We posted a non-genre specific list of 25 albums we're looking forward to in 2019, and now here's list specifically of metal albums we're looking forward to. The list spans from young buzzed-about groups to reunited legends to new supergroups, and it's just a small selection of the countless metal albums that are sure to come out this year. Like with the non-genre-specific list, we tried to keep it to albums that either have a release date or some kind of confirmation that they'll be out in 2019, but who knows, maybe 2019 will be the year we get Tool or System of a Down or that Kirk Hammett solo album.
Read on for our list of 13 metal albums that we're excited for in 2019 (with even more without commentary below that)...
You can probably safely credit Black Sabbath with inventing doom, but Candlemass were one of the bands that helped turn it into an undying genre, and their timeless 1986 debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus helped give the "epic doom metal" subgenre its name. Candlemass stayed active and released 10 albums after that one, but that was the only one with original vocalist Johan Längqvist... until now. Längqvist finally rejoined the band last year, and they're set to release new album The Door To Doom with him in February. Lead single "The Omega Circle" proves Längqvist can still howl like he did in the old days, and making the album even more appealing (and bringing this blurb full circle) is a guest spot from Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.
David Vincent's growl is truly legendary. It helped shape the sound of death metal as we know it on Morbid Angel's 1989 debut Altars of Madness (and the three Morbid Angel albums that followed), and though he reunited with Morbid Angel for their 2011 album llud Divinum Insanus (after making three albums with his then wife’s band Genitorturers), he since left the band again and they made their 2017 album Kingdoms Disdained without him. Meanwhile, Vincent had been playing Morbid Angel songs on his own with ex-Morbid Angel drummer Tim Yeung under the name I Am Morbid, but now he's set to release new music for the first time in years with his new band Vltimas. The supergroup's lineup is rounded out by Rune 'Blasphemer' Eriksen (ex-Mayhem, Aura Noir, Earth Electric) and Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy), and their debut album Something Wicked Marches In comes out on Season of Mist this spring. Going by lead single "Praevalidus," Vincent hasn't lost his touch one bit, and they've got a little black metal in the mix too. It's promising stuff from three heavyweights, and it's especially great to have David Vincent back making fresh, new music again.
Baroness have faced tragedy and a handful of lineup changes over the past few years, but they've always persevered, and their live shows and new music have always been high quality. Their latest album was the late-2015 LP Purple, which saw them taking the catchy choruses of 2012's Yellow & Green and going in a proggier direction. They're making the new album with frequent Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann (who they also made Purple with), and frontman John Baizley told Decibel that for this album “we all felt like we needed to do something different, and it is different. We decided to use elements of everything we like from history -- elements of heavy metal, of black metal, of electronic music, of jazz, whatever -- and take them from their historical context to employ in a context we create." It’s never been Baroness’ style to repeat themselves, and going by Baizley’s quote, it sounds like we can expect that to be especially true this time around.
With 2013's Surgical Steel, death metal legends Carcass (still led by original members Jeff Walker and Bill Steer) became one of the rare bands to make a reunion album that rivals their most classic material, so it was very exciting to learn that they're back at it again with plans for a followup. Nothing concrete yet, but Carcass have announced some 2019 dates (including the big Primavera Festival in Spain) so hopefully that means we'll be hearing new music this year.
It's looking like 2019 is gonna be a very busy year for Stephen Brodsky. He's got a new Mutoid Man album on the way, he's now in Old Man Gloom who are working on a new album, and it looks like Cave In's first album in eight years is due out too. In an interview with German site Visions that The PRP shared (and Cave In since retweeted), Brodsky revealed that Cave In had been working on new music before Caleb Scofield sadly passed away, and that those tracks will be compiled for a new album this year. It'll be bittersweet, but we're very lucky to be getting one last Cave In album with Caleb's involvement. And going by the unpredictable sounds of their killer last album (2011’s White Silence), which spanned sounds from towering sludge metal to Beatlesque pop, there’s no telling where Cave In will head next.
Full of Hell revealed last year that they signed to Relapse for the followup to their killer 2017 album Trumpeting Ecstasy, and more recently they revealed that they finished recording it with Converge's Kurt Ballou, and it's expected in mid-2019. This band is truly unpredictable -- they mix grind, noise, electronics, hardcore, and more and have collaborated with acts as diverse as Merzbow, Psywarfare, The Body, and Nicole Dollanganger -- and as for where they’ll go next, they told Decibel that “there’s still plenty of death metal influence, but with a lot more emphasis on the experimental and hardcore aspects of our previous work.” Decibel also added that “it’s easily Full of Hell’s most electronic-sounding album to date.”
When it comes to modern metal bands with bright, melodic, ridiculously catchy riffs, Martyrdod are one of the best. Their last three albums -- 2012's Paranoia, 2014's Elddop, and 2016's List (which was my (#3 metal album of that year) -- are all classics of "catchy classic rock riffage meets harsh extreme metal" (also see: Kvelertak, Tribulation, etc) and there's no sign that they're slowing down. They did recently undergo a lineup change, with guitarist Pontus Redig leaving, bassist Tim Rosenqvist moving to guitar, and veteran Swedish musician/author Daniel Ekeroth joining on bass, so things may sound a little different this time around, but Ekeroth is a master and maybe he'll bring some ideas to the table that shake up Martyrdod's sound in interesting ways.
UPDATE (1/23): Album title revealed: Hexhammaren.
Swedish doomers Monolord have been one of the most crushing bands on the trusty RidingEasy Records for a while now, so it was big news when they revealed that they made the jump to the larger Relapse Records and would be releasing a new album in 2019. With Relapse backing them, it seems very possible that Monolord are about to be introduced to more people than ever, and we have a feeling they're up for the task.
UK gothic doom vets My Dying Bride's classic '90s material has gone on to be hugely influential, and they've never slowed down, never going more than a few years without a new album. They're set to release their 13th this year, following 2015's Feel the Misery, and guitarist Andrew Craighan told Decibel that "there's a lot more movement in the harmonies on this album than on Feel the Misery, and we're going for a different production approach simply to avoid repeating ourselves." Also different this time around is their drummer. They recently announced that Shaun Steels has been replaced by Jeff Singer -- who played on 9 Paradise Lost albums, and who has already laid down the drum tracks for the new MBD record -- "due to unresolvable drumming issues." Hopefully a new album means shows, though we won’t get our hopes up for more than one or two in the U.S. (I don’t think My Dying Bride has toured here since the ‘90s). They were supposed to play MDF last year, but cancelled all their tour dates after frontman Aaron Stainthorpe learned the tragic news that his five year old daughter had cancer.
Like Integrity, Ringworm helped shape metallic hardcore/metalcore in the '90s but never stopped progressing and remain a forward-thinking band today within the realms of both punk and metal. Their 2016 album Snake Church was one of the finest heavy albums of that year, and we've been looking forward to a followup ever since they started talking about it in late 2017. Relapse confirmed it'd be out this year, and we can't wait to hear what the band said will be "Some of the most foul, and most diabolical ear worms to date."
Canadian death metal new-ish-comers Tomb Mold made one of the most loved metal albums of 2018 with their pulverizing sophomore album Manor of Infinite Forms, and they wrapped the year up with a two-song single that proved they're still pushing forward. They posted a teaser (which may also be the album artwork) revealing that their third album would be out in 2019, and guitarist/primary songwriter Derrick Vella also told Decibel -- at least a month ago -- that he's "around 80 percent finished writing the record," the band is "over halfway through learning all of the songs," and that they'll "probably go into the studio at 90 percent ready." Speaking about Tomb Mold's last album, Nate Garrett (whose bands Spirit Adrift and Gatecreeper also have anticipated 2019 albums coming) said "There’s riffs on this album that are some of the greatest riffs I’ve heard in my whole life. These guys are doing whatever the fuck they want and it rules." Let's hope they keep doing whatever the fuck they want on LP3.
Torche's pummeling low end is rooted in sludge metal, but they really write pure pop songs and that clash is always thrilling. They haven't made a bad album yet (their last is 2015's Restarter), and they're gearing up to put out a new one in “early 2019.” This one was self-recorded by guitarist Jonathan Nunez, and the band says “The new record has a great balance of new elements that have become a part of our sound over the last couple years, which is very exciting for us. We’re pushing classic signatures of our sonic identity, and bringing new vibes to the table. This time around there’s going to more dynamics, while pushing our ‘wall of sound’ nature much further.”
The legendary Tom G Warrior has been revisiting some of his classic music lately. His post-Celtic Frost gothic doom band Triptykon -- whose 2010 and 2014 albums both populated many Best Of lists -- performed Celtic Frost classics at some shows in December, he put together the new group Triumph of Death to revive Hellhammer's music (at Hellfest and hopefully more shows TBA), and he's got the super ambitious Triptykon set at Roadburn coming up where he'll perform the "completed" version of Celtic Frost's long-unfinished Requiem project. According to an interview with Warrior in Decibel, being asked to do this performance also means he'll likely release the long-awaited third part of Requiem as a new album, but with a "regular" Triptykon album probably coming sooner. Release dates are still TBA, but here's to hoping we get at least one -- if not two -- new albums in 2019 from one of metal's most legendary and forever-relevant living artists.