(For the 10th (!) year in a row, we asked our old friend SurgicalBrute to weigh in with his year-end list of favorite albums and/or EPs. As expected, his list adds many names that haven’t appeared before in our 2020 Listmania series, and this year there’s a definite lean into black metal.)
If 2020 had a face, I’d punch it.
Yes…deeply profound, I know, but what do you really expect me to say here? There’s really no point in sugar-coating things, because this year has been an absolute trash fire and we all know it. We’re all tired, we’re all pissed off, and we’re all just hoping that when that ball finally drops on December 31st a message doesn’t appear in the sky saying: “Tutorial completed…prepare for level one”.
Despite everything, or maybe because of it, one of the far-too-few few bright points to come out of this whole mess was the huge number of great metal albums that got released… something I’d say was especially true if you’re a black metal fan. That’s not to say there weren’t great albums coming out across all the various subgenres. I found more than enough from everywhere to make me happy, but as a genre that thrives on expressing negative feelings and emotions, black metal was tailor-made for a year like this and I can only assume the artists who create it must have noticed, because they seemed to have stepped up their game accordingly.
As a result, probably more than any other year-end list I’ve done for NCS, I’m going to end up favoring one subgenre more strongly over all the other styles I tend to enjoy… and I’m still only scratching the surface of the stuff from this year that I’d recommend tracking down.
Now with all that out of the way, same rules as always. No tech, no -core, no prog. Production values are optional, and my taste will always be better than yours… so kick back and enjoy the music. \m/