Best Metal Albums of 2021: Iron Maiden, Mastodon, Gojira, and More - Rolling Stone
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The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2021

Arena fillers, dwellers of the underground, and more. We run down the year’s finest — and heaviest

The year's best metal records included the latest from Iron Maiden, Mastodon, King Woman, and Portal (pictured clockwise from top left).

from top, left to right: courtesy of John McMurtrie; Clay Patrick McBride; courtesy of Portal; Nedda Asfari

Metal has always served as the perfect vehicle for catharsis, so it’s no surprise that the most notable metal offerings of 2021 — some of which were made while the world reeled in agony during Covid-related shutdowns last year — each provided a unique sort of escape: the determination of Iron Maiden, the chaos of Portal, the brooding of King Woman. Elsewhere, everyone from big-name headliners like Mastodon and Gojira to underground torchbearers like Skepticism and Panopticon took their dark arts to new heights (or depths). Here are the 10 best metal albums that got us through the year.


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