Even though 2020 felt like quite the disaster, there were some great musical moments to be had. Many bands released awesome albums during times where the world truly needed something good to look forward to. Even though I’ve done this annual summary of my favourite album releases before, never have I felt the list to be so vital and required.
A great album release was something worth its weight in gold this year. When so much went wrong, it was critical to enjoy these new musical moments.
Before I get to the list itself, I want to mention something about two of the following albums. The first album below is my favourite release of 2020. No question. Having said that, the last album in this list was my most emotional connection.
Let’s get to it.
I’ll start the list with the album I was anticipating the most in 2020. I was a huge fan of the Black Flame album that Bury Tomorrow released in 2018. I thought that album would be a tough one to follow up. Well, Bury Tomorrow didn’t just follow up with something great, I believe they outdid the brilliance they’d released two years earlier.
Cannibal was a 2020 highlight for me. There is not a track I’d consider skipping in this release. It had a slightly delayed release, but it was 100% worth it.
Seether—Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
I don’t know if Seether has released anything that wasn’t excellent. I have most of their releases on physical media and have been a fan for a long time. When Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum was released I was excited. Listening to the entire album, I was not disappointed. This was another great release.
Here’s hoping there are a lot more of these albums to come.
Sevendust—Blood & Stone
As soon as the single Blood from a Stone was released, I was excited for the album to drop from Sevendust. It’s just awesome metal. The album came later and I was not disappointed.
In related news and mentioned as what I’d call a bonus feature for Sevendust fans, Clint Lowery also released a solid solo album this year. Make sure you check that out—it’s called God Bless the Renegades.
Blood & Stone is well worth a listen, followed by a repeat listen.
In This Moment—Mother
I’m quite late to the In This Moment party. I’d heard of them before this year but never really given them a serious listen. Mother changed that for me. It also made my wife a fan.
There are some seriously impressive tracks on this release as well as some impressive cameos by other artists. The other tracks however hold their own and I can honestly say made me take a serious look at this band’s previous six album releases.
This is heavy and this is awesome.
Trivium—What the Dead Men Say
I’ll always be ready for more Trivium. What the Dead Men Say didn’t disappoint me either. Their riffs and vocal/screaming combination remains tight and I love the way they construct their tracks. It reminds me of earlier Metallica and I’m all about that.
Trivium also make consistently impressive videos to watch. I am already looking forward to the next release. I hope they have many left in them.
Fit For A King—The Path
A full-on metal release was very welcome this year. Fit For A King did a great job with this album. Just as was true for the Bury Tomorrow release, I don’t believe there’s a single track I ever considered skipping on this album. Each song is as strong as the one before or after it.
The video for the title track made me think the band had a blast making this album and knew how brutal each track was. It’s just pure \m/
Lamb of God—Lamb of God
Lamb of God is another band I’ve known of, listened to, but never really listened to seriously. Their self-titled release for 2020 changed that. Their guitar style I’ve always enjoyed, but the song structure and vocal range really appealed to me in this release.
This album was exactly the brutality this year needed. Few if any, did it better.
Just for something different. here’s the guitar playthrough for their track Memento Mori. It’s awesome.
Like Moths To Flames—No Eternity In Gold
I love it when a band goes from strength to strength. For me, that’s exactly what Like Moths To Flames has done. I am a huge fan of their 2017 album Dark Divine and No Eternity In Gold is right up there with that last album. The mix between the screaming and singing is once again perfect and ensures every track on this album is packed full of atmosphere.
The guitar riffs on this album … Damn. Yes. This feels heavier than the last album to me and I’m honestly all about that. If this band keeps going down this path, I’m seriously pumped for whatever may follow. The future looks bright.
Bad Omens—FGBGFM Unplugged
This one is a rule bender for me. It’s an EP and not a traditional album. But you know what? My site, my rules.
I sadly discovered Bad Omens after they’d already released their two initial albums—otherwise they’d have made my 2019 album list. When this EP came out, I told myself they’re not getting missed in 2020.
It also helps that these acoustic versions of six tracks from the 2019 release Finding God Before God Finds Me (FGBGFM) are pure delight. The versatility this band has shown in this release is huge. I’m honestly hoping that there is a full new album to come in 2021. I’m ready.
Static-X—All These Years
This was easily my most emotional—in a good way—musical moment of 2020. New music from Static-X that featured Wayne Static on vocals was exactly what I needed in such a trying year. The way the band treated this release and the way the music showed how timeless their music has always been was an absolute highlight for me.
I can only hope there’s more of these hidden treasures to come.
Hopefully 2021 is a better year for artists and that touring somehow becomes a thing again. If not, I hope the new music continues to flow in ways that see the artists supported financially. They deserve it for the joy their work gives.