We had a great year of Christian rock and metal music in 2021. I wrote about some of my favorites of the first half of the year earlier, which you can check out here. Now, I would like to share some of my favorites from the latter half of 2021.
I hope you find enjoyment and encouragement in these artists and songs. Thanks for tuning into New Release Today and I hope you will continue to do so in 2022. Here's to more great music in 2022, the year of rock.
Windvent - "Reveal"
Mexican-based metalcore band Windvent blew me away with their single, "Reveal." They are committed to writing songs that are heavy, yet stay true to their faith in Christ. The chorus of "Reveal" calls out, "So if you please/Reveal yourself to every person I have in my heart/And bring us to you." With all the chaos that goes on in our lives, it's great to hear ministry-minded songs like this that take the focus off of ourselves and onto others. All in the style of rock.
HolyName - "Fall On Your Knees"
Rock band HolyName was co-founded by artist Tommy Green, formerly of the Christian metal band Sleeping Giant, and friend Joe Holt. In 2021, the band released four singles. My favorite of those is "Fall On Your Knees." This is not just because of Brook Reeves' guest spot (Brook is the lead vocalist of the death metal band Impending Doom). The song is methodical and drones along for eight minutes, but never lost my focus. The spiritual depth and worshipful atmosphere that is built is unlike many others I've heard. This is truly a standout and I hope to hear more from HolyName in 2022.
Wolves at the Gate - "Shadows"
Any fan of Christian-based metal has probably heard of Wolves At The Gate. Since 2011, the band has been a consistent and powerful voice in the scene. Their fifth studio album, Eulogies, is coming soon. And, already, the band has released the album's second single, "Shadows." This aggressive song sheds a ray of hope in the dark places we find ourselves stuck in life. Full of intense, yet hopeful, music, Wolves At The Gate keeps the anticipation high for their next record.
Skillet - "Surviving The Game"
We would be crazy if we didn't mention Skillet's new lead single, "Surviving The Game." Despite their worldwide fame, they've stuck close to their biblical foundations. With "Surviving The Game," we hear a heavier side of the band leading the charge, with a message of endurance that encourages us in these trying times. I'm excited for the new album, Dominion, coming in January 2022.
Chaotic Resemblance - "Fairest Jesus"
Another heavy metal independent group that's making waves is Chaotic Resemblance. This band has familiar sounds that are reminiscent of the metal bands of the '80s while adding their own modern rock style. Their recent single "Fairest Jesus" showcases their talent and songwriting. Here's hoping to see more from the band in 2022.
idle threat - blurred visions
Let Idle Threat (stylized idle threat) lead the way for music label Tooth and Nail Records for the coming years. The Nashville-based, post-hardcore band's newest record, blurred visions, establishes the band as one of the best on the Tooth and Nail roster currently and of all time. Not only does the record focus on an ever-relatable struggle for control in our lives, but the musicianship is also super-tight and enjoyable. The lyrics always find a way to comfort or convict me, too. Definitely check out blurred visions if you're a fan of heavy music.
Bloodlines - Hevel
Facedown Records signed one of my favorite Christian-based metalcore bands this year, Bloodlines. Upon signing, their lead single, "Colder," was released. That easily set expectations high for their EP, Hevel. Hevel contains five songs that weave melody and aggression with musical expertise. The band is also very proud and honest about their faith, declaring "Yahweh Let Your voice be heard/I will spend my days declaring your name!" This EP is one of my favorite releases in a year full of fantastic EPs. It has a lot of deep spiritual content and enjoyable metal music.
Impending Doom - Hellbent
One of the most hard-working and extreme bands in the Christian-based metal scene is Impending Doom. For over 15 years, the band has churned out excellent death metal with biblical influence as their focus and lens. Hellbent is their first studio EP. The band reimagines their sound with this new release that is both familiar and exemplifies growth, which is impressive for a band that's developed a sound all their own over the years. Long-time fans will find this EP to be a fantastic addition to their library. And new fans can join in with some of the best the band has had to offer in recent years.
Relent - Heavy
Some genres are not as prevalent in Christian-based rock or metal scenes. Nu-metal is one of those few and far-between genres. But Relent has led a modern charge in that arena. With the support of Rockfest Records, Relent has released an excellent nu-metal-based record, titled Heavy. That title is not misleading in the slightest. Relent sends gut-punches with aggressive songwriting that bounces in energetic music. Fans of hard rock iconic bands Linkin Park or P.O.D. will love this kind of music. If you don't know their music, then check them out for the first time.
Phinehas - The Fire Itself
After four years of patient waiting and anticipation, the Christian-based metalcore legends known as Phinehas have released an awesome record, The Fire Itself. Without any instrumentals, this could be one of the most aggressive and powerful records the band has ever created. The spiritual content is deep and honest, as it always is. The music has an older style to it. It's subtle, but unique, nonetheless. With flurries of guitar solos and crushing breakdowns all around, any metalcore fan will find something to love on this album.
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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