2019 – HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? We asked a few of our bands their favourite album of the year, their highlight, and what they’re looking forward to in 2020.

2019 – HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? We asked a few of our bands their favourite album of the year, their highlight, and what they’re looking forward to in 2020.
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We asked a few of our bands to name their favourite album of the year, their highlight, and what they’re looking forward to in 2020. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Howard ‘H’ Smith (Acid Reign)

What’s your favourite album of 2019, and why?

Acid Reign’s ‘The Age Of Entitlement’, because it’s our first for twenty-nine years!

What was the highlight of 2019 for you, and why?

It has to be putting out the album after all this time and for old and new fans to embrace it. Heart-warming stuff.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020, and why?

Touring our first album for twenty-nine years! (Have I mentioned that already?) We’ve done one show since it came out at the time of writing and if we have anything like that kind of reaction to the new stuff at the others then 2020 is going to be one hell of a year!

 

Chris Takka (Desolation Angels)

What’s your favourite album of 2019, and why?

‘The Black Powder’ by Lord Vicar, as it’s over an hour of epic doom loveliness!

What was the highlight of 2019 for you, and why?

My highlight of the year was becoming a member of the Porter and Davies family with my tactile monitoring system behind the drum kit.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020, and why?

2020 looks to be a very exciting year for the band with the recording of the new album!

Clive Pearson (Desolation Angels)

What’s your favourite album of 2019, and why?

This has to be the Saxon latest release, ‘The Eagle Has Landed 40’ – just an awesome trip down memory lane and I could have this on repeat in the car all day…

What was the highlight of 2019 for you, and why?

The highlight of this year has to be the Madrid Gig at The Trash Can Music Club we did back in March 2019.  That was pure rock ‘n’ roll like it should be when you’re on the road!

What are you most looking forward to in 2020, and why?

We are recording our new album in February 2020 with Steve Grimmett…  It is going to be wicked to work with Steve producing and engineering, and there’s some great songs going on this album.

 

Serj Bilić (Primitai)

What’s your favourite album of 2019, and why?

It’s not the best album of 2019 but maybe ‘Mana’ by Idle Hands comes to mind. I quite like a bit of goth rock like The Sisters of Mercy, Type O Negative, Killing Joke etc, and was surprised to discover a band introducing such influences into traditional metal.  This is a strange combination but it works and it’s a very good album in its own right.  There’s a bit of room for improvement and I look forward to them honing their sound and execution. 

What was the highlight of 2019 for you, and why?

My highlight was Primitai playing the Serbian rock festival in the summer. We were looking for new countries to play, and festivals that were clearly run by fans – this way even if we were unknown to them we’d have a chance of getting booked if our music made a good impression. It was quite a stunt in the end that we managed to get ourselves booked on the bill with Serbia’s all-time biggest hard rock band. It was an adventure into the unknown… We flew to Romania, landed at 3am and got driven across the border into Serbia in pitch black rain. Luckily the festival days themselves were gloriously sunny, we got taken really good care of, we had an amazing virtuoso guitarist Mladen Pecovic guesting and a keytar player as well for our whole set. The whole town came to the festival and all the local metal kids had done their research on us and went crazy down the front. The only downside was playing on the last night and having to leave at 6am to fly back. However, this made us make the most of the time we had left after the set – we went straight into the crowd and hung out until sunrise with the most hardcore concert goers.  

What are you most looking forward to in 2020, and why?

We’re looking forward to keeping on keeping on, writing new music and playing new places.  We’ve been to Belgium, Croatia, Holland, Germany and Serbia for the first time with our album ‘The Calling’, we loved every new place and want to keep adding to these experiences.

 

Tom Potter (Toledo Steel)

What’s your favourite album of 2019, and why?

2019 has been a busy year and I’ve not had time to listen to many new albums. I remember liking the albums that Traveller and Vultures Vengeance put out early in the year but the album that really sticks in my mind from 2019 is Enforcer’s ‘Zenith’ – mainly because it divided opinion so much. It’s very different to their previous albums but personally I enjoy listening to it. Loads of bands have released albums this year though like RAM, Terminus, Ruler, Screamer… I have a lot of catching up to do!

 What was the highlight of 2019 for you, and why?

The whole year has been a highlight for the band really – we’ve played loads of shows with cool bands and had an amazing time along the way! To pick out just a few things, it was great to play in France for the first time and get to see the sights of Paris. Then we did a run of shows in Germany with Blizzen and The Night Eternal – two very good bands – which ended with a crazy night of partying in Oberhausen… The Helvete Club is a really cool place and hopefully we’ll be back there soon! Most recently we flew to Barcelona to play a sold out festival and then next week we’re playing our last show of the year in Athens – that will be another highlight for sure! It was also good to release our first ever music video and see ‘No Quarter’ come out on vinyl – two things we’re really proud of.

 What are you most looking forward to in 2020, and why?

We’ve already got some exciting shows lined up for spring that we’ll be announcing shortly, and we’ll also be entering the studio again so watch this space!

 

Niina (Barbe-Q-Barbies)

What’s your favourite album of 2019, and why?

So many good albums this year, but I have to say Rival Sons’ ‘Feral Roots’. This album is one of their strongest because of the versatility of it. It has some really raw rockin’ on it. It’s like they’ve brought old Southern music up-to-date in quite a heavy form. At first I wasn’t sure if it’d gone too heavy for my taste, but with few listenings I was totally sold on it. This album has also its very soft side, which is my favourite part. Songs like the title track and ‘All Directions’ are on my playlist every day. I just saw them live here in Helsinki and the show was absolutely mindblowing. And a good second comes The Last Internationale ‘Soul On Fire’ and Michael Kiwanuka’s ‘Kiwanuka’. 

What was the highlight of 2019 for you, and why?

I think it was opening my own clothing store/brand 1981 HELSINKI here in Kallio, Helsinki. So, yes, I’m becoming an entrepreneur!

What are you most looking forwards to in 2020, and why? 

I’m not really sure yet. I just hope to play good shows with Barbe-Q-Barbies, especially outside Finland – getting some shows in Germany this year would be cool. And hopefully getting back to studio to record at some point, as well. The same with my other band, The Black Bubbles. And, of course, growing my own company. So, lots of good things are coming our way for sure!

Mike Alvord (Mindwars)

What’s your favourite album of 2019, and why?

The best album of 2019 has to be Angel Witch, ‘Angel Of Light’. Their 1980 debut is one of my all-time favourites. This new release has tastes of the past with a lot of new twists and sounds. Kevin Heybourne is at his best!

What was the highlight of 2019 for you, and why?

The completion of writing all the material for our next release. Mindwars has worked feverishly to come up with ten solid new thrashing songs and we will feature a new bassist – Rick Zaccaro – while current bassist Danny Pizzi moves to second guitar! 

What are you most looking forwards to in 2020, and why?

 

We are looking forward to many great things in 2020! Our fourth album will be released. We are recording a song for an upcoming Slayer tribute album. Lastly, we hope to do a couple small tours in the US and with any luck in Europe. 

 

Steve Rice (Imagika)

What’s your favourite album of 2019, and why?

The new Imagika of course – pretty much because I’m on it!

What was the highlight of 2019 for you, and why?

Finishing the new Imagika and Kill Ritual CDs in a year’s time! It took a ton of work, but was a great challenge.

What are you most looking forwards to in 2020, and why?

Hopefully hitting the road with both bands to lay it on the metal masses!