2020. Great eh? So great we couldn’t be arsed to post anything for the past 8 months…
Well, everything else obvious aside, we did come across some pretty seriously great music in 2020 so here’s a bit of a rundown of what we really enjoyed.
Buckle up and pin back your lugholes…
Kvelertak – Splid
Without a shadow of a doubt, this was our favourite album of the year – an hour of breakneck brilliance from Norway’s finest, It’s a shame that we didn’t get to see them in March, and that the rescheduled March ’21 shows have been put back to March ’22 but they’ll probably have another album out by then. Happy days to come!
Enjoy this piece of 100mph brilliance until then!
Elder – Omens
This became the soundtrack of our early morning May & June lockdown rural rambles which, one morning, included the unlikely highlight of a low-speed pursuit and chase of the intertwit team by a herd of cows.
Omens is an album full of instrumental brilliance drenched in melodic riffola. Here’s a good example…
Handle with care as this will attract bovines.
Jason Isbell – Reunions
Jason Isbell is quite simply the finest American songwriter alive today.
Intertwit.com is very very excited to have tickets for his gig in Amsterdam in Novenmber 2021
This one makes us tear up a bit…
Drive By Truckers – The Unraveling \ The New OK
The Truckers have been hacked off with things for a while now so rather than release an angry album about the feckin’ mess we’re in they released two.
Thoughts and Prayers is a prime piece of Patterson Hood from The Unraveling released back in February 2020.
…and The Unraveling is from The New OK released in November
Let’s hope they are able to tour again soon as “live” is the lifeblood of these guys.
Maebe – Maebe
Bandcamp is a fabulous resource for discovering new music and this where we came across Maebe – a guitar journalist we believe from Bristol. We think this might be post-rock or something modern like that. What it definitely is, is a chap who knows his way round a fretboard with a pretty marvellous ear for melody.
AC\DC – PWR Up
Seriously. What’s not to love about this. It made us happy this year.
Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou
Here’s a thing. Sublime, atmospheric, ice cool crystalline vocals across seriously heavy instrumentation. Beautiful, and crushing all at the same time.
Brutal ain’t it!
Enslaved – Utgard
We know that Kvelertak are Norway’s finest but actually so are Enslaved. This band continue to grow despite being nearly 30 years into their awesome career of black and prog metal.
All hail to Ragnarok and that sort of thing.
The Ocean – Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
Don’t ask us what this is all about. Really. Don’t.
Here’s the song titles:
Jurassic / Cretaceous” (featuring Jonas Renkse of Katatonia)
Palaeocene” (featuring Tomas Hallbom of Breach)
Miocene / Pliocene
It’s great though and this one has a bit of brass in it. Very good. Heavy, modern prog. Just our thang.
Joe Bonamassa – Royal Tea
Bit surprised we like this as while we’ve always found Joe to be a worthy and accomplished guitarist he’s never really set us alight in the way that someone like SRV did. His playing is always great but this album seems to have something a bit extra about it – maybe that’s the input of Bernie Marsden.
Good stuff and Lookout Man featured here has some menace about it.
Huntsmen – Mandala of Fear
This Chicago based mob are our find of the year and while many internet review sites seemed to think this album was a bit long and drawn we absolutely loved it. And it also contained our favourite track of the year in God Will Stop Trying. Have a listen, it’s flipping epic. The “drop” at 2:40 is just…gumph!
Check out the previous album American Scrap too.
Pallbearer – Forgotten Days
Doom Lords return. Pallbearer always deliver something special, heavy and rewarding. Listen to this 12 minutes of misery/joy depending on your outlook and mood. We always find a beautiful quality in this kind of desolation.
Other stuff we discovered in 2020
Trawling through Bandcamp and Youtube, intertwit.com finally embraced our inner goth via the crushing musical beauty of Chelsea Wolfe,
We love the way she nonchalantly clicks her pedal off in 6 inch platform heels at 5:58 – Chelsea is seriously and effortlessly cool. We have a goth crush. It’s official.
This vid is from the Audiotree Far Out series which has some seriously great performances post rock\metal from a whole host of bands. Check out these Deafheaven, Russian Circles, Emma Ruth Rundle & Pallbearer sets if you don’t believe us.
Well there you go.