The Metal Scholar's Album Of The Year (2020 Edition)

Caught In The Post-Christmas, Pre-New Year Limbo

I would like to say I feel fresh and invigorated after a few days off, but unfortunately not. As we wait the ravishing grimness that is the century long month of January, I thought I'd find some motivation to get possibly the most important list of the year done. Whilst I have the motivation, this is a bloody near impossible task, as the art of the album has been rediscovered in 2020, as we've actually had the time to sit down and truly listen to music. Even so, whilst I do have a kind of shortlist of my overall albums of the year, in my head there are some other variants and lists that are more genre specific, because in my mind cannot be effectively compared to something else other than another album in that particular genre, if that makes sense. Either way, I have deliberated, shuffled and restructured, and find myself here at this concluding moment. Anyway, we have a lot to be thankful for musically this year, a lot of bands could have put off releasing new music until they could tour again, but the fact that so many still gave us the new music is awesome in my opinion. I have spent a long time deliberating over the countless quality albums I've heard and had the pleasure to review this year, and these choices (as you are fully aware of) are subjective. Having scrolled endlessly through the depths of my reviews and weekly lists, I thought it was an impossible task. Even though this was by no means an easy or stressless task, it it with great pleasure and relief that I present to you, my albums of the year!

Top 30 Albums Of The Year

I. Black Stone Cherry (🇺🇸) - The Human Condition (Mascot Records), Southern Rock

II. Havukruunu (🇫🇮) - Uinuos Syömein Sota (Naturmacht Productions), Pagan Black Metal

III. Napalm Death (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) - Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism (Century Media Records), Grindcore/Death Metal 

IV. Winterfylleth (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) - The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight Records), Black Metal

V. Phoxjaw (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) - Royal Swan (Hassle Records), Grunge/Alt. Metal

VI. The Infernal Sea (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) - Negotium Crucis (Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings), Black Metal

VII. Myrkur (🇩🇰) - Folkesange (Relapse Records), Atmospheric Black Metal/Folk

VIII.  Kalandra (🇳🇴) - The Line (By Norse Music), Alt. Rock/Nordic Folk

IX. Finntroll  (🇫🇮) - Vredesvävd (Century Media Records), Blackened Folk Metal

X. Venom Prison (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) - Primeval (Prosthetic Records), Death Metal/Hardcore

XI. Ozric Tentacles (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) - Space For The Earth (Kscope/Snapper Music), Progressive Psychedelic Electronic Rock

XII. The Black Dahlia Murder (🇺🇸) - Verminous (Metal Blade Records), Melodic Death Metal

XIII. Ondskapt (🇸🇪) - Grimoire Ordo Devus (Osmose Productions), Black Metal

XIV.  Horna  (🇫🇮) - Kuoleman Kirjo (World Terror Committee), Black Metal

XV. Enslaved (🇳🇴) - Utgard (Nuclear Blast), Progressive Black/Viking Metal

XVI. Varus (🇩🇪) -  A New Dawn (Independent), Symphonic Melodic Death Metal

XVII. Nyrst (🇮🇸) - Orsök (Dark Essence Records), Black Metal

XVIII. Sinistral King (🇩🇪/🇳🇴/🇨🇭) - Serpent Uncoiling (Vendetta Records), Death/Black Metal

XIX. Isengard (🇳🇴) - Vårjevndøgn (Peaceville Records), Folk/Black Metal

XX. Anaal Nathrakh (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) -  Endarkenment (Metal Blade Records), Industrial Black Metal/Grindcore

XXI. Old Corpse Road (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) - On Ghastly Shores Lays The Wreckage Of Our Lore (Trollzorn Records), Symphonic Black Metal

XXII. Völur (🇨🇦) - Death Cult (Prophecy Productions), Ambient Folk/Doom Metal

XXIII. Auðn (🇮🇸) - Vökudraumsins Fangi (Season Of Mist), Atmospheric Black Metal

XXIV. Violet Cold (🇦🇿) - Noir Kid (Independent), Various/Black Metal

XXV. Vesperith (🇫🇮) - Vesperith (Svart Records), Atmospheric/Ambient/Cosmic Black Metal

XXVI. Hjelvik (🇳🇴) - Welcome To Hel (Nuclear Blast), Viking Metal

XXVII. Antzaat (🇧🇪) - For You Men Who Gaze Into The Sun (Immortal Frost Productions), Black Metal

XXVIII. Necrophobic (🇸🇪) - Dawn Of The Damned (Century Media Records), Black/Death Metal

XXIX. Fjord (🇸🇪) - Fara I Viking (Skägg Records), Melodic Black Metal 

XXX. Korgonthurus (🇫🇮) - Kuolleestasyntynyt (Woodcut Records), Black Metal

I always end up doubting myself when I do things like this and there is no doubt that there is probably some albums I've completely forgotten about but really loved. As you can see most of my tastes in 2020 are revolving around the Nordic black metal scenes and some absolute legends in England and around Europe. As I stated before, this is all subjective but I am welcome to debate and I'd love to hear your choices! As 2020 comes to a close, I again want to thank everyone to help make Fjordhammer have a bumper year, next year will be even bigger! 🤘💙


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