Despite the fact that touring and shows remain on pause, the music doesn’t stop. Here are some of the releases confirmed for 2021 that are worth a closer look.
Despite the grim reality that touring and concerts have no real return date, artists have been seemingly utilizing their time away from the road to work in the studio.
While some artists have decided that they are going to hold off on releasing anything new until they can share it live, others have gone full speed ahead with showcasing their creative vision and the result is a slew of new offerings that are ensuring an auspicious start for 2021.
While there are numerous speculative releases that are probable, this list tried to keep the focus to albums that have a confirmed release date. Here is a look at what the first part of 2021 has in store for fans of heavy music.
Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist
Epitaph Records | February 26th
The UK metalcore titans are aiming to assert their rank among the gene’s very best with their ninth studio LP. Tackling weighty themes of the human condition that range from environmental responsibility to ushering in a era of sustainability, the album serves as both a cry for help and a call to action for those that understand things are dire finger pointing just isn’t productive. The album features guest spots from the likes of Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro, Winston McCall of Parkway Drive, and Mike Kerr of Royal Blood to boot.
Cult of Luna – The Raging River
Red Creek / Metal Blade Records | February 5th
Picking up where the band left off on their 2019 Metal Blade Records’ release, A Dawn to Fear, Swedish Post-Metal legends Cult of Luna have enlisted the help of Screaming Trees Mark Lanegan for their next effort with The Raging River. Expansive, emotive, and wildly inventive, Cult of Luna craft songs that function like chapters in a book. The music is intended to take the listener on a trip and during a time when the full album listening experience is back in a big way, this is the kind of release that will be great to get lost with.
Eyehategod – A History of Nomadic Behavior
Century Media Records | March 12th
Purveyors of Southern sludge, Eyehategod spent the last seven years trekking on the road and battling live failure. Vocalist Mike IX Williams turned his brush with death into a creedo for the band that results in a record that embodied pure scrap and tenacity. A History of Nomadic Behavior is a prime example of how some things are well worth the wait.
Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy
Nuclear Blast Records | March 12th
Following Zombie’s 2016 The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, the excitement surrounding the forthcoming seventh record is at an all time high. With Zombie himself citing the album as “the best record we’ve ever done” to Kerrang! last year, the unveiling of the first single in “The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)” proved the hype was certainly real.
Melvins – Working With God
Ipecac Recodings | February 26th
Coupled with a pair of reissued albums in Hostile Ambient Takeover and Gluey Porch Treatments, the 1983 incarnation of Melvins features original drummer Mike Dillard, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover marking the fist time this line up has worked together since 2013’s Tres Cabrones. Among the selling points of this latest effort includes a crude punk styling of The Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” called “I Fuck Around”.
A Day To Remember – You’re Welcome
Fueled By Ramen | March 5th
The band’s seventh full length album also marks their debut with under the Fueled By Ramen banner. After some extensive delays that saw the album get pushed back only to get pushed back again, the album finally drops March 5th, nearly a year and half after it was initially slated to debut. Offering singles from the album including “Degenerates”, “Resentment”, “Mindreader”, and “Brick Wall,” ADTR continue to build on their energetic brand of catchy heft that has propelled them to stardom.
Love and Death – Perfectly Preserved
Earache Records | February 12th
After a seven year pause, the passion project from Brian ‘Head’ Welch of Korn has resumed with the aid of creative cohort Jasen Rauch of Breaking Benjamin. Rounding out the line up with the addition of JR Barels and Isaiah Perez, the meaty crunchy of the band’s guitar pedigree ensures this is an album that will strike a chord for those like their distortion with some well-produced groove.
Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos
Napalm Records | January 22nd
Unveiling the band’s new line up of founding guitarist Prika Amaral flanked by the likes of Diva Satanica on vocals, Mia Wallace on bass and Eleni Nota on drums, the Brazilian thrash/detal amalgam seem primed to have an impressive 2021. With an album that cooks sonically while addressing societal ills lyrically, Nervosa have established that their fourth album just might be their best yet.
Nightfall – At Night We Prey
Season of Mist | March 5th
The first album in seven years from the Greek pillars of blackened death metal looks to reemphasize the band’s mark on the genre. Supported by the strength of singles including “Darkness Forever” and “Killing Moon,” the band is not relying on their nostalgia to carry this record. With some three decades invested in the culture, Nightfall are establishing they are as sharp as ever.
Nopes – Djörk
Magnetic Eye Records | January 29th
Riff heavy, nasty noisy, and weird AF the Bay Area punks embrace a unique kind of distortion that probably should be abrasive but is just so damned entertaining. The band’s 13-track effort is their third, their loudest, and likely the album that will capture the attention of jaded metal fans looking for something fresh.
Portrayal of Guilt – We Are Always Alone
Closed Casket Activities | January 29th
In just two years, the Austin-based trio has mounted an impressive charge with their skilled weave of brooding post-hardcore accented with elements of black metal and screamo nostalgia. Their sophomore effort with We Are Always Alone offers an artistic articulation of anguish translates as both stylish and sincere. It’s also worth noting that the band introduced this particular record with their initial pair of singles, “It’s Already Over” and “Masochistic Oath,” packaged as a tandem and serving as a soundtrack for a mini horror film. GENIUS.
Teenage Wrist – Earth Is A Black Hole
Epitaph Records | February 12th
Enduring some significant personnel changes since their 2018 debut, Chrome Neon Jesus, the tandem of Marshall Gallagher (guitar, vocals) and Anthony Salazar (drums) continue on as the most recent iteration of grudgy shoegaze outfit, Teenage Wrist. On their sophomore record the band returns with hook heavy singles that acknowledge the bleak realities of life while underscoring the importance of living in the now.
While She Sleeps – Sleeps Society
Spinefarm Records | April 16th
Equal parts mission statement and fifth studio LP, the Sheffield metalcore veterans are using their latest studio album as a means of ushering in a new era of the band. Introducing a direct-to-fan, fan supported platform that allows unprecedented access to the band and unique content, the title track for the album functions as a metalcore manifesto that aims to revolutionize how bands and their supporters connect moving forward.
Accept – Too Mean To Die
Nuclear Blast Records | January 15th
The German legends are back with their first LP since their 2017 release, Rise of Chaos. Led by the incomparable Wolf Hoffman and supported by the skilled production talents of Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Judas Priest, Exodus), the 11-track collection is a near hour of mid-tempo rock heavy raucous that reasserts the good time often missing from heavy music.