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Soundoffs 128
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Last Active 05-23-19 1:26 am
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01.17.22 OSDM Sophomore Albums01.15.22 Old-school DM One-Offs
01.12.22 Albums added to site in 202201.09.22 2021 Albums I Have Yet to Listen To
01.03.22 Ranked: 1987 in Death Metal12.21.21 Ranked: Proto-Death and Death in the ea
12.19.21 Best DM Debuts: Results12.18.21 Stuff I've Added This Year
12.15.21 My 2021 List (First Half)12.14.21 Best Death Metal Debuts (Old vs. Modern
12.07.21 Modern Death Metal Debuts (Finals)12.02.21 Modern Death Metal Debuts (VOTE!)
11.25.21 Death Metal Debut (Finals) 11.23.21 Albums Missing Artwork (In My Ratings)
11.18.21 Best Death Metal Debut (VOTE TWICE!)11.11.21 Mastodon Ranking (2021)
11.07.21 Trivium Ranked (2021)11.05.21 Blood Harvest Records: Label Discog Fea
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Top 50 of 2020

What a year, in all honesty. I think I listened to well over 300 albums which is like twice as much than in 2019. And I'm still catching up on some more of the minor releases, (I have about 20 left). I'm pretty comfortable with how this feels even though it is a lot of metal. Lots of stuff with low amount of votes, so check it if you haven't heard it yet. There's ten honorable mentions on the list at the end, along with one additional release for each EP on the main list so that all my top albums can be represented.
Black Line

The sound and journey of a deep cut.
2O (ITA)

Do you like Rorcal Vilagvege? Cause this is on that kind of level of destructive. Hope you can still pick up the pieces remaining of you after this is through.
Alter Ego

Wish there was some more 'The Red Sea' riffing style patterns in your post-metal bands, that most of them have left behind or abandoned for larger sounds? Well, with this you get both.
The Baring of Shadows


This is just amazing and woke me the fuck up.

Motherf'cking brilliant.
Sect of Vile Divinities

I feel like this went under the radar in most others top lists. It's a 4.5 for me.
The Fallen Crimson

Happy to be an Envy fan.
Stare Into Death and Be Still

I'm a Shrines of Paralysis junkie, but I do dig the form of this as well. I did feel it was a little more predictable than some of their other releases, but that's only because we've been spoiled.

I was real close to putting this over Ulcerate, tbh. The album title is somewhat of an underrepresentation, because this carries some immortal riffage.
10Wrekmeister Harmonies
We Love to Look at the Carnage

One of the handful of indie/folk releases I heard during the year. Kinda beautiful and lumbering and eloquent.

Riffs unmistakably.
12Crust (RUS)
.​.​.​And A Dirge Becomes An Anthem

Riffs undeniably.
Relatos de Angustia

Darkness within.
Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional...

Good, very good. Excellent.

A full tub of suds.
16Death Courier
Necrotic Verses

It rips.
17Defeated Sanity
The Sanguinary Impetus

Insecta Incendium and onward really gives this thing legs.

A late catch, but I really like most of all this has going for it. I personally enjoy the meandering song compositions, and the Cynic - Focus vibes really boost this, since I don't really listen to Cynic anymore.
19Lorna Shore

First introduction to the band. I was like 'woah'. A couple of repeated listens kind of made the intensity drop off a bit, but I think it still deserves a top 20 here.
20Protest the Hero

What I feel was one of the most important records of 2020, on a few fronts. They may not be a perfect band for everyone, but it needs to be top 20 imo. There is excellence on display here
21Depravity (AUS)
Grand Malevolence

Also an important release for the year imo. Anyone have something similar to this type of onslaught that I may be overlooking?
Impulse Voices
The Eye Is the First Circle

Pink eye, black metal.
24Thy Catafalque
Towards the Tomb of Times

Cold. Like a sad winter fever. Alone in the woods on an everlasting night.
26Cryptic Shift
Visitations from Enceladus


I'll probably sound like an idiot saying this, but this feels almost like an emo-hardcore/black metal crossover.
Brume hiémale

Chock full of that ethereal BM.


This made me go back and also bump the rating for Devouring Ruin.
Origin of the Alimonies

Effigy Of Nightmares

Cavernous bm?
Aldrig i livet

Love it, a lot.

34...and Oceans
Cosmic World Mother

This truthfully was impressive and the back half is strong as fuck.
35Cosmic Putrefaction
The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers

Probably a little low, but it's only because the albums above offer a little bit more of that variation.
La Grande Mascarade

EP that grandiosely rips face
Blood Plethora


Just really dug this.
Only Time Will Tell

I want to listen to this more, because I think this has some of the best lead work in some time.

40Imperial Triumphant

First introduction to the band. It's a little grating in spots, for me moreso than I think others but it's still pretty good.
Mass Cathexis

I've only heard about 3 Krallice releases and I like this one.
Battle of Tours

Some good solid BM from Afghanistan, with nice orchestral arrangements as interludes.
43Serpent Column

My favorite Serpent Column to date. A little lower than I'd like it to be, but oh well.
44Ars Magna Umbrae
Principal rama, séptimo vástago

Some instrumental post rock I found on Spotify that deserves a rec.
46The Flaming Lips
American Head

I haven't heard King's Mouth but this was my favorite Flaming Lips in probably 4 or 5 albums. Since Yoshimi basically.
Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face

Goes pretty hard.
Devouring Ruin
49Napalm Death
Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
As We Suffer From Memory and Imagination

Dwindles at the end for me, but I'm vibing what the band is doing.
Festering Excarnation

Honorable Mentions:

a compilation of their two previous releases "Festering Carcinolith" and "Where Gods Excarnate". It's OSDM worship if you couldn't tell, but I find the songwriting to still be really solid.
52Paysage d'Hiver
Im Wald

A massive record that I'm going to let exist outside of the ranking. Consider it a free space that can go anywhere you like. It is a 4 from me.

There's also a full instrumental of this. I like both
54Black Crown Initiate
Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape

This definitely exceeded my expectations since I believe I was kind of passive about them previously.
55Deeds of Flesh

The Luc Lemay track is the best, and the one with Frank Mullen doesn't disappoint. It's really cool this was able to come together, because I was hoping for a new DoF for years
Sour Grapes

Definitely awesome, and I think a very well followup to Rice on Suede. If I ranked this it would go right outside the top 50 (at #53) but I actually prefer it to have the honorable mention attention instead.
57Paradise Lost

I haven't heard much from this band to allot it an actual ranking, but I think it deserves to at least be on the honorable mentions for those who really loved it.
58Weed Demon
Crater Maker

Some stoner sludge. The title track especially, eloquently crushes.
Grimoire Ordo Devus

I caught on to this too late to find a proper spot on the list.

Affirmed, it is pretty mental.
Deformation of the Holy Realm

Extra honorable mentions because of the EP's:

An extremely well and concise top album in their discog.
62Regarde Les Hommes Tomber

Pretty much the definition of 'Honorable Mention' but that's certainly not a bad thing. If you haven't already heard it yet, this is an extended rec.
З Живого Джерела

Something I added that's pretty hard to find because of the characters and symbols in the name, so it's easier to just be able to click on it.
Genesis XIX

This was meant to end my 51-150 list.

Alright, I'm out of room on my next list so some stuff is going here.
66Samsara Blues Experiment
End of Forever
Edder and Bile

I guess from here I'm just going to add stuff that I got to too late to make it on the lists proper.
68Raat (IN)
Raison D'être
69Hexer (GER)
Realm Of The Feathered Serpent
Mothers Weavers Vultures
71Commando (SWE)
Rites of Damnation

I've pushed this on two lists already. First few songs are incredibly strong imo. Is it revival thrash? Idk, I might be making it up. Just trying to give it a little more attention.
We Are All Atomic

A small EP filled with some post-y goodness.

Goes with the Hyperdontia on my other list.
74The Microphones
Microphones in 2020

This had a small chance of making it on the 51-150 but ultimately it got bumped in favor of some other stuff.

Damn, this is really cool. It's like a punk/hxc black metal crossover with interchanging scream/female vocals. It took a song or two to get settled in, but then it just rides. Not only are the female vocals good (all Finnish), but the Instrumental parts that they are sung over are some of the best musical parts on the album. On "Petäjä" the female vocals and tempo have a very The Birthday Massacre feel. It's too bad this was a late catch, it definitely deserves to be on the top list.
76Mouse On The Keys

Didn't know this band came back to release some new material. pretty good

Didn't know this band came back to release some new material [2]. It's alright
Violent Death Rituals

Didn't know this band came back to release some new material [3]. It's fine.
Choirs of the Fallen

[....] came back to release some new material [4]. It's okay.
81Unleash The Archers
To Live To Kill To Live

To quote my own soundoff:

"So, if there was an album that came out in 2020 that I could give the stamp of being unequivocally epic, it would fall gladly into the arms of this disc. Now, this is one of only a small few power metal records I've heard that came out in the year, but I think regardless, the attribution still stands. An immense amount of variation, and while I was going to comment on how the vocals periodically capture some of the best by our good old friend Hansi Kirsch, deeper into the record I realized that what this actually is, is the trademark of a quality Blind Guardian album that seems to have been missing from their very own catalogue for a number of years now. This is what stepping up to the plate actually sounds like."

Thraakethraaeate Thraithraake

It's aa'ight
Shadow Burn

Some decent melodic dm but I also like the majority of the vox
Only Our Eyes Are Alive

That dissonant, slightly doomy, pinchy and dungeony dm. The second track is rather meh as an ambient interlude, but thankfully the closer kept it from dropping to a 3.5.

87Fides Inversa
Historia Nocturna
88Grotesque Ceremonium
Sanctum of Demoniac Deviance

This just bangs.
Stolen Angelic Tongues
90Obscene (USA-IN)
The Inhabitable Dark
91The Sway of Mountains

My soundoff:

Instrumental band from South Africa that plays a competent blend of progressive death
metal. Nothing mind-blowing but the song structures are varied and the instrumental
nature is good enough to not feel bland or dull for but a section or two here and there.
Idk, I kind of got a Scale the Summit circa 'Carving Desert Canyons' vibe but without the
crazy (or excessive) amount of frills, but make no mistake it's still a complement to
both, but I think it comes from a similar headspace of songwriting. I'd like to see what
they can do on a full-length for sure. Enough blasts and double bass to qualify as
progressive dm, but I was yearning for a little more of some syncopated rhythm
sections, but the last track especially the
first few minutes kinda hashes a bit of that out. Give this a try, I'm sure anyone will
walk away with at least enjoying a song or two.
92Dark Doom
Mourning's End

Very very good.
À Travers Les Lambeaux

Worth a rec.
94Human Serpent
All Return to Nothing

This is just the tits. Even though it's a comp from earlier releases, the flow and ordering of tracks on this is so good, I guarantee something from the first five will have you floored. The opening riff of Bottomless Fall is just that. This whole thing clocks at 1 hour and 12 minutes, so, it's gonna test some limits but what's on display here is absolutely worthy of a 4, and personal likeness bumps it up to a 4.5 from me.
Vökudraumsins fangi

Good stuff but it does sort of peter out after four or five tracks.
96Aversio Humanitatis
Behold The Silent Dwellers
Toda História pela Frente

Loved this more than the other release that came out earlier in 2020 which is on my other list.
99Anna von Hausswolff
All Thoughts Fly

On a lot of other people's lists, but I enjoyed it as well and found the first half to be exceptionally strong.
100Homunculus Res
Andiamo in giro di notte e ci consumiamo nel fuoco

As of this album, my polling for the year is closed.

Personal stats: 513 total albums, with 1844 accumulated points = an average rating of 3.594 for the year. Potentially down a little from 2019, idk I'll have to check.
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