevant.

2. Ancient Empire
Wings Of The Fallen
Stormspell Records
Despite QUEENSRYCHE's Top placement, I could have easily placed ANCIENT EMPIRE "Wings Of The Fallen" there as well. Call it a coin toss. Classic old school Metal executed to perfection. There's a reason ANCIENT EMPIRE has always earned a 9 or 10 on every Metal-Temple review for every album they've released.

3. Jinjer
Napalm Records

A Prog/Metalcore classic already. "Macro" captures the Ukrainian powerhouse JINJER in their prime and reigning supreme. A spot I don't see them relinquishing anytime soon.

4. Dead Feathers
All Is Lost
Ripple Music

"All Is Lost" completely blew me away. Strong release from the Chicago band that combines the band's Doom/Heavy Psych and the astral vocals of Marissa Allen. It's a band that tops my must see live list.

5. Year Of The Cobra
Ashes And Dust
Prophecy Productions

The amount of sound the Seattle husband and wife duo, Jon and Amy Tung Barrysmith create is astounding. The fact that they do so via only bass and drums is even more impressive. Punk/Doom/Psych at it's powerful best.

6. Green Lung
Woodland Rites
Kozmic Artifactz

Yet another Heavy Psych masterpiece for 2019. This one captures old haunts, old magics and spells. This one will resonate for eons.

7. Destroyer Of Light
Mors Aeterna
Argonauta Records

An ambitious and brilliant follow-up to their 2018 EP "Hopeless", "Mors Aeterna" captures in the studio the live energy that Steve Colca and band electrified audiences with on their first European tour earlier this year.

8. Redwitch Johnny
Tales Of The Electric Mistress

Oklahoma's own. Local boys done good. Full of fuzz, thunder and fun, it's only a matter of time until everyone knows about this talented trio.

9. Gorilla
Heavy Psych Sounds

There's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's a gorilla with a flashlight. This English trio conjures the ghosts of MOTORHEAD and BLUE CHEER with a healthy dose of punk tossed in. A take no prisoners kind of album.

10. Black Road
Witch Of The Future
DHU Records

A late discovery for 2019, but one I couldn't get enough of. Like DEAD FEATHERS, this is another Chicago based Stoner Doom styled band that also features a distinctive female vocalist, this time in Suzi Uzi. Another band I've added to my must see live list, could they possibly put together a tour with DEAD FEATHERS and BLACK ROAD on the same bill? Bring that shit down to OKC.

Honorable mentions:

Slow - VI Dantalion

Flame, Dear Flame – Millenial Heartbeat

Gemini One - Per Aspera

Mansion – First Death Of The Lutheran

Sabbathian – Latum Alterum

35 Tapes – Lost & Found

Brother Hawk - Big Trouble Sessions (EP)

Best shows of 2019

4/14 Yob with Voivod and Amenra
No band resonates with me more than YOB. There is an undeniable power, yet a calming grace that they exude live. I'm an old Deadhead, and in those circles there's a saying, "There's nothing like a GRATEFUL DEAD concert." In modern metal, there's nothing like a YOB concert.

9/8 Jinjer, The Browning, Sumo Cyco, Titan, Wood n Bone, Voodoo Dolls
JINJER just might be the best Metal band touring right now. This show also introduced me to SUMO CYCO as well as local bad-asses TITAN, both of which were incredibly impressive.

5/31 Judas Priest, Uriah Heep
A smaller, more intimate setting, and JUDAS PRIEST crushed it. A set of new material, classics and rarities. Halford truly is still the Metal God.

1/20 Corrosion Of Conformity, Crowbar, Weedeater, Mothership
always puts on a great show, but this show was all about WEEDEATER. Mind-numbingly good. This was my first time catching CROWBAR and I wasn't disappointed either. Add MOTHERSHIP as the secret sonic weapon, and this was simply a killer line-up.

4/1 EyeHateGod, Obsessed, Self-Inflicted
Another outstanding lineup. EYEHATEGOD and local support SELF-INFLICTED were good, but Wino and OBSESSED were ridiculous. Tiny room and loud.

11/10 Static-X, Drowning Pool, Dope, Wednesday 13, Raven Black, Soul Crisis
Great billing and a phenomenal tour from STATIC-X. That said, RAVEN BLACK was my highlight. An absolute don't miss performance if you get the chance.

6/20 Forming The Void, Year Of The Cobra, Turbo Wizard, Bugnog, Psycotic Reaction
A great night seeing my friends in FORMING THE VOID and local TURBO WIZARD, along with PSYCOTIC REACTION and new duo BUGNOG. But it was YEAR OF THE COBRA that stole the show for me, and that performance led me to their music for the first time.

7/18 Pallbearer, Pinkish Black, Oberon
Always fun seeing PALLBEARER, as they're one of the bands that got me back into Metal. First of two times seeing PINKISH BLACK this year, and they're unique and great live.

10/19 Mothership, Redwitch Johnny, Crobone, Analgesic
brings it every single show, and there's a reason they're on this list twice. They earned it. This night also had a great support line-up from up and coming legends, REDWITCH JOHNNY, CROBONE and young newcomers, ANALGESIC.

10/18 Sebastian Bach, Kobra & The Lotus, Dead Aces
Killer classic Metal night. Bach still brings the heat, and definitely did presenting the debut SKID ROW album in it's entirety.

Dave Nowels
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