And now we look at 80-71 in my top 100 albums of 2020.
80. Xythlia -
Immortality Through Quantum Suicide
Absolutely brutal death grind that is perfect to throw on when you need to get out some rage. In a year filled with things to be mad at, this soothes the soul.
It's a nice and lean 23 minutes, which may seem short, but it's long by grind standards. It is also astounding that this is a one-man project, and is also available for Name Your Price (i.e. free if you want).
79. Intronaut - Fluid Existential Inversions
Intronaut is a progressive post metal band that works hard. With their previous release, The Direction of Last Things, they toured endlessly, and put them right in my face several times as an opener and once as a headliner.
Since then, they've kicked out their drummer due to allegations of domestic abuse. In his place is Alex "Rudy" Rüdinger who is an absolute beast, and totally rips it on this album. Whoever ends up being their drummer moving forward will have a hell of a time with these drum parts.
78. Crippled Black Phoenix - Ellengæst
In 2019, the Crippled Black Phoenix's singer left the group., The bandleader, Justin Greaves, called on some excellent guest musicians to help with Ellengæst, including Vincent Cavanagh of Anathema and Jonathan Hultén formerly of Tribulation.
While I did enjoy 2018's Great Escape, I think Ellengæst is even better. It is a mix of prog, rock and dark folk, really giving me some Leonard Cohen vibes at times.
77. Hail Spirit Noir - Eden in Reverse
Hail Spirit Noir has historically been an avant garde black metal band. Their previous album, Mayhem in Blue, added surf rock into the mix.
Now they've evolved into something else and made the strange move over to avant garde doom mixed with classic prog rock. It took me a few listens to get this (well...I'm not even sure i fully get this yet).
A weird, trippy, fascinating listen which will likely need even more spins to fully understand.
76. Psychonaut - Unfold the God Man
Sludgy proggy post metal from Belgium. They remind me a lot of Tool, Baroness, and Intronaut. Psychonaut seemingly came out of nowhere, and have released a strong debut album.
They are signed to Pelagic Records, a label closely connected to the excellent post metal band The Ocean. I'm excited to see where this band is headed.
75. Red Moon Architect -
Emptiness Weighs the Most
Wow, that album title...deep. Red Moon Architect is a crushing death doom metal band. The vocals are absolutely brutal, as well as those plodding riffs, emptiness really does weigh the most. However, it is offset with ethereal female clean vocals.
The band is from Finland, and it has that distinctly Finnish melodic metal sound to it. It is very bleak, and a good soundtrack to how this year has played out.
74. The Hirsch Effekt - Kollaps
Another weirdo prog metal album, this time out of Germany. It reminds me a lot of the older, more progessive Leprous.
Thematically, Kollaps is inspired by a book that explores several reasons as to why historical societies collapse. At the top of the list is man-made climate change. Damn...too real.
73. Victory Over the Sun -
A Tessiture of Transfiguration
Portland gives France a run for its money when it comes to the avant garde. Victory Over the Sun is haunting microtonal black metal that will make your insides itch.
To give you a little background on what microtonal is, most music you will hear will have 12 equal intervals per octave. Microtonal hits notes that are in between those intervals, and can divide the octave up into a number greater than 12 (for example 19). It makes the music sound really messed up and even out of tune, when in reality, it's just unconventonial.
72. Svalbard - When I Die, Will I Get Better?
Leave it to this post hardcore atmospheric black metal band to ask the deep questions. They don't mince their words on this album, covering subjects such as the dark side of social media, and the objectification of women.
I thought their previous album was fine, but they really sucked me in with this album, and knocked it out of the park with this one. It's both angry, loud, and beautiful at times.
71. The Black Dahlia Murder - Verminous
You can always depend on The Black Dahlia Murder to release a solid "At The Gates" style melodeath album. This was one of the first new albums that I bought after the world shutdown.
While not as good as Nightbringers, Verminous delivers another set of solid tunes, and frontman Trevor Strnad seems like the goodest dude. He loves retro gaming, loves CDs, and listens to as much new music as humanly possible. I feel like we are spirit animals.