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2020 Best of list...

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by TwizstedJesus, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. TwizstedJesus

    TwizstedJesus Member

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    2020 best of metal


    1. Haken - Virus: This was by far the most interesting album of the year for me. It was also Hakens most focused album. It was also their heaviest. This band has grown into a monster. Henshall is a great guitarist ala Petrucci of Govan Guthrie. This one was a hard decision. The best of the year? Yeah, it’s the one that plays in my head the most when I’m not actively listening to music.
    2. Caligula’s Horse - Rise Radiant: The biggest letdown of 2020 was the cancellation of their US tour. This was the consolation prize. Not as immediate as their past 3 records, I wasn’t sure how this one fit in their discography, but it grew after each listen...and grew...and grew. This one grew so much that I had to buy the digital with bonus tracks a week after I bought the other version.
    3. Pain of Salvation - Panther: At first listen I thought...what the hell was Daniel thinking??? After a few listens I realized the creative process and what kind of genius it must have taken to compose this. Touches of all of the components that make Pain of Salvation what they are, with new wrinkles that made this so..different. It was definitely a grower.
    4. Course of Fate - Mindweaver: Here was my surprise of the year. I never expected some random generic concept album from a no name band to grab me like this did. Highly recommended progressive power metal.
    5. Scardust - Strangers: This was one of my most anticipated cds of 2020 and it didn’t let me down. Noa is an amazing frontwoman with a massive vocal range. Tantibus II is another one of those “songs of the year”, and this album was in serious consideration for number 1.
    6. Fates Warning -Long Day Goodnight: possibly the final Fates Warning disc. 13 songs and over an hour long. Too many things that scream “experimental” made this one not as amazing as I had hoped, but it’s still better than most everything else that came out. Ray sounds amazing throughout. When an album comes out that is considered one of the worst of a bands storied career, yet is better than everything that came out in 2020...well, that says it all.
    7. Ancestry Program - Tomorrow: Quirky progressive rock...yes...rock. This one is either the greatest thing that came out this year or the worst, depending on what day it is. I have to be in the mood, but when I want to listen to this, it amazes me. See “Tangerine Parties” as a reference point.
    8. Seven Spires -Emerald Seas: A continuation of the story from the debut album, “Solveig”. This falls into so many different categories; symphonic, power metal, black metal, progressive. I have to admit, I am in love with Adrienne Cowans vocals. She looks so sweet and innocent, and then she opens her mouth to sing...and proceeds to rip your head off. This band is close to the big leagues.
    9. Sorcerer - Lamenting of the Innocent: The new Sorceror is a mixed bag here. The band released two amazing doom metal albums & absolutely blew me away on stage at ProgPowerUSA in 2019. The new year, 2020, sees them getting slightly away from the doomier elements of their sound and stepping squarely into the power genre. Still a great album, just not what I was expecting.
    10. Unleash The Archers - Abyss: As they get further away from the heavy as hell metal that they built their early career on, I like them a little less. The branching out that they do with “Legacy” really put me off. Blast beats and heaviness galore, and then the vocals come in...UGH! Once I convinced myself to give them a pass on that song, the album is pretty solid.
    11. Black Fate - Ithaca: Epic power metal album from Greece starring Roy Khan on voca....wait, what did you say? This isn’t Khan? Seriously??? Well, I already knew that this wasn’t Khan, but close your eyes and tell me you can’t picture him singing this. Another band on the cusp of stardom. The album has a crisp drum sound, and Gus is one of the new godly guitar slingers out there. It all adds up to a pleasing new album.
    12. A Perfect Day- With Eyes Wide Open: highly anticipated album was a bit of a letdown. A solid slice of melodic metal awaits you, but there was very little growth from the last album, and the growth that they did show was in directions I wasn’t overly excited about. It also comes in at under 40 minutes...less to be disappointed in, I guess.
    13. Lords of Black - Alchemy pt. 1: When they’re great, they are atop the power metal pile. The biggest problem with Lords of Black is the material. Very hit and miss. The best songs here belong in discussion with songs of the year, but some of the other stuff is just forgettable. Not bad, just not very memorable.
    14. Paralydium - Worlds Beyond: Paralydium Project debuted about 5 years ago and quickly became one of my most anticipated albums. Somewhere along the line they got forgotten about. Fast forward to the here and now...the album comes out, and it is now Paralydium, the band, and it is a tasty bit of progressive metal
    15. Vicious Rumors - Celebration Decay: I had given up on this band. Always hoping for a return to form, VR never truly found a vocalist that could match Carl. “Celebration Decay” with the new voice gets fairly close to that feeling. They have stayed true to their roots through all of these years, and this is a powerful return to form. I must be getting old, because at times this is just too heavy for me. The touches of mellowness, the light and shade, that is what I miss the most about old VR. Still, welcome the fuck back boys!
    16. Pyramid Theorum- Beyond The Exosphere: Dream Theater inspired progressive metal has some moments that really excited me, though the album is a bit too weighty and lengthy. I hear touches of Fates Warning throughout though nothing stands out, just that feeling that FW sometimes brings. I’ve added them to my list of bands that could be huge soon.
    17. Green Carnation - Leaves of Yesteryear: surprise! This one wasn’t really on my radar, but thanks to Prog magazines free monthly disc, this one was a late addition to my playlists and it has received a little attention. It’s been a long time since this band did anything that excited me...welcome back.
    18. Scarlet Stories - Necrologies: This one came out of nowhere. Heavy gothic doom with female vocals that soar. There are a few songs on here that really stir something inside of me. Beautiful!
    19. DGM - Tragic Separation: Italian band continues to bring it with every new release. You know what you’re getting here if you are familiar with DGM.
    20. Vanden Plas - The Ghost Experiment: Illumination: More of the same old same old for Vanden Plas. If you love VP, you’ll love this album. If you’re waiting for a stylistic change or growth, don’t hold your breath.
    21. Ad Infinitum- Chapter 1: Monarchy: about 15 minutes too long. It couldn’t hold my interest all the way through but it was very good for the most part.
    22. Richie Kotzen - 50 for 50: If this would have been trimmed into one disc instead of 3, it would have been top 10. So many great ideas and a lot of filler. Devils Hand is one of the best songs of 2020
    23. Black Swan - Shake The World: these old guys can still bring it! Robin McAuly sounds amazing here and I’m not sure you could do much better than Reb Beach on guitars.
    24. Dirty Shirley- Dirty Shirley: this one got lost in the midst of Coronavirus. Dino Jelusick and George Lynch should have been a bigger blip on the radar than they were. I simply forgot about it until I started working on this
    25. Virtual Symmetry - Exoverse: This one has the potential to move up my year end list. I just didn’t spin it enough to rank it any higher than this.
    26. Mystic Prophecy - Metal Division
    27. Judicatory - Let There Be Nothing
    28. Darker Half - If You Only Knew
    29. Damnation Angels - Fiber of Our Being
    30. Progressive Souls Collective - Sonic Birth
    Other cds that I listened to at least twice this year that deserve some mention, if not a ranking

    Novena - Eleventh Hour, Allen/ Olzon- Worlds Apart, Blind Ego - Preaching to the Choir, Sons of Apollo - MMXX, Dynasty - The Dark Delight, Ivanhoe - Blood and Gold, Elder - Omens, Voyager - Colours of the Sun, Silent Assassins - Whore of Babylon, Reasons Behind - Project: Myst, Volturian - Crimson, Ambush - Infidel, Distant Dream - Point of View, Vanishing Point - Dead Elysium, Girlish and the Chronicles - Rock the Highway , Illumishade- Eclyptic: Wake of Shadows, Silent Skies - Satellites , Black Painted Moon- Personæ, Orbit Culture- Nija, Archon Angel - Fallen, Psychotic Waltz - The God Shaped Void, Demons & Wizards - III
     
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