The year of 2020 is coming to a close, and it's one that will live in infamy for our remaining years. It was a year we mostly had to go without live music and for all the pain and hardship, it was still a rewarding one as far as the 70 Best Rock + Metal Albums of 2020 goes.

For a lot of us, anything that happened before the stay-at-home orders were issued in response to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic seems like a completely different lifetime, nevermind events that transpired in this very year. In the pre-lockdown era, we got Ordinary Man, the first new album from Ozzy Osbourne in a decade. Meanwhile, Poppy foreshadowed a surge in rock's penetration of pop music as she did the inverse and transitioned away from futuristic bubblegum pop and into genre-warping metal territory with I Disagree.

Then came a jarring disruption to every day life, prompting a sort of holding pattern as bands kept their eyes on the growing pandemic. Some artists held their new releases indefinitely, while others delayed their records either as a result of supply chain issues pertaining to distribution or just preferring to wait out the situation a bit longer.

When it became apparent we'd be resigned to living amid the pandemic as best and safely as possible, a stream of releases poured out, rewarding fans who need new music now more than ever.

It's been a crazy year, one that feels like an eternity, and one that can be difficult to recollect in full as so many major events outside of music have taken place. So, this year, we present to you the Best Rock + Metal Albums of the year in chronological order.

Contributions by Rabab Al-Sharif, Chad Childers, Joe DiVita, Graham Hartmann, Jake Richardson and Lauryn Schaffner.

70 Best Rock + Metal Albums of 2020

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