Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2019

The amount of amazing music released in 2019 was overwhelming at times. I was able to get my hands on 612 full length albums in 2019. Throw in EP’s and singles and the year was incredibly prolific for the synth-based scenes. I had the daunting task of narrowing those 600+ albums down to just 30. I released a Top 100 first (you can find that HERE) and now it’s the Top 30!

LISTEN TO THE TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2019 SHOW HERE!

I have several rules I use when narrowing down releases to my Top 30 Albums:

  1. In order for an album to qualify, I must own the album, either through purchasing it on my own or it being given to me by the band, label, promotional team, or DJ distribution service. There are 47 albums released in 2019 that I do not own. I’m sure there are more than 47 as no matter how hard I try to stay on top of new releases there’s no way to catch 100% of them. This is one of many reasons why it is so important to get the music to DJs!
  2. To qualify, the release must be an album and not an EP or single. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs” that cover singles and EPs.
    1. To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions of previous releases, and covers do not count toward the total. Intro and Outro songs as well as brief intermission style songs do not count toward the total of original songs. If an album has 12 songs, but only seven original songs, then the album qualifies, but only those seven songs are rated.
  3. All albums are rated using a weighted average so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs. This prevents a seven song album from losing 14 points/song when a 12 song album would only lose 8 points/song.
  4. Every qualifying song on an album needs to be listenable. I want to listen to the entire album from start to finish. This rule accounts for most of the initial removals from the 600 plus releases.
  5. Any genres represented in my show can make the Top 30.
  6. I fully recognize that my list is subjective and that others will have different lists or disagree with my choices. I try my best to be objective using the weighted average rating system and when it comes time to delete albums with lower scores, I don’t look at the names of the bands I’m deleting so there’s no chance I’ll bump an album because I really like the band or I’m friends with the drummer, etc. I have no doubt given human psychology that no matter how hard I try or what rules I put in place, I do not eliminate all personal bias. But I guess that’s what makes these lists subjective.

I don’t rank them from 30 to 1. That’s too much work, honestly (given that I start from over 600), and almost impossible given the scope of genres I work with. This process takes weeks, working hours each day, and ten hours on weekends. After the first rating getting it to just 100 songs, I go through and re-rate the albums with a more brutal rating system, then have to do it again and again until I get down to just 30.

I hope you give each album and band a chance. If you find something you like then support the band: follow them on social media, buy their music and merch, and definitely go see them on tour!

So with all that said, here is my Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2019 (in alphabetical order):

Conmutadores - Tridimensional

Conmutadores – Tridimensional (LISTEN HERE)

Culture Kultür - Humanity

Culture Kultür – Humanity (LISTEN HERE)

Dancing Plague - Too Still

Dancing Plague – Too Still (LISTEN HERE)

Dark-O-Matic - New Hope

Dark-O-Matic – New Hope (LISTEN HERE)

Empyres - Cruel Bastards

Empyres – Cruel Bastards (LISTEN HERE)

Faderhead - Asteria

Faderhead – Asteria (LISTEN HERE)

Fractal Age - Modern World

Fractal Age – Modern World (LISTEN HERE)

Glass Apple Bonzai - The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café

Glass Apple Bonzai – The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café (LISTEN HERE)

Harmjoy - Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove.

Harmjoy – Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove. (LISTEN HERE)

Insight - A New Day

Insight – A New Day (LISTEN HERE)

Intent:Outtake - Days Of Doom

Intent:Outtake – Days Of Doom (LISTEN HERE)

Iris - Six

Iris – Six (LISTEN HERE)

Machinista - Anthropocene

Machinista – Anthropocene (LISTEN HERE)

Mind Machine - Return To The Machine

Mind Machine – Return To The Machine (LISTEN HERE)

Mondträume - Lovers, Sinners & Liars

Mondträume – Lovers, Sinners & Liars (LISTEN HERE)

Mr.Kitty - Ephemeral

Mr.Kitty – Ephemeral (LISTEN HERE)

Neuropa - Close To Midnight

Neuropa – Close To Midnight (LISTEN HERE)

Orange Sector - Alarm

Orange Sector – Alarm (LISTEN HERE)

Prometheus Flame - Karma Reloaded

Prometheus Flame – Karma Reloaded (LISTEN HERE)

Romy - Celluloid Self

Romy – Celluloid Self (LISTEN HERE)

Ruined Conflict - Valediction

Ruined Conflict – Valediction (LISTEN HERE)

Signal Aout 42 - Insurrection

Signal Aout 42 – Insurrection (LISTEN HERE)

Silent EM - The Absence

Silent EM – The Absence (LISTEN HERE)

Soft Riot - When Push Comes To Shove

Soft Riot – When Push Comes To Shove (LISTEN HERE)

SoftWave - GAME ON

SoftWave – GAME ON (LISTEN HERE)

Spark! - Chaos

Spark! – Chaos (LISTEN HERE)

Third Realm - The Art Of Despair

Third Realm – The Art Of Despair (LISTEN HERE)

Torul - Hikikomori

Torul – Hikikomori (LISTEN HERE)

Uncreated - Eternal

Uncreated – Eternal (LISTEN HERE)

Vanguard - Manifest

Vanguard – Manifest (LISTEN HERE)

We Are Magonia - The Living Will Envy The Dead

We Are Magonia – The Living Will Envy The Dead (LISTEN HERE)

 

Synthentral Top 100 of 2019

There was tons of great music in 2019. I was able to get my hands on 612 albums in 2019, not including EP’s and singles. I had to narrow that down to just 100 and will have to narrow it down to 30 for my Top 30 show (will be posted HERE).

I have several rules I work with when narrowing down the albums to my top list:

  1. In order for an album to qualify, I must own the album, either through purchasing it on my own or it given to me by the band or label. There are 47 albums released in 2019 that I am aware of that I do not own. I’m sure there are more than 47 as no matter how hard I try to stay on top of new releases there’s no way to catch 100% of them.
  2. To qualify it must be an album and not an EP or single. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs” that cover singles and EPs.
    1. To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions, and covers do not count toward the total. Intro and Outro songs as well as brief intermission style songs do not count toward the total of original songs.
  3. All albums are weighted so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs. This prevents a seven song album from losing 14 points/song when a 12 song album only loses 8 points/song. That would obviously be unfair, so I weight songs so every song contributes to a number rating of 1 through 10.
  4. Every qualifying song on an album needs to be listenable. I want to listen to the entire album from start to finish. This rule accounts for most of the initial removals from the 600 plus to 100.
  5. All genres represented in my show can be in both the Top 100 and Top 30 (when it’s released). I try to make sure that all genres are represented, but there are some years where a specific genre just didn’t have any good albums released or the one or two good ones just didn’t stand up to the awesomeness of other genre albums.
  6. I fully recognize that my list is subjective and that others will have different lists or disagree with my choices. Regardless, listen to the music and give it all a chance. I have “LISTEN HERE” links next to each album title, so give each band and album a chance and listen and support the bands you like!

Making this list is actually psychologically painful at times and there are times when removing an album causes psychosomatic physical pain. Getting from 100 to 30 is the worst of it as you know you’re deleting an amazing album from the list but the one above it got a 9.91 and it only got a 9.89. Hitting that delete button hurts. LOL

I don’t rank them from 100 to 1. That’s too much work, honestly, and almost impossible given the scope of genres I work with. This process takes weeks, working hours each day, and ten hours on weekends. After the first rating getting it to just 100 songs, I go through and re-rate the albums with a more brutal rating system, then have to do it again and again until I get down to just 30 for the Top 30 show.

So with all that said, here is my Synthentral Top 100 for 2019 (in alphabetical order):

A Spell Inside - Masterplan (LISTEN HERE)

A Spell Inside – Masterplan (LISTEN HERE)

Accumortis - Deathwave

Accumortis – Deathwave (LISTEN HERE)

Agent Side Grinder - A/X

Agent Side Grinder – A/X (LISTEN HERE)

Alienare - Neverland

Alienare – Neverland (LISTEN HERE)

Am Tierpark - Kings Of Failure

Am Tierpark – Kings Of Failure (LISTEN HERE)

Arctic Sunrise - Across The Ice

Arctic Sunrise – Across The Ice (LISTEN HERE)

Atomzero - Technophilia

Atomzero – Technophilia (LISTEN HERE)

Black Marble - Bigger Than Life

Black Marble – Bigger Than Life (LISTEN HERE)

Blinky Blinky Computerband - Inner Conflict

Blinky Blinky Computerband – Inner Conflict (LISTEN HERE)

Caisaron - Destiny Encounters

Caisaron – Destiny Encounters (LISTEN HERE)

Conmutadores - Tridimensional

Conmutadores – Tridimensional (LISTEN HERE)

Culture Kultür - Humanity

Culture Kultür – Humanity (LISTEN HERE)

Curse Mackey - Instant Exorcism

Curse Mackey – Instant Exorcism (LISTEN HERE)

CygnosiC - Epiphany

CygnosiC – Epiphany (LISTEN HERE)

Dancing Plague - Too Still

Dancing Plague – Too Still (LISTEN HERE)

Dark-O-Matic - New Hope

Dark-O-Matic – New Hope (LISTEN HERE)

Daybehavior - Based On A True Story

Daybehavior – Based On A True Story (LISTEN HERE)

Elz And The Cult - Psychodrama

Elz And The Cult – Psychodrama (LISTEN HERE)

Empyres - Cruel Bastards

Empyres – Cruel Bastards (LISTEN HERE)

Eric C. Powell - TRUE

Eric C. Powell – TRUE (LISTEN HERE)

Espermachine - Delicate Corruption

Espermachine – Delicate Corruption (LISTEN HERE)

Faderhead - Asteria

Faderhead – Asteria (LISTEN HERE)

Felix Marc - Substance

Felix Marc – Substance (LISTEN HERE)

First Aid 4 Souls - Keep This World Empty

First Aid 4 Souls – Keep This World Empty (LISTEN HERE)

Fractal Age - Modern World

Fractal Age – Modern World (LISTEN HERE)

Front Line Assembly - Wake Up The Coma

Front Line Assembly – Wake Up The Coma (LISTEN HERE)

Glass Apple Bonzai - The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café

Glass Apple Bonzai – The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café (LISTEN HERE)

Glitch Black - Age Of Machines

Glitch Black – Age Of Machines (LISTEN HERE)

God Module - The Unsound

God Module – The Unsound (LISTEN HERE)

Grendel - Ascending The Abyss

Grendel – Ascending The Abyss (LISTEN HERE)

Hante. - Fierce

Hante. – Fierce (LISTEN HERE)

Harmjoy - Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove.

Harmjoy – Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove. (LISTEN HERE)

Human Steel - Invaders

Human Steel – Invaders (LISTEN HERE)

Insight - A New Day

Insight – A New Day (LISTEN HERE)

Intent:Outtake - Days Of Doom

Intent:Outtake – Days Of Doom (LISTEN HERE)

Interface - Where All Roads Lead

Interface – Where All Roads Lead (LISTEN HERE)

Iris - Six

Iris – Six (LISTEN HERE)

Kounter Mezhure - Valkyrie

Kounter Mezhure – Valkyrie (LISTEN HERE)

Ladytron - Ladytron

Ladytron – Ladytron (LISTEN HERE)

Lazer Station - Weaponizer

Lazer Station – Weaponizer (LISTEN HERE)

Loewenhertz - Traumfaenger

Loewenhertz – Traumfaenger (LISTEN HERE)

M73 - Tainted

M73 – Tainted (LISTEN HERE)

Machinista - Anthropocene

Machinista – Anthropocene (LISTEN HERE)

Marta Raya - Reflection

Marta Raya – Reflection (LISTEN HERE)

Massive Ego - Church For The Malfunctioned

Massive Ego – Church For The Malfunctioned (LISTEN HERE)

Mavroskeleto - Biomachine

Mavroskeleto – Biomachine (LISTEN HERE)

Mental Exile - Ride The Madness

Mental Exile – Ride The Madness (LISTEN HERE)

Mind Machine - Return To The Machine

Mind Machine – Return To The Machine (LISTEN HERE)

Minuit Machine - Infrarouge

Minuit Machine – Infrarouge (LISTEN HERE)

Miss Ballistic - Blood And Glitter

Miss Ballistic – Blood And Glitter (LISTEN HERE)

Missing Words - Moment To Moment

Missing Words – Moment To Moment (LISTEN HERE)

Mondträume - Lovers, Sinners & Liars

Mondträume – Lovers, Sinners & Liars (LISTEN HERE)

Mr.Kitty - Ephemeral

Mr.Kitty – Ephemeral (LISTEN HERE)

Nature Of Wires - Modus

Nature Of Wires – Modus (LISTEN HERE)

Neuropa - Close To Midnight

Neuropa – Close To Midnight (LISTEN HERE)

NeuroWulf - Endurance

NeuroWulf – Endurance (LISTEN HERE)

Nórdika - Winterheart's

Nórdika – Winterheart’s (LISTEN HERE)

Occams Laser - Occult 89

Occams Laser – Occult 89 (LISTEN HERE)

Orange Sector - Alarm

Orange Sector – Alarm (LISTEN HERE)

Parralox - Genesis

Parralox – Genesis (LISTEN HERE)

Poizon Party IV - Hell Dial

Poizon Party IV – Hell Dial (LISTEN HERE)

Prometheus Flame - Karma Reloaded

Prometheus Flame – Karma Reloaded (LISTEN HERE)

Psy'Aviah - Soul Searching

Psy’Aviah – Soul Searching (LISTEN HERE)

The Purge - Honesty

The Purge – Honesty (LISTEN HERE)

Reality's Despair - Human Transitions

Reality’s Despair – Human Transitions (LISTEN HERE)

Red Flag - Endless

Red Flag – Endless (LISTEN HERE)

Reflection - Umbra

Reflection – Umbra (LISTEN HERE)

Reliant - Songs From The Heart Of Solitude

Reliant – Songs From The Heart Of Solitude (LISTEN HERE)

Romy - Celluloid Self

Romy – Celluloid Self (LISTEN HERE)

RROYCE - Patience

RROYCE – Patience (LISTEN HERE)

Ruined Conflict - Valediction

Ruined Conflict – Valediction (LISTEN HERE)

S Y Z Y G Y X - Is That All There Is

S Y Z Y G Y X – Is That All There Is (LISTEN HERE)

Saft - Allting Har Ett Slut

Saft – Allting Har Ett Slut (LISTEN HERE)

Sea Of Sin - Unbroken

Sea Of Sin – Unbroken (LISTEN HERE)

She Past Away - Disko Anksiyete

She Past Away – Disko Anksiyete (LISTEN HERE)

Signal Aout 42 - Insurrection

Signal Aout 42 – Insurrection (LISTEN HERE)

[:SITD:] - Stunde X

[:SITD:] – Stunde X (LISTEN HERE)

Silent EM - The Absence

Silent EM – The Absence (LISTEN HERE)

Soft Riot - When Push Comes To Shove

Soft Riot – When Push Comes To Shove (LISTEN HERE)

SoftWave - GAME ON

SoftWave – GAME ON (LISTEN HERE)

Spark! - Chaos

Spark! – Chaos (LISTEN HERE)

Spray - Failure Is Inevitable

Spray – Failure Is Inevitable (LISTEN HERE)

Stahlgeist - Escape Reality

Stahlgeist – Escape Reality (LISTEN HERE)

Synthax Xtructure - Don't Look Back

Synthax Xtructure – Don’t Look Back (LISTEN HERE)

Tamaryn - Dreaming The Dark

Tamaryn – Dreaming The Dark (LISTEN HERE)

Terminal Danger - Looking For Strange

Terminal Danger – Looking For Strange (LISTEN HERE)

Third Realm - The Art Of Despair

Third Realm – The Art Of Despair (LISTEN HERE)

Torul - Hikikomori

Torul – Hikikomori (LISTEN HERE)

TR/ST - The Destroyer – 1

TR/ST – The Destroyer – 1 (LISTEN HERE)

Tragic Impulse - Echoes Of The Unseen

Tragic Impulse – Echoes Of The Unseen (LISTEN HERE)

Uncreated - Eternal

Uncreated – Eternal (LISTEN HERE)

unitcode:machine - Tyranny

unitcode:machine – Tyranny (LISTEN HERE)

Vanguard - Manifest

Vanguard – Manifest (LISTEN HERE)

Vestron Vulture - Unscarred

Vestron Vulture – Unscarred (LISTEN HERE)

Watch Clark - Couch

Watch Clark – Couch (LISTEN HERE)

We Are Magonia - The Living Will Envy The Dead

We Are Magonia – The Living Will Envy The Dead (LISTEN HERE)

Wingtips - Exposure Therapy

Wingtips – Exposure Therapy (LISTEN HERE)

Wolf Club - Frontiers

Wolf Club – Frontiers (LISTEN HERE)

Xarah Dion - Plein Nord

Xarah Dion – Plein Nord (LISTEN HERE)

 

Synthentral’s Top 33 Albums of 2018

Synthentral‘s Top 33 Albums of 2018!

I normally do Top 30, but I could not in good conscience remove three more albums from my final list. Just getting down to 33 from the initial 500+ was hard enough as there was so much amazing music released in 2018.

Here are the criteria I used to qualify for the initial list of over 500 albums:

  1. Albums only: no singles or EP’s.
  2. The album could not be a remaster, re-release, remix or compilation album.
  3. The album had to have a minimum of 7 original songs.

I narrowed the 500 to 96, then to 47, and finally to 33 using the following:

  1. Did I want to listen to every song on the album and not fast forward or skip any songs?
  2. Did I want to listen to the album over and over again?
  3. Did the album make me “feel.”

I fully admit that the final three criteria are subjective and you may have chose a different Top 33 for 2018. Looking at some of the Top lists already put out I’m in disagreement with quite a few of them because art is subjective and music is art. I waited until the very end of 2018 to make sure I gave albums released in December a fair chance at the list.

I did not break the Top 33 down from 33 to number 1. I will list them (and play a song from them on the 12/28 show) in alphabetical order by band.

Check out the albums and if you like what you hear, then support the band: buy their albums, like their social media pages, and definitely go see them on tour!

Top 33 Albums of 2018 in alphabetical order by band name. Click on the band’s name to go to their social media page. Click on the album title to go where you can listen to and purchase the album. You can listen to the show featuring one song from each album HERE.

Aïboforcen, “Sense & Nonsense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APSÜRDE, “Inglourious Heroes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ash Code, “Perspektive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashbury Heights, “The Victorian Wallflowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Binary Park, “Life On Lines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blume, “Ashes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caustic, “American Carrion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cesium_137, “Rise To Conquer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmicity, “Twice Daily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Covenant Of Thorns, “Shadows & Serenades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CTRL, “0009:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defiant Machines, “Delirium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Echo Over Voices, “Bittersweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electro Spectre, “A Man-Made Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future Lied To Us, “Presence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gunship, “Dark All Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halo Effect, “SHOUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johan Baeckström, “Utopia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korine, “New Arrangements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mitra mitra, “Marionettes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neuroticfish, “Antidoron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night Haze, “Love Is Chaos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norderney, “From Fiction To Reality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nórdika, “Venus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occams Laser, “New Blood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radioaktivists, “Radioakt One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solitary Experiments, “Future Tense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train To Spain, “A Journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity One, “Awakening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V2A, “Gravity Killer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VNV Nation, “Noire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wice, “Wice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xenia Beliayeva, “Riss

Fallout 76: My Take

Someone asked me my take on Fallout ’76, so here it is…

I’ve been considering posting about it, just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

The game, in and of itself, is just fine. Those bitching about the actual gameplay are the same ones who bitched about Fallout 4, New Vegas, etc., and then played the game every day for five years. Everyone bitches about the games when they first come out and then it becomes their favorite.

The graphics are good. The gameplay is good. There are challenges of running into characters and monsters at significantly higher levels than you (more so than any other Fallout series games). I also love that unlike other exploring/open map games where no matter where you go the characters and monsters tend to match your current level or are just a few levels higher, wandering or exploring too far from your missions can mean you’re a level 10 running into a level 62 Angler that kicks your ass in two seconds.

Survival mode is default. You have to eat and drink or you’ll die. Your weapons and armor degrade and you have to constantly repair them (luckily weapons/armor/tinker workbenches are common, but you can only carry so much junk with you). You can catch diseases from sleeping in the wrong place, getting attacked by monsters can give you diseases like blood worms, bleeding sores, etc. So you have to make sure you have a stock of food, water, disease cures, etc. I enjoyed playing survivor mode in Fallout 4, and while 76 is a bit watered down from full blown survivor mode in Fallout 4, it still creates a bigger challenge than just running around carefree.

That being said, there are legitimate gripes and bitches about this game. These are mine:

1. Forcing me to buy PS Plus is bullshit. I had to spend money for PS Plus beyond the price of the game. There’s no reason for PS Plus at all. Other online multiplayer games didn’t need PS Plus and this one didn’t need it, either. This was purely a money-making scheme and it’s bullshit.

2. There is no single player mode at all: it’s 100% online and there’s no reason for that, either. The forced online doesn’t affect the experience of gameplay at all and has zero bearing on missions, exploration, etc. I personally don’t connect with anyone on the servers, don’t play with friends or join random stranger’s teams. I play by myself. There are Lone Wanderer cards that give you bonuses for being alone. The only time I even interact with, as in play next to, other players is at “events,” which are scattered throughout the map. I get that not interacting and wanting to play alone is a personal choice, but I think the forced online is a problem, especially when you consider that…

3. There is no way to pause the game. The only way to save is to setup your camp and rest. You can only setup camp outside of areas. That’s if you want to move and rebuild your camp all the time, which a lot of players aren’t doing because they’re building elaborate camps. My camp is nothing more than a bed, my stash, a cooking station (to boil water and cook food before it spoils – that survival mode again). So you have to make sure that when you play you have time set aside for no work, no calls, no girlfriend asking you to come help her get something off the fridge, no bathroom break, nothing at all that pulls you away from the game. If you’re stationary too long the game seems to intentionally send something to attack you (I admit this may be correlation and not causation, but it has happened ever time, which lends me to believe it is intentional). The three times I found a “safe place” to hide while I took care of something I ended up being attacked and had to run back into the room. One of those times it was a mole rat on the roof of a seven-story building that had no mole rats in it while I was exploring the building itself. It took me so long to get back to my office that I was at 10% health and about to die before I killed the mole rat and had to use three Stimpaks to get back to full health and had to cure a disease the damn thing gave me. The fact that I can’t pause it when my girlfriend needs my help drives both of us bonkers. I’ve just had to die a few times because relationships are more important than games. Which, by the way, if you die, you lose all your junk and have to go back to your “grave site” to collect your brown bag of junk (did they get that idea from No Man’s Sky?). Or you can just leave it there and find new junk.

4. A lot of players truly enjoyed the aspect of building settlements, keeping the settlers going and happy, and experimenting with building. The game teases you with finding “workbenches,” but they’re useless and can be taken over by other players if you’re not there to defend them, which unless you’re not sleeping, not eating, not taking a bath, etc., then you’re going to lose that workbench as soon as you sign off. I don’t think Settlements are necessary for this game, but I think having them would have significantly helped tone down some of the anger, allowed for more junk storage, and would have kept with the entire Vault 76 mission.

I enjoy playing the game, but I don’t play it as much as I did Fallout4 (which I still play) or New Vegas because I rarely can allot several hours of uninterrupted time that allows me to play. I’ve spent significantly more time playing Red Dead Redemption 2.

Doing the online only was a bad move in my opinion. Making online an option would have made this game much better in many ways.

My Favorite Austin Burgers

How do I judge a burger?

First thing I always do is eat just a piece of hamburger meat with nothing on it. Does the meat have its own flavor? Is it juicy? Is it cooked correctly at medium and no more than medium well (exception made for sliders)? Is the bun too dry or does it perform the job of sopping up juice and add flavor and depth to the burger? Does every burger a place offers taste good or only a single burger? If only a single burger, then that’s fine, but it does detract from being a “burger joint.”

There are a tons of great burger joints in Austin, but only a few were pure bliss, what I call the “hallelujah burger.” The burger that hits your mouth and sends you to that special place in your head where you’re at peace with yourself and everything around you. That place where if you were butter you would melt instantly and ooze all over the floor of the joint. There are also a lot of places that are not burger joints, but have a good burger. Those places had to really stand out to make my list, as I focused on places that catered to the burger lover in me.

NOTE: I fully acknowledge that taste is subjective. I don’t think judging a burger on the quality of the meat, how it’s cooked, if it’s juicy and has flavor on its own is subjective, but once you get past the meat and onto the bread, condiments, and add-ons, then you enter subjective taste. I fully expect people to disagree with my list and that’s perfectly okay. I encourage you to post your own top burgers!

The List

So here they are, from least to best (least being the wrong word to use here, since it did make my list):

But What About?

Where are the standard ones you see on so many Austin lists like Sandy’s, Hut’s, Dan’s, P Terry’s, etc? Well, they’re somewhere between Wendy’s and McDonald’s because they’re just sliders and mediocre ones at that: especially the exceptionally overrated P Terry’s.

So with that said, here’s are my favorite slider joints, which I’ll only eat at if I’m really hungry and they’re close by. Otherwise I’m heading to my tops above. This list is again least to best.