(Keep reading, kind of long text, but the music will be there…)
In this day and age there are litteraly over 1000 metal album released every year, and trying to keep up with that is of course impossible. And to try to summerize it all is even more impossible. So I decided that I would focus on me and on the Swedish metal scene.
2019 was on a personal level the worst year of my life, but musically it was a fantastic year when great and big Swedish bands released new albums. Some good, some not so good, but we could enjoy albums from In Flames, Soilwork, Royal Republic, Amon Amarth, Backyard Babies, Arch Enemy, Opeth, Sabaton, Entombed A.D, Cult of Luna, Mustasch, Candlemass and Hammerfall (and possibly a new album with Ghost??)!! And I have most certain missed some albums.
I think this is so awesome! Just look at the bands I just mentioned and take a step back and think about how big and influential these bands are! I must say that I feel very proud of being a Swedish metal head!
I will not talk so much about these dinosaurs, but I will say this: In Flames actually released their best album since ”Clayman”! And Amon Amarth is still the best band we have in Sweden today. It used to be Opeth, but since they started with that 70s-prog kind of music, I’m afraid to say that I don’t really listen anymore. The new Soilwork is on my top 5-10 list this year! The album ”Verkligheten” is truly amazing, and the song Stålfågel is one of this years best songs!!
But what I will talk a bit about is all the other new Swedish bands and albums that I discoverd. Some were released in 2018, but I discoverd them in 2019, so that still counts for me!
The absolute best album I heard this year is Port Noir and the album ”The New Routine”! Or maybe Bombus with the album ”Vulture Culture”! I can’t really decide. These two albums are constantly playing on my stereo. I can’t belive that I never listend to Bombus before, they are AWESOME! As is Port Noir! But I already knew that, since I’ve listend to Port Noir for a couple of years now.
Port Noir – Flawless:
Bombus – (You AreAll Just) Human Beings:
I guess that on third place of 2019 comes The Moth Gatherer. The album ”Esoteric Oppression” really kick ass with the genre leader Cult of Luna! Although I really like the new album ”A Dawn to Fear” from Cult of Luna, I will give it a four out of five. But still, The Moth Gatherer really touched me and the album was released in like January and I’m still playing it.
Actually, Bombus, Port Noir and The Moth Gatherer are my top 3 albums this year, no matter where they come from!
The Moth Gatherer:
But it has been a great year where I discoverd a lots of other Swedish bands, and got a couple of interviews as well. Somehow I managed to find two bands from the same small town in Sweden within a couple of weeks. The bands Frontback and Bellybuster (yeah, the interview with Bellybuster is almost ready, will post it soon!). Bellybuster with it’s AC/DC smelling happy/party rock and one of the best interviews I’ve done, and Frontback with the very special voice from Anlo, and the intensiveness like Royal Republic and Danko Jones! Yeah, Frontback made my top 10-list this year!
Frontback – Back to hell:
Bellybuster – When The Morning Comes:
Another special discovery was the Stockholm based Lost Domain. I happend to stumbled upon a story in one of Swedens biggest news papers. This story was about a former Swedish political party leader. And in the middle of this story it says that she was in an restaurant and talked to a waitress who is the singer in a progressive metal band. So I googled the singers name Catalina Leonte and found Lost Domain.
Lost Domain – Resistance Is Futile:
I also have to mention the band Alfahanne, from my hometown Eskilstuna. The album ”Atomvinter” is really special and hard to describe. Think pop black metal in Swedish! Very special and it really sounds like my former brother in-law Pehr 😉 This is a really great album with an awesome cover, you ought to check it out!
Alfahanne – Atomvinter:
Next band that is worth checking out is Mystik from Stockholm!Old school… well for me it kind of reminds me of the first Helloween work, like ”Victime of Fate” type of music. Really awesome.
Mystik – Nightmares:
There is so many more albums I would like to write about, but if I do, I will not finnish until next new year… Just let me say that it has been a great year in Swedish metal.
On an more personal level so has this been a really cool year for Crannk where we started two official partnership. First with One Eyed Toad Records (I think that it will really kick of this year!) and second with Kingart Music. This feels really great and like a reboot for me! I just hope that I (and the Crannk-team) can find the time to really take advantage of this.
So, a bit late – have a really great 2020!