At the end of last year, you saw lists from Invisible Oranges staff members ranking their favorites of 2020, and to be sure, it's a diverse selection. In total, we've had nine best-of lists (plus a kickass grind-packed list from Ripped to Shreds' Andrew Lee, but we're sticking only to IO staff for the purposes of this ranking). At 20 picks per list, there were 180 slots and we ended up with 145 unique albums. That means, of course, that there was some overlap and some clear favorites -- so, using the ranking system laid out in previous years, here's Invisible Oranges' top eleven records (since there was a tie for the #10 spot) of 2020:

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1. SwevenThe Eternal Resonance (score of 61, appears on 4 lists)
2. Cirith UngolForever Black (score of 53, appears on 3 lists)
3. Napalm DeathThroes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (score of 44, appears on 3 lists)
4. HumInlet (score of 40, appears on 2 lists)
5. Lamp of Murmuur Heir of Ecliptical Romanticism (score of 36, appears on 3 lists)
6. MalokarpatanKrupinské Ohne (score of 33, appears on 2 lists)
7. HuntsmenMandala of Fear (score of 30, appears on 2 lists)
8. Emma Ruth Rundle & ThouMay Our Chambers Be Full (score of 28, appears on 2 lists)
9. NecrotMortal (score of 27, appears on 5 lists)
10. HavukruunuUinuos Syömein Sota | Blue Öyster CultThe Symbol Remains (score of 26, appear on 2 lists)

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Note: Score is calculated by adding up the "inverse" of the position of each list appearance -- a #1 spot is worth 20 points, while a #20 spot is worth 1 point.

There's certainly some flaws possible with a linear scoring model, but we're not here to assess polling error or weighting models, we're here to listen to metal. And that goal, going by the diversity of our picks, has been accomplished.

Plenty of these records are long-awaited comebacks: Cirith Ungol returned after 29 years dormant (not counting the single), Hum after 22 years, and Blue Öyster Cult after just under two decades. Plus, Sweven's The Eternal Resonance is somewhat of a continuation for Robert Andersson, picking up where Morbus Chron's last full-length left off in name and sensibility. We're all used to reunions and comebacks falling flat on their face, I suppose, so in a year where failure and disappointment were pretty much always the daily special, we celebrated resounding successes like those with due credit.

New blood made its mark on the year, too: Lamp of Murmuur's full-length debut, hyped to an impossible degree, stood its ground and proved its lo-fi aesthetic was only in service to -- and not in place of -- quality black metal.

The rest of the top albums, as you'll find in our year-end lists, have plenty of valid reasons for their lofty perches and are solid options for your 2021 listening needs. Have a different opinion? We'd love to know in the comments.

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Check out Invisible Oranges' curated collection on the BrooklynVegan shop.