Featuring guest appearances from the likes of David Ellefson to Devin Townsend, Sepultura unleashes the most star-studded release of 2021 with “SepulQuarta”. Conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic, this release features 15 Sepultura songs with a wide range of guests, creating a very unique and once-in-a-lifetime production. If you are a fan of the band, this release will be a very special addition to your collection.
The release quickly sets a very high bar with David Ellefson playing bass guitar on one of our favorites, “Territory”. If that wasn’t enough, Scott Ian plays on “Cut Throat”, Danko Jones in “Sepulnation”, and Phil Rind in “Inner Self”, this sets a very nice trip down memory lane for some of us, while enjoying uniquely different versions of these songs. Pieces like “Hatred Aside” are very nicely enhanced by multiple guests, leaving them at some times even better than the original.
Unleashing one of the most punishing and oppressive releases of 2021, today we have Carnifex and their latest opus “Graveside Confessions”. With all the pent up energy of not being able to tour during the pandemic, Scott Lewis and company return with a vengeance striking with 15 tracks and over 63 minutes of crushing Deathcore. What makes this release standout is that it is beyond brutal, something the listeners will certainly appreciate.
Opening with the album title track, the band unleashes a brutal onslaught of harsh screams, pummeling drums, and incisive riffs that will rattled the listener off his seat. The heat is on as tracks like “Pay for Peace”, “Seven Souls”, and “Cursed” continue the violence, but with some interesting atmospheric elements thrown into the mix, making the band’s sound have more depth and variation. For example, “Carry us Away” has a very melancholic edge to it, while the typical Deathcore aggression is front and center.
As one of the most awaited releases of 2021, today we have the legendary Carcass and their latest opus “Torn Arteries”. Aging as a fine wine, the band unleashes 49 minutes of their signature Death ’n’ Roll, fully delivering the good for long time fans. While the wait was long (8 years or so since their last full-length release, Jeff Walker and company effortlessly deliver one of the most incisive and engaging releases of their career.
Opening with the title track, the band quickly sets a very hectic and crafty mood with incisive guitars and engaging tempo changes. The traditional snarl of Jeff Walker is one of the band’s staple elements and, as always, perfectly complements the superbly catchy nature of the music, as we can hear in the playful “Dance of Ixtab” and the chugging “Eleanor Rigor Mortis”.
After touring the world with their “Pumpkins United” line-up, Helloween returns to unleash their eponymous release, with Kai Hansen, Michael Kiske, and Andi Deris, all sharing vocal duties. For nearly 70 minutes, the band delivers 12 doses of high-octane Power Metal with one of the most epicly stacked vocal line-up for a non-project band. Featuring something for everybody, this release will please almost any fan of the band over their nearly 30-year career.
Opening with the epic “Out for the Glory”, you get that sensation of excitement as the track slowly builds up with crafty instrumentation, blistering guitars and soaring vocals. We wouldn't expect anything less from such a legendary band, and yet Helloween blows past any preconceived expectations as to how the multiple vocalist’s approach would work with solid tracks like “Fear of the Fallen”, “Best Time”, “Mass Pollution”, and “Angels”.
With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling all touring plans for all bands, some special projects and solo albums have come out of this down time. Luckily for us, Esa Holopainen from Amorphis was already itching to come out with his own solo project: Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen. Featuring over 37 minutes of superbly catchy and moody music, Esa manages to capture some of his signature Amorphis sound while further exploring personal influences to create nine very unique and engaging songs.
Featuring that warm heart-felth wonder of his Amorphis music, the opener “Silver Lake'' creates a mystical mood for this release. With each other song featuring guest vocalists, “Sentiment” delivers a very moody and a bit folky vibe with Jonas Renkse of Katatonia on vocals. The album’s first single comes under the name of “Storm”, with the talented Håkan Hemlin on vocals. This track has that certain epicness vibe that Esa is very proficient, while delivering uplifting atmospherics and crafty drums.
Led by the extremely busy Lars Are Nedland, White Void is an old-school Psychedelic/Occult Rock outfit that should not be missed. Unleashing their debut “Anti”, the band delivers over 46 minutes of majestically crafted and completely intoxicating music from start to end. If you are a fan of bands like Jess and the Ancient Ones, Purson, Sabbath Assembly, plus can’t get enough of Lars vocals in the latest Borknagar release, this release perfectly combines both.
Oozing grooviness, “Do. Not. Sleep.” opens with release with commanding style and a very warm and fuzzy retro vibe. The ripping guitar leads and crafty drumming nicely bleeds into the darker “There is No Freedom but the End”, as Lars' voice takes an enigmatic tone and the fuzzy synths create a very embracing atmosphere. The mood nicely varies between tracks as “Where You Go, You'll Bring Nothing” takes a more introspective pace and “The Shovel and the Cross” keeps things enigmatic with a hectic pace alongside the catchy guitars and synths.
Unleashing one of the most explosive and bombastic releases of 2021, today we have Epica and their latest opus “Omega”. Featuring over 70 minutes of music, this release capitulates on the band’s experience, execution, and expansive sound to deliver their strongest album to date. With all of their signature elements taken into a new level, this release is exactly what all fans are expecting.
After setting a magical and mystical tone with the opening intro, the band’s explosive sound in “Abyss of Time - Countdown to Singularity” perfectly delivers their well-balanced bombastic sound with rich classical arrangements and crushing distorted guitars. One of the band’s virtues is how they can create very playful tracks while pitting the sweetness of Simone’s vocals against Marc’s growls and aggressive riffs, as crafted in “The Skeleton Key”.
As one of the liveliest releases of 2021, we have found ourselves enjoying a bit too much of Korpiklaani’s latest full-length release “Jylhä”. Featuring over 60 minutes of the band’s signature Folk Metal, this release balances the over-the-top party songs with more mellow and melodic pieces that are great to zone of the current state of affairs of the world and enjoy a nice cold beer along the songs.
Opening with the catchy “Verikoira”, the band rapidly sets a very lively and engaging tone. The hard rocking nature of this track’s guitars alongside the crafty drumming and rich instrumentation creates a very positive and party-like atmosphere. This mood continues as the band pummels through tracks like “Niemi” , “Leväluhta” and “Mylly”, all of which feature vocalist Jonne doing his thing while layers of folk instruments nicely adorn the proceedings.
Starting 2021 strong, today we have the legendary Accept and their latest opus “Too Mean to Die”. Delivering over 50 minutes of high-octane Heavy Metal, this outfit keeps the momentum going on their ‘revival’ with hard hitting and superbly catchy songs. If you are a fan of Heavy Metal, this release won’t disappoint.
The band’s new signature vocalist, Mark Tornillo, quickly leads tracks like “Zombie Apocalypse”, “Too Mean to Die”, and “Overnight Sensation” with his soaring vocals and playful style. Perfectly paired with Wolf Hoffmann’s incisive guitars, this release sets a very furious and catchy pace right off the gate. The band thrives by unleashing superbly engaging tracks that are both melodic and epic, such as the killer “No Ones Master” and its blistering twin guitar onslaughts.
Riding high from their 2019 release, “Verkligheten”, Soilwork delivers a killer EP with nearly 37 minutes of music. Continuing their evolution into Melodic/Grove Metal territories, the band unleashes five killer songs filled with signature Soilwork moments that fans of the band will certainly love. If you have been keen on the band’s last two releases, this EP will satisfy your cravings for more.
Opening with the 17-minute title track, the band sets a very lively and upbeat mood in the first few minutes, with the song gradually exploring some groovy/proggy passages perfectly led by Björn’s clean/harsh growls and some funky keyboard arrangements by Sven Karlsson. The instrumentation is as rich as always with crafty drums and engaging guitar riffs. This track bleeds a bit into “Feverish”, a faster paced song with pummeling drums and a hectic vibe.