It's hard to put this year into words, because while every year is a new year, no year has been like 2020, and likely no year will be so close to what it amounted to: resolute torture on the psyche, intellect, soul, and heart to degrees heretofore unimaginable.

Well, here we are, still alive, and not only alive, but alive with a podcast. And this episode of that podcast involves the heavy metal released this year -- specifically, the heavy metal we found most compelling and impactful for our own lives but also the lives of others in the scene.

Because what is heavy metal if it's not a truth to counter some of the falsehoods of the real world?

Who knows. But I do know this: I love talking about my favorite albums at the end of each year, as we all do. It's a time to share, come together, and enjoy not just the music but each other's passions for it, even if their passions are directed at specific bands and albums I find not as compelling, myself.

See, it's all good, and we benefit greatly from plurality in tastes. We hope, in this vein, that our year-end lists (coming very soon, and we have a few special surprises too) will have the breadth they need to impact as many readers as possible. The goal is to discover new perspectives and new music, and damn, year-end is always a great time to do just that.

See y'all on the other side -- we'll be back with tons more soon.

-- Andrew Rothmund

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