There were so many great singles this year that it only seemed logical to do a top ten post on those that have made my year. The ones that you can’t stop listening to yet don’t want to get bored so you try to limit the amount of listens. I also do a first as journalist, I have a joint number one single; they both mean a lot to me in different ways so it seemed logical to place them both on the top spot. Without further ado, here are my top ten singles.
10. Sabaton – Christmas Truce
Kicking off my top ten singles is SABATON’s Christmas Truce. The song looks into when opposing sides in the First World War called a truce for Christmas Day and stopped battling for the day to celebrate together. This stunning single is uplifting representing the comradery between the soldiers. You can sense a hint of sadness behind this song; this can be due to knowing they have to carry on fighting the next day, loosing fellow comrades and not being with their loved ones. It’s a beautifully haunting song that captures all these emotions these soldiers are feeling.
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9. Aephanemer – Le Radeau de La Méduse
When reviewing AEPHANEMER’s A Dream Of Wilderness, this song caught my attention instantly. The title translates to the Raft Of Medusa so the dramatic symphonic arrangements mixed with the thunderous drums reminding of crashing waves is perfect. This is the first album where vocalist Marion Bascoul does clean vocals for the first time and there are at their best in this track. If you like what you hear in this track, I recommend checking them out.
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8. Ghost – Hunter’s Moon
I don’t know what it is about Hunter’s Moon by GHOST but the moment I started to listen to it, I couldn’t get enough. The melody is infectious and it sucks you in. This was written for Halloween Kills, the latest in the Halloween Franchise. With GHOST it’s Halloween everyday of the year and with this song, even more so. I have been getting into the Halloween franchise of late, that might explain my greater love for this song.
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7. Eoten – Die By The Sword
This song is a late addition as I have only discovered this recently and at the time of writing this, it’s been on loop for nearly a week. EOTEN became quick favourites when catching them at this year’s HRH Vikings; this was due to their fun stage presence and gallant melodies. They ended with their latest single Die By The Sword that was received greatly by the crowd, especially getting to chant the line “die by the sword” to the band. EOTEN are ones to watch out for and if this single doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.
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6. Epica – The Skeleton Key
EPICA’s album Omega was truly stunning and it reignited my love for the band. The song that grabbed my attention was The Skeleton Key for several reasons. It contains a stunning melody that makes your hair stand on end and it reminds of the early EPICA tunes that back to discovering EPICA in the first instance. In this track they get the balance of majestic beauty and sheer brutality spot on.
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5. Powerwolf – Blood For Blood (Faoladh)
POWERWOLF have a stellar reputation for delivering top notch albums. Call Of The Wild was great, for me this song stood out among the rest. I was drawn in from the moment I pressed play, that is definitely down to the bagpipes in the introduction. This has a similar vibe to Incense And Iron on their previous release but that’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t sound too similar that you can’t tell them apart.
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4. Beast In Black – One Night In Tokyo
BEAST IN BLACK’s Dark Connection was a great album however I personally prefer their previous releases. The moment I heard One Night In Tokyo I was completely transported and found myself playing it on loop. I have mentioned before my favourite decade for music is the eighties and One Night In Tokyo has some powerful, bold vibes the eighties were best known for. I love a good dance and rock out at the same time, this single is perfect for this.
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3. Majestica – Metal United
The COVID Pandemic had a devastating impact on live music, many tours and festivals being postponed and/or cancelled. MAJESTICA wrote a wonderful song showing appreciation for crew members, venue staff, promoters and those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to host tours and put on festivals. This uplifting song also gives a message of hope that things will be better in the future. As said in the song “raise your glass, raise up your fist for those who built your fancy stage”.
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NUMBER ONE: Angel Nation – Fly Away
Between album releases, ANGEL NATION released a beautiful single. A while ago, a long time supporter of the band approached vocalist Elina Siirala to ask if she would write a song dedicated to his son’s memory. This song sad, strong, delicate and joyful at the same time; the stunning music and poignant lyrics such as “Your smile, it’s invisible yet in my heart it’ll never die” work together so well to capture the feelings of grieving. The feelings of being sad they are no longer here yet feeling happy and honoured to have known them come across in the song. Like many others, I have experienced loss and at the time of writing this, one very recently; Fly Away provided important comfort and time to reflect when I have needed it.
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NUMBER ONE: Kissin’ Dynamite feat. Charlotte Wessells, Guernica Manchini and Saltio Mortis – Good Life
Even in the lowest points in my life, KISSIN’ DYNAMITE always manage to make feel better. This year, I had caught COVID and it made me feel absolutely rotten; I know I am not alone in this instance. It was the third day of isolating, I had seen that KISSIN’ DYNAMITE had released a new song to promote their upcoming release. Naturally I went to listen to it and low and behold, I felt happier. Even in my rona ridden state, KISSIN’ DYNAMITE still managed to make me smile and feel that bit better. This song is absolutely uplifting and powerful, even to this day it continues to help me feel better. The addition of Charlotte Wessells (ex-DELAIN), Guenica Mancini (THUNDERMOTHER) and SALTATIO MORTIS emphasise this stunning power. Proceeds for this song go to a children’s cancer charity in their home town.
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