Being mostly a punk and alternative fan, 2019 has been an exploratory year for me in music as I dove headfirst into the world of metal for the first time. Slowly I’ve been broadening my knowledge of the genre, listening to various different artists as background noise at my day job and trying to incorporate new metal singles into my weekly new song recaps.
Now, while I don’t have a listing of every album I’ve enjoyed like all the other writers here, I have found several genre-appropriate songs that caught my attention for various reasons over the last year. So here are my findings, in no particular order. Be kind.
Volbeat, “Last Day Under The Sun”
There are a lot of great songs on Volbeat’s latest album, Rewind, Replay, Rebound. However, “Last Day Under The Sun” has this big, classic rock, power-metal sound that grabs you and doesn’t let go. The heavy, chugging guitars keep things moving as your compelled to headbang to the beat. Singing along with the song’s soaring chorus at the top of your lungs is absolutely unavoidable.
I Prevail, “Hurricane”
Trauma, the latest album from I Prevail, is a very heavy, personal album, dealing with the weighty subject of mental health. In reviewing the album earlier this year, “Paranoid” seemed like the song I was most intrigued by. However, going back through the list of songs that have impacted me this year, a track from the album I never mentioned, “Hurricane,” hits me more. One of the album’s more melodic tracks, “Hurricane” takes you on an emotional journey through depression and out the other side with it’s honest, emotional lyrics and fluctuating intensity. Starting out soft, the song builds in intensity towards each chorus, with the final chorus hitting hard with this new-found confidence; the storm is coming and what it brings will be great. The end retreats back to the initial softness, as if to show that he came out the other side, but he’s not out of the woods.
Ozzy Osbourne, “Under the Graveyard”
After a year or so of health issues that led to postponing his tour, to come back and end 2019 with new music is an amazing feat. For the music to be good is even better. “Under the Graveyard” is a calculated metal ballad that mixes Osbourne’s unique haunting vocals, heavy instrumentals and dark, contemplative lyrics to make something both familiar and new.
John 5 and the Creatures, “I Want It All”
John 5 proves that you don’t really need lyrics to write an amazing rock jam. “I Want It All” merges Daft Punk-like electronics with impressive guitar rock that keeps you invested throughout the entire song. The vocals on the track come off more like another instrument than a vehicle for words.
Marilyn Manson, “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”
“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” is very different from anything Marilyn Manson has released before. He goes for more of a dark Outlaw country vibe here, keeping some parts of the sly, creepy aesthetic he’s known for and adding an acoustic guitar and time-marking hand-claps to complete the sound. It doesn’t leave that foreboding ache in the pit of my stomach and I’m fine with that.