Not only have I been grateful for the many albums that were released in 2021, but also for discovering a lot of talented bands that hadn’t reached our editorial team’s attention yet. Today, we share a list of 10 brilliant discoveries we found during 2021. Whether these bands just recently released an album or they are going to release an album in the near future, these are definitely bands to look out for in the coming days!
Hailing from the United States, HAMMERHEDD is a trio of brothers who were respectively 4, 7, and 9 years old when they first started out with their progressive metal band. Having already released an album in 2021, the band released their sophomore record, “Grand Currents,” one of 2021’s many highlights. The youngsters draw inspiration from bands like GOJIRA, MESHUGGAH, and MASTODON.
British progressive modern metal band VEXED have based their debut effort, “Culling Culture,” on a post-modern society and call it “a tribute to hate, betrayal, and anger.” This reflection is brutally honest, unfiltered, and possibly one of the grooviest records to see the light this year.
I discovered this band when they were announced to appear at Knotfest in Summer. I had heard the name before but hadn’t checked their music out yet. I was in luck since STONED STATUES had released their debut single, “Demento,” 2 weeks prior to the announcement. STONED STATUES was founded in 2019 when childhood friends Allu Tanskanen and Markus Hakala found Jenna Kosunen at Ahlman’s music school in Tampere where they were studying together. Together the trio play a mix of metal and prog with rock and pop elements.
Sometimes you discover things by randomly scrolling through your news feed from time-to-time. Newcomers in the metal scene, NOIRA, are an example of that. I had never heard from the band, but noticed that they made a post about their new song in a Facebook group I’m in. Due to auto-play, I noticed some harsh imagery in the video and got triggered, so decided to play their debut single, “Parasite,” which turned out to be an excellent decision. The Finns have since released a couple more singles.
When musicians leave bands, often fans are met with feelings of sadness; however, sometimes it leads to those same musicians creating new and fresh music that fans will equally appreciate. Case-in-point is DEAR MOTHER: when Merel Bechtold left Dutch symphonic metal act DELAIN to explore new horizons, she contacted ex-DELAIN drummer Joey de Boer because she had written a set of songs that were just too strong to be ignored. They teamed up with Russian vocalist David Hruska and the result is their debut album, “Bulletproof,” an incredible first taste of what this band has to offer the world.
“Holoceno” is the debut album by the Brazilian wicked progressive rock band PAPANGU. Seven years in the making, PAPANGU‘s first record is a conceptual album inspired by ecological eschatology and the modernist literature of Northeastern Brazil—a hardy, arid region historically plagued by inequality and violence. I randomly stumbled upon this record due to recommendations on YouTube and have been listening to it ever since.
SHEDFROMTHEBODY is a one-woman doomgaze powerhouse hailing from Espoo, Finland. While painting distorted, ethereal landscapes, SHEDFROMTHEBODY has been active since 2018. Last year, she released her debut effort, “A Dead and Aimless Hum,” and in late 2021, she released her sophomore album “To Hold The Ripened Sun.”
While the heavy metal act DIRT have already been on our radar for a few years, the band grabbed our attention with their record deal with Ranka Kustannus and a first single of a yet unnamed upcoming album. To quote myself from when I saw their show at Tavastia some months back: “Basically, they’re everything you want out of a heavy metal band: a classic formation of five, guitar-driven, with ripped-up clothing, mustaches, headbanging, and yes… even sweat!”
Finnish indie trio MESSIER recently released their exhilarating debut, “On Malaise.” The band plays a mixture of indie rock, alt-pop, with a classic punk energy that got them signed to the legendary punk rock label SideOneDummy Records.
8 KALACAS only recently got signed to Atomic Fire Records, but they have been around since 2003. Hailing from Orange County, the same place that brought us bands like SOCIAL DISTORTION and AVENGED SEVENFOLD, the band has established a unique brand of metal by mixing elements like hardcore, ska, and traditional Mexican elements. We’re looking forward to the release of their third full-length record, “Fronteras.”
Written by Laureline Tilkin