The 45 best rock + metal albums of 2021


After a year in which many bands held their albums due to the pandemic, 2021 has given us one of the strongest years for new albums in recent history. Rock and metal both flourished throughout the year, with a mix of top performers showing why they’ve had such stamina and newcomers stepping up and taking their places to move the game forward. future of the genre.

In metal, we’ve seen Architects, Gojira, Every Time I Die, and Archspire deliver inspirational work that has continued to push the boundaries, a hot-selling record from Iron Maiden, and long-awaited returns from Helloween, Exodus, and Fear. Factory. Additionally, acts like Spiritbox, Sleep Token, and SeeYouSpaceCowboy have given us a lot of hope for the future.

After years of mystery surrounding their next release, Limp Bizkit returned with their sixth studio album and a wave of support. Not bad for an album called Still bad. Foo Fighters, Rise Against, Chevelle and Evanescence have continued to produce quality releases, and The Pretty Reckless, Turnstile, Badflower and Royal Blood have delivered albums that are expected to continue their respective ascent as the next generation of great bands. Add in breakout releases from Mammoth WVH, Ayron Jones, Maneskin, and Holding Absence and you’ve got a pretty stacked year in rock.

So head down as we reflect on the 45 Best Rock + Metal Albums of 2021, and be sure to check out our 35 Best Rock Songs of 2021, 35 Best Metal Songs of 2021, and 30 Best Rock + Metal Covers of 2021. Plus stay tuned for interviews with many of the artists who topped our respective rosters for the year.

Contributors: Rabab Al-Sharif, Joanna Angel, Jordan Blum, Chad Childers, Joe DiVita, Graham Hartmann, Jake Richardson, Lauryn Schaffner, Philip Trapp, Yasmine Summan

The 45 best rock + metal albums of 2021

These are the 2021 albums we couldn’t stop listening to.


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