Metalcore, deathcore, hardcore – heavier music as a whole has seen a massive wave of incredible talent crash in. Rather than pit these artists against one another and attempt to rank them, I decided to put together a list of artists that impacted the heavier side of music in one way or another. From the biggest names you’ve seen all year, to smaller artists leading refreshing musical revivals.
Spiritbox – Eternal Blue
A wildly experimental take on modern metalcore, an ethereal listening experience that blends djent-like riffs with ambient pop elements, Spiritbox’s debut album took the genre by storm, leading them to top charts, and bring them on tour with bands like After the Burial and Limp Bizkit.
Seeyouspacecowboy/If I Die First – A Sure Disaster
Though each band would in turn release spectacular albums later in the year, (SYSC‘s A Romance of Afflition, and IIDF‘s They Drew Blood) it was this split EP that turned new eyes towards each of them, sparking one of the most exciting events in their corner of music, suddenly turning each group into a forerunner of a new emo revival period, where each of them came together for a gigantic set piece of a song, bloodstainedeyes.
Static Dress – prologue
An ambitious concept EP, despite being “throwaway” tracks not put on their upcoming album. Static Dress has been making waves across the ocean even before this release, despite only having a handful of singles released prior. An energetic mix of classic emo and modern metalcore, and released alongside a comic book that expands on the story, they show there’s much more ground to tread and life to breathe into this genre.
Dying Wish – Fragments of a Bitter Memory
A return to classic metalcore roots, this release is full of energy from front to back, and even has a track that features prominent metalcore vocalist, Bryan Garris, of Knocked Loose. With incredibly chunky riffs paired with vocalist Emma Boster‘s ability to sway between vicious screams and the catchiest of choruses, Dying Wish manages to blend the early 2000s metalcore sound with the new wave of metallic hardcore, and everything in between, proving to be a force to be reckoned with.
Knocked Loose – A Tear in the Fabric of Life
Metalcore? Hardcore? Whichever side you lean on in the debate of their genre, this release stands completely firm. A relentless EP that came out of nowhere, A Tear in the Fabric of Life is a 6-song concept EP that tells the story of a tragic car accident and the guilt/depression that follows the survivor afterwards. Knocked Loose managed to take everything they’d been perfecting on their sophomore release, A Different Shade of Blue, and increase it ten-fold – melding together their brand of metallic hardcore with hints of brooding death metal (even going as far as featuring Matt King, of Portrayal of Guilt) to bring their artistic vision to life, solidfying their spot on the forefront of the scene, and showcasing their willingness to expand beyond the boundaries of their genre.
Lorna Shore – …And I Return To Nothingness
Brooding. Atmospheric. Demonic. Lead by their new frontman, Will Ramos, Lorna Shore face a bold new frontier following up their last record in just 2020, with this bloody 3-track EP. With the release of their lead single, To the Hellfire, the band exploded in popularity when their vocalist went viral due to his animalistic harsh vocals. Each of the three songs in this EP feel larger than life, with guitar-work that’s all-encompassing, backed by blast-beat drumming that is non-stop, all surrounded by a swelling string piece and an operatic choir – the face of deathcore will never be the same.
That’s all for this list! Of course, there are countless more releases for your enjoyment – from bands like Hekseblad, 156/Silence, Gates To Hell, Moodring, One Step Closer, The Plot In You, Whitechapel, Wristmeetrazor, Silent Planet, to artists outside of the heavier side of things – Lil Nas X, Turnstile, Mayday Parade, Taylor Swift, Koyo – there were no shortage of incredible releases in the year of 2021! What were your top releases? Share this article, tag us, and let us know!