10 Best Alternative Music Albums of 2019

There was plenty of great albums in the land of alternative music this year. Here is Music Trajectory’s take on the best ten albums, plus a bonus five honorable mentions. Like the list, hate the list, contribute your own list, in the comments.

1. Tool – Fear Inoculum

It was certainly the most anticipated album of the year. It ended up being the best album of the year. Also: lead single “Fear Inoculum” grabbed the top spot in Music Trajectory’s Best 20 Alternative Songs of 2020 post.

Standout tracks:


“Fear Inoculum”


Underrated awesomeness:

“Chocolate Chip Trip”

2. Bastille – Doom Days

Bastille knocks it out of the park with their 3rd album, Doom Days. Perhaps more pop-influenced than their first albums, Doom Days is still vintage Bastille – blending several different genres with brooding yet joyful lyrics. Overall, it’s a classic indie-pop record with no skips. Late in 2019, the band released an extended version of the album with several new songs and reworkings of songs on the standard release.

Standout tracks:

“Quarter Past Midnight”

“Doom Days”

“Another Place”

Underrated awesomeness:

“Million Pieces”

3. Idle Hands – Mana

I saw these guys open up for King Diamond this year and I was instantly hooked. They blend a bunch of different genres – glam, goth, black metal, trade metal, punk, and more. A wonderful blend of music in the vein of Iron Maiden, Ramones, Sisters of Mercy, and Depeche Mode. Mana is a super solid debut album. These guys are going to get big, so catch the wave now.


Standout tracks:

“Give Me To The Night”

“Blade And The Will”


Underrated awesomeness:

“Dragon, Why Do You Cry?”

4. Cage the Elephant – Social Cues

These guys put out great album after great album. Social Cues marks their 5th album release and sees the band stay true to their core sound but open it up a bit. I’d argue the album showcases the best effort lyric-wise.

Standout tracks:

“Ready To Let Go”

“House Of Glass”

“Social Cues”

Underrated awesomeness:

“Tokyo Smoke”

5. Rammstein – RAMMSTEIN

We had to wait 10 years between Rammstein albums so this album was probably the second most anticipated album of the year behind Tool. Rammstein delivered a solid album that should appease both fans and critics.

Standout tracks:




Underrated awesomeness:


6. The Black Keys – “Let’s Rock”

The Black Keys took a bit of a break and returned with arguably their best album front-to-back. Is there a skip on the record? Not that I know of 🙂

Standout tracks:



“Eagle Birds”

Underrated awesomeness:

“Under The Gun”

7. Blink-182 – NINE

It was great to have Blink-182 back when they returned with their California album in 2016. Matt Skiba is a great addition to the band but it took a bit of time for them to find their sound with him. NINE is very Blink but sounds like a great blend of Skiba’s Alkaline Trio and Mark’s contributions to Blink-182. And of course Travis kicks ass up, down, left, and right. Congrats to the boys for putting together a super solid pop-punk album, nine albums into their career.

Standout tracks:


“The First Time”

“Happy Days”

Underrated awesomeness:

“I Really Wish I Hated You”

8. Tiger Army – Retrofuture

Retrofuture is easily Tiger Army’s best album since their first two albums, 1999’s Tiger Army and 2001’s II: Power of Moonlite, which are punk rock/psychobilly classics. The band blends old and new with this new release and infuses some new elements sure to impress critics and fans.

Standout tracks:

“Last Ride”

“Beyond The Veil”

“Devil That You Don’t Know”

Underrated awesomeness:

“Eyes of the Night”

9. Children of Bodom – Hexed

In hindsight, this is COB’s last studio album since the band recently announced they are breaking up. Let’s hope for a reunion down the road. Hexed isn’t their best album, its not even their 5th best album, but it was definitely one of the best albums of the year!

Standout tracks:

“Under Grass and Clover”

“This Road”

“Glass Houses”

Underrated awesomeness:


10. Refused – War Music

Released 21 years after the classic and genre-defining ’98 album The Shape Of Punk To Come, Refused drops their second best album. War Music has it all if you are a fan of the band or just want some quality alternative rock. All killer, no filler.

Standout tracks:

“Blood Red”

“Economy Of Death”


Underrated awesomeness:

“Death In Vannas”

Honorable Mentions:

1. In Flames – I, The Mask

2. Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Balance

3. The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger

4. Pixies – Beneath the Eyrie

5. The Shelters – Jupiter Sidecar

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