TOP 30 METAL/HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2020 PART FOUR: 5-1
TOP 30 METAL/HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2020
PART FOUR: 5-1
05. My Dying Bride – Ghost of Orion/Macabre Cabaret
Another band from the past brushes through the fog to deliver not just one, but two stellar works in a single year. Ghost of Orion is an amazing return, the band layering on that Death/Doom/Goth with masterful strokes. Everything is heavy, dismal, gloomy, heartbreakingly romantic, and crushingly heavy at all times. The way the songs shift and change moods, rise and fall, are so natural that they seem more like elements of nature itself rather than something composed by human hands. And then they go and release a killer EP at the tail-end of the year, songs just as good if not better than the official full-length. What a blessing this was in a year that was so incredibly crappy.
04. Midnight – Rebirth by Blasphemy
Raw, raucous, shredding, pummeling, this one barrels forward and hardly stops to catch its breath. And why should it? This is sound of greased leather, lightning-fast licks, and a true Satanic attitude. This is indeed what blasphemy sounds like, a combination of evil leering, lascivious pelvic thrusts, and a thunderstorm of riffs. And don’t forget the fun. Evil isn’t evil if it isn’t a total blast. Like an outrageous cocaine party filled with Suicide Girls and lots of dancing, you can’t go wrong with this one, and the hangover is well-worth it.
03. Horisont – Sudden Death
This album is somewhat of a sprawling mess. I mean, it’s all over the place as far as tone and sound and style, yet it works. All the parts rub together to create something cohesive and a pure joy to the ear. Yeah, maybe it’s too long and too ambitious, but that’s part of the charm, isn’t it? Where else are you going to get some ELO butting heads with Thin Lizzy, all done in that wry, sci-fi fun style that is unique to Horisont? Nowhere, baby. So enjoy the Springsteenisms bopping next to the Sweet riffs and just be glad this band exists and they have the guts to release jams like this.
02. Molassess – Through the Hollow
The echoing, sultry, slyly diabolic voice of The Devil’s Blood returns with a number of her comrades to bring us an album that is not unlike their old band but still something thoroughly fresh and original to itself. More Progressive, without wanking itself to sleep, this album is full of complex songs that all shift and moan like occult lovers getting busy between the sheets. Layers upon layers of guitars and moody emotions make this a deep and difficult listen, one of those albums that rewards repeat listenings, demanding your time and attention. This isn’t a party album; this is the real thing. Read my review here.
01. Night – Hight Tides-Distant Skies
Hands down, there is no album I listened to more this year, and no album I enjoyed more. This is an infectious little slab of dreamy rock mixed with pop and soaring choruses that get stuck in your brain like the needle in the groove of a record. This isn’t particularly heavy, although it’s got riffs galore, and licks that will burn your ears. What this album does is make you fall in love with rock n’ roll again, reminding you what’s so great about it, why it gets your blood pumping and your ass shaking. It speaks of glorious days gone by, with its Dire Straits’ shadings, it’s Classic Rock leanings, all stitched together with a modern metallic sheen and catchy as hell songs. There is not one weak track on this album and nothing that ever makes you want to step away and take a break. Glorious, majestic, amazing…album of the year, and it’s not even close.
The Wizard Has Spoken!