It’s no secret that 2020 has been an eventful year so far, one that we won’t be forgetting any time soon. Thank heavens for the great music that has been released, evoking an array of emotions. More importantly it has provided an escape from the things going on around us and allows to forget our troubles for those moments. Here is a selection of albums that have made my year so far.
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
It’s no secret that Brothers Of Metal are one of my favourite bands. At the beginning of the year, they released their latest quest Emblas Saga. Like their previous release Prophecy Of Ragnarök, this album is full of mighty songs that make you feel heroic and powerful. There is a great selection of songs, all sounding different but all accomplish the same feeling of empowerment. Before lockdown, my year hadn’t gotten off to great start. I had lost a close family member and this album helped through this tough time, particularly the song One with its message of coming together to support each other.
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Temperance – Viridian
For those who have been listening to my podcast, you will know that this band are a discovery for me this year. This is thanks to fellow ROSO writer Martin. The moment you press play on Veridian, you can’t help but want to find out more. Viridian is an album that packs a punch and gets you motivated from the word go. From the opening Mission Impossible to the closer Lost In The Christmas Dream, you will be taken on a journey of empowerment. This band’s sounds have helped me through this year so far.
Find TEMPERANCE on Facebook.
Those Damn Crows – Point Of No Return
Ever since discovering them at NozFest 2019, I have been following Those Damn Crows ever since. They released their second album earlier this and it’s a great array of Hard Rock songs that pack a punch. The single releases leading up to this album and hearing their previous material encouraged me to buy this record. I am very glad I did, this band are destined for great things. Advice: when lockdown is over, catch them live before they hit the arenas and larger venues.
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Ad Infinitum – Chapter 1: Monarchy
I described this album on my podcast as being so stunning that I had trouble picking one song to showcase this band’s vast talent. Chapter 1: Monarchy is Ad Infinitum’s debut album and from the get go I was hooked. I have lost count on how many times I have listened to this album since its release. Ad Infinitum don’t belong in just one metal sub-genre box, there is something in there for everyone. For those who still need to listen to them, do it now.
Find AD INFINITUM on Facebook.
Dynazty – The Dark Delight
This was a surprise for me. I wasn’t too keen on their previous release Firesign and a lot of my friends were praising this band so I thought I would give them another go. I also enjoyed the single releases that went with this album. The Dark Delight has ignited my love for the band. I am a huge fan of eighties style rock, particularly the catchiness of the songs. Each of the songs display this catchiness. The vocal work is dominant and the guitar work is slick. The music on this album packs a punch.
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The Outlaw Orchestra – Pantomime Villains
I mentioned this album on my latest podcast and with good reason. The Outlaw Orchestra are another Nozfest discovery, I loved their fun frolics and their ability to produce ‘country and western through a marshall’ (Dave Roux’s words). They released their debut album Pantomime Villains quite recently; I mean the title alone made me smile. From the moment I pressed play, I was smiling and dancing all the way through. Want to sing along to songs about Chicken Fried Steak and Too Much Willie Nelson? Give The Outlaw Orchestra a whirl.
Find THE OUTLAW ORCHESTRA on Facebook.
Grave Digger – Fields Of Blood
Grab a set of bagpipes, don your kilts and join Grave Digger on their journey through Fields Of Blood. It’s an epic tale that takes you through the Highlands and vast landscapes of Scotland. Grave Digger have a complex yet catchy sound that they keep up on this album. It’s the band’s fortieth anniversary and this album proves they can still deliver top notch, no nonsense Heavy Metal. A very special highlight of the album is Thousand Tears that features Battle Beast’s Noora Luhimo, honestly one of the best duets I have heard for a long time.
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So those are my choices, what albums have made your year so far? Stay tuned for a post about releases I am looking forward to hearing.
Words: Lotty Whittingham