If there’s a single year that will be remembered as chaotic, that will be 2020! Overall, one of the worst years for humanity in the last couple of decades! However, 2020 was a surprisingly strong year for metal music. The bands were unable to tour, but had plenty of time in the studio thanks to our favorite virus. This is our list of top 55 metal albums in 2020! That number alone says a lot about the quantity of good stuff that came out. Since all the bands suffered greatly under lockdown and other restrictive measures, make sure to support them by buying merch and CDs from the band we put on this list. So what is your favorite album of 2020? Did we miss anything? Do you agree with the ranking? Let us know in the comments down below! And don’t forget to hit LIKE & SHARE buttons! HAIL SA(N)TAN!
11th studio album by the controversial superstar Marilyn Manson. We are Chaos has some catchy tunes and is quite an enjoyable sonic experience. I would describe it as a pop metal experience. Best songs? I would totally say: “Red, Black and Blue“, “We are Chaos“ and “Broken Needle“. Call it glam rock, goth rock, new wave or heavy metal, Marilyn Manson’s We are Chaos has something for everybody. Good album to say the least.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MarilynManson
Ozzy’s 12th studio album. The Prince of Darkness has yet again delivered a pretty solid album. Ordinary Man features numerous guest appearances such as: Elton John, Post Malone, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slash, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and others. The songs are damn solid with more than catchy hooks delivered by Ozzy. And the riffs are deadly as well! Prince of Darkness did videos for Straight to Hell and Under the Graveyard. Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man is an enjoyable listening experience.
Goodd old Katatonia. City Burials is the band’s 11th studio album. Killer stuff. You can totally hear some Tool influences going on the record. We aren’t talking about a classic heavy metal album per se. On the contrary, progressive rock vibes dominate the whole thing. The band released videos for Behind the Blood and The Winter of our Passing. Katatonia’s City Burials will be quite suitable for the winter depression that’s on the way. Cool stuff!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/katatonia/
Now that’s a beautiful album cover! Actually, it’s the best album artwork of this year! Moment is Dark Tranquillity’s 12th studio album. A must listen for all the fans of Swedish melodic death metal. The band did a video for The Dark Unbroken. Moment is overall a strong album. It will surely be in the playlist of melodic death metal fans for a while.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dtofficial
Are you ready for Rock ‘n’ Roll? Cause’ Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons surely are! This is the band’s 2nd studio album and it’s damn good, let me tell you that! We’re the Bastards has nothing to do with Motorhead’s Bastards album. Completely different feel. Yet the mighty Phil Campbell once again managed to bring some killer songs for this occasion. The album ranges from hard rock to heavy metal.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PhilCampbellATBS
Let’s play a little game. Everytime you hear Chris Barnes doing pig squeals, you have to take a shot. Nightmares of the Decomposed is Six Feet Under’s 13th studio album. The band did video for Blood of the Zombie and 2 lyrical videos for Amputator and Zodiac. And yes, this album has some pretty terrible reviews but what the hell…haters gonna hate anyways :D Nightmare of the Decomposed is the very first album to feature Jack Owen (ex-Cannibal Corpse, ex-Deicide). Still, we are talking about pretty cool Tampa Florida mantric death metal! Sometimes, simplicity is a virtue! Six Feet Under proves this!
Quasarborn’s A Pill Hard to Swallow is a killer Serbian thrash metal release. Quasarborn was actually created by the ex-members of Serbian thrashers Space Eater. Quasarborn keeps on giving an above average thrash metal assault for the headbangers around the world. The band did videos for Bastion and Atlas. This is actually their 2nd album but it’s brutal enough to catch your attention. Give these smaller bands a chance. You won’t be disappointed!
Good old Kirk Windstein. This is actually his very first solo album! Dream in Motion is a really cool, dreamy album from our favorite sludge lord. Kirk Windstein did all the guitars, vocals and bass on this one. We are talking about pretty melancholic release. The one that’s perfect for the winter depression! The last track on the album is a cover of Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung“. That riff! Respect for that! Kirk Windstein’s Dream in Motion is a must listen for all the fans of Crowbar and doom metal/stoner/sludge in general. Hats off! And we’re looking for another one already!
Lamb of God’s 8th studio album! Lamb of God is an awesome self-titled album. Those bluesy, yet groovy riffs will get stuck in your ears for ages! The band still sounds as an unstoppable groove metal killing machine. Randy Blythe’s vocals and catchy lyrics are still on top of the game. The band released videos for Memento Mori, Checkmate and Gears. Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed did guest vocals on “Poison Dream“ while Testament’s Chuck Billy did the job on “Routes“. Lamb of Good is an album has a wine syndrome – the more you consume it, the more you’ll like it!
Kataklysm’s 14th studio album! Montreal, Quebec folk can’t release bad stuff! Unconquered blends dissonant grooves and melodic outbursts together perfectly. Kataklysm released videos for The Killshot and Underneath the Scars. Unconquered is an uncompromising death metal album. The band has yet again managed to retain their brutality as well as their melodic elements and catchiness. The chainsaw buzzing riffs couldn’t have been any better. Highly recommended!
Alitor’s 2nd studio album II is a last second addition to this list! These Serbian thrash metal maniacs nailed it! All the people who love their thrash metal with tons of melodic takes should consider listening to this piece of art. II is surely a great leap for the band both musically and production wise! The album also has some outbursts of death metal added to the whole picture. Alitor are one of those youngsters who are keeping thrash metal alive! The album itself sounds pretty EPIC. This one of those albums that slipped under the radar but you should definitely check it out! No excuse!
Serbian Arch Enemy. On steroids. Nemesis is an all-female melodic death metal band. One of the most brutal around! The girls play with more energy than most of the boybands within the scene. To be honest, this is an exception to the whole melodic death metal that you can hardly see or hear on this website. The girls released videos for The War is On, Dead End and Uprising. The War is On is mandatory melodic death metal carnage! The girls have proven that they can deliver some high-quality songs for your hearing pleasure! Support!
Sinister’s 14th album, Deformation of the Holy Realm is an uncompromising, savage, brutal death metal release. The artwork fits the album title perfectly. Christians will surely not be amused. The artwork is as brutal as those monstrous growls and cyclopean riffs. Dutch death metal masters are still on top of their game. This album is a 100%, full-speed-ahead apocalyptic death metal carnage. Warning: it may open a portal to the nether realm. It’s OK if your ears are bleeding! Hail Santa!
6th studio album by the US thrashers Warbringer – Weapons of Tomorrow is a force to be reckoned with. The band did videos for The Black Hand Reaches Out and Glorious End. Warbringer is one of those younger bands that keep thrash metal alive! The artwork is damn cool if you ask me! And so are the songs. This is one hell of a thrash metal album. Adam Carroll and Carlos Cruz brought forth some deadly riffs. And Josh Kevill’s brutal vocals mount the apocalyptic tensions within the songs to a whole new level! Warbringer’s Weapons of Tomorrow is a really fun and easy to listen album. And every thrasher knows that by now. Thrash ‘till Death!
Another thrash metal release. As the title suggests, V is Havok’s 5th studio album. Pretty solid album if you ask me! The next-gen thrashers doing their thing. The painting done for the art cover is mind boggling. Despite the horrible reviews this album has on metal archives, V is overall strong album to begin with. And I say David Sanchez is still on top of his game, both in terms of vocals and riffs. Reece Scruggs did a really cool job on the leads as well. The production was really well executed, especially the loud bass sound. Kudos for that! To sum it up, if you are fan of thrash metal, Havok’s V is an unavoidable release!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HavokOfficial/
Birmingham based death metal legends have released their 8th studio album. What you get is a pretty solid album. No surprises, no experimentation, just good old Benediction! The band did videos for Iterations of I, Stormcrow and Rabid Carnality. Dave Ingram sounds as brutal as always! The band wrote a total of 12 tracks which won’t disappoint the fans of old school death metal one bit. Peter Rew and Darren Brookes are still delivering cutting-edge riffs! The artwork is on spot! Scriptures is the first album to feature the new drummer Giovanni Durst and bassist Dan Bate. Scriptures is monolithic & uncompromising release. I guess that nobody should miss an album like this! Hail Benediction!
Another monstrous death metal release! Benighted’s Obscene Repressed is a soulripping grindcore/death metal total sonic annihilation! With a lot of BREEES involved. The band’s 10th studio album will shred you to pieces! This album incorporates the best elements of grindcore, death metal and black metal. The speed-of-light fast song defy the laws of physics and reason! Benighted’s Obscene Repression is actually a conceptual album about a sexually deviant boy. Nails video will give you a glimpse of what’s actually happening regarding the concept. Without the exaggeration, Benighted’s Obscene Repressed is a SICK album!
A band that brings humor to thrash metal. Gama Bomb’s Sea Savage is a damn good thrash metal release. Their vocalist ranges somewhere between Gwar and Overkill. The riffs are pretty much casual Gama Bomb obliteration. The band released videos for Sea Savage and Sheer Khan. Gama Bomb’s Sea Savage is a last second admission on the list. And it is worth it! The more you listen to this album, the more you’ll like it! These Northern Ireland maniacs are keeping the thrash alive! Pizza Party thrash metal with ninja turtle vocals at its finest! So, make sue to have Gama Bomb’s Sea Savage in your playlist!
Venomous Concept’s 4th studio album – Politics Versus the Erection is an unavoidable grindcore release! This is a superband that actually makes great music! The lineup features 2 Napalm Death members – Shane Embury on bass and Danny Herrera on the drums. Brutal Truth’s Kevin Sharp is the growler while John Cooke is ripping the guitar apart! The artwork depicts a child’s face conjoined with Donald Trump. Politics Versus the Erection is a straight forward album with the band sipping in killer riffs non-stop! Easy to listen stuff, no doubt about it! What you get is 30 minutes!
Igorrr’s 4th studio album – Spirituality and Distortion is one of the most genuine and colorful releases of the year. Igorrr’s music transcends genre categorization, and is spread too wide open in order to put it into a single category. You can literally hear everything from black metal, Gypsy, Balkan music, French accordion, jazz, drum & bass, dubstep, funk, Middle Eastern music, classical music...It’s also labeled as “breakcore“ (whatever that means) and avant-garde metal (a more suitable term). Igorrr released videos for Very Noise and Downgrade Desert. Cannibal Corpse’s George Corpsegrinder Fisher did guest vocals in “Parpaing“. Igorrr’s Spirituality and Distortion surely gets the schizophrenic WTF prize this year. Very noise!
Good old Biff Byford. His very first solo album, School of Hard Knocks, is a continuation of his rock n’ roll legacy. This album perfectly incorporates the elements of rock, classic heavy metal, and folk music into a single package. It’s amazing to see how Biff Byford’s voice hasn’t changed over the course of 40 years! Amazing! Kudos for these masterful solos! Fredrik Akesson nailed ‘em! It’s cool to know that Biff Byford also played bass on this album. The artwork is the actual painting of John David Hanley. The song “Scarborough Fair“ is a traditional English ballad. This version is based on the 1956 version done by Audrey Coppard. School of Hard Knocks is spectacle of traditional heavy metal you shouldn’t skip!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/biffsaxon747/
Technical brutal death metal carnage. With gutteral vocals. Deeds of Flesh’s 9th studio album Nucleus is one of the most brutal albums on this list. The album features guitar work of the band’s deceased guitarist, Eric Lindmark (RIP). Deeds of Flesh’s latest release features numerous guest appearances such as Luc Lemay of Gorguts in the song “Catacombs of the Monolith“ (still waiting for a new Gorguts album!), George Corpsegrinder Fisher in “Ethereal Ancestors“, Frank Mullen of Suffocation in “Races Conjoined“, John Gallagher of Dying Fetus in “Nucleus“ and others! When brutal gutterals and slamming, yet technical riffs are in question, Deeds of Flesh’s latest album Nucleus is simply unmatched!
By the gods! Años En Infierno is Xibalba’s 4th studio album! Despite the horrible reviews on metal archives, this is actually a great death metal release! Fans of Bolt Thrower, Asphyx and old school death metal bands will surely appreciate what Xibalba is doing! Those titanium steel riffs bring forth the apocalypse! It’s cool to note that the album is actually bilingual. The titles are in Spanish while the most of the lyrics are in English. The artwork for Años En Infierno is done by the legendary Dan Seagrave, the king of death metal album covers! In Mayan mythology, Xibalba is "The place of fear“, i.e. the underworld. Couldn’t be more fitting for a death metal band of such a caliber!
Nasty! Boris’ 26th studio album (that’s right!) No is a multidimensional release that ranges from pure drone metal evil towards ambiental, stoner rock/metal, crossover thrash, and Japanese hardcore. The band like this cannot be put into a single genre, so there’s pretty much something for everybody. The songs are really noisy and dissonant, in a typical Boris fashion. The band did a cover of the Japanese hardcore band Gudon - “Fundamental Error“. No will surely raise some hell in the pit once the Covid thing is over! Boris’ No is a pure energetic wrecking ball that needs to be in your collection! We are talking about an avant-garde metal classic!
Man. That artwork is a timeless masterpiece. Hands down for that. Today is the Day’s No Good To Anyone easily is the winner of the best album artwork in 2020. Fantastic! The artwork was done by Leviathan’s Jef Whitehead. Speaking of music, No Good to Anyone is the exact opposite of what the title suggests. In fact, we are talking about a really good album. This album was influenced by Steve Austin’s dealing with the Lyme disease that he was struggling with as well as his dog Callie who had to be euthanized because of it. The album itself incorporates a masterfully crafted dark atmosphere. Today is the Day’s No Good to Anyone is yet another terrific avant-garde metal album. Highly recommended!
Man! In the Beginning is 6th studio album of the legendary New York hardcore veterans Cro-Mags. The album features ¾ of the Revenge lineup with Harley Flanagan on bass and vocals, the legendary Rocky George (ex-Suicidal Tendencies, ex-Pap Smear), Gary “G-Man” Sullivan on the drums and Gabby Abularach on rhythm guitar. That being said, In the Beginning was released after 20 years of silence. After a couple of seconds of listen, you’ll know that this album SLAYS! Within 38 minutes, Cro-Mags raised some hell. New songs are perfect for some moshing madness, regardless of you being a hardcore or a thrash guy. I hope we won’t wait another 2 decades for another crossover thrash/hardcore masterpiece like this!
Nero di Marte 3rd, striking release! Immoto is exact the opposite of what the album title suggests. A real, dynamic album in which the band showed their more progressive oriented side. The songs are longer and more complex. Still, there are also dissonant death metal outbursts that greatly contribute to the whole thing. With this album, Nero di Marte wasn’t afraid of experimenting, by adding a new dimension to their songs. With this album being the band’s most ambitious one to date, Nero di Marte is still by far one of the best Italian progressive/death metal bands around. An hour and 7 minutes might be a bit too long for the album, but regardless, Immoto is a sonic journey in which you’ll lose yourself!
New Zealand’s Ulcerate’s 6th studio album! With Stare into Death and Be Still Ulcerate retained the old dissonant death metal formula but with more space for progressive elements in the music. It still reminds me of Nero di Marte’s Immoto. Both albums complement each other. This time, Ulcerate paid more attention to the atmosphere and chilling, clean guitars. It’s not that you can’t hear dissonant death metal at all, on the contrary; You will know that you’re listening to good old Ulcerate within seconds. Michael Hoggard, Jamie Saint Merat and Paul Kelland are still one of the strongest trios in dissonant death metal! The band released a video for Dissolved Orders. Stare into Death and Be Still is the band’s most experimental release to date!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Anaalnathrakhofficial
Who says that British have no thrash metal? Onslaught’s Generation Antichrist suggests exactly the opposite. The band has released a video for Bow Down to the Clowns and a lyric video for Religiousuicide. Downsides? Commie slogan on the artwork. Just lol. Nige Rockett is the only founding member of Onslaught that’s still in the band, but this lineup actually works pretty well! Generation Antichrist surely sounds as what I would call modern thrash metal with some groovy, clean production. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The band got a new vocalist for this album – Dave Garnett who replaced Sy Keeler, who was on vocal duties since 2008. The new additions to the band are James Perry (drums) and Wayne Dorman (guitar). The album has re-recorded a song called “A Perfect Day to Die“ which was originally dedicated to the father of us all – Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead (RIP). Onslaught’s Generation Antichrist is surely a pleasant surprise. It kills!
One of the unholiest albums of this year! Incantation’s Sect of Vile Divinities is a sonic odyssey through the fiery pits of hell. Pure evil lurks within these ghoulish riffs! We are talking about hellfire-driven songs that will take your breath away. And melt your face in the process. I wonder what’s more brutal, John McEntee’s growling or the riffs. Incantation released videos for Fury’s Manifesto and Entrails of the Hag Queen. Sect of Vile Divinities does not go away from the band’s already known formula. Their music is always within the reaches of the underworld. And so are the lyrics! Gotta admit that Incantation has always had some of the coolest album artworks. This album is no exception to that rule. I guess that every old school death metal fan will like this album. A lot!
Polish death metal veterans Vader keeping it real in a Reign in Blood format (29 minutes!) The band’s 12th studio album, Solitude in Madness is a full-speed-ahead pure death metal molestation! Vader is simply one of the most consistent bands around. With every release they make, they deliver top-notch songs for our hearing pleasure! The band released a video for Into Oblivion. It’s also cool to note that they covered Acid Drinker’s song “Dancing in the Slaughterhouse“. Vader is still a supersonic punitive expedition that will claim the souls and minds of the weak! Peter Wiwczarek's growls are still as powerful. And his riffs still sound like the scourge of the undead! Vader’s Solitude in Madness is a must-listen for all the fans of old-school death metal! No fillers involved!
What an album! U.D.O. joined forces with the German military orchestra. This collab is simply the best one in 2020! We Are One is an outstanding heavy metal album that spans over 1h and 15 minutes! Pure sonic spectacle! The orchestra-meets-metal is quite refreshing to say the least! And Udo Dirkschneider still sounds the same! And yes, the new U.D.O. lineup works like a charm! The guys nailed it! The songs are really catchy and fun to listen to. And the orchestra contributes greatly to this amazing piece of art. The band also released videos for We are One and Neon Diamond. I have no idea how this album slipped under my radar! Even if you were asking for a better album, you couldn’t get it. U.D.O.’s We are One is just that good! This album easily stands toe to toe with Metallica’s S&M. Outstanding!
Oranssi Pazuzu’s 5th studio album Mestarin kynsi is an absolute mindf*ck. Hands down for the artwork. Love it! When it comes to the music, Oranssi Pazuzu keeps on playing avant-garde black metal (or if you prefer it, psychedelic black metal. This release contains some of the weirdest, noisiest and the most dissonant notes you can find. And everything is filled with darkwave electronic samples that, when added to the whole picture, contribute greatly to the eerie atmosphere that this album possesses. Just realized that „oranssi” means orange in Finnish language. Orange demon (no pun intended) will haunt you for the rest of the year, that’s for sure! The band released an eerie black and white video for Uusi teknokratia. And that alone is one of the coolest videos this year! Anyway, Mestarin kynsi is one of the most genuine black metal albums of 2020. Weird stuff for weird people.
Now this is when the national pride kicks in! Mrtvi is a British/Serbian one-man-band avant-garde black metal project! The mastermind Damjan Stefanović did it all. “Mrtvi“ means “the dead“ in Serbian. Mrtvi’s Omniscient Hallucinatory Delusion is an exceptional release. The band’s music can be described as Anaal Nathrakh meets Imperial Triumphant meets Deathspell Omega. Trippy stuff. The way it should be! If you haven’t heard it yet, expect tons of dissonant black metal guitar wizardry! As far as I know, no Serbian metal band was this dissonant. Mrtvi’s Omniscient Hallucinatory Delusion is by far the best Serbian metal album of 2020 with some out-of-this-world vibes! Unconventional music for those who like it noisy! Hands down!
What a find! I almost forgot this band is still active! They have released a new album after 9 years! Alarum’s Circle’s End is definitely one of the best technical death metal albums of 2020! The Aussies generate quite a unique sound by adding jazz fusion and even some bossa nova elements to the whole picture. You will surely have an impression that this band is heavily influenced by Dan Mongrain’s Martyr, both in terms of singing and riffing. The fans of Revocation, Martyr, Obscura, Gorod. Circle’s End is good enough to boost your aggression but also make you chillax with that amazing guitar work. And what’s best, we aren’t talking about a Nintendo-core band but a perfectly balanced approach in terms of brutality and soothingness. Alarum’s Circle’s End is an album you shouldn’t come across!
It’s tech-death time! Abysmal Dawn’s Phylogenesis is a masterful, brutal technical death metal release that takes no prisoners! This is the band’s 5th studio album. It literally KILLS! LA, the poser city, may not be known for prolific death metal bands, but Abysmal Dawn is certainly an exception! The band paid homage to the late Chuck Schuldiner and Sean Reinert (RIP LEGENDS!) by covering Death’s “Flattening of Emotions”. Phyliogenesis is a brilliant release that has nothing to do with nintendo-core technical death metal bands. The band maintains both technicality and aggression without any loss of intensity. Kudos for the artwork! Gotta commend the guys for delivering memorable solos that actually make sense! When it comes to the riffs, the guitar work reminds me of Cannibal Corpse, Nile and even some Pantera. Abysmal Dawn’s Phylogenesis is surely one of the finest technical death metal albums in our dying age of Covid!
Can’t get enough of this band! The Black Dahlia Murder’s Vermin is another masterful record by the melodic death metal legion. Brian Eschbach and Brandon Ellis wrote god tier riffs on this one. What I love about this band is the fact that they always manage to keep checks and balance in place, while maintaining aggressive death metal savagery with some classy melodies. The Black Dahlia Murder is still the best at this in the whole genre of melodic death metal. What else can be said about this album? Trevor Strnad’s vocals are beyond brutal. The guy is dominating the mic. Superb cookie monster vocals that we can’t live without. The production is really BIG on this album. Everything sounds perfect, without being plastic. The Black Dahlia Murder’s Vermin is hands down one of the best melodic death metal albums of 2020. Those songs speak for themselves.
Mekong Delta’s 12th studio album Tales of a Future Past is BRILLIANT state-of-the-art progressive/technical thrash metal. Even though the album is 55 minutes long, there’s not a single filler on it. It took the band 6 years to write this masterpiece, but it was worth the wait. Orchestral parts combined with Eastern scales give this album a truly unique flavor. Mekong Delta’s mastermind Ralph Hubert really knows how to write a high-quality song! Even though he is the only founding member that’s still in the band, this lineup works perfectly. Kudos for the singer Martin LeMar. The guy has been killing it for the past 10 years! Also, the guitar duo, Peter Sjoberg and Erik Adam H. Grosch did an amazing job. Killer riffs & leads. Mekong Delta’s Tales of a Future Past is a must listen for every fan of thrash/progressive metal!
Pyrrhon is a band that’s getting more brutal with every release they make. And Abscess Time is no exception to the rule! Hands down for the artwork! It’s simply beautiful and fitting for the present-day madness! Pyrrhon’s 4th studio album Abscess Time is a monument of dissonance, noise and discord. Unconventional album on so many levels. We are talking about a must-listen noise torture. The guitars are so atonal that ordinary music fans will turn their heads in disgust! That’s the way it’s supposed to be! Abscess Time is a lengthy 57-minute release in which no mercy was given to the instruments, nor to the listeners alike. The unstoppable dissonant death metal savagery that Pyrrhon brought on their latest album is abolishing the boundaries of extreme music. Therefore, Pyrrhon’s Abscess Time is a must listen if you’re tired of conventional death metal, and if you are looking for a more noisier approach.
After 13 years, Behold…The Arctopus released a new album titled Hapeleptic Overtrove. And as always, the band delivers the nastiest, most schizophrenic music you can find. You can hear anything from cowbell attacks to the use of the triangle and other unconventional means of noise production. Colin Marston, Mike Lerner and Jason Bauers are surely out-of-the-box music thinkers. You just can’t hear the same riff twice on Hapeleptic Overtrove. It is a cacophonic, dissonant symphony that the average ears can’t stand. And that’s exactly why Behold…The Arctopus rules! Avant-garde metal at its best! I mean, how many times have you come across an album as genuine as this? Once in 13 years? Btw, Colin Marston once again did a great job production wise. Everything sounds PERFECT! If you’re looking for an absolute mindfuckery, Behold…The Arctopus’ Hapeleptic Overtrove will do the trick!
Imperial Triumphant’s 4th studio album – Alphaville. Wow…This is actually the band’s most experimental album to date! Just by looking at the songs that the band covered – Voivod’s “Experiment“ and The Residents’ Happy Home will give you a clue which direction the band currently running. Imperial Triumphant’s Alphaville is a dissonant avant-garde black metal masterpiece. The band released 2 weird AF videos – Rotted Futures and Atomic Age (hold my nuke bro!). The band’s vocalist Zachary Erzin reminds me of Gigan’s Eric Hersemann. What’s great about Imperial Triumphant is the fact that the band is a three-piece. These guys sound like an inverted black hole keen on obliterating galaxies. The band even brought in some jazz trumpets and a piano into the whole picture. Despite the miserable reviews on metal archives, this album is actually one of the better ones in 2020! Imperial Triumphant is for everybody who like it wicked, dissonant, noisy.
Brace yourselves! ‘Cause Graveyard’s 2nd album, The 6th Extinction will take you by force! We are talking about the band who’s keeping it real and DIY since the 90s! They label their music as “political death noise“. Simply put it, these guys play a mixture of death metal, black metal and grindcore. The 6th Extinction is a must listen for all of you who like it RAW AND DIRTY! The whole album is surrounded by a haunting atmosphere. It is filled with a tons of horror movie samples that greatly contribute to the feel of uneasiness on the album. The 6th Extinction is a concept album about the downfall of the humanity caused by global warming.The lyrics predicted martial law nationwide and many other things that haunted us in 2020! Graveyard’s The 6th Extinction is an uncompromising & unconventional release that makes you leave your comfort zone. The weak should stay away from this album! Graveyard’s The 6th Extinction is a silent prayer for this decaying world! Highly recommended! Buy it and SUPPORT THE UNDERGROUND!
What an album! Krallice’s 9th studio album Mass Cathexis is probably among the band’s finest! This time, Krallice went full death metal. This is easily one of the strongest albums within the genre this year! Colin Marston’s production is as good as always. When it comes to musicianship, Krallice are simply untouchable! This album is perfect from start to finish! The band’s vocal duo – Mick Barr and Nicholast McMaster works like a charm. One of them sounds like the legendary Big Steeve Hurdle of Gorguts (RIP) while the other reminds me of Martyr’s Dan Mongrain. Deadly mix! I literally can’t tell how many times I’ve listened to this masterpiece. The direction that Krallice is pursuing right now will surely be your cup of coffee if you love technical death metal. Downsides? NONE! P.S. We’re still looking for a new Gorguts album Colin! Krallice’s Mass Cathexis is the living proof that his band is on top of their game!
Thoren are back with another striking release! Gwarth II is their 3rd studio album. This is an absolutely monstrous release. Within 26 minutes, the band managed to deliver beyond godlike modern-sounding dissonant death metal! Gwarth II wins a prize for the best instrumental album in 2020 as far as we are concerned! The songs deliver absolutely stunning, chugging, noisy dissonance upon the ears of the listeners! Thoren’s Gwarth II is an example of how a well-produced, modern-sounding dissonant death metal should sound like! The acoustic breaks are damn spooky if you ask me! The artwork is really cool! When it comes to the musicianship, Gwarth II is a logical continuation of its predecessor. Thoren managed to retain all the sonic filth and noise and make it even more lethal. So, if you’re tired of cookie monster death metal growls and your ears need to focus on musicianship only, look no further than Thoren’s Gwarth II. The band’s sound is reminiscent of Coma Cluster Void. Brutal stuff!
The best band name ever! Meth Leppard have released their very first album this year, titled Woke. The magnificent artwork grasped all the madness that happened in 2020. It features Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, nuclear warheads, clashes between people and the police, Molotov cocktails frying people alive, a koala trying to survive the Australian forest fires...Woke is a 17-minute supersonic siege, an essential grindcore release of this year! You may not approve their politics, but you simply can’t say no to these riffs! Not to mention hilarious song titles such as “Dead Kardashians“, “Sixty Nine Feet Under“, “Boomer“ and “Kangaroo Court“. This Aussie duo literally made some of the most brutal stuff within the genre. It’s cool to note that the band did a cover of Melvins' “Honey Bucket“. Those drums survived thousands of leng tches. Meth Leppard’s Woke is an essential release in both grindcore and death metal. You will lose a few pounds just by listening to it! It’s that intense! KANGAROO GRIND AT ITS BEST!
Everyonе’s favorite rap metal band. Carnivore is a big middle finger to all vegans and pc weaklings. The artwork was done by Zbigniew Bielak. Carnivore is a really strong album to say the least. And to hear rap metal on the playlist is damn refreshing. Ice-T and the crew are still killing it. Body Count paid tribute to late Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead by covering the iconic “Ace of Spades“. The album is quite political. It covers a current political situation in USA, from police brutality to racism. It’s cool to note that this is the very first album where Ernie C. wrote some riffs and solos. The band released a quarantine edition video titled Point the Finger featuring Riley Gale of Power Trip (RIP). The videos were also made for Bum-Rush and Thee Critical Beatdown. The album also had guest musicians on the following songs: Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed on “Another Level“, Dave Lombardo on “Colors – 2020“ and Amy Lee on “When I’m Gone“ (not the Eminem song lol). Speaking from a music perspective, Carnivore is damn serious thrash metal album! The riffs are hella heavy.
United What a comeback! Evildead is back with their long awaited, 3rd studio album! It took them 29 years but better late than never! Just by looking at the album cover, you might assume what these songs are all about. And the album art is still pretty relevant regarding the current political situation in the United States (of Anarchy lol). The artwork is done by the legendary Ed Repka, the king of thrash metal! Annihilation of Civilization was ranked #4 on our list of Ed Repka’s best 50 album covers! The band did a cover of B-52’s “Planet Claire 2020“. Evildead did videos for The Descending and Word of God. It’s cool to note that Evildead features the original lineup with Phil Flores on vocals, Juan Garcia and Albert Gonzales on the guitars, Karlos Medina on bass and Rob Alaniz on the drums. United $tate$ Of Anarchy is exceptionally well produced. 30 years later, and the band is still raising awareness about the political and environmental problems our world is still facing today. And the songs are pure West Coast thrash metal! I just wasn’t expecting an album this strong! I guess it’s due to death metal that I have lesser expectations for thrash metal in general. But Evildead’s United $tate$ Of Anarchy should definitely be a part of your collection! P.S. I totally didn’t expect to hear jazz on an Evildead album!
WITCHING METAL! Genesis XIX is the band’s 16th studio album. What’s most important, it’s the first album to feature Frank Blackfire on the guitar since his departure from the band during the Agent Orange days. And yes, the mighty Teutonic thrash metal masters now have 2 guitars (the 2n guitarist Yocrk Segatz that greatly complements Sodom’s overall sound). The artwork for this release was made by Joe Petagno, who also did an album cover for Decision Day. Genesis XIX was produced by the band itself. And that fact alone brought the live feel to the whole album (the thing we miss the most in 2020!) Toni Merkel’s drumming sounds 100% live, without triggers! Sodom released a video for Friendly Fire. It seems that Tom Angelripper was aiming for the rawness and simplicity on this release. And the formula works damn fine! The guy’s vocals haven’t changed a single bit! He still stands on the throne of Germany’s finest growler! When it comes to the solos, Frank Blackfire did a great job as always. His melodic, easily recognizable solos were greatly missed! Anything labeled MADE IN GERMANY is of great quality. So is Sodom’s Genesis XIX - A ripping masterpiece of Teutonic thrash metal!
Brace yourselves! It’s grindcore time! Brave the Cold is a newly formed band with the legendary Mitch Harris of Napalm Death/ Righteous Pigs and Dirk Verbeuren of Megadeth/ex-Soilwork. Their debut album Scarcity is a pinnacle of grindcore savagery. The band has released the coolest animated video of this year for Halmark of Tyranny which is actually based on a 13-minute movie called IN-SHADOW, directed by Lubomir Arsov. The video itself deals with present day totalitarianism that’s unfolding before our very eyes. GO 2020! RUIN US EVEN MORE WHILE YOU STILL HAVE TIME LOL! They also did the video for the song Blind Eye. The artwork depicts post-nuclear apocalypse with a gas-masked figure surrounded by pollution, warheads, factories, machine gun, skulls trapped in barbed wire, nuclear powerplant and a nuclear wasteland. Quite optimistic! Scarcity comes with 11 brutal songs, total 38 minutes of uncompromising grindcore/death metal carnage. This album combines the best elements of Napalm Death with experimental feel similar to Mitch Harris’ solo project Menace. This is one of those side-projects that actually make a lot of sense! Mitch Harris did more of his raspy, high pitched screams on this album when compared with his vocal approach on the latest Napalm Death album. Dirk Verbeuren’s drumming is second-to-none! It’s really amazing to see that these two guys managed to single handedly pull off one of the best grindcore/death metal albums of 2020!
Annihilator’s 17th studio album Ballistic, Sadistic is a great thrash metal release. The band’s mastermind Jeff Waters made songs that are reminiscent of the Alice in Hell and Never, Neverland era. This time, Canadian thrash metallers brought forth some classy songs. Ballistic, Sadistic is an easy to listen album. It features crushing riffs and even more crushing leads by our favorite guitar hero! Not only that, but Jeff Waters’ vocals are so damn good! The band released videos for Armed to the Teeth and Psycho Ward. When it comes to the production, everything sounds well! The opening riff of “The Attitude“ sounds like something written by Cattle Decapitation! This time, Jeff Waters re-used some of the riffs from the first 2 albums, to create that old-school feeling. For instance, “Dressed up for Evil“ contains this riff similar to “Word Salad“, while “Lip Service“ opening riff sounds like “Knight Jumps Queen“. Speaking of Jeff Waters’ solos, the guy is simply one of the greatest lead guitar players of all time. His leads are as memorable as the riffs. Annihilator’s Ballistic, Sadistic surpassed all of our expectations. The band is back on track, playing some brutal thrash metal. I hope that the band won’t dilute their thrash potential anymore!
Grindcore pioneers are back after 5 years of waiting! Napalm Death’s Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism is a total masterpiece! Birmingham veterans couldn’t make a better album! And what’s most important, Mitch Harris took part in the writing! Sadly, he didn’t scream as much on this release but the riffs are deadlier than the plague that is currently raging on! Napalm Death covered “White Kross“ by Sonic Youth and “Blissful Myth“ by Rudimentary Peni. Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism is the ultimate grindcore/death metal release! Barney Greenway’s growls are still unmatched in the genre! The whole band is just ripping the hell out of their instruments! What’s cool to note that both Shane Embury and Mitch Harris shared guitar duties on the album. This combination seems to be working perfectly! Of course, Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism contains some experimental & ambiental sounds (probably thanks to Mitch Harris). The band even went full black metal in the song Joie de ne pas Vivre (the only song in French). When it comes to the drumming, Danny Herrera is playing blastbeats and drumrolls at 1000000Mph! An octopus behind the drum kit! The band released videos for Amoral and Bellyful of Salt and Spleen. Let’s face it, there is no grindcore/death metal band like Napalm Death. Birmingham legends are keeping it real. And it seems that they have more energy in their 50s than the average teenager! Napalm Death’s Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism is hands down, one of the best grindcore/death metal albums in 2020! And there’s plenty of reason for that!
Bay area thrash metal veterans Testament have released their strongest album since The Formation of Damnation. The band’s latest one, Titans of Creation is an epic thrash metal undertaking! Within 58 minutes, the band showed their musical prowess to their full extent! The band released a video for Children of a Next Level. What I like about this album is that it features a lot of historical, political and mythological themes. For example, "WWWIII" tells a story of a nuclear war obliterating population. When it comes to mythological stuff, “Ishtar’s Gate“ and “Curse of Osiris“ song titles are enough for you to know what these songs are about. On this album, Testament features its strongest lineup: Chuck Billy on vocals, Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson on the guitars, Steve DiGiorgio on bass and Gene Hoglan on the drums. The band is killing it! No doubt about that! The whole album has such strong thrash metal energy streaming through...it’s a pity that we won’t be hearing these songs live soon. If you ask me, the previous 2 albums were too diluted and too melodic but Titans of Creation is more of a balanced album, both in terms of relentless thrash metal fury and melodic guitar licks and leads. Testament’s Titans of Creation is a force to be reckoned with. Bay Area thrash metal masters have proven the fact that they are still relevant and the best at what they’re doing – playing high quality music.
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And we have a winner! Sepultura’s 15th studio album Quadra is hands down the best heavy metal album in 2020! The direction in which the band has been going the last 2 records is simply perfect! With Quadra, Sepultura delivered some groundbreaking thrash metal mixed with Eastern influences, acoustic guitars, and tribal grooves. Quadra is an unparalleled sonic experience. The album captures a wide variety of emotions which are perfectly contained in the pretty dynamic and unpredictable songs. What Andreas Kisser did with those solos is marvelous! The guy is a 200 IQ genius! His riffs and solos are second to none! The album itself has a pretty dark, melancholic vibe attached to it, even though some of the songs are pure thrash metal carnage. Derreck Green’s vocals are absolutely on spot! The guy is killing it! Not to mention Eloy Casagrande’s beyond godlike drumming. He is ripping the hell out of those drums. The band released videos for Isolation, Means to an End and Guardians of Earth. The latter is about the preservation of the Amazon rainforest. The message is clear! The artwork, depicting a coin with a skull with continents drawn on it shows where this world is heading to as we speak. The concept behind Quadra is the following: the album is separated in 4 parts: first 3 songs are pure thrash metal madness; next 3 are influenced by tribal grooves; The 3rd part is more progressively oriented; the final 4th part is more mid-paced, catchy and melodic. Besides that, Quadra is connected to “Quadruvium“, 4 ancient arts (arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy). To sum it up, Quadra contains a wide variety of genres: thrash metal, groove metal, death metal, tribal music, world music, Eastern vibes, you name it! What Sepultura did on the past two albums is great to say the least! Sepultura’s Quadra, ladies and gentlemen. Album of the year!
So what is your favorite album of 2020? Did we miss anything? Do you agree with the ranking? Let us know in the comments down below! And don’t forget to hit LIKE & SHARE buttons! HAIL SA(N)TAN!
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