Release date: October 23, 2020
Origin: Little Rock, Arkansas
Personnel: Brett Campbell-vox/guitar, Devin Holt-guitar, Joseph D. Rowland-bass/vox, Mark Lierly-drums
Well, here we are again. 2020’s Golden Flip Flop award for the best metal album goes to Arkansas’ Pallbearer. The competition really came down to Pallbearer and All Them Witches this year. While All Them Witches’ album provided instantaneous gratification, Pallbearer’s is a little more nuanced. This may not be an album you necessarily “get” on a first pass. However, I’ve found that each listen bring out something new to discover and enjoy. I think that ultimately that’s what pushed this album to the top spot. At first glance, you are belted by the grandiosity of the fuzzed out doom riffs. But the magic of this album lies within it’s little subtleties. Brett Campbell is just a master at providing a beautiful melodic counterpoint to the massive riffs with his downright angelic voice. The combination of the two contrasting sounds just brings this album to a magical level. The band has also managed to cut away some of the fat found in some of their earlier releases and the result is more compact and forceful songs. This is a special one and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I have. It’s a nice album for a particularly shitty year.
Have a lovely New Year’s this evening. Here’s to hoping that 2021 will end up being a little nicer than 2020. It probably won’t be, but here’s to hoping.
5 flip flops out of 5
If you’re into this sort of thing, here’s a link to a Spotify playlist featuring the highlights from this year’s list. Enjoy!
The final list:
1. Pallbearer-Forgotten Days
2. All Them Witches-Nothing As the Ideal
3. Intronaut-Fluid Existential Inversions
5. Paradise Lost-Obsidian
6. Blues Pills-Holy Moly!
7. Armored Saint-Punching the Sky
8. Huntsmen-Mandala of Fear
9. Black Crown Initiate-Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape
11. Fake Names-Fake Names
13. King Buffalo-Dead Star
14. Sylosis-Cycle of Suffering
15. Kirk Windstein-Dream in Motion
16. Oranssi Pazuzu-Mestarin Kynsi
17. Forming the Void-Reverie
18. Lamb of God-Lamb of God
19. Demons and Wizards-III
20. Killer Be Killed-Reluctant Hero