– “The Goddess With Child”
Leafblade has such a way with poetic, dark lyrics. Their latest album is no different, offering an existential, spiritual experience with mysterious lyrics that simply sound beautiful. I can’t begin to explain them, but I sure like listening to them.
9. A.A. Williams – “Forever Blue”
The lyrics on A.A. Williams’ debut are very strong, mulling over the human experience on a very personal level. But they are more than just depressing or sorrowful; the lyrics are hopeful in a dark way, and I think ‘resolve’ is a major part of the entire message. These lyrics represent A.A.’s choice to work through the pain, not just get lost in it.
8. Hibernal – “Relic”
Hibernal always releases story-driven albums. It’s the core of their experience. Mark really outdid himself with “Relic”, however, focusing more on the story than ever. I loved the dialogue and character development as a lonely man finds admiration for an android, something he once thought to be a menace. With a mysterious ending and great flow, “Relic” is simply a wonderful story.
7. Ms Amy Birks
– “All That I Am & All That I Was”
Ms Amy Birks on her first solo outing writes some of the most passionate, womanist lyrics I’ve ever heard. I couldn’t help but cry alongside her, stand in confidence with her, and pine for the future like her; and alongside all women everywhere who are feeling these same things. This album is titled quite well, as the lyrics bare the soul, sometimes in raw form, of the artist.
6. Dyble Longdon
– “Between a Breath and a Breath”
With the passing of Judy Dyble, I knew this swansong would be a powerful release. Not only are the lyrics powerful and poetic, they also feel vulnerable and giving, but also show weathered strength and unfailing hope. Judy and David have given us a piece of their hearts; showing us courage and loss, love and pain, open wounds and healed scars. Their graceful and refined writing touched me deeply, and I consistently noticed wisdom and unapologetic humanity in their words.
5. Pain of Salvation – “Panther”
Daniel’s lyrics for Pain of Salvation are legendary, to say the least. On “Panther”, he unleashes a full-blown conceptual world of panthers and dogs, and the social issues that face them as they try to live together. Furthermore, the dogs often trample panthers into the ground, attempting to label them, cage them, or indoctrinate them. Daniel pleads with us to be the unique panthers that we are, and not to give into uniformity and colorless lives.
4. IO Earth – “Aura”
IO Earth’s latest album is extremely well-written in multiple ways. The lyrics are desperately human and emotional, running with tears and also with joy. The album explores happiness to a certain extent, something which isn’t often addressed. What makes us happy? What are the little things that mean the world?
3. Light Field Reverie
– “Another World”
Light Field Reverie’s debut is one of the most thoughtful albums of 2020. Heike’s lyrics are deep wells of meaning and stricken hope, as always. The band states that the lyrics cover the concepts of home, belonging, and finding light in a darkened world, and that comes through with blazing accuracy. More than that, the lyrics seem to reference these nostalgic concepts within our search for a better world, another world. In fact, in some ways, the better world we seek is already within us and all around us, if only we can drive back the darkness to see it.
2. Lunatic Soul
– “Through Shaded Woods”
Mariusz’s latest with Lunatic Soul impressed me from so many angles. The lyrics were especially evocative, though. I still haven’t clearly understood the lyrical journey of Lunatic Soul, not in so many words, but this album lingers upon hope and sacrifice for love, letting go, and becoming a fountain of being. It brings me to tears.
– “Under a Godless Veil”**
One album captivated me lyrically in 2020: Draconian’s illustrious “Under a Godless Veil”. A true concept album, the record follows the Gnostic story of Creation, and what came before it. The very heart of this album is the emotional inner turmoil of Sophia, who tried to emulate the unknowable God by emanating and creating on her own. Her actions produce a crisis in the spiritual world, resulting in the creation of the material world itself through the demonic Demiurge. But because of the grief, loss, pain, and violence forced upon humans in this world, Sophia falls from grace. Her creative act was ruined. The lyrics cover this story with poetic insight: with a sense of deep sadness but also a glorious hope. With such a rich story and palpable emotions, Draconian’s lyrics will remain stamped upon my mind.