My Most Played: 2019

I don’t use Spotify that often, so I can’t get my stats from them. But I know who I obsessed over the most this year and I just felt like sharing.

(Note: This list is not strictly limited to bands that released new music in 2019, it is simply comprised of who I had on repeat over the last twelve months.)

1. Alter Bridge

I know, I know. Duh, right? When do I not have AB on repeat? They are my favorite band, after all.

Alter Bridge released Walk the Sky in October and made me fall in love all over again. I also saw them for the sixth time this year and met lead guitarist Mark Tremonti for the fifth time. There is nothing better than a talented band who are also humble and kind.

2. Rammstein

I promise, I’m not late to the party. I have been listening to Rammstein for years. However, for some reason, they skyrocketed to the top of my list in 2019. Perhaps it was due to my absolute adoration of “Puppe,” from their untitled May release. Whatever the cause, I now have a legit Rammstein collection and have spent too much time and money on them. Ha!

3. Sköld

I didn’t discover Tim Sköld as a solo artist until 2017, but he has been a major music crush ever since. When he released Never Is Now back in April, I preordered it without question. I love every track.

2019 brought me the opportunity to see — and meet! — Tim. It was a great experience, made even better by the fact that his touring keyboardist was Nero Bellum (of Psyclon Nine fame). I have been a fan of Nero’s even longer than Tim, so meeting him was truly the cherry on top of an amazing day.

4. Echo Black

It all started with Instagram. I did a tiny little blurb about this band back in…2017?…and added them to my playlists and a wishlist of those I’d love to see in concert. Coincidentally, they were opening for Sköld on his Never Is Now tour.

I wrote an entire post about them after the show. You can read it here. The short version is this: they were great live, their music kicks ass, and the band members are absolute dolls.

5. Emigrate

Okay. I’ll admit, I didn’t know Rammstein’s lead guitarist — Richard Kruspe — had another band until last year. My enjoyment of them reached full-blown obsession in 2019. They are just so unbelievably good! Honestly, I think I like them more than Rammstein…

6. Lindemann

Another Rammstein side project, this time from Till Lindemann. I once described Lindemann’s first album as “Till being Till, just in English,” and I stand by it. A friend of mine told me that their 2019 release, F & M, is basically Rammstein lite (as the album is entirely in German).

Whatever comparisons I or others have made, I still love Lindemann.

7. Skynd

One of my newer discoveries, Skynd has an interesting approach to writing songs: they focus entirely on stories of true crime. I was hooked from the instant I heard their first single, “Gary Heidnik,” and the tracks “Jim Jones” and “Katherine Knight” have put Skynd on my Favorites list. Even my mom enjoys them.

8. Optic Oppression

I discovered Optic Oppression thanks to the Sköld tour, and now I can’t go a day without listening to them. They just released a new record, Halfway to Hell, and it is fire!

For a more detailed reaction to Optic, read the Bands You Should Know I wrote about them.

9. Third Realm

I have been a fan of Third Realm for several years, starting back when I was in college. I simply stumbled across them on YouTube one day.

Recently, The Art of Despair came out and I bought it for myself for Christmas. There’s not a single song I need to skip while listening to it, though my favorites are the title track, “Garden of Lust,” and “Medusa.”

10. Asking Alexandria

I hated AA the first time I saw them in 2011. I thought they were just…terrible. Then I heard the self-titled album and saw them touring for it, and I am now a certified fan.

They seem to be trying a new direction (again), based on this year’s single “The Violence,” and I’m 100% behind that. I want band’s to explore their creativity rather than sticking to the same mundane sound, so I applaud Asking Alexandria for trying to grow.

And that’s it. These are the ten bands/artists who got me through 2019. I am looking forward to what they will do in the future, and I hope to discover new music to get excited about in 2020.

Happy New Year!

New Music (12/16 — 12/29)

I didn’t post at all last week, so there may be a few tracks that were released then included.

Edit – Most of the songs are from last week! And there are only 26 instead of the usual 30.

Lindemann: “Ach so gern”

Avatar: “King’s Harvest”

Imperial Age: “The Legacy of Atlantis”

Disturbed: “Hold on to Memories”

Jorn: “Needles And Pins”

Sever: “Sandcastles”

Erdling: “Am heiligen Hain”

Blackbriar: “Beautiful Delirium”

Secrets: “My Mind, Myself, & I”

King Iso: “TFB”

Simple Plan & State Champs ft. We The Kings: “Where I Belong”

Collective Soul: “Over Me”

Jehry Robinson: “Gas In The Tank”

Slipknot: “Nero Forte”

The Parallel: “Wax Wings”

SIXX:A.M.: “X-Mas in Hell”

Stevie Stone: “V.I.P.”

Clint Lowery: “Alive”

Danny Worsnop: “Another You”

Cellar Darling: “Burn”

Revolution Saints: “When The Heartache Has Gone”

Imagine Dragons: “Love”

Fire From The Gods: “American Sun”

Devil In Me ft. Freddy Madball: “Warriors”

Keb’ Mo’: “Merry Merry Christmas”

Alan Walker and Ava Max: “Alone, Part II”

New Music (12/9 — 12/15)

Rage: “Chasing the Twilight Zone”

Upon A Burning Body: “Reinventing Hatred”

PVRIS: “Old Wounds”

Nita Strauss: “Alegria”

Annihilator: “Armed To The Teeth”

Mystic Prophecy: “Eye To Eye”

Nanowar of Steel ft. Angus McFife: “Valhalleluja”

Tommy Cash: “SDUBID”

Demons & Wizards: “Diabolic”

Our Mirage: “Unseen”

Scandroid: “Purified”

Black Swan: “Shake The World”

Silversun Pickups: “Don’t Know Yet”

Apocalyptica: “En Route To Mayhem”

ASP: “Tintakel”

Brian Fallon: “You Have Stolen My Heart”

The HU ft. Jacoby Shaddix: “Wolf Totem”

Bonded: “Suit Murderer”

Ihsahn: “Stridig”

Set It Off: “Catch Me If You Can”

Theory: “Say Nothing”

God Dethroned: “Illuminati”

Band-Maid: “Blooming”

Biff Byford: “School of Hard Knocks”

shYbeast: “no 1 else”

Icon For Hire: “Blindside”

Neaera: “Torchbearer”

Noija: “Rebirth (Re-imagined)”

Our Last Night: “When Humans Become Our Gods”

Orville Peck: “Nothing Fades Like The Light”

Too Busy For Blogging

I keep trying to get back into a regular posting schedule, but life has been determined to intervene. After my grandmother passed in October, my best friend’s mother-in-law died. I was there for her and her husband, and to be honest I was emotionally drained. My dad noticed and planned a spur-of-the-moment trip to the beach.

I can’t tell y’all how much I needed the three days of sun, sand, and sea. Despite the fact that it was November, the weather was gorgeous. I was able to wade in the water and bask in the sun (with a lightweight jacket on). I even got a touch of sunburn.

Since then, it’s just been…change. I’m searching for a new job and trying to get things ready for Christmas. Last week, I took a day trip to Cathedral Caverns with my parents, which was nice.

2019 has had its ups and downs. I won’t say the year has been bad, necessarily, but I am hoping 2020 is better. And it will certainly start that way — I’m going to see Alter Bridge again in February.

Anyway, for those who care, I wanted to give an update. I also wanted to let y’all know there will be some end-of-year posts, I’m just not sure I can keep up with the Playlist Challenge or a weekly featured band right now.

Here are more pictures from the beach and the expedition in Cathedral Caverns! I hope this blog finds you all well.

Gulf Shores

Cathedral Caverns

This is Goliath, one of the largest stalagmites in the world, 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.

“The Improbable”: a 27-feet high stalagmite, growing on a 3-inch base and at a 45 degree angle to the stone below it.

New Music (12/2 — 12/8)

American Grim: “Living Terror”

I Prevail: “Hurricane” (Pt. 2)

Mike Shinoda: “fine”

Me and That Man: “Run With The Devil”

Unzucht: “Nein”

Unearth: “Sidewinder”

We Butter The Bread With Butter: “Dreh Auf!”

Fall Out Boy: “Bob Dylan”

Psychostick: “Zombie Claus”

While She Sleeps: “Fakers Plague”

Agnostic Front: “Conquer and Divide”

Lorna Shore: “Immortal”

Korpiklaani: “Jägermeister”

Motionless In White: “Another Life”

The Used: “Blow Me”

Archon Angel: “Fallen”

Oliver Tree: “Cash Machine”

Sylosis: “I Sever”

Sea Smile ft. Ryan Kirby: “Effects”

Serious Black: “When The Stars Are Right”

From Ashes To New ft. Eva Under Fire: “Every Second”

Dannic, Teamworx: “Bump N’ Roll”

Saul: “Trial By Fire”

Krosis: “Psychoticlysm”

Brothers of Metal: “One”

Poliça: “Forget Me Now”

Mallory Run: “Blind”

Krewella & Nucleya: “Good On You”

Mayday Parade: “I’m With You”

Brooke Candy: “Nymph”

Weekly Focus: Lindemann, Day Seven

Lindemann — “Steh auf,” from the album F & M (2019).

Playlist Challenge, Day 819

Emigrate ft. Marilyn Manson — “Hypothetical”

Weekly Focus: Lindemann, Day Six

Lindemann — “Platz Eins,” from the album F & M (2019).