Welp…2020 sure was a shit-show, huh? The world went to Hell, and the music biz got its collective teeth kicked in. Still, that’s not to say there wasn’t an abundance of killer discs released over the past year. So with that in mind, here’s our Top Albums of 2020:
- TAYLOR SWIFT – Folklore: Just as much as the next record on my list, this is the album we needed in 2020. Our girl dropped a musical and lyrical bombshell, didn’t she Miss Kate? And I am here for every second of it. Far and away the BEST album of 2020.
- BON JOVI – 2020: Jon Bon Jovi and Co. delivered one of the brightest and also bleakest albums of this year, and it is an absolute must-listen from beginning to end. I still can’t get through “Do What You Can” without crying.
- TAYLOR SWIFT – Evermore: Talk about a perfect way to cap off the year. Proof positive that lightning can, in fact, strike twice.
- SONS OF APOLLO – MMXX: You want the best disc that is progressive, heavy, and catchy all at the same time? Look no further. SONS OF APOLLO will beat any band put in front of them…FACT.
- UNLEASH THE ARCHERS – Abyss: From beginning to end, this is one of THE most beautiful records of 2020. ‘Nuff said. Brittney Slayes is otherworldly.
- HAVOK – V: Best Thrash Metal album of 2020, and if you don’t think so you need a check-up from the neck up,
- CARNATION – Where Death Lies: This is a Death Metal masterpiece, and the best offering from that genre this year. #1!!
- ABYSMAL DAWN – Phylogenesis: If CARNATION is #1, then these guys are #1A. This album will kick you in the balls then right hook you when you look up!!!
- FATES WARNING – Long Day Good Night: These guys consistently deliver, and this album is no exception.
- THEORY – Say Nothing: The most thought-provoking effort of 2020. This record is amazing on all levels.
- TOKYO MOTOR FIST – Lions
- SMACKBOUND – 20/20
- STRYPER – Even the Devil Believes
- PRIMAL FEAR – Metal Commando
- VADER – Solitude In Madness
- SYLOSIS – Cycle of Suffering
- ARMORED SAINT – Punching the Sky
- LAMB OF GOD
- THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER – Verminous
- CONVULSE – Deathstar
- AUGUST BURNS RED – Guardians
- THE NAKED AND FAMOUS – Recover
- HATEBREED – Weight of the False Self
- JOHN PETRUCCI – Terminal Velocity
- AXEL RUDI PELL – Sign of the Times
- AMARANTHE – Manifest
1. TRIVIUM – What The Dead Men Say: My favorite band still managed to write an album just as good as their previous release, which was also promoted in two of the best streams that 2020 had to offer.
2. LAMB OF BOD – Lamb of God: Years after their last release LoG put out a phenomenal album for us to get through these times. Ideal to put on repeat to get some good blasting.
3. BLEED FROM WITHIN – Fracture: One of THE BEST surprises that I bumped into in 2020. After accidentally playing “The End of All We Know” by accident on Spotify, it was just love at first sight. One of the most exciting albums I heard this year.
4. ENSIFERUM – Thalassic: This band, just like thousands of others, was severely hit by the pandemic, but it was no excuse to release one more amazing album to put some smiles in our faces. This is an excellent folk metal work from start to finish.
5. SYLOSIS – Cycle of Suffering: Another pleasant surprise that 2020 brought to me. I had lost this band from the radar for a few years, and just when I realized that they were back, it’s by listening to one of the heaviest albums of their career.
6. CODE ORANGE – Underneath: This young band has gained so much popularity over a very short amount of time with their unique extreme style.
7. HAKEN – Virus: One of THE BEST progressive metal bands out there gave us the gift of a really well-produced record. I had the opportunity to see them on tour with DEVIN TOWNSEND just before all hell broke loose.
8. UNLEASH THE ARCHERS – Abyss: I’ve always been a sucker for this style of music, and the sensations that I felt after hearing all of the songs of were some that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Great work from this Canadian band.
9. AUGUST BURNS RED – Guardians: I consider this band to be extremely talented, but usually missing something to crack a “top 10” or “best of” list. This time, they improved to come with a kickass album that also represents the entire essence of the band.
10. KATATONIA – City Burials: When it comes to metal in general, I’m usually not drawn into the softer or calmer kind, but there’s always been something in KATATONIA’S music that makes me feel extremely relaxed and reflective of the things that matter to me.
ZENAE ZUKOWSKI: My top 10 Albums of 2020, in order.
Ayreon – Transitus
Draconian – Under A Godless Veil
Omega Infinity – Solar Spectre
Dark Tranquillity – Moment
Solstafir – Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love
Paradise Lost – Obsidian
Oceans Of Slumber – Oceans Of Slumber
Enslaved – Utgard
Abysmal Dawn – Phylogenesis
Unleash The Archers – Abyss
MAESTRO’S SONGS OF THE YEAR:
- “Do What You Can” – BON JOVI and Jennifer Nettles
- “This is me Trying” – TAYLOR SWIFT
- “Legacy” – UNLEASH THE ARCHERS
- “American Reckoning” – BON JOVI
- “Cosmetic Surgery” – HAVOK
- “Affluenza” – THEORY
- “Unbroken” – BON JOVI
- “Misery” – BEYOND THE BLACK
- “Hey Motherfuckers” – SMACKBOUND
- “Bury Us” – THE NAKED AND FAMOUS
- “Kingdom of the East” – LIONHEART
- “Happy Song” – JOHN PETRUCCI
And that’s that. Our last Top Albums List. I want to thank everyone for all the love and support you’ve shown A&GS over our seven years and change as a print webzine, it means the world. And don’t forget, we’ll be back soon with a whole new format that I think you’re gonna love!! So once again from our Amps and Green Screens family to yours,
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, AND HAVE A VERY METAL NEW YEAR IN 2021!! \m/ \m/