Metal Saves - Best Of A Bad Year - 2020
It's that time again and what a year it's been for all the wrong reasons, no matter what the soon to be infamous 2020 has thrown at us there has at least been some incredible music to help us through it all.
Here's the Metal Saves round up of the best releases to hit the scene and metal community this year.
LABEL OF THE YEAR
Unique Leader Records
It's no secret that I've covered a lot of releases from Unique Leader this year and that's nothing to do with any bias, it comes down to the fact that they have legitimately put out some fantastic albums this year as they continue to go from strength to strength as one of the premier death and deathcore labels.
With a roster of releases boasting Stillbirth's - Revive The Throne, UK death metallers Ingested and their Where Only Gods May Tread, Viscera and their stunning debut Obsidian, Xenobiotic with Mordrake, and the excellent Cytotoxin record, Nuklearth there was a lot to get excited about from ULR in 2020 and if you haven't heard any of the above releases, treat yourself and check them out.
LABELS TO WATCH
Worm Hole Death & APF Records
Two exciting labels that dropped some excellent releases whilst strengthing their rosters are Worm Hole Death and APF Records.
It seems there is not a month that goes by that Worm Hole Death don't add a band to their line up with records shortly following, some stand out releases that deserve attention from WHD include, Scatter Brain - Pitchfork Justice, The Outliers - Dissipating Eternity, and Chugger - Of Man and Machine,
As for APF, they were responsible for getting the new Possessor album Damn The Light into our hands and recently signed a deal with Corrupt Moral Altar to release their upcoming EP, Patiently Waiting For Wonderful Things which would be enough to gain some recognition but they also oversaw the release of the new Video Nasties album Dominion, the doom-laden EP from Voidlurker titled Industrial Nightmare and a new release from Under with Training Resources #5 to name a few.
BEST RELEASES OF 2020
Possessor - Damn The Light - Mentioned above, a hot release this year from APF, the UK's very own Possessor put out one of the most enjoyable, listenable, and solid sludge. thrash and stoner infused albums I've heard to date. Certainly, a release that has put Possessor on the radar of many people whilst also keeping their loyal fanbase happy.
Infiltration - Point Blank Termination - From Russia with death, Infiltration dropped Point Blank Termination this year and wowed a lot of people and won a lot of fans. A solid release comprising Groove, Thrash, and Death metal. There is a lot more to come from this band so stay aware and check out the album if you haven't already because these boys are going to go places.
Shatter Brain - Pitchfork Justice - Another rager from down under, Pitchfork Justice dropped via Wormhole Death Records this year and quickly gained traction, throwing the spotlight on the chaotic thrash and metal antics from one of South Australia's most successful heavy bands. An album worth of being thrown on repeat, open yourself to the carnage.
Sepultura - Quadra - The mighty Sepultura returned this year, delivering us, Quadra via Nuclear Blast, and in my opinion, this is one of their strongest records to date. Back on form, back with the heaviness, and an all-around tight and consistent album. Derrick Green and co found that sweet spot that the old Sepultura was known for, amped it up to eleven, and added in the current Sepultura skillset and the result was a flawless release.
Oceans - The Sun And The Cold - Another solid release from Nuclear Blast comes from German/Austrian combo Oceans and their debut effort The Sun And The Cold. A refreshing take on melodic, post-death metal, stacked with anthemic and emotionally charged tracks, this album is truly a journey. With the band being very active throughout the difficulties of 2020, it shows there is a lot more to come from them.
Ones to Watch
This year saw a wave of demos hit the scene, those that stood out for Metal Saves came from black metallers, They Leapt From Burning Windows, Washington Death Metal Crew, Dissrotter and the young but extremely talented Sarcator. Each of these early releases proves that there is still a wealth of talent in the metal pool across all genres and we should all keep our ears to the ground for these bands in 2021.
So that's a warp. 2020 is almost done and dusted (thankfully) there are still hard times ahead but there is light at the end of the tunnel and as long as there is great metal to help along the way, we'll make it through as one.
Stay safe out there.