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The 20 Best Hard Rock & Metal Albums of 2020

To say that 2020 sucked ass would be an understatement. With the corona-virus pandemic everything was affected, not the least of which was the music scene. This was a year mostly without live music. And, while some bands have decided to postpone releases till next year, like for example The Pretty Reckless, there was thankfully some amazing metal and hard rock albums to get us through these shitty times. Among, them legends released some of their finest work in years, while younger bands put out all the stops on their work. Here, then is my annual crop of the creme-de-la creme.

20. Repuked- Dawn of Reintoxication- Repuked's third album is equally repulsive, fun, and crushingly heavy. Read my full review here.

19. The White Swan- Nocturnal Transmission- Yes, I know this is an EP, but I would fucking be completely off if I didn't rank this. Cause, this sludge metal band fronted by Kittie's Morgan Lander is damn, fucking good! My full review

18. Incantation- Sect of Vile Divinities- This classic death metal act are back with this smashingly brutal release. My full review

17. Poppy- I Disagree- Poppy's I Disagree might be this year's most pleasant and adventurous surprise. She takes the kawaii metal sounds made famous be acts like Babymetal and really improves upon it. And, while I usually hate this brand of metal, I love what she does here. Mixing pop, industrial, metal, and nu-metal sounds, it's a fun, catchy, and original bit of music.

16. Testament- Titans of Creation- One of thrash metal most endearing and classic bands continue to release constantly great music. I slightly prefer the couple of albums before this one, but that just goes to show the quality of their output. As this is a fucking awesome blast of thrash assault! 

15. Annihilator- Ballistic, Sadistic- One of the year's earliest releases remains one of the best thrash metal albums of 2020. My full review.

14. Necrot- Mortal- Necrot continue to bring us the old school death metal, in this their best work to date. My full review

13. Deftones- Ohmes- After the disappointing Gore, the Deftones came right back up with this solid return to form. The album is a long time listen, as it takes a few spins to really get its hooks into you. But, once it does it sticks to you and only gets better with every listening. 

12- Napalm Death- Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism- Let it never be said that Napalm Death aren't afraid to add a few new twists to their classic sound. This killer album ranks as their finest release in many a moon. Heavy and angry as fucking hell, this album is an absolute ripper that will leave listeners beaten and bloody on the floor (even without the added bonus of concert mosh pits).

11. Abysmal Dawn- Phyolgensis- This album introduced me to brutality of Abysmal Dawn and with that they gained a new fan. Here is my review of one of the very best death metal albums of the year.

10. Trivium- What the Dead Men Say- Trivium are on a fucking roll after their amazing last The Sin and Sentence. This is a truly worthy follow up to that modern classic. Melodic, heavy, and technically strong, Trivium continue to put to shame many of other bands simialr to them and beyond. What the Dead Man Say is one of the listenable metal releases of this year, with the title track being one of the coolest singles and videos of 2020.

9. AC/DC- Power Up- 2020 definitely sucked a big bag of dicks. But, some good things came from it. And, one of the best things has to be the return of the mighty AC/DC! It's great to have Brian Johnson back signing in what might be the greatest hard rock act of all fucking time. And, Power Up is their best work in many years. Sure, I liked albums like Black Ice and Rock or Bust, but where Power Up rules is in the quality. You see many of the the tracks here rank among the most memorable songs they have composed in many, many years.

8. Lindsay Schoolcraft- Worlds Away- While, not a metal album in purest sense, this incredible record is the most beautiful and haunting release of 2020. My review of this amazing and powerful disc can be found here

7. Lucifer- Lucifer III- Three albums into their career, and Lucifer have become one of my favorite bands out there. Their seventies/ early eighties inspired metal sound is magnificently done. And, Lucifer III is their best yet. Songs like "Midnight Phantom", "Leather Demon", and "Lucifer" are some of my most played songs of 2020. 

6. Warbringer- Weapons of Tomorrow- My absolute favorite modern era thrash band continue to put out albums that puta lot other bands in this style of music, both new and old, to shame! The full frontal assaults of Weapons of Tomorrow is proof, yet again of this. Angry, fast, and filled with lyrics on war, this is killer thrash at its finest! 

5. Traveler- Termination Shock- Who would have thought that the best classic heavy metal album of the year, would also be in the top five albums of the year?  And, it comes from a newer band to boot! My full review

4. Sodom- Genesis XIX- German thrash masters Sodom are back! This is not only with their best album since their 80s heydays, but the best thrash release of 2020. My full review

3. Lamb Of God- Lamb of God- If it works stick with it! And, that's just what Lamb Of God does with groove laden crusher. It features songs that get you pumped up and wanna open a whole can of whoop ass. There are even team ups with Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta and Testament's Chuck Billy for further musical beatdowns.

2. Body Count- Carnivore- Here is another winner from motherfucking Body Count! It's pissed off, badass, timely, and a total ass kicker. In fact, this runner-up fits 2020 like a leather fucking glove that punches your right in the fucking nuts! And, it gets bonus points for having duos with singers like Amy Lee of Evanscence and the late, great Riley Gale of Power Trip.

1. The Black Dahlia Murder- Verminous- And, once again The Black Dahlia Murder top the list with their latest. Killer music, lyrics, and artwork all amount to another yet another masterpiece from their excellent catalogue. TBDM is light years of not just most fellow melodic death metal acts, but I would say death metal in general. A shame we didn't get to experience this killer live, but at least we can enjoy this motherfucking awesome beast!

What are your favorite albums of 2020? Let me know in the comments section below!