Many artists and bands often found themselves with more time on their hands than expected in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, as a result, many of them--as well as those who haven't released music in a while--released great music.
The year 2021 carries over the momentum we saw in 2020: the many fantastic singles and albums/EPs released in the past few months. I wanted to share some of them in case you missed them. The first half of 2021 has been great and I'm stoked for the rest of the year.
Lacey Sturm "State Of Me"
Christian rocker Lacey Sturm's second single from her upcoming, sophomore, solo album is one of the best songs she has ever released. "State Of Me" is a declaration to many who are struggling to find a way forward in life. She writes music of hope. She also writes music of rock. This song exemplifies both.
Relent "Think You Got It"
Rock band Relent's style of music is harkening rock fans back to the times of metal veterans P.O.D.'s most famous days and others in the nu-metal genre. They bring a fresh mix of rock and hip-hop/rap to present their biblical messages in an intriguing way. "Think You Got It" is the second single for their upcoming, untitled, sophomore album. You won't want to miss it.
Beard The Lion "Captain Of The Host"
Rockers Beard The Lion may not be a name you recognize--yet. But, songs like "Captain of the Host" will most likely change that. This metalcore band from Texas writes incredibly mature songs that present clear, biblical messages with hard-hitting metal. I have nothing but high hopes for this band and their music.
Then It Ends "Reason"
Then It Ends' debut 2020 album, Restored, was one of my favorite metal albums of the year. These guys are seriously talented and have a huge heart to reach the lost with their music. In 2021, they promised an EP of five songs, a collection of nearly monthly released singles. My favorite of the three thus far is the second single, "Reason." It has a catchy and melodic chorus and is a relatable, aggressive song. Two more singles to go.
Rock band Bloodlines has had an exciting year thus far: signing to Facedown Records, and releasing one of their best songs, "Colder." They are touring with other Christian rock and metal bands and are playing at festivals. "Colder" is the perfect kickstart to the band's year and hopefully, we'll get more music soon.
Demon Hunter - Songs of Death and Resurrection
This year, rock veterans Demon Hunter released a new album with a very heartfelt one. Songs of Death and Resurrection is comprised of rerecorded ballads from the band's 20-year discography (plus one new song). Every song has taken on a new life. Hopefully, this revised music speaks to fans in a fresh way, as they did with me.
Death Therapy - Melancholy Machines
Metal band Death Therapy is one of the most creative projects in Christian rock. Lead singer Jason Wisdom writes anything he wants musically. And, the music often finds its way into the hearts of fans--regardless of prior expectations. Their latest album Melancholy Machines feels well-developed. Not bad for their third album. If you passed this one up, give it another chance. It's different; in a good way.
Fallstar - Sunbreather
Rock band Fallstar's new album, Sunbreather, comes after a six-year hiatus. Partnering again with the music label Facedown Records, the band has released an album with diverse sounds and styles. It's definitely their most cohesive album to date. This record is sure to energize you and offer positivity in the midst of some tough topics.
As Lions and Lambs - Misery Season
As Lions and Lambs is one the heaviest, if not the heaviest, band on this list. Their EP, Misery Season, is exemplary of what the band is about. As Lions and Lambs takes on the subject of abuse and its effects on people's lives with brutally honest lyrics with glimpses of hope despite it all. They're often overlooked, but hopefully, they'll start gaining more well-earned love with this album.
Convictions - I Won't Survive
This year, Convictions released a heavy EP titled I Won’t Survive. This is a band who evolves their sound with every release into something more impressive, yet never loses sight of who they are and their mission. Though this EP is written in a different way lyrically, it doesn't negate its excellence. Bold for Christ, Convictions is always going to be a loud voice for hope.
Ryan Adams lives with his family in Montana. He has been NRT's Rock Reporter since 2018. He graduated Boise Bible College in 2017.
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