2020 Mid-Year Recap: Best Albums

#15. BONE CHURCH – Acid Communion: Based out of New Haven, Connecticut, Bone Church is one in the current crop of bands leading the psychedelic / stoner rock resurgence and taking heavy metal back to its roots. The band’s music revolves around simple, precise, heavy riffs, bluesy guitar and vocal leads, enveloped by unmistakably doom-laden vibes and visualized by occult themes. Their sophomore effort has all of this and more. Acid Communion is a delightful set of tunes that satiate the desires of rockers and metalheads alike.

#14. CIRCLE OF SIGHS – Salo: If the term “progressive synth doom” ever demanded a synonym, it would undoubtedly be Circle Of Sighs. The Los Angeles based unit released their debut LP this year and even in a seemingly unending sea of all things stoner / psychedelic / doom, Salo succeeds in making its mark due to the sheer class and quality of the music on the 9-track offering. Epic, apocalyptic, and very much a fitting soundtrack to the year 2020.

#13. KVELERTAK – Splid: A change in vocalist after having already released three albums with global success cannot be an easy transition for any band, but Norwegian stalwarts Kvelertak have carried it out with aplomb. Splid is their fourth album, debuting new vocalist Ivar Nikolaisen. It builds on what the band established sonically through past releases, further exploring their very much unique and distinct blend of rock ‘n roll, extreme metal and hardcore punk. ,Presented in a manner perhaps more cohesive than past albums, Splid is a hearty dosage of quintessential Kvelertak.

#12. ELDER – Omens: Based out of Berlin by way of Boston, psychedelic rockers Elder have greatly enhanced their already stellar reputation in the world of heavy music, with their fifth full-length release. Omens is a beautiful insight into the musical repertoire of this band. Not many can paint mental landscapes the way Elder do with their music, and on this new record, the band greatly excels in this aspect, as much as they ever have. Omens is a truly beautiful piece of work that only gets more powerful from one song to the next.

#11. PALE DIVINE – Consequence Of Time: West Chester, Pennsylvania based band Pale Divine has been waving the flag of traditional doom metal for more than two decades. Consequence Of Time is their sixth studio album, and might be their best yet, as it certainly stands up to be noticed and garners well-deserved plaudits. The band packing so much punch within a mere 42-minute album is astounding in itself, and the music is something to behold. Delightful clean-singing vocals, exemplary guitar riffs, harmonies and solos and an expertly laid down rhythm section make this one of the most compelling and thoroughly enjoyable albums of the year, specially for those that like their doom with a tinge of traditional metal.

By now you’re probably curious to see what the top ten looks like. #10 to #6 unveiled on Page 3