Best rock and metal albums of April 2021

The 13 best rock and metal albums released in April 2021

From returning metal titans to brilliant young stars in the making, these were the very best album releases of April 2021

The month of April hasn’t disappointed on the new albums front in 2021, with fans of every genre catered for: there’s glorious heavy metal returns, exhilarating experimental efforts and plenty of good ol’ straight-up rock’n’roll. With plenty of ace records to choose from, though, we whittled down these 13 full-lengths as the pick of the bunch…

While She Sleeps – Sleeps Society

We said: The synths and electronic elements in particular have been expanded since last album So What?, and even if this new album doesn’t sound quite as focused as its outstanding predecessor, it’s still an excellent addition. Wake up, and give Sleeps Society your attention.”

Read the full review here.

Greta Van Fleet – The Battle At Garden’s Gate

We said: The Battle At Garden’s Gate demands the sort of uncynical approach from before the internet opened Pandora’s Box. Of course Greta Van Fleet aren’t offering anything innovative or original, and much of their appeal surely comes from listeners’ appetite for simpler times of players plugging in and rocking out which will never truly be rekindled. Hand yourself over to a psychedelic song of praise like Trip The Light Fantastic, though, or fall into The Weight Of Dreams’ fathomless nine minutes, and this legitimately might be the next best thing.”

Read the full review here.

Holding Absence – The Greatest Mistake Of My Life

We said: With this second album, they’ve shown what putting your best foot forward sounds like, taking what you’ve learned, bettering themselves, and vaulting closer to their dream. These smalltown boys have big dreams and tunes to match.”

Read the full review here.

Gojira – Fortitude

We said: This is an important album, not only because it extends Gojira’s palette and cements their place as one of metal’s most skilled and uncompromising bands. They’re also one of the most inspiring as they call for strength, for action and above all for fortitude. Hang in there, and Gojira will be right beside you.”

Read the full review here.

Royal Blood – Typhoons

We said: Truly, so confident and perfectly measured are Royal Blood here that, while definitely focused on the stars, they sound like they never noticed the gutter was there in the first place. It’s rock’n’roll lit up by a disco ball, and has there ever been a time when we’ve needed that more?”

Read the full review here.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!

We said: Much of its 52 minutes is dominated by two longform pieces, each starting with recordings of shortwave radio transmissions – maybe the only form of communication that will be left after the societal collapse this lot perpetually anticipate. From there, the band progress through astonishing multi-part chronicles that take in defiant electric blues, shimmering drone, crunchy distortion and soaring post-rock crescendos…”

Read the full review here.

Body Void – Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth

We said: Even by the standards of modern doom, the heaviness of Body Void is unforgiving. Not so much a lower and slower Black Sabbath, the anger they trawl through on Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth is more like Black Flag played at the wrong speed, a painfully nihilistic collection that ignores fancifully pondering the idea of The Void and instead goes straight for the darkest part of it. And then screams.”

Read the full review here.

The Armed – ULTRAPOP

We said: The Armed not so much as welcome you into their world, but chokeslam you into its murky depths. So much is crammed into every song, the mere thought of trying to categorise a 10-second snippet is laughable. Punk, electronica, indie, hardcore, black metal, noise… post-everything and yet also includes-everything.”

Read the full review here.

Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

We said: After three decades and change, Cannibal Corpse have become the Motörhead of death metal – naturally reliable, ever in the zone, still louder and heavier than any of the bands who followed them. And like Motörhead as they reached a certain number of albums, Violence Unimagined sounds exactly as you imagine it will, but still surprises in just how much Cannibal Corpse have left in the tank. Meet the new murderous lunatic, same as the old murderous lunatic.”

Read the full review here.

Dropkick Murphys – Turn Up That Dial

We said: Certainly there are songs that would have benefited from a softer touch, but the band’s motivation isn’t to tickle every one of our varied aural taste buds. It’s simply to get us back on our feet. Turn Up That Dial won’t dethrone 2005’s career-defining The Warrior’s Code, but it’s a welcome hug from a collective who are, as ever, the best of men.”

Read the full review here.

Cruelty – There Is No God Where I Am

We said: From start to finish, it’s chaotic and frenzied, but never fully loses control. It’s clear that Cruelty are pooling from a plentiful source of influences and aren’t afraid to experiment with shoe-horning as many of these as possible into each track. Only a truly seasoned musician is capable of doing this without it sounding like an absolute mess. At its core this album’s unpredictability is what makes it such an enjoyable listen.”

Read the full review here.

Dinosaur Jr. – Sweep It Into Space

We said: 16 years on from their second coming, that hurricane of sound is still blowing strong and showing little sign of running out of puff. Like its predecessor, 2016’s Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not, Sweep It Into Space presents all the ingredients we’ve come to expect – heavy but hummable guitars, J Mascis’ pinched vocals – but with even more honeyed morsels amidst the noise.”

Read the full review here.

Evile – Hell Unleashed

We said: More reboot than return, the 100mph retro-fetishism of tracks like Paralysed and Gore finds lead guitarist Ol Drake stepping up to the mic following the departure of big brother Matt, with Riptide guitarist Adam Smith slotting in, while the rhythm section of founding drummer Ben Carter and longtime bassist Joel Graham keep proceedings fast and furious.”

Read the full review here.

Posted on April 30th 2021, 2:00p.m.
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