We’re only six months in but 2021 already looks like being a vintage year for big and bold rock records.
In the second part of our mid-term wrap the Rushonrock team counts down our top 10 albums of the year…so far.
Will these killer releases keep their place in the end-of-year lists?
Let’s wait and see…

10. Landmvrks – Lost in the Waves (Arising Empire)

Grunty, powerful, hard-hitting. 

Lost In The Waves has it all as French metalcore mob Landmvrks turn it up to 11 on their third studio album.

Heaviness has never sounded better.

RHughes

9. Dirty Honey – Dirty Honey (Self Released)

Hard rock has been crying out for someone new to carry the torch.

And this unsigned LA four piece are the latest to throw their hat in the ring. 

During the last two years, they’ve won over Slash and Alter Bridge and are set to tour this year with The Black Crowes. 

After last year’s critically acclaimed EP, the pressure was on with their debut album release.

And Dirt Honey have more than delivered, with Marc Labelle’s arena-ready vocals proving the perfect accompaniment for John Notto’s searing guitars. 

AK

8. Boss Keloid – Family The Smiling Thrush (Ripple Music)

Wigan’s Boss Keloid had been building to this moment since 2018’s Melted On The Inch marked their transition from stoner riff fiends to progospheric voyagers.

Family The Smiling Thrush’s unbridled adventurism and stratospheric musicianship showed just what this quartet were capable of…and how far they’ve come since their HC-laced debut, Angular Beef Lesson

Complete with the soaring vocals of Alex Hurst and the spiralling, cosmic fretwork of Paul Swarbrick, this was a landmark for both Boss Keloid and the UK’s heavy music scene.

Check out the full review here.

RH 

7. W.E.T. – Retransmission (Frontiers)

The melodic rock record of the year…by some distance.

W.E.T. showered us with upbeat Scando AOR soaked in West Coast goodness.

And Retransmission put the ‘super’ into supergroup.

Whenever members of Work Of Art, Eclipse and Talisman join forces the result is something very special.

But this peerless collaboration set new standards.

W.E.T. opened up with Big Boys Don’t Cry…but we know many who did when they first heard the joyous Retransmission.

Check out the full review here.

SR

6. Beartooth – Below (Red Bull Records)

Caleb Shomo must be one of the most honest songwriters around.

But he isn’t just sop. 

He also crafts some of the heaviest riffs to wrap around those words. 

Below is his best creation yet.

RHughes

5. Foo Fighters – Medicine At Midnight (RCA/Roswell Records)

Originally slated for a release in the lost year of 2020, Dave Grohl and co. unleashed Medicine At Midnight in February. 

Packed with catchy beats and confidently moving into pop-rock territory, it’s the most upbeat Foos album to date. 

Seemingly inspired by everything from gospel, disco, Bowie, Motörhead — and even a little bit of The Cure — the band’s 10th album won’t be deemed a fan favourite by die-hards.

But tracks like Shame Shame and Waiting On A War prove just how reliable Foo Fighters are when it comes to putting out new music. 

AS

4. Mammoth WVH – Mammoth WVH (Explorer 1 Records)

Wolfgang Van Halen’s debut album drops choruses like nuclear warheads.

Playing everything on the album, this labour of love has been painstakingly put together by a young man desperate to tell the world he’s not living on a name…

…and determined to remind us all just how brilliant a father Eddie Van Halen was.

If you’re a fan of early noughties American rock then this is for you.

JB

3. Architects – For Those That Wish to Exist (Epitaph Records)

Guitar music has struggled to make its mark within the charts and mainstream radio during the last decade.

But that’s slowly changed over the last year and nothing highlights that more than Architects reaching number one with their seventh studio album. 

Despite the numerous personnel changes and the personal hardships the band has suffered, the current line-up appears tighter than ever.

And lead guitarist Josh Middleton is breathing new life into a band that’s finally starting to get the recognition they deserve.

AK

2. Black Spiders – Black Spiders (Dark Riders Records)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

But there was no room for lame sentiment as Black Spiders burst back onto the stoner rock scene.

This record was judged on its tunes…and it boasted banger after banger.

Fly In The Soup and Down To The River delivered in spades.

But there wasn’t really a bad song here as Pete Spiby and co. rolled back the years.

Check out the full review here.

SR

1. Nekromantheon – The Visions of Trismegistos (Indie Recordings/Hells Headbangers)

After a nine-year wait, Norwegian outfit Nekromantheon announced their return with a blistering set of uranium-tipped thrash metal.

Following the same scorched earth strategy as its stunning predecessor, Rise, Vulcan Spectre, The Visions of Trismegistos gave fans another thrilling mix of early Slayer, 80s Deutsche thrash and Possessed’s Seven Churches

Want to touch the soul of thrash metal? Get the likes of Neptune Descent and Thanatos into your ear drums…

Check out the full review here

RH

SR – Simon Rushworth I RH – Rich Holmes I RHughes – Russell Hughes AS – Andy Spoors JB – John Burrows