The 15 Best Rock + Metal EPs of 2021

In a year where there were just too many albums to reasonably catch up on, a shorter alternative existed and in larger numbers than usual. Yes, we're talking about the Best Rock + Metal EPs of 2021.

The format itself is almost always an afterthought for fans — probably because fans don't really have a concrete idea of what its intended purpose is. Even historically, EPs have played an odd role in music as the weird median between a single and a full length album. When an EP can be six tracks and 45 minutes and an album can clock in at 35 minutes with eight songs (hardly the case anymore as CDs let bands abuse runtimes), it makes it all a bit confusing.

An EP, at the end of the day, is whatever the band says it is, even if it means a Nine Inch Nails fan getting mad at Trent Reznor for dubbing Bad Witch a full length instead of what felt more like an EP, whatever that means.

It can be as simple as a collection of two or three songs between proper album releases, which is what Lorna Shore did to introduce new vocalist Will Ramos, or the teaser for a brand new band as Bodom After Midnight tragically released their EP after the untimely death of leader Alexi Laiho. Of Mice & Men, meanwhile, rolled three EPs into a new full length and lightly reinvented the strategy of releasing new material.

Whatever the intentions are behind the EP, we are here for it and these are, in chronological order of release, the 15 Best Rock + Metal EPs of 2021.

The 15 Best Rock + Metal EPs of 2021

A chronological list of the year’s best EPs.