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. Of course there are a whole bunch of releases we all are looking forward to, but here are some of our editorial team’s picks of the most anticipated releases of this month:
Wode – ‘Burn in Many Mirrors’
(01/04 – 20 Buck Spin)
Four years after their critically acclaimed ‘Servants of the Countercosmos‘ UK black metal occultists Wode finally return to bring us the next chapter in their gloomy discography. Only this time, from what I’ve heard so far, they opted for savagery over melody. I’m not yet convinced I dig this new direction, but I may be biased by expecting something else than what they’ve got planned. But I’ll be damned if I pass on this one. Expect our review soon.
Saille – ‘V’
(09/04 – Black Lion Records)
Having steadily evolved into an international powerhouse rather than remaining a purely Belgian band, Saille were bound to find themselves on the brink of an artistic shift. Their February premiere of ‘Empty Expanse‘ caught my attention and left me wanting a lot more. Much more so than their previous work. This sounds conventionally different, which is a good thing in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I like their other albums. They just didn’t resonate with me a lot. Sure seems like the addition of Dutch singer Jesse Peetoom (DunkelNacht) was a good choice too and I hope the pay-off will be palpable.
The Vintage Caravan – ‘Monuments’
(16/4 – Napalm Records)
These 3 dudes from Iceland have been killing it for about 15 years now and are back this month with a brand new full-length. The Vintage Caravan has been delivering time after time on quality psychedelic vintage rock and bombshells of live shows. They could’ve easily existed in the golden ages of rock music around the seventies and a spot on Woodstock wouldn’t have been a big surprise if they would’ve been around back then. ‘Monuments’ promises to be another monumental vintage psych rock release to spin on your turntable and rock out to!
Cannibal Corpse – ‘Violence Unimagined’
(16/04 – Metal Blade Records)
Because of course we were gonna include this one in the list. How could we not? It’s fuckin’ Cannibal Corpse, y’all! Corpsegrinder and friends are set to release their fifteenth studio album on April 16th, a day that can’t get here fast enough. Now with Erik Rutan joining the band, you can expect some truly focused songwriting. ‘Violence Unimagined‘ won’t be just another album showcasing brutality. These legends continue to push their work beyond the normal parameter, and are bound to become serious contenders for 2021’s best.
Bongzilla – ‘Weedconsin’
(20/4 – Heavy Psych Sounds)
The Cannabeast has awoken: 16 years since their last record, Wisconsin sludge metal giants BONGZILLA are back with a new full length album. With their main reference and inspiration being quoted as “weed” and their new album being called ‘Weedsconsin’, you don’t have to guess for long what you can expect from this one. Massive sludge riffs to blow you off your feet if the bong hit hasn’t done that yet. The masters of stoner and sludge will absolutely crush you again with this release filled with slow psychedelic riffs and gargling vocals, don’t miss out!
Lilith Czar – ‘Created from Filth and Dust’
(23/04 – Sumerian Records)
Although it’s a blend of pop and rock I am interested to see what the full MO of Lilith Czar is as this persona is brought to life versus what the original Juliet Simms was like! We’ve liked the song ‘King‘ that she released and we’re somewhat hoping the whole album is along those same lines.
Crypts of Despair – ‘All Light Swallowed’
(23/04 – Transcending Obscurity Records)
Transcending Obscurity Records have been signing tons of new and reputed bands from over the world. The latest addition to their roster is the Lithuanian death metal band Crypts of Despair, who will release their sophomore album ‘All Light Swallowed‘ this month. If you seek some original and top-quality death metal then look no further. The new album fuses some filthy old school death metal with a dash of modern dissonance.
The Flaming Sideburns – ‘Silver Flames’
(23/4 – Svart Records)
The album no one thought was ever going to happen. After 20 years, the legendary Helsinki-based rock ‘n’ roll outfit The Flaming Sideburns are releasing their brand new full-length ‘Silver Flames’ with the full original line-up! Most certainly it’s out of time and out of place in 2021 but that has never stopped The Flaming Sideburns on their mission. Expect really old school rock ‘n’ roll that’ll take you back to the heydays of the garage rock and its revival a couple of decades back. Pure and honest, no frills but a whole lot of trills, don’t forget to catch this one when it hits the shelves!
Altarage – ‘Succumb’
(23/04 – Season of Mist Underground Activists)
You want weird and ugly? I have just the thing for you. The Basque Altarage are back, making a grand – and already quite memorable – return with a fourth full-length full of harrowing dissonance. This hooded extreme metal unit will never cease to fascinate me. One for the fans who like to test their musical boundaries, ever looking for the next heavier and crazier fix. Gimme that sweet anti-music. Now!
Bodom After Midnight – ‘Paint The Sky With Blood’ EP
(23/4 – Napalm Records)
Even under normal circumstances this release would probably have been included in this list. Bodom After Midnight was Alexi Laiho and Daniel Freyberg‘s answer to Children of Bodom officially retiring. Having seen the guys with the 2 additional members Mitja Toivonen and Waltteri Väyrynen live at the end of last year, the renewed energy and hunger was very promising for the new material they were working on and the future of the outfit. Sadly, Alexi passed away at the change of the years and now this 3-track EP has become one of the last chances to hear new work of this metal guitar god in full glory. Which has exponentially increased the amount of anticipation with the fans and metalheads all over the world to get to hear the album!
Gojira – ‘Fortitude’
(30/04 – Roadrunner Records)
Another big one we just had to include. C’mon, it’s Gojira. It’s the band that fans of every genre of metal and listeners of every generation of metalheads seem to respect. A release by these French masters is anticipated with the same awe and curiosity as those of the biggest metal legends. It’ll be interesting to see if they can live up to that high anticipation and the quality of their back catalogue with ‘Fortitude’…
Evile – ‘Hell Unleashed’
(30/04 – Napalm Records)
Almost 8 years after the release of ‘Skull‘, thrash-revivalists Evile finally return with their eagerly awaited fifth studio album. The departure of longtime vocalist/rhythm guitarist Matt Drake had me initially worried. Lead guitarist Ol Drake stepped into the vocalist shoes and promises a “much more aggressive approach” on this new record. The first two singles, ‘Hell Unleashed‘ and ‘Gore‘, certainly deliver on that promise.