Written By Jason Voorhees
2020 has been the year from hell. We saw a whirlwind of negative energy from the second that ball descended into Times Square. The music industry in particular, was decimated by the pandemic as many bands had to learn how to adapt to a new "normal". While live music pretty much went up in smoke, there were quite a few bands that were able to release new material!
As this difficult year comes to a close, it's about that time for us at Philly Rock Radio to count down the top albums of 2020! This segment has become a yearly occurrence and we hope to provide a dynamic list of Hard Rock and Metal's best offerings. While we don't always follow the mainstream archetype in taste and opinion; this year's list is littered with many well-known artists!
So without further ado....here is Philly Rock Radio's Top 20 metal albums of 2020. Get your popcorn ready, it's time for the show!
Released February 21, 2020
The 6th studio release for the Sweedish hard rockers may very well be their best ever! If your a fan of classic 80's metal then this is a must listen! The album is plug and play at it's finest, just pop it in and let it rip!
Released March 13, 2020
If your a fan of local metal, then you won't want to miss this hardcore punk band from Pittsburgh! The band's fourth studio album is undoubtedly their most diverse while offering an extreme mixture of style and composition!
Released October2, 2020
The debut solo album from the Slipknot/Stone Sour front man is nothing less than spectacular! Corey has always been an underrated artist and his wide ranging talents are on full display with this gem. As solid of a debut that you will ever find!
Released October 30, 2020
This is the second solo release for Dream Theater's founding father and general. It also marks the first collaboration with former bandmate and drummer Mike Portnoy. A progressive metal masterpiece is on the menu as John brings the heat!
The Black Dahlia Murder
Released April 17, 2020
You may be surprised to find a melodic death metal band so high on the list but it had to be done. 'Verminous' represents the band's most dynamic and stellar musicianship to date! If you love thrashin' death metal then this is your prototype!
'Blood and Stone'
Released October 23, 2020
Sevendust remains one of the most underrated bands in all of metal. I don't think they have ever released a bad album and always seem to hit just the right note. A phenomenal album from start to finish is highlighted by their cover of Soundgarden's, "The Day I tried to Live."
Five Finger Death Punch
Released February 28, 2020
The 8th studio album for Nevada's metal king represents a bit of a shift in direction; as far as style and sound, and the results are quite honestly magnificent. Often criticized for sounding mundane and dull, this album finds the band firing on all cylinders!
'A View From The Inside'
Released November 6, 2020
The standout guitarist from Whitesnake and Winger is back with another solo record. A shred metal paradise that provides a magical mix of progressive metal and jazz. Shades of Vai and Satriani will dance in your head as you push play!
'Titans of Creation'
Released April 3, 2020
The bay area thrashers are back with a vengeance. Chuck Billy and company really flex their thrash metal muscles on this release. The album harkens back to the band's glory days in a revisionist reset. Thrash metal never gets old and Testament strikes gold once again!
'What The Dead Men May Say'
Released April 24, 2020
Trivium remains one of the best modern metal bands to walk the planet. Their ninth studio album to date may in fact be their best ever. Once again proving why Trivium is one of the hardest working and most consistent metal bands of this era!
'Even The Devil Believes'
Released October 1, 2020
Who said Christian metal cant hit hard? The pioneers of gospel metal are back to kicking ass and taking names. This may be Stryper's heaviest album to date. Chock full of hits and features a ballad that could be a number one hit, had it been released by the likes of Bon Jovi!
Released August 28, 2020
Metallica shocked the world with this release as no one knew an album was on the horizon. 'S&M2' is the sophomore edition of the orchestra symphony and the finished product is fantastic. Nothing better than classic Metallica with a flavor of melodic and symphonic magic!
Released March 6, 2020
Ice T and his band of misfits are back and better than ever! Carnivore is a stellar in your face epilogue of rap-metal's finest. No band embodies the social injustice movement more than Body Count and this one truly hits home. Locked and loaded with killer tracks galore. A must listen for any and all metal maniacs!
Released September 25, 2020
The ninth studio album for Deftones is making waves. The passing years have seen the band move towards more experimental styles and sounds. This particular album strikes fast and hard without compromising the elements that the group was founded on.
'Lamb of God'
Lamb of God
Released June 19, 2020
Lamb of God's tenth studio and self titled record was released to the tune of extremely positive reviews. This album somewhat circles back to the band's roots. It features elements from their most successful era of music: "As The Palaces Burn"-"Ashes of the Wake"-"Sacrament"-and "Wrath". (2003-2009).
"We Are Chaos"
Released September 11, 2020
If there is one word to describe this album it should be WOW! Marilyn tapped outlaw country producer Shooter Jennings and the result is an epic work of art. It is not a stretch to say that this is Manson's greatest masterpiece since "Mechanical Animals." Southern country meets David Bowie here folks; check it out if you dare!
Released November 13, 2020
Welcome back to these bad ass rock legends! Talk about surprises; this one was dropped with little to no warning and fans couldn't be happier. If your a fan of that classic sound like 'Back in Black" then your in for a treat. Tons of hits and solid up and down. Nothing more to say than pop it in and power up!
Released February 21, 2020
The Prince of Darkness is back and darker than ever! The record features many standout session musicians including Slash, Duff McKagan, Post Malone, Elton John and Tom Morello. It's a stellar album that gets better with time. "Under the Graveyard" and "Ordinary Man" could both make a top 20 all-time Ozzy song list!
Released November 20, 2020
It's rare that a cover album makes it this high on the list but frankly; this one could have easily taken top album honors! David Ellefson has always been an elite bassist; but this record highlights his enormous talents as an all around artist. 19 tracks of phenomenal music featuring tons of great musicians. Every genre is covered here!
'Punching the Sky'
Released October 22, 2020
Armored Saint is back and they hit a home run with this record. Hard work and dedication paid massive dividends on this power metal thriller. The record is a diverse mixture of classic metal, thrash and power metal. The sign of a great album is one that you don't get sick of and I've been listening to this one daily since it dropped! Armored Saint takes top album of the year on this masterpiece!
Stories, news and reviews presented by the staff of Philly Rock Radio.