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MMA Best of Year 2020 Results

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Topic: MMA Best of Year 2020 Results
Posted By: Nightfly
Subject: MMA Best of Year 2020 Results
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2021 at 6:42am
Metal Music Archives Best of Year 2020

The intention was to have a Top 100 but due to tie breakers it turned out to be 101 albums.

#99 - #61

#99 (49 points): Butcher - 666 Goats Carry My Chariot (Speed Metal)
#99 (49 Points): The Black Dahlia Murder - Verminous (Melodic Death Metal)
#99 (49 Points): AC/DC - Power Up (Hard Rock)
#91 (50 Points): Outrage - Run Riot (Thrash Metal)
#91 (50 Points): Demonic Death Judge - The Trail (Sludge Metal)
#91 (50 Points): White Walls - Grandeur (Progressive Metal)
#91 (50 Points): Majestica - A Christmas Carol (Power Metal) 
#91 (50 Points): Haunt - Flashback (Heavy Metal)
#91 (50 Points): The Hell - Joris (A Hardcore Opera), Pt I (Hardcore Punk)
#91 (50 Points): MSW - Obliviosus (Doom Metal)
#91 (50 Points): Graceless - Where Vultures Know Your Name (Death-Doom Metal)
#89 (51 Points): Hatebreed - Weight of the False Self (Metalcore)
#89 (51 Points): Tombs - Under Sullen Skies (Black Metal)
#83 (55 Points): Oceans Of Slumber - Oceans Of Slumber (Progressive Metal)
#83 (55 Points): Anubis Gate - Covered In Colours (Progressive Metal)
#83 (55 Points): Brothers of Metal - Emblas Saga (Power Metal)
#83 (55 Points): ##### - Новые пророки (Nu Metal)
#83 (55 Points): Atavist - III: Absolution (Death-Doom Metal)
#83 (55 Points): Demonical - World Domination ( Death Metal)
#82 (56 Points): Onslaught - Generation Antichrist (Thrash Metal)
#80 (57 Points): My Dying Bride - The Ghost of Orion (Doom Metal)
#80 (57 Points): The Ocean Collective - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic l Cenozoic (Atmospheric Sludge Metal)
#79 (59 Points): Demons & Wizards - III (US Power Metal)
#75 (60 Points): Serenity - The Last Knight (Power Metal)
#75 (60 Points): Night - High Tides - Distant Skies (Heavy Metal)
#75 (60 Points): Zeal and Ardor - Wake of a Nation (Black Metal)
#75 (60 Points): Severoth - Vsesvit (Atmospheric Black Metal)
#73 (61 Points): Katatonia - City Burials (Alternative Metal)
#73 (61 Points): Avandra - Skylightling (Progressive Metal)
#72 (66 Points): Cirith Ungol - Forever Black (Heavy Metal)
#70 (67 Points): Sumac - May You Be Held (Atmospheric Sludge Metal)
#70 (67 Points): Uada - Djinn (Melodic Black Metal)
#69 (68 Points): Macabre - Carnival of Killers (Death Metal)
#66 (70 Points): Seven Spires - Emerald Seas (Symphonic Metal)
#66 (70 points): Old Man Gloom - Seminar IX: Darkness of Being (Sludge Metal)
#66 (70 Points): Wytch Hazel - III Pentecost (Heavy Metal)
#65 (72 Points): Pallbearer - Forgotten Days (Doom Metal)
#64 (73 Points): Amaranthe - Manifest (Trance Metal)
#62 (77 Points): Haken - Virus (Progressive Metal)
#62 (77 Points): Grave Digger - Fields of Blood (Power Metal)
#61 (78 Points): Skelethal - Unveiling the Threshold (Death Metal)


#60 (82 Points)

#54 (85 (Points)

#54 (85 Points)

#54 (85 Points)

#54 (85 Points)


Grayceon - Mothers Weavers Vultures

Progressive Metal


Jurassic Jade - Id

Thrash Metal

Dynazty - The Dark Delight

Power Metal


Fuck the Facts - Pleine Noirceur

Grindcore


Grin - Translucent Blades

Doom Metal

#54 (85 Points)

#54 (85 Points)

#52 (90 Points)

#52 (90 Points)

#51 (93 Points)


Sinister - Deformation of the Holy Realm

Death Metal


Deftones - Ohms

Alternative Metal


Sólstafir - Endless Twilight of Codependent Love

Progressive Metal


Tallah - Matriphagy

Nu Metal



Dark Forrest - Oak, Ash & Thorn

Heavy Metal

#50 (94 Points)

#49 (96 Points)

#48 (98 Points)

#44 (100 Points)

#44 (100 Points)


White Stones - Kuarahy

Death Metal


Wake  - Devouring Ruin

Black Metal


Beehoover - Low Performer

Sludge Metal


Kvaen - The Funeral Pyre

Melodic Black Metal


Alestorm - Curse of the Crystal Coconut

Folk Metal

#44 (100 Points)

#44 (100 Points)

#43 (102 Points)

#41 (106 Points)

#41 (106 Points)


Vredehammer - Viperous

Death Metal


Paysage D'Hiver - Im Wald

Atmospheric Black Metal


Pain of Salvation - Panther

Progressive Metal



Rage - Wings of Rage

Power Metal



Dark Tranquility - Moment

Melodic Death Metal


#40 (108 Points)

#39 (110 Points)

#38 (111 Points)

#37 (115 Points)

#36 (116 Points)


Trivium - What the Dead Men Say

Melodic Metalcore



Fates Warning - Long Day Good Night

Progressive Metal



Sodom - Genesis XIX

Thrash Metal


Green Carnation - Leaves of Yesteryear

Progressive Metal


Dealer - Saint

Nu Metal


#35 (124 Points)

#34 (125 Points)

#33 (129 Points)

#30 (131 Points)

#30 (131 Points)


Ensiferum - Thalassic

Folk Metal


Mr Bungle - The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo

Thrash Metal

Armored Saint - Punching the Sky

Heavy Metal


Coexistence - Collateral Dimension

Technical Death Metal


Vader - Solitude in Madness

Death Metal

#30 (131 Points)

#29 (137 Points)

#28 (140 Points)

#27 (142 Points)

#26 (145 Points)


Incantation - Sect of Vile Divinities

Death Metal


Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - May Our Chambers Be Full

Atmospheric Sludge Metal

Soilwork - A Whisp of the Atlantic

Melodic Death Metal


Benediction - Scriptures

Death Metal


Conception - State of Deception

Progressive Metal


#25 (149 Points)
Necrophobic - Dawn Of The Damned
Melodic Death Metal


After the excellent Mark Of The Necrogram released in 2016 Dawn Of The Damned finds Necrophobic mining the same rich vein of blackened melodic death metal and not only equalling it but actually bettering it. A band truly at the peak of their game.



#24 (155 Points)
Gaerea - Limbo
Black Metal


The label of post-black metal often seems to be used synonymously with 'atmospheric black metal' but to apply such a label to the music of Portugal's Gaerea which be to inaccurately describe their music. This band, of which Limbo is their second studio album, instead infuses their black metal sound with sludge/post metal, which is an entirely different ballgame to your Burzum or Ulver. Like many in the scene these days, Gaerea have choosing, for now at least, to keep their identities completely anonymous. Whomever they are though, they have certainly made one of 2020's strongest black metal offerings with Limbo, existing in a sub-genre niche that doesn't always get enough recognition.



#23 (158 Points)
Oranssi Pazuzu - Mestarin Kynsi
Black Metal


Once again Oranssi Pazuzu take their psychedelic infused black metal blueprint and throw in a bit of Krautrock to produce another startlingly good album. They go for the slow burn approach. Hypnotic, unsettling, explosive and totally captivating – they are all of these and more. Mestarin Kynsi takes time to sink in but it’s well worth the effort and is one of the most original albums you’re likely to hear from 2020.



#22 (163 Points)
Unleash The Archers - Abyss
Power Metal


After the suitably titled Apex Unleash The Archers now take us into the Abyss? Well not really, Abyss is still clearly from the same band but this time their power metal is slicker with a greater emphasis on melodic songwriting. Some fans may decry this seemingly more commercial direction but listen and you’ll still find plenty of the fire present last time around alongside hooks to die for.


#21 (165 Points)
Lascaille's Shroud - Wounds
Progressive Metal


 Released a mere two weeks after Othercosmic Divinations I was finally available in its entirety, it was perhaps logical to expect the sixth Lascaille's Shroud release to be the second album of that series. Instead, Brett Windnagle released Wounds, a stand-alone but ultimately similarly themed three track album based on video games. The focal point of the release is of course it's title track, lasting over twenty-five minutes and based on the game The Last of Us Part II, which is certainly among the project's greatest achievements to date. 



#20 (168 Points)
Havukruunu - Uinuos Syömein Sota
Pagan Black Metal


Pagan black metal is not, and perhaps won't ever be, the most commonly performed, listened to, or even understood sub-genre. One band though who could never be accused of not understanding it, although they have leant more on melodic black metal as well on third album Uinuos syömein sota, is Finland's Havukruunu. Their music is pretty much a textbook example of what the pagan black metal genre is and sounds like, but it isn't for this that they are due their high regard. No, it's because, simply put, that they're just a damn good band, one that we expect to continue to hear even more great things from.



#19 (170 Points)
Testament - Titans of Creation
Thrash Metal


Can Testament make a bad record? Apparently not as Titans of Creation continues a long line of stellar thrash metal albums. It’s amazing to think that thirty three years after their formation Testament are still showing the new kids on the block how it’s done.



#18 (178 Points)
Ayreon - Transitus
Progressive Metal


Transitus marks a departure for Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen in many ways. It's the first time for quite a while that he made two Ayreon albums back to back, there's no Ed Warby on drums, and the story, despite having some nods to it, doesn't take place in the Ayreon universe timeline, although it isn't the first Ayreon album that's true of it. It also features a much more compact cast of vocalists and comes with a comic book to read along with the album, which rather than a gimmick turns out to be completely necessary to get the full experience of it. Each disc is best taken as two long songs, defining two acts of the story. The stripped back approach to vocalists will no doubt come as a surprise to established Ayreon fans, as well as the very uneven manner in which every voice is utilised, but it's actually this that ends up making Transitus a unique entry in Lucassen's body of work. Also, it's narrated by Tom Baker, TV's Fourth Doctor himself, how cool is that? Now, would you like a jelly baby before we continue?



#17 (203 Points)
Neal Morse - Sola Gratia
Metal Related


Neal Morse is one of progressive rock's most prolific modern musicians, but his relevance to the metal scene often goes understated. While latest solo release Sola Gratia isn't the most consistently heavy work he's ever produced, a credit which may go to the earlier Sola Scriptura, of which this is a thematic sequel, complete with reprises of many of that album's lyrics and music, or to The Neal Morse Band's The Great Adventure, it does stand out as a special release within Neal's discography. Recorded remotely in lockdown with usual collaborators Randy George and Mike Portnoy, Sola Gratia may be a bit too much on the Christian lyrics for some (it's a concept album about Paul the Apostle), but those who spend some time with it will find it Morse's most special release in some years, ranging from heavy hard rocking material like In the Name of the Lord to progressive mini-masterpieces like Seemingly Sincere.



#16 (207 Points)
Eternal Champion - Ravening Iron
US Power Metal


When we think of US Power Metal, it's reasonable to go straight to the genre that existed in the eighties as kind of a stepping point between heavy metal and the later European brand which we all mean when we say 'power metal' today. It does this genre of metal a disservice though, as it has remained alive and kicking, if not well known and perhaps indistinguishable from traditional metal to some, ever since. It hasn't really gone away. Eternal Champion are one of a few relatively new bands that fly the flag for a classic USPM sound. Ravening Iron is their second album after an already excellent debut The Armor of Ire in 2016 and it continues in the same tradition, proving that there's life in USPM yet.



#15 (213 Points)
Cryptic Shift - Visitations from Enceladus
Technical Thrash Metal


Any band that released an album displaying the scope of Visitations From Enceladus should be rightly proud of their achievements. The fact that this is Cryptic Shift’s debut album makes it all the more stunning. An album that mixes progressive, technical thrash and technical death metal, it’s complex and dynamic with endless twists and turns, no better demonstrated than on the twenty six minutes album opener Moonbelt Immolator. 



#14  (214 Points)
Boris - NO
Sludge Metal


Boris is among Japan's most prolific metal bands, often releasing multiple albums a year in a variety of styles. Most known for drone and sludge metal, NO sees the band on the most all-out aggressive and intense hardcore side of sludge, and it's one of the band's best in years. Combining sludge's crushing heaviness with the speed of thrash and hardcore, NO is an album for anyone wanting the heaviest of heavy.



#13 (215 Points)
Sweven - The Eternal Resonance
Progressive Metal


If the name Sweven is familiar despite The Eternal Resonance only being the group's debut album, then there is a reason why. It was the title of the second and final album of Morbus Chron back in 2014. After that band ended, frontman Robert Andersson founded Sweven and as can be assumed from the naming of the last album of his previous band, continues more or less where the former left off, which can only be a good thing, as Morbus Chron were among the most unique death metal acts active in the 2010s and their ending after just two albums was a great loss to the metal scene. Sweven takes a much more progressive based style than the former, but the elements the band uses are the same; prog, death metal and psychedelic rock. While their riffs have less to do with death metal than Opeth ever did and have a distinctly 70s flavour, the growling vocals certainly put Sweven in the extreme metal zone.



#12 (216 Points)
Psychotic Waltz - The God-Shaped Void
Progressive Metal



The first question people are likely to ask when a band releases their first album in twenty four years is can they still cut it? The answer is fortunately a resounding yes. Psychotic Waltz don’t go for the blur of notes approach often associated with the sub-genre, instead we get an album of well-crafted generally mid-paced progressive metal with an emphasis on strong hooks and strong songwriting. The sound is more polished these days but on The God-Shaped Void the band proves that they still have what it takes to produce top grade progressive metal. 



#11 (219 Points)
Cult Of Lilith - Mara
Technical Death Metal


Every year throws up a few surprises in heavy metal. This year it was the turn of Icelandic death metal band Cult Of Lilith. After releasing an EP in 2016, Mara is their startling debut album that took many by surprise. A very busy album blending their technical death metal with progressive elements and an ample supply of melody making for a highly engaging listen that reveals something new each time you play it.




#10 (222 Points)
Lascaille's Shroud - Othercosmic Divinations I
Progressive Metal


A good chunk of Lascaille's Shroud's Othercosmic Divinations I was actually available since 2019, which was when the album was originally expected to release as a follow-up to the one song album The Tiger's Daughter (2018). Problems beset the production however, not least the Covid-19 pandemic and the finished product wasn't made available until August of 2020, with it's implied second part still forthcoming. After producing two massive double albums quite earlier in his career, including The Roads Leading North, which was MMA's 11th top album for 2016, sole member Brett Windnagle has perhaps seemed a bit more restrained per release since, but continues to turn out quality progressive death metal based on video games and novels. 



#9 (239 Points)
Sepultura - Quadra
Thrash Metal


Sepulura’s place in the history of heavy metal is guaranteed but it hasn’t always been a smooth road for them. After early thrash classics like Beneath The Remains and Arise they then lost founder member Max Cavalera after the eyebrow raising Roots album. Following years of releasing albums in more of a groove metal style the band in recent years seem to have rediscovered what made them such a great band in the first place culminating in Quadra, their finest album in almost thirty years.



#8 (243 Points)
Mare Cognitum & Spectral Lore - Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine
Atmospheric Black Metal


Splits don't often get a look in when it comes to talking about the best albums of a given year and with good reason. They're often just a bunch of sometimes seemingly randomly selected tracks from two or more artists, who may not even always be in the same genre. Sometimes though, a split is a much more special release. Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine, by black metal acts Mare Cognitum and Spectral Lore, is one such release. As much collaboration as true split, this is the second time the one man bands have joined forces, following 2013's Sol, of which Wanderers may be seem as a continuation of the duo's journey through our Solar System. A supermassive black hole of an atmospheric black metal release, the album isn't for the faint of heart. The only confusing thing about it is why they don't visit the planets in order, while it seems a statement on their part that not only is Pluto included as a planet, it's the only one with two tracks dedicated to it, one being completely ambient. 



#7 (285 Points)
Ulcerate - Stare into Death and be Still
Technical Death Metal


Many of those that regularly listen to extreme metal won’t find Ulcerate’s Stare Into Death And Be Still an easy listen. But dig into the cacophony, dissonance and syncopated rhythms and you’ll be rewarded with a brutal and dark death metal album that seems to deliver more each time you play it.




#6 (308 Points)
Esoctrilihum - Eternity of Shaog
Atmospheric Black Metal


 Esoctrilihum, a one man band, may have only made its debut in 2017, but by 2020 we are already on the project's fifth album Eternity of Shaog. When the band was started the music was about as pure atmospheric black metal as such things came, but sole member Asthâghul quickly diversified his sound with death metal and became much more established in that genre. On Eternity of Shaog things have returned more to the black metal camp, though the album could hardly be called a regression to the Mare Cognitum-esque roots of the project. The atmospheric blend of black and death metal, perhaps also with some progressive undertones hinting at further ways the band's sound could be experimented with, is certainly still one of the more unique extreme metal sounds we've heard in 2020. And something tells us that Esoctrilihum isn't done yet with surprising us with what he can do.




#5 (341 Points)
Enslaved - Utgard
Progressive Metal


A new Enslaved album is always something to look forward to and once again Utgard proves to be worth the wait. As with recent albums the band are firmly entrenched in progressive metal with elements of their black metal roots seemingly less with each release but still showing themselves here and there. Those who have followed and enjoyed the journey the band has taken will not be disappointed as the band have produced another compelling metal album in their own inimitable style.




#4 (378 Points)
Lovebites - Electric Pentagram
Power Metal




Winners in 2018 for Metal Music Archives Album of the Year for their second studio album Clockwork Immortality, it shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone that Lovebites remain one of MMA's most beloved power metal acts going into a new decade. Electric Pentagram (note the Morbid Angel-esque naming convention they use across their major releases) is a mammoth power metal album, clocking in at just over seventy minutes. On paper that may sound just too much for the genre, but the Japanese band doesn't waste a single second of it, making it fully justified. While the band's sound hasn't change all that much since their started out, their balance of symphonic influences and nods to old school power metal through speed metal elements make their work the kind of albums that offer up something to every power metal palate.



#3 (402 Points)
Napalm Death - Throes of Joy in the Jaws of  Defeatism
Grindcore


For a band well into it’s fourth decade of existence, Napalm Death is still producing music as strong and vital as at any time in the band’s celebrated and storied career. “Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism” is as uncompromising as any album the band has produced, but has subtleties and flourishes not immediately obvious on a first listen.



#2 (404 Points)
Paradise Lost - Obsidian
Gothic Metal


 Paradise Lost throughout their career has been a band prepared to change musical direction as the mood takes them. Be it death-doom, doom or gothic metal their fans seem to stick with them no doubt because they rarely release anything subpar. After the last two doom orientated albums Obsidian sees the band returning to their gothic style but as usual they don’t disappoint with an album of strong and memorable songs.



#1 (539 Points)
Hail Spirit Noir - Eden in Reverse
Progressive Metal


After producing three excellent albums that created a truly psychedelic take on black metal, it may have seemed like after Mayhem in Blue that the band could go no further and would soon head into stagnant waters. The band's answer to this problem is Eden in Reverse, their fourth album which also sees them greatly expanding their line-up, and also changing their sound completely. Gone is practically any trace of black metal, or any kind of extreme metal for that matter. In its place the band have delved more fully into their retro progressive rock/psych elements, while still being metal, creating an album that feels both familiar and fresh. Psychedelic metal hasn't really caught on much outside of some dabbling in black metal, doom metal and of course most obligatory stoner metal, but Hail Spirit Noir seem intent on changing that with this one. Is it a game changing album for metal sub-genres? Only time will tell. 



Many thanks to Adam (adg211288), Nicole (666sharon666), Patrick (Vim Fuego) and Khaliq (Unitron) for supplying write ups and to everyone who took the time to vote.

Releases by Main Sub-Genre (Top 101)

Progressive Metal: 18
Death Metal: 16
Black Metal: 12
Thrash Metal: 9
Power Metal: 8
Sludge Metal: 7
Heavy Metal: 6
Doom Metal: 6
Nu Metal: 3
Alternative Metal: 2
Folk Metal: 2
Grindcore: 2
Metalcore: 2
US Power Metal: 2
Gothic Metal: 1
Hard Rock: 1
Hardcore Punk: 1
Metal Related: 1
Speed Metal: 1
Symphonic Metal: 1





Replies:
Posted By: Vim Fuego
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 10:35am
Great job as ever team!Clap Well done Paul, taking over the job of collating and presenting all this from Adam.

I can't say I was surprised by the winner having seen the votes in the voting thread, but there were a few surprises further down the list.Smile


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 11:33am
Cheers Patrick. Yes I think the winner was pretty obvious quite early on.


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 11:48am
Great work Paul! Thanks again for doing it this year. 

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Posted By: TheHeavyMetalCat
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 12:19pm
Great work! Clap

(By the way, the image for Green Carnation is ever so slightly out of line with the rest of the grid)


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 12:20pm
As per usual, there's also a List Challenge for this year's result. Check off how many you've heard here:  http://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020" rel="nofollow - https://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020

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Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 12:32pm
Thumbs Up

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Posted By: Bosh66
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 12:53pm
Superb job Paul. Many thanks!


Posted By: DippoMagoo
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 1:10pm
Great job, Paul! I've never actually listened to Hail Spirit Noir before, so I may need to change that soon, lol


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 1:31pm
Originally posted by DippoMagoo DippoMagoo wrote:

Great job, Paul! I've never actually listened to Hail Spirit Noir before, so I may need to change that soon, lol

You'll have a shock at how different the latest is to their first three. 


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Posted By: Tupan
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 1:57pm
Excellent job! There were some surprises indeed, I thought Deftones would be higher on the list. 

And, as usual, many bands to know!


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 2:06pm
Thanks everyone!


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 2:08pm
Originally posted by TheHeavyMetalCat TheHeavyMetalCat wrote:

Great work! Clap

(By the way, the image for Green Carnation is ever so slightly out of line with the rest of the grid)

Thanks for pointing that out Asley. I've tried to fix it and it keeps going back into the same place. Hmmm, very strange. think I may need to ask someone more technically minded like Adam.

Edit: Well done Adam for sorting it. Clap


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 2:42pm
Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

As per usual, there's also a List Challenge for this year's result. Check off how many you've heard here:  http://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020" rel="nofollow - https://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020

41 for me. 

One of the tings I like about these end of year lists is there's always something new to discover you've missed. I've already ordered the Gaerea album and have Eternal Champion on my to buy list.


Posted By: Vim Fuego
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 2:43pm
Originally posted by DippoMagoo DippoMagoo wrote:

Great job, Paul! I've never actually listened to Hail Spirit Noir before, so I may need to change that soon, lol

I hadn't either. I saw how highly it was being rated by everyone else so thought I should try in case I was missing something I'd love. It didn't make my list...Wink


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 3:06pm
Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

As per usual, there's also a List Challenge for this year's result. Check off how many you've heard here:  http://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020" rel="nofollow - https://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020

41 for me. 

One of the tings I like about these end of year lists is there's always something new to discover you've missed. I've already ordered the Gaerea album and have Eternal Champion on my to buy list.

Fairly low number for me this year with 31, though not surprising when I wasn't sure I'd get a submission of 30 at first. 


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Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 3:16pm
How Haken votes have fallen in 2020 (#62). They're usually way up - 2018 at #3, 2016 at #16.

Virus was around the middle of my list. Obviously not a lot of love for this one.


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 3:32pm
I tried to love that album. It wouldn't click. A first for Haken. It's not bad for me per se, but I just couldn't find that same spark that made earlier releases stand out. 

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Posted By: Tupan
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 4:55pm
Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

As per usual, there's also a List Challenge for this year's result. Check off how many you've heard here:  http://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020" rel="nofollow - https://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020

17!


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 5:02pm
Nice!

Surprised Armored Saint didn't get in the top 25 with how many votes it got.

Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

As per usual, there's also a List Challenge for this year's result. Check off how many you've heard here:  http://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020" rel="nofollow - https://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020


Got 10, all ones I voted for. Only ones I haven't heard that I could see myself checking out at some point would be the new Hatebreed and Trivium albums. Maybe Sepultura too, as Machine Messiah was really good but I just haven't been in the mood.


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Posted By: Vim Fuego
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 5:49pm
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Nice!

Surprised Armored Saint didn't get in the top 25 with how many votes it got.

Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

As per usual, there's also a List Challenge for this year's result. Check off how many you've heard here:  http://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020" rel="nofollow - https://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020


Got 10, all ones I voted for. Only ones I haven't heard that I could see myself checking out at some point would be the new Hatebreed and Trivium albums. Maybe Sepultura too, as Machine Messiah was really good but I just haven't been in the mood.

Quadra is better than Machine Messiah.


Posted By: Bosh66
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2021 at 11:41pm
Quadrant is good. The Hatebreed album is solid. My only comment is that it’s something you’ll have heard many times before. The Trivium album is very good in my opinion.


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 12:57am
There's quite a few on here where I own something else by the artist but didn't check these releases out: Anubis Gate, My Dying Bride, Katatonia (I do only have the death-doom stuff though), Alestorm, Rage, Dark Tranquillity, Trivium & Fates Warning.

I reckon Soilwork, Conception, Coexistence, Ensiferum and yet more on there may be up my street too. 


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Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 2:56am
The Soilwork EP is really good, especially the 16 minute title track. It's classed as an EP but longer than some albums at 36 minutes. 

I was looking to buy it but can't find any hard copies anywhere.


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 3:38am
There's a few on Discogs but the price is high. Only a limited number of copies pressed, though a second press seems to be down as being released today. It's for sale on Nuclear Blast directly, with the caveat on UK orders being put on hold indefinitely (thanks muchly Brexit, I presume). 

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Posted By: Psydye
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 3:44am
Glad to see Psychotic Waltz got so high on the list! I friggin' LOVE that album!Big smile


Posted By: Psydye
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 3:45am
Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

As per usual, there's also a List Challenge for this year's result. Check off how many you've heard here:  http://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020" rel="nofollow - https://www.listchallenges.com/metal-music-archives-best-of-the-year-2020

41 for me. 

One of the tings I like about these end of year lists is there's always something new to discover you've missed. I've already ordered the Gaerea album and have Eternal Champion on my to buy list.

Glad to hear! I promise you won't be disappointed! Superb USPM!!


Posted By: 666sharon666
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 4:49am
Great work Paul!


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 8:01am
Thanks Nicole.


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 8:02am
Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

There's a few on Discogs but the price is high. Only a limited number of copies pressed, though a second press seems to be down as being released today. It's for sale on Nuclear Blast directly, with the caveat on UK orders being put on hold indefinitely (thanks muchly Brexit, I presume). 

Yes don't want to pay a fortune, especially for an EP. I'll wait and it'll probably become more available sooner or later.


Posted By: UMUR
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 8:16am
I´m just glad Paradise Lost reached number 2 on the list. My album of the year. I haven´t been this excited about a Paradise Lost album in a long time, although the two direct predecessors were pretty great too.


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Posted By: LittleBig
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 10:37am
great work Thumbs Up

i don't know what Neal Morse is doing here, since I was told to post metal albums exclusively. Also a weak predictable album, I have never understood the hype, if I say Neal Morse is the AC/DC of prog, i'm insulting AC/DC. Sorry... 

Also surprised Ayreon's new one is so high in the list. Made me quit on Ayreon altogether, his last few album were a chore to listen to, no fun, no flow. The new one unlistenable for me. I don't know but I'm missing something here.  Confused


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 10:49am
Originally posted by Bosh66 Bosh66 wrote:

The Trivium album is very good in my opinion.

I haven't listened to them since The Crusade, they were always a little too metalcore for my tastes.  Ascendancy had some great guitar tones & playing though.  Have the clean vocals improved at all and/or gone away?  


Posted By: Triceratopsoil
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 10:51am
Also I'm liking this trend in painted album art 


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 11:00am
Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

great work Thumbs Up

i don't know what Neal Morse is doing here, since I was told to post metal albums exclusively. Also a weak predictable album, I have never understood the hype, if I say Neal Morse is the AC/DC of prog, i'm insulting AC/DC. Sorry... 

Morse was allowed per following rule:

Metal Related tagged albums are permitted, however we expect voters to use their discretion with such albums and considered whether a Metal Related tagged release really deserves to be placed on a metal website's best of year list.


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Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 11:31am
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

Originally posted by Bosh66 Bosh66 wrote:

The Trivium album is very good in my opinion.

I haven't listened to them since The Crusade, they were always a little too metalcore for my tastes.  Ascendancy had some great guitar tones & playing though.  Have the clean vocals improved at all and/or gone away?  


His clean vocals are way better than they used to be, he's not just trying to sound exactly like Hetfield anymore. Sin and the Sentence was a pretty good album from what I remember.


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: TheHeavyMetalCat
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 11:42am
Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

great work Thumbs Up

i don't know what Neal Morse is doing here, since I was told to post metal albums exclusively. Also a weak predictable album, I have never understood the hype, if I say Neal Morse is the AC/DC of prog, i'm insulting AC/DC. Sorry... 

Also surprised Ayreon's new one is so high in the list. Made me quit on Ayreon altogether, his last few album were a chore to listen to, no fun, no flow. The new one unlistenable for me. I don't know but I'm missing something here.  Confused


I think Neal Morse's write-up explains well enough why he's eligible.


Posted By: MorniumGoatahl
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 12:07pm
Originally posted by TheHeavyMetalCat TheHeavyMetalCat wrote:

Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

great work Thumbs Up

i don't know what Neal Morse is doing here, since I was told to post metal albums exclusively. Also a weak predictable album, I have never understood the hype, if I say Neal Morse is the AC/DC of prog, i'm insulting AC/DC. Sorry... 

Also surprised Ayreon's new one is so high in the list. Made me quit on Ayreon altogether, his last few album were a chore to listen to, no fun, no flow. The new one unlistenable for me. I don't know but I'm missing something here.  Confused


I think Neal Morse's write-up explains well enough why he's eligible.

It's that grey area called Metal Related. 

Which was changed by the admins not that long ago. This was posted about, so you've got no excuse not to know about it:

Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

A word of caution if you're thinking of voting for anything in Metal Related or Non-Metal: not only is only the first of these allowed to be included in an MMA best of vote, but we changed the policy on what goes where this year and a lot of stuff hasn't been moved around yet. If in doubt on anything ask an admin. This change should however allow albums deemed to be of interest to metal fans to be included and should ultimately make the best of votes that bit easier, but right now there's no guarantee that something in Non-Metal shouldn't actually be in Metal Related and eligible and something in Metal Related shouldn't actually be in Non-Metal and ineligible. 

If you had a concern, you should have spoken up. Not moan about it after the event. 

You also had access to the same voting rules as the rest of us that said Metal Related was okay. You did read them didn't you? Tongue

I voted for Morse because it was in the eligible sub-genre. I'm not sure it would have been before the last changes (it's not that metal and I don't think anyone who voted for it would dispute that) though. 

Regarding it's quality, it was in the bottom half of my list, but I still think it's pretty great. Predictable and weak? No, not at all, especially not for him. Easily his strongest for over ten years. My opinion, but evidentially others shared it. 


Posted By: MorniumGoatahl
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 12:07pm
Great work on the presentation by the way Paul!


Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 12:22pm
Originally posted by MorniumGoatahl MorniumGoatahl wrote:

Which was changed by the admins not that long ago. This was posted about, so you've got no excuse not to know about it:


I don't think regular members tend to pay attention to stuff like that, as it mainly effects collabs. I don't expect regular forum users to look at changes made to genres, and not all forum users use the main site much.


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 12:24pm
Originally posted by MorniumGoatahl MorniumGoatahl wrote:

I voted for Morse because it was in the eligible sub-genre. I'm not sure it would have been before the last changes (it's not that metal and I don't think anyone who voted for it would dispute that) though. 

No, it probably wouldn't be. Morse as a solo artist is on here mainly because of Sola Scriptura. This album includes many references to that album, but overall is more varied in style. 

We changed the division between Metal Related and Non-Metal because the idea is for Metal Related to eventually become Metal Related Rock, a broadly defined sub-genre that will capture extra additions that are considered to have become part of the metal scene by association (instead of tagging them Non-Metal), as well as Non-Metal albums by existing metal artists (under these definitions, for previous years, albums like Opeth's Damnation would be allowed to be voted for). Non-Metal will be the final catch all for everything else, used very rarely for artists that have no other tag (associated artists that aren't even rock, like black metal's ambient/darkwave subscene). 

With the above in mind, it seems logical to accept Morse's prog albums as Metal Related Rock if they have at least some elements of MMA-accepted genres like prog metal or hard rock, which this does. As do all of his that I have to be honest, to some extent or another. 

Mornium does raise a good point though: if you weren't sure (especially if you didn't vote for any releases which you may have been allowed to), or didn't think an album others were voting for should be included, you needed to have spoken up. In this case, any of the admins would have told you the same about Morse, but I know there's a lot of artists and albums that need moving around to reflect their new place in the Metal Related/Non-Metal changes. This was warned about early on the vote. I don't think we got one single query from anyone. 

Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Originally posted by MorniumGoatahl MorniumGoatahl wrote:

Which was changed by the admins not that long ago. This was posted about, so you've got no excuse not to know about it:


I don't think regular members tend to pay attention to stuff like that, as it mainly effects collabs. I don't expect regular forum users to look at changes made to genres, and not all forum users use the main site much.

My quoted post is in the discussion about the vote. It isn't a collab post. 


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Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2021 at 2:54am
Originally posted by MorniumGoatahl MorniumGoatahl wrote:

Great work on the presentation by the way Paul!

Thanks Chris, made me fully appreciate how much work Adam put into it in the past. Luckily I was at home in lockdown (if you can call that luck) and had the time on my hands to do it.


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2021 at 3:22am
Originally posted by LittleBig LittleBig wrote:

great work Thumbs Up

i don't know what Neal Morse is doing here, since I was told to post metal albums exclusively. Also a weak predictable album, I have never understood the hype, if I say Neal Morse is the AC/DC of prog, i'm insulting AC/DC. Sorry... 

Also surprised Ayreon's new one is so high in the list. Made me quit on Ayreon altogether, his last few album were a chore to listen to, no fun, no flow. The new one unlistenable for me. I don't know but I'm missing something here.  Confused

Thanks LittleBig!

As some of the other guys have explained above the reasons why Neal Morse was eligible I won't repeat it (see above). Regarding Ayreon, I'm not  a fan of the new album myself, or the last one for that matter, but he does have a large loyal following compared to a lot of the more obscure acts that made it into the top 25. That alone will almost certainly guarantee him a place I guess. He has took a dive from his last album in 2017 though when he was #1.


Posted By: adg211288
Date Posted: 06 Feb 2021 at 9:22am
My feelings on the Ayreon can be summarised like this:

In terms of his own discography, especially if just considering the Ayreon albums, it's distinctly lower end. 

In terms of how it's generally been received, both here and elsewhere, then for me it may just be the most underrated album of the year. 

It getting as high as it did doesn't alter that belief. Stranger things have happened in our votes. The Astonishing came 3rd in 2016 and most people fucking hated that. 

I just remember when Transitus came out that people, not so much here, but certainly elsewhere, just had such wild and conflicting views on it, that it was like everyone listened to a different album. Some complained it wasn't enough like The Source. Others because it was too much like The Source. Some said it was unclear on the story yet others said it put too much emphasis on story. 

It's clearly a divisive record. That's fine. But a divisive record will always do better in a vote like this as those who like it, will give it points. Those that don't like it have no power to take points away from it, only give points to other releases, which may not be as well liked or known in a community, so do worse. Que sera sera.

I personally think it's a really good album. I believe Arjen tired to do something a little different with it while retaining the rock opera format. Absolutely a release with some issues in terms of both concept story and song-writing (there are very few tracks that actually work well as standalone pieces) though, but maybe that should be expected with an experiment. It will never be an Into the Electric Castle or The Human Equation level release, even if it gets some critical re-evaluation years down the line. But despite what some said about it, it most certainly wasn't a carbon copy of The Source. I suspect those on other sites who said that listened to it once off of streaming and didn't take the time to properly explore it before passing judgement. To be fair on them, it really does need that comic book that comes with it to fully appreciate the concept, which is an issue onto itself. But even so, I find it a quite fun album to listen to, one best taken as a whole. It won't be one to revisit that often though. 


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Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2021 at 3:26am
This list have led to me discovering Japanese thrash metal band Jurassic Jade. What an amazing album! Can't seem to buy it anywhere apart from Japan for silly money unfortunately.


Posted By: siLLy puPPy
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2021 at 11:54am
Damn, somehow i failed to get my votes in on time. Sorry! Can't say i'm dissatisfied with the results though.


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Posted By: Unitron
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2021 at 4:55pm
Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

This list have led to me discovering Japanese thrash metal band Jurassic Jade. What an amazing album! Can't seem to buy it anywhere apart from Japan for silly money unfortunately.


YES, finally someone else is checking out one of the greatest not just thrash but metal bands of all time! Thumbs Up I highly recommend listening to all their albums and EP's, not a single dud.

Yeah, unfortunately a big reason so much amazing Japanese music goes so underrated/obscure is how hard it is to get or sometimes even listen to outside of Japan. Wish more would get international releases.


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Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2021 at 9:09am
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

This list have led to me discovering Japanese thrash metal band Jurassic Jade. What an amazing album! Can't seem to buy it anywhere apart from Japan for silly money unfortunately.


YES, finally someone else is checking out one of the greatest not just thrash but metal bands of all time! Thumbs Up I highly recommend listening to all their albums and EP's, not a single dud.

Yeah, unfortunately a big reason so much amazing Japanese music goes so underrated/obscure is how hard it is to get or sometimes even listen to outside of Japan. Wish more would get international releases.

I've listened to a few now and very impressed with what I've heard though the new one is still my favourite so far.

Talking of Japanese metal I've just ordered this new one from Evil recently....   http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/evil(japan)/possessed-by-evil






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