Most readers and subscribers do not have the January 2021 issue of Decibel yet. But every year, that doesn’t stop some enterprising nerd from obtaining an early copy of our year-end issue and posting our annual Top 40 Albums of the Year on a number of message boards, blogs and virtually every social media platform. For the last six years, we’ve been forced to beat them to the punch.

So, if you’d prefer remaining in suspense until your copy arrives in the mail, please go here. The rest of you can venture on, but if you’d actually like to read editorial on these releases (for, you know, context), interviews with the artists who rank near and at the top of the list as well as dozens of entertaining, contributor-conceived year-end Top 5 lists, and a Hall of Fame/cover story on the 30th anniversary of Judas Priest’s Painkiller, you can grab a copy of the full issue here. It comes with a brand new Venomous Concept flexi disc marking the 10-year anniversary of the Decibel Flexi Series! Anyway, get irrationally upset below:

40. Dark Fortress, Spectres from the Old World, Century Media
39. Fawn Limbs, Sleeper Vessels, Roman Numeral
38. Exgenesis, Solve et Coagula, Rain Without End
37. Megaton Sword, Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire, Dying Victims
36. Oranssi Pazazu, Mestarin Kynsi, Nuclear Blast
35. Svalbard, When I Die, Will I Get Better, Translation Loss
34. Enslaved, Utgard, Nuclear Blast
33. In the Company of Serpents, Lux, Self-released
32. Xibalba, Años En Infierno, Southern Lord
31. Wake, Devouring Ruin, Translation Loss
30. Cirith Ungol, Forever Black, Metal Blade
29. Proscription, Conduit, Dark Descent
28. Celestial Season, The Secret Teachings, Burning World
27. Midnight, Rebirth by Blasphemy, Metal Blade
26. Krallice, Mass Cathexis, Self-released
25. ACxDC, Satan is King, Prosthetic
24. Temple of Void, The World That Was, Shadow Kingdom
23. Atramentus, Stygian, 20 Buck Spin
22. Tombs, Under Sullen Skies, Season of Mist
21. Haunt, Flashback, Church
20. Kirk Windstein, Dream in Motion, eOne
19. Pallbearer, Forgotten Days, Nuclear Blast
18. Lamp of Murmuur, Heir of Ecliptical Romanticism, Self-released
17. Godthrymm, Reflections, Profound Lore
16. Dropdead, Dropdead, Armageddon
15. Ripped to Shreds (Luan), Pulverized
14. Vile Creature, Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!, Prosthetic
13. Of Feather & BoneSulfuric Disintegration, Profound Lore
12. Armored Saint, Punching the Sky, Metal Blade
11. Incantation, Sect of Vile Divinities, Relapse
10. Goden, Beyond Darkness, Svart
9. Paradise Lost, Obsidian, Nuclear Blast
8. Uada, Djinn, Eisenwald
7. Sweven, The Eternal Resonance, Svart
6. Necrot, Mortal, Tankcrimes
5. Spirit Adrift, Enlightened in Eternity, 20 Buck Spin
4. Paysage d’Hiver, Im Wald, Kunsthall Produktionen
3. Imperial Triumphant, Alphaville, Century Media
2. Eternal Champion, Ravening Iron, No Remorse
1. Napalm Death, Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism, Century Media

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