My Dying Bride's Aaron Stainthorpe: 5 Albums That Helped Me Survive 2020 | Revolver

My Dying Bride's Aaron Stainthorpe: 5 Albums That Helped Me Survive 2020

Israeli goth metal that "holds the darkness back," Irish post-rock for drinking wine and more
my dying bride 2020 John Steel PRESS, John Steel
photograph by John Steel

Revolver has teamed with My Dying Bride for an exclusive white vinyl variant of their new EP, Macabre Cabaret, limited to 300 copies worldwide. Order yours before they're gone!

Hyperbole aside, 2020 has suuuucked. From political divisiveness to civil unrest to the continued COVID-19 crisis, this year has served up serious challenges. Thankfully, the artists we love have continued to create and share killer music to help us get through the dark days. We know what albums made our Best of 2020 list, but we wanted to find out what the musicians themselves were spinning this year.

With that in mind, we asked Aaron Stainthorpe — whose long-running English doom-metal band My Dying Bride recently released the EP Macabre Cabaret — to weigh in with the new, and newly discovered, albums that helped him survive 2020. See his picks below.

In Ruin - Hallow

This album came out in 2020 and is a glorious collection of songs composed, for the main part, by Terry Collia and Alex Shields with a plethora of guest appearances adding a finesse to the sublime sounds. Part acoustic, spoken word, classical and soundscapes, but all feeling — these tracks deliver angst and pain beautifully. The standout song for me would be "Waters" where Collia eases away your loneliness with his smooth vocals.

Tomorrow's Rain - Hollow

This beauty landed on my doorstep just a month ago and has been spinning on the old gramophone since. It's heavy as hell in places but with a sensitive beauty holding the darkness back, but allowing the melancholy to really show through. I am actually a guest vocalist on the song "Fear." And I am in good company, too, as a variety of luminaries from the world of metal all add their own distinctive sound to various tracks on this slab of menace. And if you fancy it, it is also available in Hebrew!

God Is an Astronaut - A Moment of Stillness

Hailing from Ireland, this outfit have been my go-to choice for when I feel the need for the consumption of books — and wine. I'll happily sit and read while the gang play their stylized rock in the background while I can enjoy their gifts without abrupt interruptions. But don't let that fool you into thinking they are elevator music, far from it — when they punch, they punch hard and beautifully and cranking up the volume will offer hidden delights unnoticed at lower levels.

Damnation's Hammer - Unseen Planets, Deadly Spheres

If you like it heavy as hell, then welcome to Damnation's Hammer. Clearly influenced by on-form Celtic Frost, this outfit from the north of England offer brutal slabs of in-your-face metal and a production to match the most expensive of albums. Play this loud and your hair will stand on end at the quality, that's if it's not whirling round to the beat of the thunderous drums. Epic doom/death/avant-garde metal performed by some seriously talented individuals.

Pizza Tramp - Grand Relapse

It's mostly 100 miles an hour, in-your-face brutal screaming with awesome sounding guitars and a drummer off his face, and loving it. I first saw this band live before I'd even heard the name, and was blown away by the severity of the performance. Visceral and violent and no letting up, Pizza Tramp are a danger to be around, which suits me just fine. The songs here are not what you might call epic, being frantic as fuck for the most part, but they are very well executed with often amusing topics. I am seriously looking forward to seeing them again live the very next time they take to the stage.