Saturday, January 11, 2020

La Mort D'Un.e. Moderniste presents: Best picks of 2019.

Note: Hey people, wanna hear something cool?
Photo source: USA Today/SPUS/ABACA

Coucou, les! We're back with our, I certainly hope so, highly anticipated best picks of 2019 list. As you may know, every year we try to make an inclusive and detailed entry as possible because we do reviews of different hardcore punk subgenres, styles, fusions, etc. And, of course, I also try to feature bands from different countries around the world other than the US. Yeah, this task is getting titanic every year because more and more high-quality records are being released. Damn. Ha ha ha.

Now, as I previously announced you, this entry will have another format. Indeed, there won't be two editions (one international and the another one colombian) but only one entry trying to cover all of them. Also, I won't feature discographies, remasters, re-releases, demos, singles, promos nor compilations. This entry only will be restricted to LPs and EPs. And, I changed the redaction of the featured records with a more personal approach, you know, the emotions this material evoked me while listening to it. Hope you get connected to them as I did.

Finally, there only are 30 records. This entry was meant to feature between 50-100 records but I changed my mind because the whole idea behind of these changes was to make less "massive" and more easy to read entries. I guess this 2020 I'll try to feature less records, somewhere between 15-20, but, I dunno what this year will bring. 2019 really was a busy one and many great records couldn't make it. With all that written, let's begin.

[UPDATE 01/22/2020 08:40 A.M. ET. I changed my mind and added in the other runner-ups for making a definitive top 50 records of 2019 list. It would be a crime against humanity leaving those records outside the list ha ha. Finally, Restraining Order's This World Is Too Much LP still is our 2019 AOTY. Nothing of that changed. Thank you.]

Idiota Civilizzato (Germany) - Civiltà Idiota LP (Static Shock Records (UK))

Damn, how could I miss last year this brilliant LP from these german hardcore pvnx? Their self-titled (2018) was also featured in our best picks of two years ago so, it wasn't a secret that they would make it again. This record is filled with aggressive, straight-to-the-point and uncompromising hardcore alla italiana that will surely remind you of the good ol' days of furious displays of music at the infamous Virus squat in Milan (of course, I was there. And you? ha ha). Love this band. Period.

Regional Justice Center / Wound Man (US) - split EP 

Note: You can listen to Regional Justice Center's side here and Wound Man's here.  

I know this should be a little bit annoying to admit but the U.S. currently is the homeland of the best modern powerviolence bands nowadays. If someone asks me "what is the definitive modern PxV record out there?" I'd respond "Bruhhh, this is the one. Aaarrgghhh". Indeed, both bands pay homage to good ol' influential musical outfits in the subgenre such as Neanderthal, Crossed Out and Infest with some healthy dozes of grindcore and metallic hardcore as well. Heavy and harsh as fuck. 

Negativ (Norway) - Epicrisis EP (Byllepest Distro (Norway))

Ah, yes, fuck yes. I love the vulgar display of nonsensical fast as fuck hardcore punk sound from this norwegian powerhouse. Indeed, their style is so unique and personal that brilliantly mixes d-beat with 80s american hardcore just like hidden jewels from their native country such as Kafka Prosses and Svart Framtid did back in the days. This band is getting much better with every release so, I cannot imagine when an upcoming LP sees the light. Gorgeous as Oslo. 

Vidro (Sweden) / Cankro (Brazil) split LP (Byllepest Distro)

Note: You can listen to Cankro's side here and Vidro's here. 

This is probably the best d-beat split of 2019 (or at least for this humble list). So, on one hand we've got Vidro from Sweden that really caught our attention thanks to their unique d-beat-influenced hardcore execution that's really uncommon for the dis-related groups out there. And, on the other one, Cranko pays homage to all-time classics from their native country such as Besthöven and Ratos de Porão so, you may know what's all the fuzz about them. Nice.

UZI (Colombia) - Cadena de Odio LP (Adult Crash Records (Denmark))

From the masterminds behind top-notch colombian hardcore punk bands such as Muro and Final, UZI delivers une rafale de haine with their unique and personal mix of d-beat, UK82 and latin american hardcore punk executed in a short, fast and loud way like hardcore should always be. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to miss this LP out. Plus, if we had to make a "best picks of 2019 list: colombian hardcore punk edition" like previous years, UZI would definitely be awarded as the best one overall. Ti.

GAZM (Canada) - Heavy Vibe Music LP (11 P.M. Records (US))
Tabarnak! Montréal HC represents with this fuzzy and groovy as fuck record that will make you dance 'till the end. Indeed, their interesting mix of NYHC and crossover thrash executed with sexy metallic guitar riffs, shrieked vocals forged in anguish from hell, chugga chugga-esque breakdowns and modern hardcore mid-tempo paces that definitely can't passer inaperçu. N'est-ce pas les!? Love this record. And try to make of it your next perfect soundtrack for self-immolation love. Nice. 

Portrayal Of Guilt - Suffering Is A Gift LP (Closed Casket Activities (US))

If I could fall in love again, I'd definitely do it with this mischievous and amazing one hell of a record. Indeed, their trademark screamo sound mixed with grindcore, powerviolence, post-metal and even some traces of sludge is getting more and more outta control with every single release they unveil. So, yeah, there's fuzz, noise, and an unrelenting musical destruction that will surely awake your filthiest and darkest desires of throwing yourself from the window while being fully aroused. Wow.  

Nepugia / Tara (Chile) - La Normalidad Siempre Fue Un Engaño split EP (Not on label; Nepugia and Tara self-released)

Note: You can listen to Tara's side here and Nepugia's here

You know, here in Latin America screamo, notably the emoviolence offshoot, still is as exotic as a non-toxic relationshit (Ha!) but luckily there are a few exceptions. Indeed, this anti-love letter against the "normality" is the living proof that the good ol' days of local bands such as Subir En Busca Del Aire and Teoría De Un Sueño still are relevant today (*sigh...). Finally, did you really want short, fast and loud hardcore punk? Well, the record is roughly less than 5-minutes long. 'Nuff said, mate... 

Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket (Sweden) - Det onda. Det goda. Det vackra. Det fula LP (Zegema Beach Records (Canada) / Moments Of Collapse (Germany)).
I see no heaven, I see no hell. I just see Vi Som Älskade Varandra Så Mycket. (Hope you already got the reference to a classic 90s hardcore song and read this statement singing it. Did you know which one is?) I already admitted my whole admiration to the most recent work from this superb swedish skramz mafia family member. Indeed, brutiful mix pof post-rock and screamo like now all-time classics such as Suis La Lune (Sweden) and Envy (Japan). What else could you ask for?. Simply GO!    

STORM{O} (Italy) - Finis Terrae LP (Zegema Beach Records)
Ok, this record is really, I mean, really awesome. Indeed, I was completely mesmerized while reviewing it some months ago. I know it's pretty difficult to make such a good experimental hardcore record in same vein as this one. You like mathcore? Checked. You like post-metal? Checked. Well, you've got lots of different "core"-related subgenres and much more that nothing else would satisfy your cravings for heart-touching and mindblowing music like this one. Bellisimo, i miei amori. 

Jøtnarr (UK) - self-titled LP (React With Protest (Germany))

This Colchester-based musical outfit really stole both my dying heart and rotten brain with their top-notch blackened crust (or whatever the fuck) musical execution present in their more recent LP. Indeed, my love interests during my sad adolescence such as Fall Of Efrafa (UK) and Downfall of Gaia (Germany) arose and left me my last eargasm. Finally, this record is so goddamn good that I regret not being in Europe anymore. The track Sleeper is present in my dreams, even the wet ones...

Drei Affen (Spain) - Seguimos Ciegxs LP (Zegema Beach Records / Left Hand Label (Germany) et al)

When I reviewed this fantastic LP from this Torrelavega-based outfit, I wrote this: "This is the perfect soundtrack for driving your car at 60mph and crashing it into the walls of either your local church or the parliament" (Kinda weird quoting yourself, right?). Do you need any more information about this band after reading such curious statement? What other motivations or excuses do you need for listening to this? Do you love me? I probably won't love you back. Nah, I'm joking. Enjoy it :*.

Protocol (USA) - Bloodsport LP (11 P.M. Records)
Ok, I must admit that this 5-track album delivers a relentless d-beat-influenced american hardcore punk (both bostonian style and early powerviolence à la Infest and Crossed Out) that will surely remind you of other national acts such as Vile Gash and Impalers. This record is definitely mind-crushing and will lead you into a downward spiral of erotic self-mutilation and cravings for crushing your fascists neighbors' skulls with a hammer. Hell fuckin' yeah.

Potence (France) - Le Culte Des Bourreaux LP (Dingleberry Records And Distribution (Germany) et al)
When I was living in France some years ago, I always wanted to listen to more local musical outfits with screamo and neocrust influences in the same vein as Ekkaia or Das Plague (Gallicia, Spain). Now that I'm far far away from the "Hexagone", my dream come true with this superb outfit from Besançon and Strasbourg. I really enjoyed this record from the start to the end. Excellent musical execution with both fast and slow-paced moments. Finally, just listen to it. I highly recommend it.

Kaleidoscope (USA) - After The Futures...LP (La Vida Es Un Mus Records (UK))

I knew the existence of this experimental band because they did an european tour with hardcore maniacs Nosferatu from Austin, Texas in summer last year. So, this NYC-based musical outfit also tries to break the mould with a different musical approach drawing influences from post-punk adding in lots of fuzz, noise and static. Finally, you may find this not as wild as other local outfits such as Crazy Spirit but it still has something to remark to. I really dig this band.

Larma (Sweden) - self-titled LP (Beach Impediment Records (USA))

I guess the only way to mesure how much I like or even love one record is to feature it at least twice (thrice it's almost a marriage proposal ha ha ha). Well, I have to admit that Larma from Sweden conquered both my heart and soul with their astonishing d-beat-influenced hardcore punk in the same vein as different local musical groups have been doing since decades ago. Do you want to know what all of this is about? Grab this LP and spin it until the imminent nuclear attack kill us all. Oh yeah...

Mastermind (UK) - Bad Reaction EP (Quality Control HQ (UK))

As I stated before, Mastermind is right now one of the trump cards in the whole Quality Control HQ's catalog. Indeed, I also wrote that this band is a living homage of the good ol' glories of NYHC playing as hard (and «groovy») as Killing Time, Breakdown and Rest In Pieces, for naming a few. If you were trapped in an alternate universe where the mythic New Breed compilation is the source of life and existence, its first spawn would be this marvelous EP. Give it a try. You won't regret it.

FLUKE (Singapore) - Holocene Extinction EP (Pissed Off! Records (Malaysia))
This is one of my favorite records featured in our special post focused on the southeast asian hardcore punk scene (Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia). So, yeah, this 5-track EP, whose time length roughly is 6-minutes long, is such a fuckin' blast. Indeed, it perfectly mixes different styles of hardcore for making something of their own with politically-charged and angst-filled lyrics with an enviable energy. Finally, this is definitely my favorite EP of 2019. Hardcore for Hardcore, les! Fuck yeah!  

Full Of Hell (US) - Weeping Choir LP (Relapse Records (US))

This well-known outfit from Ocean City, Maryland is getting much heavier, angrier and even darker with every single new release. Indeed, their chaotic and dissonant musical execution, which is heavily inspired by grindcore, noise, sludge and even...power electronics, is a proof that life can be a little bit more bearable trying to understand their cryptic references to religion, power and corruption. Even though you clearly don't understand anything at all. It's good to grab a book de temps en temps...

Slant (South Korea) - Vain Attempt EP (Iron Lung Records (USA))

Featuring members of south korean hardcore bands such as Arryam, Cerkkyu and Scumraid and even american ones such as Bloodkrow Butcher and Zipperhead, Slant delivers a pummeling and mindcrushing short, fast and loud hardcore punk record that you shouldn't miss out. Indeed, there's a mix of youth crew meets d-beat, pretty much like other american bands led by womyn such as Sin Cave and Stuck Pigs. Cool. I can't hardly wait for an upcoming LP in the near future.

Devil Master (USA) - Satan Spits On Children Of Light LP (Relapse Records)

I couldn't feature this awesome record early last year since it's a little bit difficult to get international LPs at a good price but, well...Better late than never, right? So, you already can imagine I really love this band. Indeed, they're back with their unique mix of d-beat, black metal and deathrock affinities with more power than ever, more complex sounds and a more raw approach. Finally, this is probably one of, if not, the best bands in the U.S. under the metal punk label. Check it out.    

Payday (UK) - Second To None LP (Quality Control HQ)

When I was a young! my first contact with the whole hardcore punk spectrum was the straight edge lifestyle. But I fell down in a downward spiral of debauchery and vices becaming thus the monster I always swore to defeat...And, as a matter of fact, I never liked popular and mainstream nailed to the X-related bands and this 90s Clevo hardcore-inspired outfit from London is the proof of my more cryptic musical tastes. You won't find another hard as fuck SxE band like this one out there.

TRNCH (Colombia) -Geno-Cyber EP (Not on label; TRNCH self-released)

Imagine the following scenario: You're living in a futuristic dystopia à la Blade Runner full of androids, ravaging technocrats and humans living as rats under the sewers. There's no hope, only despair under the black sun. What would be the soundtrack for this apathetic tableau? TRNCH from Ipiales with their grindviolence, which is filled with both political and satirical lyrics. Yeah! There aren't too many colombian bands playing this way right now so, I'm glad they're back. Highly recommended.     

Physique (US) - The Rhythm Of Brutality EP (Static Shock Records)

Remember when I told you I couldn't decide which one of the most recent Physique's records I'd choose from to be featured here in this entry? Well, after some internal debate and 12 beers, I picked this brutal EP up. So, yeah, you know, american hardcore bands are getting more interested in the d-beat side of things but Physique goes a little bit further trying to break the mould by adding in elements from 90s british and japanese crust. Check this out.  You won't regret it.

Exilio (Venezuela/Colombia) - self-titled EP (Rat Trap Records (Colombia))

The highly anticipated debut album from our venezuelan!, now based here in Bogotá D.C., really caught me by surprise. I can't believe I fucking love it. Indeed, their sound is a mix of swedish crust and d-beat with the visceral and forceful latinx touch. The lyrics, as you may already have guessed, are politically-charged dealing with corruption, violence, immigration issues, etc. Finally, this is definitely not for those infiltrated right-wing PC pvnx out there so, take note of that. Period.     

Deafkids (Brazil) - Metaprogramaçao LP (Neurot Recordings (USA))

I remember I saw this amazing experimental hardcore punk some years ago in Europe. Holy fuck, I couldn't believe such relentless and powerful energy. So, their most recent full-length album is more into electronica-related styles such as harsh noise and power electronics than anything else. Finally, this is the perfect soundtrack for sleepless drunk nights at 3:00 a.m. watching on YouTube old TV broadcasts such as Madame Chao's. Fuck, I need to change my life...

Misscarriage (Canada/USA/Sweden) - Imminent Horror LP (Sentient Ruin Records (USA))

Ok, I gotta be honest. I discovered this impressive grindcore outfit only a few hours before posting this entry. And, yes, I had to make room to feature them. So, this international collaboration, featuring ex-members of Hate Cross, mixes goregrind, sludge and doom metal with overwhelming and unpredictable tempo changes and paces. Holy fuck, this is pure madness. Have you ever wondered if there was a Carcass/Neurosis mashup? Misscarriage is the answer for your prayers. Boooommmmm!

OHYDA (Poland) - Koszmar LP (La Vida Es Un Mus Records)

I previously announced that this polish band really caught my attention since the first time I listened to it due to their particular mix of post-punk, industrial rock, noise and classic 80s polish hardcore punk (you know, bands featured in the mythic Fala compilation (1985) such as Abaddon, Dezerter and Kryzys, for naming a few). Finally, even though there aren't too many dark and psychedelic vibes compared to their previous 2016 album, this still is a monster on its own. Pure gold.

Nosferatu (USA) - Solution A LP (La Vida Es Un Mus Records)

I FUCKIN' LOVE THIS GODDAMN AUSTIN-BASED HARDCORE BAND SINCE THE FIRST TIME I EVER LISTENED TO IT. BEST BAND EVER. PERIOD. Ha ha ha. Indeed, their ultra fast-paced musical execution is inspired by cryptic american hardcore bands in the 80s such as Koro and YDI, for naming a few, that were unfairly overshadowed by other more popular acts such as Minor Threat or Black Flag. Finally, this was meant to be our AOTY but I had to pick another one. Oh...

Amygdala (USA) - Our Voices Will Soar Forever LP/CD (Prosthetic Records (USA))

What can I say about this band? It's so goddamn amazing. Their style is deeply inspired by screamo, crust and powerviolence but I think they opted for a more modern approach on this LP. Indeed, some songs are a blitz with more straightforward hardcore punk execution whilst some others are more complex and elaborated that really reminded me somewhat of Oathbreaker's Rheia LP. Awesome. And, yes, they're very political as well with lyrics dealing with child abuse, body pressure and BPD. Nice.

Armor (USA) - Some Kind Of War EP (11 P.M. Records (USA))

As you may know, we made an entry featuring 11 P.M. Records' catalog in 2019 and this EP is one of their trump cards. And, of course, you also may know that many d-beat influenced-american hardcore punk are out there so, this band is no exception to this rule. I really dig this due to their short, fast and loud musical execution with politically-charged lyrics against the abuse of power of authorities. If you dig bands like Ajax and Impalers, this is for you. Highly recommended.

Asid (UK) - Pathetic Flesh LP (La Vida Es Un Mus (UK))

Unlike other New Wave of British Hardcore - NWOBHC precussors such as The Flex and Arms Race, Asid's musical execution differs a little bit since it is a cross between 90s japanese d-beat and 80s Boston style. Indeed, the guitar chords and basslines also have some kind of mesmerizing and obscure fuzz without losing the grip and the anguished and tortured vocal style perfectly fit in this sonic madness. I really loved this record and it truly deserved its place in the final best picks of 2019 list. 

Bato (USA) - Ravages Of Time (ROT) EP (Not For The Weak Records (USA)

You know, there's like a some sort of old-school hardcore revival out there with many different bands around the world going back to the basics playing short, fast and loud music with outspoken and angry as fuck lyrics and attitude. So, yeah, Bato follows this path and they really reminded me of now defunct bands such as Government Warning and Direct Control. Punk should be this way. Finally, there are two covers of Poison Idea and YDI. Nothing is much cooler than that. Just admit it. Nice. 

Combust (USA) - The Void EP (Edgewood Records (USA))
Have you ever heard about how the NYHC's style in the 80s changed punk rock forever? Well, in recent years here in the blog, we've posted many different modern hardcore bands that try to revive the old glories of that scene and Combust seems to be from that era. Indeed, their sound is heavily influenced, both aesthetically and musically speaking, by Cro-Mags, Murphy's Law, Killing Time and Breakdown, for naming a few. Awesome. Hope to see an LP anytime soon.    

Firewalker (USA) - The Roll Call EP (Pop Wig Records (USA))
Yeah, I have to admit that I felt kinda bad for not adding this record in our best picks of 2019 list but I'll try to compensate it with this entry. So, this 4-track EP is the more recent work from this Boston-based hardcore punk band and it fuckin' rocks. Indeed, their iconic bostonian hardcore style is getting much heavier and outspoken with every release. Finally, you can get their self-titled discography CD (Break The Records (Japan), 2019) which includes everything they have released so far. Get it. Nice.

Friendship (Japan) - Undercurrent LP

This is a modern japanese hardcore outfit whose music style would definitely rival modern heavyweights such as Full Of Hell, Baptists, Converge and Nails. Indeed, this is an obscure and brutal enough display of musical violence for smashing your head against the mirror after miserably failing doing some shibari and origami equally in a sordid Love Hotel in Tokyo. Or at least that's the image I get after listening to this. Finally, I need professional help, I know. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Game (UK) - No One Wins LP (Quality Control HQ (UK) / Beach Impediment Records (USA))

Game is back in the game (no pun intended) with their first full-length album. This record is way more metallic and crossover thrash-oriented than their first EP. Indeed, their music is an interesting mix of Cro-Mags (US), Sacrilege (UK) and Gastunk (Japan) with short, fast and loud songs filled with hate towards modern society's standards. I also noticed some songs are in polish, the native language of their vocalist, which is something we don't see on a regular basis. Neat. How could I forget about it?

Halshug (Denmark) - Drøm LP (Southern Lord Records (USA))

When I reviewed the Blazing Anarchy compilation, Halshug really caught my attention not only because of their procedence but also for their outstanding musical style. Indeed, just like many scandinavian counterparts, Halshug has notorious d-beat influences with an overwhelming and pummeling musical execution. However, Drøm has a more experimental and complex approach with some industrial and sludgy feel mid-tempo paced changes. Cool. Finally, don't miss "dis-beast" out.     
Kohti Tuhoa (Finland) - Ihmisen Kasvot LP (La Vida Es Un Mus Records (UK))
Kohti Tuhoa's iconic mix of finnish d-beat hardcore punk, crust 'n roll and metal punk is a savage and destructive sonic attack, which is the perfect soundtrack for the dystopian nightmare we're all about to live in upcoming years. There are lots of d-beats, some eventual mid tempo and slower breakdowns mix, guitar solos à la Motörhead and their vocalist still sings in a Detestation-esque style but in some excerpts is more melodic and versatile without losing the rage and aggression. Finally, just get it.

Loose Nukes (USA) - Behind The Screen EP (Beach Impediment Records (USA))
Alongside Nosferatu, Loose Nukes probably is my favorite american hardcore punk nowadays. Indeed, this Pennsylvania hardcore outfit pays homage to all-time classsics in the USHC spectrum such as Poison Idea, The Fix and  Negative Approach with a very slight d-beat feel on it. Pure goddamn old-school hardcore that really reminded me of the good ol' days of musical groups such as Admi Petersens Armé, Career Suicide and D.S.13. Damn, how could I forget about this EP?

Nuvolascura (USA) - self-titled LP  (Zegema Beach Records (Canada))

As we previously stated, Nuvolascura music is pretty intense and chaotic mixing different slow and fast-paced tempo overlaps, melodic yet overwhelming instrumentation, unpredictable crescendos and precisely monstrous blast-beats forged in hell. Damn, this is pretty awesome and I feel really really bad for not including them in the final list. Finally, if you dig bands like CADY (UK), Piri Reis (Malaysia), Gouge Away (US) or Oathbreaker (pre-Reia era), Nuvolascura will definitely get you.

Mass Arrest (USA) - Power LP (Iron Lung Records (USA))

Are you tired of the rising of "white supremacy"? Do you hate your neighbor's new car made with parts brought from an unknown "third world" country? Still reading these sentences as a TV announcement? Fear not. This LP will give you strength enough for beating your enemies' asses up. I really loved this record: pretty old-school hardcore-oriented with a fantastic classic punk leaning and politically-charged lyrics. Finally, a world without Pure Disgust is more bearable now...Thanks...

Pig City (USA) - Terminal Decline LP (To Live A Lie Records (USA))

This Phoenix-based musical outfit auto-call their style as Copper State Crust. So, I guess you only need that reference to listen to this? Well, both their musical execution and instrumentation is a perfect mix of metalcore, crust and grindcore. Pretty much like Ringworm meets Dystopia in a squat full of gremlins. Or something like that. Finally, just listen to this on headphones and scream your lungs out at your dying hamster that "dada is fuckin' dead" because of phony modern artists.Yup, I'm that sick.

Sect (USA) - Blood Of The Beasts LP (Southern Lord Records (USA))

Note: Do not confuse it with the spanish post-punk outfit of the same name. 

 Remember when I stated that there are currently more outspoken and uncompromising straight edge bands out there? Well, this vegan sxe "hardcore supergroup" (featuring members of seminal 90s hardcore outfits such as Catharsis, Racetraitor, Earth Crisis, among others), plays metalcore with death metal and grindcore influences and their musical execution simply is mindcrushing with a brutal mix of sludgy-slow paced metallic breakdowns moments, blast beats and more. Wow. Just wow.

Soul Glo (USA) - The Nigga In Me Is Me LP (Satanic Ritual Abuse Records (USA))

Well, you know, these (post)modern and fucked-up times are full of racial prejudice. The members of this hardcore punk band have faced these issues in their own lives. So, for this record, Soul Glo is more into power electronics and harsh noise with a more lo-fi and experimental approach but their unique hardcore interpretation still is intact. And, the lyrics are touching. Read them. Finally, I forgot to add this LP in our best picks of 2019 list because I thought this was a 2018 release. Sorry for that.  

She Luv It (Japan) - self-titled LP (Mouse Records (Japan) / Bedouin Records (Thailand))

She Luv It is a musical outfit from Osaka, which mixes different influences such as metalcore à la Holy Terror, death metal, d-beat, and crust punk for creating the perfect soundtrack for your most horrible nightmares. Indeed, just imagine the stiffness of chugga-chugga-esque beats mixed with mid-tempo punk-paced moments, complex metallic guitar chords and a demon-like vocal style that you would hear before getting brutally attacked by some corrupted Oni. 'Nuff said...

Subversive Rite (USA) - Songs For The End of Times LP (Bloody Master Records (USA))

Holy fuck. This record from this NYC-based musical outfit simply is fantastic. Indeed, this is a crooked love letter to all-time UK stenchore and crossover thrash classics such as Sacrilege, Civilised Society? and Deviated Instinct (pre-Guttural Breath LP era). Both musical execution and instrumentation are top-notch and will surely remind you of those nights drinking cider and sewing your "crust pants" outside Planet X venue in London, UK. Right? Finally, listen to it. It's such a blast.

Wolfbrigade (Sweden) - The Enemy: Reality LP (Southern Lord Records (USA))

Unlike Wolfbrigade's previous works, The Enemy: Reality is more crust'n roll-oriented à la Inepsy with more metallic breakdowns and stuff, teasing thus with other hardcore subgenres such as metalcore, crossover thrash and even metal punk. But, don't worry, you will still find their unique and particular trademark crust ethos with weird melodic guitar chords and clean d-beats that made too popular this impressive swedish act back in the early-2000s era. Wow. Just get it. You won't regret it.

Yleiset Syyt - self-titled EP (Open Up And Bleed Recordings (Finland))

I won't hide nor deny that I feel some kind of morbid attraction to 80s finnish hardcore bands such as Riisteyt, Appendix, Kaaos and Rattus, which are considered right now heavyweights in the subgenre and their names speak by themselves. So, yeah, Yleiset Syyt is a modern living homage for those aforementioned bands with a pretty interesting classical rock'n roll twist in some tunes. Pretty fantastic. Can't wait for an upcoming LP. I'll also try to write more about that legendary suomi scene...

And, the album of the year award goes to...

Restraining Order (USA) - This World Is Too Much LP (Triple B Records (USA))

Well, I guess most of you already knew this LP would be my choice as AOTY 2019. Indeed, their style is the perfect homage to all-time classic bostonian hardcore outfits such as Negative FX, SSD and Slapshot with a modern twist that might remind you of New Wave of British Hardcore - NWOBHC heavyweights such as The Flex and Violent Reaction as well. Their sound also has a superb punk leaning that hardcore bands nowadays are gradually recovering. Thank goodness. And, the lyrics dealing with the boredom and bullshit this fucked up world is plagued of really touched me and that, les!, is a really difficult task to achieve ha ha. So, kudos for that (I guess?) ha ha. Lastly, I think this world is too much for a record of this magnitude but, hey! you only live once, right? Enjoy it and die of multiple eargasms while tryin' to survive in da muthafukin' pit doing slamdancing and stuff. Hell yeah!. See you next time. Kisses and hugs!

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