Tuonela Magazine’s Annual Staff Picks: Andrea’s Edition


Now that the year 2020 is coming to a close, we at Tuonela Magazine, want to share what releases we enjoyed the most. Each of our staff members will share their own lists, here is the list of Andrea Crow.

It’s that time of the year again, when we try to sort out through the plethora of music that was released since January and pick, classify, and categorize the albums, EPs, songs, and videos that we have enjoyed the most. Never an easy process, but, let’s face it, we listened to some stuff more than others, we replayed videos, sang-along to songs even at home, learned whole choruses/verses by heart, and some lyrics just resonated with us on a deeper level.

As always I was most surprised by the newcomers, as releases from PARALYDIUM, ILLUMISHADE, I AM YOUR GOD, BALANCE BREACH, and AD INFINITUM rocked my year, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for these talented artists. However, the release that came as an unexpected, but totally welcomed surprise was Ville Valo’s solo project, VV, and his EP, “Gothica Fennica vol 1,” released in late March. As far as live streams go, I have really enjoyed APOCALYPTICA rocking at Tuska Utopia, EVERGREY’s live from Pustervik Theater, and Illumishade’s album release show. The whole Together at Home set of acoustic performances were the highlight of the spring quarantine, with artists passing on the mic to each other and just having fun in their homes. POETS OF THE FALL releasing superbly done acoustic renditions of their songs on a monthly basis, from “King of Fools” all the way to “Carnival of Rust,” under the title Alexander Theater Sessions, represented a steady highlight throughout the year.

Top 10 International albums

10. Ad Infinitum – Chapter 1: Monarchy
9. Oceans of Slumber – Oceans of Slumber
8. Jinjer – Alive in Melbourne
7. Draconian – Under a Godless Veil
6. Ayreon – Electric Castle Live and Other Tales
5. Illumishade – Eclyptic: Wake of Shadows
4. Katatonia – City Burials
3. Amaranthe – Manifest
2. Dark Tranquillity – Moment
1. Dynazty – The Dark Delight

Read more: REVIEW: Ad Infinitum – Chapter I: Monarchy, REVIEW: Oceans of Slumber – Oceans of Slumber, Interview with Oceans of Slumber, REVIEW: Jinjer – Alive in Melbourne, REVIEW: Draconian – Under a Godless Veil, REVIEW: Illumishade – Eclyptic: Wake of Shadows, 23.05.2020 Illumishade: Streamed Live from the Stage @ Private Venue, Switzerland, My Quarantine Albums, REVIEW: Katatonia – City Burials, REVIEW: Amaranthe – Manifest, Interview with Amaranthe, REVIEW: Dark Tranquillity – Moment, REVIEW: Dynazty – The Dark DelightInterview with Dynazty

Top 10 Finnish albums

10. One Desire – Midnight Empire
9. Dark Sarah – Grim
8. Smackbound – 20/20
7. Brother Firetribe – Feel the Burn
6. J. P. Leppäluoto – Piilevää Pimeää
5. Silentium – Motiva
4. I am your God – The Resurrection
3. Balance Breach – Dead End Diaries
2. Ensiferum – Thalassic
1. Apocalyptica – Cell-0

Read more: REVIEW: One Desire – Midnight Empire, Interview with One Desire, REVIEW: Dark Sarah – Grim, Interview with Dark Sarah , REVIEW: Smackbound – 20/20, Interview with Smackbound, REVIEW: Brother Firetribe – Feel The Burn, Interview with Brother Firetribe, REVIEW: Silentium – Motiva, Interview with Silentium, REVIEW: I Am Your God – The Resurrection, Interview with I Am Your God, REVIEW: Balance Breach – Dead End Diaries, Interview with Balance Breach, REVIEW: Ensiferum – Thalassic, Interview with Ensiferum, REVIEW: Apocalyptica – Cell-0, Interview with Apocalyptica

Top 3 EPs

3. Halestorm – Reimagined
2. Hinayana – Death of the Cosmic
1. VV – Gothica Fennica vol. 1

Read more: REVIEW: Hinayana – EP Death of the Cosmic, REVIEW: VV – Gothica Fennica Vol. 1

Best livestream concert

Apocalyptica @ Tuska Utopia

Read more: 27.11.2020 Tuska Utopia #3: Apocalyptica @ Pälkäneen rauniokirkko, Pälkäne

Most promising act

Balance Breach

Read more: REVIEW: Balance Breach – Dead End Diaries, Interview with Balance Breach

Top 5 music videos

5. Within Temptation – Entertain You

4. Corey Taylor – Black Eyes Blue

3. Amaranthe – Archangel

2. The Agonist – Orphans

1. Epica – Freedom – The Wolves Within

Top 5 lyric videos

5. Ensiferum – For Sirens

4. Black Fate – Nemesis

3. Oceans of Slumber – Pray for Fire

2. Paradise Lost – Ghosts

1. Dynazty – Heartless Madness

Top 5 international songs

5. The HU ft. Lzzy Hale – Song of Women 
4. Black Sun – Resist
3. Smith & Myers – Not Mad Enough
2. System of a Down – Protect the Land
1. Shinedown – Atlas Falls

Top 5 Finnish songs

5. I am Your God – Believe Again
4. Balance Breach – November
3. Ensiferum – Andromeda
2. Apocalyptica – Call My Name
1. VV – Run Away from the Sun

Read more: Interview with I Am Your God, REVIEW: I Am Your God – The Resurrection, REVIEW: Balance Breach – Dead End Diaries, Interview with Balance Breach, REVIEW: Ensiferum – Thalassic, Interview with Ensiferum , REVIEW: Apocalyptica – Cell-0, Interview with Apocalyptica

Top 5 best last-minute songs

5. Lake of Tears – At the destination

4. Silent Skies – Here comes the rain again

3. Moonspell – Common Prayers

2. Evergrey – Forever Outsider

  1. Soen – Monarch

Top 5 cover art

5. Conception – State of Deception

4. Apocalyptica – Cell-0

3. Damnation Angels – Fiber of Our Being

2. Draconian – Under a Godless Veil

  1. Oceans of Slumber – Oceans of Slumber

Best collaboration

Corey Taylor – CMFT Must Be Stopped (ft. Tech N9ne & Kid Bookie)

Top 5 most anticipated releases of 2021

5. Lake of Tears – Ominous (February 19)
4. Moonspell – Hermitage (February 26)
3. Evergrey – Escape of the Phoenix (February 26)
2. Soen – Imperial (January 29)
1. Epica – Omega (February 26)

Want to share your lists with us? Comment below with your lists.

The whole Tuonela Magazine team wishes you an inspirational 2021 filled with a lot of new music to discover. We hope to see you back next year!

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