2020’s essential upcoming metal albums

Amaranthe – Manifest

Amaranthe are promising an “all-out metal rollercoaster” on new album Manifest, out on on October 2. “Manifest is the latest step in the evolution of Amaranthe, and across the board it is the boldest statement,” froth the band in a statement. “An all-out metal rollercoaster, Manifest does not hold back in any regard – from the first second to the last, it is brimful with some of the heaviest Amaranthe riffs to date, soaring and emotional vocals and unrelenting metallic fury.” Watch the video for in-no-way-appropriately-titled first single Viral below and make up your own mind.

DevilDriver – Dealing With Demons I

Is there anything more perfect than releasing a single called Keep Away From Me during a pandemic? Well, how about that single being the first taste of a DevilDriver double album?! Dez Fafara describes the album as a personal “purge”, packed with aggression after recent years have seen him weather wildfires, COVID-19 and his wife’s cancer battle. Expect shit to get heavy
Release date: October 9 | Pre-order on Amazon

Carcass – Torn Arteries

Originally slated for August, fans will have to wait slightly longer than expected for Torin Arteries, the much-hyped successor to Carcass’s comeback, Surgical Steel. It was preempted by the grisly Under The Scalpel Blade last year, which guitarist Bill Steer has since called the album’s more “conservative” cut. So, expect some super-gnarly deathgrind from these morbid merchants in the very near future!
Release date: TBA

Napalm Death – Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism

Back in February, grindcore legends Napalm Death released a new EP, Logic Ravaged By Brute Force. It will be followed this year by the full-length Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism.

Speaking about the album title, Napalm Death frontman Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway says: “The phrase sticking in my mind when I started thinking about the lyrical direction for this album was ‘the other’.
Released: September 9

Cradle Of Filth – Title TBA

According to a timeline laid out by Dani Filth last year, Cradle Of Filth should currently be putting the finishing touches to their Cryptoriana… follow up, which the frontman was eyeing to release “after the summer.” Of course, lots has changed since then. Not only has there been COVID-19, but the gothic crew have also lost their co-vocalist, Lindsay Schoolcraft. Still, expect it to arrive sooner rather than later.
Release date: TBA

Hatebreed – Title TBA

Originally slated for release this year but now pushed back to an unspecified date, the successor to Hatebreed’s The Concrete Confessional sounds like a summary of the band’s career thus far. Jamey Jasta has dubbed their eighth album as “very pure, straightforward hardcore, more in the realm of the Perseverance/Rise Of Brutality era, with a little bit of the self-titled and a little bit of Concrete Confessional in there.” Basically, expect ‘90s-style metalcore elevated with modern hyper-aggression.
Release date: TBA

King Diamond – The Institute

Nobody does morbid concept albums like King Diamond, who’s responsible for such old school masterpieces like Abigail and “Them”. On The Institute, the enigma is returning to those unsettling roots; it’s the first half of a double-disc about a 1920s asylum. “The first one’s gonna be released [late] next year,” guitarist Andy La Rocque said in 2019. “I would say it’s back to the roots. You’ll recognize some of the style from the early albums.”
Release date: Autumn 2020

Enslaved – Utgard

Enslaved return to the realms of Norse mythology once again in October with Utgard. Named after a chaotic landscape where giants roam, the band call the album a “necessary journey”. “What we have done here is take the listener on a journey that involves many different levels,” Ivar Bjørnson told Prog. So, black metal riffs and wails will collide with progressive tendencies and luscious folk on this diverse opus.
Release date: October 2

Pre-order on Amazon

Oceans Of Slumber – Oceans Of Slumber

Progressive metal darlings Oceans Of Slumber will return with their self-titled fourth album this year. Due to arrive in September, Oceans Of Slumber features the soulful and dark singles A Return To The Earth Below and a cover of Billie Holliday’s iconic civil rights anthem Strange Fruit. The album was mixed by Dan Swanö (Opeth, Bloodbath) and promises morose melodies with slow, gloomy musicianship.
Release date: September 4

Pre-order on Amazon

Venom Prison – Primeval

Anglo-Russian death metal stars Venom Prison dropped a brand new version of their 2015 track Defy The Tyrant. It's taken from their upcoming album Primeval, which features recorded versions of tracks from their first two EPs, Defy The Tyrant and The Primal Chaos, plus two brand new songs, Defiant To The Will Of God and Slayer Of Holofernes.

 “Primeval is a snapshot of the earlier days of Venom Prison, simpler times where we locked ourselves in a room for days on end to create the early incarnation of what would be our first collection of songs,” say the band. 

Release date: Oct 9

Pre-order on Amazon

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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.