2019 has been one of the biggest years in heavy music in recent memory, with major players such as Tool, Slipknot and Rammstein dropping long-awaited new albums, while trailblazing up-and-comers pushed boundaries in their own right. For her part, Connie Sgarbossa sang, screamed and swaggered on one of 2019's best LPs: SeeYouSpaceCowboy's The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds. We asked her to share some of her favorite music from the past year — below is what she offered up.
A lot of weird underground rap/hip-hop has been coming out in the past couple years, but I feel like Zheani really mixes a lot of the trends with elements that have yet to be incorporated to create some releases that standout sonically [like] mixing the abrasive screaming in some songs, incorporating softer elements for trance-like [passages] in others.
Vatican has consistently put out music that I love, but with this latest release they have really outdone themselves. Hardcore has been dipping its toes in metalcore a lot recently, but Vatican dives all in, creating something that feels unapologetically them in the most chaotic yet harmonious way. Haunting and heavy and driving, it's a release that truly grips you, start to finish.
On the subject of metalcore, Chamber brings some of the most engaging chaotic and satisfying the genre has to offer right now. They are a band that is unrelenting and makes you feel in disarray in the most satisfying way. In all aspects, this release will take you for a ride that will have you wanting to tear at your physical form. I had the honor of touring with them and, even after seeing them every night, I was enthralled each and every time.
Another band that I recently got the pleasure of being on the road with and had a similar delight every night with: Knocked Loose are able to offer the most consistent experience you can find in the best way. This album offers a darker side coupled with the energy that draws most to heavy music, but also a slight melancholy feeling and expression of frustration that permeates in those who struggle mentally in their day-to-day lives. This is an extremely cathartic listening experience that will hit you at the core of your emotions.
At first, my hopes for this release were pretty low. I have been a die hard fan of Aesop Rock for some time and he has been a huge inspiration to me lyrically through my whole time being a vocalist, but him pairing up with Tobacco and the less dynamic sounds of the instrumentals scared me. I was pleasantly surprised when I sat down with the whole album and, yes, while the chip-tune instrumentals aren't as driving or mood-setting as past Aesop Rock beats, they marry well with his ability to just freely spit his beautifully cryptic yet so clever and clear verses over. It's not on par with the angst-inducing Labor Days or thought-provoking Float, but this still serves as a great step in an amazing catalog from Aesop Rock and, even though not my favorite, anything he does can secure a spot in my top releases for whatever year he chooses to drop.