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"Metal Mark" Garcia's Top Ten of 2020

Added 20 December 2020, 7:51 PM

It’s impossible to hear all the releases of an entire year, but writers have a clear idea of a vast number of good releases every year, because we can’t focus our attention only on those bands we personally love, but in a greater picture. And on 2020, a year having the terror of COVID-19 in every country haunting many (and saddening many more due the loss of a dear person, and I’ve lost some great old friends), Metal became a way to take our thoughts for such harsh and depressive moment. So my personal list is the following:

No. 10:

Band: Cirith Ungol
Album: Forever Black
Genre:  Doom/Heavy Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1972
Label:  Metal Blade Records

The North American Kings of the Dead came back from the graveyard to unleash a maelstrom of chaos and Metal to the fans with another full force assault. Songs as “Legions Arise”, “The Frost Monstreme”, and “Forever Black” are samples that these veterans still have some lessons to teach to the beginners. Arise, Dead Legions of CIRITH UNGOL.

No. 9:

Band:  …And Oceans
Album:  Cosmic World Mother
Genre:  Melodic Black Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1995
Label:  Season of Mist

After some times into experiments and side projects (and some hiatus as well), the Finnish Melodic Black Metal masters came back to the same musical way from the past, when the released the classic “The Dynamic Gallery of Thoughts”. but enriched by some new elements. “The Dissolution of Mind and Matter”, “As the After Becomes the Before” and “One of Light, One of Soil” are some of the excellent pieces of Metal music that this album has.

No. 8:

Band:  Burning Witches
Album:  Dance with the Devil
Genre:  Traditional Heavy Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2015
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

The Swiss Coven of the Witches came back for another round, proving that they could create another great Metal spell as “Hexenhammer”. Even with changes on the coven, this album is another fine piece of Metal due excellent songs as “Dance with the Devil”, “Six Feet Underground” and their personal version for MANOWAR’s “Battle Hymn”. Let the reign of these Witches begin!

 No. 7:

Band:  My Dying Bride
Album:  The Ghost of Orion
Genre:  Gothic Doom Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1990
Label:  Nuclear Blast Records

As everyone knows, the sextet is one of the pioneers of Doom Death Metal, but they’re expanded and created a form of playing Doom Metal that is somber, melancholic, but charming, full of a Baroque/Romantic passion, and excellent as always. And once more, they show with this album that they are supreme on the genre, as can be heard on songs as “To Outlive the Gods”, “Tired of Tears”, “The Long Black Land”, and “The Ghost of Orion”. Long live the melancholy kings!

 No. 6:

Band: Vulture
Album:  The End of Agony
Genre:  Melodic Death Metal/Death Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1995
Label:  Mutilation Records

Brazil Melodic Death Metal scavengers came once more to show how things work here, besides the fans don’t value national bands as they deserve. But even in this way, it’s not a reason for the quartet to not create masterpieces as “Straight to Hell”, “Retaliation”, “Unholy Grave” and “Agonia”. Their music is really amazing!

No. 5:

Band: Anaal Nathrakh
Album: Endarkenment
Genre:  Grindcore/Avant-garde Black Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1999
Label:  Metal Blade Records

The United Kingdom bone crushers came back to storm our ears and minds with their music, and to explain to where people are going if we still be attached to ignorance. “Endarkenment”, “Thus, Always, to Tyrants” and “Create Art, Though the World May Perish” are anthems to awaken our senses, and to make this album a future classic.

 No. 4:

Band: God Dethroned
Album: Illuminati
Genre:  Blackened Death Metal/Melodic Death Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1995
Label:  Metal Blade Records

The quartet returned to satanic themes on this album, but the musical evolution is working and making the Dutch Death Metal rippers a great band that deserves more attention. And this album has some great masterpieces, as “Illuminati”, “Broken Halo”, the amazing “Book of Lies”, “Eye of Horus” and the entire album to date.

 No. 3:

Band: Warshipper
Album: Barren…
Genre:  Death Metal/Avant-garde Death Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2011
Label: Heavy Metal Rock

Another amazing quartet from Brazil and creating a conceptual album about these days we are living now. From the main concept to the production (done by Rafael Augusto Lopes), this album was born as a classic for Brazilian Death Metal. Songs as “Barren Black”, “Respect!”, “Beneath the Burden” and “Knowing Just as I (Detachment)” are proofs that Death Metal Titans came to stay, and to conquer!

And the ‘Avant-garde Death Metal’ label is a conception of mine, because this band is ahead of its time.

 No. 2:

Band: Black Pestilence
Album: Hail the Flesh
Genre:  Metal Punk

General Information:

Year of Formation: 2008
Label: Independent

The best Metal Punk in activity today, the Canadian Hellish Onslaught called BLACK PESTILENCE created a masterpiece that deserves to be heard and bought by any Metal fan that has guts and honor, and they’ll see as they breathe a new life on such genre. My words are proven by songs as “Hail the Flesh”, “Spurn All Gods”, “Cloven Division” and “My Will to Power” are true piledriving screws in your ears until you accept them as the new owners of Metal Punk throne!

 No. 1:

Band: Necrophobic
Album: Dawn of the Damned
Genre:  Black/Death Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation: 1989
Label: Century Media Records

Swedish scene always gave to the world excellent names, but these veterans surpassed all expectations to unleash a violent (but yet, melodic and charming) set of anthemic songs. Be seduced by hymns as “Mirror Black”, “The Infernal Depths of Eternity”, “The Return of a Long Lost Soul” and “Devil’s Spawn Attack” and understand that to label the band as JUDAS PRIEST in a Black/Death Metal isn’t something exaggerated.


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