The Top 20 songs of 2020, aka, How I Survived the Lock Down Year (10-1)
10) BODY COUNT - Point The Finger feat. Riley Gale
The metal scene lost an up and coming superstar in singer Riley Gale from thrash metal outfit Power Trip. Beloved by everybody that met him, Gale caught the attention of Ice T, who befriended him and got him to sing on this heavy ass song about police violence. A gem, all the way around.
9) SPIRIT ADRIFT - Ride Into The Light
This metal band from Arizona, uses heavy music and intelligent lyrics to shine a light into the darkness of society. Like Riley Gale and Ice Tea from the song above, these guys don’t care if they cross political lines to fight for what is right. But none of that matters if a band can’t deliver the goods. Spirit Adrift for sure bring the rock. This band sounds bad ass.
8) SORCERER- The Hammer of Witches
I recently discovered Sorcerer and immediately kicked myself in the arse for being late to the party. This Swedish metal band have been around, in one form or another, since the 1980s. So that’s a huge rabbit hole to climb down and explore, and this song is a great place to start. Bad ass guitars, a solid singer, occult lyrics, gang vocals, arena ready choruses. Right up my alley.
7) GOJIRA - Another World
French metal band Gojira’s sound is so heavy that it blows me away. Not for the faint of heart. This song, and accompanying video, is a classic take on Planet of the Apes, except the band itself builds a rocket to leave a doomed and hate-filled planet Earth, only to return to the same place, after Armageddon. No matter how good the intentions, sometimes is best to just stay and fight. Brilliant!
6) Armored Saint - Missile to Gun
Armored Saint is one of those bands that should’ve never stopped making music. Though John Bush put out some fantastic music with Anthrax, to me his voice is perfect for his original, and current band, Armored Saint. Uncompromising and ultra-heavy, don’t confuse these guys with being a hair metal band because of they existed during that time period in the 80’s. There’s nothing pretty about this band, just kick ass, heavy music. The video also sports some pretty dynamic fight choreography between two female gladiators. Yea!
5) POKEY LAFARGE – Fuck Me Up
This song. Not heavy metal, at all. Pokey LaFarge’s sound is like the perfect cross between Rockabilly, Bluegrass and New Orleans jazz. His voice is so vintage that you could close your eyes and go back to the 1940’s, but the sound is modern, as is his energy. This band just plays happy, feel good music. The song itself, yea, considering the year that 2020 was, we could all use something and somebody to fuck us up. Bring it on, Pokey!
4) TESTAMENT– Night of the Witch
My favorite thrash outfit, Testament, released an incredible album early in 2020, then the singer, Chuck Billy, along with members of the other bands on that tour, caught Covid-19 on an ill-fated European tour, complete with a ferry crossing in high seas, and then the virus. Chuck’s battle inspired me in my own battle against Coronavirus in April/May of this year. He survived. I survived. Let’s rock! \m/ \m/
3) OZZY OSBOURNE – Straight to Hell
Under the Graveyard was the first single, and most popular song on Ozzy’s fabulous comeback album, Ordinary Man, but I chose this song because the video is just so over the top, but mirrored the riots that were happening across America at the time. Has Ozzy ever looked as evil as he does conjuring this madness? I think not! Also, Slash, laid down some killer licks in this rocking number.
2) DEEP PURPLE – Throw My Bones
Deep Purple also made a fantastic comeback this year with the album, Whoosh!. Throw My Bones is such a great song, and like many other songs on this list, proved quite prophetic, with what happened during lockdown. As gloomy and downtrodden as this year proved to be, music was a special light, and no light shined brighter than Deep Purple's. “All I have is what I need.” Perfect! I also climbed down the Deep Purple rabbit hole, and discovered that their last several albums are killer, not just their old ones. It just goes to show that just because a band doesn’t get radio play doesn’t mean they aren’t out their kicking ass!
1) AC/DC - Shot in the Dark
When one of the biggest selling rock bands in history makes an unannounced comeback, one would expect some great songs. AC/DC did just that, and did not disappoint. This could be their best album in three decades, and this song propels the entire album. Angus doesn’t play super long solos anymore, but he still will shove his guitar right up your ass. Brian Johnson hasn't sounded better since the Mutt Lange produced albums.