Is 2020 the biggest year for rock and metal?

From the beginning of the year, 2020 has proven that it will be a huge year in the world of music. Throughout January, emo-era legends My Chemical Romance began teasing their return. Fittingly on Halloween of 2019, the band announced their first live show in seven years to take place in Los Angeles on Dec. 20, 2019.  

The Instagram post announcing their return stunned the public. Die-hard fans scrambled to get tickets to the coveted performance, which sold out in less than four minutes

The band announced their first North American tour in nine years on Jan. 29, where they were also announced as the headliners of Atlanta’s Music Midtown 2020. On Jan. 31, the tour tickets went on sale and sold out in just six hours.  

Molly Taylor, a senior at Georgia State, reflected on the return of My Chemical Romance and the significance of the return in the rock music scene. 

“I think regardless of whether or not you spent your middle school years listening to My Chemical Romance, it’s easy to understand why their recent comeback is so incredible,” Taylor said. “A band that went dormant with no promise of returning for seven years makes a triumphant return with instantly sold-out shows and a primetime slot on Atlanta’s premiere music festival.”

Although My Chemical Romance was not her top choice of bands from the emo era of the early to mid-2000s, Taylor recognizes the magnitude of the band’s impact on music history. 

“While I was more dedicated to Fall Out Boy during MCR’s emo reign, their influence was not lost on me,” she said. “From the theatrics of their live shows and music videos to the rabid obsession of the fan base, I was shown the absolute depth and power that music can possess. They are truly an important band, and I welcome them back to the scene.”

The year 2020 is showing to be a particularly powerful year for rock and metal music, with many big artists releasing highly anticipated albums just in the first quarter of the year. 

On Jan. 24, Breaking Benjamin released the album “Aurora,” which featured new versions of their most popular songs and special guest appearances from Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath and Scooter Ward of Cold. The band’s hit song “Dear Agony” recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary and gets reimagined on “Aurora,” with special guest and former Flyleaf lead singer Lacey Sturm. 

February has and is going to see several big album releases. On Feb. 7, Avenged Sevenfold re-released their b-sides album “Diamonds in the Rough” to a digital audience for the first time. The album will also feature an unreleased track from the recording of “Hail to the King” called “Set Me Free”. Their 2008 “Live in the LBC” show was also re-released for digital download. 

The album, though it is a re-release, excited many fans as the band has not had much activity since 2018 when lead singer M. Shadows began vocal recovery.

Georgia State student Jorge Delgado expressed excitement about the release of the album. A fan since childhood, Delgado awaited the songs he grew up with to be released to a digital era. 

“‘Hail to the King’ aside, I feel like a lot of their albums have songs with a unique feel,” Delgado said. “Their new album is supposed to be more of their older stuff, and I’m really excited to see that old Avenged Sevenfold [that] I grew up on.”

On Feb. 14, Hollywood Undead released “New Empire, Vol. 1”. The album aims to lead the band in a new stylistic direction, according to vocalist and bassist George “Johnny 3 Tears” Ragan in a statement. 

“Our goal from the outset was to make music that stands alone from our other albums, yet seamlessly fits with what we’ve made before. Building upon the old to create a new sound and a New Empire,” Ragan wrote

The album features two special guests: Sleeping with Sirens vocalist Kellin Quinn on “Upside Down” and Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden on “Second Chances.”

Ozzy Osbourne releases his new album “Ordinary Man” this Friday, featuring several notable artists such as Elton John, Post Malone and Slash. Osbourne noted in an interview for Rolling Stone magazine that the title track inspired him to reach out to John for a special guest. 

“When I was writing ‘Ordinary Man,’ it reminded me of an old Elton song, and I said to Sharon, ‘I wonder if he would sing on it?’ We asked and lo and behold, he agreed and sings and plays piano on the song,” Osbourne said.

Following the release, Osbourne will embark on a tour with Marilyn Manson, making a stop in Atlanta on May 27. Delgado will be at the show at State Farm Arena.

“I’m pretty excited for [it], although I’m a little disappointed that Megadeth isn’t still opening for him,” he said.

Pearl Jam will release their new album “Gigaton” on March 27. The album’s lead single, “Dance Of The Clairvoyants,” was released on Jan. 22 as a preview for what the new album’s sound will be. 

Taylor spoke about her thoughts on the single.

“‘Dance Of The Clairvoyants’ is certainly a new direction for Pearl Jam, featuring a more electronic, new-wave style, grooving along like Talking Heads,” she said. “The track is also the ‘dancey’ rock ‘n’ rock that I love, a la the Strokes or the Killers. Beyond the fresh take on the band’s original sound, the lyrics are also poetic and serve to add to the song.”

She also expressed excitement for the album as a whole based on the stylistic direction that the single indicates.

“If the band continues to explore new styles while still acknowledging their roots, ‘Gigaton’ is sure to impress,” she said. “I definitely wouldn’t be disappointed if the band leans into this dark, moody new-wave sound. It is really refreshing to hear a band that has existed for 30 years, that is still able to grow and expand their sound beyond what made them a hit.”

With many bands experimenting, exploring different stylistic directions and getting back together after years on hiatus, 2020 is sure to please rock and metal fans.