So, 2018 is behind us, another year on the books. After having put together a list of my favorite releases for the year, I decided to try going in the opposite direction and form a list of the albums I’m anticipating most in the coming year. Now, a bit of a heads up before we dig in; I am almost certainly missing some albums here. Some may have escaped my attention, and I’m sure there are more to be announced yet as well. All mentioned below I’m sure are coming this year, but a specific date has yet to be given. So, that said, let’s jump in.
*For those wondering, secular releases also appear here. This is done as a reverse “Best of” in a way, which also includes secular releases from all writers, and honestly, I’m interested to see how this stacks up to the actual list at the close of 2019*
Upcoming 2019 Releases
1. Deftones – Untitled (No Date Announced) – Anytime a Deftones release is rumored, the fans go out of their heads for it. Why? Mainly because we’ve learned over time that there is just no such thing as a bad Deftones album. There may be differing opinions on the ranking of their albums, but the vast majority of their fans would be averse to call any “bad”, and in my honest opinion, they just keep getting better with each release. According to the band, they’ve finished most of the recording for their upcoming 2019 release; this album is sure to be huge and is easily my most anticipated album for the upcoming year.
2. Clint Lowery – Untitled (No Date Announced) – Clint Lowery is the guitarist for hard rock band, Sevendust. In years past, Clint has released 4 eps under the moniker, “Hello Demons, Meet Skeletons”. But following the most recent one (2013’s “Choices”), he stated it would be the last HDMS release, which was disappointing, because, while mostly acoustic, the chord progressions combined with the vocal melodies made for some of my favorite music. So when it was announced late last year that he would be releasing a new solo album under his own name, it immediately made this list. Eager to hear whatever this guy produces; it’s always gold.
3. 311 – Untitled (No Date Announced) – 311 is one of the first bands I really got into when music began to be a big thing for me. With one of the most eclectic sounds around, there really is no one else out there you can even really compare them to; ska, rock, hard rock, reggae, rapcore…it’s all there, with each style very well executed. With the bulk of the upcoming album written, 311 is aiming for a Spring release for their upcoming, untitled album. “Mosaic”, the bands most recent release, was met with positive reviews from fans and critics alike, something I’d certainly expect from whatever is next for these guys; every album is a treat. (UPDATE: The band has just announced today, that “Enlarged to Show Detail 3”, a new documentary of sorts, will actually be released to theaters nationwide on one day only…3/11.)
4. Korn – Untitled (No Date Announced) – Sometime last year, it was said by drummer Ray Luzier that the band’s 13th studio album would drop in March 2019. Since then, he’s backtracked on that statement, and while we remain hopeful to see a new album released later this year, one thing’s for sure; the band isn’t one to hurry things up just to drop an album. After hearing that the nu metal masters have tapped John Feldmann (Goldfinger) and Travis Barker (Blink-182) to co-write some of the material, I’m especially looking forward to hearing how things turn out. Bring it on, boys.
5. Slipknot – Untitled (Summer 2019) – It’s been 5 years since the last release from Slipknot, “.5:The Grey Chapter”, so it’s easy to understand the eagerness on the part of the fans for the new album, which, as of this writing, remains untitled. This past Halloween, the band released their newest single, “All Out Life”, which was basically what you’d expect from them, but that’s a good thing, and has certainly left me eager for more. The upcoming release, which fans are itching for any news of, is expected to release this Summer.
6. Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh – Untitled (Spring 2019) – The ladies of GFM have an ep and a full length out, and both are pretty exceptional. I truthfully can’t think of a weak track on either, and if their newest single, “On the Inside” is any indication, the upcoming ep is unlikely to have any either. If you’ve yet to give them a listen, you’re sorely missing out. They dish out some hard rock the likes of which you don’t hear too often these days. Very eager to hear what they do going forward, and we’ll get the first glimpse in the form of an ep sometime in the next few months. Go listen to the material they already have out to see why they’re pretty high up on my list of the most anticipated releases of 2019.
7. Death Therapy – Untitled (April (?) 2019) – We last heard from Death Therapy in February of 2017, with the debut album, “The Storm Before the Calm”. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t hear them until months and months later at Uprise Festival. They were performing and it just kinda hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d been sorely missing out, which I rectified right after the set. So here we are, 2 years after the debut album and I feel like I can speak for most of us when I say we’re still spinning it. From all indications, Death Therapy has been hard at work on the follow up and is nearing completion. We don’t know much right now, except to say 2019 looks pretty certain. And hey…we can ALL use a little more industrial/hard rock in our lives, especially of this caliber.
8. Demon Hunter – “War”/“Peace” (3/1/19) – This past December, Demon Hunter announced not one, but two new albums slated for release in March 2019. The metal band has become a staple in Christian metal and arguably one of the best bands in the genre. There’s been a number of singles that have dropped already and they are indicative of what fans are hoping for; brutally heavy tracks as well as some on the mellow side, giving us a nice blend of the range we all know the band is capable of doing, and doing well. With a double album release, we can rest assure that even with the number of songs released up to this point, we’ve just barely scratched the surface.
9. Norma Jean – Untitled (No Date Announced) – Funny enough, when I first heard of Norma Jean, I didn’t like them whatsoever. Over time though, I’ve seen the error of my ways and have come to love them. Tastes change, expand, and so on. The last album “Polar Similar” (2016) seemed to receive a lukewarm reception, but I thought it was pretty great and I’m really looking forward to hearing what they’ve got lined up next.
10. Relent – “Heart Attack” (March 2019) – Sometime last year Brandon introduced me to the band Relent. Being a huge fan of nu metal, and immediately hearing strong similarities to the genre on my first listen, I was hooked from the start. At the time, the band only had an ep out titled “Embers” that contained two songs; “Rise” and “Surrendered”. It was bittersweet, because the songs were so good, yet there were only two, and man, did I want more. Later in the year, the band released a new single, “Changed”, which showed there was more where the first ep came from, and this March, we’ll be getting 7 or 8 tracks more on the “Heart Attack” ep.
11. Wage War – Untitled (No Date Announced) – I feel like Wage War really surprised people with the recent release of their newest single, “Low”, which released on New Year’s Day; at least I didn’t see it coming. Their most recent album, “Deadweight” released in 2017, and while it’s a good album, it wasn’t received quite as well as “Blueprints”. “Low” seems more in line with “Blueprints” in my opinion, and is expected to appear on the new album, which many are now expecting to see hit stores later this year.
12. The Persuaded – “Dawn of Destruction” (3/1/19) – Nashville’s The Persuaded were one of a number of bands that signed to Rockfest Records last year, and what a great band to sign! The guys have an abrasive hard rock/metal sound that fits together well with labelmates Amongst the Giants. They have a couple singles you can find online if you look around on Spotify and YouTube and the like. Their debut album on Rockfest Records releases early this year and promises to be one heck of a debut.
13. These 5 Down – “The 2nd Coming” (October 2019…sort of) – In the early to mid 2000s, nu metal band, These 5 Down, had released a couple of albums that were both pretty great. Sometime after the second release, “Friction” in 2006, the band disbanded. After 12 years of silence, if you were paying attention, you may have noticed some rumblings from the band across their social media pages late last year, signaling some activity, foreshadowing something big on the horizon, and on Christmas day 2018, the band released the first single off the upcoming album, “2nd Coming”, called “Coming of the Son”. Now here’s where it gets a little different. After personally speaking with the band, it turns out that they’ll be releasing a new single each month (sometimes maybe more) until the whole album has been released (10 tracks), at which time, the full album will packaged up and made available for purchase for those who are into cds or would prefer buying itin one full show. Head over to the band’s facebook page and give it a like and also to www.these5down.com to sign up for their email list to stay up to date.
14. Love & Death – Untitled (No Date Announced) – I’ll be honest and say I write this blurb out hesitantly. “Between Here and Lost” was, to me, just an amazing album; I loved it. It released in 2013 and since then, the band has released one track, “Lo Lamento”, in 2016 that teased a new album that was expected, but never came. Truthfully, many fans expected it even before that. The band has promised a new album from around that time since, but has continually failed to deliver on those promises, so when they say there will be a new album this year, it’s widely received with skepticism and no expectations, but a great deal of hope. The constant delays are understandable, especially with Brian “Head” Welch’s other band, Korn taking priority and now, Love and Death drummer Dan Johnson has just been name the official drummer for hard rockers, RED. JR Bareis, had also been with the band Islander for a few years there and has done a bit of filling in for a number of other bands as well. So..will we see something new from these guys this year? Here’s hoping.
15. Lifelong – Untitled (No Date Announced) – May of 2018 saw the debut ep, “Revive the Masses” from Lifelong (ex-Confide). This ep immediately grabbed me with the great lyrics that shared both struggles and a faith in God in the midst of them. This, combined with a raw sound reminiscent of somewhat older school hardcore, made for a really great listen. Nothing has been announced for 2019 and the band has been fairly quiet, but in the amount of time following the release of an ep, it isn’t unreasonable to expect/hope to see something new from these guys in the coming year.
16. Spoken – “Untitled” (Fall 2019) – A new Spoken album is in the works and expected to drop this Fall. With “IX” being markedly mellower than “Breathe Again”, which was even mellower than the explosive “Illusion” (perhaps my favorite Spoken album), will the trend continue on the next release? I recall a little while back, that Matt had shared a studio video of himself tracking some vocals and it seriously blew me away. It was as heavy and hitting as anything I’ve ever heard from Spoken. So…which will we get…something a little more mellow or something a bit more aggressive? If I had to guess, I’d wager a little of both. Either way, I’m really looking forward to it and we’ll find out in Fall 2019.
17. Wolves At The Gate – Untitled (No Date Announced) – Wolves at the Gate are a pretty exceptional band. While I didn’t find myself a fan of everything on “Types and Shadows”, I still liked a good portion of it, and I loved the preceding albums. The guys have been hard at work recording LP4 since last July and have said the album will be released later this year. Really looking forward to hearing what they’re putting together.
18. Makeout – Untitled (No Date Announced) – My #1 for Best Albums of 2017 was none other than Makeout’s “The Good Life”. Here we are just a few weeks into 2019 and I’m still spinning that album frequently. The guys enjoyed a fairly successful album debut that was multiplied quite a bit by a great run on the Warped Tour this past year. Bringing an energetic, raw brand of pop punk reminiscent of the early 2000’s coupled with a high energy live show served them quite well. A month or three ago, the band shot a music video just up the road from me, but unfortunately I couldn’t be there. However, I was able to hear a bit of the new song and it is maybe even more energetic than most of what I hear on “The Good Life”. If memory serves, the album is finished and just awaits a release date, which would have to be this year sometime, if not in just the next few months. Pop punk fans, don’t miss this. (Update: Since the original writing of this, singer/guitarist Sam Boxold has left the band. The band has said they plan on continuing and have wished him the best, but I’m unsure of what the means for the upcoming album.)
19. Through Veins – “Immortality” (Spring 2019) – Through Veins is a new metalcore band based out of NJ. The guys are just getting off the ground and are expected to release their debut album, “Immortality” this Spring. This one is going to appeal to fans of bands like Fit For A King and Memphis May Fire. Really looking forward to seeing this drop, it should be a great debut!
20. Off Road Minivan – Untitled (Late 2019) – Off Road Minivan had a pretty impressive debut ep in early 2018 that had a lot of people sit up and take notice. The new Tooth & Nail act breathed a bit of life into a label that seemed to have really needed it (still do, just…less now). Now as 2019 rears its head, we tend to stop and reflect on who we’d like to see more from in the coming year. I for one want more Off Road Mini Van. And it looks as though we’ll get it before the end of the year. So…are you ready?
21. foreveratlast – Untitled (No Date Announced) – Heavy pop punk band foreveratlast’s “Ghosts Again” was released in 2014 with Victory Records, so it’s been quite some time since then. I enjoyed the album quite a bit and had hoped to see more from the band, and certainly sooner. According to the band’s Facebook page, the band has a new album planned for 2019, so the wait is just about over. Who’s been waiting on this one with me?
22. The B-Listers – Untitled (End of 2019) – The B-Listers released their debut ep, “Riots to Soundtracks” in April of 2016. The ep is just loaded with excellent skate punk (I LOVE “90’s Punk Revisited”) and after finishing up the ep, you just wanted more; at the tail end of 2019, we just might get it. Bring it, guys!
23. Seventh Day Slumber – “Close to Chaos” (5/31/19) – Seventh Day Slumber has long been a staple in the Christian rock scene, and deservedly so. This year will mark 20 years since the band’s first release, “Matthew Twenty Five” and on May 31st, we’ll be treated to the next offering from the band, an album titled “Closer to Chaos”. Sure, there’s been a noticeable increase of mellower material on the band’s albums as the years have gone by, but they sound great, and they can, and do, still bring it as well. You can keep up to date with the band as they are in the recording process on their facebook page. Some of what I’ve heard on there has me pretty psyched for this release. Definitely an album to look forward to.
24. Matt Baird – Untitled (Fall 2019) – Back in 2015, Matt Baird, front man for hard rock outfit, Spoken, took some time out to write and record some excellent worship tunes for a solo album titled, “Keeper of My Heart”. If you’ve heard this album you already know it’s a very stripped down worship album, full of great lyrics and infectious melodies. When all was said and done, I was really psyched to have another worship album to listen to that actually sounded good, but I didn’t have any expectations for anything beyond the one worship album. Well, here we are, 2019 and more and more, we’re getting exciting news of things we can look forward to this year, and a second full worship album from Matt Baird is pretty high up on my list. Expect this new, currently untitled album to drop in Fall of 2019.
25. Hillsong United – Untitled (No Date Announced) – This is another album we’ve been given no announcement for as of yet, however, we’ve been given two singles in the past month or two, that seem to better resemble their pre-Aftermath material than anything I’ve heard after. Between the two singles and a US tour set for late April through early July, it seems pretty likely a new album announcement is just around the corner, and if all continues to sound like these first couple releases, then I, for one, can’t wait.
26. Disciple – Untitled (No Date Announced) – It wasn’t all that long ago that the announcement was made that Disciple is now an official Tooth & Nail band; so that alone should have been all the foreshadowing necessary that a new album was imminent. Now, Tooth & Nail and Disciple partnered together to release the last album, “Long Live the Rebels”, but it wasn’t until now that they actually became an official T&N band, the details of which I’m personally unaware of. The band is currently in the studio working on the follow up to that album, and since their released are always something to look forward to, I’m pretty psyched.
27. Aid & Effect – Untitled (No Date Announced) – As I type this out, there are no current plans I’m aware of for a release from Aid & Effect in 2019, but I’m half hopeful, and half expectant, you could say. For those unaware, Aid & Effect is ¾ of the original line up of the pop punk band, Hawk Nelson (Jason Dunn, Matt Paige, and David Clark) and ¼ Wretch Like Me (Jake Goodman). The band has been booking a “15 Years of Letters to the President” tour (named for Hawk Nelson’s breakout sophomore album) for 2019. Will we see a release from these guys later in the year? We can only hope!
28. Nothing Left – LP2 (No Date Announced) – Nothing Left dropped an ep on us back in 2017 called “Destroy and Rebuild”. Awesome ep, but short. If nothing else, we had a few tunes in out hands to play loudly and an idea of what we might expect from the band in the future. Well, the future is upon us, and in just the past few days, the band announced a new album will see its release in 2019! So, if you’ve messed up and haven’t hear this band yet, fix that and get pumped for this; I know I am.
29. Everything In Slow Motion – LP2 (No Date Announced) – Everything In Slow Motion is a band that debuted with a 2 song ep, titled “Red”, followed by a very well received full length release, “Phoenix”. The “Laid Low” ep followed, also with a great reception, and fans of the band have been hungry for more since its release. According to the band’s social media accounts, they guys are back in the studio putting together the next album/ep.
So, inasmuch as I have in sight, these are the albums I look forward to seeing coming out in the upcoming year. Agree? Disagree? What did I miss that you maybe would have included? In any respect, I have to say that 2019 looks like a pretty strong year for some new music, so bring it on.