If not for anything else, 2020 has been an excellent year for new releases in heavy music so far. Without further ado, here is the editor’s mid-year recap of the best albums of the year at its halfway point.
#20. WINTERFYLLETH – The Reckoning Dawn: UK black metal group Winterfylleth has put out one stellar album after another in their prolific 14-year career thus far, and their seventh full-length effort does their reputation absolutely no harm. The Reckoning Dawn is a compelling, crushing slab of extreme music.
#19. LAGOON – Maa Kali Trip: Portland, Oregon “skate rat doom” outfit Lágoon lives by the motto, “worship riffs, spliffs, and flip tricks.” That much is clearly evident on their third full-length, which also happens to be their last as a two-piece. Maa Kali Trip is filled to the brim with heavy psychedelic jams reminiscent of the likes of Danava, Lecherous Gaze, The Shrine, etc, and it does not take much effort to grow fondness for this album.
#18. HAXAN – Aradia: Hailing from Toronto, Canada, occult doom / proto-metal group Häxan released their debut full-length this year,and what an impressive debut at that. Blues-tinged riffs and solos, fuzzy tones and powerful vocals decorate this album beautifully from start to finish, whilst the crafty rhythm section gives it a solid backbone. Aradia is an instant classic for worshippers of things sonically heavy.
#17. HUM – Inlet: Any band that goes 22 years without releasing an album and then does so, usually finds it extremely difficult to meet expectations. But Champaign, Illinois alt-metal / space rock group Hum have certainly proven themselves to be an exception to the norm. The band’s outstanding new album literally came out of nowhere, as it was announced and released on the same date. Inlet took fans by surprise and very much pleasantly so, as it is, by all means, a triumphant return.
#16. LAMB OF GOD – Lamb Of God: There is something to admire about a band that stays true to form and does it consistently well. American modern metal giants Lamb Of God fit this description perfectly, as they’ve showcased yet again on their latest release, the self-titled full-length album. With an instantly recognizable sound that has influenced countless bands in the past two decades, Lamb Of God have spawned their own sonic identity, and their eighth studio album is an excellent representation of it. Lamb Of God simply never disappoints.
Which albums made #15 to #11? All revealed on Page 2 …