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Fish's Weltschmerz is the Prog Magazine writers' Album of 2020

Fish
(Image credit: Fish)

Fish's final album of a long and distinguished career, Weltschmerz, which was finally released in September, has been voted the best album of 2020 by Prog Magazine's team of writers.

2020 might be the year most of us want to forget, with live music effectively wiped off the map. But bands and artists persevered regardless, with new albums being released and live streams entertaining the fans.

This is the Prog Magazine Writers' 20 best albums of 2020. Enjoy the countdown...

Prog

20. LOUISE PATRICIA CRANE - DEEP BLUE (Peculiar Doll)

We said: “The new queen of psychedelic prog has arrived.”  – Dom Lawson, Prog 109

19. WOBBLERS - DWELLERS OF THE DEEP (Karisma)

We said: “A sense of unstoppable momentum that continues to set them apart from their peers.” – Dom Lawson, Prog 114

18. PAIN OF SALVATION - PANTHER (InsideOut)

We said: “It’s an elusive beast that rewards the listener the more familiar they become with the shapes in the dark.” – Gary Mackenzie, Prog 112

17. ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF - ALL THOUGHTS FLY (Southern Lord)

We said: “Here she is all about mood and nuance. So beautifully measured.”  – Rob Hughes, Prog 113

16. THE FLAMING LIPS - AMERICAN HEAD (Bella Union)

We said: “Full of arch surrealism and madcap schemes: they’ve rediscovered their big tuneful heart.” – Johnny Sharp, Prog 112

15. THE OCEAN - PHANEROZOIC II: MESOZOIC/CENOIZOIC (Metal Blade)

We said: “An exploratory crew, this album is by far and away their most diverse.” – Dom Lawson, Prog 113

14. TIM BOWNESS - LATE NIGHT LAMENTS (InsideOut)

We said: “Happily Bowness acquits himself on this perilous journey with an accomplished grace.” – Sid Smith, Prog 112

13. JACK HUES - PRIMITIF (Dawn Chorus)

We said: “It sounds great, defies genres, explores emotional depths, and makes the most of his musical identity.” – Grant Moon, Prog 108

12. THE PINEAPPLE THIEF - VERSIONS OF THE TRUTH (Kscope)

We said: “The devil, rather, is in the detail, and Soord and co do detail extremely well.” – Polly Glass, Prog 112

11. OCEANS OF SLUMBER - OCEANS OF SLUMBER (Century Media)

We said: “Four albums in, it feels like they’ve assumed their final form.” – Eleanor Goodman, Prog 112

10. MARIANA SEMKINA - SLEEPWALKNG (Kscope)

We said:Sleepwalking leads us down some ghostly corridors to a new way of looking at the light.” – Chris Roberts, Prog 106

9. ULVER - FLOWERS OF EVIL (House Of Mythology)

We said: “This is a compact, undiluted hit of Northern European electro-noir.” – Joe Banks, Prog 111

8. HAKEN - VIRUS (InsideOut)

We said: “Rich and vivid in idea and execution, suffused with melody and filled with light and shade, all consuming.” – Philip Wilding, Prog 110

7.  KATATONIA - CITY BURIALS (Peaceville)

We said:Katatonia’s brand of melodramatic melancholia will always sound more affecting and authentic.” – Johnny Sharp, Prog 108

6. RICK WAKEMAN - THE RED PLANET (R&D Multimedia)

We said:Wakeman going large. Doing what he does best.” – Chris Roberts, Prog 112

5. ENSLAVED - UTGARD (Nuclear Blast)

We said: “At every musical turn on Utgard Enslaved strike gold. A masterful work from start to finish.” – Jerry Ewing, Prog 113

4. MOTORPSYCHO - THE ALL IS ONE (Rune Grammofon)

We said: “An album of real scope and diversity, spanning the decades of styles and sounds.” – David West, Prog 113

3. HEDVIG MOLLESTAD - EKHIDNA (Rune Grammofon)

We said: “Taken in its fearless entirety, this is easily her most mind-blowing music to date.” – Dom Lawson, Prog 110

2. DYBLE LONGDON - BETWEEN A BREATH AND A BREATH (English Electric)

We said: “If you’re already on board with BBT and Dyble’s albums, this is for you.” – Jo Kendall, Prog 113

1. FISH - WELTSCHMERZ (Chocolate Frog)

We said: “Maybe it’s a deliberate closing of the circle. It’s a hell of a way to finish an album. And a career.” – Dave Everley, Prog 113

Fish says: “I feel highly honoured and privileged to be given this weighty accolade from fellow professionals and journalists I have worked with and respected throughout my many years in the music business, and in particular from a magazine I hold in great and fond regard. It’s been sad in some ways to say goodbye with the Weltschmerz album to an industry that has given me so much on so many levels but I’m glad and proud that I achieved what I set out to do, which was to end my career with what I wanted to be one of my finest ever albums. It’s been a ‘lang sair fecht’ to deliver this project in such difficult times and circumstances for everyone concerned. On behalf of everyone involved in its creation and in particular my main co-writer and producers Steve Vantsis and Calum Malcolm and my longtime artist Mark Wilkinson, I want to offer a sincere huge thanks to everyone at Prog Magazine for giving Weltschmerz the recognition I’d always hoped it would get and for putting a huge grin on this big Scottish face. Take care, stay alive."