What a year it’s been. All I can say is, thank f*ck heavy music existed in 2020.
So many insane new releases that it was hard to get it down to 10. Usually it’s just a flood of deathcore bands for me, and although there were a few bangers in this year, looking at my list, I think it was a really metalcore year for me, and quite an eclectic one at that when I look at the range of bands in there.
TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2020?
Although they didn’t make the list, mentions go out to Emmure, Suicide Silence and The Acacia Strain, plus an unfortunately amazing sounding album from a band that recently got rightfully cancelled. And to, Make Them Suffer – this one was long awaited, and I remember the organic high I experienced on a virtual listening party with Browny on the #NewMusicFriday it got released, and knew it was AOTY instantly. I just wish I could experience it for the first time again – maybe you can now.
#10 Alpha Wolf – a quiet place to die
#9 Wake The Blind – Broken Casket EP
#8 Polaris – The Death Of Me
#7 Fever 333 – Wrong Generation EP
#6 Currents – The Way It Ends
#5 Fit For A King – The Path
#4 In Hearts Wake – Kaliyuga
#3 Like Moths To Flames – No Eternity in Gold
#2 Bring Me The Horizon – Post-Human: Survival Horror EP
#1 Make Them Suffer – How To Survive A Funeral
TOP 10 SONGS OF 2020
It was also a year of ‘singles’, wasn’t it? So many bands had time to get creative and they lived up to expectations. From comebacks of long-time hiatus bands like Breakdown of Sanity and I, The Breather to some other delightful surprises from bands like Thy Art is Murder and Fit For An Autopsy thank you Human Warfare, we got that deathcore delivery that wasn’t as prominent in my top album list.
#10 Polaris – ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine Cover’
#9 Machine Head – ‘My Hands Are Empty’
#8 I, The Breather – ‘PRËY’
#7 Spiritbox – Holy Roller
#6 Bring Me The Horizon – ‘1×1 (feat. Nova Twins)’
#5 Make Them Suffer – ‘Bones’
#4 Breakdown of Sanity – ‘Traces’
#3 Fit For An Autopsy – ‘Fear Tomorrow’
#2 Thy Art is Murder – ‘Killing Season’
#1 Tyla Yaweh ft. Post Malone & Tommy Lee – ‘Tommy Lee (Remix)’
BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2020
If you haven’t seen Eskimo Callboy’s video for ‘Hypa Hypa’, now’s the moment you haven’t been waiting for, but realise you should have been. You’re welcome!
LAST GIG YOU CAUGHT BEFORE COVID
Oh, gigs? I remember those. Man, if I knew what 2020 was going to be like, I would have been way more ambitious with gigs in the first quarter of the year.
Since I was saving myself for the big kahunas, my last gig was actually in 2019. It was Opeth’s show in Melbourne at The Palais with Clinton Hatfield behind the lens, and it was one of the loudest gigs ever. I really enjoyed the sit-down experience and left 2019 with a real ‘positive’ bang.
HOW DID COVID/LOCKDOWNS AFFECT YOU IN 2020?
Where does one even start? So rough. Well, in late-2019, I was super proud of my Wall of Sound backed initiative Ride The Lightning: Metal Spin Class, which had a subsequent event from its November launch, in March. It was one week before lockdown hit and it was a true highlight until I had to suffer the hard stop for the rest of the year.
But it’s not all gloom and doom… By having more time at home than ever before (like the rest of you), I decided one of the things I wanted to do was tick off a few more bands to interview on my bucket list – and I am so glad that I did. With some proactive moves and nagging to big boss Browny, I got to interview musicians of some MAMMOTH bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Black Sabbath and Motörhead.
My #1 interview for the year was by far with Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe. I took a day off work to do it, watched Mötley music videos all day and then heard from the drummer himself, addressing me by name and revisiting stories from the Sunset Strip – pretty surreal.
I might have one more white whale for 2020… watch this
BIGGEST THING YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF THIS YEAR?
For me, this links a bit to my previous bit around what I focused on this year, given the circumstances. It was the year of introspection. The year where I truly had enough time to consider what’s important and re-evaluate life’s priorities.
What did it all boil down to? Basically #YOLO – stop waiting for the perfect moment to do those things you want to do one day – Nike.
FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2020
This is a recent one, actually. Did you know that KoRn’s Brian ‘Head’ Welch has a side-project called Love And Death and features the guitarist of Breaking Benjamin? Well, neither did I! They just released a comeback single with a new album next year, but it turns out they’ve already released music back in 2013. It’s really good, and I’d encourage you to check it out!
NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2021?
My first gig back post-COVID is understandably a local show. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Making my top #10 album list for 2020 is Wake The Blind, who not only released a stupidly good EP earlier this year called Broken Casket, but also smashed us in the face with a Rage Against The Machine ‘Bulls on Parade’ metalcore cover, and it absolutely bangs. Watch out for these guys next year.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2021?
Gigs. Seriously, just that. Actually, I’ll channel our editor Browny and echo his constant Tom Delonge nag and say – if there’s an opportunity to interview Metallica, I’ll hear you out.
Catch you in 2021, and thank you for supporting us this year.