Anticipated Album Releases in 2021 – Part 1

Now that I have completed my round-up of 2020 from a musical perspective, I want to focus 100% on 2021. We all hope that this new year will bring new hope; a return to gigs? A return to seeing people in 3D? A return to hugs and much-needed human contact? Let’s hope so.

But can we possibly expect 2021 to be as good as its predecessor in terms of music, specifically when it comes to full-length studio releases? My top 30 could have easily been a top 50 such was the quality of the material released across the year.

Who knows, we’ll have to wait and see I suspect. However, even at this early stage, there are a number of records either confirmed for release, in the pipeline, or heavily rumoured. In a change to previous years, I won’t waste as much time waffling on about each band. I’ll still make a few comments but instead, I’ll focus on bringing you a bigger list, with sample tracks and artwork wherever possible.

Let’s start with a collection of albums that are confirmed, with a firm release date…

Evergrey – Escape Of The Phoenix

Label: AFM Records

Release date: 26 February 2021

Yes, yes, yes…you knew that this would be first up in this series, didn’t you? Well, that’s because these guys can do no wrong in my eyes. I have already heard the album (sorry), and all I can say is that the wait will be very worth it. If you have enjoyed the last few records from the Swedes, you’re going to lap this one up as well. But that doesn’t mean that it is simply more of the same, oh no. If you’ve yet to check out the first single, ‘Forever Outsider’, what the hell is wrong with you – here’s another opportunity to rectify your mistake.

— MoMM —

W.E.T. – Retransmission

Label: Frontiers Music

Release date: 22 January 2021

Alongside H.E.A.T, these guys are my favourite melodic hard rock band currently producing new music. So naturally, I had to reference them in this series. They are absolute bankers when it comes to writing hook-laden, feel-good anthems of huge proportions. Their first two records are still big favourites in the Mansion of Much Metal, and I have high hopes for this new one too.

— MoMM —

Need – Norchestrion: A Song For The End

Label: Ikaros Records

Release date: 12 January 2021

I literally have no idea about this band, but given the amount of people that have mentioned this to me as one of their highlights, I suspect that now would be the perfect time to find out exactly what I’m missing.

— MoMM —

Soen – Imperial

Label: Silver Lining Music

Release date: 29 January 2021

I first got into Soen because of the presence of Avatarium/ex-Evergrey guitarist Msarcus Jidell. However, he has since departed, but the quality of the band hasn’t ceased to floor me. When I reviewed their last record, ‘Lotus’, a couple of years back, I wrote:

“Poignant, melodic, technical, sublime. There’s no other way in which to sum up such an incredible album. Listening to ‘Lotus’ is like being in the presence of musical greatness. Simple as that.”

I think I liked it. I’m excited and ready for a new chapter in the Soen discography, and it can’t come soon enough.

— MoMM —

Moonspell – Hermitage

Label: Napalm Records

Release date: 26 February 2021

Ever since discovering Portuguese Gothic gloom merchants Moonspell via their 1995 album ‘Irreligious’, their output has been a little patchy in my opinion. However, the last couple of records, ‘Extinct’ and ‘1755’ have well and truly brought the band kicking and screaming to the centre of my radar again. And so it goes without saying that I’m really interested to hear what their new album, ‘Hermitage’ will deliver.

— MoMM —

Wheel – Resident Human

Label: Odyssey Music

Release date: 26 March 2021

In a similar vein to Need above, Wheel are one of those bands that have been recommended to me time and time again, yet I’ve never really listened to. It’s down to time mainly, or other priorities, but 2021 will be the year that I delve into the world of Wheel and see what all the fuss has been about!

— MoMM —

Labyrinth – Welcome To The Absurd Circus

Label: Frontiers Music

Release date: 22 January 2021

Over the years I have dabbled with Italy’s progressive power metal band, Labyrinth. Within their discography, there are some killer songs to be heard, but inconsistency is their downfall thus far. Nevertheless, news of a new album is always greeted with interest around these parts – let’s see if this new record, despite the awful cover art, could be the one that raises them even more highly in my estimations.

— MoMM —

Angelus Apatrida – Angelus Apatrida

Label: Century Media Records

Release date: 5 February 2021

After the excellent releases in 2020 by Havok and Testament, it is over to Spanish trash metal band Angelus Apatrida to see if they can match or surpass the quality delivered in 2020. I have a soft spot for this band, having favourably reviewed earlier albums for Powerplay Magazine back in the day. They seem to be on an upward trajectory, so I’m eager to hear what their new self-titled record sounds like.

— MoMM —

Asphyx – Necroceros

Label: Century Media Records

Release date: 22 January 2021

This particular death metal band wouldn’t normally feature on a list like this. However, I have heard the album (I’m listening to it now, in fact) and it is rather tasty indeed. This is dirty, riff-heavy death metal with a great amount of technicality, as well as groove and understated melody in places. I’m really enjoying it, and so I thought Asphyx deserved a sneaky place on the list.

— MoMM —

Orden Ogan – Final Days

Label: AFM Records

Release date: 12 March 2021

After a shocking year for power metal in 2020, I’m hoping that this new album from Orden Ogan might kick things off in more positive fashion for 2021. Their last record, ‘Gunmen’ received a positive review on; I even suggested that it might be one of my favourite power metal albums of 2017. And so it proved. More of the same, please gentlemen.

One thought

  1. About said “power metal letdown year of 2020”, i urge you to dive into Lör – Edge of Eternity for some reconsiliation. Powerprog at its finest 👌Seven Spires – Emerald Seas also winks in the direction of power from its symphonic metal core. Really great albums soaring high in my 2020 musical experiences, both 😊

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