It’s been quite a year for many reasons and many of us find ourselves reaching the end of it and wondering what the hell happened. One minute, we are all diving around in the dust as the latest incarnation of death metal’s young dream launch a barrage of riffs from a glorious stage and then, the next, there is nothing but another empty bottle and the faint hope that going down to the shop could be a little more exciting than the last time you went down to the shop. Or the time before. Or the time before that.

There has, however, been a great deal of music released this year – and amongst it has been some extremely fine records. It has, yet again, been a meticulous job to whittle the releases down to ‘list’ sized chunks but, in time honoured tradition, we have poured over the nominations, obliterated ear drums, tossed coins and ended up with a double helping of what we consider is the best that 2020 has had to offer.

This year, we bring you two lists – firstly, we have the usual Flames Top 20 albums (and I still cannot believe that I couldn’t weave Testament amongst this lot – maybe their latest offering was just too good) and, secondly, we have Rebecca’s Top 10 UK black metal releases. Both make quite a hefty list, in our humble clobbering opinions.

All is revealed in the video below. Or, for those who are sick of watching other people put themselves on the world wide web and talking bollocks, you can read them in the comfort of your own head below and avoid the need to listen to us prattling on.


20. Wvrm – Colony Collapse (Prosthetic Records)

19. Blaze of Perdition – The Harrowing of Hearts (Metal Blade Records)

18. Subterraen – Rotten Human Kingdom (Transcending Obscurity Records)

17. Burial – Satanic Upheaval (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)

16. Thyrant – Katabasis (Indie Recordings)

15. Napalm Death – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (Century Media Records)

14. Naxen – Towards The Tomb of Times (Vendetta Records)

13. Atavist – III. Absolution (Candlelight Records)

12. Afsky – Ofte Jeg Drommer Mig Dod (Independent/Vendetta Records)

11. Old Corpse Road – On Ghastly Shores Lays The Wreckage of Our Lore (Trollzorn Records)

10. …And Oceans – Cosmic World Mother (Season of Mist)

9. Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment (Metal Blade Records)

8. Audn – Vokudraumsins Fangi (Season of Mist)

7. Crippled Black Phoenix – Ellengaest (Season of Mist)

6. Ulcerate – Stare Into Death and Be Still (Debemur Morti Productions)

5. Bait – Revelation of the Pure (Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions)

4. Countless Skies – Glow (Willowtip Records)

3. Aversio Humanitatis – Behold The Silent Dwellers (Debemur Morti Productions)

2. Gaerea – Limbo (Season of Mist)

1. Olhava – Ladoga (Independent/Avantgarde Music)


10. Ba’al – Ellipsism (Clobber Records)

9. Fellwarden – Wreathed in Mourncloud (Eisenwald)

8. Thy Dying Light – Thy Dying Light (Death Kvlt Productions)

7. The Infernal Sea – Negotium Crucis (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)

6. Shadowflag – In Asylum Requiem (Clobber Records)

5. Vegard – Bewitched by Moonlight Rituals (Death Kvlt Productions)

4. Devastator – Baptised In Blasphemy (Clobber Records)

3. Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight/Spinefarm Records)

2. Old Corpse Road – On Ghastly Shores Lays The Wreckage of Our Lore (Trollzorn Records)

1. Burial – Satanic Upheaval (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)

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