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Top 30 Of 2020: A Non-exhaustive Summary Of Some Of The Highlights Of The Lowlight Year

I don't think these are necessarily the best 30 albums of this year, but they're the ones that have I guess endured in my psyche and inspiried revisits more than most others. I was tempted to do a top 50, but after around #26 or so, I found myself confronted with about 50 albums that could've conceivably made it in, most of which I hadn't relistened to enough to rank above the others with confidence.

Created by: musclassia | 29.12.2020

1. Psychonaut - Unfold The God Man
Progressive Post-Metal - Not technically a 2020 album, but the best one I heard that was released this year, original or re-release.
2. Elder - Omens
Stoner/Psychedelic - Vocals are rough, but the instrumentals are euphoric at times.
3. Enslaved - Utgard
Progressive/Psychedelic Black - A departure after a decade of relative consistency in style, but one pulled off very successfully.
4. Regarde Les Hommes Tomber - Ascension
Post-Black - The French juggernaut goes from strength to strength.
5. Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea
Progressive Rock - Hugely successful comeback and an effort to rival, if not necessarily surpass, The Dark Third.
6. Wills Dissolve - Echoes
Progressive Death - Outstanding one-song album from this up-and-coming band.
7. Barishi - Old Smoke
Progressive Sludge - Twisting, atmospheric, harsh, fantastic.
8. Wayfarer - A Romance With Violence
Atmos-Black - An excellent continuation of the sound on World's Blood.
9. Ulcerate - Stare Into Death And Be Still
Progressive Death - Tones down the intensity a tad and delivers something extraordinary; probably the 'best' album I heard this year.
10. Sylosis - Cycle Of Suffering
Thrash/Metalcore - A way off my favourite albums by them, but it's my most played album from this year so it has to make the top 10.
11. Aversio Humanitatis - Behold The Silent Dwellers
Black - Channels Schammasch to great effect.
12. Katie Gately - Loom
Neoclassical Darkwave - Dark, atmospheric, almost mechanical at times, a big shift from her previous album and one pulled off impressively well.
13. Oranssi Pazuzu - Mestarin Kynsi
Psychedelic Black/Avant-Garde - Great use of keyboards on another twisted atmospheric effort.
14. Lunatic Soul - Through Shaded Woods
Acoustic - A turn from electronics to folk that sees Mariusz Duda deliver his most enchanting music since Walking On A Flashlight Beat, whether with Lunatic Soul or Riverside.
15. Lotus Thief - Oresteia
Post-Metal - Great vocals and lovely atmosphere to this unique-sounding band.
16. Intronaut - Fluid Existential Inversions
Prog/Post-/Sludge - Not easy to replace a drummer as talented as Danny Walker, but Intronaut show that they can shine without him.
17. Pull Down The Sun - Of Valleys And Mountains
Progressive Post-Metal - A bit heavy on the Gojira and The Ocean influences at times, but sounds fantastic front-to-back.
18. Skyforest - A New Dawn
Atmos-Black - The best artwork from this year and a delight of a journey.
19. Dark Buddha Rising - Mathreyata
Dark Ambient/Drone - Carries on nicely from where Inversum left off.
20. Globular & Geoglyph - Messages From The Resonator
Psybient - My introduction to 'psybient' and a very convincing one at that, this is wonderfully dreamy and psychedelic.
21. Neptunian Maximalism - Éons
Drone/Jazz/Avant-Garde - I did not expect a 2-hour avant-garde drone jazz album on this list, but Éons is unlike anything I've heard really.
22. Pain Of Salvation - Panther
Progressive - Another stylistic shift, this time towards electronics, but Accelerator, Wait and Icon are exceptional songs.
23. Protest The Hero - Palimpsest
Progressive - Not my favourite PTH album, but another thoroughly enjoyable addition to their discography, with From The Sky standing out.
24. The Ocean - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic / Cenozoic
Progressive Post-Metal - I definitely prefer its predecessor, but Triassic and Jurassic make for a killer opening duo of tracks.
25. Tombs - Monarchy Of Shadows
Black - A shockingly engaging EP from a band I'm usually more reserved about, the riffs here rip hard.
26. Wake - Confluence
Blackened Death - Hard to pick between this and Devouring Ruin, but the further stylistic exploration into post-rock and other areas slightly edges Confluence ahead.
27. Earth Rot - Black Tides Of Obscurity
Blackened Death - Just full of emphatic extreme metal riffs.
28. I Break Horses - Warnings
Synth-Pop - Compelling melancholic vibes and film-inspired nostalgia.
29. Dwaal - Gospel Of The Vile
Sludge Doom - Adds some post-metal and slightly more exploration to the punishing sound of Eremit's Carrier Of Weight to create something arguably even better.
30. Gaerea - Limbo
Black - Unsettling Whispers didn't make a huge impression on me, but the melodic inclinations here work extremely well.

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by musclassia ]

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