Remarkable Metal 2021

If 2021 felt like the apocalypse was imminent, life in isolation provided plenty of opportunity for metal musicians to compose fitting soundtracks for a world in turmoil.

Nov 26th 2021 by Moodagent

Carcass (Photo: Torn Arteries album artwork)

The map of metal was as varied as ever in 2021, where musically adventurous artists explored new territories and bended genres. One truly remarkable release came from LLNN in the form of Unmaker, a masterpiece of condensed audio texture with the gravity of a black hole. Another act excelling in crushingly heavy tunes is Sweden's Humanity’s Last Breath. Their fourth studio album Välde is filled with abstract blackened deathcore which is as bleak and claustrophobic as it is impressive and cathartic.

2021 saw the return of icons in refreshingly good shape even after decades of grinding and thrashing. British death metal pioneers Carcass proved that they’re still experts on forging those solid steel hooks with surgical precision on Torn Arteries, whilst godfathers of the Gothenburg school of melodic death, At The Gates, spiced up their formula with prog rock and saxophone. Perhaps inspired by the much younger outfit Rivers of Nihil, who once again demonstrated how to integrate the sax in extreme metal on their album The Work. 

French metal maestros Gojira explored tribal grooves with great success on ‘Amazonia’ while New Zealand’s Alien Weaponry kept storming forward with solid sonic assaults and lyrics in their native Maori language.  At the dreamier end of the metal spectrum, Sundrowned provided a sonic backdrop for stargazing on Become Ethereal. Blackgaze innovators Deafheaven almost abandoned their black metal side entirely on their LP Infinite Granite while MØL reignited the blackgaze torch through their vibrant interpretation of the genre on Diorama

With established names remaining curious and an underground bursting with creativity, the future of metal looks bright indeed.

Words by Casper Falbe

Check out our playlist of remarkable metal highlights from 2021 in Moodagent

Share article :

Share article :