2020’s essential upcoming metal albums

(Image credit: Perou)

It’s easy to write off 2020, but there are some bright spots on the horizon – not least the deluge of fantastic new albums due out this year. From heavyweights such as Metallica, Marilyn Manson and Corey Taylor to the likes of Gojira, Amaranthe and Mastodon, here are the 20 upcoming albums we can’t wait to hear.

Metallica – S&M2

In September 2019, Metallica teamed up with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra for the second time, giving their classic tunes some dramatic pizzazz. It enjoyed a one-night-only cinema release and, this summer, the live film will finally be expanded into a full box set.

S&M2 is set for release on August 28 on standard 4LP vinyl, collectible coloured vinyl, 2CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and Deluxe Box set – and as a Fifth Member exclusive Super Deluxe Box, limited to just 500 copies.
Release date: August 28 | Pre-oder on Amazon

Marilyn Manson – We Are Chaos

After much speculation, Marilyn Manson has confirmed that his new studio album will be released later this year. The follow-up to 2017’s Heaven Upside Down is titled We Are Chaos and it’ll arrive on September 11. The singer recently released the creepy, country-tinged title track. Of the album itself, he says: “Making this record, I had to think to myself, ‘Tame your crazy, stitch your suit – and try to pretend that you are not an animal,’ but I knew that mankind is the worst of them all. Making mercy is like making murder. Tears are the human body’s largest export.” Quite.

Release date: September 11 | Pre-order now

Corey Taylor – CMFT

Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor will finally release his much-trumpeted solo album, CMFT, on October 2. The singer recently released two songs from the album, rap-metal banger CMFT Must Die and arena rocker Black Eyes Blue, and he promises the album will feature a similarly broad range of styles and influences, from Johnny Cash and Alice In Chains to 70s glam rockers Slade. Taylor says: "Everybody knows that my musical tastes have always been all over the place. I love music – and I love good music. I've always said that every genre has good music in it. So when I hear something that I really dig, I'm really into it.” 

Release date: Oct 2 | Pre-order now

Avenged Sevenfold - Title TBA

Avenged Sevenfold reported in 2019 that their long-anticipated eighth was due to arrive this year. “I never deal in absolutes, but right now it’s leaning heavily towards 2020,” guitarist Zacky Vengeance said of when to expect new music. There’s no set release date, but bearing in mind their last album, The Stage, got a surprise release, it could conceivably turn up tomorrow

Release date: TBC

Megadeth – Title TBA

Megadeth have been holed up in Dave Mustaine’s Nashville home studio recording 18 songs for their 16th album. Says MegaDave: “Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] and David Ellefson [bass] both just finished their parts,” the frontman told SiriusXM in mid-June. He’s also placed it in his top five Megadeth albums of all time, while Ellefson has likened it to their 1992 classic, Countdown To Extinction. No pressure there then.

Release date: TBA

Deftones – TBA/Black Stallion

Deftones fans are in for a double treat in 2020. Drummer Abe Cunningham has revealed the Sacramento quintet are eyeing September as the release date for their impending album. Then, the band announced Black Stallion: an “electronic, beat-driven” remix collection that celebrates twenty years of White Pony. The two will be the first new music we’ve had from them since 2016’s Gore, so maybe they’re overcompensating for the long wait?

Release date: October / TBA

Evanescence – The Bitter Truth

On their first album in nine years, Evanescence are being as up-to-date as possible, releasing The Bitter Truth incrementally on streaming sites throughout 2020. The unveiling started in April with the single Wasted On You, and feels perfectly timed in a year where physical releases are being delayed left and right. “People need new music now more than ever,” says Amy Lee. “We’re not going to wait to share it because who knows what tomorrow brings?”

Release date: TBA

Gojira – Title TBA

Still no news on a the long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s Magma, but Gojira recently released the Planet Of The Apes-influenced standalone single Another World. “Ferdinand Magellan once said: ‘It is with an iron will that we’ll embark on the most daring of all endeavours, to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown,” frontman Joe Duplantier said of the apocalyptic song. "Is humanity doomed, or will we survive nature’s wrath? Take a glimpse into our shadowy future by watching our take on 1968’s Planet Of The ApesAnother World!”

Release date: TBA

Mastodon – Title TBA

Atlanta metallers Mastodon will release a new compilation, Medium Rarities, on September 11. It features instrumentals, covers and live tracks, plus their recently released collaboration with Neurosis’ Scott Kelly, Fallen Torches

Drummer Brann Dailor recently spoke to Hammer about the follow-up to 2016’s Once More ’Round The Sun. “It’s all over the map,” he said of the album. “There’s some big, big heavy riffs that are happening, so that’s what I’m into. And then there’s some guitar gymnastics by Brent Hinds that have been some of the most difficult things I’ve tried to wrap my ahead around and play drums to.” 

The album is scheduled for release in 2021. Before that, a new song will appear in the upcoming Bill & Ted movie Bill & Ted Face The Music.

Release date: 2021 | Pre-order Medium Rarities on Amazon

Bring Me The Horizon – Post-Human

Bring Me The Horizon will release four new EPs in the next year, collectively under the name Post-Human. The first has been preempted by the heavy synthcore singles Ludens and Parasite Eve. “The record will follow a similar tone [to the singles],” Oli Sykes told Kerrang!. “They’ll all be very different,” he adds, calling the first EP “battle songs”. As for the three to follow, expect anything from pop to metal to electronic.

Release date: 2020–2021

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Matt Mills

Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.