DARK MATTER WEBZINE'S BEST EXTREME METAL ALBUMS OF 2020
If the last 365 days has taught us anything (and for some it’s taught nothing), it’s that humanity appears to be heading for a sprint finish in the midst of a slow motion apocalypse. And while we grapple with a new world disorder, with nary the comfort of the end being in sight, at least we still have heavy music. While lockdown meant live gigs have been put on ice for the time being, it hasn’t stopped some incredible records being released. From the career highs from the likes of Napalm Death to debut long players from Beggar, 2020 has seen bands of every shade of darkness give us a visceral thrill. The Dark Matter coven have put their heads together and managed to pick five records each that were their absolute stand outs, and a few more we just couldn’t leave out. And while 2021 may see more months of Zoom calls, masks and more social distancing than even the most fervent misanthrope could have ever sacrificed a goat for, at least we can take comfort in the fact that at least one legacy of 2020 is that it proves the dark spirit of our music can not be extinguished.
The generous, coal-black lashings of grimly observed gallows humour with which this apocalyptic epic is richly furnished might strike you as being little more than a superfluous added bonus to the blindingly aggressive calibre of audio contained herein. Yet it’s precisely this intensely volatile cocktail of bitterly outraged and despairing sentiment that, time and time again, has equipped its visionary creators with all they need to weave the stuff of nightmarish compositional brilliance. Indeed, having reached completion mere weeks before a world teetering on the brink of global catastrophe finally collapsed into a state of abject chaos and devastation, it seems latest album ‘Endarkenment’ could not have arrived at a more eerily appropriate moment. Spanning an immense, black-hearted plethora of influences numbering pulverising death, darkly beguiling melodic movements and vertigo-inducing crescendos of stratospheric opera, this is the perfectly orchestrated soundtrack for a civilisation mindlessly sleepwalking its way into self-annihilation.
(Trust No One)