For a year that was rife with complete doom and gloom, there was still plenty of incredible new music to help everyone get through. Pulling together a definitive list of the best albums in any given year is always a difficult task, but here are - in our opinion - ten of the very best heavy albums of 2020!
Trivium - What The Dead Men Say
Trivium proved just how strong they are at this point in their career with another round of fantastic songs on What The Dead Men Say. Every member has oodles of flavour to add with their instrument, particularly drummer Alex Bent, who pounds his kit with a jaw-dropping level of skill and precision and cements himself as a mainstay in Trivium's lineup.
We're certainly glad they didn't wait until after the pandemic to put this out!
Deftones - Ohms
Deftones had kept fans waiting four years for something new, but the result in Ohms was well worth the wait. A record that proves to be heavy, lush and dense all at the same time, it's one of those albums that grows with each listen and rewards those who are willing to give it the proper attention it deserves.
One of 2020's best and one of Deftones' best to date!
Ulcerate - Stare Into Death And Be Still
Ulcerate sets a new standard for the death metal genre with this magnificent work of art, combining a hopeless atmosphere with soul-crushing heaviness and despairing melody.
It's pure misery fueled by unbelievable songwriting and musicianship, and any death metal fan should make sure to not miss Stare Into Death And Be Still, by any means.
Code Orange - Underneath
Code Orange's fourth album Underneath is a malfunctioning mechanical city that just begs to be explored. Full of abrasive moments, sudden tempo changes and stylistic shifts, Underneath plants itself as one of the most unique heavy albums in recent years, and fully puts Code Orange in their own lane.
Jami Morgan relinquished his drum duties to move to lead vocals for the first time, and the addition of a dedicated new drummer in his place elevates their sound to new levels.
END - Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face
END returned with their cage-rattling sophomore LP Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face, spiraling even further down a void of crystallised rage with some of the angriest music you can find out there.
You get a sadistic mix of hardcore and powerviolence evoking bands like Nails, Converge and Full Of Hell. You'll feel like the figure on the album's cover by the time you're through or your money back. Noisy, heavy, frenetic, apocalyptic, but utterly sublime.
Body Count - Carnivore
We're so glad Body Count reunited in 2013, because they've been putting out bangers ever since! Carnivore is no exception to the rule, with some of the toughest riffs and lyrics they've done to date.
There's just something so intimidating about Ice-T coolly barking lyrics at you over hardcore riffs, and it adds an extra level of rowdiness. 'Bum-Rush' is an outrageously-catchy song, and there's also a tasty cover of Motörhead's 'Ace Of Spaces' too!
Bring Me The Horizon - Post-Human: Survival Horror
Technically it's an EP, but Post-Human: Survival Horror has 9 tracks and feels like an album in its presentation. And it's surprisingly good too - there's just so much variety on offer here, from the heavy Suicide Season-esque 'Dear Diary' to the wildly-catchy 'Kingslayer' and even a ballad with Evanescence's Amy Lee. It's a strong release that has puts Bring Me The Horizon back on the radar for new and old fans in a big way.
Killer Be Killed - Reluctant Hero
Six years on from their debut self-titled album, Killer Be Killed return with a monster of a follow-up in Reluctant Hero. It's a much more organic and cohesive effort than the first, with every member firing on all cylinders to produce an excellent metal record.
Of course, when your band consists of Max Cavalera (Soulfly, ex-Sepultura), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Greg Puciato (ex-Dillinger Escape Plan, Black Queen) and Ben Koller (Converge), you can't really go wrong!
The Acacia Strain - Slow Decay
It's incredible to think that The Acacia Strain have managed to make their breakdown-centric mosh sound last ten albums and 20 years, but they really are the best at what they do. Case in point, Slow Decay is an atomic bomb of dark energy that has a metric ton of crushing moments to behold.
If you're someone who fell off with the band in recent years, you can expect the same levels of heaviness as past records like Continent, but a gloomy and bleak atmosphere elevates Slow Decay into something else entirely.
It came out only six months after their last album In Comes In Waves too, which is also well worth your time.
Loathe - I Let It In And It Took Everything
Loathe firmly plant themselves as one of the most exciting heavy emerging bands with their sprawling sophomore LP. I Let It In And It Took Everything pulls obvious influence from all sorts of bands including Deftones and Meshuggah while offsetting moments of intense and abrasive heaviness with lush shoegaze.
It's a super-ambitious spread of genre, but Loathe pull it off with flying colours. It really does manage to make you feel like the world is falling apart around you but being reborn at the same time.
Sepultura - Quadra
The Amity Affliction - Everyone Loves You...Once You Leave Them
The Black Dahlia Murder - Verminous
Polaris - The Death Of Me