The Sountrack for the 2020 Apocalypse: My Most Anticipated Records of The Year

A new year is supposed to reset our internal timelines, guide us back onto the path of motivation and be the incentive for positivity, let alone the start of an entirely new decade. However, 2020 is starting with dismal energy due to the threats of war and a full-throttle thrust into the global warming pandemic. So to say that the first few weeks of the new year, and the new decade, has been intense, is an understatement.

While we’re all making half-hazardous jokes about preparing for a world war — i.e.: how to survive if other parts of the world start to be engulfed in flames, submerged in water and all these other armageddon lifestyles choices, I want to bring a little pause to that. This is why, I write to you all to provide a glimmer of hope, even if it just for the three minutes it takes you to read this article. Maybe by discussing the prosperous hope of the 2020 music scene, an apocalyptic soundtrack, if you must, will give you the strength to beat out whatever it is 2020 throws your way. 

Before 2019 ended there had been a lot of rumours floating around, like exciting collaborations, projects, tours, so forth. This is why I have decided to limit this post to the more “confirmed” albums, as well as strictly the ones that hold interest to me. So, please, none of that “uhh Megadeth?” or “bUT RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE IS PLAYING COACHELLA” 

Yes, yes, all very exciting and dandy. I am keen on both pieces of news, but I’m not going to sit here and lie to you that they hold my deepest interests. With that being said, let’s look at my list, and feel free to comment below what is on YOUR list!

(stealing Revolver Magazines format because it made the most sense to me)

Ghost

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

Editing Darya: I love how I said I’m only going to talk about ‘confirmed’ albums, and yet, the very first album is nowhere close to confirmed, we’re off to a great start!

The Swedish band has taken 2019 by storm by becoming one of the focal points of the hard-rock scene and stealing the attention of many. After such a grandiose 2019 for the band (and well, the fans too), this new year is leaving many of us fans yearning for more. Sadly, in true Ghost puppeteer, Tobias Forge, manner… he has given us many dubious comments about whether or not we will be spoiled with more in the new decade.

Forge confirmed that 2020 is the year that the band will finally take a well earned touring pause. I mean, seriously, they’ve been on tour for like 10 years straight. Yet, Tobias claims the reason for this ‘break’ isn’t because he’s ready to take out his swimming trunks and park himself on a beach. He shared it’s so he can focus wholeheartedly on new Ghost music, so he can send it off into our deteriorating world as soon as possible…and even tested that we might get it as early as late 2020.

SO the probability is in good odds, knowing Tobias (not…personally, but by being a very intense fan of the brilliant man) he won’t leave us high and dry and will give us something this year. Will it be the death of Cardinal Copia? Or maybe the death of Papa Nihil? Will we ever get an explanation as to why the Cardinal Copia plushie looks like a literal potato? 

Do you have no idea what I am talking about? Click here

Gojira

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

Back in September 2019, the French progressive-metal band shared with Kerrang! Magazine:

 “[…]I can tell you that we are working very hard on the new stuff. Work is in progress and we are very happy and super proud of it. We just can’t wait to give you more details […]”

This will be the band’s first album since the massively successful album “Magma”, that was released back in 2016. Therefore, it’s safe to say that this upcoming record has been long anticipated by fans around the world. Magma was an explosively popular album for the band, charting the highest any of their records ever have and sold almost 170,000 copies in the first week of its release. 

Thus, one can argue that the pressure for the band’s 7th studio album is building, people may be anticipating another Magma. Luckily, the four-piece are long-time professionals in the industry and, thus, are able to their cool in terms of a release date, and focusing on working at their own pace. No talk since September, however, fans have a feeling they won’t have to wait too far into 2020. 

No news is good news, right?

Avatar

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

In the last two months, the Swedish-melodic-death-metal band has been documenting their recent studio ventures and teasing fans of this highly anticipated post-Avatar Country album.

The band is best known for its extensively well-thought-out thematic concept album, announced in late 2019, before beginning the recording process, that they will take the challenge of ditching the themes and concepts. 

*insert whiny metalhead complaints*

Despite the news being shocking to many, since they had just gone through all the elaborate inventive effort of creating this whole world around their last album “Avatar Country” (2018) — I mean, they did a concept film, a simulation website, passports to go with their country thematics… they even have a “king” hot sauce…

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 9.14.50 AM
Avatar – Taken by Me at the Vancouver 2018 Show

Nevertheless, Avatar had initially been a melodic death metal band with no costumes, themes or characters. It was not until their 4th studio album that the band began painting their faces and dressing in costume. So if anything, the band’s going back to their roots, just with more experience, budget and success in their tool belts.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you would know how big of a fan I am of the band, and how much financial support I’ve willingly given to the five men of the band. Therefore, you can probably guess how excited I am for this new album. 

Concept or no concept, just give me new Avatar music please (and a tour). 

Marilyn Manson

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

In 2017, the shock rock icon, Marilyn Manson, dropped his highly awaited record “Heaven Upside Down”. The controversy surrounding the albums name & release date change had many people questioning if the album was ever going to come out. First, the record was to be called “Say10”, which Manson dramatically announced the name at the Golden God Awards, and it was to be released on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day 2017 came and went and there was no news, then there were rumours about a title change, THEN we got a new release date…However, after Valentine’s stand up, people were doubting Manson actually had a new record. But it came, and even then, people were still not pleased about it. 

The record itself had a lot of mixed reactions. It’s Manson’s lowest-selling album to date, and least controversial (despite the title of it being changed from ‘say10’ to ‘heaven upside down’). 

Despite the love-hate reaction that he [Manson] is used to, back in July 2019 he shared that his upcoming LP will be once again recorded with Shooter Jennings. Since then, Manson has dropped two latest singles — a cover of The Doors‘ “The End” and an eerie take on the folk standard “God’s Going To Cut You Down” — indicating that Manson will be revisiting the gothic blues persona he had taken up during “The Pale Emperor”.

Personally, one of my all-time favourite Manson albums is “The Pale Emperor”. At his current age, health and level of commitment to music, I think it’s the sound that suits him the best, and you can tell he enjoys it too. 

The Pretty Reckless

Title: TBA (Rumored to be titled Death by Rock and Roll)

Release Date: TBA

American Rock band The Pretty Reckless are most known for their former-actress-and-now- front-woman, Taylor Momsen. However, the band was quick to shift their attention as a talented up and coming hard rock band with the release of their debut record “Light Me Up“(2010). On it, the band had three successful singles that carried the success of the American four-piece.

Sadly, the recognition for the band shifted when The Pretty Reckless became known as the last opening act for pioneer band, Soundgarden, at their final show with Chris Cornell before the singer’s suicide. Since the death of legendary Cornell, the band has notably felt guilt and sadness for the loss of their great inspiration and have been doing everything in their power to pay their respects. 

Since Taylor Momsen sang onstage with the surviving members of the grunge icons at the “I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” benefit show in January of 2019. It is evident that the band’s have kept close contact with each other and even hinted at major collaborations for The Pretty Reckless’ upcoming LP. Momsen shared on Instagram that she and the band have been recording with Soundgarden’s (and Pearl Jam‘s) drummer, Matt Cameron in Seattle, as well as Soundgarden’s notably recognizable guitarist, Kim Thayil. 

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 10.24.02 AM
Taylor Momsen (TPR) & Matt Cameron (Soundgarden/Pearl Jam) – Taken by Hannah Meadow

Growing up, I was a massive The Pretty Reckless fan. Momsen radiates everything I wanted to be (and still does); confident, talented, and generally cool. Then, I got a little older and discovered the big 4 Seattle sound bands, and became very attached to Cornell. His death impacted my life immensely, therefore, I know for a fact that this album will chart highly in albums that mean a lot to me…and frankly, I cannot wait.

‘68 

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

‘68 is an American garage rock band from Atlanta, Georgia. Since the release of duo’s sophomore album “Two Parts Viper (2017)”, that I’ve boldly labelled one of the best rock albums of the decade, the lineup has changed from band originators Josh Scogin and Michael McClellan to Josh Scogin and Nikko Yamada

This outrageously energetic dynamic power between Scogin and Yamada quickly stole my attention in 2019 and has since become my number one rated “ones to watch out for” rock band. I spent most of 2019 writing about how incredible the pure raw rock’n’roll passion the two emanate on stage, which only makes sense that I’m starting 2020 raging about how excited I am to see what the two do in the studio together. 

Scogin and Yamada have shared repeatedly on social media that a new album is in the process of being made, and have also shared that we, the fans, don’t have to wait too long to listen to what will most likely be the rock album of the year.

HELL YEAH. 

Pearl Jam 

Title: Gigaton

Release Date: March 27, 2020

I knew putting off this article would pay off in one way or another. As I sit here and write this article on the 13th of January 2020, my email has been flooded by Pearl Jam HQ in regards to the new album announcement. 

Pearl Jam doesn’t need any introduction, if you are unsure of who they are, then… We cannot be friends. What you do need to know, however, is that it’s been nearly seven (7) years since Seattle’s band the last album. In 2013, Pearl Jam released Lightning Bolt, earning them a Grammy award and have since been “touring”* the record. 

*touring is in quotation because it’s been a while since the band has done a proper tour, and is mostly doing specialty stadium tours — but they’ve just announced a new tour, woo! 

Alas, the wait is over and the TenClub (which acts like Pearl Jam’s HQ) announced that: 

“ Pearl Jam will release their much anticipated eleventh studio album, Gigaton, on Monkeywrench Records/Republic Records on March 27 in the US. Internationally, the album will be released and distributed by Universal Music Group. Produced by Josh Evans and Pearl Jam, Gigaton marks the band’s first studio album since GRAMMY award-winning Lightning Bolt. Gigaton is available for pre-order now at http://www.pearljam.com. The first single, “Dance of the Clairvoyants,” will be released in the coming weeks.” – TenClub

Although I will not be attending their “North American” 2020 tour, nor their European shows, I will be proudly blasting this album. Long live Pearl Jam. 

Foo Fighters

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

Foo Fighters, like Pearl Jam, need no introduction. The American rock band, fellow Seattle-crew began posting teasing, yet ominous social media posts hinting at a new 2020 album. On December 31st, 2019, the Foo Fighters posted a picture of a recording microphone in a bathtub with the caption “come on in, the water’s fine… #FF2020 #FF25 #happynewyear”… with these posts have continued into the new year building the hype. 

The iconic rock band received mixed reviews on its 2017 album Concrete and Gold. The band called the album a “hard extreme record with pop sensibilities”, and of course, that triggered a lot of long-time rock fans (mainly, men). People have since been begging the band to go back to their more “garage rock” roots. 

Thankfully all this noise isn’t jading the band’s recording process, as frontman, Dave Grohl recently shared that he is proud that he makes “uncool” “dad-rock” music, and that is what to expect of the band from that point forward. 

I, for one, love Dave’s dorky dad-joke side and will support this dad-rock band. Hit me with the dad-rock, boys. 

04-foo-fighters-press-2017-cr-Brantley-Gutierrez-billboard-1548
Foo Fighters by Brantley Gutierrez

Thomas V. Jäger

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

The frontman of Swedish doom-metal band, Monolord, announced earlier in 2019 that despite the band’s departure from American record label RidingEasy Records, he is set to debut his solo record with the label.

Jäger has been sharing that between the band’s incessant touring, he has been in the process of recording his music. The Swedish riff-lord recently shared on Instagram that “[…] the album will be released 2020 on RidingEasy Records. Don’t expect heavy down-tuned rock. Expect pain, sorrow & death in an acoustic shroud”.

Despite being a massive fan of his “heavy down-tuned rock”, “pain, sorrow & death” seems to be a sensible theme for this year, and I am a fan of anything this man does. I cannot wait to hear it. 

Advent Varic 

Title: Tulumus & Adraya

Release Date: May 2020 & October 2020

Good friends of mine, Advent Vraic, a blackened stoner metal band, shared with me that 2020 is going to be the year all of us join the band on the planet tulumus. 

The progressive metal band shared with me that in May 2020 they drop “Tulumus” on Interstellar Smoke Records and in October of 2020 they release Adrya. Tulumus is a re-release with extra content and Adrya is a brand new album from the band. 

I know this band, and I can vouch that they are creative gems that make kickass music, and I am hyped to hear more from them. Check them out, you won’t regret it. 

Skraeckoedlan

Title: TBA

Release Date: TBA

Self-acclaimed “Swedish Fuzzience Fiction rock” band, is another group of individuals that became a quick favourite of mine in 2019. Last year, the group dropped their third studio LP “Eorpe”, and heavily toured the successful underground album. 

As discussed previously, the album was a huge favourite of mine that played a significant role in the turbulent time. Despite not expecting more from the band, since the preceding record was released 4 years before Erope, the band has shown on social media that they’re already back in the studio working on a new album.

Editing Darya: The band shared with me that “Our goal is to release something this year, but it’s hard to say if we will get there.”

Honorary mentions: Uncle Acid, Warish, Sundrifter, The Ugly Kings, Electric Monolith, Ville Valo, Tainted Lady& Birthday Girl — all bands that I’ll be keeping a close eye on this year, and will update all of you if there is new music from them.

Until next time Interwebs! 🕸


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