The 5 Best Heavy Albums of 2019 So Far

MMC Writers look back at the last six months in music.

2019 has already been one hell of a year for music, with artists from every genre imaginable seeming hell-bent on rounding out the decade with their greatest respective achievements to date.

This has been especially true of artists hailing from the world’s heavy music scene, with artists both renowned and unknown pushing their creative genius to unbelievable heights in the context of a genre that lives and dies by innovation. 

Without further ado, here are the five best heavy albums of 2019 so far, spanning from a wide-array of sub-genres within the scene, each wildly different from the last, and each a work of artistic genius in its own right.

5. A Wake in Providence: The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon

Despite possibly having the most black metal album title in all of existence, the newest from A Wake in Providence stays true to the band’s deathcore roots at its base. However, by combining the sheer brutality of modern deathcore with the face-melting wizardry of technical death metal and the crushing emotional bleakness of black metal, the NYC band have elevated the bar not only for themselves but for deathcore bands everywhere.

4. Astronoid: Astronoid {Review}

The only thing more impressive than an amazing debut that essentially spawns an entirely new sub-genre of music is a follow-up that so tightly refines the style that band has created that it completely paves the way for other musicians follow in their creative footsteps. Astronoid took a huge risk with turning down the shred factor on their second album, but in doing so they allowed their incredible ability for emotionally dynamic songwriting to shine through, proving their unique sound was by no means a short-lived fad, but an entirely new space to explore for indie and metal bands alike.

3. Full Of Hell: Weeping Choir

Even among the most dedicated metalheads, many draw a hard line when it comes to styles as abrasive as grindcore. But anyone who can appreciate the beauty in the brutality of more extreme forms of heavy music can tell you that Full Of Hell are one of the most forward-thinking, innovative bands in a genre that is already well known for pushing the boundaries of music. With Weeping Choir, the Ocean City natives file another unbelievable record into their catalogue to solidify their already outstanding legacy by continuing to blend influences from noise to neo-classical to choir into their relentless style of grind.

2. Johnny Booth: Firsthand Accounts

While fewer and fewer heavy bands these days are sticking to sounds rooted in metalcore, Johnny Booth’s latest record proves just how much creative space is yet to be explored within the genre. By blending the thrashy, mosh-inducing grooves of traditional metalcore with the crushingly heavy tones of chaotic hardcore and the techniques of modern mathcore, Booth has created what very well may go down in history as one of the best metalcore albums of the decade, and possibly one that revitalizes oldschool metalcore influences in heavy music as a whole.

1. Devin Townsend: Empath

While Empath is the 28th studio album Devin Townsend has released in his long and storied career, it is the first the prog metal legend has released without his Project moniker attached. In doing so, it’s clear that Townsend wanted to go for something completely different with his latest record, and good god did he hit the nail on the head. Even in a genre as eclectic and stylistically malleable as prog metal, Empath is truly like nothing I’ve ever heard before. So much so that it has completely reinvigorated my faith and interest in the genre.

Townsend flawlessly blends in influences from post-rock to gospel to death metal and everything in between, but on top of that, he also accomplished releasing one of the most positive, hopeful metal albums of this caliber in all of existence. At almost a 75 minute runtime, Empath is a true odyssey of an album, but it’s a journey that is absolutely worth taking even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of Townsend or heavy music in general.