Noizze Presents: The Top 50 Albums Of 2020 - Part Two

Photo: Kieran Gallop

We're going into the big leagues now. Following on from the first part of our albums of the year feature, we're now into the second instalment, counting down from 25 to 11. If you're yet to read the first part of the list, you can catch it here!

25: Touché Amoré - Lament (Epitaph)

Touché Amoré’s sixth album sees the L.A. band continue to refine their unique brand of brittle and impassioned post-hardcore. A work of deep emotional intelligence, driven by vocalist Jeremy Bolm’s poetic and soulful heart, it proves that Touché Amoré are a band for the ages, one of remarkable consistency and life-saving potential. - Tom Morgan


Pengshui struck out with a strong contender for one of the most kickass debut records, with their raucous blend of grime-punk energy, this is a band primed and set to demolish any venue they step foot in. From the scorching hot 'Wickedest Ones' to the playful swagger of 'No Joke', to overlook this record would be criminal. - Elliot Grimmie

23: Haggard Cat - Common Sense Holiday (Earache)

The Nottingham duo pull on many of their musical influences from Queens Of The Stone Age to Future of the Left to produce an unrelenting, rifftastic, groove ridden, ear-splitting album. They have successfully moved in a different direction from their days in Heck to write heavy singalong tunes like ‘European Hardware’. Pure rock n' roll bangers from start to finish. - Adam Vallely

22: Oceans Of Slumber - Oceans Of Slumber (Century Media)

A gravitational pull of a prog record that transports the listener into a vast world of texture, darkness and beauty. Incredibly special, with a vocal performance for the ages from Cammie Gilbert. Highlights include 'Pray For Fire' and the ethereal 'To The Sea', aptly dishing the bands seamless juxtaposition of pop sensibility and progressive principle. - Sam Evan

21: Polaris - The Death Of Me (Sharptone)

The Death Of Me lifts Polaris out of the potential bracket and leaves them at the forefront of modern metalcore. Lead single 'Masochist' will fill floors and break jaws. In a genre riddled with mediocrity, Polaris are in the upper echelons. - Kris Pugh

20: GroundCulture - How Well Do You Know Yourself? (Hopeless)

GroundCulture, one of Newcastle's finest musical exports, released their debut record to immense critical acclaim earlier this year, laden with gnarly riffs, pounding drums and infectious basslines, How Well Do You Really Know Yourself? is banger after banger for the entirety of its runtime. We strongly recommend you do not sleep on this band, this record will knock your bloody socks off! - Elliot Grimmie

19: Dream Nails - Dream Nails (Alcopop)

Whilst the queer punk witches have been bubbling upon the surface for a few years now, it was 2020 that saw Dream Nails blast into the spotlight of the national scene with their bombastic debut long play. Riotous and righteous, the record saw the London feminist troupe address the anger and fury paramount within society with infectious joy. A combative swipe at those who oppress queer culture and an open invitation for all to join them, whilst modern mainstream punk has become deluged with toxic masculinity, Dream Nails are leading the crucial counterattack with this brilliant mission statement of a record. - Dan Hillier

18: Boston Manor - GLUE (Pure Noise)

Boston Manor made it very clear with their latest impassioned instalment to their discography, that the act of veracity and the pursuit of positive change has become an astounding, addictive and transformative shockwave unlike any other we’ve seen from the Blackpool punk rockers. With their Pop Punk roots maturing gracefully into this imposing creation, the tracks' hold on the human psyche is wrapped in a powerful yet strange duality of intense hostility and heartbreaking fragility, especially from the 3rd and 5th singles ‘On A High Ledge’ and ‘Plasticine Dreams’. GLUE represents a new generation's catchy yet extremely punchy call to arms, ready and waiting to offer a ride on the wild side for any alternative rocker who's tired of the corruption, injustice and inequality we bear witness to each and every day. - Bennie Osbourne

17: Mountain Caller - Chronicle I: The Truthseeker (New Heavy Sounds)

It's not uncommon to hear people complaining about a lack of originality, diversity and ingenuity within modern post-metal and its related scenes. However, all those still publicly airing such complaints are yet to hear this record. The debut from post-metal newcomers Mountain Caller, Chronicle I is an utter triumph that implements stylistics from a plethora of genres to narrate an Odyssean adventure based upon feminism and the issues surrounding womxn today. Incorporating the hypnotic mantras of Sleep, the swirling malevolence of Neurosis and the progression of Russian Circles, whilst one can compare this record to a near endless amount of contemporaries, Chronicle I: The Truthseeker is utterly unique in scope and is set to usher in a new golden age of modern instrumental dynamism and storytelling - Dan Hillier

16: The Ocean - Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic (Pelagic)

German heavyweights The Ocean have done a splendid job of narrating the Earth’s geological history, with Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic being the conclusion of this spectacular anthology. This album is one of their most diverse offerings to date, featuring crushingly heavy prog metal on songs like Jurassic | Cretaceous, devastatingly cold black metal on songs like Pleistocene and brooding dark rock numbers like the closing track Holocene. The album is as unhinged and unpredictable as the climatic changes it talks about, and upon finishing the album, one can only be left feeling excited about what this band will release next. - Giacomo Fiderio

15: Napalm Death - Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism (Century Media)

Even after just under four decades and 16 full lengths, it appears Napalm Death are still just getting better with the passing of the ages. Channelled with bile and venomous articulation that sets them apart from their fellow grindcore collectives, Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism is a scalping, blistering onslaught of metallic extremity that's as uncompromising as it is crucially required. With this record ensuring their longevity, Napalm Death are crucial icons within UK metal and genuine national treasures still providing inspiration even after all these years. - Dan Hillier

14: Orchards - Lovecore (Big Scary Monsters)

With a year full of demoralising lows and woes, it was records like Lovecore that helped us through in one piece. The debut full length from Brighton math-pop unit Orchards, whilst the record was released just as the world slid into total despair, it was one showed the life affirming power of left field experimental pop. Shivering with personality, creativity, hooks and sugar laced harmonies, whilst the year just gone was unquestionably horrid, it’s almost nightmarish to think of a version of 2020 where this record didn’t exist to bring light and joy. We still have a long way to go before we reach relative normality, but the thought of seeing and hearing this record in the summer sun is one that keeps us going. - Dan Hillier

13: Pallbearer - Forgotten Days (Nuclear Blast)

Pallbearer craft monolithic slabs of doom shot through with a healthy dose of 70s prog and an ear for melody that stands them head and shoulders above their peers. Forgotten Days is sheer musical catharsis that hearkens back to their earlier works while still pushing their sound further. They’ve never been just a doom band; their myriad influences and frankly astounding songwriting nous has always resulted in songs that are heavy without oppressing, forlorn but enthralling in their beauty and mournfulness. Forgotten Days makes clear that Pallbearer are still refining and exploring their sound and is by far their finest work to date and one of the finest albums of this year. - Will Marshall

12: Protest The Hero - Palimpsest (Spinefarm)

Arriving four years after Pacific Myth and a whole seven after their last full length, Palimpsest is a wildly successful return to form. The band sound reinvigorated, brimming with confidence and it’s clear this is a labour of love, constructed with incredible attention to detail from song sequencing to fill placement. The storytelling is gorgeously written as always, dissecting topics such as colonialism, injustice and nationalism through insightful, incisive lyrics. It successfully builds on the punky, proggy foundations of their earlier works, marrying them up with newer influences and lessons learned along the way to make a triumphant return to form. - Will Marshall

11: Sylosis - Cycle Of Suffering (Nuclear Blast)

A band returning from hiatus is always an event, but a band returning with a song as strong as I Sever is something special indeed. Easily one of the strongest songs they've ever penned, it merely hinted at the incredible return awaiting fans with Cycle of Suffering. Melding titanic, crushing grooves with an ear for hooks, this was an album that took an already excellent band and propelled them to the forefront of the scene once more, like they'd never left. Make no mistake - Sylosis are back, and they’re here to slay. - Will Marshall


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