Best of 2021: Whitechapel's Zach Householder Picks Favorite Music, Movie of Year | Revolver

Best of 2021: Whitechapel's Zach Householder Picks Favorite Music, Movie of Year

NIN-channeling metalcore, Tarantino-esque action thrillers and more
whitechapel zach householder 2021 alex morgan press, Alex Morgan
photograph by Alex Morgan

Revolver has teamed with Whitechapel for an exclusive splatter vinyl variant of their new album, Kin. It's limited to 500 copies — order yours before they're gone!

2021 has been, without a doubt, one of the most memorable years in modern music history. The invisible elephant in the room was obviously COVID-19, which triggered the unprecedented year-plus blackout on nearly all live shows. Thankfully this spring's widespread vaccination rollout proved effective enough for the restrictions to lift, and by summer bands were finally able to hit stages throughout the country.

While we're not quite in "post-COVID" times just yet, the sheer joy of experiencing the cranked sounds and singular live energy of gatherings big and small — from sweaty Turnstile club gigs and raucous Slipknot road shows to massive Metallica-led festivals — has been beyond rejuvenating.

Plus, there's also been a bunch of killer albums released this year to keep us entertained in between mosh pits. Old-school heavies Iron MaidenCarcass and At the Gates brought the heat, scene leaders Mastodon and Gojira upped the ante, Converge and Chelsea Wolfe dropped a bomb collab and a clutch of up-and-coming trailblazers — SpiritboxJinjerTurnstileScowlPortrayal of Guilt and more — pushed heavy music into exciting new territories. (See Revolver's 25 favorite albums of 2021 here.)

As we close the books on 2021, we're catching up with some of our favorite artists to get their picks for the best of the best of the past year. Below, Whitechapel guitarist Zach Householder shares his favorite shit: from Mastodon's "killer hooks" and NIN-channeling Australian metalcore to Tarantino–esque thrillers and more.

Best Album: 'Hushed and Grim' by Mastodon

Mastodon just gets better and better with every album. Their songwriting formulas are just intriguing, and they know how to make a hook. Production for that album was great, too. Really pleasant to listen to, just an overall rad album with killer hooks.

Best Song: "Casanova" by Thornhill

Man, it just has a perfect blend of modern music and older Nineties/mid-Nineties' influenced rock, before that genre turned into less-than-desirable music later on in the decades to come. The vocalist [Jacob Charlton] gives me Trent Reznor/Filter/Jane's Addiction vibes and I love it. I can't wait to hear what comes next from them. The production on that single is great, too.

Best Movie: Gunpowder Milkshake

Honestly, I don't have a lot of time for TV and movies. I have a laundry list of movies and shows to catch up on, but I just always feel like I'm wasting time when I sit and watch TV. I did happen to catch a movie called Gunpowder Milkshake, though. I really enjoyed it. Had a stellar cast and a very Quentin Tarantino/Kill Bill vibe … and I love Tarantino movies.

Best Book: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

I'll listen to books on tape while driving but they're mainly historical nonfiction or science-related. I did get through Neil Degrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry [2017]. I really liked it. It gives a lot of insights for a slowpoke like myself.  

Best Musical Moment

I went and saw Gojira in my hometown this past month. It was the first live show I had been to since December 16th of 2019. While I've seen them more times at festivals, seeing them inside a venue is just something truly amazing. That band is unstoppable live, and they know how to put on a show. They are definitely one of my favorite top five live metal bands of all time and a massive musical influence on me. 

What Are You Most Excited for in 2022?

Going back on the road again in February with Cannibal Corpse. Not only do I love that band, but we haven't toured since 2019. It's long overdue. Also excited to possibly get some more work in the studio or being in the studio. I really hope to be working with more bands on the engineering/producing side of things. There are a lot of really rad engineers out there so I'm aware how flooded that market is. However, I thoroughly enjoy it and I've realized how much of a smoke screen there is regarding a lot of "professionals." So now I have even more confidence in my knowledge and abilities. I'm going to keep marketing my small business called Titan Audio Project and just making products for that. Aside from that, I plan on releasing solo material in 2022 … So, hopefully, I'll have a full year ahead of myself.