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.
There’s promise here, but this mathcore Milan quartet are still very much finding their feet on their debut LP.
An impressive atmospheric black metal album from the Icelandic mainstays, unfortunately hampered by poor production throughout.
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.
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 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.
This is the line in the sand, the album by which others in the niche of ‘death doom’ will now be measured.
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.
A vinyl reissue uncovers a lost, dark gem of an album from the experimental Netherlands underground.
An EP that points the way to an exciting future for the already well-respected, noisey French metallers.
One of the more oblique releases in extreme metal in 2020, Plague Organ’s debut will smother and – perhaps – delight.
Glacial funeral doom from a new monolith of the genre.
Next Life are a name we all should know, but Guru Meditation is not their finest effort.
Mass Cathexis is another dizzying, impressive display from the black metal pioneers.
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’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.
Phos is an eerie, disquieting soundtrack to the loss of tangible hope.
Drouth’s sophomore LP may not serve as the breakthrough it intends to be, but nonetheless it remains an enjoyable, solid album.
‘Alphaville’ builds upon the trio’s previous work, showcasing a band at the peak of their powers.
Despite a slow start, Bedsore make good on the promise of their acclaimed demo.
Unencumbered from the rigours of composition, ‘Black Rain (I)’ feels like a joyous experiment.