PROUA METALLIST’S AOTY LIST (From 1 to 10)
Title: Uinuos Syömein Sota
Label: Naturmacht Productions
Release date: 14 August 2020
“Uinuos Syömein Sota” was my most anticipated album for 2020 and it did not disappoint. This release has made its way to the top of many other AOTY lists and is nothing short of a masterpiece. Havukruunu deliver a compelling sound that is built on a foundation of stark black metal, steeped in rich pagan sentiment. It’s intense, majestic and contemplative, yet will pierce you deeply and leave it’s mark.
Title: Krupinské Ohne
Label: Invictus Productions
Release date: 20 March 2020
Malokarpatan are an exciting and unconventional heavy black metal outfit with a unique sound. “Krupinské Ohne”, is a stunning album that brings Slovakian folklore to life with a masterful blend of old school metal, prog and folk elements.
Title: Ilman Kuolemaa
Label: I, Voidhanger Records
Release date: 21 August 2020
In 2020 we were lucky enough to get a full-length release from Verikyyneleet (blood tears), an enigmatic one-man black metal project from Finland. “Ilman Kuolemaa” offers a unique collection of raw black metal, recorded over a six year period (between 2014-2019), with a strong old school feel that at times is juxtaposed by also delivering experimental elements and an air of avant-garde. “Ilman Kuolemaa” feels authentic, wild, untamed and intensely exciting, and with this album Verikyyneleet has succeeded in creating coarse, organic and aesthetically majestic black metal.
Band: Emyn Muil
Title: Afar Angathfark
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Release date: 25 September 2020
Emyn Muil is a one-man project from southern Italy that uses a decoction of black metal and dark synth to create a rich and tantalising brew, with hints and flavours reminiscent of Summoning. If you are a fan of Tolkien’s lore or enjoy epic, atmospheric, dark synth with a juicy helping of black metal then I highly recommend “Afar Angathfark”.
Title: The Affair of the Poisons
Label: Peaceville Records
Release date: 09 October 2020
Country: United Kingdom
Hang on to your bullet belts because my number five pick for AOTY will blow your britches off and beat you with them. 2020 may have been a total shite-fest but I am ever grateful that it brought us the highly anticipated second album from Hellripper. If you enjoy fast, heavy, exciting, and neck-snapping blackened thrash then you’ve no doubt already heard this one, and if you haven’t… stop reading this and do it NOW!
Title: Funeral Pyre
Label: Black Lion Records
Release date: 28 February 2020
“Funeral Pyre” is an impressive debut album for this one-man Swedish black metal act. This album has it all speed, killer riffs, folk/ pagan elements, aggression and the occasional subtle atmospheric moment. Start to finish this album had my full attention and so ended up on high-rotation throughout the year.
Title: Ashes Coalesce
Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Release date: 03 July 2020
“Ashes Coalesce” is the crushing second release for Finnish funeral doom duo Convocation. The album is low, slow and colossally heavy. Many times this year I appreciated sitting back with Convocation booming and just surrendering to the thick tides of thunderous sorrow.
Band: Æolian (Aeolian)
Title: The Negationist
Label: Black Lion Records
Release date: 20 November 2020
Crisp, ferocious melodic death metal with a conscience. “The Negationist” is the second album from the Spanish quintet, and although it arrived later in the year it made a big impact!
Title: Dark Waters
Label: Vvilderness Records
Release date: 10 January 2020
“Dark Waters” is the third album offered up by the one-man, atmospheric, post-black metal band from Hungary. This monolithic release has breathtaking compositions and entrancing atmospheres. The kind that can be used to transport the listener to another reality, which was particularly useful for me in 2020.
Label: Ván Records
Release date: 27 November 2020
“Teufelsgeist” is the monumental and somewhat unnerving sixth album from Dutch atmospheric black metallers Urfaust. This album is an ingenious thirty minute journey mirroring the experience of the descent into intoxication. Prost!