60 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021 | Revolver

60 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021

Ghost, Gojira, Tomahawk, Turnstile and more
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If there are silver linings to the dumpster fire that was 2020, one of them would be that musicians, waylaid from the road, had a lot of time to make music. And many of our favorite artists did just that, quarantining themselves in their rehearsal spaces and in recording studios, channeling the angst of these uncertain times into cranking out new jams. As a result, 2021 should bring with it a wealth of sonic pleasures from some of the most vital names in metal, hardcore, industrial and beyond. Here are 60 albums we're particularly looking forward to.

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photograph by Michael Mendoza

3TEETH

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

If you follow 3TEETH ringleader Alexis Mincolla on Instagram (and you should) then you know that he's been spending his quarantine out in Joshua Tree, shooting semi-automatic weapons, recording cave noises and working on his industrial-metal crew's next album. "We've been out in the desert for months writing this record, getting a sort of like off-world perspective," he told us in October. "It sort of feels like you're on another planet." Sounds very promising for a man whose alter-ego is President X, an extraterrestrial reptile ruler.

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photograph by Piotr Kwasnik

Alien Weaponry

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Roaring out of New Zealand like a Māori Sepultura, Alien Weaponry have been one of metal's brightest breakout stars of recent years. Their 2018 debut album, Tū, rips, but with a new bassist in the fold (the awesomely named Turanga Porowini Morgan-Edmonds) and plenty of downtime to write, we expect a follow-up that's even more haka-worthy.

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Amenra
photograph by Nathaniel Shannon

Amenra

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

One of the most intense bands in the heavy music, Belgium's Amenra took their sound and vision next level with their last album, 2017's Mass VI, featuring the slow-burn melodic masterpiece "A Solitary Reign." The post-metal conjurers' next "mass," which will be issued via extreme-music stronghold Relapse Records, cannot come soon enough.

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Animals as Leaders

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

It's been five years since instrumental djent virtuosos Animals as Leaders released their last full-length, The Madness of Many.  It's almost scary to think how mastermind Tosin Abasi — a.k.a. Bill & Ted: Face the Music's official "air shredder" — may have honed his already head-spinning chops in that time.

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photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

Anthrax

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Their Big 4 brethren Slayer may have called it a day in 2019, but thrash OGs Anthrax are still going strong — indeed, if you ask drummer and songwriter Charlie Benante, he'll tell you that they have their best days still ahead of them. According to Benante, the band's next album will be "the greatest Anthrax record!" Guitarist Scott Ian has maybe an even loftier description: "It's our Dark Side of the Moon," he told us, "but faster."

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photograph by Katja Kuhl

Arch Enemy

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

2017's Will to Power marked major milestones for Swedish melodic death-metal stalwarts Arch Enemy. Their second album with powerhouse singer Alissa White-Gluz. Their first song with cleanly sung lead vocals. A lead single, "The World Is Yours," that tallied over 1 million views on YouTube within two days. What will its follow-up bring? We can't wait to see.

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photograph by Gus Stewart/Redferns

Architects

Title: For Those That Wish To Exist
Release Date: February 26th

If you thought Architects' 2018 album, Holy Hell — their first since the death of founding guitarist Tom Searle — was grandiose, wait till you hear For Those That Wish to Exist. Everything is even bigger — the melodies, the breadth of the arrangements and the scope of its concept, which navigates the push-pull of hope and nihilism in a world that's falling apart. Simply put, it's the most ambitious album the U.K. metalcore veterans have ever made.

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photograph by Travis Shinn

Ashes Divide

Title: TBA
Release Date: summer

In 2018, A Perfect Circle released their first album in 14 years, Eat the Elephant. In 2021, guitarist-songwriter Billy Howerdel is set to release the first album in 11 years from his solo project Ashes Divide, the follow-up to his 2008 debut, Keep Telling Myself It's Alright. Look out for more expansive, ethereal rock in the vein of the latter album, as well as Eat the Elephant, some of the songs on which were originally intended for Ashes Divide.

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photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

At the Gates

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

After setting the template for modern metalcore with 1995's Slaughter of the Soul and then taking a nearly 20-year break between albums, At the Gates have been on a tear. The band's two post-comeback LPs, At War With Reality and To Drink From the Night Itself, both slay — and there's no reason to think that Numero Tres will do anything less.

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photograph by Jonathan Weiner

Avenged Sevenfold

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

2021 will mark five long years since Avenged Sevenfold surprise-released The Stage, the longest gap between albums to date for the chart-topping O.C. metal juggernaut. But while the band have been hard at work on their eighth full-length, only time will tell as to whether it'll actually drop this year or not: In October, A7X said they planned to wait until touring was a possibility again. As for the sound of their new music, singer M. Shadows told Kerrang! in December that it's nothing like The Stage: "It's over the top," he said, "and it's very eclectic and wild!"

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Baroness, 2019
photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

Baroness

Title: TBA
Release Date: fall

With 2019's Gold & Grey — the group's first with guitarist-singer Gina Gleason — Baroness completed a monumental color wheel cycle of albums spanning 14 years and five full-lengths, including one double LP (2012's Yellow & Green). So what comes next? It's a tantalizing question for a group that has defied expectations and genres (sludge? prog? metal? rock?) many times already.

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Beartooth

Title: TBA
Release Date: spring/summer

In November, Beartooth main man Caleb Shomo revealed via Twitter that the band's next album, their fourth overall, is "100% finished." As for its sound, Shomo teased fans with a couple brief clips earlier this year, and this summer he promised "sonic devastation." "This is the heaviest record," he said on Knotfest's "Mosh Talks" podcast. "This is my best work — the most proud I've been of these songs. It's wild. It's some heavy-duty shit."

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Bring Me the Horizon, 2020

Bring Me the Horizon

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Bring Me the Horizon have been doing everything they can to annihilate genre boundaries — between metal, rock, pop, electronic music and more — which we fully back. Even so, like a lot of fans, we were heartened to hear them close out 2020 by leaning into their more metallic side: October's Post Human: Survival Horror EP is as heavy as Oli Sykes and crew have sounded in years. 2021 should bring more Post Human installments and, with them, more sonic surprises and delights.

bullet for my valentine matt tuck 2019 GETTY, Gina Wetzler/Redferns
photograph by Gina Wetzler/Redferns

Bullet for My Valentine

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Bullet for My Valentine's last album, 2018's Gravity, captured the Welsh band in a particularly radio-friendly and nu-metal-inflected moment, and according to frontman Matt Tuck, the band's follow-up will strike a stark contrast. "The riffs are crushing," he told Rock Sound in May. "There's probably 60 percent aggressive vocals, 40 [percent] clean, which is a ratio we've never really dabbled with before. It's very heavy, it's very technical. For the Bullet fans out there that kind of like that side of this band, it's very cool and very exciting."

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Cane Hill, 2020

Cane Hill

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

In what appears to be an understandable trend considering how much 2020 sucked, Cane Hill, too, are storming into the new year with their heaviest shit yet. Their two late-2020 singles, "Power of the High" and "Kill Me," drew blood — and more things wicked this way come. Krew de la Morte is "Vol. 1 of a larger vision," frontman Elijah Witt told us in October, adding: "Join us, live with us, die with us. Welcome to The Krewe."

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Cannibal Corpse

Cannibal Corpse

Title: TBA
Release Date: spring

Cannibal Corpse don't make bad albums. They make disgusting albums. They make nauseating albums. They make putrid albums. But they don't make bad ones. In June, George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher and cohorts hit Florida's Mana Recording Studios with producer, engineer and sometime touring guitarist Erik Rutan to record the death-metal pioneers' 15th full-length, the follow-up to 2017's Red Before Black. You know what? It will not be bad.

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Jerry Cantrell

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Alice in Chains singer-guitarist-songwriter Jerry Cantrell hasn't released a solo album since 2002's Degradation Trip, but over the last two years, he's become increasingly active outside of his famed band. In 2017, he contributed "A Job to Do" to John Wick: Chapter 2, and in 2018, the solo cut "Setting Sun" appeared on DC's Dark Knights: Metal soundtrack. Then in late 2019, he played two sold-out L.A. shows under his own name. This March, Cantrell hit the studio to begin recording solo album No. 3, captioning a series of Instagram photos, "It's time to make the Raawwwkkk!!!" Word.

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Carcass
photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

Carcass

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Carcass were supposed to release a new full-length in 2020, but then a little thing called COVID-19 happened, and the Liverpudlian gore-hounds gave us an EP, the four-track Despicable, to tide us over, instead. This year should see core members Jeff Walker (vocals, bass) and Bill Steer (guitar) finally delivering that long-overdue follow-up to 2013's Surgical Steel, a.k.a. one of extreme metal's greatest comeback albums ever.

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Converge's Jacob Bannon
photograph by Nick Sayers

Converge

Title: Blood Moon
Release Date: TBA

In 2016, Converge played shows with Chelsea Wolfe and her longtime collaborator Ben Chisholm, as well as Cave In's Stephen Brodsky, performing and reworking experimental deep cuts from the hardcore heroes' catalog. In early 2020, Brodsky confirmed plans to take the project into the studio. "We've already done some writing for it and the material we've come up for it is really, really cool," he said on the "Lead Singer Syndrome" podcast. "Definitely a next step for Converge, and I'm really psyched to be a part of it." We're really psyched to hear it.

crowbar Kirk windstein HUBBARD 2, Jimmy Hubbard
photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

Crowbar

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Kirk Windstein spent 2020 releasing his first-ever solo album, January's Dream in Motion, and celebrating the 25th anniversary of NOLA, the landmark debut from Southern sludge supergroup Down. In 2021, he'll refocus on his main band, the mighty Crowbar. What can we look forward to from the follow-up to 2016's The Serpent Only Lies? Riff, riffs and more riffs. What else would you expect from a man known as the "Riff Master"?

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Cult of Luna

Title: The Raging River
Release Date: February 5th

Swedish post-metal crew Cult of Luna have a whole collaborative album on their resume, 2016's Mariner, with Brooklyn-based singer Julie Christmas, but they've never had a feature on one of their records — until now. The group's forthcoming EP, The Raging River, boasts a guest appearance by the one and only Mark Lanegan, the Seattle musician known for the Screaming Trees and that weathered, fathomless voice. If anyone can make Cult of Luna's music even more epic, he can.

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Daughters 2018
photograph by Reid Haithcock

Daughters

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Not many bands can take an eight-year break between albums and then come back stronger than ever. Daughters did just that, hitting a high-water mark with 2018's gnarly noise-rock opus You Won't Get What You Want. A Cramps cover, an Alexis S.F. Marshall solo song and countless insane live shows later, the Rhode Island troublemakers are prepping a follow-up. Maybe this time we will get what we want.

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photograph by Adam DeGross

Dead Cross

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Just over a year ago, Dead Cross — the spazzy hardcore punk supergroup featuring Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, Justin Pearson and Michael Crain — were in the studio with producer Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, Sepultura), laying down their second full-length, which presumably will be self-titled as was their 2017 debut LP and 2018 EP. Said album is finally set to detonate in 2021. It should be well worth the wait.

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Deafheaven, 2019
photograph by Nick Sayers

Deafheaven

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Blackgaze trailblazers Deafheaven had their 10th anniversary plans largely derailed in 2020 by the pandemic: a celebratory tour, a live album (which they still released, but recorded in a studio). Down but not out, the group charge into their 11th year hard at work on the follow-up to 2018's excellently titled Ordinary Corrupt Human Love. If that was their Master of Puppets, will this be their ...And Justice for All?

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Dying Wish, 2020

Dying Wish

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Portland's Dying Wish haven't even released an album yet, and they're already one of the tightest and most hyped bands in the latest generation of metallic hardcore upstarts. It doesn't hurt, of course, that they've been championed by mosh heavyweights Knocked Loose. Of their forthcoming debut LP, vocalist Emma Boster promises "ass-beater choruses," more arena-sized parts and awesome breakdowns. Sounds good to us.

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Evanescence

Title: The Bitter Truth
Release Date: March 26th

Throughout 2020, Evanescence dropped a bread crumb trail of tantalizing singles — "Wasted on You", "The Game Is Over," "Use My Voice" and "Yeah Right" — leading up to the band's long-awaited new LP, The Bitter Truth. Featuring 12 tracks, including the already released four, it'll be Amy Lee and Co.'s first album of original music in a decade.

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Every Time I Die's Keith Buckley, 2015
photograph by Rob Ball / Getty

Every Time I Die

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Buffalo, New York, hardcore stalwarts Every Time I Die delivered an emotional firestorm with their last album, 2016's Low Teens, drawing on frontman Keith Buckley's real-life trauma and eschewing the band's signature sardonic wit and party-hard attitude to get deadly serious. Judging from their two rollicking late-2020 singles, "A Colossal Wreck" and "Desperate Measures," ETID look to be in more upbeat spirits for LP No. 9. God knows we need it.

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Exodus

Title: Persona Non Grata
Release Date: summer

With eight years of hard time in Slayer behind him, guitarist Gary Holt has returned to re-focus on his main band, thrash pioneers Exodus. In May, the axman promised "crushing" new riffs for the follow-up to 2014's Blood In, Blood Out. That LP featured a guest solo from Metallica shredder and OG Exodus member Kirk Hammett. No word yet on whether he might pop up this time, too.

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Eyehategod, 2020
photograph by Robb Duchemin

Eyehategod

Title: A History of Nomadic Behavior
Release Date: March 12th

It's been seven years since the NOLA sludge titans Eyehategod released an album of original material, a period that not only found the notorious road dogs playing out relentlessly — hence the title A History of Nomadic Behavior — but also saw vocalist Mike IX Williams endure liver failure and a transplant. The fighting spirit that helped keep him going burns brightly on lead single, "High Risk Trigger," an apocalyptic heavy-blues rager of the finest vintage.

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Ghost

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Now that Cardinal Copia has ascended into the Papal ranks, we're even more stoked than ever to hear what Ghost will conjure up next. Mastermind Tobias Forge has been saying all kinds of things about the band's next album. That it will be heavier and riffier than its smash predecessor, Prequelle. That it will be the occult-rock group's equivalent to Metallica's "Black Album." That it would be released in 2020. That it would be released in 2021. "We are working diligently on several big things for next year," one of Ghost's Nameless Ghouls wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post on New Year's Eve, "so please do not confuse our silence with inactivity. ... We are almost there."

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photograph by Kevin Wilson

Gojira

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

We've been waiting way too long for the follow-up to 2016's instant classic Magma. Prior to the pandemic sweeping the globe, it looked like we might get it in 2020; instead we got a majestic stand-alone single, "Another World," that only served to whet the appetite. Discussing the song, frontman Joe Duplantier quoted Ferdinand Magellan: "It is with an iron will that we'll embark on the most daring of all endeavors, to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown." We're ready to meet any future that includes a new Gojira album.

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GWAR

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

The 2014 death of Dave Brockie, a.k.a. GWAR's iconic Oderus Urungus, could have spelled the end of GWAR. Instead, the barbaric interplanetary warriors rallied behind a new lead singer, Blöthar the Berserker, portrayed by OG band member Michael Bishop. The group has been going strong ever since, releasing their first album without Oderus, The Blood of Gods, in 2017, and ramping up to its sure-to-be blood-soaked and politically incorrect follow-up, due later this year.

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High on Fire's Matt Pike, 2018
photograph by Kevin Scanlon

High on Fire

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

To say that the last three years have been eventful for High on Fire's lead hessian Matt Pike would be an understatement. Since 2018, the dude has released a long-awaited comeback album with his other band Sleep (The Sciences), taken home a Grammy (for the title track of HoF's last LP, Electric Messiah), lost much of a toe (to amputation) and tied the knot (with Lord Dying's Alyssa Maucere). Amid it all, the prolific Pike has been writing new music, of course, and it will surely riff hard and reek of strong weed.

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photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

The HU

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Mongolian folk-metal horde the Hu have been riding high ever since going viral with the cinematic music videos for such mind-blowingly unique songs as "Yuve Yuve Yu" and "Wolf Totem." They closed out 2020 with an insane cover of Metallica's "Sad but True," complete with throat-singing and horsehead fiddle-playing. 2021 should bring with it a new full-length packed with more self-described "hunnu rock."

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Ice Nine Kills

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Ice Nine Kills frontman Spencer Charnas fully channeled his deep love of horror films into his band's 2018 album, The Silver Scream — each song on which was inspired by a different fright flick — and the metalcore veterans' star shot through the roof in the process. Will INK's follow-up bring more scares? More gore? More screams? We hope so.

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photograph by Joseph Cultice

Jinjer

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Ukrainian progressive metal juggernaut Jinjer had a full head of steam going into last year, having dropped not one but two breakthrough releases in 2019, the Micro EP and its full-length companion piece, Macro. COVID stalled some of their forward momentum, of course, but powerhouse vocalist Tatiana Shmayluk and Co. are not to be stopped. Album No. 4 is due out in 2021 and should find the band's already jaw-dropping range ever more expanded and refined.

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photograph by Justin Borucki

Judas Priest

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

2018's Firepower — Judas Priest's first studio album since 1988's Ram It Down to be produced by Tom Allom and their first with Andy Sneap as co-producer — marked a rip-roaring return to form for the NWOBHM titans. The production duo is set to return for Priest's forthcoming 19th full-length, which the band has been working on throughout 2020. With the group (which includes Sneap as touring guitarist) scheduled to launch their COVID-postponed 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour in May, 2021 looks to be a big year for Rob Halford and his fellow defenders of the faith.

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Kerry King

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Even before Slayer called it a day, the questions have hung in the air: When will Kerry King drop his solo album? And will it feature Philip Anselmo on vocals? In an August interview with Dean Guitars, King kept mum on the latter rumor — "I'm not positive who everybody is that's gonna be playing with me," he said. The thrash pioneer was more forthcoming as to the quantity of solo material, reporting that he has "two records' worth of music" from which to cherrypick the best 11 or 12 songs. "That first record should be smoking," he enthused. No doubt.

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King Diamond

Title: The Institute
Release Date: TBA
In late 2019, King Diamond delighted fans when he dropped his first new song in over a decade, "Masquerade of Madness," along with news that his 13th solo album as on the way. And of course, the Danish corpse-paint pioneer announced the LP in his typical maniacal manner: "For reasons unknown to you, it is clear that you have no way of making it to The Institute on your own at this point," he proclaimed. "Therefore, we will bring THE INSTITUTE to you ... It could be for your own good, you know."

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photograph by Matt Kadi

King Woman

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Kris Esfandiari is an artist of many personas, eight to be precise. There's the depressive shoegaze project Miserable, the confrontational industrial-goth outfit Nghtcrwlr and the lysergic rap act Dalmatian, but her best known is the husky-voiced singer of doom-metal band King Woman, whose 2017 debut LP, Created in the Image of Suffering, positioned them as major players in the heavy-music underground. Album No. 2 should solidify that status.

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Mastodon

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Last year, Mastodon celebrated 20 years as a band with the excellent rarities compilation, Medium Rarities. This year, the Atlantan progressive giants will stomp into their third decade with the release of a new LP, the follow-up to 2017's monumental concept record The Emperor of Sand. In August, drummer-vocalist-songwriter Brann Dailor told us they had "too much material," but that it was a good problem to have. "The new stuff, to me, is all over the place," he said. "It just sounds like us. It sounds like a Mastodon record."

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photograph by Mcabe Gregg

Megadeth

Title: TBA
Release Date:
TBA
Cancer was just a speed bump for Dave Mustaine. When the thrash trailblazer was barely done with chemotherapy in late 2019, he revealed to Rolling Stone that his band Megadeth already has "nine really crushing songs" demo'd, three of which they hoped to release sooner rather than later as "early offerings." COVID derailed those plans, as well as Megadeth's 2020 tour with Lamb of God, but it did enable the group to focus on completing their new, 16th album. In October, Mustaine described it on "The Five Count" radio show as "one of the most ferocious records we've done since Rust in Peace."

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Melvins, 2019
photograph by Chris Mortenson

Melvins

Title: Working With God (as Melvins 1983), TBA (as Melvins)
Release Date: February 26th, TBA

Ever prolific, never predictable, sludge-grunge pranksters the Melvins should have at least two albums dropping this year, one of which will be a new LP, Working With God, from their "1983" incarnation featuring drummer Dale Crover on bass and original member Mike Dillard on drums. In November, singer-guitarist Buzz Osborne told us that he also has a "gigantic four-album thing" in the works, but wouldn't say more. Consider our curiosity piqued.

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photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

Metallica

Title: TBA
Release Date:
TBA
Metal's biggest band has kept very busy throughout the pandemic, launching a streaming series, hosting a drive-in concert, playing an acoustic virtual show, releasing the S&M2 live album and more — including working up ideas for their next studio full-length, the follow-up to 2016's acclaimed double LP, Hardwired... To Self-Destruct. "It's the heaviest thing, the coolest," drummer Lars Ulrich enthused to Classic Rock in December. "But all kidding aside, if it wasn't because we thought that the best record was still ahead of us, then why keep doing it?"

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photograph by Jolene Siana

Ministry

Title: TBA
Release Date:
summer/fall
Back in April, just as COVID-19 was gripping the world and the presidential election was heating up, Ministry dropped the timely single "Alert Level," an old-school industrial-metal screed ripe with politically charged outrage, and gave word that main man Al Jourgensen would be using quarantine to complete the group's next album, their 15th. Jourgensen has always been at his creative best in times of social unrest, which means Ministry's 2021 offering should be a good one.

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Ozzy Osbourne

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Who could have imagined that Ozzy would find new life after multiple health scares and tour cancellations by teaming up with Andrew Watt, a pop producer 42 years his junior? Such was the case with 2020's Ordinary Man, the metal godfather's first solo album in a decade. Just days after its release, Ozzy revealed plans to make another record with Watt, a process that's well under way, with the producer recently reporting to Guitar World that it's halfway done and will include Eighties-hailing songs that could top nine minutes in length.

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Polyphia, 2019
photograph by Travis Poston

Polyphia

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

The one thing that Texan instrumental virtuosos Polyphia are better at than shredding is trolling, and they're damn good at shredding. They'll show off the latter skill (and probably the former, too) this year when they drop the follow-up to 2018's New Levels New Devils, a high-water mark of noodly pop-metal fret-burning delivered with hip-hop star attitude.

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photograph by Angelo Kritikos

Poppy

Title: TBA
Release Date:
spring
On 2020's I Disagree LP, internet-bred shape-shifter Poppy unabashedly embraced the nu-metal influence that she's toyed with in the past and was rewarded by becoming the first female solo artist to be nominated for a Best Metal Performance Grammy. But she also closed out the year with a sweet, quiet Christmas EP, underscoring her unpindownable range. It should be no surprise then that her next album, which was "95 percent done" as of December, will feature "a completely different sonic vibe," according to Poppy. Maybe grindcore? Funeral doom?

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Emma Ruth Rundle

Title: TBA
Release Date:
TBA
Over the course of numerous projects, Emma Ruth Rundle has explored folk, alt-rock, doom and ambient byways. The singer-songwriter spent last year indulging her heavier inclinations, touring with post-metal Swedes Cult of Luna and collaborating with Bayou sludge crew Thou. (She also covered Kate Bush with corpse-painted humorists Two Minutes to Late Night.) In 2021, she looks to curate Roadburn festival (which she was scheduled to do in 2020 until COVID crashed the party) and release the follow-up to stunning 2018 solo album On Dark Horses.

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photograph by Kat Nijmeddin

SeeYouSpaceCowboy

Title: TBA
Release Date:
TBA
SeeYouSpaceCowboy's DIY punk ethics and invigorating "sasscore" have earned them a dedicated and deserved grassroots following over recent years. Their 2019 Pure Noise debut, The Correlation Between Entrance And Exit Wounds, introduced their pit-stirring music to an even wider audience. The album also saw singer Connie Sgabossa and Co. expanding beyond swaggering, chaotic metallic hardcore into more expansive and vulnerable post-metal realms, experimentation we hope to hear continue on their 2021 release.

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Spiritbox, 2020
photograph by Kyle Joinson

Spiritbox

Title: TBA
Release Date: TBA

Spiritbox had a huge breakout year in 2020 care of two smash singles that showcased their wide-screen sonic and emotional range: the punishingly aggro "Holy Roller" (also released in a remixed version featuring Crystal Lake's Ryo Kinoshita) and the soaring, melancholic "Constance." Newly aligned with Rise Records, these Canucks — led by powerhouse vocalist Courtney LaPlante — are poised to take 2021 by storm.

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System of a Down's Serj Tankian, 2017
photograph by Francesco Castaldo

Serj Tankian

Title: Elasticity
Release Date:
spring
One of 2020's biggest heavy-music stories was the surprise arrival of System of a Down's first new songs in 15 years, "Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz," which the band wrote, recorded and released to help the people of Artsakh and Armenia. But don't look for more SOAD tunes in 2021. Instead, singer Serj Tankian will drop the EP Elasticity, featuring five cuts originally intended for the band. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Tankian described the songs as "diverse," "going from really heavy, System-esque type of music to really beautiful, ballady [music]." "It's kind of all around the place," he said, "as everything I do is."

times of grace PRESS

Times of Grace

Title: TBA
Release Date:
TBA
In 2011, before he rejoined Killswitch Engage, vocalist Jesse Leach teamed with KSE guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz for The Hymn of a Broken Man, the one and only album from the emotional, exploratory melodic metal project Times of Grace. A decade later, bolstered by the success of Killswitch's 2019 offering, Atonement, the duo are finally prepping a follow-up. "It's liberating. It really is what it is," Leach has said of the new LP. "And the lyrics, I take a different approach to that stuff. On this next one, there's a lot of real poetry ... I'm really stoked."

tomahawk tim moss PRESS, Tim Moss
photograph by Tim Moss

Tomahawk

Title: TBA
Release Date:
spring
Mike Patton has nearly as many projects as he does voices, and seemingly most of them are supergroups (see also Dead Cross, above). After reviving Mr. Bungle last year with the assistance of thrash icons Scott Ian and Dave Lombardo, Patton is on to resuscitating Tomahawk, his all-star alt-metal outfit with Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison, Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn and current Battles/former Helmet drummer John Stanier. 2021 should deliver the band's first album in eight years, the follow-up to 2013's aptly titled Oddfellows.

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Turnstile

Title: TBA
Release Date:
TBA
Turnstile's Brendan Yates, Pat McCrory and Daniel Fang have spent much of the last couple years focused on their other, more-pop-punk-oriented outfit, Angel Du$t, also featuring Trapped Under Ice's Justice Tripp. In 2021, the Baltimore posicore leaders will re-prioritize their main band, taking on the lofty task of following up their breakthrough sophomore album, 2018's revelatory Time & Space. The mosh pit — if such a thing exists again — will be happier for it.

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Anthony DiDio, Irving Plaza, New York City, 2018
photograph by Angela Owens

Vein

Title: TBA
Release Date:
TBA
Alongside Code Orange, Knocked Loose, Turnstile and others, Vein stand at the cutting edge of the current wave of hardcore. Their innovative 2020 remix album, Old Data in a New Machine, Vol. 1 (released under the name Vein.fm), suggests an even more experimental, melodic and electronic-music-infused edge to future endeavors — which only heightens the anticipation for the follow-up to 2018's explosive errorzone.

venom prison december 2020 PRESS

Venom Prison

Title: TBA
Release Date:
TBA
We've been championing U.K. rabble-rousers Venom Prison ever since our very first relaunch issue over three years ago. Vocalist Larissa Stupar and her compatriots are flipping death metal on its head and we're here for it. The band spent 2020 looking backward, releasing Primeval, a collection of mostly re-recorded early material. But the group also signed to heavy-music stronghold Century Media late in the year, kicking off "a new chapter," the band said in a joint statement. We're ready to turn the page.

whitechapel_credit_alex-morgan.jpg, Alex Morgan
photograph by Alex Morgan

Whitechapel

Title: TBA
Release Date:
fall
"Over 2020 we were able to create our 8th studio album during a time of uncertainty and doubt," Whitechapel announced on social media on New Year's Eve. "We can't wait to show you all what we have created in 2021." We can't wait to hear it. The Knoxville, Tennessee, quintet's last album, 2019's The Valley, marked a massive step forward for the metal veterans, away from deathcore and into something infinitely more melodic, progressive and mature. The sky is the limit now.

youth code 2020 PRESS, Bandcamp @youthcode
courtesy of Bandcamp @youthcode

Youth Code x King Yosef

Title: TBA
Release Date:
March 5th
On December 31st, L.A. industrial duo Youth Code and Portland, Oregon, trap-metal producer King Yosef simultaneously posted a cryptic image across social media. The following day, they revealed the big news: a collaborative record, which will be Youth Code's first full-length offering since 2016's Commitment to Complications LP. Steel yourself for aggro dancefloor beats, blood-curdling hardcore screams and plenty of gut-punching sociopolitical outrage.

robzombie_credit_travisshinn.jpg, Travis Shinn
photograph by Travis Shinn

Rob Zombie

Title: The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy
Release Date: March 12th

Rob Zombie's new album — his seventh solo LP and first in five years — has been sitting on the shelf in his mad scientist's laboratory for a while now. First, his 2019 movie 3 From Hell delayed its release. Then COVID threatened to do so again. Fortunately, Zombie opted against holding the record anymore, and the world will get to hear it in all its monster-metal glory this March. "It is by far the best Zombie record," the rocker-director's guitar (anti)hero John 5 promised us. "And White Zombie record. Because I love Astro-Creep [2000]. I think it's better. I love this record."