Hello, heavy legion. Today I offer you a rare glimpse into the metal-obsessed mind of the Gorn. I could go on about how terrible of a year 2020 was, but there’s no sense in beating a dead hog, so let’s get it going.
10. Cycle of Suffering, Sylosis (Nuclear Blast)
9. Where Death Lies, Carnation (Season of Mist)
8. Monarchy of Shadows, Tombs (Season of Mist)
7. Utgard, Enslaved (Nuclear Blast)
6. Reluctant Hero, Killer Be Killed (Nuclear Blast)
5. Where Vultures Know Your Name, Graceless (Raw Skull Recordz)
GRACELESS is a death/doom band from the Netherlands. This is the only GRACELESS album I’ve checked out and that is because of how listenable it is. Time and time again I return to Where Vultures Know Your Name. At just 46 minutes in length, the album is a great way to start your day or fuel your workout. The album is chocked full of fast, simple songs such as Warpath as well as slower, doomier tracks like Commander of Christ and Embrace the Rain. The comparisons to ASPHYX seem inevitable for this band, and that’s not a bad thing. Smash that play button above because Retaliation of the Wicked is a killer death metal jam with a main riff that shouts “get out of my way.” The only downside of the album is the simple drumming and lack of fills; other than that it’s a great record. Brutal, brooding and big are the best three words to describe Where Vultures Know Your Name. After hearing this album, Gorn has jumped on the GRACELESS train.
4. Forgotten Days, Pallbearer (Nuclear Blast)
3. Solitude in Madness, Vader (Nuclear Blast)
Polish metal legends VADER strikes back with a near 30-minute all out assault on your eardrums and heart rate. Solitude in Madness is exactly the kind of death/thrash album I so often crave. Since their career spans all the way back to the early 80s and this is their sixteenth full length album, it’s unlikely Solitude in Madness is the best VADER record. Regardless, it’s damn good. Every track is solid and the band’s playing is as tight as ever. On a side note, I was lucky enough to see VADER perform in Kansas City in February 2020 and they can still bring it live. That concert definitely got me excited for this album and that excitement was met with a satisfying addition to the band’s impressive canon. VADER is living proof that metal is not just a young person’s genre.
2. The Funeral Pyre, Kvaen (Black Lion Records)
1. Djinn, Uada (Eisenwald)
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed the list. Let’s make 2021 metal as f***!