Author's Choices

Rocko’s Top Ten(s) of 2019

I will be honest with you guys. I really hate lists like this. My problem is that I mostly listen to new albums to write a review about it, otherwise I think I could spend my whole life with music I already know. So I write two lists now, one with the albums I listened the most in 2019, and the second one with some songs from 2019 which made it to my rotation. So, if you really need my Top Ten of 2019, maybe you just grab the albums these songs are on, and make yourself believe that these are my favorites. Deal? Wonderful!

The sequence the albums and songs are in doesn’t matter. I just write them down as they come into my mind, and that’s all you need to know by now. So let’s start with my

Albums of the Year

Corey Taylor – Live in London

To make it as complicated as possible I like to start with an album, which isn’t really an album, something, that wasn’t even released on CD, but only on YouTube. It’s Corey Taylor’s Acoustic Live Show from London from 2016. I really love this show from the moment I first saw it and I watched it dozens of times this year. THIS is art for me. You can feel the energy, the joy, the enthusiasm of the audience and the two musicians, especially Corey. You can see all the emotions, you can hear and feel them. It gives me goosebumps, it makes me smile, and it gives me tears to my eyes, every single time I listen to it, and THAT is the reason why it’s one of my all-time favourites. Thank you, Corey!

Versengold – Nacht der Balladen (Night of Ballads)

Versengold is a German Folk band, which is connected to the medieval and LARP-scene. On all of their albums you can find lot of party-folk-songs, to dance, drink, and sing along with them. Yeah, nice. But I love the band for their ballads about love & death, which can be found on every album too. On a usual live show, they play maybe one or two of these songs in the middle of the set. But on Nacht der Balladen the focus is on exactly these songs, played in acoustic versions. So this was the show I was always waiting for, and, of course, I missed it in early 2018. In summer, this album was released, and after listening to it I knew that I missed something special. Thankfully I get another chance in 2020, and I already have my ticket for it. 😀

Deine Lakaien – Acoustic

Yes, it is another Live-Album, and I think it is the oldest Live-album I got on my list. It’s from 1995 already. Deine Lakaien are a German Dark Wave/Gothic-Band with Avantgarde orientation. On their regular albums you can find a lot of Electronic music, which I personally, usually don’t like, but this is one of these exceptions. With their acoustic-shows they presented something special. Two musicians on stage, one on a piano, and the other one is singing. Nothing special so far. What I really like are the sounds Ernst Horn, the main composer of the band performs on his piano. You can hear lot of different sounds you never think a piano could make, and in my imagination he needs to clmb into the piano to punch and stroke the strings of the piano. And I’m pretty sure, that’s the way he does it. 😉

Diary of Dreams – Anatomy of Silence

Guess what? It’s an acoutic album again. Diary of Dreams are also located in the Dark/Gothish style of music. Synths mixed with guitars, piano and live played electronic drums. I like their live shows, because they play their songs with a bigger focus on the guitars and drums, less electronical. Anatomy of Silence shows us a third style of the band, performing their greatest hits so far in different acoustic styles, for example just with a piano, or acoustic guitars or violin, or everything mixed together. So they can show you how versatile the musicians and their songs are.

Blind Guardian – Live Beyond The Spheres

So, that is Blind Guardian’s third live album, and the one which is so un-live, because of the post production that it is more of a “Best Of” album to me than a live album. The songs are mixed together from different shows all over the globe, so you don’t have a real live show. But as a Best Of, it really works well for me.

Cradle Of Filth – Midian

Do I really need to say something about this album? In my opinion it is their Magnus Opus, where everything is put together the right way. But I want to add a little. There are two more songs I absolutely admire, and listen to nearly daily: “All Hope In Eclipse” and “Born in a Burial Ground” from the Bitter Suites to Succubi EP/Album.

Dornenreich – Bitter ist’s dem Tod zu Dienen

Dornenreich are an Austrian Avantgarde Dark/Black Metal band. Their 1999 album Bitter ist’s dem Tod zu Dienen made it to my Top 10 for the first time this year, since I listened to them. Usually I listen more to Her von Welken Nächten – their third album from 2001. I think this year I needed it a little more roughness – the lyrics of this album touched me more this year, and I intertpreted them more fittingly to my situations in this year. I hope you can understand.

Bloodbath – The Wacken Carnage

Do you know these days, when everything pisses you off. You open your eyes and you are pissed about everything. On a day like this, I found a live performance of Bloodbath on Youtube, and it made me smile. This little evil smile. Not too much, but a little. So I took a look for more, and found this one, and fell in love. So, when I felt pissed this year, I listened to this. And cause I’m pissed at least once a week…It made it to my Top Ten this year.

Devin Townsend Project – Ocean Machine Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv

Quite a long title, isn’t it? Yeah, and it is another live album. I don’t know, I really like live music. Okay, as the Blind Guardian, I think it’s edited a lot in post-production, but in that case it doesn’t matter. What I love about Devin‘s music is the positive energy I can hear and feel in his songs. They sound Metal, but in a positive way, because of their chords, their sound, the style of the compositions. For some people this is the exact reason why it sounds too poppy.

Slayer – Reign in Blood

This classic is one of my favourites for the car. If I don’t know what to listen to, I put in this one, and I’m happy. In an evil, sinister way 😉

Radiohead – Ok, Computer

The last one here was very hard now. Another option would have been the Greatest Hits by Sisters of Mercy. If you don’t like this one, please just change them. I think Ok, Computer is one of the greatest albums ever made, and in my personal Top 100. That’s enough to say…

Top Tracks 2019

As mentioned before, I mostly listen to old music. I have some albums I love to listen in total to, and at home I like to let Alexa play tracks I like, or didn’t listen to for a longer period of time. Each year, of course, there are some tracks that make it to my rotation – to the songs I listen to regularly. So here are a few new songs from 2019:

  • Idle Hands – Nightfall
  • John 5 – I am John 5
  • Waldgeflüster – Staub in der Lunge
  • THE Neptune Power Federation – Can You Dig
  • Heavy Feather – Tell Me Your Tale
  • Mayhem – Malum
  • Korn – Cold
  • Rammstein – Puppe

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