Well that sure was one whole, entire year, wasn’t it?
Like many on this website, 2020 changed a lot of the ways in which I consume new music, and not for the better on my part. The constant thrum of anxiety coursing through my body and mind made critical music listening often difficult, and yet the albums I found this year that I love are some of the best and most affecting music I’ve heard in several years worth of doing this. I went over all of these picks in the end of year episode of our Audio Thing, which I would highly encourage you to listen to here, or wherever you consume podcasts; fair warning that it is a rather long episode, but we worked hard on it and had a lot of fun, so I’d appreciate it if you took the time to check it out. You can consider this main list a companion piece of sorts to the podcast episode. You can listen to me go into detail about the how’s and why’s of my main picks there, but I thought it would be fun to catalog them still, and I threw in some honorable mentions for good measure. Read along after the cut, and a very sincere thank you for another year of readership. I don’t do this for clout and I certainly don’t do this for money, so it means all the more that people take an interest in the things I am passionate about.
Skyeater – Descent
Another absolute home run from the best band Los Angeles’ metal scene has to offer. A hunters’ stew of black, death, and doom metal with soaring atmosphere and crushing riffs.
Fluisteraars – Bloem
Dutch black metal has been something I’ve been finding a lot of joy in over the last few years, and this album is a bright star among the scene. Inventive, imaginitive, and emotive in all the ways I love.
Svalbard – When I Die, Will I Get Better?
A predictable massive leap forward in songwriting from a band that doesn’t stop getting better with every release. “Silent Restraint” is hands-down my favorite individual song I heard all last year.
Unleash the Archers – Abyss
Power metal is good, you fools, and Unleash the Archers consistently make the best power metal there is.
Heretical Sect – Rapturous Flesh Consumed
I only got around to checking this album out on the last day of 2020, but even on first listen this album blew me away. Feral blackened-everything metal that weaves a horror story you can’t help but be swept up in.
The Winners’ Circle
9. Misery Signals – Ultraviolet
8. Stormkeep – Galdrum
7. Elder – Omens
6. VoidCeremony – Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel
5. Wake – Devouring Ruin
4. Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin kynsi
3. Thou + Emma Ruth Rundle – May Our Chambers Be Full
2. envy – The Fallen Crimson
1. Ulcerate – Stare Into Death and Be Still
Until next we meet,