Moving forward with 70-61 in my top 100 albums of 2020.
70. Quasarborn - A Pill Hard to Swallow
Unlike death and black metal, thrash is generally a very stagnant genre that refuses to evolve. There are a few rare bands that move the needle (one that shall be unnamed since the dude is a butthole), but overall, the genre has basically been too samey.
Quasarborn helps move the genre by adding in some technical melodic prog to the mix. They absolutely rip, and the stand out track for me here is "Atlas."
69 (Nice). Vredehammer - Viperous
The first 30 seconds to Viperous is a strange synth intro that had me thinking this was a dark synth band.
It wasn't long until I was slapped in the face with blast beats and face melting Norwegian black metal riffage. The majority of the album is made up of the insanely fast riffs with the occasional synth break to rest your ears. Nothing too revolutionary going on here, just some good solid black metal.
68. Pyrrhon - Abscess Time
Death metal is already abrasive enough, but hey let's make it even more abrasive with screeching vocals and guitars.
This is another one of those tough listens, but investing my time in this has been worth it. There's a lot to love here, and is probably a contender for most hated album by the wife (which means the album is awesome).
67. Liturgy - Origin of the Alimonies
Liturgy frontwoman came out this year as transgender. She knew even before the band was even formed, but kept it quiet out of fear. In a genre full of misogynistic dude bros, it can't be easy to come out. I'm truly inspired by her bravery.
Her music itself is...weird. Her previous albums H.A.Q.Q. and The Ark Work it's like...WTF IS THIS?! This time around, she blends her abrasive brand of black metal with an orchestra and it's just as messed up as ever. I love it!
66. Ahtme - Mephitic
Ahtme, out of Kansas City, hits hard with their sophomore release Mephitic. There's just a constant flurry of notes, and it can be very mind numbing and overwhelming at first. It takes quite a few listens to even begin to absorb it all.
This doesn't cover any new ground when it comes to tech death, it's just damn good and full of riffs that I will continue to be picking out on repeated listens.
65. Vanden Plas -
The Ghost Xperiment: Illumination
Vanden Plas has had quite the career. Often being lumped into a group of Dream Theater inspired prog metal bands from the 90s, they are one of of the better bands to come from that era.
Their discography has been somewhat incosistent for me. It's not really a matter of their sound changing much (if at all). This album is a sequel to The Ghost Xperiment: Awakening, which I didn't enjoy for some reason. Illumination however, I really enjoyed. Weird.
64. Deadlife - City of Eternal Rain & Dark Nation
I'm cheating here by lumping these two darksynth albums together. Deadlife has had quite the synthwave career, moving between post apoclyptic future dark synth, to the more ethereal ambient chillwave.
City of Eternal Rain seems like amalgamation of those two styles, while Dark Nation harkens back to his early work and hits hard with futuristic darksynth.
Deadlife released two albums in one year and is already working on his next album. I don't know how dude can put out so much work in such a short time and it's all high quality.
63. Amiensus - Abreaction
Atmospheric post metal from Minnesota. The third in their series of "tion" albums starts off fairly innocuous, and sounds like you're in for an 80s dream pop ride.
That is, until the black metal shrieks come in, wrecking your face. The album goes back and forth between the dream pop parts and black metal, and I love dichotomy of the two.
62. Contrarian - Only Time Will Tell
If there's one thing about tech death, it's that the album art is almost always killer. Look at that sci-fi inspired work of art! Shout out to the artist Guang Yang.
This type of tech death is more along the lines of Human-era Death and Atheist. This is a concept album about that dude on the album cover that time travels for redemption and love. Awwwww.
61. Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
Every year, my list always has a straight up pop album on it, and this year is no different. I am a sucker for pop, and especially for pop that's done well.
Pop tends to focus on singles vs. the full album experience. Dua Lipa smashes it out of the park with an album full of bangers, sounding like a mix of Katy Perry and Jamiroquai.
Every song on here just makes you happy and feel good. A much needed lift in 2020.