Before I begin listing off and reviewing my top ten albums for the year, I want to give some honorable mentions to some 2020 releases that were great even though they didn’t make the the list at the end of the day. I listened to more music in 2020 than I have in a long time, and this seemed like a good alternative to making my top 10 list larger. In no particular order of ranking, L-R from the top down:
- “Omens” – Elder. Bright, fun, and cheery psychedelic prog rock. A good choice for study music or coffee shop soundtrack.
- “Cosmic World Mother” – …And Oceans. No-frills, high quality melodic death/black metal. Not to be confused with the popular worship song Oceans.
- “The God-Shaped Void” – Psychotic Waltz. Not all reboots are bad, especially if they’re from classic-rock tinged prog metal bands from the 80s.
- “Al-Qassam” – Aeternam. Middle Eastern themed death metal. Unique and tons of fun.
- “Ueog” – Ketsuasgi. The best kept secret of Amarillo, and a testimony to creative endurance in the face of limitation.
- “The Deviant” – Descend. It’s always nice to see some Opeth worship done right, and by “right”, I mean not carbon-copying Opeth without some originality.
- “May Our Chambers Be Full” – Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou. Had this been longer than an EP, it probably would’ve been on the list. Shoutout to Ben Braidfoot for the reco.
- “EP. 001” – Honorary Astronaut. Had this been longer than an EP, it probably would’ve been Album of the Year, because The Dear Hunter.
- “Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic” – The Ocean Collective. Not to be confused with the other band named Oceans above. Part I was the better album, but Part II has the better songs.