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The 12 best albums released in May 2021

The best rock and metal records released last month – from Weezer to Waterparks to Perturbator and beyond!

Can you believe it, we’re already five months into 2021. While it felt like last year would never end, the past five months have flown by at warp speed. And if you were too busy living life in the fast lane as a certain red capped wonder once sang, we’ve whittled down the past month’s best rock and metal records into a handy list a below. A dozen LPs to spin and stream, covering everything from thrash to synthwave to death metal to videogame-centric black metal. Get stuck in.

Weezer – Van Weezer

We said: Given they’re now nearly 30 years into their stellar career, will Van Weezer ultimately become any Weezer fan’s favourite album? Maybe not. But, for the first time in too long, it is a Weezer record that rocks exactly how a Weezer record should – and that means you might as well jump right in.”

Read the full review here.

Terminalist – The Great Acceleration

We said: Terminalist are the sort of band who could pass many listeners by – in a warp-speed blur, probably. Thrash veterans looking for a true head-rush would do well to hand themselves over for The Great Acceleration’s half-hour of power, though. Just be sure to strap yourselves in for a wild ride.”

Read the full review here.

MAN ON MAN – MAN ON MAN

We said: The songs on MAN ON MANs debut radiate such warmth and tenderness that they stand out in a crowded field of quarantine transmissions. Listening to this album is rather like being invited not just into the home of musical and romantic partners Joey Holman and Roddy Bottum, but into the middle of an embrace that’s somewhat friendlier than the wrestling hold depicted on its cover.”

Read the full review here.

Fightmilk – Contender

We said: It’s a joyous riot from start to finish, and all comes together to form a loveable, middle-fingers-up record that furthers the recent work of bands like Dream Nails, Drones and Nova Twins in demonstrating the strength of modern UK punk. And when it comes to 2021’s finest offerings so far, Fightmilk are leading contenders.”

Read the full review here.

Epiphanic Truth – Dark Triad: Bitter Psalms To A Sordid Species

We said: For fans of truly complex heavy music, there is are awesome levels of mind-bending intricacy and atmospheric detail on which to get hooked here. Accordingly, although it would be to miss the point to guess at the bands from which Epiphanic Truth’s line-up is drawn, their sonic influences are obviously absolutely top-drawer: Enslaved, Akercocke, Oranssi Pazuzu and Esoteric to name but a few. Most crucially, though, they’re a band less interested in reheating the more out-there moments of heavy music’s past than creating strange new ones to shape an ever-more outlandish future.”

Read the full review here.

Grave Miasma – Abyss Of Wrathful Deities

We said: Ambitious, focussed, highly skilled and expertly realised, it’s a work that adds another jewel to the band’s crown. If you’re looking for death metal with the death resolutely front and centre, Grave Miasma remain a band without peer or even close follower.”

Read the full review here.

Vexed – Culling Culture

We said: There’s also a strong sense of melody winding through the album, which brings light and texture without falling into the standard metalcore scream/clean dynamic. Instead they bring in unexpected, proggy patterns, especially towards the back end of the album… Keep your eyes and ears on Vexed because, if everything aligns just right, they could be set to explode.”

Read the full review here.

Waterparks – Greatest Hits

We said: From the headfuck attitude of LIKE IT, to the hypnotic Snow Globe, to the gorgeously understated The Secret Life Of Me and the warmth of album highlight American Graffiti, this is a record just as colourful as its creator’s hair (which is handy).”

Read the full review here.

Fiddlehead – Between The Richness

We said: Whether that’s the hypnotic yet belligerent pulse of The Years or the breakneck, soaring punk melodics of Eternal Life, the downtrodden timidity of Loverman or the ragged yet somehow beautiful surge of Get My Mind Right, it all makes for a short yet comprehensive exploration of humanity, catharsis and existence. In other words, it’s one of those rare records that not only helps you understand life more by capturing all its highs and lows, but also makes it better.”

Read the full review here.

Perturbator – Lustful Sacraments

We said: If the individual components that make up Lustful Sacraments are familiar, there’s still something unique in the way Perturbator has assembled them. A strange ambience permeates these tracks, imbuing them with a darkness that feels genuinely ominous and oppressive.”

Read the full review here.

Noctule – Wretched Abyss

We said: The fact that Serena plays everything on the album is hugely impressive, as every element of Wretched Abyss is locked down tight – the guitars buzz and bite, the drums drill with precision beneath, and the production is as crisp and crackling as a winter day in Whiterun.”

Read the full review here.

Our Hollow, Our Home – Burn In The Flood

We said: Burn In The Flood demonstrates Our Hollow, Our Homes mighty metallic crunch from the outset. After the title-track kicks things off in rapturous fashion, Failsafe, Monarch and the titanic Children Of Manus all deliver a glorious barrage of riffs, growls and aggression, but it’s in their more melodic moments where OHOH truly shine.”

Read the full review here.

Posted on June 1st 2021, 3:45p.m.
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