Wombat Tarantino (Wombat Cult) brings us his favorite albums released in 2020. Check out this array of killer albums and choice words below.
During a year 2020 marked by chaos, whether health, economic and social, that it is in no way useful to recall, because known to all, it is sometimes good to look back on months certainly distant from the scene, of sound, vibratory, sometimes abrupt, abrupt as well as contemplative, emotional or simply frightening and euphoric attraction, remembering a year 2020 of incredible musical richness.
Far from the difficult but fascinating path of the tours, from the excitement of the crowd which belches, marvels, artists from all horizons have never stopped creating, thinking their music.
An interlude year which has allowed many formations to get started such as Las Historias, Plague Organ, Jointhugger, Moonstone, Malsten, Spiralpark, Pillory, Hadewijch or even Cavalry.
A year that will have revealed new sounds allowing the meeting of artists from various horizons, from Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle to Full Of Hell and Health, including Bell Witch and Aerial Ruin, borders, barriers classificatory, have never ceased to move to reveal a future with new sounds, which we hope will know how to reason / resonate at the heart of world news, to open up alternative ways of life to meet our loved ones, of humans as of nature and its thousand wonders.
A year which, finally, will have seen artists appropriate the atmosphere of the months which have followed one another to change, develop their artistic words and prove to be temporal markers, witnesses of history such as Kadavar with The Isolation Tapes or the extraordinary proposal from GOLD with their compilation Recession closing the rough diamond The Isolation Sessions.
Beyond these releases, artists, who have allowed us to hold as an essential guardian of our souls, of our reflections, we would like to come back to this year with a somewhat particular purpose with an image, that of thirty albums that have known carry us, support us.
Happy reading everyone, and take care of each other, we need it so much.
30. Spectral Lore & Mare Cognitum – “Wanderers: Astrology Of The Nine”
Entropic Recordings & I, Voidhanger Records
Divinatory Black Metal
The year 2020 began under the auspices of infinite beauty with this collaboration that looks like a mirage, an astral journey masterfully composed and assembled by two artists who are constantly revolutionizing the limits of Black Metal with great support from ‘an ambient, experimental, atmospheric and contemplative landscape.
At the heart of this association, the two entities have shaped, modeled, their sounds through a stellar, divinatory and esoteric journey, symbolizing each piece, worlds independent of each other, by planets.
From a traditional Black Metal through Harsh, Ambient, Acoustic or sometimes even Drone variations, Mare Cognitum and Spectral Lore demonstrate all their potentials, sometimes touching an articulation in the form of a catalog of possibilities, without falling into this demonstrative trap. , always keeping a scale of impressive virtue.
A journey that still a year after its release continues to resonate in the minds of those who have encountered it.
To discover and support:
- https://metalodyssey.8merch.com/product/spectral-lore-and-mare-cognitum-wanderers-astrology-of-the-nine-3lp/ (Vinyl EU)
- https://i-voidhangerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wanderers-astrology-of-the-nine (CD and Vinyl EU)
29. Old Man Gloom – “Seminar VIII: Light Of Meaning” & “Seminar IX: Darkness Of Being”
Profound Lore Records
(Schizophrenic Sludgy-Noise / Doom)
Old Man Gloom is back 6 years after his double album “The Ape Of God I” and “The Ape Of God II”, with again a two-headed work in the following way “Seminar VIII: Light Of Meaning” and “ Seminar IX: Darkness Of Being ”.
Our turntable had the immense honor of running this diptych for several days, plunging the listening room into total chaos. Old Man Gloom succeeds once again in deconstructing the underground scene in all its extremes, to offer us an abstract work mixing experimental music with a Noise, Sludge and Post-Doom tendency.
A fall at the heart of a schizoid work from which we do not come out unscathed.
To Discover and Support:
- https://profoundlore.aisamerch.de/shop-en (Europe)
- https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/products-page/vinyl/ (US)
28. Boris / Merzbow – “2R0I2P0”
(Noise and Doom Japanese Legendary Mixture)
The closing surprise of 2020 lies in this new collaboration between Boris and Merzbow.
After the unmissable Gensho, released in 2016, the loudest and most experimental association on the international scene returns to continue exploring the most singular sound prisms between Boris’s Doom Experimental inspiration and Merzbow’s insidious Noise, we do not could only shudder at the idea of sinking again into this soundscape with a unique and fascinating color as it seems imaginary, forged in the very material that forges our dreams but also our most intimate nightmares.
With “2R0I2P0”, anagram for RIP 2020, Boris and Merzbow invite us to draw back the curtain on this tortuous year, giving it the flavor of dreams.
To Discover and Support:
27. Bismarck – “Oneiromancer”
(Norwegian Battle Doom)
Are you the type to look for the most monolithic work of the year ?! Look no further, Bismarck’s new album will take care of you.
Starting with an introductory oriental sound, the work proposed by Bismarck is unparalleled in efficiency, a robust machine that nevertheless manages to reach new heights in terms of elevation through its edge lines. In terms of Battle Doom, the group opens new doors that we would not have suspected and yet reveal a group that has everything of the greatest.
To discover and support:
26. Pixie Ninja – “Colors Out Of Space”
(Lovecraftian Landscape Infused in Progressive Rock Magma)
Beyond the usual Norwegian formations turned towards the moors of Black Metal or the plains of the Stoner / Doom scene, Norway conceals a thousand and one treasures in terms of musical creativity and this is what Pixie Ninja comes to demonstrate to us with its second album.
Colors Out Of Space mixes all the nuances that make Rock this indomitable and surprising twilight entity, gradually bringing the listener to the heart of an intense sound image at the edge between literary and cinematographic imaginary where Pixie Ninja seems to excel at every turn. of their pieces, worlds in their own right.
To Discover and Support Pixie Ninja:
25. CB3 – “Aeons”
Instrumental Stoner and Doom Variations
Young formation coming straight from Malmö in Sweden, CB3 seems to master all the paterns of the Stoner / Doom scene. The group succeeds with “Aeons” in delivering a real lesson in the instrumental reinvention of the genre and placing an essential piece between our ears.
To Discover and Support CB3:
24. Uniform – “Shame”
Sacred Bones Records
After two collaborations of incredible violence with The Body, Uniform, formation Noise Rock, straight from the US comes back to crush our jaw, in an abrupt almost animal way, against the gutter.
The Punk energy which oozes from each riff, making the fame of the group, is particularly vile coming to become embedded in our eardrums, to eat away at them with a great deal of sonic filth.
The proposition is trying and the 34 minutes of “Shame”, carry the group in figurehead of the kind coming to play elbow with Unsane.
A work that nothing seems to be able to stop ending with the title “I Am Cancer”, a monument of violence that Uniform has erected at the conclusion of an album already essential in the career of the group.
To Discover and Support Uniform:
23. Korto – “EP”
Six Tonnes De Chair Records
Hallucinogenic and Psychedelic Rock
Korto is back after their appearance on the French scene in 2017, with an EP of about twenty minutes.
The group continues to shape its own approach to psychedelic movement and takes us on a feverish dance, carried by an aerial voice, which surrounds us and carries us to astounding heights.
In just four tracks, this new EP by Korto forges a place in the hearts of lovers of labyrinthine music, where each chord, note, rhythm seems to be a corridor leading to countless readings. Quite simply, an outing that accompanies and intoxicates the soul of the listener.
To discover and Support Korto:
22. The King’s Pistol – “Rip It Up”
Majestic Mountain Records
This second EP takes over from a Vice that took us to the heart of the filthy and yet fascinating alleys of big cities. Rip It Up, he decides to take us to the roadstead where alcohol and music flow freely, where the ground sticks to the soles, and where the vibrations mingle with the body fluids and vapors emanating from the latter, sensual and violent.
Without revolutionizing musical trends, this second EP has succeeded in offering these six pieces which can be savored like a tangy treat. We know the flavor of it and yet the effect of these compositions is a source of enthusiasm with each listening, a sudden, direct pleasure, which does not bother to take a thousand detours and goes straight to the goal: that of slipping vigorously.
In a year where the outstanding formations reside in obscure subgenres, sometimes even invented by the groups themselves, The King’s Pistol appears courageous and solid in its approach of a genre which it is now so rare to find. fill with praise: the Rock.
To discover and support The King’s Pistol:
21. Gulch – “Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress”
Closed Casket Activities
Vile And Furious Power Grindcore / Hardcore
Gulch makes its grand entry into the teeming world of the Californian Hardcore scene, and yet with just an album / EP of fifteen minutes, the group imposes its sound imprint halfway between a Full OF Hell eaten away by rhythms D-Beat and the rage of the Crust-Black scene.
No respite for those who dare to put the vinyl on their turntable, furniture, walls, bodies will take on this slobbery, mucus flavor that seems to rush into the smallest gap, to stab you with vigor. An admirable violence that will tear your ribs in its mid-tempo segments.
To Discover and Support Gulch:
20. Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou – “May Our Chambers Be Full”
Sacred Bones Records
Foggy Experimental Doom
Between shadow and light, the meeting of Emma Ruth Rundle, an experimental artist with sinisterly resplendent Post-Folk horizons, and Thou, a hyperactive Sludge / Doom formation infused in a bubbling mixture of Grunge, appears the album ” May Our Chambers Be Full ” true chiaroscuro poem.
A formidable exercise in style where the magic operates in the collaboration between the two artists, melting into each other, from a Post-Folk with the end of the world look of ERR to the amplified muddy fog of the Bâton collective. Red, mixing their sound heritage in order to highlight a work of rare writing finesse.
To Discover and Support Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou:
19. Cenotaph – “Monte Verità”
Nuclear War Now! Productions & Ossuaire Records
Celestial Raw Black Metal
The ascent is incredible, reveals the strengths inherent in everyone, overcoming obstacles, gaining in power, in virulence, affirming its creation as a final, total and majestic project.
These are the words and concepts that overwhelm when we come out of listening to Monte Verità. Cénotaph, a project run by Khaosgott and Fog, continues to rise as the standard bearer of the French Underground Black Metal scene. Khaosgott’s voice, discovered on the essential EP Atavism and Ostara of Necropolis, has refined in its radicality and comes to take us to the guts, carrying distress and agony in the least of his vocalizations, striking the listener with a a feeling of oppression both formidable and delectable, reinforced by the sharp guitars associated with the spellbinding Blast Beat of multi-instrumentalist Fog.
A trying but necessary experience in Cenotaph’s relentless quest for truth: a summit.
To discover and Support Cenotaph:
18. Julien Doré – “Aimée”
Maintstream French Mysterious Dream Pop
Far from the galleries usually explored by Wombat Cult, resides an artist who is to say the least unique on the French scene. A popular artist, present on all television channels and yet unfathomable, strangely fascinating.
For his new album “Aimée”, he leaves the horizons with the shoegaze hues of his “Esperluette”, while keeping soaring, weightless sounds, on which his voice ricochets at the antipodes of the reference artists in terms of French variety.
An exotic journey carried by a full head, with a discreet humor, sometimes lunar, which will have known how to reveal two artists of their time, intervening in featuring during a piece: Jean-Marc and Simone.
To Discover and Support:
17. Concrete Mountain – “Hazedazed”
Concrete Mountain is a trainer that is unlike any other in the middle of the haunting post scene, the band infuses concepts straight from Stoner / Doom sounds. The trip is immediate. As soon as Camionaut’s first sound layers resound, the call of the unknown becomes inevitable.
The chords boil everywhere, the drums in their repetitiveness captivate the mind. The Italian group knows the smallest recipes to free the listener’s thoughts in meandering fuzz-based effects. The songs are infinitely graceful, revealing to us a sound monolith that nothing seems to be able to shake.
To Discover and Support:
16. Ruff Majik – “The Devil’s Cattle”
Acid Stoner Doom with Punk Perfume.
After having marked the spirits in 2019 with Tårn, Ruff Majik returns from his native South Africa to strike in a direct and effective way with a series of pieces all more angry-hysterical than the others with The Devil’s Cattle.
The group seems as edgy as the bull adorning its cover, leaving a multitude of voices with multiple tones, with among others an ersatz Axl Rose under acids, to accompany and multiply the impacts of a composition that will leave more than one. on the ball joints.
Thirteen titles of such rigor and virulence, that there will perhaps be many jaws on the ground during their next concerts both because of the hymns which will be sung with fury, but also with a pit which already promises to be monumental, be prepared the hyperactive Ruff Majik is there and will spare no one.
To Discover and Support Ruff Majik:
- https://blackfarmrecords.bigcartel.com/product/ruff-majik-the-devil-s-cattle (Vinyl EU)
15. – Jointhugger- “I Am No One”
Interstellar Smoke Records
Groovy Doom Ritual
Jointhugger with this first album “I Am No One”, shows his ability to understand the whole of the Doom scene, to appropriate it and thus succeeds in offering a new work, almost chimerical in the manner of his artwork, inspired by the work of Vigeland, work for demented humanity. One can only be charmed by such a demonstration of power which resides in a joyful writing intelligence.
14. Afsky – “Ofte Jeg Drømmer Mig Død”
A visual painting by HA Brendekilde, the pictorial approach taken by Afsky for this second album tickles the retina, arousing boundless curiosity.
What could the desperation and anger of the Danish master’s painting look like when transposing it behind the sound lines of a Black Metal formation?
Although scared at the idea of being disappointed, with this cover which promises so much, “Ofte Jeg Drømmer Mig Død” imposes a rather substantial surprise, that of succeeding, by keeping a classic approach, to slap us, to blow us with an energy and vigor of a frightening roughness, revealing a classicism of the genre under the yardstick of astonishing modernity.
From the first listening, each architectural and sonic model that Afsky offers is anchored deep in our eardrums, leaving a mark that we can only hope to be eternal.
To Discover and Support:
13. Bogwife – “Halls Of Rebirth”
Psychedelic Battle Doom
Completely passed under the radar of Wombat Cult when it was released, although with a predominant place in the Doom Charts, and unanimous audiophile critical feedback, it took the catch-up sessions at the end of the year to realize that Bogwife has just created a new way of playing Doom.
Crossing both the brute force of a Conan on anxiolytic, shaking anything in the path of vibrations, to a lead vocals and lead guitar at a more unhooked rhythm in a sustained approach, Bogwife succeeds in creating a parallel dimension in which the group excels coming to awaken fans of pachydermic and high-sounding music with this time a new approach which risks opening a good number of doors to the Stoner / Doom scene which was in great need.
To Discover and support Bogwife:
12. Cavalry – “Spectral Rage Demo Tape”
Youth Authority Records
Raw Blackened Hardcore
This Spectral Rage Demo Tape made up of only three tracks, one cover of which reveals all the sounds Cavalry is capable of from the Hardcore scene to the dark recesses of the tank tracks of the War Black scene.
With this first Flash Demo, worthy of a Blitzkrieg attack, Cavalry takes the Crust / Hardcore scene hostage and digs its gallery that it seems ready to defend. Spectral Rage Demo Tape is a real adrenaline rush, sudden, extreme and uncontrollable.
To Discover and Support Cavalry:
- https://cracrarecords.bandcamp.com/track/end-it-now (CD release)
11. The Hypnagogics – “Endless Nights”
Majestic Mountain Records
Are you sad since the disappearance of the prodigious The Devil’s Blood ?! Don’t worry, we’ve found a cure.
After two fairly discreet Eps, The Hypnagogics, a Swedish group with Heavy Psyche sounds, hits our decks with a first album “Endless Nights” which already has all the assets to become a staple of the genre.
To Discover and Support The Hypnagogics:
10. Touché Amoré – “Lament”
Post-Hardore with Screamo Reliefs
Fifth album for Touché Amoré, Post-Hardcore formation with a Screamo tendency, which marks a remarkably fine and nuanced turning point in the career of the group carrying this “Lament” to ever more refined heights.
Produced by Ross Robinson, this new proposition from Los Angeles offers many new tracks discreetly but with talent opening the doors to the Cold-Wave scene, the emotional ride or even the chorus song to surprise us, get us out of the monolith that Stage Four was and deliver to all a drive performance, direct, which will radiate the hearing of those who will cross the path of this dazzling album that is “Lament”.
To Discover and Support Touché Amoré:
9. – Höstblod – “Dikter Om Döden”
Le Narthécophore, Winter Sky Records & Fòlkvangr Records
Depressive Folk And Mortuary Contemplation Black Metal
Melancholy, lost hope and obscure harmony are the feelings and sound concepts that emerge from this new proposal from Höstblod, a solo Black Metal Project from Sweden.
Filled with sounds and well-known variations of the Scandinavian scene, Dikter Om Döden differentiates himself, repeals from the kinship of his colleagues playing on the wire, between Atmospheric Black Metal, Black Folk and Depressive And Suicidal Black Metal, without ever positioning the foot in a precise landscape, preferring much more to create its own dimension.
A poetic reflection around death, the long journey of known lands, the world of the flesh, towards thought lands, blinding fog, the world of the soul.
Definitely the most touching and poignant work of this year 2020,Dikter Om Döden is shaped by his humility and his ability to think freely, his language of dreams, delivering a perception of the intangible and yet visible world that only the gaze of poets can reveal.
To Discover and Support Höstblod:
- https://store.winterskyrecords.com/en/catalog/95-hostblod-dikter-om-doden.html (CA Tape)
- http://www.folkvangrrecords.com/products/680459-hostblod-dikter-om-doden (US)
8. Nothing – “The Great Dismal”
Diogenean Alternative Shoegaze
A journey that is both philosophical and sensory, Nothing’s new album pushes the listener into a condition of permanent questioning which shapes the latter’s attitude as and when listening, pushing those who dare to pose the diamond of his cell on the sublime pressings of Relapse Records, to become obsessed with every nook and cranny of the album.
The Great Dismal is part of this short list of instant classic releases, a benchmark in Post-Punk / Shoegaze, and a date in the band’s history.
To Discover and Support Nothing:
7. Memnon Sa – “World Serpent”
Crypt Of The Wizard & Holy Mountain Studios
Stellar and Divinatory Dark Ambient
Memnon Sa is a very particular artist in his approach to the experimental scene. For several years, his music has succeeded in healing our souls. After “Citadelles” and the remarkable “Lemurian Dawn”, his new album “World Serpent” emerges as his absolute masterpiece. Do not ignore such an artist because he needs us as much as we need him.
Turn off the lights, close your eyes and take a journey of immeasurable sensitivity that you will remember forever.
To discover and Support Memnon Sa:
6 The Bloody Mallard – “Realm”
Herbal and Transcendental Progressive Rock
The Bloody Mallard, reveals a clever mix of genres between Progressive Rock, Heavy Psyche and Post-Rock. No demos, No EP, the group comes directly to knock on our doors and impose themselves with a first album: ” Realm “.
Like an initiatory journey, this first concept album of The Bloody Mallard, is discovered through the appearance and the conception of mankind between earth and light.
An incessant quest towards the sun, a blinding star, which unlike many works of the genre manages to rock us in the heart of a warm halo, far from all darkness.
Straight out of the bowels of the earth, the British formation manages with a fantastic mastery to create at the same time a sound, a name, a universe but much more than that, The Bloody Mallard succeeds in reaching the light and intends to share it with us. .
To discover and support The Bloody Mallard:
5- Oranssi Pazuzu – “Mestarin kynsi”
Blackened Experimental Kraut-Rock Labyrinth
Oranssi Pazuzu’s move from Svart Records to Nuclear Blast was both disconcerting and worrying, so many bands have failed to find the right balance within this giant in the world of extreme music.
Yet there was no need to worry, as the group does not seem open to any understanding in terms of musical approach, because we find ourselves facing a huge album if not their best.
The labyrinth that Mestarin kynsi offers us based on experimental Kraut-Rock with the rough colors of an insane Black Metal exceeds all expectations and comes to torment us as few albums can claim to achieve it.
A wandering experience where Oranssi Pazuzu has fun guiding us in the dark with light reflections, fine tracks, towards universes where madness seems to be the watchword.
To Discover and Support Oranssi Pazuzu:
4 – Paysage D’Hiver – “Im Wald”
Atmospheric, Ambient and Experimental Black Metal
The wind sweeps away the lives, the beings. The forest rises up, the last rampart against cataclysms, sanctuary for the unfortunate, those who have lost everything, those who have only their soul, to meditate, think, in order to preserve the light, that of the eyes which shine in the sky. darkness, miserable hope in the face of darkness.
Paysage D’Hiver’s new album, Im Wald, is a desperate poem, which, through its two hours of raw and icy Black Metal, succeeds in raising the genre to levels of contemplation rarely reached.
The four vinyls spin between our ears, hurting us by their saturation like winter squalls. The sound spectrum transforms the listener’s listening, succeeding in transforming the latter’s direct environment into a monochrome visual turmoil where melancholy, that of wasted time, takes hold of us and insidiously gnaws at us. .
A constant perdition, which will delight lovers of monster works, where the past seems to be the last glimmer that can illuminate our future.
To Discover and Support the Winter Landscape:
3. Vinnum Sabbathi – “Of Dimensions And Theories”
Stolen Body Records
In recent years, a real obsession has formed around a spatial dimension at the heart of the Doom scene whether it is Comacozer, Vestjyk Orken, The Spacelords, Yuri Gagarin or even the legendary SLEEP, everyone wants their share in space conquest.
In this subgenre commonly aptly named Space Doom, which is preferred to be called Interstellar Doom at Wombat Cult, Vinnum Sabbathi is the undisputed standard-bearer. This is what they come to remember and affirm with their cosmic expedition: Of Dimensions And Theories .
This second album, taking the turn of a hectic cosmic concept, that of space exploration and the unknown, turns into a guided journey to the edges of the universe in search of new sounds, sonic experiences.
A journey, carried by Sunn O))) amplifiers and vocal samples, worthy of exploitation science fiction, to guide us among the stars and counter the laws of gravity revealing a formation with a thousand reflections, a flash of ingenuity at heart of a Doom scene darkening over the years, which Vinnum Sabbathi comes to awaken with a lot of vibrations.
To Discover and Support Vinnum Sabbathi:
2. Neptunian Maximalism – “Eons”
I, Voidhanger Records
Free Avant-Garde Jazz Drone With Maladive and Hypnotic Kraut-Doom Shadows
The first album of the formation is just as difficult to define as it is to apprehend. Éons de Neptunian Maximalism, lasting over no less than three vinyls, is an experimentation around a multitude of genres and sub-genres forming a completely transcendent conceptual album between Jazz, Drone, Doom and psychedelic works.
An occult, esoteric and ritualistic expedition to the heart of a beast that will require several weeks and months to fully understand it.
In three parts, Neptunian Maximalism succeeds in proving that it is and always will be possible to find new sounds and approaches in musical creation, on the sole condition of freeing oneself from codes and allowing oneself to a blind creative freedom, revealing the contours of a mountain, invisible, which until this day was hidden, in front of us, in a blinding light, jailer of our inspirations.
To Discover and Support Neptunian Maximalism:
- Envy – “The Fallen Crimson”
Post-Hardcore / Screamo with Post-Rock Relief
Envy, legend of the Post-Hardcore scene, once again imposes its know-how in terms of composition. At the same time melancholy, tender, powerful, exhausting, violent, luminous as well as deeply shocking by its sadness and distress which sticks to the slightest riff, The Fallen Crimson is a formidable album, which manages to wonderfully organize its words to always petrify, surprise the listener in an epidermal manner.
A work that obsesses and can be listened to without ever showing boredom. The new album of the Japanese formation reveals itself a little more with each listening and succeeds in revealing the rare pearl it contains, its strength, a marvel of infinite delicacy.
At a time when albums are pouring in by the hundreds every month on streaming platforms, it is sometimes difficult to discern the album that will be remembered, leaving an indelible mark in the path of audiophiles, the one that will bring the great thrill during long months. The attention of the public is constantly dissipated by the abundance of an endless flow which every Friday crushes the outings of the previous week, giving a feeling of eternal repetition from one formation to another, an interchangeable character, trap that ‘Envy masterfully foiled by imposing a landmark creation: The Fallen Crimson .
To discover and support Envy: