TPM Top Bass of 2020


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10. Xavi Sandoval

– Magick Brother Mystic Sister

Xavi was the true meat of the MagickBrotherMysticSister experience. While the rest of the band took us to lofty places, Xavi’s bass grounded us with voluptuous appeal and interesting composition. In fact, I think his bass is one reason I’ve revisited the album so much.

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9. Wiktor Moderau – Wave

True to the Polish sound, Wave’s music is full of driving, powerful bass. Wiktor gives that to us in spades on Wave’s new album “Dream”. However, with Wave’s more experimental nature, he also dives into the realm of abstraction and fog, too, and that’s why I feel his performance is so memorable.

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8. Mat Mitchell – Puscifer

Puscifer wouldn’t be much without their rhythm section, the part of their sound that really gives them presence and grounding. Mat’s bass is complex and meaty, and so very luxurious.

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7. Peter Gee – Pendragon

Peter is one of my favorite bassists, and that is primarily because of his subtle, game-changing bass lines that often send songs spinning in wild new directions. His sound is as fresh, interesting, and addictive on Pendragon’s “Love Over Fear” as it ever has been.

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6. Moat Lowe – Novena

Moat offers Novena the same quirky, genre-heavy sound that Haken once had. He can switch from full-on assault mode to folksy pleasantries in the blink of an eye, and I was impressed over and over again. He may be the unsung hero of the band.

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5. Joey Vera – Fates Warning

As Fates Warning have aged, they have never lost their edge. “Long Day Good Night” proves this, and especially in the rhythm section. Joey’s bass is intricate and vividly mixed, providing power when it is needed, but also emotion at the right time.

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4. Luke Turner – Lucid Planet

Lucid Planet was one of the biggest surprises of 2020, in my opinion, and Luke is a big part of that. In addition to vocals, his bass mesmerized me, especially as he played through the myriad genres present on their “II” album. It is always impressive to me when a player can switch mental trains of thought seamlessly, and Luke has that ability.

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3. Kristian Karl Hultgren

– Airbag and Wobbler

While Wobbler isn’t really my thing, I can appreciate Kristian’s bass expertise. I was able to experience it on Airbag’s “A Day at the Beach”, where he stands out immediately. His reeling, throbbing bass lines feel so lavish and so bubbly that it makes me smile.

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2. Johan Niemann – Hollingshead

The debut from Hollingshead was a late comer in 2020, but it was worth the wait. Johan is better known as bassist for Evergrey, but this new project allowed him to flex his bassist muscles more than maybe ever. With a rich and monstrous tone, he lays down some unyielding, absolutely atmospheric bass lines that instantly made me fall in love with the album.

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**1. Mariusz Duda – Lunatic Soul**

Here Mariusz is once again, only, this time, this is his expertise. Mariusz is possibly an underrated bassist, but his energetic and inventive (and sometimes lengthy) bass lines are the heart of all of his projects. With Lunatic Soul’s latest, he experiments wildly, generating distorted electric guitar tones from his bass that give the album a driving, heavy feeling. Bouncing when it should and providing gravity at the right times, Mariusz’s bass performance is mighty, to say the least.

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