Well, would you look at that! Another year has come and gone: a full revolution around our home star, twelve revolutions of the moon around our home planet, and 365 revolutions of our beautiful, troubled Earth around itself. Funnily enough, this pattern continues on a less cosmic scale as well. Some people’s lives revolve around a greater cause or idea, others’ around another person, while still others dedicate their lives to only revolving around themselves. One could argue that the latter is becoming more and more fashionable amongst certain demographics in this day and age.

Aside from all this socio-political upheaval, 2019 allowed the Everything Is Noise crew to experience yet another great year in music. Even among our diverse set of characters and tastes, nobody was found lacking in musical engagement – for every niche interest there were at least a handful of great releases. Hopefully, this has continued to reflect in the various forms of content we delivered to you, our esteemed readership.

Since the decade was also drawing to a close, we spent a good chunk of 2019 looking back at what made it special. Part of this endeavor was to collect our Top 100 albums of the 2010s – months of planning, collecting, polling, and writing went into this quadrilogy of articles, and we couldn’t be more proud of the end result! Amongst all the reviews, features, premieres, and news articles we have put out this year, these four stand tall as our biggest achievement of the year, I’m sure of it – alongside our recently published AOTY list, of course.

Now I would like to yield the stage to some of our writers – after all, it’s their hard work and dedication that keeps this site afloat. For this editorial, we invited them to express their thoughts on the past twelve months and what they had in store for them, both as a person and a music journalist. This includes, of course, their favorite EIN content and albums of 2019.

My First Year of (hopefully) Many With EIN – Robert’s 2019

2019 has been an amazing year on many fronts. Musically, it brought (to me at least) some of the most amazing albums, most importantly – to me – Hath’s debut album Of Rot and Ruin, which I wholeheartedly recommend to all fans of extreme music. One of my all time favorite bands, Kayo Dot, also released a very cool album this year; so did Hypno5e, Bent Knee, Car Bomb, Seizures, and many others too. I wish I had enough space to reminisce properly on all of them.

On the other hand, it marked my first year as part of the Everything Is Noise family, which has also been amazing. I have never discovered more awesome music – I can barely keep up with all the listening material! If I boil it down to an average, there are at least several new bands that I find interesting every day. Considering that before I would struggle to find new and interesting music, I am more than happy to be in this situation right now, where I’m drowning in recommendations.

Finally, this is also the year I started delving more properly into learning and to a lesser extent creating music as well. It is very pleasing to follow the heart’s desire on so many fronts, and as such it has been a very fulfilling year too, aside from being entertaining. It would’ve been nice to get to see some shows this year, but not much has been up for grabs with so much going on. I am very happy to have had the chance to catch among other bands Rolo Tomassi, Acid Mothers Temple and Cryptodira.

Highlighted content: TOMES & TONES: Jack London Paired with Follow The White Rabbit, Hypno5e – “A Distant (Dark) Source”, Kayo Dot – “Blasphemy”, Jambinai – “ONDA”, Hath – “Of Rot and Ruin”

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

Bent KneeYou Know What They Mean
HathOf Rot and Ruin
Portico QuartetMemory Streams
Hypno5eA Distant (Dark) Source
SenzaEven a Worm Will Turn
Dead KiwisSystematic Home Run
SeizuresReverie of the Revolving Diamond

Of Marriage and Music: a Scott Story

2019 has been a year. That’s it, the end. This is the year that I became a writer here at Everything Is Noise and that’s been such an amazing experience. I have learned so much from the crew here. The exposure to even more amazing music was, at first, a little overwhelming – I made it my life’s mission to listen to every single band that came across my plate. But obviously, this is impossible and it started to make me stressed! Stressed! My favourite pastime is now work? The hell? Well, I have since re-evaluated how I want to approach all of this, and I’m happy to say that I am no longer stressed; I know you were worried.

More importantly than becoming a writer at EIN (sorry!), 2019 was the year that I got married to the love of my life! My wife and I had been together for ten years before we finally settled down and joined the married community. What can I say? We’re over-thinkers. Not to ruin any romance, but getting married to somebody that you’re already committed to doesn’t really change anything. That being said, it is amazing to actually be married to my best friend and soulmate.

Becoming a writer at EIN has had many moments of doubt for me. I’ve never really put myself out there as a writer like I’ve been doing here. Seeing my drafts come back full of errors and issues pointed out by the dear editors made me question whether or not I was good enough to be doing this at all. I may still struggle with that feeling, but, I am certainly glad that I’m here and sticking to it.

EIN has also provided me the opportunity to interact with many great artists and musicians. Doing our Weekly Featured Artists articles has been something that’s brought me out of my shell so much because of all of the positive interactions with bands and artists. Becoming friends, even if only briefly and professionally, has opened up my world view for the better. Thank you Asthma Castle, Palm Haze, Burning House, and Neverending White Lights for that. And thank you to all of the readers and music lovers who make this all possible! See you next year!

Highlighted content: WFA: Palm Haze, SOUND TEST: The Last of Us, SOUND TEST: Ecco The Dolphin, Aurora – “A Different Kind of Human (Step II)”

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

Devin TownsendEmpath
Aurora A Different Kind of Human (Step II)
Clipping. – There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Ikarus Mosaismic
Zeitgeber Transforming the Random Crushing Forces of the Universe Into Manageable Patterns
Soen Lotus
Hugar Varda
An Isolated MindI’m Losing Myself

The Year Vidur Went Crazy for Concerts!

Growing up in India, I did not get many opportunities to witness some of my favorite acts live. We have very few regular festivals (such as Bangalore Open Air, NH7 Weekender), and are rarely on the touring schedule of any international act. That is why, now living in Paris, I decided to make the most out of 2019, and went absolute bonkers on concerts! I got to witness my metal gods in Judas Priest, attend my first ever large European metal festival in Hellfest, and not to mention the grandiose stadium shows of Metallica and Rammstein. I end the year with an average of one concert every 14 days! Memories I will cherish for years to come.

But behind all of this enjoyment was also a struggle. Business school studies and the never-ending job applications proved to be a roller-coaster of emotions. The only stability in this whole phase was our very own “The Weekly Recs” (hop on it ASAP, if you have not already) and my re-discovered love for old doom-and-gloom. The captivating Waste of Space Orchestra record and the two Sunn O))) albums became the background score for many long nights, with the likes of Hippie Death Cult, Elder, and Monolord providing the riffs! But most importantly, being a part of EIN allows me to explore genres beyond my safety net, and is responsible for my unending love for the likes of Ikarus, Cigarettes After Sex, and American Football.

I don’t know where I will be, come this time of 2020, but what I do know is that musical discoveries will continue to amaze me!

Highlighted content: Delta Sleep – “Ghost City Rarities”, Abigail Williams – “Walk Beyond the Dark”

Top 5 Albums of 2019

Cult of LunaA Dawn to Fear
LatitudesPart Island
Louise LemónA Broken Heart is an Open Heart
Sunn O)))Life Metal
Yazz AhmedPolyhymnia

Faisal’s 2019: The Year of The Hard Reset

2019 was a year of drastic changes in my life, largely by design. One of several things I did was leave my corporate job in a 180 degree career-shift. Since then, things unfolded in ways I didn’t always anticipate.

One such unexpected change was joining the Everything Is Noise team early in the summer – easily one of this year’s highlights. I’d followed EIN for a few years (back when it was still It Djents), and having this opportunity to participate with them in the global conversation around musical trends, culture, and art has been a blessing. I’ve been able to write about artists I love, and discover a broader range of sounds I didn’t know existed. Music has always been an accompaniment to the developments of my life, enriching and anchoring the moments that matter most, and 2019 will now likely be one of my most memorable years.

As far as the music itself goes, 2019 was an interesting year for me. Many of the releases I eagerly anticipated met my expectations but didn’t blow me away, while in several other cases, artists I never particularly enjoyed/paid attention to released highlights I will revisit for years to come! It’s a strange feeling for me, putting a Slipknot album on my annual Top 10 list…but here we are.

Highlighted content: WFA: SNVFF, WFA: Juna, Lana Del Rey – “Norman Fucking Rockwell!”, Norma Jean – “All Hail”

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

Lana Del ReyNorman Fucking Rockwell!
GideonOut of Control
SlipknotWe Are Not Your Kind
He Is LegendWhite Bat
Calva LouiseRhinoceros
AngelspitBang Operative
The Shivas Dark Thoughts
Fleshgod ApocalypseVeleno
Norma JeanAll Hail

Rodney’s 2019: Reaching Goals – The Dream Continues!

2019 was a wild year and it felt like a big rush, me being unable to catch up with everything I wanted to. Anyway, it was a very good year and full of achieved personal goals. I managed to survive while being fully self-employed, so yaaaay! I’ve been promoting a lot of shows, which was a great thing to do. Highlighting performances by Letters From The Colony, Siamese, Agrypnie, Uneven Structure, Ancst, and Numenorean, there were so many great bands I got to see live in 2019. Apart from the music thing, I finally finished my Bachelor’s degree!

Personal highlights were my vacation and visiting my grandparents in Croatia, managing to have a living out of doing concerts (!!!), travelling to Paris and Copenhagen thanks to music journalism, my very first Rock Am Ring as a journalist (truly was a once-in-a-lifetime goal of mine), meeting so many great people, and visiting many concerts of very different genres.

I don’t know what 2020 will have for me, but I’m already super excited. 2019 has been a strong year, musically as well as personally. But we need to care for our beautiful planet earth – I really hope some changes are going to be made in future. I loved seeing all the young kids going out on the streets to demonstrate, and was lucky enough to participate a climate change demonstration as well. It’s our time to raise our voices. Now or never!

Highlighted content: Constellatia – “The Language of Limbs”, A SCENE IN RETROSPECT: Amia Venera Landscape – “The Long Procession”, A SCENE IN RETROSPECT: Agent Fresco – “Destrier”

Top 11 Albums of 2019:

Cult Of LunaA Dawn To Fear
Hypno5eA Distant (Dark) Source
OpethIn Cauda Venenum
Latitudes – Part Island
ConstellatiaThe Language Of Limbs
Downfall Of GaiaEthic Of Radical Finitude
AlcestSpiritual Instinct
The Moth GathererEsotheric Oppression
Fractal UniverseRhizomes Of Insanity
Car Bomb – Mordial

Billie and the Wild Ride That Was 2019

I listened to more music in 2019 than in any year before it, by a landslide. Not only that, but I listened to music in more ways than ever before. 2019 saw my vinyl collection begin, and I finally wised up and started properly using platforms like Bandcamp and Soundcloud to seek out new music that might be flying under the radar. Seeing as it was also my first full year at Everything Is Noise, I had a constant influx of music recommendations from the team.

To keep it concise, I’ve gotten a much deeper love for indie and pop, while black metal has remained my top genre. I was a huge emo kid in high school and grew up adoring Hawthorne Heights and The Devil Wears Prada, seeing as they are from my hometown. Bands like Greet Death, Foxglove, and American Football dropped some really emotionally charged albums that I adored, and that has been some of my most streamed music this year.

My most-streamed album overall was actually IGOR by Tyler the Creator, which remains relatively high on my year-end list but didn’t hold up as much as my streaming habits suggest. I got really into it when it first came out and didn’t go back to it much since. My listening habits have been strange this year, as I’ve spent months binging one or two genres, supplemented by a never-ending slew of new releases. It’s been a fun year filled with a ton of new stuff, and I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings us in even more great music.

Highlighted content: SOUND TEST: Dark Souls Trilogy + Bloodborne

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

American FootballAmerican Football (LP3)
Moon ToothCrux
Cigarettes After SexCry
Earth Moves Human Intricacy
White Ward Love Exchange Failure
The Chemical MindBeneath The Shadow It Casts
Dayseeker Sleeptalk
The Japanese House Good At Falling
Golden Daze Simpatico
Hikes Mahal Kita

Remember Who You Are, Atop Chasing the Next Best Thing All the Time – Pete’s 2019

Just as I hoped, 2019 was chock-full of brilliant post-metal records that saw me through the seasons, with titanic records from Herod, Sậver, Earth Moves, and codeia keeping me very content as winter turned into spring. I had one of my best years for attending festivals and gigs for some years, reporting extensively on Radar, Portals, and Arctangent festivals, which all blew my mind in one way or another.

As with previous years at EIN, I continued to experiment with my taste, exploring more pop, rap, and extreme metal. After summer, that experimentation did admittedly lead to burnout, but with that came an important realisation. Over the last three and a half years of writing for EIN, I’ve easily consumed more bands and albums than I have over the last fifteen, so the last quarter has been dedicated to taking stock of what I really enjoy, such as electronic music. I’ve spent time revisiting old albums and searching for ones released in the last twenty years that might sound similar to them, really honing in on my musical identity.

I’ve applied the lessons from this realisation to other factors in my life, too, and 2020 promises to be an exciting year for me in my career and my personal life. Music will be an integral part of it of course, with Complexity Festival looming in February, and a desire to make my own music also overwhelming me. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what delights EIN will throw my way this year. I hope to build another playlist like the one I did this year, which was the perfect score for the week long trip where I proposed to my wonderful fiancé.

Highlighted content: Opiuo Discusses the Past, the Future, and All the Funky Bits in Between, codeia – “as he turned back towards the eye of the storm”, Koan Sound – “Intervals Above”, WFA: New Ghost, Everything Is Festivals: ArcTanGent Analysis – Part 1 | Part 2

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

Pijn & Conjurer – Curse These Metal Hands
Earth Moves – Human Intricacy
Herod – Sombre Dessein
Sậver – They Came With Sunlight
The Odious Vesica Piscus
codeia – as he turned back towards the eye of the storm
Aberdeen – Downpour
New Ghost – New Ghost Orchestra
We Never Learned To Live – The Sleepwalk Transmissions
Tipper – Jettison Mind Hatch

Hope and Music Always Find a Way: 2019 According to Dom

Not three weeks ago (as of writing this), I was ready to write another one of those ‘you tried, better luck next time’-type reflections for my contribution to this article. My 2019 hasn’t been going as smoothly as I had hoped after the shitshow that was 2018 – in fact, I’ve spent most of the year trying to put the pieces back together on a personal, interpersonal, and professional level. However, towards the end, I did manage to pull of that one little win that put all the previous losses into perspective, that one triumph to move roadblocks and silence the self-doubt created by them. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons through my struggles, but if there’s one I’d like to highlight in particular, it’d be that dreams do come true and darkness will always dissipate – you just have to stick with it.

Musically speaking, 2019 was quite uneventful for me as well, though not for lack of trying on its part. There were so many enticing releases I would’ve loved to get into in time, but my schedule and mental state just didn’t allow for it. And even then I found a lot of wealth in what little music I did manage to cram in. Music (and art in general) has played a big part in my personal journey through the year, albeit in a more passive way than usual, acting more as a calming anchor to my process of healing and self-(re)discovery than a guiding force along the way.

Bring it on, 2020 – I’m (finally) ready for you!

Highlighted content: Cigarettes After Sex – “Cry”, A SCENE IN RETROSPECT: Pharoah Sanders – “Karma”, Larsen Honor a Late Friend with the Captivating “Arrival Vibrate”

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

American FootballAmerican Football (LP3)
Cigarettes After SexCry
Sunn O))) Life Metal and Pyroclasts
Various ArtistsKankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980​-​1990
YerûšelemThe Sublime
Toro Y MoiOuter Peace
Pan AmericanA Son
LatitudesPart Island
Nicola CruzSiku

On behalf of the entire Everything Is Noise team, I’d like to once again wish you a happy new year. Thank you for sticking with us throughout 2019; hopefully you’ll still be around by the time this new decade closes! Your continued support means the world to us. We have so many great ideas for this new year already, so you’ve got a lot to look forward to!

Dominik Böhmer

Dominik Böhmer

Pretentious? Moi?

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