Welcome to day nine of my 2020 ‘Album of the Year Top 30 countdown’. I can’t believe that we’re already nearing a third of the way through this year’s series. Having not done this series last year, I am back with a renewed vigour, as I remember just how much fun it is to celebrate the best music released this year. I hope you’ll stay with me for the whole journey.
As always, 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.
But here goes…
Score Of Much Metal: 91%
Here’s another album that I was a little wrong about. Never much of a DGM fan prior to this release, ‘Tragic Separation’ really impressed me when I heard it for the first time, so much so that it has forced me to re-evaluate the Italian band and re-listen to some of their previous albums. I gave it a score of 91%, which is good in itself. However, I thought that the second half of the record wasn’t quite as strong as the first, which meant that it didn’t score more highly overall.
Having had the pleasure of its company for a further month or two, I’m coming around to the conclusion that I was a little too hasty with my assertions. The second half of the album is excellent as it turns out, but so strong is the first half that it threatens to be overshadowed. With time and persistent listening, I have to conclude this is a very high quality album from start to finish now.
Add to this the fact that the melodies, swagger, and attitude all combine to create a massively addictive feel-good factor, and it suddenly became evident that I couldn’t ignore ‘Tragic Separation’ when compiling this list.
What I wrote at the time:
“This album is insane. Combining the very best elements from melodic metal, hard rock, AOR, and progressive metal, the Italians have finally hit me squarely in the sweet spot. It’s a heady, breathless ride, one that I am loving more than I ever thought possible if I’m honest.
Right out of the gate, the quintet wastes no time in grabbing my undivided attention, with the monstrous anthem ‘Flesh And Blood’. After a short intro, it bursts out of the speakers with an urgent, churning riff and strong rhythms before opening up into a gargantuan, epic melody that stops me in my tracks each time I hear it. But it’s only a taster of what’s to come because quickly, the song reverts to a vibrant and energetic classic style progressive riff, reminiscent of recent Symphony X to my ears. Marco Basile has a soulful and commanding voice, injecting drama and sincerity into the song. The chorus is something that any hard rock band would be proud of, hook laden and incredibly memorable. With forays into technical instrumental realms, as well as some killer solos, both guitar and synth, this is the kind of melodic prog that plants a giant goofy grin on my face.
On the strength of ‘Tragic Separation’ though, I think I need to go back and listen to some of their earlier material with a fresh perspective. If you’re already a fan of the Italians, or progressive metal with a strong melodic vein to it, you cannot go wrong with ‘Tragic Separation’, trust me.”
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: