Listmania: Metal Noise Top #5 Albums of 2020!

Probably the toughest category of our listmania awards series each year has to be the albums. These pages have had a daily review during the year of the Great Plague of 2020 and there have even been some occasions when there have been more than one. So that’s 365 plus records to consider, which is a heck of a lot. The rules are simple; no cross overs between categories and records that we have reviewed in full. So without further fanfare and what not, here are our top #5 full length studio albums of 2020…

The Thrash resurgence of recent years has been very much spearheaded by bands like Denver Colorado quartet Havok and in 2020 they delivered a masterpiece in “V“. Not only did they provide Riffs a plenty and blistering solos but they also prove that they can do atmosphere as well as anyone else, taking their time to craft and build in this 8 minute piece of epic grandeur in “Don’t Do It“.

Talking of epic grandeur, our second choice has to be the self titled record from US Progressive Metal titans Oceans of Slumber. An album which plays with light and shade, beauty and darkness in a rich set of colours, it is one to send a shiver down the spine. They may have flourished since the arrival of vocalist Cammie Gilbert for 2015’s “Blue” EP but they are so much more than the sum of their parts and this album really is their finest hour.

An album that drags you down the rabbit hole kicking and screaming before leaving you for dead, “Willow” by Reflections is a beast of a record. Progressive Tech-Metal blended with DJent and soaked in atmosphere it plunges you to the black depths and then brings in some shoegazing moments of ambient atmosphere. Lyrically skull crushing with tales in which madness dwells its one that simply has to be heard to be believed.

Fourth on the list is “Pain Is Power” by Sydney Australian Deathcore quintet Justice For The Damned. Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan and Joe Badolato of Fit For An Autopsy make guest appearances on a record mixed and mastered by the legendary Will Putney that sees them cross sub-genres in a single death defying leap as they bring Death Metal, Black Metal and even Gothenburg influenced Melodic Death Metal moments to the plate for something both stunning and brutally heavy.

Perhaps a controversial choice due to the circumstances of the departure of vocalist CJ McCreery before it appeared but none the less Jersey Deathcore act Lorna Shore pulled out all the stops with “Immortal“. There are cinematic quality moments in the Symphonic parts of the album that are nothing short of incredible and then you have the brutal backdrop of the skull crushing rhythm section. We could go on. But alas, our time has come, the final curtain. No mention of Hazzerd, Bleed From Within, The Black Dahlia Murder or Azusa either…

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