Just about the halfway point, 60-51 in my top 100 albums of 2020.
60. Chronus - Idols
Chronus is a band I discovered on Metal Injection's Slay at Home Festival. They have a throwback rock/metal sound reminiscent of Ghost and Black Sabbath.
Side A of the album is loaded with heavy hitters and earworms, including Sheperd which is my pick for #3 song of 2020. Unfortunately, side B is not quite as interesting, and the album loses a lot of steam despite being only 35 minutes.
59. JG Thirwell & Simon Steensland - Oscillospira
JG Thirwell is a musician, composer, and record producer. He's been involved in several projects, but I know his name from being the composer of the show Archer. Simon Steensland is a name I don't know, and he is a Swedish composer.
Together, the two cook up some messed up avant garde prog zuehl modern classical. Take equal parts Magma, Zorn, Mr. Bungle and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and you have Oscillospira.
58. Run the Jewels - RTJ4
Released digitally early (and for free) amidst the ongoing BLM protests. RTJ4 managed to be both an escape from the protests, while at the same being very relevant to the protests.
I have always loved Run the Jewels from the moment I first heard them, and I've seen them in concert and it was absolutely amazing. I didn't like their 3rd album quite as much, but they've won me back and this cements it for me that they are undoubtedly one of best rap groups of all time.
57. Killer Be Killed - Reluctant Hero
Supergroup Killer Be Killed is made up of Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Troy Sanders (Mastodon) and Ben Koller (Converge). That is a STACKED lineup.
Unfortunately, their debut was somewhat of a letdown as it didn't sound like a fully realized cohesive blend. Something seems to have clicked on their sophomore effort, Reluctant Hero, and I just hope they continue to iron out their sound.
56. Lettuce - Resonate
Years ago I saw Lettuce lay down the funk at a small club in San Francisco back when Eric Krasno was in the band. Now, they're playing large theaters like the Fox in Oakland.
Their growth in popularity is well deserved, and their latest album comes out less than a year later than their previous one, Elevate. This album includes new songs, material leftover from the Elevate sessions, and some not-yet-recorded songs they've been playing live for years.
55. The Ocean -
Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
The Ocean is a post metal band that I've seen live a few times all within the span of a few months. At the time, I wasn't quite sure what to make of them. They were good but for some reason I didn't quite connect with it.
With this new album, blah blah Zoic, this is finally an album of theirs that clicks with me, and makes me want to give them another solid try and dig into their discography.
54. Trivium - What the Dead Men Say
When the world shutdown, Matt Heafy of Trivium was one of the first artists I saw embracing live streaming on Twitch. He even performed their new album, What the Dead Men Say, in its entirey the day before it was officially released.
Trivium has always been a band I respected, but I could never really get into them. For some reason, this album hits me just right. I dove back into their discography just to double check, and nope, it's just this album I dig.
53. Vulkan - Technatura
I've never heard of this Swedish progressive metal band until this year. While most the album is in English, they have four songs in their native tongue.
Technatura is their third album and I'm anxious to check out their previous work. If the idea of Tool meets Dredg, Porcupine Tree, 3, and Beardfish sounds exciting to you, give them a listen.
52. Zan - Behold the Key
Sick and brutal mathy death metal. The album is an assault on the ears for just shy of 30 minutes. In a post Dillinger Escape Plan world, this helps fill in that gap.
Plus, listen to that intro to to Wedding Gazebo Placebo. It's absolutely ridiculous and I love it.
51. Descend - The Deviant
Let's get this out of the way, the obvious comparison is going to be the old Opeth or Disillusion (who also get Opeth comparisons).
Yet another band out of Sweden (WTF is in the water there?), this is also my entryway into a band that has two prior releases.
Descend does go beyond being just an Opeth clone, and fills in that OG Opeth gap quite nicely.