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The Top Ten Albums of 2020 According to Kevin Lewis

Added 05 January 2021, 8:05 AM

No. 10:

Band:  Styper
Album:  Even the Devil Believes
Genre:  Heavy Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1983
Record Label:  Frontiers Music

STRYPER returned with “Even the Devil Believes” this year, once again cementing their reputation as one of the premier Christian Metal bands in the world. Full of anthemic songs that are signature STRYPER, this is another example of why they have survived for almost four decades without wavering from their faith or their general greatness. Regardless of whether you believe what STRYPER believes or not, they are writing songs for you. They have a message and use their platform to get that message across. It is that unwavering faith that makes them as important now as it did when they began.
No. 9:

Band:  Demons & Wizards
Album:  III
Genre:  Heavy Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1999
Record Label:  Century Media Records

DEMONS & WIZARDS are one of those bands that came together as a side project and ended up being a hybrid of two great bands that created a third great band. Hansi Kursch (BLIND GUARDIAN) and Jon Schaffer (ICED EARTH) got together and decided to write songs in the fantasy realm. Filing the music in with a lot of intricate guitar work and a killer rhythm section, the vocals are classic Hansi Kursch that soar over the music and fill the space with a unique sound and tone that is immediately identifiable. It took 15 years to get this record and it was worth the wait.
No. 8:

Band:  Seraphic
Album:  Chrysalis
Genre:  Symphonic Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  2014
Record Label:  Independent

SERAPHIC is an Australian Ssymphonic Metal band that just gets it. The songs are big and complex and well put together. With a combination of hard driving rhythms and occasionally intimate undertones, they marry power with subdued and make it sound good together. Using two guitars and piano/keyboards allows for a wall of sound that covers the space and immerses the listener in a sensory blissfulness that lingers after the album ends. These are songs that will stick in your mind and make you want more.
No. 7:

Band:  The Waymaker
Album:  The Waymaker
Genre:  Melodic Power Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  2019
Record Label:  Melodic Passion Records

THE WAYMAKER is a Christian band formed as somewhat of a supergroup. Their debut album is a powerhouse that includes a cover of STRYPER’s "Soldiers Under Command," one of the first Christian Metal songs to gain mainstream popularity. Start to finish, this is a killer record. Three vocalists use different tones and techniques to complement each other and make the voices more than just an additional instrument. They create a vocal wall of sound that hits you from all angles and touches your soul. The music behind the vocals is also a huge amount of sound, fitting in with the vocals and equaling their power. This is a well-rounded band that writes great music.
No. 6:

Band:  Sevendust
Album:  Blood and Stone
Genre:  Nu-Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1994
Record Label:  Rise Records

Once again, SEVENDUST has delivered. This is no surprise for their fanbase as SEVENDUST is one of the most consistently excellent bands, and have been for over 25 years. “Blood & Stone” is their thirteenth album and is just as exciting as their first twelve were. One of the most endearing and enduring things about SEVENDUST is they write songs that their fans feel and identify with. The fans will debate favorites and feelings on the band’s social media feeds. They post their pictures and memories, tell the stories of meeting the band and talk about what cool people they are as individuals. Known as one of the hardest working bands in Metal today, they have put out a killer record that I hope gets them all the attention and honor they deserve.
No. 5:

Band:  Metal Church
Album:  From the Vault
Genre:  Heavy Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1980
Record Label:  Rat Pak Records

Made up of some un-released tracks, re-recorded songs, covers and live versions of a few classics, this is an amalgam of tunes any METAL CHURCH fan will love. "Dead On The Vine" and "For No Reason" are awesome new songs that are just the epitome of all things METAL CHURCH, tons of guitar wizardry, a rhythm section featuring the legendary Stet Howland and Steve Unger and the ubiquitous Mike Howe. Once again, the band has crushed the competition under a full-frontal assault of Metal done right.
No. 4:

Band:  Nightwish
Album:  Human :ii: Nature
Genre: Symphonic Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1996
Record Label:  Nuclear Blast

NIGHTWISH are back with one of their most ambitious projects to date, and that is saying something. “Human :||: Nature” delves into what makes us. From feelings to what drives us, this record explores the very core of what defines us; desires, needs, patterns and feelings. Tuomas Holopainen has written his best to date. Floor Jansen is one of the most versatile and gifted singers in the world today. There is nothing this band cannot do. They take on the most expansive topics and break it down to the basic elements, then layer in complex compositions and merge it all into sonic bliss.
No. 3:

Band:  Armored Saint
Album:  Punching the Sky
Genre:  Heavy Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  1982
Record Label:  Metal Blade
Once again, ARMORED SAINT has written and performed a fantastic album that is immediately recognizable and relatable. With songs that are relevant to today, they make a connection with their fanbase that is direct and deep. “Punching The Sky” hits the listener between the eyes and right in the feels at the same time. With songs like "End Of The Attention Span" dealing with the perils of social media and "Unfair" dealing with the loss of a friend (or perhaps even your own mortality), ARMORED SAINT is speaking truth to those things we all experience, and doing so with a profound eloquence, all set to music that moves you at the same time.
No. 2:

Band:  Seven Spires
Album:  Emerald Seas
Genre:  Symphonic Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  2013
Record Label:  Frontiers Records

Emerald Seas” is an absolute showcase of talent. SEVEN SPIRES is made up of four musicians who are all exceptionally good at what they do. It is fitting this record came out on Valentine’s Day. I have been in love with it since it came out. This is a story set to music. With massive compositions, one must listen to this record over and over to get all the nuance it contains. Each individual musician is incredible and they all come together in a finished product that is thought evoking and immensely pleasing. As I follow them on social media, I know they are well on their way to getting their third album completed and I can honestly say, that is one of the most anticipated records of 2021 for me.
No. 1:

Band:  Electric Mob
Album:  Discharge
Genre:  Blues Rock/Metal

General Information:

Year of Formation:  2016
Record Label:  Frontiers Records

ELECTRIC MOB are a band I just found out about this year and have quickly moved up to being one of my favorites. Hailing from Brazil, they are a cool mixture of blues rock and metal that just draws you in. Renan Zonta is a tremendous vocalist that has a huge range and an ability to sing almost anything, as evidenced by his YouTube channel. But this is not a singer with a band behind him, this is a truly killer band with a vocalist that can handle all the awesomeness going on around him. This is the band that I thank my editor gods for assigning me to review. I want nothing but the best for these guys and hope to get to see them on tour when allowable.

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