TPM Top Vocals of 2020


____________________

10. Helle Bogdanova – Ignea

Helle has talent in both clean and harsh vocals, and I was honestly astonished when I first heard her. On Ignea’s latest, she hits amazing notes, but also lays down gritty, fantastic growls. She’s definitely unique in her genre.

____________________

9. Bartosz Sobieraj – Votum

Bartosz joined Votum for 2016’s “KTONIK”, and I felt that he had room to grow. And that he absolutely did. On “Duhkha”, he not only has improved on his English pronunciations, but he really brings an intensity and powerful range that has become a shot of energy to the band overall. Some of the massive notes he hits are simply stunning to experience.

____________________

8. David Anderton – Chaos Divine

David has one of the best voices in the progressive genre. His performance on Chaos Divine’s latest is as fantastic as ever, with clean, clear notes that signal both technical prowess and emotional nuance. I believe he will only get better.

____________________

7. Marc Atkinson – Moon Halo and solo

Marc is one of my favorite vocalists. In 2020, he gave us both his new band, Moon Halo, and a solo album, plus dozens of livestreaming, request-driven events. His voice seems only to get better, too, with both performances coming off as rich, emotional, and astute. He truly is an underrated gem of an artist.

____________________

6. Kelly Schilling – BleakHeart

When I was making my initial list, I didn’t expect Kelly to be on it. As I was eliminating other great vocalists, she remained. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I appreciated her dark, swooning vocals on BleakHeart’s debut. Her doomy lower tone is equally matched by her powerful upper range, and the combination is a winner.

____________________

5. Kimber Dulin – 49 Burning Condors

I don’t often include EPs in my year-end lists, but 2020 was so jam-packed with them that they are impossible to ignore. With the debut from 49 Burning Condors, Kimber gave us some gravy Southern Gothic vocals that really have an impact. With character and texture in her voice, I think she is going places.

____________________

4. Tom Englund – Silent Skies

Tom, of course, had to be on the list. As one of my all-time favorite vocalists, his emotional and introspective qualities were only enhanced on Silent Skies’ cinematic, expressive debut. Many of my favorite Evergrey songs are ballads, and this album was akin to getting an entire record of Evergrey ballads. I can’t ask for much more than that.

____________________

3. Mariusz Duda – Lunatic Soul

Mariusz has a great voice, but I think it is only getting better and richer. On the latest Lunatic Soul offering, he may have given us his best performance yet, with crisp, clear tones and burgeoning emotions. There is a purity and innocence to his voice that I don’t find many places, and I continue to love it more and more.

____________________

2. Cammie Gilbert – Oceans of Slumber

Cammie was my vocalist of the year a couple years ago, and she was almost once again. With the new self-titled album, the band has taken some stunning turns and great ideas and really capitalized on them, but Cammie’s voice is the touchstone that makes the band what it is. With unnerving power and a rich Southern Gothic tone, she is a true force in the progressive genre.

____________________

**1. Heike Langhans – Draconian

and Light Field Reverie**

Heike had an amazing year. With her siren duties under Draconian, she offered a performance absolutely pregnant with passion and purity, and on the debut of her new project Light Field Reverie, she gave us that unmistakable tone plus even more energy and philosophical musing. In fact, I would also mention her new songs and demo collection release from LOR3L3I, which displayed her quirkier, darker, more electronic vibe. Her voice just seems to fit whatever genre she chooses, but my favorite moments are always her doomiest, and her presence is always immediately noticeable. As a side note, the last few minutes of Draconian’s “The Sethian” may be some of the best vocals I have heard from her yet.

____________________

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.