UPDATE: Loudwire's picks for the 45 Best Rock + Metal Albums of 2021 are in and can be seen here. For the 35 Best Metal Songs of 2021, head here and for the 35 Best Rock Songs of 2021, head here.

Our favorite bands are beginning to return from COVID hibernation and they've brought goodies. Throughout 2021 so far, rock and metal has been on a tear, from established radio acts to the furthest nether regions of extreme audio.

If you think rock and metal is dead, take a look at the charts in the United Kingdom. You'll see plenty of No. 1 albums on this list, including records by Foo Fighters, Architects, Royal Blood and more. The United States may remain obsessed with pop and hip-hop, but Gojira scraped to the top of the U.S. Album Sales Chart, landing at No. 1 for impressive pure sales and streams.

Whether they've topped nationwide charts or caused rumblings in the abyss, these are the albums that have defined 2021. Check out Loudwire's picks for the Best Rock + Metal Albums of 2021 (So Far) in the gallery below.

2021's Best Rock + Metal Albums (So Far)

Loudwire's picks for the best rock + metal albums of 2021 so far

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