The Metal Wanderlist: Number Three – 2020


The last THE METAL WANDERLIST for 2020! Time really does fly, despite the circumstances. Yet, time, dust and rust are things that are in constant motion on this planet, be there a plague or not, and we at TMW headquarters would really like to add THE METAL WANDERLIST to this category. We all as a unit feel that people need now, more than ever, quality music to listen to. 

Also, we are aware of the headache the list issues are causing people at this time of the year, the stress if one has heard all that matters and so forth, and would like to carry our torch to the bonfire of all things Metal and give to YOU, dear people, our very favourites from the last part of 2020. 

So here goes: 




Anaal Nathrakh – “Endarkenment”

“Cathartically brutal and chaotic. Lyrically to the point as always and an utterly invigorating listen par excellence!!!”



Atramentus – “Stygian”

“Canadian metal! It has been a while since I heard a Funeral Doom album this good. Stygian has plenty of that Thergothon crawl to it, but also elements of early Anathema, Pink Floydian leads and some vocal arrangements reminding us of Type O Negative. This one is a winner.”

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The Great Mackintosh:

Benediction – “Scriptures”

“Fuck. I mean how in the living bejesus does a band that has produced so many fucking killer albums come out with a release twelve years after their last one that not only defines their career, but then says fuck it you ain’t seen nothing yet and proceeds to blow your head clean off. I’m gonna call it the “Ingram Factor.” UK Death at it’s finest, no bullshit, the real deal.”



Brave the Cold – “Scarcity”

“Somehow, it feels this album has everything the new Napalm Death album was lacking. Catchy, headbangable riffs, lots of drive, big hooks, but also some Mitch Harris cleans he introduced on that excellent Menace album five, six years ago. And what to say about Dirk Verbeuren that has not been said already… That man is a perfect combination of technical ability and boneheaded Metal madness. Drummer perfection. This album is so very easy to like!”


The Great Mackintosh:

Carcass – “Despicable”

“A nice little offering while we wait for their next full one which has been delayed due to reasons that I can’t be arsed explaining ha-ha. Some people seem not so impressed with the first single released, but let me tell you something, this is them again at their finest. Reminds me a lot of Heartwork in some parts, and Surgical Steel for sure in others, so rest assured when you hear the rest of it you are in for a treat. Sure, they will never beat some of their earlier stuff, and I can guarantee you they give not two fucks about that either, this is the masters having a great time, and so the fuck will you!”


The Great Mackintosh:

Dødsferd“Death Shall Purify the Wounds of your Fragile Mortality

“A harrowing collection of some of Dødsferd‘s more sombre and torturous songs over the years, including a new single by the name of “Deterioration.” I am not the hugest fan of Black Metal as most people know, but for some reason Dødsferd always manage to suck me in, and on this one in particular that reason being you can feel how genuine Wrath and co are within every riff and scream of anguish on display. This is the stuff of nightmares, and yet somehow a very refreshing listen. Sounds weird I know, but a play-through or two will show you exactly what I mean. Utterly horrid, and so fucking good!”



Draconian – “Under a Godless Veil

“This album is a rare kind of spectacular. It provides the listener with a paradox: the emotions Draconian weave throughout succeed in breaking your heart into a thousand pieces, while simultaneously being forgiven for doing so. “Under A Godless Veil” is an utterly brilliant piece of art, as close to perfect as any record can get. It would benefit all of you to listen.”



Enslaved – “Utgard” 

“You all surely know the feeling when one of your very favorite bands drops a new album, right? The chills, the thrills, the anticipation… In Enslaved‘s case (even though they’ve been in strong personal rotation for a good 25 years already) it is still as exciting as ever to hear a new one from them. After the marvellous and a personal TOP-10 of an album “E” released in 2017, some line-up changes have occurred, but it seems to have worked only to the benefit of the band. Proggy, Folky, atmospheric and at places very much Metal – all in the one place, just like Enslaved only can deliver. And above anything – sounding very organic and band-like too this time. Kick out the glacier jams!”



Expander – “Neuropunk Boostergang

“This Metalpunk outfit from Austin, Texas knocked me on my ass the first time I heard them. As much Voivod as they are Nails, or a Pig Destroyer flavored Black Breath, Expander creates a kind of Metal from the future, rooted in the past of a fictional landscape that’s both familiar and foreign. Perhaps what the inside of Philip K. Dick’s mind sounded like as he was creating “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” or William Gibson as he wrote “Neuromancer.” It is excellent. Go purchase a copy.”



Furnace – “Dark Vistas”

“Lovecraftian story telling, Mesmerising Melodic Death Metal with a Gothic twist to the sound… from the master of Swedish Death Metal Rogga Johansson. Powerful, emotive and has the hair standing up on the back of your neck. Rogga has dropped some amazing albums in his career but this totally took me by surprise.”


Your Grouchy Friend:

Greg Puciato – “Child Soldier: Creator of God” 

“Child Soldier: Creator of God “is a remarkable achievement by an artist reaching the peak of his powers. Greg Puciato takes the cream from each cake that has born his mark and fashions them into a wondrous musical journey that is exquisite in its beauty, it’s malignancy and it’s purity of expression. Take the time with this one – it’s creator has and it was absolutely worth both his effort and is worth yours.”


The Great Mackintosh:

Hanging Fortress – “Darkness Devours”

“More Mid-West Death Metal insanity from the good old US of A. Something must be pretty fucking good in the water over there because just like their buddies (and our good friends) at Maul, these fuckers know how to seriously kick some serious arse! I’m serious! If track three “Hanging Fortress” (APT!) doesn’t loosen your bowels, then may I suggest you go and see a doctor and get that blockage removed! Chunky riffery abounds, bass strings flap around like beached whales, and a general feeling of well being will envelop you as you listen to this fucking beast of a release! Fuck yeah!”



Isengard –  “Vårjevndøgn”

“I mean what can we say about this band other than the versatility of the musician at hand is almost unmatched. Going from buzzsaw Death Metal to buzzsaw Black Metal all the way to Mercyful Fate worship, Fenriz can seemingly do it all without any hesitation as everything seems to flow so well whether he’s blasting through Darkthrone riffs to whaling over Isengard songs, this is fucking GREAT!”


The Great Mackintosh:

Just Before Dawn – “An Army at Dawn” 

“We all know the feeling when this lot are about to release another onslaught. You lie in the trench you have recently occupied trying to get some well earned sleep, flies buzz around incessantly, feasting on the corpses of the recently deceased, and then you hear the squeal and clank of tank tracks in the distance. You check your kit, making sure your rifle is fully loaded and you have more ammo on hand, knowing full well that you have very little chance of staying alive… The sound gets louder, the earth starts to shake, the very dirt the trench is dug out of starts to vibrate, and then all fucking hell breaks loose. The Gods of War are back, continuing the eternal warfare for all of you fans of Bolt Thrower, Hail of Bullets and, well, these fucking proud solid warriors! All rejoice, you know what you are in for, and you will enjoy every second as they crush your skull into a bloody pulpy mess without any doubt!”


Hayduke X:

Khar Sulde – “The Black Banners of Cosmic War”

“This US trio take the vehicle of raw Black Metal to decry the horrors humanity visits upon the world. With warlike ferocity, they craft engaging riffs and an absolutely scorching percussive and vocal attack. Absolutely gloriously vicious.”


Your Grouchy Friend:

LIK – “Misanthropic Breed”

“I absolutely worship early Dismember and Entombed so it shouldn’t come as a huge shock that I quite enjoy a bit of early Dismember and Entombed worship. LIK’s Misanthropic Breed is most certainly that. Put quite simply, this album slaps… hard, to your face, to the other cheek, removes the leather glove, slaps you again and then hurls the glove down in a challenge to the death.”


Mr. Swine:

Morta Skuld – “Suffer For Nothing” 

“If there is one good thing to come out this shit show of a year, it’s good Death Metal. And this severely underrated Milwaukee band has just delivered one hell of an album. It’s a fucking banger! This has been my go-to album for when I’m cooking dinner for my family the past few weeks. Perfect tunes for browning some taco meat, or stirring the pasta sauce!” 

(Side note – it has to be noted that The Great Mackintosh agrees, although he prefers to bang his head against a Giant turtle until it bleeds to this one. His head, not the turtle. Are you aware that the average Giant turtle has more armour per square inch than a Panzer Tank? I digress, this album is pure magnificence. Nuff said.)


Lilith and Obscvre:

Mazikeen – The Solace of Death

“A Symphonic Blackened Death assault with a polished feel… but for the fans of old school Black Metal the final tracks are covers of classics done well.”


Hayduke X:

Napalm Death – “Throes of Joy In The Jaws of Defeatism

“How does a band active since 1981 and who have released 16 studio albums stay relevant? I would suggest that Napalm Death have discovered this magical formula. It may include something like this: 1) Establish a unique sound. 2) Push and evolve that sound beyond it’s limits. 3) As you write each album, create tension from track to track between the establish sound and boundary pushing. This latest album by these established masters does this masterfully. The result, for this superfan, is that I have “Throes of Joy…” placed at the number 3 spot on my own list of favourite Napalm Death albums. There’s plenty of old established Grind goodness and also plenty of well wrought experimentation to go around.”



Sumokem – “Prajnaparadha”

“I know very little about this band. I know they’re from Little Rock, Arkansas, that they’re widely considered a Stoner Doom band, that they sing about all sorts of “natural” things – Native American folklore is high on the list – and that they released one of the most surprising albums I have heard all year over the Summer. Prajnaparadha is, indeed, a Doom record, and contains all of the things any Doom fan will love (excellent riffs, a mixed bag of rhythm, an open invitation to possibly smoke something silly), but the one thing that stands out to me the most are the vocals by Jacob Sawrie. The typical growl/clean/growl cadence is present, however the clean vocals are absolutely brilliant. He sounds like Brendan Perry from Dead Can Dance (If you’re not familiar with Dead Can Dance, check out Spiritchaser. You’ll know what I’m talking about). Sumokem is going places I’ve never heard a Doom band go before.”



Tomorrow’s Rain –Hollow”

“An absolutely breathtaking journey through depression, fear, insanity, and redemption, Hollow is Gothic Doom at its unimpeachable finest. A masterpiece of the genre, without question, and an album that really must be heard by all fans of heavy music. The band is from Israel, and have released Hollow in both English and Hebrew versions (the later so far only available for pre-order). Featuring guest appearances from members of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Arch Enemy, Draconian, Moonspell, Rotting Christ, and Septicflesh, this is a fucking beast of a record. Not to be missed!”


Hayduke X:

Yovel – “Forthcoming Humanity”

“As some of you may have noticed, I am pretty open about my political beliefs. If you’d like a tutorial in what those beliefs are, then look no further than this magnificent release by the shadowy Greek Black Metal project Yovel. Once again, they unabashedly put their political rallying cry to the forefront through well chosen samples, overtop of their incredibly well composed Black Metal for the oppressed. If the politics turn you off, have no fear, the music speaks for itself.”

…And last, but definitely not the least Meddlefan will announce to us the last bit of truth: 


Void Rot – Descending Pillars. “Because it is good”. 


Wombbath – Tales of Madness. “Because Swedish Death Metal kicks arse.”

There you go folks! May the lists be with you! For surely you are gonna cop a ton of them over the next few weeks! Hell yeah!

The TMW staff.

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