This year CGCM decided to include EP (previously they were excluded from Top Ten Albums). Live albums and re-records were still disqualified, new music only for Best of Year. We also instigated a (highly complex🤣 – 1 point for 10th place through to 10 points for 1st place) rating system throughout all individual lists to culminate a Collective Best of 2020. You can find the Collective List as well as all our Best of 2020 content including contributors’ individual lists, podcasts and radio DJ shows here: CGCM’s Best of 2020 (Year in Review)
BEST OF 2020 – Joe Taylor (Writer) 🇬🇧
I am certain my other colleagues will be saying something similar, but 2020 has been a bit of a tough year, but fortunately, heavy music has not gone anywhere. Bands however are struggling more than ever this year, so please as well as streaming, buy an album, buy a T-shirt or at least share the wonderful music with everyone you know. As a new addition to the team, I am perhaps not quite as well-practiced as these as some of my other more esteemed colleagues, so I have simply gone through my devices and worked out the most played albums released this year.
#10 – HATEBREED – Weight of the False Self 🇺🇸
Hatebreed I have found tend to have great setlists, but not always perfect albums. The punk-metal crossover group this time though seems to have got the mix about right. As with all Hatebreed albums, there is a certain formula that can sometimes provide some predictability, however in this instance, they just sound like better Hatebreed songs. “The Herd will Scatter” being a particular thrash-like highlight.
#9 – AC/DC – Power Up 🇦🇺
This is a really fun and more classic AC/DC album. In a year where there has been a lot of difficulties, this has been an album I have returned to feel better. Brain Johnson returning has been a wonderful addition to the band and much needed. There is so much more I can say, but Sparky’s review does it far more justice!
CGCM Album review AC/DC – Power Up by Sparky
#8 – HEAVEN SHALL BURN – Of Weakness and Sacrifice 🇩🇪
I have always been a fan of Heaven Shall Burn since I first heard 2004’s Antigone. The left-leaning melodic death metal band have come back with another winner, debuting at no.1 in the German top 100 and No.4 in the Austrian top 100. They still bring the noise with “Protector” and “Weakness Leaving My Heart” showcasing their excellent maturity from deathcore into more melodic death metal. None of the ferocity is lost, however, with Marcus Bischoff still bringing all the raw aggression he can muster.
#7 – ANAAL NATHRAKH – Endarkenment 🇬🇧
Anaal Nathrakh are a band that have a sound that blends almost all forms of extreme, but yet is somehow oddly very, very specific. “The Age of Starlight Ends” and “Feeding the Death Machine” melt your skull, and the title track does a great job provides the classic energy and violence for any Anaal Nathrakh track. Great job dudes!
#6 – TRIVIUM – What the Dead Men Say 🇺🇸
What the dead men say is definitely one of my more favourite albums by Trivium. For a band that has promised so much for such a long time but never quite fully delivered, this is the sort of album I had been hoping for. The title track brings some crushing riffs, “Amongst the Shadows & the Stones” and “Bending the Arc to Fear” is also classic Trivium, with the softer tracks of “Bleed into Me” and the final track “The Ones We Leave Behind” also finding a balance.
#5 – NAPALM DEATH – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism 🇬🇧
Birmingham, UK based Godfathers of Grind pull off another success with Throes of Joy… in what was a hotly anticipated album. The first album in five years to be released by Napalm, there was much to get stuck into. “A Bellyful of Salt and Spleen” and “Amoral” takes a bit of a step back from the classic grindcore and sounds like they have all been listening to some Gojira. The opening two tracks do ensure that the grindcore has not left. Speaking out on subjects such as injustice and civil rights, they are a very welcome addition to this year, but still continue to rip your face off!
#4 – MR BUNGLE – The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo 🇺🇸
Who wants some classic thrash? What was a side project sort of band in the 1980s have come out with a truly awesome album. The additions of Dave Lombardo and Scott Ian make this an album to be excited about, with Mike Patton injecting some energy, oddness and excentric singing that makes this a truly interesting album. Definitely for fans of 80s thrash along with something more experimental like System of Down, thrash is truly alive and kicking!
#3 – BODY COUNT – Carnivore 🇺🇸
Whilst I understand its not always a good thing to admit, I have really enjoyed Body Count’s last few albums, and this one builds well on everything previous. “Carnivore” starts the album off with some heavy groove riffs and excellent guitar work, Ice-T still at his raging best. The album very much continues in this vein, a metal classic cover thrown in – this time “Ace of Spades”, which is good fun! Nominated for Grammy and becoming very much a polarising band amongst metal fans, they are here to stay in metal!
#2 – THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER – Verminous 🇺🇸
The party boys of death metal are back with Verminous. The long-standing members Trevor Strnad and Brian Eschbach are still creating great things even after so many changes. To echo the sentiments of others, is it even possible for them to write a bad album. All the spark and energy is in there, with the title track letting rip, going through the full album there is plenty to get stuck into, with the final track “Dawn of Rats” an epic ending, a tradition that has spanned almost every album they have written.
#1 – LAMB OF GOD – Lamb of God 🇺🇸
Departing with Chris Adler was always going to be heartbreaking for Lamb of God fans, but all credit to Art Cruz for stepping up behind the kit on this one! I have played every song of this album to death. “Memento Mori” very much sets the tone as the opening track, with single “Checkmate” following on straight after. “New Colossal Hate”, “Routes” and “Bloodshot Eyes” are also brilliant. Often this album has been criticized as a “standard Lamb of God album” however I think this album celebrates all the greatness of Lamb of God.
CGCM Album Review: Lamb of God – Lamb of God by Joe Taylor
Rock on Dudes!
Check out more of my articles here: Joe Taylor
Don’t forget to take a look at all our Best of 2020 content including the COLLECTIVE BEST ALBUMS LIST (culminated via the ratings in the individual lists), all our contributors’ individual best lists, podcast episodes and Radio DJ shows CGCM’s Best of 2020 (Year in Review)