J.C. van Beekum

Reviews 20
Approval 100%

Soundoffs 100
News Articles 10
Band Edits + Tags 525
Album Edits 250

Album Ratings 6488
Objectivity 89%

Last Active 08-08-20 10:38 pm
Joined 07-12-19

Forum Posts 50
Review Comments 910

08.16.20 Memento's Preliminary 2020 Top 3008.15.20 Top 5 Records: Captain Beefheart & His
08.14.20 Top 5 Records: Gazpacho08.13.20 Top 5 Records: Hiromi
08.12.20 Top 5 Records: Ulver08.11.20 Top 5 Records: Moonsorrow
08.10.20 Top 5 Records: Mastodon08.09.20 Top 5 Records: Katatonia
08.08.20 Top 5 Records: High on Fire08.07.20 Top 5 Records: Eric Dolphy
08.06.20 Top 5 Records: Ihsahn08.05.20 Top 5 Records: Devin Townsend
08.04.20 Top 5 Records: Defeated Sanity08.03.20 Top 5 Records: Causa Sui
08.02.20 Top 5 Records: Anathema08.01.20 Top 5 Records: Amorphis
07.31.20 Top 5 Records: Obscura07.30.20 Top 5 Records: Yes
More »

Memento's Preliminary 2020 Top 30

Considering the sheer excessive amount of recent releases I have listened to as of late, and given we're still trapped inside a pandemic, I thought it might be appropriate to construct a preliminary top 30 list of my favourite releases of this year (so far of course), alongside some possible comments, decimal ratings, you know the drill. This year has been pretty disappointing for music on the whole, I think, but on the other hand, some absolutely quality material was also released this year, including one bonafide masterpiece.
30Chicago Underground Quartet
Good Days

Genre: Avant-garde jazz
Rating 3.7
Further Remarks: In comparison to their debut, this release is relatively weak, but it's still a solid slab of eccentric jazz music.
Shrines to Absurdity

Genre: Techincal death metal
Rating 3.75
Further Remarks: This year has been pretty great for tech death without a doubt. I'm excited to see where these guys will go in the future, because this debut showed massive potential.
Four Dimensional Flesh

Genre: Brutal technical death metal
Rating: 3.76
Further Remarks: Honestly, the second best brutal technical death-metal record this year, it riffs, it gurgles, it... you know the deal.
27Regarde Les Hommes Tomber

Genre: Blackened sludge metal
Rating: 3.76
Further Remarks: This record simply serves to affirm the fact that, blackened sludge, is best sludge.
26Sweven (SWE)
The Eternal Resonance

Genre: Progressive death metal
Rating: 3.76
Further Remarks: Morbus Chron: (Even More) Prog Edition.

Genre: Black metal
Rating: 3.76
Further Remarks: Black metal says trans rights in the most appropriate way I can think of. Also, the music is pretty great electronically influenced black metal with some splendid use of dissonance.
24Light Dweller

Genre: Blackened death metal
Rating: 3.76
Further Remarks: Remember when I said there was always that 'one' great blackened death-metal record? Make that two.
23Beneath the Massacre

Genre: Technical death metal
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: Only for those that can handle the shred, and I warn you, this much shred cannot be handled by many.

Genre: Blackened death metal
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: In recent years, there is always that one really great blackened death-metal record, Providence is that record.
21Meridian Blank
Scenes & Fragments

Genre: Post rock
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: Psychedelic post rock that is as compositionally impressive as it is subtle in its sonic machinations.
Reflections Upon Darkness

Genre: Progressive death metal
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: It progs, it riffs. Can't really ask for more.
West of Eden

Genre: post-punk
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: Charmingly eccentric post-punk that is sure to please the hipsters.
18Sallow Moth
The Larval Hope

Genre: Death metal
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: Magic: The Gathering and dissonant death metal is a great combination. Noxious Revival is a great magic card and a great song. Go listen to it if you have the time, it's totally worth it.
17Nero di Marte

Genre: Post-metal
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: More bands should mix existentialist philosphy with post metal (anybody read The Plague this summer?). Hopefully the ambient interludes will be shorter on their next release.
False Peace

Genre: Extreme metal
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: Pulls out all the extreme metal halmarks and blends them together in a wonderfully sophisticated manner, also, it riffs, hard.
Devouring Ruin

Genre: Extreme metal
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: An absotutely engrossing and crushing transdisciplinary extreme metal effort.

Genre: Folk
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: She went full folk this time, and the end result is nothing short of stunningly beautiful.
13Shabaka and the Ancestors
We Are Sent Here By History

Genre: Afro-jazz
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: Although perhaps a bit bloated, these guys still crafted one of the best jazz records of the year (so far). The textures and instrumental layering that underlies them is absolutely enchanting at times.

Genre: Technical death metal
Rating: 3.9
Further Remarks: Profoundly sophisticated yet nauseatingly dissonant death-metal from Hong Kong, with Kevin Paradis on drums. Need I say more?
11Mekaal Hasan Band
Andholan (Special Edition)

Genre: Jazz fusion
Rating: 3.8
Further Remarks: Fantastic Middle-Eastern tinged jazz fusion, which got a re-release this year which surely improved upong the previous version. Amazing vocals and grooves, just splendid.
10Defeated Sanity
The Sanguinary Impetus

Genre: Brutal technical death metal
Rating: 3.9
Further Remarks: It riffs, it smashes, it gurgles, it slams, (and the production is great, and the dynamics, and it's actually quite sophisticated, and... you get the point), in short, it great.
9The Necks

Genre: Avant-garde jazz
Rating: 3.9
Further Remarks: It's another gorgeously textured avant-garde jazz experience from the ever enigmatic trio. Fantastic stuff.
Abscess Time

Genre: Technical death-metal
Rating: 3.9
Further Remarks: Noisy, abrasive, complex, nauseating, confusing, it's Pyrrhon through and through, and it's delicious.

Genre: Avant-garde jazz/drone metal
Rating: 4.0
Further Remarks: "If supermassive black holes could talk", sums it up pretty well actually.

Genre: Progressive metal
Rating: 4.0
Further Remarks: Another progressive-metal tour-de-force, from one of the finest modern prog bands around. Fitting album title if there ever was one.

Genre: Post-punk/Indie rock
Rating: 4.0
Further Remarks: Fantastic slab of charmingly melancholic post-punk with some absolutely fantastic bass lines and an exceedingly tasteful production job.
4Thy Catafalque

Genre: Progressive/Experimental (black) metal
Rating: 4.1
Further Remarks: Mixing progressive metal, industrial music, Hungarian folk music and a whole host of other sonic flavours together into a delectable musical concoction, solo artist Tamás Kátai adds another splendid addition to his discography.

Genre: jazz fusion/afro jazz
Rating: 4.1
Further Remarks: An international love affair! Massively enjoyable afro jazz collaboration whose overall musical approach is nothing short of pluralistically splendid. Thanks for putting this on my radar Dedex (check his review).
2Imperial Triumphant

Genre: Avant-garde (black) metal
Rating: 4.2
Further Remarks: New York avant-garde metal band Imperial Triumphant release another slab of highly experimental, highly sophisticated, jazzy avant-garde metal, which perfectly encapsulates both the vile luxury and concomitant degradation of our existential condition in its glorious dialectical paradoxicality.
Stare Into Death and Be Still

Genre: Technical death metal
Rating: 4.5
Further Remarks: Taking a more tonal direction in relation to their usual counterpoint dissonance-driven modernism, Ulcerate nevertheless manage to add another dense, emotionally intense tech-death masterpiece to their already impressive oeuvre.
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