Welcome to instalment number thirteen of my 2020 ‘Album of the Year Top 30 countdown’.
In my world, the number 13 is lucky, and so it has proved again, because I’m able to bring you a really great record today that’s fully deserving of their spot in the limelight. Intrigued? Scroll down.
But, before you do, please allow me to issue the usual reminder to check out the links at the bottom of the post to find out who made the cut, from 30 down to 19, as well as my lists from previous years too.
Dawn Of Ouroboros
The Art Of Morphology
Rain Without End Records
Score Of Much Metal: 94%
I’m delighted to be able to find a space in my top 30 for this gem of a record, because once again, it homes in on some of the more important reasons for this website existing in the first place. ‘The Art Of Morphology’ is a debut release, it is original, and the band are yet to be signed with one of the ‘usual suspect’ record labels. As a result, here’s a band in need of some exposure, and some love, because they have created something rather incredible without notoriety or cash behind them.
I’m still as enchanted with this album as I was back in February/March time when it was a faithful companion whilst I battled the commute into London and the crowded Underground network. There is just so much variety to be heard within the 43 minutes of music on offer. At times, the riffs do their best to crush your skull, whilst at others, it soothes and caresses. Progressive black metal is a massive over-simplification, so instead, I’ll just refer to it as a delightful extreme metal album comprised of clever twists and turns, of changes of mood, of intensity, and of atmosphere. From piano interludes, to seismic death metal riffs, via the gentle patter or rain, or blasts of unfettered black metal aggression, ‘The Art Of Morphology’ is both enchanting and uncompromising.
I desperately urge you to give this record a few moments of your precious time, so that you can see why I rate it so highly. As I wrote in my review at the time, if this is the standard that Dawn Of Ouroboros can achieve with their first studio effort, I can’t wait to see what comes next.
What I wrote at the time:
“At its most basic, Dawn Of Ouroboros could be referred to as a progressive black metal band. However, to label them as such would be to massively oversimplify things. There is a lot more going on within the music to cease the definition there. From shoegaze, to ambient, to death metal and black metal, this is an album that sounds like no other; sure there are reference points throughout, from Alcest to Wolves In The Throne Room, but ultimately, ‘The Art Of Morphology’ sounds positively fresh and intriguing. And crucially, there are proper songs to be heard too, ones that bring me back for repeated listens.
To my mind, the album seems to get more overtly melodic and mesmerising as it goes along, with ‘Spiral Of Hypnotism’ being the next example, a track that has utterly floored me I must admit. Not only does it underline what a great, modern production this record boasts, but it is a stunning track in its own right.
Some bands plug away for a lifetime trying to achieve something fresh and exciting, with many of them ultimately failing in their quest. Within two years of their formation, Dawn Of Ouroboros have, in my opinion, achieved it. And with their debut too. ‘The Art Of Morphology’ is an album that genuinely has its own identity; it blends extreme metal, with progressive complexity and strong melodic sensibilities, with a sense of smooth effortlessness.”
Read the full review here.
The list this year so far…
If you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here: