It’s that time of year again. That time of year when we count down the best EPs of 2019. It’s been another incredible year of rock and metal, one that has made this list so difficult to do.
Our approach has been to take the highest ranked Eps of the year on the site and then whittle those down to just 20. Nothing in this list scored lower than a 9/10 with the majority scoring 9.5 or 10 out of 10.
Then it was a matter of deciding just what we’d rather listen to more and putting them in order. As is the norm, this list includes both Carl and Brendan’s choices. So sit back and enjoy our Top 10 Eps of 2019.
Carl – 10. Modern Technology – Modern Technology (Self Released)
Released on January 7th 2019, listening to Modern Technology’s debut EP feels dangerous. Their crude, visceral and uncomfortable brand of noise likely to leave the mind in a pile of mush. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 10. Drop Oblivion – The War Within (Self Released)
The War Within is packed full of quality and memorable songs. From the superb intro, Sick of Faces, all the way through to the end track, it sounds and feels fresh and exhilarating. The psychological message comes through well and is relatable. Especially in the last track. In particular it’s ending solo which genuinely leaves you contemplative. The War Within is a top quality, creative slab of metal with solid riffs and exciting song writing. You can read our full review here.
Carl – 9. Ole English – Ole English (Self Released)
Released on August 23rd 2019, Ole English make a booze-soaked splash on their self titled EP. A rocking and rolling slab of groove. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 9. Soilwork – Underworld (Nuclear Blast)
Released 6th of June. A bit of a strange addition, and I kind of feel guilty about putting it in. There has been so much original, independent music released that could easily have had a slot but instead I put in some rarities from the Verkligheten album. Shame but I have to put it in. It did two things for me musically. Firstly, it gave me my favourite Soilwork song ever, with In This Master’s Tale. Secondly, it reminded me how great an album Verkligheten is. It has had a huge impact on my listening this year. You can read our full review here.
Carl – 8. KLYNT – This is Revenge (Self Released)
Released on June 5th 2019, power thrash metal is the name of the game with KLYNT. Something they do so well. Get that fist-pumping arm into shape because it is needed. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 8. Democratus – Damnation (Self Released)
Released 20th of December so not had a whole lot of time with this one but have had enough to know that it is great stuff. I enjoy the mix of vocals but enjoy it more when we get down and low into the dirty riffs and crunching metal and there is plenty of that. It is a top-notch release. You can read our full review here.
Carl – 7. Ashen Horde – Tintregen (Mandol Records)
Released on December 15th 2019, more of Ashen Horde’s blackened death fury is always welcome. A pleasure to re-enter the savage but wonderfully refined world they command. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 7. Alpha Kings – Goat Monsoon (Self Released)
Another banging release from Goat Monsoon. Released 6th December, these guys have really come into their own in the last 6 months They just bring riffs. Big, dirty, groove filled riffs. Music you just have to head bang to. At a time when everyone appears to want to be post or prog, Goat Monsoon just hit you hard, over and over again with unashamedly simple but brilliant riffs and energy. They do good job of capturing their live sound and feeling here too. Very impressive stuff. You can read our full review here.
Carl – 6. Duskwood – The Long Dark (Self Released)
Released on April 20th 2019, The Long Dark combines the familiar fuzzy sounds of desert/stoner rock with spacey/sci-fi elements resulting in a really memorable listen. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 6. Grief Ritual – Moments of Suffering (Self Released)
Released 25th October 2019, I love the expansiveness here. It is really heavy overall but not always with speed. Instead it instils a worrying and weighty feeling on you, dragging you down before exploding with rage and chaos. It’s quite unpredictable too, hitting you with brooding melody, vicious blasts and chunky groove seemingly at will but manages to always make sense. Very clever stuff. You can read our full review here.
Carl – 5. Necronomichrist – Necronomichrist (Ninth Order Productions)
Released on January 1st 2019, Necronomichrist deliver top notch technical death metal on their self titled EP. Filled to the brim with brutality but not without a few surprises too. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 5. Ashen Horde – Tintregen (Mandol Records)
Released December 15th. This is a really great release. It is crushing, so bleak and dark. It is one of the most straight up heavy sounding releases of the year. Not something for converting people with, but certainly if you want to scare them away. Vicious stuff! You can read our full review here.
Carl – 4. Voices of Grief – Voices of Grief (MSH Music Group)
Released on April 20th 2019, the black metal is strong with this one. An EP that exemplifies what the end times might sound like. One part ritualistic evil melody, one part slow doom heaviness all wrapped up in a blackened death metal ribbon. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 4. Masters Call – Morbid Black Trinity (Self Released)
Released 25th of January but not being forgotten. A ferocious but rhythmic approach to the blackest of black metal, Master’s Call are an exciting prospect within the genre. They have plenty of the classic sound about them but with influences across a broader range of metal. The pace and fire of death metal, the riffing and soloing of traditional heavy metal all combined with excellent song structure.
Three tracks long, there isn’t much to sink our teeth into here but what we get is a juicy blood-drenched mouthful of heaviness. From Once Beneath the Cursed which burns brightly with high energy to the ritualistic evilness of The Spires Cranes and the glory that is My Eyes Are the Night. The latter is a grand track, confirming that Master’s Call are one to keep an eye on. You can read our full review here.
Carl – 3. Grief Ritual – Moments of Suffering (Self Released)
Released on October 25th 2019, this abrasive release would be number 1 if it was based on pure intensity alone. Mind melting, ear-bleeding and eye wateringly heavy music. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 3. Ingested – Call of the Void (Unique Leader Records)
Released June 14th, This is a fantastic EP. It’s brilliant. The middle double header of Eternal Kingdom Part 1 and 2 bookended by an exciting opener and closer makes for one hells of a listening experience. Lots of different styles burst forth and keep you interested as everything just works perfectly together. You can read our full review here.
Carl – 2. Unburnt – Arcane Evolution (Self Released)
Released on August 16th 2019, Unburnt deliver a bone rattling, head-spinning slice of blackened death metal with Arcane Evolution. They nail the balance of black and death perfectly. Sometimes it’s fiery savagery on show, others it’s an icy chill that washes over. Regardless, it’s all top shelf stuff. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 2. Necronomichrist by Necronomichrist (Ninth Order Productions)
Released on the 1st of January, I was expecting a solid death EP, you know, a good 7 or 8 out of 10. It is nice to say I was wrong. There is way more than “solid death” on show on Necronomichrist. Heavy as hell riffs, impressive drums and bass and powerful vocals make up the body but the EP is elevated by the little diversions into melody, solos, slow downs, backing sampling and general lead guitar lines that punctuate the heaviness. A very impressive and exciting EP from a band I hope don’t wait another 6 or 7 years before following it up. You can read our full review here.
Carl – 1. Plague of Carcosa – Ocean is More Ancient Than The Mountains (Sludgelord Records)
Released on July 19th 2019, this is an EP of Lovecraftian inspired doom. Two tracks, both as mind-bending as the work of the great horror writer and as heavy as the imagery of Cthulhu’s sunken city. A simply sublime release and the best of EP of 2019. You can read our full review here.
Brendan – 1. Earthbound – Desolate (Self Released)
Released 11th of October. Wow. Desolate is absolutely brilliant. One of the best things about being a site that focuses on the smaller, newer bands is when you see them realise their potential. Earthbound are exactly that. A band we watched years ago, followed since and always thought they had something special about them. Desolate is that moment where you see the culmination of their hard work. An EP of such quality that it stands up comfortably alongside the bigger releases of the year. It is an ambitious release. A cleverly composed, structured and mature EP. Musically captivating, vocally impressive – it is faultless and easily one of the best EPs that will be available this year and my personal favourite. You can read our full review here.