Since 2017, we’ve been wrapping up our end-of-year coverage with a Yearbook encompassing our favourite articles from the year; pieces we can be proud of and look back on in the years to come as the very best of what Heavy Blog has to offer. We love sharing things with our readers, and we’d hate for people to have slept on some of our favourite pieces from the year. So sit back and relax as we showcase the highlights of our writing this year and present 25 of our favourite articles from 2019 as chosen by us. But it doesn’t quite end there: we’ve also included ALL of our year-end feature articles on top of that! The articles below are presented in order of category, not quality, and you’ll find a short summary of the piece, why we liked it, and a link to the full article. Enjoy!
Deep Dives & Editorials
Deep Dives are our flagship longform column. They encompass any longform article, particularly those where we’ve really gone deep with our analysis. This is our trademark, a space where we can branch out, throw word counts to the wind and dive into the music we love and the trends we see emerging.
Metal Journalism’s Top 30 Albums of 2018
We kicked off the new year with Nick’s now famous series of meta-analyses examining the Metal Journalism Establishment’s end-of-year lists from the preceding year. His analysis ranges from fellow blogs like Toilet Ov Hell and Angry Metal Guy to print outlets like Metal Hammer and Decibel. In his latest edition he touched on themes such as the continued convergence towards the mainstream, the polarising nature of Ghost, the love of a comeback record and more. A must-read for any list-crazy heavy music fan out there.
The Mountains Break Forth in Song – Religiosity in the New Wave of American Post Rock
The past few years have been bountiful for post-rock, with the likes of Old Solar, Ranges, This Patch of Sky and more releasing fantastic records. Eden analysed this swathe of American Post Rock releases through the lends of William James‘ 1902 book The Varieties of Religious Experience. Along the way he, in typical Eden style, ties in the roles of Romanticism, nature and religion in shaping this New Wave of American Post Rock.
Regional Report: Exploring South American Post Rock
It’s all in the title here, as our resident expert and man on the ground David explored the unique brand of South American post rock. As a U.S. representative for dunk!festival and a creative collaborator with both A Thousand Arms and Post. Festival, David is uniquely placed to lend his insight to the post rock scene. Here he interviews Antorchas (Argentina) Labirinto (Brazil) and a host of others to unpack their local scenes, their influences and a heap more.
Behind (and in front of) the scenes at dunk!festival 2019
David continued his incredible post rock coverage by taking us behind the scenes at dunk!festival, one of the premier post rock festival in the world. Read him gush about the beautiful, familial feeling of the festival, review the brilliant bands that performed across the three days and take in some stunning photos in one of our favourite exclusives this year.
Post. Festival, Year Two: Electric Boogaloo
If you thought we were done with the post rock coverage, guess again. Our man David is one of the figures involved with the American Post. Festival and, similarly to his coverage from dunk!, we get some beautiful photos, thoughtful reviews and a peak behind the scenes of this wholesome, burgeoning hotbed of talent.
The Lost Art Of Production – Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschläger
We were blessed to have producer, mixing & mastering engineer, creative force, guitar wizard and friend of the blog Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschläger write a guest piece on production. In this Op Ed Tom takes us behind the curtain and into the producer’s chair. He delves into the common misconceptions associated with production, looks at classic examples from the likes of Metallica and Iron Maiden, and the evolution of the producer’s role over the last 30 years.
Old Man and the Fest
In the last of our featured festival recaps, Bill takes us to Gainesville, Florida, for The Fest. With over 350 artists performing over three days this was one hell of a punk festival, with notable sets including the return of the iconic Jawbreaker (more on them later), Against Me! playing through four (yes, FOUR!) of their albums, and Jawbox playing their reunion show. So head on over to enjoy a trip down memory lane, get some insight into Bill’s journey with punk and get some killer words and photos from this great Fest.
RIP Keith Flint (1969-2019)
We end our deep dives on a sombre note. 2019 unfortunately marked the passing of Keith Flint. In addition to his role as a pioneering dancer, vocalist and frontman for The Prodigy, Flint was an alternative icon and is synonymous with the rising popularity and visibility of alternative culture. In this loving piece Simon touches on all this and more as we farewell a hero of the music scene.
Interviews and Loose Ends
“The Kurt Cobain of Memes”: Bent Knee Talk New Album, Tour Mishaps, and the Future of Music
Just last year our Yearbook included an interview with Bent Knee and Nick was lucky enough to get to hang with them again! The innovative Boston-based art/prog rock band released another striking record, You Know What They Mean, in 2019, which yet again landed them a place on our Top 25 Albums list. This time Nick spoke to them about the creative process behind their new record, the horrible tour mishaps they suffered in 2018 and much more. Check it out below.
Into the Pit: Thrash Metal Mailbag
In this edition of Into the Pit Pete and Joshua talked about how they got into thrash (Metallica, obviously), how their music tastes branched off from there and what some of the most formative heavy records of their lives are. It’s a really fun chat with some great takes, including their personal Big 4 thrash bands, an observation that “Enter Sandman” and “King Nothing” are the same song, their musings on punk, metalcore and more!
Hey! Watch Dragula!
The show you never knew you needed. If you love nothing more than drag queens, drama, glam, horror and rock/metal crossovers then have no fear, our man Joshua has your back with his rundown of Dragula. Now into its third season these are sights and sounds that need to be seen to be believed, so head on over to meet the cast, watch some trailers and get a taste for a reality TV show like you’ve never seen before.
New Jawbreaker Documentary, Don’t Break Down, More Redemption than Nostalgia
When discussing film and television we can’t forget Bill spreading the word about Don’t Break Down, a film about iconic punk rockers Jawbreaker. The documentary charts the rise, fall and second coming of the band that was meant to “bridge the gap between Nirvana and Green Day”. Sound intriguing? Follow the link below for more details on the film and how you can view it.
I won’t go into too much detail on what these articles cover – they’re pretty self explanatory – but while these pieces may not be as unique as our deep dives there are still some gems to be found here. Whether it’s Eden’s heartfelt thoughts on climate change, Bill bringing us sick tunes for a fantastic humanitarian cause, Scott’s emotional review of Caleb Scofield’s (Cave In) posthumous demos, or Matt’s unparalleled metaphors and exhilaratingly entertaining style – here are our favourite reviews from 2019.
65daysofstatic – Replicr, 2019
Clipping – There Existed an Addiction to Blood
The Number Twelve Looks Like You – Wild Gods
Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race
Hey! Listen to Riffs for Reproductive Justice
Fit for an Autopsy – The Sea of Tragic Beasts
Bring Me The Horizon – Amo
Cave In – Final Transmission
High Command – Beyond the Wall of Desolation
Devin Townsend – Empath
Grind My Gears – Continental Concrete Breakfast
Editors’ Picks – September 2019
A Gift to Artwork – July Rapidfire
Year in Review
This is a post we intend on coming back to in years to come and so it makes sense for us to end with our favourite albums from multiple genres. Our recurring columns continue to garner great feedback, and so here are our posts wrapping up the year that was in death metal, black metal, post rock, and more.
Death’s Door 2019 in Review
Kvlt Kolvmn 2019 in Review
Doomsday 2019 in Review
Into the Pit 2019 in Review
Post Rock Post 2019 in Review
Grind My Gears 2019 in Review
Disco Loadout 2019 in Review
What’s Up Punks 2019 in Review
A Gift To Artwork 2019 in Review
Heavy Blog’s Top 50 Albums of 2019
Of course, this yearbook couldn’t be complete without our very own Top Albums of the Year post, so here it is! Whilst our staff have differing opinions on which order these albums should have been ranked in, we all agree that the releases mentioned here were among the best in their respective genres. We pride ourselves on our diverse taste, and 2019 certainly delivered in terms of variety, so behold the one list to rule them all.
Outliers of 2019
As good as our staff’s tastes are, some (read: me) have better tastes than others (read: everyone else). Not everyone’s favourite albums made our aggregate Top 25, so we each highlighted one particularly glaring omission that should have made it onto the top half of our aggregate list.
While most of our end-of-year content understandably centres on music released in 2019, we also like to think about music released in prior years that we only discovered in 2019 for the first time. That’s where our annual Discoveries post comes in, so check out some of the records we were late to the party on this year, including the likes of Gotsu-Totsu-Kotsu, Sturgill Simpson, Parkway Drive (seriously?) and more.
And there we have it, the end of another fantastic year in music! 2019 delivered in spades on a host of fronts, with the likes of black metal, stoner, psychedelic and progressive having absolutely banner years as the Golden Age of Metal™ continues. We hope you’ve enjoyed the year in music and hopefully you’ve enjoyed the best that we have to offer: we do this for you all and it means so much to us to have a voice in this community. Eden will wrap up the year tomorrow, so stay tuned for that and we’ll see you all next year!