After my articles about death metal from 2019 and doom metal from 2019, I decided to keep tracking the cool metal releases for 2020. This is my article about death metal from 2020. I’ll keep track of upcoming releases and rate the best ones that’s already been released. Find the best new death metal here!
It will be a mix between different death metal styles, everything from old school to brutal and tech death, as long as the music is good. Feel free to comment if you have any death metal from 2020 that should be added.
About the author
I’m Stefan Nordström, an aspiring musician and content creator. This is one of the ways I promote Desolator, my old school death metal band. If you’re searching for new music in the style, it would be awesome if you listened to my stuff on:
Death metal albums from 2020
This list started out as a list of upcoming death metal from 2020. Slowly, it morphed into a mix of upcoming and released albums. I’ve also added my thoughts on some of them. At this point, I think this is turning out to be a pretty cool way to navigate 2020 death metal.
In my eyes, it hasn’t been a very good year for music so far. Plague, Vader, Ulcerate and Temple of Void have proven the death metal highlights so far. Read more about them further down in the article.
If you’re looking for some Swedish death metal with U.S. tendencies, my band Desolator released its sophomore full-length “Sermon of Apathy” on 4th September. It’s out on Black Lion Records. Hit it up on Bandcamp or Spotify, or just sample the opening track “Portal Tomb” below.
Odious Mortem – Synesthesia (17 January, United States)
Technical death metal band Odious Mortem returns with a new album after 13 years. Unless something radical has changed, expect calculated precision and flashy playing.
God Dethroned – Illuminati (7 February, Netherlands)
Dutch veterans God Dethroned are back with full-length number 11, entitled “llluminati”. This band has rarely failed, so I expect some quality death metal with melodeath and black metal tendencies.
Judgement: “Illuminati” is another quality album in the classic God Dethroned style.
Svart Crown – Wolves Among the Ashes (7 February, France)
Svart Crown is a blackened death metal band from France, releasing their fifth full-length album “Wolves Among the Ashes” in 2020. Judging by pre-release track “Exoria” (below), it might be an interesting one.
Plague – Portraits of Mind (14 February, Greece)
This Greek band came out of nowhere with one of the best death metal releases from 2020. The influence from Death’s “Leprosy” and “Spiritual Healing” is strong, but Plague manages to bridge old school and new school in a an original way. Really good record. Will likely be one of my top picks for 2020. And not only in death metal.
Carnal Tomb – Descend (21 February, Germany)
Carnal Tomb‘s 2019 album “Abhorrent Veneration” was hailed by many as a great death metal album. Seems the band is quick to follow it up, since EP “Descend” comes out in early 2020.
Beast of Revelation – The Ancient Ritual of Death (6 March, Netherlands)
What happens when members from Incantation and Asphyx collide? Well, sweet-ass traditional death metal of course! I enjoyed this one thoroughly and I think most other death metal fans will, too.
Scarab – Martyrs of the Storm (6 March, Egypt)
This Egyptian band has delivered some solid Egyptian-themed death metal and is bound to do so again. Pretty cool to hear a band from actual Egypt doing it! “Martyrs of the Storm” is out on 6 March on ViciSolum productions.
Trauma – Ominous Black (6 March, Poland)
Polish death metal has always been dear to me, and Trauma delivers on all points expected. “Ominous Black” is violent, passionate and full of velocity – I dig it!
Afterbirth – Four Dimensional Flesh (13 March, United States)
Afterbirth goes for an unusual take on brutal technical death metal. Super-brutal, almost slam death metal, is mixed with some progressive and psychedelic ideas.
Judgement: This is a weird one. I understand the hype and I dig it, but I’m not super-impressed.
Thanatos – Violent Death Rituals (20 March, Netherlands)
Few years go without some of the people behind Asphyx and/or Hail of Bullets releasing a steamroller old school death metal album. 2020 is no exception.
Judgement: “Violent Death Rituals” is solid and Dutch death metal is alive and well in 2020.
Graceless – Where Vultures Know Your Name (27 March, Netherlands)
Lots of Dutch death metal in 2020, and Graceless is another quality release. This is a slow, heavy one with a death/doom vibe to it.
Judgement: Many people have recommended it to me, and I can understand why. It sounds really nasty. Not the most original death metal album out there, but certainly enjoyable.
Temple of Void – The World that Was (27 March, United States)
Temple of Void successfully treads the line between death metal and death/doom. It’s going to be interesting to see what the new one brings, as I thoroughly enjoyed 2017’s “Lords of Death”.
Judgement: Another very good and quite unique-sounding album. I’m not surprised the band is hyped in the death metal scene. Fans won’t be disappointed.
Warp Chamber – Implements of Excruciation (27 March, United States)
If you like muddy and messy death metal with a lot of tempo changes, Warp Chamber should be up your alley! It’s not exactly my style, but I found myself enjoying it, which means actual enthusiasts will probably love it.
Benighted – Obscene Repressed (10 April, France)
Benighted has been my favorite brutal death metal band for many years. It’s definitely one of the most unique and extreme bands out there, and I expect 2020’s “Obscene Repressed” to be no different.
Judgement: Benighted has gone from one of my favorite death metal bands to just being plain good. There’s nothing wrong with “Obscene Repressed” but it just can’t compare with their earlier string of albums.
Abysmal Dawn – Phylogenesis (17 April, United States)
Abysmal Dawn is a highly rated U.S. death metal band. 2020’s “Phylogenesis” will be album number five. For a taste, listen to “Hedonistic” (below).
Judgement: I’ve always put this band in the “talented but mostly OK” category. The 2020 music really doesn’t change that for me.
Ulcerate – Stare Into Death and Be Still (24 April, New Zealand)
Ulcerate is one of the weirdest death metal bands out there. I was late to the party, but in 2019 I found myself enjoying albums like “Everything is Fire” and “Destroyers of All”. Since all the band’s material is highly regarded, 2020 should likely be another good year for Ulcerate.
Vader – Solitude in Madness (1 May, Poland)
Vader is a blastbeat machine that never stops. Their early 2000’s period with albums like “Litany” and “Revelations” remains my favorite, but I’m still excited to see what Vader can bring in 2020 with “Solitude in Madness”.
Centinex – Death in Pieces (29 May, Sweden)
Looking for meat and potatoes Swedish death metal from 2020 with none of that annoying progression? Well, you’ve found it! “Death in Pieces” is as bare-bones as it gets, but it’s still quite an entertaining listen.
Ulthar – Providence (12 June, United States)
This praised death/black band is not exactly my cup of tea, but I understand why it’s so highly rated. Ulthar sounds truly relentless, and that’s obviously never a bad thing when it comes to extreme metal.
Exocrine – Maelstrom (26 June, France)
On the lookout for wild, uncontrolled technical death metal? Well, look no further, because Exocrine will satisfy that need. Personally, I need to be in the mood for this one, but when I am it really delivers.
Volturyon – Xenogenesis (24 July, Sweden)
Sometimes, you just need a good old fashion musical beating. And Volturyon is perfect for that. “Xenogenesis” is both infectious and brutal as fuck, following in the footsteps of the band’s earlier releases. It’s nothing revolutionary, but the songwriting is definitely strong enough to make it worth listening to.
Cytotoxin – Nuklearth (21 August, Germany)
Fan of brutal acts like Aborted, Benighted and Cattle Decapitation? Well, then Cytotoxin should be right up your alley. After all, who could say no to a concept like Chernobyl death metal?!
Incantation – Sect of Vile Divinities (21 August, United States)
Incantation has kept releasing quality albums every few years, and I don’t think “Sect of Vile Divinities” will be an exception.
Voracious Scourge – In Death (21 August, International)
Do you like newer Monstrosity and Suffocation? Well, I sure do. This a perfect take on semi-brutal American-style death metal that I really enjoy. It’s absolutely going to wind up among my 2020 death metal favorites. Pretty damn superb, maybe not all that surprising considering the all-star line-up.
Skeletal Remains – The Entombment of Chaos (United States, 11 September)
Skeletal Remains is an increasingly popular death metal act, and the first single from “The Entombment of Chaos” shows no signs of slowing down.
Carnation – Where Death Lies (Belgium, 18 September)
Carnation is a fairly hyped Belgian death metal band, and I quite enjoyed their debut that came out a couple of years ago. Let’s see if “Where Death Lies” can deliver too.
Lik – Misanthropic Breed (Sweden, 25 September)
Lik shamelessly tread the halls of Entombed and Dismember, but they do it well, so fuck it! Judging by how “Decay” sounds, this will be another dose of chainsaw guitar fun.