Back when it was reasonable to put out an article like this it was mostly just me on my own putting out articles and reviews.
When I hit a mental health bump in July and the site suffered as a result, I realised that I needed to bring in some more writers to do justice to the mountain of promos sitting waiting.
I figured the best way for both me and you to get to know the new writers I’ve brought in would be to ask them to jot down a few lines on their top three releases from 2020.
Fortunately for me, we all enjoy a diverse range of music. I wasn’t surprised to find that there are no points of agreement in our favourite 2020 records at all. It makes a lot of sense that we all have our own “certain taste”.
Unfortunately for them, the contracts state they will receive payment in “ACTcoin”, my yet to be launched cryptocurrency. Hopefully they can eat “experience and exposure” until our ICO.
Atramentus – Stygian
I never bothered to listen to funeral doom until I was influenced by the hype around this record and Phil Tougas’ reputation. Simply one of the best in the genre in at least a decade.
Vulkan – Technatura
I didn’t listen to this until 2021 and immediately branded myself an idiot. Progressive metal out of Sweden with grooves for days.
Firelink – Firelink
Melodic black metal made specifically to pay tribute to Dark Souls. This alone would be enough but the execution is masterful.
Alghol – Forgotten Paths
Perfect black metal. Dark, atmospheric, makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up
Flesh Vessel – Bile of Man Reborn
Experimental death metal, which is the best kind of death metal. One of my most played last year
Feminazgul – No Dawn For Men
AOTY for me last year. Simply incredible. Made me take another look at what black metal could accomplish
PMX – Ctrl Alt Del
Fast and technical return from the DIY legends of the melodic skate punk scene. Unrelenting punk beats combined with excellent melodies and technical guitar parts.
Protest the Hero – Palimpsest
Technical punk mixed with some more progressive riffs and huge melodies. Less screaming than previous records, but the singing from Rody has really progressed lately!
Eleanora – Mere
A post-metal delicacy from Belgium with some blackened goodness thrown in. A solid and iterative improvement on the previous record, Allure. Intense melodic vocals bring a real honesty to the record.
Leeched – To Dull The Blades of Your Abuse
One of the most dense and suffocating records ever made. A 35 minute blistering assault of depression, anger and hopelessness.
Terminal Nation – Holocene Extinction
Death metal meets Hardcore in this juggernaut of a release from 20 Buck Spin. It is THE soundtrack to 2020, politically and socially it captured the tone perfectly.
The Black Dahlia Murder- Verminous
The most consistent band in metal with a discography that just seems to get stronger. Guitar wise (the damn riffs) and vocally, it is their finest work to date.
Ulcerate – Stare Into Death and Be Still
A blend of Technical Death Metal and Atmospheric Sludge Metal with asphyxiant drums and dangerously suicidal lyrics. A great contribution to Ulcerate’s immense discography!
Defeated Sanity – The Sanguinary Impetus
Technical Brutal Death Metal with the perfect organic production. Unbelievably difficult to execute drums meet undeniably brutal atmosphere! A 2020 equivalent of Cryptopsy’s None So Vile.
Dark Tranquillity – Moment
Gothenburg giants still manage to improve their quarter centuries old discography! A fresh take on good, old Melodic Death Metal with crystal clear growls and soulful guitars.