Despite all the crap the music industry’s had to endure last year, and will probably have to suffer through for a while longer, we were still blessed with an incredible flow of quality releases. Just look at our reviews, editor’s top lists, and GRIMM’s top albums of 2020, which are all chock-full of amazing music. We therefor see no reason why 2021 shouldn’t enjoy the same blessing. One need only look at the records that have been announced and rumored so far and you know it’ll be a good year for music again even if live shows wouldn’t be happening yet.
John Carpenter – ‘Lost Themes III: Alive After Death‘
(05/02 – Sacred Bones)
John Carpenter‘s glory days as a legendary filmmaker might be behind him. However since 2015 he’s made a resurgence as a musician, in collaboration with his son Cody Carpenter and his godson Daniel Davies. After two successful ‘Lost Themes’ albums as well as two soundtrack albums, they return with their distinct style of eighties inspired synth music. Don’t expect anything fast or heavy, but get ready for some hauntingly beautiful and darkly atmospheric melodies.
Cult of Luna – ‘The Raging River’ EP
(05/02 – Red Creek)
After the brilliant ‘A Dawn to Fear‘ which came out in 2019 these guys finally return with some brand new music. Fans of Cult of Luna know what to expect: thunderous riffs that shake mountains, creeping melodies that hint to the end of civilization and a progressive touch that is so typical for this band. The single ‘Three Bridges‘ is already out so be sure to check it out.
Emptiness – ‘Vide’
(12/02 – Season of Mist)
The Belgian outfit Emptiness is releasing their 6th album with ‘Vide‘. While at first they brought quality black/death metal into the world, at this point they’ve veered rather towards a mix of post-metal and post-punk brought to you by eerie synths and almost unsettling atmospheres. The few singles that were released already promises an intriguing and quite unique soundscape that probably won’t be for everyone, but we’re really looking forward to more of this.
Sapata – ‘No Sun To Embrace’
(19/02 – Last Day Of The North)
Sometimes the most interesting things pop up out of nowhere. While we were wrapping up this month’s article, we were contacted by the label about possible coverage for the upcoming sophomore release from Sapata. When checking out the single ‘No Sun To Embrace’, we were immediately captivated by the absolutely gorgeous atmosphere of this band’s music, propelling it straight into this list of very anticipated albums.
Ævangelist – ‘Dream an Evil Dream III’
(22/2 – Dead Seed Productions)
One of the probably busiest musicians in the underground metal community, Matron Thorn, is releasing yet another Ævangelist album this month. The 3rd full-length in about a year’s time, ‘Dream an Evil Dream III’, promises more of his unique brand of black/death and will bolster an epic track of over 45 minutes, taking you on a wild roller coaster of musical atmospheres and emotions. Add to that the demented gravel of the vocals delivered by Stéphane Gerbaud (ex-Anorexia Nervosa, ex-Necromania) and you’re in for quite the crazy ride.
Alice Cooper – ‘Detroit Stories’
(26/02 – Ear Music)
Who doesn’t know Alice Cooper as a fan of metal or rock music? After a career that spans over 50 years, he’s not showing any signs of slowing down. ‘Detroit Stories’ is supposed to be a celebration of the golden era of Detroit rock. Together with his longtime producer Bob Ezrin they united with their Detroit friends to create a masterpiece of rock that even features tracks that were written decades ago by the Alice Cooper band from the 70s. Sounds like some quality old school music to us!
Empyrium – ‘Über Den Sternen’
(26/02 – Prophecy Productions)
The much lauded German outfit Empyrium is back with a brand new full-length after almost 7 years of nothing besides a small EP. ‘Über Den Sternen‘ seems to bring that classic neofolk/doomy sound Empyrium is known for and that is something to be truly excited about. Just check out one of the already revealed tracks with ‘The Three Flames Sapphire’, and drift away on the melancholic tranquility their music always seem to offer…
Moonspell – ‘Hermitage’
(26/02 – Napalm Records)
After almost 3 decades, the Portuguese outfit Moonspell is a well established name in the metal scene. The singles of their upcoming new album ‘Hermitage‘ that have been released so far sounded very promising in that they shine a new light once again. The band seems to explore further with almost every new release, never sticking too long to one formula. The latest single ‘The Greater Good’ even hints toward some Pink Floyd.
Architects – ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’
(26/02 – Epitaph Records)
Crushing metalcore/modern metal with a message, what would you want more? The British band Architects has been steadily growing into a mainstay and rather big name in the metalcore scene. Ever since the release of ‘Daybreaker‘ in 2012, solidifying their sound and introducing their political/ecological aware themes, they’ve been on a roll despite several hardships on the way. Their upcoming new release ‘For Those That Wish To Exist‘ continues to touch on the part we are playing in fucking this planet up and what the future might hold. Inspired by the happenings in 2020, global uncertainty and looming threats to the future of mankind, we are interested to see (or hear) their views. From what we’ve heard so far it’s quite accurate and people of all kinds will be able relate. Also, we’re just pumped to hear more of their melodic tracks with absolutely crushing parts like in ‘Black Lungs‘.
Tyrantti – ‘Orjaplaneetta’
(26/02 – Playground Music)
For people outside of Finland, this band might be a noble stranger, but for the part of our team that resides in THE metal country of the world, Tyrantti has been a regular appearance on their playlists and shows they visited. We do urge you to check these guys out if your looking for 80’s inspired heavy metal pur sang with all the bells and whistles going from groovy rhythms, soaring guitar solos, vocals ranging between gruffness and high pitched screams and a sense of danger. Old school heavy metal in a modern leather jacket with Finnish lyrics, you simply can’t go wrong with that. The “most dangerous heavy metal band of Finland” promises that their sophomore release ‘Orjaplaneetta‘ (Slave Planet, if my basic Finnish knowledge doesn’t fail me completely) is more diverse and will surprise friend and foe with new elements and sounds while still bringing the heat and their signature formula! Just check it out!
Brunhilde – ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’
(26/02 – Count & Countess)
Last year, we discovered the German rock outfit Brunhilde through their single ‘When You Were Born (I Was Already Dead)’ and were immediately impressed by their highly energized rock sound that blended elements of punk and metal into the mix. The high paced and sleazy sound combined with the vocals from Caro Loy reminded us early on of the highly successful outfit The Pretty Reckless, which is not a bad thing at all! On their debut EP ‘Choir Boy’ released in 2020, they gave us a bit of a taste of the diversity of their music and now it’s time for their debut full-length ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’ to really show us what they got. Going on the singles they already released of the album, we’ll be in for one hell of a modern rock ‘n’ roll party!
Black Totem – ‘II: Shapeshifting’
(26/02 – Svart Records)
Finland is very well known for its high turnover and quality of metal bands. But the country has also a really solid rock scene. This month also brings the sophomore release of a group of “up to no good” misfits called Black Totem. ‘II: Shapeshifting’ takes us on an exciting dark adventure with its own brand of death rock dubbed “Blackened Blues with Doom and Punk influences”. It’s weird, raw and a whole lot of fun. And if the line “Howling at the moon, with lungs of bile, Danzig/Misfits/Samhain influences are fleshed out with the Doom-laden riff-war of Celtic Frost, Venom and Darkthrone.” appeals to you, you simply can’t miss out on this one!
Note: of course we are still looking forward very much towards the new Harakiri For The Sky release ‘Mӕre’ that was delayed to a release on February 19 via AOP Records. For our entry why we were already looking forward to it last month, go have a look at last month’s article here.