Written by Carcassbomb
Here’s what I like so far. I haven’t come close to hearing everything but there’s still time for stuff to make it to the end of year list regardless of release. Links to Bandcamp unless it’s a more mainstream band then it’s Spotify. Check out the Spotify Playlist Noob Heavy Best Of 2020 which will also be the end of year playlist with staff picks added. This is just my curation.
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These two albums are quite similar but in regards to their own genres. They both deviate from the established template to make something very engaging and entertaining. They are both EPs and complete in a short time with just the right amount of story told. Fully fleshed out products that I can’t recommend enough. I gave Sutrah a 10 and haven’t scored Lychgate but I’ll grandfather it in as a 10. I love these two albums.
This is a super memorable album despite it’s perks that is a surprising first listen. At lot of metalcore/crossover elements coming from big names like Power Trip, Fit For An Autopsy and Hatebreed. Some real anthems on this one.
A very perky death metal albums that overshadows a lot of albums this year. Zach interviewed the band here and also said about the album in a review:
“Catchy and death metal typically don’t go together, but that has never been the case for Benighted. They have a way of making the most catchy and memorable death metal imaginable, and I think it’s a combination of the unique vocals, the lyrics being easy to make out, and the repetition they use for certain phrases throughout the songs. For as dark and messed up as the concept is, it’s a really fun record to listen to!”
Another prog metal album, this is just the year for it. I interviewed the vocalist Mitch recently here. I also said in my review:
“Theatrics are the primary lifeforce of Costly Signals and as such the song writing is very complex and always has a driving purpose. It’s expressed elegantly and with a high level of technique. Super well rounded and effective. The keys and guitar lay the foundation of the sound with some bright melodies and classical fingerpicking. The bass is perky with a bit of funk, it gets incredibly fast at some points and has a very clean tone, it almost sounds more machine than man. The drumming plays two roles, either holding back for the sake of the instruments to flourish or absolutely chopping it with blasts of rhythm.”
Here’s three very fun deathy type albums that I still listen to regularly. If you’ve missed any of these then go listen right now. Very unique bands. Viscera hit me good with those synth elements. Symbolik and Afterbirth are both older bands making a return in fine form. Afterbirth in particular is an interesting one, if you like The Chasm then check them out, they’re the brutal death metal version. I know at least five of you just closed this article to check it out, I know we love The Chasm.
Three unique and genre bending hardcore adjacent albums. Very proggy, very atmosphere. See a trend developing? I love albums that do something interesting. Moloken and L’homme Absurde are both very dark and atmospheric bands that utilize metalcore and hardcore stylings to great effect. The Motion Mosaic is more straightforward but packs quite a punch.
Same deal but three black metal bands. All of these surprised me with their complexity and storytelling. This is intelligent black metal full of surprises. Good vocals, good guitars and good drumming. Wardaemonic is the hardest of the three and features a vocalist who is also the drummer. Antipope has that really fun finnish melody and Aodon is for the post black metal fans, though it’s closer to DSBM in gravity than shoegaze so don’t worry.
Three death metal albums to just get face fucked by. Plague and Live Burial are fairly straight forward brutality and prowess but Defiled offers something different from the current era of technical death metal. It’s an older flavor that really shows it’s chops.
We can’t always be going ham, these two albums are chill but stimulating rides through uncertain soundscapes. Ainsoph really impressed me early in the year and is insanely underrated. Lowrider is my most recent addition and I’ve been digging it.
Sorry if I missed anything obvious. Also… I didn’t enjoy any legacy band releases this year yet. Testament, My Dying Bride and a bunch of others just didn’t do it for me.