Sunday, December 6, 2020

the Top 10 Doom Albums of 2020

I heard a so-called metal head say "I have had all the gloomy music I can take" when he cracked under the pressure of 2020. If I had been standing in front of him, I would have slapped the fucking taste from his mouth like the Bat-man & Robin meme. People are dying in 2020. I have been to 2 funerals myself. But I celebrate death, that is why I listen to doom. I mean the name of the genre says it all. If you are not down with despair then get the fuck out of here. Ok now that that is out of the way , much like in years past sort through the genre lists before making the overall top ten of the year list. I know many of you are ready for 2020 to be over with. Hate to break it to you but nothing is getting better next year. As far as 2020 goes there is only a couple new bands on this list. 

 The fact these artists made it on the list speaks to how great these albums are, so it's not a slight that the number 8 album is above the 9th album, there is something that just gives it an edge that makes me want to listen to it more. After all we can try to look cool and pick the hippest bands for a list, but at the end of the day what makes an album the best is that it makes you want more, you look forward to listening to it again. Sure you can bitch and complain about your favorite band not being on the list. However I listen to five new albums a day so yes I heard your favorite album and was not impressed. No I do not care what you think about it .I do hope you can find your next favorite on this list and have included links to reviews of these albums if you want to check out audio on these guys. Anyways here are the top 10 Doom albums of 2020

10-Candlemass -"Pendulum"

This is more of an honorable mention. These guys continue to be great at what they do. They have stuck to their guns . It might not be the most original sound when it comes to Swedish doom but it shows the new kids what is up/

9- Aeonian Sorrow

This band from Finland is more of a gothic doom band that is influenced by funeral doom. The vocals are off between the male and female, yes there is a classic My Dying Bride influence and yes I am ok with that as the new My Dying Bride was a disappointment , did I ever think I would make a doom list with out My Dying Bride on it, so what does that say? 


8-Mountaineer - "Bloodletting" 

The post rock always rings twice with this progressive doom band. These guys are in no way coping shit from Black Sabbath or for that matter Paradise Lost, Jesus feels like it is more of a influence with the depressive croon of the vocals. This is fucking beautiful.


7- Celestial Season - "the Secret Teachings" 

The melodic take on funeral doom this band from the Netherlands brings to the table has more than just a solid dose of goth to it. This is the album My Dying Bride wishes they put out this year.

6- Null- "Entity"

 Doom out of Iceland is a novel concept considering how they are known from for exporting black metal. There is plenty of black metal influence since these guys also play in Myspyring. The main mood is a dreary bleakness that is chilling. 


5-Paradise Lost - "Obsidian" 

They brought their goth side to the surface. In recent years they have worked off the death doom sound , even leaning more into the death metal side. This time they might have backed off the heavy to give the goth more room, and added to the weight of the songs in so doing.

4- Draconian - " Under a Godless Veil" 

If I had known this band was going at it with the emotional and atmospheric intensity of the Gathering then I would have been listening to them more all this time. What matters is I am on the right page with them. While Paradise Lost put out a great album, it was a solid year for doom and this band brought a wider range to the table.

3-Dunwich- "Tail Tied Hearts" 

This Russian band is great. They blend an almost Rasputina like goth and set it against doom with black metal tendencies. Their singer really puts her voice to good uses going from a beguiling siren to shrieking witch. The mood is just right . This is the best band you do not know about.

  2- Pallbearer - " Forgotten Days" 

Yeah I know it is surprising they did not take the number one spot. It was a tough call and a great year for doom. I have listened and will continue to listen to this album a helluva lot. It stacks up against their already impressive body of work and in some ways is a return to the more metal sound of their first album.


1- Witnesses - "Doom II"

The question many, myself included might ask in regards to how these guys took the top spot over Pallbearer can best be answered by saying.. they took more chances. It would have been easy to put out a typical funeral doom album with low growled vocals . They got a guy who is not even a metal singer. This breathed new life into the genre as the melodies and approach are way different to an emotional level as to what is refreshing and new about their sound. More than just melancholy or morning their is a desperation that is real and with little pageantry. Pallbearer made a great Pallbearer album, but it is hardly growth on this level.

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