Daddy Rambo's Baadasssss Carnage Through 2020

Brutally honest take on new albums I have listened and rated/commented in 2020 from best to worst.

My ratings:

✮✮✮✮✮ = "Yippee ki yay, motherfucker!"
✮✮✮✮½ = "If it bleeds, we can kill it."
✮✮✮✮ = "Do you feel lucky, punk?"
✮✮✮½ = "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… And I'm all out of bubblegum."
✮✮✮ = "You're a disease… And I'm the cure."
✮✮½ = "Cowabunga!"
✮✮ = "I see dead people."
✮½ = "No not the bees! Aaaaahhhh!!1"
✮ = "It's turkey time. Gobble. Gobble."
½ = "I don't like sand."

Created by: Metal Rambo | 23.02.2020

1. Conception - State Of Deception
Let us celebrate, my friend, for the king has come back to reclaim his throne. Hail to the king, baby! ✮✮✮✮✮
2. Elder - Omens
Maybe little too polished compared to their previous albums, but I still love it. Omens is definitely one of those kinds of records you're supposed to listen through at least dozen times until you really get into it, and even then you'll surely always find something new and interesting. For me, this is a strong contender for AOTY. ✮✮✮✮✮
3. Odraza - Rzeczom
4. Master Boot Record - Floppy Disk Overdrive
I don't know if this is supposed to be more synthwave, some sort of experimental classical music or avant garde metal, but I love it. ✮✮✮✮½
5. Oranssi Pazuzu - Mestarin Kynsi
Great as always, it seems Oranssi Pazuzu can do no wrong. I don't know what substances they are some smoking, but I hope they won't stop it anytime soon. ✮✮✮✮½
6. Sojourner - Premonitions
7. Thy Catafalque - Naiv
Finally found some time to listen to this through few times. Not as weird as I was expecting, but creative enough to be surprising and endlessly intriguing to listen to, even though there are few weaker moments every now and then. As far as I have come to understand this artist, this might not the best record they have to offer, but even then I found myself enjoying this album more than any other new metal release this year so far. ✮✮✮✮½
8. Psychotic Waltz - The God-Shaped Void
One of those impossible comebacks I didn't see coming even in my dreams. Not just how surprising it is to see these guys again, but the quality of this record is just wow. This must be the best comeback since Van Der Graaf Generator and Godbluff back in the 1975. ✮✮✮✮½
9. Lotus Thief - Oresteia
Before listening to Oresteia I had never even heard of Lotus Thief. Afterwards I wish I had, because this is pretty damn beautiful and haunting piece of ambient-whatever-metal. Simplistic, yes, but sometimes less really IS more. ✮✮✮✮½
10. Katatonia - City Burials
11. Tyrant (US) - Hereafter
12. Night Crowned - Impius Viam
13. Vader - Solitude In Madness
14. Sweven - The Eternal Resonance
Superb prog metal. Needs more listening to get into, but judging by my few spins I like it a lot. Must check out Morbus Chron next. ✮✮✮✮
15. Sylosis - Cycle Of Suffering
Pretty good melodeath with killer riffs. Too bad they aren't anything too original or new these days, otherwise this stuff could be even more awesome. Very enjoyable regardless. ✮✮✮✮
16. Green Carnation - Leaves Of Yesteryear
Good, but nothing spectacular. Loved the first half, but the latter felt somewhat weaker. Sucks that only 3 songs out of 5 are actually new ones. ✮✮✮✮
17. Intronaut - Fluid Existential Inversions
18. Anubis Gate - Covered In Colours
I was sceptical at first, but Covered In Colours is actually really good cover album. Not only is the performance top notch, but the songs are very wisely chosen lesser known high quality stuff you wouldn't necessarily start comparing to the originals in your mind while listening. They even added lots of their own personality into the mix instead of just performing someone else's music note to note. ✮✮✮✮
19. Apocalyptica - Cell-0
Where did this come from? As far as I can remember, I have never enjoyed Apocalyptica, not even their earlier outputs. Maybe I'm just too demanding, but I've just felt that there's always been something missing, the first albums didn't even have drums or singer, so they were rather boring to me and then there's this one album where's half of it is just a same song with different lyrics, if I remember correctly. Now they feel complete, finally. ✮✮✮✮
20. Sepultura - Quadra
I am honestly positively surprised. Never been huge fan of post-Cavalera Sepultura, but this thing here kicks some serious ass. So well in fact, that I might need to reconsider my relationship with the band once again. To my surprise they aren't even trying to cash in with some easy nostalgia points like some other older bands tend to do nowadays. I like that. ✮✮✮✮
21. Cloven Hoof - Age Of Steel
These guys are clearly inspired by Iron Maiden. And by being inspired I mean pretty much ripping off some of their most well known songs. I like it nevertheless. Aside from those questionable parts of Cloven Maiden, it's really good record in my opinion. ✮✮✮✮
22. Bütcher - 666 Goats Carry My Chariot
Another 80's style speed metal band, this time from Belgium. In other words don't expect innovations of any sort, but then again you don't need innovation to be enjoyable. Compared to that new Stallion album I listened to just before this, Goats Carry My Chariot feels more tight and lacks pointless filler that one had. It's very good for what it is, I think. ✮✮✮✮
23. Warbringer - Weapons Of Tomorrow
24. Slaughter Messiah - Cursed To The Pyre
25. Trivium - What The Dead Men Say
This might be the first Trivium album I have ever listened through, and I liked it. Unlike many other bands around, they seem to have a personality of their own, even if it means some pop and metalcore influences here and there. I think the right word here is "refreshing". ✮✮✮✮
26. Brothers Of Metal - Emblas Saga
27. Garganjua - Toward The Sun
Very good and enjoyable doom metal record in its own right. If there's one big thing I don't love about with this album, then it has to be the fact that I have literally heard the same kind of stuff too many times before to count, so there's not that much originality to be found here. ✮✮✮✮
28. Witches Hammer - Damnation Is My Salvation
29. Smoulder - Dream Quest Ends
30. Cirith Ungol - Forever Black
31. Pendragon - Men Who Climb Mountains
32. Havok - V
33. Testament - Titans Of Creation
Slightly weaker than their previous 2 or 3 records, but still pretty damn good. If the whole album was as kickass as the first half, this could've been some of their best stuff. ✮✮✮½
34. Traveler - Termination Shock
These dudes can metal. This album was already released digitally, so naturally I got it as soon as I could. After few more listens the album seems to be losing its magic fast. Not a good sign. ✮✮✮½
35. Stallion - Slaves Of Time
Pretty decent 80's style speed metal with production similar to some early 90's Belgian thrash albums like Inferior to None for example. The first half is really goddamn good, but then something happens and the fillers start showing up. At the end I felt like this album was about 10 minutes too long and should have been shortened especially from the latter half. ✮✮✮½
36. Demons & Wizards - III
I guess this is one of those kind of records you're supposed to listen multiple times to really get into them. By one listening only I would call it good, but not as great as the two previous albums from them. The longer tracks are the highlight of the album, but the shorter songs between them mostly seem to lack "the final touch" to really get into my head. ✮✮✮½
37. Magnum - The Serpent Rings
38. Oz - Forced Commandments
It's ok, average listenable basic metal, but that's pretty much it. They should seriously just change their name, since the current band doesn't have anything to do with the original. ✮✮✮½
39. Haunt - Mind Freeze
All I can say is that this is extremely basic metal, very simple and striking. Also, nothing deeper than that, so it gets rather old very fast the more you listen to it. Not bad, though. ✮✮✮½
40. Lost Society - No Absolution
Lost Society seemingly decided to change their sound big time from traditional thrash into some sort of mix of modern groove metal and metalcore. Change is good, and when ran out of ideas, also highly recommendable. This time the change just didn't bring anything too new or interesting to the table, just more recycling without the original spark that made them good in my eyes. Now they sound more like tired hybrid of Slipknot and late Bodom. I dig the raw production, though. ✮✮✮
41. Trick Or Treat - The Legend Of The XII Saints
Very generic and very forgettable power metal. I read somewhere that this is supposed to be some sort of tribute to Saint Seiya anime, but I don't think it's anywhere as enjoyable as that show or its awesome soundtrack. ✮✮✮
42. Nightwish - Human. :II: Nature.
These people are world class talents, but they're not really doing anything interesting here. For example, put Emppu to play more acoustic parts, give him mandolin or lute or something, not just that same two or three metal riffs over and over again in every song. And why have a virtuoso like Kai Hahto in the band if he can't do his thing but rather play some very basic stuff. At this point this just feels like mr. Holopainen would much rather make his own symphony thing, but then there's these other band members so have to include them in somewhere. ✮✮✮
43. Ozzy Osbourne - Ordinary man
Didn't expect anything mindblowing from this album, so at least I can say I don't feel any disappointed. The album itself isn't that interesting or fun for that matter, ol' man Oz has trouble articulating clearly and whatever singing he can still do is so full of autotune you could argue it's the algorithm doing the job altogether. The songs are mostly just tired and boring. ✮✮½
44. Rage - Wings Of Rage
Weak album, average at best. One or two memorable songs here, but that's pretty much it. Wouldn't call their previous albums any sort of masterpieces either, but this is just sad. ✮✮½
45. Ironflame - Blood Red Victory
Huge disappointment. I was expecting some sort of kickass retro US power metal, but got way too slow, unoriginal and boring metal-something. The on-going retro movement produces much better stuff weekly. ✮✮½
46. Igorrr - Spirituality And Distortion
Huh? So that was it? I was expecting some sort of übercreative mind-melting avant garde never made before, but all I got was just a symphonic metal(ish) album with some Middle Eastern influences, techno beats, polka, basic death metal guitars and random screaming. Very disappointing. ✮✮½
47. Five Finger Death Punch - F8
Not good. Listened this through couple of times and nothing special really stood out or caught my attention. Both the performance and the production sound too safe and by the numbers, even corporate to my taste. After an hour or two I most likely won't have any memory of this album at all. ✮✮
48. Anvil - Legal at last
These dudes should call it quits and retire already. Pretty much every album of theirs since early 80's has been average to good at best, but they still kept on going and going and going like a Duracell bunny. In 2020's there just doesn't seem to be anything creative or interesting left but a bare skeleton of a band refusing to stop whatever they are trying to accomplish. Legal at Last is not a good album, would't call it even mediocre, just plain bad. ✮✮

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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