Rainbows in the Dark: Ian’s Best of 2020 List for Nonmetal

Best of 2020

This past year has seen some of the most exhilarating and emotionally deep metal that I’ve seen in a while, but what about the non-metal side of things?  Well, fortunately we’ve had just as many pleasant surprises on that front, and just as much music that will ultimately be talked about for years to come.  It bears repeating that I am humbled that I am in the position to be able to talk at length about all of this, and boy there sure is a lot to talk about.  From deep, brooding atmosphere to technical wizardry to lo-fi indie glory, polished folk and everything in between, there’s a lot to get into, so strap in as we bring you the very best of all things non-metal and metal adjacent.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Mizmor and Andrew Black — “Dialetheia”

mizmor andrew black dialetheia

“Unprecedented times.”  The phrase we’ve all seen more than we care to in the last nine months.  From email greetings to official press briefings, there is ample reminder at every turn that what we as a collective are going through right now is something many people never even imagined.  The loss of tangible connections to the communities we had built for ourselves, especially in times that are already turbulent enough on their own, is perhaps the most devastating aspect of having to shelter in place in the middle of a pandemic, and musicians, for whom community is both their raison d’etre and their livelihoods, have been feeling this loss harder than many other people have.  Yet in our strange age where physical presence is a danger, we are more connected to each other than ever before through our technology, allowing many to find the kinship they seek and a shared purpose to keep their artistic visions alive.  Thus, did A.L.N. and Andrew Black, founder and live bassist for Portland, OR’s Mizmor respectively, share a vision for an album created by and for our unprecedented times, a colossal ambient work called Dialetheia.  

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