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The Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2021

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2021 is already off to a terrible start… but at least we know we’ll have some good music to look forward to.

Below, check out our list of the year’s most anticipated metal releases. Please remember that all release dates are subject to change.

January

Accept – Too Mean to Die (NB)

Scheduled release date: January 15

This will be the SIXTEENTH full-length studio album from the German metal legends. Speaking of the album’s title, frontman Wolf Hoffman says:

“We wanted to approach the Corona situation with a twist. Accept are the ‘Metal Soldiers’ – we march on and on. We are ‘too mean to die.’”


Asphyx – Necroceros (Century Media)

Scheduled release date: January 22 (pre-order)

Wondering what the heck the title of Asphyx’s tenth album means? Explains Asphyx frontman Martin van Drunen:

“[The title] came out spontaneously, sounded powerful and since we used the word ‘Death’ in every release-title, so did ‘Necro.’The idea was a sci-fi fantasy entity on an eternal course, existing only to devour planets, turning universes into meaningless voids. And while the boys were laying guitars and bass over the drums I searched and wrote the themes and lyrics for every single track. And there we were…”


Jason Bieler and The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra – Songs For The Apocalypse (Frontiers)

Scheduled release date: January 22 (pre-orders)

For his latest offering, the Saigon Kick mastermind and über-proder (Sikth, Skindred, etc.) has enlisted a bevy of famous guests, including (deep breath) Devin Townsend, David Ellefson (Megadeth), Todd La Torre (Queensrÿche), Clint Lowery (Sevendust), Benji Webbe (Skindred), Jeff Scott Soto (Sons Of Apollo), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Asia/Sons Of Apollo), Pat Badger (Extreme),
Butch Walker (ex-Marvelous 3), Kyle Sanders (HELLYEAH),
Andee Blacksugar (KMFDM), Emil Werstler (Dååth, ex-Chimaira), Ricky Sanders (ex-Saigon Kick), and Steve Gibb (ex-Black Label Society, Crowbar, etc.).


Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos (Napalm)

Scheduled release date: January 22 (pre-orders)

The Brazilian quartet’s fourth album features a revamped line-up, but promises to be just as vicious as anything they’ve released.


The Body – I’ve Seen All I Need To See (Thrill Jockey)

Scheduled release date: January 29 (pre-orders)

The band has called I’ve Seen All I Need To See “both a return and departure” to their “core live sound” a “contrast to the electronic-centric instrumentation and production-heavy arrangements of previous albums.”


Soen – Imperial (Silver Lining)

Scheduled release date: January 29 (pre-orders)

The prolific prog-metal band, founded by former Opeth drummer Martin Lopez and singer Joel Ekelöf, are back. Says Lopez of their latest offering:

“In my life I try to be as real as possible, but I think that the music, and nature, of Soen are the only place that I really, really feel I can be myself. When you’re home, doing music, writing lyrics, that is where you really get to express yourself without any judgement and with total freedom.

“It has obviously been a crazy, terrible thing for everyone, and for us as a band it has been really frustrating not being able to play shows, but also it has given us a clear window of opportunity to realize this album completely. We were able to spend 12 hours a day for many months bringing ‘Imperial’ to the place we truly wanted, mainly working on the groove and flow of the album.” 


Tribulation – Where the Bloom Becomes Sound (Metal Blade)

Scheduled release date: January 29 (pre-orders)

Unfortunately, guitarist Jonathan Hultén — an extremely important member of Tribulation’s line-up — quit the band last month. Fortunately, his work on this album was already completed before that happened.

February

Cult of Luna – The Raging River (Red Creek/Metal Blade)

Scheduled release date: February 5 (pre-orders)

This EP will be the first release under the Swedish post-metal outfit’s own album, Red Creek (which is distributed by Metal Blade).


Korpiklaani – Jylhä (NB)

Scheduled release date: February 5

The Finnish folk metal band’s eleventh album will likely include lots of drinking songs.


Todd La Torre – Rejoice in the Suffering (Rat Pak)

Scheduled release date: February 5 (pre-orders)

This will be the debut solo album from the musically versatile Queensrÿche singer and sometimes-drummer.


Abiotic – Ikigai (The Artisan Era)

Scheduled release date: February 12 (pre-orders)

The tech-death titans’ first new album in five years features guest appearances by members of The Black Dahlia Murder, Fallujah, Archspire, and Entheos.


Architects – For Those That Wish to Exist (Epitaph)

Scheduled release date: February 26 (pre-orders)

More catchy metalcore from the U.K. band, which features Sylosis mastermind Josh Middleton.


Alice Cooper – Detroit Stories (earMUSIC)

Scheduled release date: February 26 (pre-orders)

The highly-influential shock rocker’s 21st album will be released the same month he turns 73. Although the record is intended as a tribute to Cooper’s hometown, the lead single, “Rock & Roll,” is a cover of a track originally by the Velvet Underground… who were from New York City.


Epica – Omega (NB)

Scheduled release date: February 26

This will be the exceedingly popular Dutch symphonic metal band’s first release of new material in five years.


Evergrey – Escape of the Phoenix (AFM)

Scheduled release date: February 26 (pre-orders)

The Swedish melodeath masters say that coronavirus “lockdown requirements gave the band much needed time to work unhindered” on their twelfth offering.


Melvins 1983 – Working with God (Ipecac)

Scheduled release date: February 26 (pre-orders)

This iteration of the band features “as close to the original Melvins lineup as we’re willing to get”: King Buzzo, the last original Melvin left standing, nearly-original member Dale Crover (who’s been with the band since 1984), and original Melvins’ drummer Mike Dillard.


Moonspell – Hermitage (Napalm)

Scheduled release date: February 26 (pre-orders)

Moonspell show no signs of slowing down as they approach their thirtieth year as band.


March

A Day to Remember – You’re Welcome (Fueled by Ramen)

Scheduled release date: March 5 (pre-orders)

Says vocalist Jeremy McKinnon of the album:

“It’s finally here—almost! To all our fans around the world, we want to say, ‘Thank you!’ You’ve waited patiently, and we can’t wait for you to hear this. There’s a lot of detail in everything we do from the mixes to the artwork, because it all tells a story. So, we made sure each element was perfect. Every line happens for a reason. We took what we envision modern music to be and made a hybrid of who we were, who we are, and who we want to be. It took a lot of maneuvering to get it right, but we feel like we did. We’re here now and very happy to present You’re Welcome.


Demon Hunter – Songs of Death and Resurrection (Solid State)

Scheduled release date: March 5 (pre-orders)

Album Art by Eliran Kantor

This will ostensibly be an Unplugged album, featuring ten acoustic recordings of popular Demon Hunter songs and one new, presumably also-acoustic track, “Praise the Void.”


Insane Clown Posse – Yum Yum Bedlam (Psychopathic)

Scheduled release date: March 5

Yum Yum Bedlam will be the fifth Joker’s card of the second deck. Congratulations if you understand what the hell that means.


Witherfall – Curse of Autumn (Century Media)

Scheduled release date: March 5 (pre-orders)

The Los Angeles power metal quintet (or sextet if you’re talking about the live version) promises their third album will be “aggressive” and “a test of stamina for instrumentalists and voices.” It was produced by Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer.


Eyehategod – A History of Nomadic Behavior

Scheduled release date: March 12 (pre-orders)

This will be Eyehategod’s first new album in 2014’s self-titled release and their album since their 1990 debut, In the Name of Suffering, not to include guitarist Brian Patton (Soilent Green), who left the group in 2018 to focus fatherhood.


Evanescence – The Bitter Truth (BMG)

Scheduled release date: March 26 (pre-orders)

When Evanescence announced their first album of new material in nearly a decade lastApril, the plan was to release that album piecemeal over the course of 2020. That obviously didn’t quite happen (they released four singles), but fans will finally get to hear the record this year.


Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (NB)

Scheduled release date: March 26

The lead single, “The Triumph of King Freak (a Crypt of Preservation and Superstition),” may be Zombie’s best song in years. Guitarist John 5 has promised “a heavy Zombie record with great hooks.”

April

Greta Van Fleet – The Battle Of Garden’s Gate (Lava/Republic)

Scheduled release date: April 16 (pre-orders)

If lead single “Age of Machine” is any indication, the latest offering from the divisive Led Zeppelin acolytes will ape Houses of the Holy instead of Led Zeppelin I.

TBD

Alien Weaponry – TBA (Napalm)

Photo Credit: Piotr Kwasnik

What we know so far: The band’s members still aren’t old enough to legally drink in the U.S.

At the Gates – TBA (Century Media)

What we know so far: The storied Swedish melodeath group hit the studio in November. This will be their third full-length studio album since reuniting in 2007 (after 2014’s At War with Reality and 2018’s To Drink from the Night Itself), and seventh full-length overall.

Baroness – TBA (Abraxan Hymns)

Photo courtesy of Baroness

What we know so far: Although it’s not 100% confirmed that there will be a new Baroness album this year, in September, frontman John Baizley told us that the band has roughly 30 songs written for their next effort.

Between the Buried and Me – TBA

What we know so far: The band revealed last month that they’ve finished recording their new record, working once again with producer Jamie King. Unfortunately, that’s really all we know right now.

Black Veil Brides – The Phantom Tomorrow (Sumerian)

Photo credit: -Jonathan Weiner

What we know so far: It’s a concept album that tells the story of a character called The Blackbird and his following of societal outcasts, from whom the record takes its name.

Bodom After Midnight – TBA (Napalm Records)

What we know so far: With today’s shocking news that guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho has passed away, the future of this release from what is ostensibly Children of Bodom 2.0 is in doubt. But we know the band spent time in the studio before Laiho’s death, and assuming they managed to complete even a single song, it’s hard for us to imagine that all parties involved wouldn’t want it released.

Born of Osiris – TBA (Sumerian)

What we know so far: The band completed the follow-up to 2019’s The Simulation way back in April, but it’s presumably been put on a shelf until BOO are able to tour properly.

Candlemass – TBA

What we know so far: This will be the revered Swedish doom band’s thirteenth full-length studio album.

Carcass – Torn Arteries (NB)

What we know so far: The death metal icons’ second post-reunion album was originally scheduled for release on April 7, 2020… but then the pandemic happened. They subsequently released an EP, Despicable, in its stead; fingers crossed, Torn Arteries will finally reach our earholes this year.

Cradle of Filth – TBA (NB)

What we know so far: It’s finished, and Dani Filth says it’s CoF’s “best-sounding” and “best-written record.” That’s about it.

DevilDriver – Dealing with Demons II (Napalm)

Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral

What we know so far: The sequel to last year’s Dealing with Demons.

Every Time I Die – TBA

What we know so far: i) It’s finished, ii) it was produced by Fit for an Autopsy’s Will Putney, and iii) the first two singles, “A Colossal Wreck” and “Desperate Pleasures,” both kick ass.

Evile – TBA (Napalm)

What we know so far: This will be the British re-thrash band’s first new album in eight years.

Exodus – Persona Non Grata (NB)

exodus-26

What we know so far: The thrash veterans’ latest offering — their first since 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out — will feature a guest solo by former lead guitarist Rick Hunolt.

Fear Factory – Monolith (NB)

What we know so far: A lot, actually, including that it could very well be vocalist Burton Seabell’s final release with the band. Go here for all the latest on the drama.

Ghost – TBA (Loma Vista)

Ghost at the SSE Arena, Wembley, London, November 22, 2019. Photo Credit: Stewart Marsden for MetalSucks

What we know so far: Mastermind Tobias Forge has said the plan was to spend 2020 writing and recording a new album and release it late in the year or early in 2021… but Covid-19 had other ideas, pushing that time window back by an entire year (Forge is also now on record as saying he won’t release an album until the band can tour). Still, he recently assured fans that the band “are working diligently on several big things for next year” and that news pertaining to those efforts will be unveiled in the coming months.

Jinjer – TBA (Napalm)

Photo credit: Javier Bragado

What we know so far: 2019’s Macro broke the band in a big way; now the pressure is on to produce a worthy follow-up.

Kamelot – TBA (Napalm)

What we know for sure: No one will ever come a lot listening to Kamelot.

Myles Kennedy – TBA (Napalm)

What we know so far: This will be the second solo outing from the venerated singer (Alter Bridge, Slash).

Liquid Tension Experiment – Liquid Tension Experiment 3 (InsideOutMusic)

What we know so far: Reuniting three-fifths of Dream Theater’s most famous line-up (guitarist John Petrucci, drummer Mike Portnoy, and keyboardist Jordan Rudess), this will be LTE’s first album in more than twenty years.

Mastodon – TBA (Reprise)

What we know so far: The band has been in the studio, and have 30+ songs written.

Megadeth – TBA (Tradecraft/Universal)

What we know so far: Megamastermind Dave Mustaine has compared the follow-up to 2016’s Grammy-winning Dystopia to Peace Sells, Rust in Peace, and Countdown to Extinction. Bold words! This will be the group’s first release Mustaine was diagnosed with cancer (he’s now in remission, thankfully).

Monster Magnet – TBA (Napalm)

What we know so far: Weed will be involved in the creation of this record.

Municipal Waste – TBA (NB)

municipalwaste-8

What we know so far: They hit the studio with producer Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Trapped Under Ice) in November. Decibel has a studio report if you’re interested.

Rivers of Nihil – TBA (Metal Blade)

What we know so far: The band is currently in the studio working on the follow-up to 2018’s Where Owls Know My Name, which was met with near-universal acclaim from critics and fans alike. They’ve hinted that this latest release will be the “winter” (and final) album their four-part season quadrilogy. Expect it be every bit as musically adventurous as Owls.

Skindred – TBA (Napalm)

What we know so far: The album will not feature a guest appearance by Chris Holmes.

Dee Snider – TBA (Napalm)

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral

What we know so far: It will have vocals.

Serj Tankian – Elasticity

via Wikimedia Commons

What we know so far: This EP will collect songs Tankian wrote for System of a Down, but that the other members of the band apparently rejected. It may very well be the closest we get to understanding Serj’s vision for SOAD moving forward.

Tremonti – TBA (Napalm)

What we know so far: It will likely include an appearance by guitarist Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge, Creed).

Veil of Maya – TBA (Sumerian)

What we know so far: Guitarist Marc Okubo projected an early 2021 release last May. Alas, we still haven’t heard anything else, so…

W.A.S.P. – TBA (Napalm)

What we know so far: Against all odds, Blackie Lawless is alive and making music.

Andrew W.K. – TBA (Napalm)

What we know so far: This is already destined to be the party record of 2021.

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