2020 Year-End Recap: Best Albums

2020 … a nightmare year for planet earth, but a fantastic year of new heavy music. Without further ado, here are the Metal Assault editor’s picks for the top 20 albums of the year.

#20. HUM – Inlet: Champaign, Illinois alt-metal / space rock group Hum dropped an extremely pleasant surprise in 2020 by releasing a brand new album out of the blue, their first in a whopping 22 years. No build-up, no anticipation, just pure instant gratification. Inlet is as beautiful as it is heavy, a whole mood of its own.

#19. TRIVIUM – What The Dead Men Say: True greats of modern heavy metal, Trivium have stayed remarkably consistent and prolific in delivering one excellent album after another. They continue their hot streak with What The Dead Men Say, their ninth full-length studio offering. Trivium’s musicianship is second to none, and this new album showcases it in plenty.

#18. KVELERTAK – Splid: With their signature blend of rock ‘n roll, hardcore punk and extreme metal, Kvelertak have undoubtedly forged their own identity and niche, and not even a change in lead vocalist could do it any harm. The Norwegian band’s fourth album Splid is, quite simply put, quintessential Kvelertak.

#17. WAR CLOUD – Earhammer Sessions: Austin, Texas group War Cloud went into Oakland, California’s renowned Earhammer Studio to record a full-band live set as a studio album. The result was Earhammer Sessions, an album that brilliantly captures the band’s superb energy, cohesive performance, and righteous tunes that channel the likes of Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Judas Priest and Metallica. An out-and-out banger from start to finish.

#16. TESTAMENT – Titans Of Creation: As far as studio album output is concerned, San Francisco Bay Area thrash giants Testament have been going ultra-strong since The Formation Of Damnation (2008) and show no signs of fading any time soon. The band’s 13th full-length offering Titans Of Creation is every bit as powerful, furious and compelling as one would have expected.

Which albums made #15 to #11? All revealed on Page 2 …