#15. EXHUMED – Horror (Relapse Records): Through their existence that has now spanned nearly three decades, California deathgrind masters Exhumed have never been ones to disappoint. If you want the goriest of death metal and grindcore, you would be hard pressed to look past Exhumed. Their fantastic 2011 release All Guts, No Glory propelled them into what has been a prolific phase in the 2010s for the band, with one solid release after another in quick succession. Exhumed’s 2019 album Horror is 32 minutes of pure brutality at breakneck speed.
#14. SAVAGE MASTER – Myth, Magic and Steel (Shadow Kingdom Records): Louisville, Kentucky group Savage Master has emerged as one of the prominent names in the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal over the past five years. With every album, Savage Master attempts to encapsulate the dynamic, magnetic, captivating nature of their live performance on studio recordings, and each of these attempts has only been more successful than its predecessor. The band’s third full-length Myth, Magic and Steel is occult-themed heavy metal goodness galore.
#13. TOXIC HOLOCAUST – Primal Future: 2019 (eOne Music): Toxic Holocaust has undeniably been one of the most recognizable names in heavy metal over the past two decades. The Portland, Oregon blackened thrash/speed metal stalwarts finally released their long-awaited sixth studio album Primal Future: 2019 this year. Their first since the 2013 effort Chemistry of Consciousness, the band’s newest album has turned out to be well worth the wait and more. That well-known, instantly distinguishable Toxic Holocaust sound is presented to the fullest through ten masterfully well-rounded songs that constitute this 39-minute record. A perfect dosage of no-frills blackened thrash.
#12. BEWITCHER – Under The Witching Cross (Shadow Kingdom Records): Proud purveyors of their self-proclaimed brand of “Satanic Speed Metal”, Portland, Oregon trio Bewitcher released their second full-length this year, building further on the strength of their 2016 self-titled debut which took the heavy metal underground by storm. Bewitcher gets the fists pumping and blood racing with each and every song on the new album, and does it as successfully as any band has done in recent times. Bewitcher proves that at the heart of it, all heavy metal is rock ‘n roll, and here is a band that fully embodies and glorifies everything that is fun about rock ‘n roll. Under The Witching Cross is rock ‘n roll at the speed of Satan.
#11. WAR CLOUD – State Of Shock (Ripple Music): Oakland CA group War Cloud has quickly garnered a fanbase even in the short time period since their 2014 inception, owing to their compelling take on old-school heavy music. Combining psychedelic rock and traditional heavy metal with sprinklings of speed metal, War Cloud puts forth tunes that are, quite simply stated, instant classics. It is refreshing to note that heavy music seems like it is coming full circle, going back to its roots of the ’60s and ’70s, and one can thank bands like War Cloud for putting the spotlight back on catchy, groovy, clean-sung, melodic hard rock/heavy metal, with superbly made albums like their 2019 release, State Of Shock, an absolute must-listen for all readers of this website.
By now you’re probably curious to see what the top ten looks like. #10 to #6 unveiled on Page 3 …