Notable metal albums of 2020
2020 will be a year to remember. Unfortunately not for the good things it brought, but for those unexpected human challenges we all faced. As we all embarked on a routine of lockdowns, new safety measures and new siloed life. Music was there for us all throughout.
Here are my favourite listens of the year:
GODTHRYMM - Reflections
Fresh from a dark basement of gloom and doom we have these Canadian’s with a solid slab of metal inviting us to their darker, melancholic, and towering realms.
MORS PRINCIPIUM EST - Seven
Finish melodic death metal masters make a strong reappearence onto the scene with their latest metal manifestation. Melodic riffs, fantastic orchestration and solos which leave you wanting more.
SVARTKONST - Black Waves
Perhaps not ground breaking, maybe even somewhat derivative. However a fantastic throwback to the vibes and emotions of Watain’s Lawless Darkness standard of Swedish black metalism. Mr Törnqvist delivers aplenty here with a galloping horde of unstopable blast beats and riffage frenzy.
PARADISE LOST - Obsidian
One of my dear favourites this year. These gothic metal masterminds came back to the forefront delivering their magnum opus of the decade. Their Sisters of Mercy influences shine through whilst keeping up with their doom metal edge. Their sixteenth (!) output should not be missed.
LöR - Edge of Eternity
Progressive power metal coutesy of Philadelphia based Lör. Blending a perfect mix of folk and progressive metal influences. The journey they delivered was essential for 2020 escapism.
WARBRINGER - Weapons of Tomorrow
Bringing back their thrash metal twist, these Californian giants are truly back to form. High powered riffs, screams and blast beats. They got it all.
STATIC-X - Project Regeneration, Vol. 1
Probably the best jogging coach I ever had. Pumping the blood and pushing for more. This album delivers the bombastic metal we all missed since the passing of Mr Static. Respectfully delivered and well fleshed out. Let’s see what Vol. 2 delivers!
SPIRIT ADRIFT - Enlightened In Eternity
Flashy guitar riffs feature all around on this classy modern heavy metal piece from Arizona based group, headed by the one and only Nate Garrett of Gatecreeper fame. High powered focals and crunchy guitars are aplenty here. A fun listen which should not be missed.
BELL WITCH and AERIAL RUIN - Stygian Bough Volume 1
As one Sputnik user put it perfectly: “Admittedly floored by this. The weird Indiefolk vibe adds to the funeral Doom an incommensurate beauty.” A late night, candle light classic of 2020.
ULVER - Flowers of Evil
Perhaps not strictly metal anymore, this fanfare of emotions and themes delivered greatly. Their stripped back sound delved deeper into beats, grooves, hooks and choruses. Featuring wild synths and guitars stripped back for high detail.
NECROT - Mortal
Harking back to the 90’s Necrot engrosses us with the dirt of some old school death metal. The grooves are deadly, the riffs slash and the vocals gnash like some forgotten ol’ beast. Perfect.
ENSLAVED - Utgard
Delivering the good yet again, Enslaved slap us with another experimental, progressive, death, experimental rolling piece of quality. Essential listen of 2020.
INCANTATION - Sect of Vile Divinities
Blackened death metal never sounded so bad. Dark, bleak and unforgiving. Give in.
EARTH ROT - Black Tides of Obscurity
As a fine Bandcamp user put it: “A colossal album that weaves the best aspects of Dismember, Behemoth and Sigh into a Lovecraftian maelstrom. Earth Rot manages to create an entirely unique vibe that blows every other 2020 release out of the water.” Enjoy with caution.
PALLBEARER - Forgotten Days
The doom throdden depressive lift of emotions is still present on this downplayed by most release by Arkansas finest metallers. They perfectly wrap their haunting riffs around motifs of loss and struggle. With raw echoes of passion the band delivers a quality easy listen release.