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 – Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall (Radio DJ/Writer) 🇨🇦
2020 The Year That Music Wants to Forget
What a year it has been. We lost music legends such as Eddie Van Halen, Neil Peart, Pete Way, and Steve Priest to name a few, and fellow CGCM teammate Adam Cox. We had also had many good times, but most of those had to be within our walls due to Covid-19. One thing the virus has not been able to obliterate is music. Between checking out all the great music and bringing together a radio show for CGCM Radio, it’s been tougher to take it all in.
However, the one thing the Covid restrictions have provided us with was more time at home and since we cannot get out to enjoy live music, I have been consuming new music for months. Sometimes it’s new 2020 music, and others it’s discovering bands from yesteryear. However, it is the start of a brand new year so let us get into it, and let me tell you my top ten albums from 2020!
#10 – RACY GLOW – Into The Wild 🇲🇽
Arriving late in the year, Into The Wild, from Racy Glow is a sound I just love. Hailing from Mexico, these guys have a fresh sound with a huge influence from the 80s’ and that fits my wheelhouse just fine. Everything about this album shows the love and desire to keep Hard Rock alive today and heading into the future. Excellent playing, amazing production, and even the album artwork make this album worthy of making my top 10 of 2020.
#9 – CATALANO – Nightfighter 🇦🇺
Former De La Cruz vocalist Roxx Catalano comes at us full force with this fantastic album from early 2020. With great hooks and stellar playing, it is beyond a must-have. Mix in some terrific vocals, and you have the perfect recipe for a hot album that anyone and everyone should give a listen to. This particular album has had many spots on my list and has bounced up and down a lot, but one thing is for sure it’s always been in the top ten.
#8 – TORCH – Reignited 🇸🇪
Hitting the shelves in September, this album was the kick in the teeth that settled my Metal needs. This Swedish band formed in 1981 and disbanded in 1986, and after a 35-year hiatus, they came back with Reignited to show the others out there just how it’s done. Traditional metal at its finest, and just proves to the younger bands that sometimes no-frill is just the way to go.
The Challenge Of Top 10 Gets Harder
#7 – GIRISH AND THE CHRONICLES – Rock The Highway 🇮🇳
The band formed in 2009 in Gangtok, India, and in April they released their second full-length album, Rock The Highway. This album has a little bit of everything but remains completely cohesive as a whole. With sounds coming from 80s Hard Rock to classic metal, to some more modern sounding metal, this is an album that could be considered a serious contender for what some call a crossover album for fans of hard rock and metal alike. This is one you don’t want to skip for sure.
CGCM Album Review: GIRISH AND THE CHRONICLES – Rock The Highway by Attila Kiss
#6 – PASSION – Passion 🇬🇧
Truly a band that has deep influences in the “Strip-Era” vibe. Full of hooks and melodic Metal/Hard Rock in the veins of Dokken, and Danger Danger this is an album that is aptly titled. A very fun throwback to the times where music was fun and party-driven, and because of that, it has remained in my playlist since it came out.
CGCM Album Review: PASSION – Passion by Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
Half Way Through!
#5 – HELL IN THE CLUB – Hell Of Fame 🇮🇪
In September of 2020, the Italian group Hell In The Club burst forth with their 5th album, and really wore their influences on their sleeves for this one. With a purposeful feeling of an 80s sound, this album is full of great playing, great vocals, and superb writing and production. Regardless of that, it does remain in line with their back catalogue. If you haven’t checked out these guys, I would highly suggest you do and have a great time discovering their back catalogue as well.
#4 – AC/DC – Pwr/Up 🇦🇺
After the news of Brian Johnson leaving due to hearing issues and the passing of Malcolm Young (RIP), I truly thought we have seen the end of AC/DC as we knew it. Even after a short touring stint with Axl Rose on vocals, the end seemed in sight for the legendary rockers. That was until teasers started appearing on the official website, and rumours hitting all over the music scene. In November, the world was well aware that the Australian Rock legends weren’t quite done yet. With rockers like this, I hope they just keep doing what they do, and I know many fans that agree.
CGCM Album review AC/DC – Power Up by Sparky
#3 – STORM FORCE – Age Of Fear 🇨🇦
Kicking off things at the start of 2020 was the great debut album Age Of Fear from Storm Force. Brighton Rock guitarist Greg Fraser had had enough dismay at not getting anything going with his other band. So Storm Force was born. This album just shows that great rock can still come from what some call the “Older Generation”. Full of great melodies, the production quality is only equalled by the musicianship. This one is a definite must-have to all fans of the genre we all know and love.
CGCM Album review Storm Force – Age of Fear by Wallygator
#2 – DAVID REECE – Cacophony Of Souls 🇺🇸
Perhaps best known for his talents across bands like Accept, Bonfire, and Bangalore Choir, to name just a few, this album has got to be a landmark album for any fan of David‘s vocals. An absolute masterpiece of a hard rock album! The writing, playing, and mix on this album are stellar. I can honestly say that the only thing that can top this album is David‘s love of his family, home, and fans.
CGCM Album Review: DAVID REECE – Cacophony of Souls by Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
The Number One Spot Goes To…
#1 – H.E.A.T – II 🇸🇪
Finally, it came down to this #1 album of 2020 for me. This was exactly what was needed to ward off the Covid quarantine blues. Absolute Hard, Melodic rock at its finest. Every song on this release could be a single. The energy on this album cannot go without being mentioned. All you have to do is watch the Live Show DVD that comes with the Live at Sweden Rock from 2019 to see what this band brings to the stage, and now into its recordings as well.
CGCM Album Review: H.E.A.T – II by Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
Let’s Start Lining Up 2021!
This wasn’t always an easy list to compile, with it being such a strange year with the Covid crisis, these are the bands and albums that got me through it.
To the point, this could have easily been a top 25 list. I went with the albums that I played most. The great thing about music is that there is something for everyone, no matter what you enjoy.
Furthermore, check out all my reviews: Trevor’s Archives
Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall
Email Me at Trevor “Psychoone” McD
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)