37 metal albums we’re anticipating in 2021
We recently posted 73 albums we're anticipating in 2021, including some heavy stuff, but here are way more metal albums that we're looking forward to this year, from legends like At The Gates and Carcass and Eyehategod and King Diamond and Iron Maiden to newer bands we're excited about like Enforced and Gravesend and Suffering Hour and Sepulcros. We already got a few killer metal albums this year already, like death metal up and comers Frozen Soul's debut LP Crypt of Ice (which you can pick up on limited baby blue vinyl from the new BrooklyVegan store) and pg.99/City of Caterpillar offshoot Terminal Bliss' debut EP Brute Err/ata, and here's 37 more that we're hopefully getting in the next 12 months...
due Summer via Relapse
It's been four years since Belgian atmospheric sludge greats Amenra released their excellent Mass VI (on Neurosis' Neurot Recordings), and now they've inked a deal with Relapse, who will issue their next LP in mid 2021. According to Decibel, "we can tell you that there are two versions of the new LP, one recorded by bassist/ubiquitous underground recording guru Tim De Gieter, and another by Seth Manchester (the Body, Battles)." And expect "a cameo from Oathbreaker siren Caro Tanghe."
The impossible-to-pin-down punk/metal/everything band The Armed recently dropped a ridiculously good song on the Cyberpunk 2077 soundtrack, and if that's a sign of what to expect from their next LP, consider us very excited.
At The Gates
due Spring via Century Media
Swedish melodeath pioneers At The Gates took 19 long years to finally follow their landmark 1995 album Slaughter of the Soul, but now they're a very active band again and gearing up to release their third reunion-era album (and seventh overall) this year via Century Media in the Spring. It's produced by Jens Bogren. The last two have been great, so our hopes are high.
Genre-defying post-hardcore band Brutus released a great new single in 2020, and they say more new music is coming in 2021.
Carcass - Torn Arteries
due 2021 via Nuclear Blast
Death metal legends Carcass were supposed to finally follow their great 2013 comeback album Surgical Steel with a new album in 2020, but delayed it due to the pandemic, and instead tided us over with the Despicable EP. It's just four songs, but it's truly killer, and it serves as a reminder that nobody does it like Carcass. Here's to hoping the full-length arrives in 2021.
Blood Moon (Converge)
Converge brought their Blood Moon project (with Chelsea wolfe, Stephen Brodsky, and Ben Chisholm) to the Roadburn stage in 2016, and Brodsky said last year on the Lead Singer Syndrome podcast that they'd be putting out a Blood Moon album in 2021. "We’ve already done some writing for it and the material we’ve come up for it is really, really cool," Brodsky said. "Definitely a next step for Converge and I’m really psyched to be a part of it."
due 2021 via eOne
In 2020, Crowbar frontman Kirk Windstein released his solo album Dream In Motion (one of our favorite metal albums of the year), but he's been saying that Crowbar's got a new album finished too, and 2021 looks to be the year. Going by how great their last one (2016's The Serpent Only Lies) was, our hopes are high.
Cult of Luna - The Raging River EP
due 2/5 via Red Creek Recordings
Post-metal greats Cult of Luna released one of our favorite albums of 2019 with A Dawn to Fear, and they're now set to follow it with an EP. It may have less songs, but it is still almost 40 minutes long, and as the nine-minute lead single "Three Bridges" proves, it isn't any less epic. And sweetening the deal is a guest appearance by Mark Lanegan on the song "Inside of A Dream."
Deafheaven were supposed to do a 10th anniversary tour in 2020, which obviously couldn't happen, so instead they released the live-in-studio album of the setlist they planned to play on tour, 10 Years Gone. In a recent interview with The Pit, frontman George Clarke says the band has been creating again, so maybe 2021 will bring an entirely new LP.
Rising Portland metalcore band (and Knocked Loose collaborators) Dying Wish signed to SharpTone in 2020, put out the great new single "Innate Thirst," and got to work on their debut LP. "This time, we promise it’s coming this year," they recently tweeted.
Enforced - Kill Grid
due 3/12 via Century Media
Richmond crossover thrashers Enforced left a big impact with 2019's At The Walls, and now they've signed to Century Media who will release their next LP, Kill Grid. Lead single "Hemorrhage" is pretty relentless stuff.
Every Time I Die
due 2021 via Epitaph
Long-running metalcore icons Every Time I Die just put out a truly killer two-song single, and they're promising that their Will Putney-produced ninth LP will arrive this year via Epitaph. If it's anything like the new singles, it's gonna rip.
Exodus - Persona Non Grata
due summer via Nuclear Blast
Now that Slayer have called it a day, guitarist Gary Holt is back to focusing fully on his own legendary thrash band, Exodus, who are planning to release their first album in seven years this summer. In a video posted to his Zetro's Toxic Vault YouTube channel, frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza said "Exodus fans are not gonna be disappointed. It's fucking heavy as shit, it's fast, it's brutal, it's violent. The lyrical content is very deep and very heavy. Gary Holt wrote some really great compositions on this. And the whole band, as a band, performed really well on this. It seemed like we were all hungry again going after it."
Eyehategod - A History of Nomadic Behavior
due 3/12 via Century Media
Sludge metal legends Eyehategod haven't released an album since their very good 2014 self-titled LP, but that finally changes this year with A History of Nomadic Behavior. Sludge is a crowded space, but nobody does it like Eyehategod, and going by lead single "High Risk Trigger," they've still got it.
Falls of Rauros - Inheritance
due 2021 via Gilead Media
Maine folk-black metallers Falls of Rauros last released the very good Patterns In Mythology in 2019, and they're gearing up to follow it with more tornadic fury this year, which they'll co-produce with Colin Marston.
due 2021 via Relapse
New York maniacs Genghis Tron went on hiatus in 2010, but now original members Michael Sochynsky and Hamilton Jordan reunited the band without vocalist Mookie Singerman but with two talented new members: vocalist Tony Wolski (who drums in The Armed and Old Gods) and drummer Nick Yacyshyn (who drums in Sumac, Baptists and formerly The Armed). Their first album in 13 years is expected this year via Relapse.
Gatecreeper - An Unexpected Reality
due 1/31 via Closed Casket Activities
Surprise! Hardcore-infused death metal masters Gatecreeper just revealed that they have a new record called An Unexpected Reality and it's coming this Wednesday (1/13)! (Less than 24 hours from the time this list was posted.)
Update: it's out!
due 2021 via Roadrunner
Gojira finally returned in 2020 with their first new song in four years, "Another World," and it's a big, crushing, anthemic song that felt like a triumphant return for Gojira. The followup to 2016's Magma is expected this year.
Gravesend - Methods Of Human Disposal
due 2/19 via 20 Buck Spin
NYC black/death metallers Gravesend stirred up buzz in 2020 with their Preparations for Human Disposal EP, and they'll follow it this year with a full-length for 20 Buck Spin that was mixed by Power Trip collaborator Arthur Rizk. The two singles released so far are crisp and hard-hitting without toning down any of the filth, and they're getting us very excited to hear the rest.
High On Fire
due 2021 via eOne
The hard-working riff god Matt Pike never slows down, and his band High On Fire have been in the studio working on the followup to 2018's Electric Messiah, which we hope to hear this year. Going by a recent Instagram post, they're recording it with drummer Chris Maggio (Wear Your Wounds, ex-Trap Them), who has also been HoF's live drummer since 2019.
It's been over five years since Iron Maiden released The Book of Souls, and Bruce Dickinson recently said the band have been writing and spending time in the studio. More than maybe other classic metal band, Maiden's new material is always worthy, and always prominently featured in their out-of-this-world live shows, so this is a legacy band whose next record is genuinely worth looking out for.
King Diamond - The Institute
release date TBA via Metal Blade
We've been anticipating the new album from the legendary King Diamond since hearing the lead single "Masquerade of Madness" in 2019, and though we didn't end up getting the album in 2020, our fingers are crossed that 2021 will be the year.
due 2021 via Tradecraft
Thrash legends Megadeth had been hard at work on a followup to 2016's Dystopia until Covid got in the way, but they were able to finish recording it last year (and Dave Mustaine was able to beat cancer in the process). "We've got, I think, probably one of the most ferocious records we've done since Rust In Peace," Mustaine recently said.
Municipal Waste - Electrified Brain
due 2021 via Nuclear Blast
Crossover thrash sleazeballs Municipal Waste have been working on their first new music since 2019's The Last Rager EP (and first full length since 2017's Slime and Punishment) with producer Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Creeping Death, etc). Decibel recently put out a video interview with the band from the studio, so watch that to learn more and get excited for this new LP:
The current wave of OSDM-inspired bands continues to grow, but there are also some actual OSDMers still killing it, like Obituary whose influence can also be heard in some of the most exciting newer hardcore bands. Their last album (their 2017 self-titled LP) was genuinely great, as was their 2019 single "A Dying World," so we're very excited that they're eyeing the first half of 2021 for a new record.
Portrayal of Guilt - We Are Always Alone
due 1/29 via Closed Casket Activities
Portrayal of Guilt continue to perfect their mix of black metal, death metal, sceamo, hardcore, post-hardcore, noise, and more, and judging by the singles they've released from their sophomore LP We Are Always Alone so far, this is shaping up to be their best record yet.
The Ruins of Beverast - The Thule Grimoires
due 2/5 via Ván Records
Germany's The Ruins of Beverast went in more of a gothic metal/death-doom direction than ever before on recent singles "Kromlec'h Knell" and "Anchoress In Furs" (hints of Type O Negative), and it's getting us very interested in hearing the rest of The Thule Grimoires.
SeeYouSpaceCowboy's 2019 debut album The Correlation Between Entrance (one of our favorites of that year) took the sounds of early 2000s sassy/white belt post-hardcore and made them feel startlingly fresh. It remains one of the best albums of its kind in recent memory, and they've confirmed that it gets a followup in 2021.
Sepulcros - Vazio
due 3/12 via Transcending Obscurity
Though this Portuguese band is currently more obscure than buzzy visual artist Mariusz Lewandowski (Bell Witch, False, Mizmor, Fuming Mouth, Atramentus, etc) who designed the art, we suspect that won't necessarily be the case by the end of the year. As you can already hear via two singles released now, Sepulcros' brand of black metal tinged music is a worthy addition to the atmospheric death doom realm. Their label Transcending Obscurity compares them to Disembowelment, The Drowning, Hex, Atramentus, Coffins, Esoteric, Evoken, Mournful Congregation, Cruciamentum, and Dead Congregation.
Suffering Hour - The Cyclic Reckoning
due 2/19 via Profound Lore
Forest Lake, Minnesota's Suffering Hour have been honing a thrilling mix of death and black metal for a few years, and they recently caught the attention of Profound Lore, who will release their sophomore album The Cyclic Reckoning on February 19. (It's their first new music since 2019's Dwell EP and first full-length since 2017's In Passing Ascension.) Two singles are out now, and they're both intense.
due 2021 via Relapse
Sumerlands (featuring members of Hour of 13, Atlantean Kodex and Eternal Champion, and the great metal producer Arthur Rizk) released one of the best traditional heavy metal-style albums in recent memory with their 2016 self-titled LP on Relapse, and their plan is to finally follow it this year. Arthur - who also produced the album in addition to being a band member -- told Decibel that the LP is pretty much done, and "a bit more moody on the music front." Oh, and Brendan Radigan of Magic Circle (and recently Pagan Altar) is now their vocalist.
Temple of Void
due 2021 via Relapse
Detroit death-doomers Temple of Void recently signed to Relapse, and they're set to follow 2020's The World That Was with a new album this year. "Each record we write stands on the shoulders of the prior albums, and this is no different," the band says.
Tribulation - Where the Gloom Becomes Sound
1/29 via Metal Blade/Century Media
Swedish band Tribulation have been taking their evil black/death metal sound in more melodic, gothier, trippier, and proggier directions with each album, and we can't wait to find out what they've done with it on this latest LP. (The two singles are great.) It's also their last LP with primary songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Hultén, so that's even more reason not to miss this.
Last year, Vein.FM (fka Vein) released the very cool, not-your-average remix album Old Data in a New Machine Vol. 1, and the announcement promised "a new album is coming soon, so stay tuned." Their 2018 debut errorzone was one of the best debuts of this whole recent metalcore resurgence, and the Deftones-y single from the remix album has us very curious about what they'll do next.
Wardruna - KVITRAVN
due 1/22 via BY NORSE MUSIC
Not really metal, but popular with metal fans (in part due to its sharing of members with Gorgoroth), popular Norweigian dark folk group Wardruna's new album "discusses Northern sorcery, spirit-animals, shadows, nature and animism, the wisdom and meanings of certain myths, various Norse spiritual concepts, and the relation between sage and songs." Three tracks are already available, but the full mystical viking experience arrives before January is over. The full band are then scheduled to arrive on our shores with their must-see live show in fall of 2021.
Wolves In The Throne Room
due 2021 via Relapse
Post-black metal greats Wolves in the Throne Room have signed to Relapse Records in North America ("in alliance with" Century Media worldwide), and their self-produced followup to 2017's Thrice Woven will arrive this year.
due 2021 via Relapse
Nashville's experimental death/sludge weirdos Yautja haven't released an album since 2015, but they recently signed to Relapse who will finally put out a new album for them this year. They recorded it at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio in Chicago (with engineer Scott Evans), and though we haven't heard any of it yet, they did recently release a song from their upcoming split with Chepang (due 1/15), and it rips.
Even more albums we're anticipating in 2021 here.