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Daufødt – 1000 Island

1000 Island is a highly recommended album and although not quite a tonic to this year from hell, surely the energy boost needed to not take it lying down, to get up and scream in condemnation, in disbelief or just in sheer frustration.

LACITTÀDOLENTE – Salespeople

There’s promise here, but this mathcore Milan quartet are still very much finding their feet on their debut LP.

Dynfari – Myrkurs er þörf

An impressive atmospheric black metal album from the Icelandic mainstays, unfortunately hampered by poor production throughout.

Sunken – Livslede

Sunken’s sophomore album is an astonishing leap forward from an already impressive debut. An atmospheric black metal feast, with sonic surprises around every corner, ‘Livslede’s gloomy ritual is downright beautiful.

The White Swan – Nocturnal Transmission

Emerging from the shadow of Kittie, Mercedes Lander and the rest of The White Swan deliver a fantastic clutch of songs. But it is yet another EP, whetting the appetite once again for their future.

Cross Bringer – The Signs of Spiritual Delusion

Cross Bringer provide 2020 with yet another astonishing debut record. A band blending many genres together, they master dynamics and pacing to serve up a venomous LP with great depth.

Void Rot – Descending Pillars

This is the line in the sand, the album by which others in the niche of ‘death doom’ will now be measured. 

Sprain – As Lost Through Collision

Sprain emerge from chrysalis a radically different band to their debut EP. ‘As Lost Through Collision’ is a band finding their sound – a unique, creative, very exciting new heavy sound.

Hadewych – Welving

A vinyl reissue uncovers a lost, dark gem of an album from the experimental Netherlands underground.

Fange – Poigne

An EP that points the way to an exciting future for the already well-respected, noisey French metallers.

Plague Organ – Orphan

One of the more oblique releases in extreme metal in 2020, Plague Organ’s debut will smother and – perhaps – delight.

Atramentus – Stygian

Glacial funeral doom from a new monolith of the genre.

Next Life – Guru Meditation

Next Life are a name we all should know, but Guru Meditation is not their finest effort.

Krallice – Mass Cathexis

Mass Cathexis is another dizzying, impressive display from the black metal pioneers.

Selbst – Relatos de Angustia

A black metal album to cherish, and one for those who love the genre to delight in picking apart, discussing and deep, lights-off listens.

Primitive Man – Immersion

Primitive Man’s third LP is the soundtrack to a mental breakdown; the musical accompaniment to that small flicker in someone’s eye when you know they’ve given up on a dream or hope of good news.

Bloodmist – Phos

Phos is an eerie, disquieting soundtrack to the loss of tangible hope.

Drouth – Excepts from a Dread Liturgy

Drouth’s sophomore LP may not serve as the breakthrough it intends to be, but nonetheless it remains an enjoyable, solid album.

Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville

‘Alphaville’ builds upon the trio’s previous work, showcasing a band at the peak of their powers.

Bedsore – Hypnagogic Hallucinations

Despite a slow start, Bedsore make good on the promise of their acclaimed demo.

A-Sun Amissa – Black Rain (I)

Unencumbered from the rigours of composition, ‘Black Rain (I)’ feels like a joyous experiment.

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