2021 is not off to the start any of us wanted, but at least there should be a lot of great music coming this year. With that in mind, we compiled a list of 60 albums we're particularly looking forward to, and then we asked you to let us know your No. 1 most anticipated release. Across social media, you expressed your excitement for new music from a host of different bands and artists: Tomahawk, Avenged Sevenfold, Jerry Cantrell, Poppy, Deafheaven, Wolfgang Van Halen's project Mammoth WVH. And of course, many of you just want anything from Tool. Five bands rose to the fore — see the top vote-getters below.
U.K. metalcore veterans Architects have been redefining the genre (and themselves) for well over a decade. Their upcoming LP, For Those That Wish To Exist, due February 26th, continues that evolution. With 15 tracks (spanning an hour) and three big-time guest vocalists (Parkway Drive's Winston McCall, Royal Blood's Mike Kerr and Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil), it goes for the jugular, both sonically and thematically: As the band recently told Revolver, the album's lyrics navigate the push-pull of hope and nihilism in a world that's falling apart.
Over the course of 2020, Evanescence spent their quarantine working on The Bitter Truth, their first album of original music in a decade. They dropped singles as they progressed — "Wasted on You," "The Game Is Over," "Use My Voice" and "Yeah Right" — and vocalist Amy Lee making badass guest appearances on albums by diverse acts like Body Count and Bring Me the Horizon, making eager fans only more anxious. Your long wait will be over soon. Featuring 12 tracks, The Bitter Truth is set for a March 26th release.
If you thought cancer would stop Dave Mustaine, think again. The thrash OG was already working on songs while in the middle of chemotherapy in late 2019. If you thought COVID would stop him, think again again. The pandemic did sideline Megadeth's mega-tour with Lamb of God, but it also allowed the band to focus on finishing up their 16th album, tentatively titled The Sick, the Dying and the Dead. Mustaine's been quoted comparing it to Rust in Peace. Of course, you're stoked.
Atlantan progressive monsters Mastodon celebrated 20 years as a band last year with the excellent rarities compilation, Medium Rarities. Stuck at home, the band used the time to work on the follow-up to 2017's momentous concept record The Emperor of Sand. In August, drummer-vocalist-songwriter Brann Dailor told Revolver they had "too much material" — but that's 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."
One of 2020's few silver linings was "Another World," the majestic standalone single from Gojira. 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." Whatever the future holds, we know 2021 will at least bring the long-awaited follow-up to 2016's sweeping Magma. It's your hands-down pick for the most anticipated album of the year.