Five Albums That Were A Comfort in 2020
Do you have that one particular book or TV show or record that you go back to constantly? When you're bored or sad or need to just sit with something familiar for a while to bring back some sembalnce of balance and calm to your day?
2020, or as it shall henceforth be known, The Fuckest Uppest (or TFU for short), brought many moments where something comforting - a known entity - was needed in order to bring a little slither of light into the harsh reality that most of us were living in.
Below are five such albums that, for me personally, allowed some hope into the darkness and were - outside of my top 5 albums of the year - some of my most listened to albums in 2020.
Venter på stormene
I was lucky enough to see Vemod in London in February and their record Venter på stormene from 2012 is still in constant rotation for me.
The combination of atmospheric black metal, beautiful synths and vocals that strike deep makes for an album that is as stunning on the hundredth listen as it is on the first. It is magical.
The Angelic Process
Weighing Souls With Sand
Weighing Souls With Sand remains one of the most affecting albums ever made, even more so once you delve into the history of the band and the death of guitarist Kris Angylus shortly after the album was released.
Distilling its genre down to one easy description is difficult as it encompasses drone and doom, metal and over-driven effects. It's heavy in ways that you don't expect and heartbreaking at its most destructive.
When things are overwhelming you might need a vibrant pick-me-up and VNV Nation are a band who fit that bill all too well. Their brand of EBM focuses on hope and euphoria and the songs on Empires surge with desire for change.
The tracks here are so good that VNV Nation still include many of them in their live set, which is as close to ascension as you'll ever get.
Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
This is by far, Dimmu Borgir's best record (although their catlaogue is pretty strong overall, but that's another discussion) and Enthrone Darkness Triumphant is the Norwegian band enjoying the heck out of themselves while also creating a fun, dark black metal album that has synths for days and lyrics that are kinda funny when you look back.
Still, Dimmu Borgir are masters of this kind of symphonic, satanic black metal and to be honest, I wouldn't change them for the world.
LowCityRain released this in 2013 and have been somewhat quiet since. Founder Markus Siegenhort is in several other projects but this post-punk, gothwave record is a highlight of his catalogue, not least for the track "Nightshift" which features Soror Dolorosa's Andy Julia on lead vocals and is wonderuflly catchy.
When you're thinking of curling up under a blanket on a rainy day, holding a hot cup of tea, this is the record to soundtrack that.