The less we say about what kind of year 2020 has been so far, the better. Let's leave it at: It's sucked. Thankfully, some of our favorite artists have found it within themselves to write, record and release new music — something, anything, to help propel us through days upon days that often feel hopeless. We at Revolver recently compiled our picks for the 20 Best Albums of 2020 So Far, which inspired us to ask you the fans to share your choices for the year's single finest LP to this point. Below are the top five results, ranked in order of ballots cast — and no, Tool did not make the cut, no matter how much you voted for them.
Splinters From an Ever-Changing Face was the album we didn't know we needed in 2020. Its far-beyond-heavy onslaught crushes from top to bottom, providing an all-too-fitting soundtrack to our unhinged times. Featuring current and former members of Dillinger Escape Plan, Counterparts, Fit for an Autopsy, Misery Signals, Shai Hulud and Reign Supreme, END are the rare supergroup that lives up to the sum of its parts, an achievement you rewarded by voting the band's debut LP into the top five.
Testament have been thrashing it up for nearly 40 years now, but there's no sign of them slowing down. To the contrary, Titans of Creation captures the grizzled quintet throwing down and pushing their own boundaries as hard as ever, from no-holds-barred rippers like "The Children of the Next Level" and "Night of the Witch" — which showcase the ageless dual guitar shred of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson — to synth-laden cinematic closer "Catacombs." Into the pit!
Pittsburgh-based metal experimentalist Code Orange only know how to outdo themselves, even when it seems impossible. With the bar set high by Forever (Revolver's pick for the best album of 2017), Jami Morgan, Reba Meyers and cohorts offered up the almost absurdly ambitious Underneath. It's a bit hard to digest all at once due to its sheer magnitude, from the suffocating industrial atmospherics to the mosh-driving riffs to the infectious alt-rock hooks. Eventually, after multiple listens, the album's genius becomes undeniable.
Trivium have a dedicated yet at times divided fan base as the Floridian metal stalwarts have evolved from melodic metalcore to throwback thrash to a more hard-rock-inflected sound across their career, sometimes dumping frontman Matt Heafy's harsh vocals along the way. Packed with anthemic choruses, vicious screams and, of course, lots of instrumental shredding, their ninth LP, What the Dead Men Say, is an immediately gripping listen with plenty to unite fans of all their various forays and incarnations. No wonder you guys came out en masse to support it here.
When have Lamb of God ever let you down? While some may have wondered if LOG might falter or wander without founding drummer Chris Adler in the fold, one listen through the Virginian metal stalwarts' self-titled album and the answer is clear. Fuck no. Boasting all the neck-snapping technical riffage and burly roars we've come to love, Lamb of God is at once familiar and exhilarating. It's also your hands-down pick for the No. 1 album of the year so far.