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25 Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2020

New LPs expected from Ozzy, Deftones, Lamb of God, Megadeth, Maiden, Anthrax, and more

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Most Anticipated 2020 Metal Albums
Most Anticipated 2020 Metal Albums

    The new year has a tough act to follow, considering that 2019 brought us a bevy of noteworthy and acclaimed metal releases.

    Last year, we saw Tool release their first album in 13 years, as well as the arrival of highly anticipated LPs from Slipknot, Rammstein, and more. What’s more, many of the big releases lived up to the hype, earning accolades from fans and critics alike.

    Now, attention turns toward a metal godfather (Ozzy Osbourne), alt-metal heroes (Deftones), half of thrash’s Big 4 (Anthrax and Megadeth), and the “Twins of Evil” (Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie) as we anticipate what 2020 has to offer us.

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    Modern metal favorites like Lamb of God, Mastodon, and Gojira are all due for new albums, too, while recent breakthrough bands like Code Orange and Power Trip are looking to keep their momentum going.

    So, as metal enters a new decade, and celebrates 50 years of existence, the future looks bright for headbangers of all ages. Take a look below at the 25 Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2020.

    — Spencer Kaufman

    Managing Editor


    Sepultura – Quadra

    Sepultura - Quadra 2020 Anticipated

    Release Date: February 7th

    Why We’re Excited: What began as a homespun blackened thrash band by passionate metalhead teenagers grew into a Brazilian heavy metal institution. Sepultura might not look or sound as they once did, but the band has always avoided stagnation by looking ahead. Quadra sees the band embracing the concept album format, exploring the mysticism of the number “4.” The album’s singles “Isolation” and “Last Time” bridge thrash and prog, with drummer Eloy Casagrande dominating the latter track.—Jon Hadusek

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    Kvelertak – Splid

    Release Date: February 14th

    Kvelertak - Splid

    Why We’re Excited: Kvelertak acquired new vocalist Ivar Nikolaisen after original singer Erlend Hjelvik quit in 2018. With Splid, the Norwegian band pick up where they left off with 2016’s Nattesferd, mingling hardcore punk with blackened thrash metal. The freewheeling rollick of FM classic rock also comes across in the album singles “Bråtebrann” and “Crack of Doom” — the latter featuring Mastodon’s Troy Sanders. With Splid being one of the earliest 2020 announces on our radar, the new era of the band appears to be off to a solid start.—Jon Hadusek

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    Ozzy Osbourne – Ordinary Man

    Ozzy Osbourne - Ordinary Man

    Release Date: February 21st

    Why We’re Excited: Ordinary Man is shaping up to be Ozzy Osbourne’s most ambitious album in years. Boasting guest performances from Elton John, Post Malone, Slash, and Tom Morello, as well as a backing band featuring Duff McKagan and Chad Smith, the LP has plenty of star power. Despite a rough 2019 filled with illness and injury, early singles from the LP prove that Ozzy’s voice is as haunting as ever. Arguably metal’s most visible mainstream personality, Ozzy continues to invite new styles into his sound and endear himself to a whole new generation of fans. Some purists might scoff at the singer’s crossover appeal, but above all, Ozzy is a showman and remains metal’s most humble and charming ambassador. —Jon Hadusek

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    Body Count – Carnivore

    Body Count - Carnivore

    Release Date: March 6th

    Why We’re Excited:  After an extended hiatus, Body Count’s returned with a vengeance, as Ice-T’s pioneering rap metal band has released some of the most inspired music of its career over the past several years. Their upcoming seventh album, Carnivore, looks to maintain that standard of quality with precise thrash metal and Ice-T’s blunt lyricism, which is poignant and honest as ever on the lead single and title track. Special guests on the album include Evanescence’s Amy Lee, Power Trip’s Riley Gale, and Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta, making this Body Count release particularly curious for longtime fans. –Jon Hadusek

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    Code Orange – Underneath

    Code Orange - Underneath 2020 Anticipated

    Release Date: March 13th

    Why We’re Excited: Code Orange turned heads when they arrived at the 2018 Grammy’s wearing futuristic outfits that belied their DIY origins. This came after nearly a decade of grinding — hundreds of shows and crusty moshes — and a wise shortening of their band name. In short, they’d made it. Although they didn’t win the award for Best Metal Performance, the nod was enough to catapult them to maximum visibility in extreme music circles. Further dabblings in industrial rock can be heard on “Let Me In” — the entrance song for WWE wrestler The Fiend — and the title track from Underneath, as Code Orange make another artistic pivot toward new sounds. Both tracks retain the bleak symbolism and imagery of their past work. –Jon Hadusek

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    Me and That Man – New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1

    Me and That Man - New Man New Songs

    Release Date: March 27th

    Why We’re Excited: Behemoth put out two of the best metal albums of the 2010s — The Satanist and I Loved You at Your Darkest — so anything frontman Nergal touches these days seems to turn to gold. With his side project Me and That Man, Nergal embraces blues, gothic folk, outlaw country, and Americana, a far cry from the extreme metal of Behemoth. And on the outfit’s sophomore album, he’s recruited a bevy of guest singers, including Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Mastodon’s Brent Hinds, Trivium’s Matt Heafy, Emperor’s Ihsahn, and more. That’s a wealth of talent on one album. — Spencer Kaufman

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    Static-X – Project Regeneration

    Static-X - Project Regeneration

    Release Date: May 29th

    Why We’re Excited: Following the death of frontman Wayne Static in 2014, it seemed like the final chapter for Static-X had already been told. The recent Wisconsin Death Trip Tour” was controversial for its use of a masked singer that resembled the late vocalist. The band originally planned to use guest singers for Project Regeneration, but a number of vocal demos cut by Wayne Static were uncovered and resurrected for the album, with Wayne Static being the primary vocalist for the LP. With Static-X able to complete songs that went unfinished, Project Regeneration is quite literal in its nomenclature.—Jon Hadusek


    AC/DC – TBA

    AC/DC 2020 anticipated

    AC/DC, photo by Heather Kaplan

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    Release Date: TBA

    Why We’re Excited: Officially, there has been no news from AC/DC regarding their status as a band or whether they’ve recorded new music, but various reports point to the legendary act’s imminent return and a new album on the way. A couple of years ago, guitarist Angus Young was the lone remaining classic member in the band, following singer Brian Johnson’s departure due to hearing issues and bassist Cliff Williams’ retirement. But it appears that both Johnson and Williams are back in the fold, as is drummer Phil Rudd. If it all turns out to be true, we’re in for one helluva comeback by one of heavy music’s greatest acts. — Spencer Kaufman


    Anthrax – TBA

    Anthrax 2020 Anticipated

    Anthrax, photo by Heather Kaplan

    Release Date: TBA

    Why We’re Excited: The 2010s proved to be a strong decade for veteran thrash masters Anthrax, who released two strong albums following the return of classic singer Joey Belladonna. It’s been four years since the band’s last album, For All Kings, and drummer Charlie Benante has described the next LP as “aggressive”, “weird”, and “pissed off”, adding that it will “span the history of our musical landscape.” Sounds like all signs are pointing to another powerhouse album from one of the Big 4 of thrash. — Spencer Kaufman


    Avenged Sevenfold – TBA

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    Avenged Sevenfold 2020 Anticipated

    Avenged Sevenfold, photo by Kameron Pollock

    Release Date: TBA

    Why We’re Excited: One of modern metal’s biggest acts had a bizarre album cycle for 2016’s The Stage, which was met with lukewarm sales. First, Avenged Sevenfold surprise-released the album without any previous notice, and then instead of embarking on a planned elaborate headlining tour, they accepted an offer to support Metallica on a stadium trek. By the time Avenged were ready to properly take The Stage on the road, singer M. Shadows suffered a vocal cord issue, forcing the band to cancel its summer 2018 headlining tour and step away from the spotlight. It feels like A7X now have something to prove, so expect big things when they do return. — Spencer Kaufman


    Black Label Society – TBA

    Black Label Society 2020 Anticipated

    Black Label Society, photo by Amy Harris

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    Release Date: TBA

    Why We’re Excited: Fans of Zakk Wylde were disappointed to learn that the guitar virtuoso doesn’t play on Ozzy Osbourne’s new album, despite being a key member of the metal icon’s live band. But fear not, Zakk will be back with a new album in 2020, with his own accomplished outfit, Black Label Society. After churning out Grimmest Hits in 2018, and reimagining their 1999 debut Sonic Brew last year, Zakk and the boys will hit us once again with some righteous riffs. — Spencer Kaufman


    Cannibal Corpse – TBA

    Cannibal Corpse

    Cannibal Corpse, via Metal Blade

    Release Date: TBA

    Why We’re Excited: As one of the longest running bands in the history of death metal, Cannibal Corpse have released a new album every few years, and it’s always a major event for extreme metal. After touring heavily in support of 2017’s Red Before Black, the band has officially concluded that album cycle and begun work on a follow-up. It’s undetermined if troubled guitarist Pat O’Brien will return to the band after his arrest in late 2018, when military flamethrowers and over 80 firearms were discovered in his house. However, vocalist Corpsegrinder has said the Cannibal Corpse “want him back.”—Jon Hadusek


    Deftones – TBA

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    Deftones 2020 Anticipated

    Deftones, photo by Debi Del Grande

    Release Date: TBA

    Why We’re Excited: Deftones romantic vision of heavy music has become even more focused as their career progresses. Koi No Yokan and Gore saw the band smooth off the rough edges, expressing moods and fleeting emotions with slower, more atmospheric songs. There’s still plenty of heavy riffs and soaring screams from Chino Moreno, who last year excited fans by comparing the upcoming LP to the classic White Pony. And while there was hope the LP would surface in 2019, Moreno has promised that the album will “definitely” be out in 2020. —Jon Hadusek


    Every Time I Die – TBA

    Every Time I Die

    Every Time I Die, via Epitaph Records

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    Release Date: TBA

    Why We’re Excited: Every Time I Die have kept things interesting since their last album, 2016’s Low Teens. Guitarist Jordan Buckley saved a fan’s life by accidentally spitting in her eye; singer Jordan Buckley released a stellar album with the supergroup The Damned Things; and guitarist Andy Williams made his television debut as professional wrestler The Butcher as part of the new AEW organization. Twenty-plus years into their career, Every Time I Die are heading into the studio with producer Will Putney to bring the hardcore once more. — Spencer Kaufman


    Gojira – TBA

    Gojira 2020 Anticipated

    Gojira, photo by Raymond Ahner

    Release Date: TBA

    Why We’re Excited: Although polarizing for fans, 2016’s Magma marked a satisfying evolution for Gojira. Their songs were suddenly catchier, compact, and more immediately accessible compared to the progressive post-metal of past albums. The French metal act posted a shot of faders on a mixing console back in September, insinuating that they are in the studio working on their next LP, which has been in-progress for the past couple years. “Work is in progress,” drummer Mario Duplantier said in 2018, “… We can’t wait to share it with you.” Hopefully, they can in 2020. —Jon Hadusek


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