Tuonela Magazine’s Annual Staff Picks: Bear Wiseman’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 our editor, Bear Wiseman.

The second decade of the new millennium was headed off by nothing short of the most unusual year in recent memory. 2020 was certainly not what anyone expected and the coronavirus was only a part of it. If there was a silver lining to the experience, we certainly got to spend a lot of time listening to new albums to make up for the lack of shows, and live streams were an interesting addition to the ways we experience our music. The newfound freedom and interest in trying out new music led to some surprising new finds. Here are a few of my picks for this year!

Top 10 International albums

10. Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut
9. Robbie Krieger – The Ritual Begins at Sundown
8. Amaranthe – Manifest
7. Oceans of Slumber – Oceans of Slumber
6. Lucifer – Lucifer III
5. Ayreon – Transitus
4. Wilderun – Veil of Imagination
3. Cory Marks – Who I Am
2. Ozric Tentacles – Space for the Earth
1. Unleash the Archers – Abyss

Read more: REVIEW: Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut, REVIEW: Amaranthe – Manifest, Interview with Amaranthe, REVIEW: Oceans of Slumber – Oceans of Slumber, Interview with Oceans of Slumber, REVIEW: Lucifer – Lucifer III, Interview with Lucifer, REVIEW: Ayreon – Transitus , Interview with Ayreon, REVIEW: Wilderun – Veil of Imagination, Interview with Wilderun, REVIEW: Cory Marks – Who I Am, Interview with Cory Marks, REVIEW: Unleash the Archers – Abyss, Interview with Unleash the Archers

Top 10 Finnish albums

10. From Grotto & Nilo Takalainen – Noita (original soundtrack vol. 2)
9. Onségen Ensemble – Fear
8. Oceanhoarse – The Damage is Done – LIVE!
7. Marko Hietala – Pyre of the Black Heart
6. Blind Channel – Violent Pop
5. Lost Society – No Absolution
4. Ensiferum – Thalassic
3. Smackbound – 20/20
2. Nightwish – Human. :||: Nature.
1. Altamullan Road – Altamullan Road

Read more: REVIEW: From Grotto & Niilo Takalainen – Noita: (Official Soundtrack), vol. 2 , REVIEW: Onsegén Ensemble – Fear, REVIEW: Oceanhoarse – The Damage is Done – Live!, REVIEW: Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart, Interview with Marko Hietala, REVIEW: Blind Channel – Violent Pop, REVIEW: Lost Society – No Absolution, Interview with Lost Society, REVIEW: Ensiferum – Thalassic, Interview with Ensiferum, REVIEW: Smackbound – 20/20, Interview with Smackbound, REVIEW: Nightwish – HUMAN. :II: NATURE., Interview with Nightwish

Top 3 EPs

3. Soilwork – A Whisp of the Atlantic
2. The Georgia Thunderbolts – The Georgia Thunderbolts
1. Shiraz Lane – Vibration I

Read more: REVIEW: Soilwork – EP A Whisp of the Atlantic, REVIEW: The Georgia Thunderbolts – EP: The Georgia Thunderbolts (Musicalypse Archive), REVIEW: Shiraz Lane – EP Vibration I, Interview with Shiraz Lane

Best livestream concert

Lost Society at Kaapelitehdas in Helsinki

Read more: 21.5.2020 Lost Society @ Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki

Most promising act

Shereign (or True Cult Club)

Read more: FEATURED SINGLE: Shereign – Losing Sight, FEATURED SINGLE: True Cult Club – Saeed (Infected Mushroom cover), 26.8.2020 True Cult Club @ On The Rocks, Helsinki, Interview with True Cult Club

Top 5 music videos

5. Finntroll – “Forsen”

4. Smackbound – “The Game”

3. Altamullan Road – “Underwater”

2. Ember Falls – “We Are Become Fire”

1. Nightwish – “Noise”

Top 5 lyric videos

5. Altamullan Road – “When it’s Time”

4. True Cult Club – “Empty Alley”

3. Altamullan Road – “Interstellar Friends”

2. Frosttide – We Will Be Gone

1. Ember Falls – The World is Burning

Top 5 international songs

5. Ayreon – “Listen to My Story”
4. Cory Marks – “She’s Hollywood” (or pretty much anything off his debut)
3. Kansas – “The Song the River Sang”
2. Ozric Tentacles – “Humbolt Currant”
1. Unleash the Archers – anything off Abyss (examples: the title track, “Soulbound,” “Carry the Flame,” “The Wind that Shapes the Land,” “Afterlife”)

Read more: REVIEW: Ayreon – Transitus, Interview with Ayreon, REVIEW: Cory Marks – Who I Am, REVIEW: Kansas – The Absence of Presence, Interview with Kansas, REVIEW: Unleash the Archers – Abyss, Interview with Unleash the Archers

Top 5 Finnish songs

5. Smackbound – “Hey Motherfuckers”
4. Finntroll – “Ylaren”
3. Nightwish – “All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World”
2. Ember Falls – “The World is Burning” & “We Are Become Fire”
1. Altamullan Road – anything off their self-titled debut (examples: “When it’s Time,” “Song of the Lark,” “Underwater,” “Interstellar Friends,” “The Merry Scallywag”)

Read more: REVIEW: Smackbound – 20/20, Interview with Smackbound, REVIEW: Finntroll – Vredesvavd, Interview with Finntroll, FEATURED SINGLE: Ember Falls – The World is Burning, REVIEW: Altamullan Road – Altamullan Road, Interview with Altamullan Road

Top 5 best last-minute songs

5. Psychework – “Enemy Inside the Wire”
4. The Hu – “Sad but True” (Metallica cover)
3. Anneke van Giersbergen – “The Promise”
2. Wheel – “Movement”
1. Arion – “Bloodline” ft. Noora Louhimo

Top 5 cover art

5. Caligula’s Horse – Raise Radiant

4. Altamullan Road – Altamullan Road

3. From Grotto & Niilo Takalainen – Noita (original soundtrack, vol. 2)

2. Oceans of Slumber – Oceans of Slumber

  1. Finntroll – Vredesvavd

Best collaboration

Arion ft. Noora Louhimo – “Bloodline”

Read more:

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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