1) Dexter Ward – The Dragon of the Mist
»The Dragon of the Mist« contains the best chorus I’ve heard in years, no f***ing doubt about it. A perfectly crafted, majestic track that demonstrates the greatness of Epic Metal. You want to raise your fist, grab your sword and behead your enemy over and over again. In summary, I think your neighbours should know the everlasting glory of »The Dragon of the Mist«, too, turn up the volume! All men play on ten!
2) Possessed Steel – Skeleton King
The best track of the best Epic Metal album of the year. The four Canadians praise bands such as Solstice in their sublime New Dark Age-era. A haunting atmosphere and an adorable chorus. All in all, Possessed Steel have grown and evolved from release to release. The future belongs to them, without doubt. I am in awe!
3) Dexter Ward – In the Days of Epic Metal
That’s definitely one of the most epic song titles this year. Italian vocalist Marco Concoreggi shows a peak performance, but, at this point, I have to mention those memorable riffs, too. A vigorous Epic Heavy Metal masterpiece which is truly addictive. You want to conquer at least six countries – right now!
4) Megaton Sword – Blood hails Steel – Steel hails Fire
Amazing song title – and it fits perfectly. Just to make one thing clear: You shouldn’t be scared of clichés – but, in all honesty, if you don’t appreciate such stuff, you’re visiting the wrong blog right now. »Blood hails Steel – Steel hails Fire«, by the way: I love to type these words, is a powerful track which deserves the label »best opener 2020«.
5) Lord Vigo – Memento Mori
The Germans are able to compose unforgettable and unique Epic Doom/Heavy Metal songs. Especially the highly emotional guitar melodies are stunning. This outfit deserves much more attention abroad. Check them out, their discography is flawless.
6) Possessed Steel – Spellblade
Top-notch songwriting – the anthem worthy vocal lines are simply outstanding. Besides, the passionate lead guitars are simply breathtaking. It is obvious that the band has worked very hard to reach such a high level.
7) Greyhawk – Halls of Insanity
An Epic Heavy Metal number with an extremely catchy chorus which you’ll never forget. If you want to make a crowd sing along like madmen, you have to compose tracks like this one. Hopefully, we’re able to see those guys in Germany at festival like Keep it True, Hammer and Iron or Hell over Hammaburg very soon.
8) Cirith Ungol – Legions arise
»Legions arise« is a quite simple and straight number with a chorus which reminds me of a fierce battle cry. It marks the comeback of one of the most important and best Epic Metal bands of all time. The song gives a lot of energy – and it will undoubtedly be a blast live on stage,
9) Kramp – Preserved in Time
In my opinion, Kramp are one of the most exciting newcomers this year. Especially »Preserved in Time« is an excellent Epic Metal track in all regards. The passionate guitarwork, which invites you to dream of a mythical world, is impressive – and Mina is a charismatic singer. Her vocal lines are quite unique and one of the greatest strengths of these young Spaniards.
10) Crystal Skull – Die by my Axe
If you go for vigorous Power Metal with catchy choruses and a slightly epic touch, you’ll definitely adore Crystal Skull from Italy. At this stage, I could name almost every single track on Claudio’s stunning debut Ancient Tales, they are all great in their own right. But, after much back and forth, I choose the rather simple »Die by my Axe« – the twin guitar melodies are really epic, the powerful riffs are a resolute call to battle and the chorus lets you raise your fists.
1) Fer de Lance – City in the Sea
I immediately knew this would be my song of the year when I heard it for the first time. It’s an atmospheric storm consuming you immediately, bursting out with agony, desperation and sorrow. The Canadian three-piece, without a doubt, has the genius of legends like Atlantean Kodex, Bathory or DoomSword. The thoughtful melody blends in beautifully with MP’s vocals, which were predestined by a higher power to recite the lyrics, that are based on a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. The choirs were implemented perfectly as well, creating an endless depth revealing primordial energy. »City in the Sea« is the answer to my escapist dream, the romanticised imagination of a long forgotten age, the purest fulfilment…
2) Possessed Steel – Spellblade
This song simply has it all: catchiness, an epic atmosphere as well as spellbinding lyrics. Talon Sullivan’s great vocals add a unique and emotional touch to it and in contrast to my mate Blaze Breeg I would say that »Spellblade« has the best chorus of the year! (You may say this, my friend./BB)
3) Atom Smasher – There Lives a Beast within this Cave
The German duo Atom Smasher is a surprise nobody expected. Due to their playfulness and varying cranky style they manage to tell a thrilling story while conveying tons of different emotions. As this song contains so many amazing different melodies and styles, it’s an epic adventure I can only recommend!
4) Possessed Steel – Assault on the Twilight Keep
With this song the Canadian newcomers Possessed Steel manage to fully convey the mystical epicness of nature in an energizing and very engrossing manner.
5) Solitary Sabred – The Scarlet Citadel (Chronicles of the Barbarian King, Pt.I)
By putting hymnic epicness into a progressive operatic structure Solitary Sabred from Cyprus revive memories of Virgin Steele’s golden days! In addition, Petros »Asgardlord« Leptos delivers THE vocal performance of the year!
6) Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron
Manowar claims to make »speakers explode«. Well, if a band does that, it must be Eternal Champion with the powerful title track of their highly anticipated second album. It’s an exploding synergy of energy, epicness and pure power. I can’t wait to experience this song live!
7) Romuvos – The Baltic Crusade
With this sentimental, melancholic, and very emotional ballad, depicting the sorrow the Teutonic Order brought to the Baltic states, the Lithuanian band Romuvos pays homage to Epic Folk Metal acts like Falkenbach or Bathory. At the latest with this song, they have proven that they are worthy!
8) Old Mother Hell – Betrayal at the Sea
A battle does not always come with glory. Often it is accompanied by loss, sorrow, chagrin, and desperation. The German three-piece Old Mother Hell managed to incorporate all these emotions into a beautiful, very gripping and moving song. The only vocalist I know, who could transmit these emotions just as well was Warrel Dane… His legacy is in good hands!
9) Crystal Skull – Land of the Dead
When first listening to the debut album of the Italian one-man project Crystal Skull it was as if I was struck by a lightning. After a really fitting intro the fast and aggressive guitars started pounding like a hammer and when the melodious polyphonic vocals started I simply had no other choice than to sing along and raise my fist to the sky!
10) Dexter Ward – The Demonslayer
Having been fatally wounded in battle a warrior experiences a last burst of strength. Same with the finisher of Dexter Ward’s amazing record III. This song combines all their epic elements, various changes of pace and an absolutely bombastic ending.
in no particular order…
Stallion – Die With Me
It’s more NWoTHM than Epic Metal but I have to mention it in my top songs of this year. A half-ballad Stallion-style. Great melodies paired with unique singing and very intense lyrics. Never expected a song like this from those Bavarian guys, so this mention is well deserved.
Dark Forest – Wayfarer’s Eve
Somewhere between Power and Epic Metal. Really awesome lyrics about new beginnings and the desire to start something great. Wrapped in a positive and motivating sound-robe.
Terra Atlantica – Forces of the Oceans, Unite!
Some would say »this is simply Power Metal, it has nothing to do with epic!« but I say YES, IT DOES! This may not be the typical »Sword-bearing-and-Axe-swining Epic Metal« but it tells the story of a big war in another way! The war of the Atlantic Forces against the British Empire during the early 19th century. Epic orchestrations and choirs inclusive!
Eternal Champion – A Face in the Glare
Finally the Champion is back after four long years! The opener of the new album is a pure banger with all their trademarks!
Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron
The title track of the new album! Groundbreaking Epic Metal-Sound! This is my album of the year!
Possessed Steel – Spellblade
One of the surprises of 2020. I’ve never heard of these guy before but with THIS song, I instantly fell in love with their music! Pure magic!
Cirith Ungol – The Frost Monstreme
One of the riffs of the year! Cirith Ungol are back and this is my highlight song of the new album!
Throne of Iron – The Fourth Battle of the Ash Plains
»Roll for initiative…..*dices are rolling*…… FUCK!« This song is simply fun and epic at the same time! It delivers a great chorus and some neckbreaking riffs!
Kramp – Speed of Light
Love at first spin. Mina’s voice, the melody that slays its way inside of your head and outstanding guitarwork.
Sacred Outcry – Legion of the Fallen
Mighty midtempo banger by this Greek band with Yannis Papadopoulos (Beast In Black) on guest vocals! Pump your fist and shake your heads! Straight outta Epic/Power Metal-nowhere.