Top 100 Albums of 2020: 40-31

So close but so far from my #1! Here are 40-31 in my top 100 albums of 2020.

40. Firelink - Firelink

The self titled album from Dark Souls inspired atmospheric black metal band Firelink is their sophomore effort. I discovered them earlier this year when I was knee deep into playing Dark Souls.

As great as the Inveterate Fire was, this album tops it. They premiered this album on a live stream while playing Dark Souls and it was the most fantastic and fun live stream I have seen all year.

39. Dool - Summerland

2017's Here Now, There Then was one of my favorite albums of that year. It was a dark rock blend of Rush, Tool, Ghost and Royal Thunder. 

I absolutely love the sound of Ryanne van Dorst's voice, which reminds me a lot of Geddy Lee. There are some very good songs on here (Be Your Sins) and the album does flow a lot better than Here Now, There Then.  Unfortunately, Summerland doesn't quite have the same impact as their debut, but it's still a stellar album.

38. Nite - Darkness Silence Mirror Flame

Local band alert! Nite, from San Francisco, are a black and roll band similar to Kvelertak or Tribulation. They mix traditional heavy metal with black metal vocals, and it all just works so well. 

The moment I heard the opening guitar lick, I knew I had to have a physical copy. I can't wait for concerts to come back, and I should be able to see Nite at a local intimate venue.

37. Myrkur - Folkesange

As a one-woman black metal project, Myrkur has endured harassment from metal dude bros because they are too fragile to handle a woman making black metal music. It's a shame, because she does it so well.

On her third album, she pivots to a full blown folk album. Her black metal albums did have clean singing in them, but the much quieter folk here really allows her singing to shine.

36. Panzerballett - Planet Z

Jan Zehrfeld is the founder and leader of Panzerballett. They are an avant garde jazz fusion metal that sounds like Frank Zappa mixed with Behold...The Arctopus.

This album features several drummers. Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Morgan Ă…gren, and Hannes Grossmann to name a few. The musicianship is top notch and the album absolutely rips.

35. Phonomik - Brain Bleeder

European thrash power prog band Phonomik is another new discovery for me. It's a mix of Destrage, Howling Sycamore and Overkill.

As chaotic as this may sound, it all boils down to the hooks on this album. Despite the riffage and shredding, there are lot of moments on here that are so damn catchy. 

34. Anna Von Hausswolff - All Thoughts Fly

This is not your typical Anna Von Hausswolff album. All Thoughts Fly is purely solo organ. The organ she used is in Gothenburg and is a Swedish replica of the Arp Schnitger organ in Germany.

This is the type of listening experience that requires a pair of headphones, while listening to it in the dark. It is repetitive and droning, but it really draws you in making you feel like you're alone in a giant cave listening to a solo organist playing just for you.

33. Unleash the Archers - Abyss

Unleash the Archers is a Canadian power metal band, and one of the last bands I saw in concert prior to shelter in place.

Abyss is another concept album from Unleash the Archers, and is the sequel to Apex. Apex is so damn good and so my expectations were sky high for the follow up.

Upon first listen, it was disappointing. After a few more listens though, it grew on me a lot. While it doesn't hit as hard as Apex, Abyss is still an excellent album.

32. Mors Principium Est - Seven

Mors Principium Est is a melodic death metal (melodeath) band that has been around for quite some time. I'm surprised it's taken me seven albums long to discover this band.

On their very creatively titled album, it is a dose of standard but very high quality melodic death metal. There was a time when the metal world was saturated with this type of death metal, and the scene has since progressed. Mors Principium Est has emerged from that scene still playing melodeath, and doing it really well. (Seriously, who came up with that amazing album title)

31. Aseitas - False Peace

Portland has quite the metal scene, and Aseitas is pushing death metal forward with their brand of crunchy nasty death metal. They bring in some technical elements to the fold without being over the top shreddy like tech death. The technical elements are more along the lines of Meshuggah and Gojira.

The only complaint I have here is that there is a bit too much of it. 71 minutes is long for any album, but especially for a death metal album.

Top 10 Live Albums of 2020

2020 Honorable Mentions

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