Welcome to day eight of my 2020 ‘Album of the Year Top 30 countdown’. I hope you’re enjoying the series so far. If you’re not, then tough, these are my picks and I won’t have my mind changed at all. So there!!

A quick reminder that you can check out the other picks so far in this year’s series at the end of this post alongside the entire lists from previous years.

And, on that note, here’s my next pick:

Number 23

PreHistoric Animals

The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter One)

Independent Release

Score Of Much Metal: 93%

This is one of those releases that I love having in my top 30 countdown at the end of the year. First off, it’s an independent release. Secondly, the band remain relatively unknown. And thirdly, they produce some amazing music. And this, their second full-length, proves that beyond any shadow of doubt.

Not only is the music amazing, it is also pretty unique. Yes, there are nods in various directions to other artists or to other genres. But the end result, when listened to as a whole, is really rather original. Certainly in 2020, that’s for sure.

The combination of intriguing, mellifluous vocals from Stefan Altzar, a rich, well-balanced production, and stunning melodies, listening to ‘The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter One)’ is an uplifting experience. I sing along, I smile, and I get wrapped up in the music – priceless things during such a difficult year. Listening to this band offers a small amount of escapism from reality, a period of time where I honestly feel happy. As the year has gone on, consistently twisting the knife, ‘The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter One)’ has become more and more important to me, like a loyal, supportive friend that I can rely upon.

A rightful entrant in this year’s countdown, my only reservation is whether I should have placed this record even higher. If you have never heard PreHistoric Animals before, I implore you to check them out as soon as you possibly can.

What I  wrote at the time:

“There is precious little space in the music world for the creation of unique aural ventures, but to their credit, Prehistoric Animals do create something that sounds fresh and interesting, carving their own mini-niche within the rock/metal world.

At the heart of the PreHistoric sound, is melody. Pure and simple. And, in the case of ‘The Magical Mystery Machine’, those melodies are utterly sublime; resonant, uplifting for the most part, and thoroughly engrossing. 

…whilst labels can be utterly pointless, I’d refer to them as a progressive rock band with strong influences from AOR, to 80s rock, to pop. 

In a nutshell then, ‘The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter One)’ is the full package, and if you enjoy rich, vibrant and intelligent music with more than a hint of originality, then you need look no further than this sophomore release from PreHistoric Animals.”

Read the full review here.

The list this year so far…

Number 24

Number 25

Number 26

Number 27

Number 28

Number 29

Number 30

If you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here: