Metalenema Episode 12-23-2020 - Best Metal Albums of 2020!


It turns out 2020 was an incredible year for metal, despite being awful for virtually everything else. The hits kept coming right up until the final bell, and we are here to make sure you catch them all. That's right, this list of “Best metal of 2020” actually features nothing but actual metal bands! How novel!


Notable stats from this year's haul:

  • Germany takes this year's MVP, along with many of the runner-ups, and Sweden and Finland remain in force, with notable assists from Greece and the US.

  • Our two most favored releases came out just in time to make their debuts on this episode.

  • Necrovore worship is officially a thing.

  • Ambush releases from established bands are also a new trend, which is fine by us. Hype is for scene kids who don't actually know what they like.

Top 10 of 2020

  1. Omegavortex, “Black Abomination Spawn” (Invictus Productions) – Continuing where house favorite Beyond left off, these psychotic Germans hurl forward into a vortex of unpolished, uncompromising death metal chaos. This was going to win our “best of” vote, not matter what, so it might as well be right fucking now!

  2. Abigor, “Totschläger (A Saintslayer's Songbook)” (WTC Prod) – Holy shit, new Abigor out of nowhere, and man is it good! All the twists and turns of the current era combined with the bombast and frenzy of the classic material. This would have taken the top slot if it wasn't for Omegavortex coming out the week before.

  3. Sorcier Des Glaces, “Un Monde de Glace et de Sang” (Obscure Obhorrence) – There's nothing we like more than a new SDG album, especially when it's a particularly good one! Quebec's long-running black metal lords bring the glace and the sang just in time for our winter of discontent.

  4. Mavorim, “Axis Mundi” (Purity Through Fire) – If you still miss Satyricon circa 1996, this Teutonic entry will bring you that and more with some well-appointed and imminently listenable black metal.

  5. Ectoplasma, “4 Doors to Death, Vol II V/A” (Unspeakable Axe) Four tracks on this split from these grisly Greek death metal upstarts were enough to make the grade. We can't wait for the next full-length!

  6. Sanctifying Ritual, “Sanctifying Ritual” (Iron Bonehead Productions) – If Morbid Angel had stuck with their “Abominations of Desolation” configuration for a follow-up, it probably would have sounded like this. Death metal of the old era, done the right way. No marketing acronyms required!

  7. Cultus Profano, “Accursed Possession” (Debemur Mortis Productions) – Easily one of the best current-era American black metal entries, Cultus Profano gets everything right with their excellent sophomore effort.

  8. Ordinance, “In Purge There is No Remission” (The Sinister Flame) – Finnish black metal with aggression, darkness, and atmosphere. It was one of the surprises of the year, and it rules big time.

  9. Black Curse, “Endless Wound” (Sepulchral Voice Productions) – Better than all the other bands of which this is comprised, Black Curse broke out in a notable way on this debut full-length. It's a dense and gripping piece of feral death metal worth hearing.

  10. Abyssfire, “The Raging Hearts of Hell” (Ridge ov Dragon) – We don't know much about this death/black band, except that they are new, from Russia, really good, and deserving of your attention!

    And the best of the rest:

  11. Abhomine Progeny Devoid Proselyte Parasite Plague
  12. Acherontas The Brazen Experimentalist Psychic Death - The Shattering of Perceptions
  13. Armagedda Guds kadaver (En falsk Messias) Svindeldjup Ättestup
  14. Ascendency Culling The Weak Birth Of An Eternal Empire
  15. Azarath Fall Of The Blessed Saint Desecration
  16. Cardiac Arrest Endless Dread The Day That Death Prevailed
  17. Cénotaphe Aux cieux antérieurs Monte Verità
  18. Deathsiege Poisonous Worlds Unworthy Adversary
  19. Deathsiege Victorious Dead Unworthy Adversary
  20. Enshadowed The Great Animist Stare into the Abyss
  21. Front Antichrist Militia Antichrist Militia
  22. Graceless Warpath Where Vultures Know Your Name
  23. Grafvitnir Into the Unknown Deaths Wings Widespread
  24. Ifernach In The Hollow Of The Togharmach The Green Enchanted Forest Of The Druid Wizard
  25. Ildskær Mellem Tvende Troner Den Rædsomste Nat
  26. Invincible Force Damned by Noise and Lust Decomposed Sacramentum
  27. Katavasia Triumphant Fate Magnus Venator
  28. Malicious Death Embalmed Deranged Hexes
  29. Mongrel's Cross As a Being Undead Arcana, Scrying and Revelation
  30. Nawaharjan Warassuz Lokabrenna
  31. Nexul Partitioned By Severity Scythed Wings Of Poisonous Decay
  32. Novae Militiae Advent of the Prophet Topheth
  33. Ofermod Persisting to Die in Thee Pentagrammaton
  34. Ondskapt Old and Hideous Grimoire Ordo Devus
  35. Perdition Temple Desolation Usurper Sacraments of Descension
  36. Sulfure L'antre de la tarasque Neurotisme
  37. Todestriebe The Impossibility of Atonement In the Vortex of Destructive Creations
  38. Wargrinder Plague Descendants Ironclad Destroyer
  39. Warmoon Lord The Morningstar's Descent Pure Cold Impurity
  40. Ymir Silvery Howling Ymir
  41. Yoth Iria Sid-Ed-Djinn Under His Sway


Metalenema Episode 12-9-20 - Quebec Black Metal, 2020 Edition

Winter is here, covid is near, and black metal from Quebec still reigns supreme! Feast your English-hobbled ears on the greatness of the French Canadian hinterlands, once again!

  1. Drave Le Démon Bleu et Blanc Terroir
  2. Sacrenoir La Gueule du Loup La Gueule du Loup / Liber Damnatus - Psalm I
  3. Déliquescence Genèse Averse Antinomisme
  4. Sorcier Des Glaces The Warlock Un Monde de Glace et de Sang
  5. Blight Elsewhere & Elsewhen Temple of Wounds
  6. Unquintessence To Finally Ascend in the Darkest of Paths Ruined
  7. Sanctvs Dans la pleine obscurité l’on Te devine Mors Aeterna
  8. Hak-Ed Damm MG42 Holocaust Over Dresden
  9. Ossuaire Sous l'Autel des Immaculés Derniers Chants
  10. Sombre Nostalgie Eloge Batailles de la Redemption
  11. Ciel Nordique La Ouelle II
  12. Esker Esker - Ordalie Demo
  13. Sombre Héritage Déchéance Alpha Ursae Minoris
  14. Ifernach A Winter Tree Clad In Black Frost The Green Enchanted Forest Of The Druid Wizard
  15. Délétère Milites Pestilentiae III - Babylonia Magnissima Theovorator: Babelis Testamentum
  16. Csejthe Nébuleuse tentatrice L'horreur de Čachtice
  17. Gevurah 3 Vanquishing the Realms of Creation MMXI
  18. Neige Et Noirceur La Mecanique de Lucifer Les Tenebres Modernes