2020 Year-End Recap: Best Albums

#10. TOMBS – Under Sullen Skies: Brooklyn, New York extreme metal group Tombs has emerged as one of the most impressive bands in the sub-genre over the past decade, going from strength to strength on every release. Under Sullen Skies is their fifth full-length, and quite possibly their most devastating yet. A skull-crushing riff-a-thon of epic proportions.

#9. UADA – Djinn: Uada are changing the landscape of extreme metal in a big way with their captivating brand of melodic black metal. The Portland, Oregon band’s third LP Djinn is an instant classic in no uncertain terms, an incredible hour-long journey that is equal parts bleak and uplifting.

#8. ENSLAVED – Utgard: Through the past three decades, perhaps no band has undergone an evolution greater than that of Norwegian progressive black metal quintet Enslaved. Constantly diving deep within to seek the creativity to keep adding new dimensions to their music, Enslaved has come a long way, as proved by their recent albums, and in particular by their newest offering, Utgard. A magnificent slab of masterful musicianship.

#7. ARMORED SAINT – Punching The Sky: Any year with a new Armored Saint release is better than a year without one. The Los Angeles classic heavy metal legends have found their second wind in recent times, and in 2020 they released a worthy follow-up to the tremendous 2015 album, Win Hands Down. Sticking to their old-school roots but blending modern elements to find present-day relevance, Armored Saint is showing their peers how to do it right. Punching The Sky is an exemplary slab of all that is great about Armored Saint.

#6. KATATONIA – City Burials: Just when the world needed it most, Swedish gothic / prog masters Katatonia have come up with one of the best albums of their career. Listeners simply cannot help but be captivated by the music that decorates their newest offering. Jonas Renkse is at the absolute peak of his powers here as a vocalist, songwriter and producer, as is the rest of the band in their performances. City Burials is an emotionally stirring journey, and a true masterpiece.

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