More and more, festivals are becoming the driving force for touring rock and metal bands. While obviously there were none in 2020, festivals are returning in force in 2021, mostly in late summer and early fall. Headliners and co-headliners include such heavy hitters as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, the original Misfits, Korn, Judas Priest, Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown. Live Metal’s “2021 Festival Spotlight” series aims to bring attention to some of the names in smaller print on the festival admats—the bands you can get up close and personal with at the smaller stages—along with a few higher profile acts we find worth calling out here. See you at the shows.

Playing: Blue Ridge Rock Festival, Louder Than Life, Welcome to Rockville

Website: www.spiritbox.com

Latest release: Following a number of digital releases starting in 2017, Spiritbox will drop its proper full-length debut album, “Eternal Blue,” on Sept. 17 via Rise Records.

What you need to know: Married couple Courtney LaPlante (vocals) and Michael Stringer (guitar) formed Spiritbox after leaving metalcore band iwrestledabearonce in 2015, finding their musical counterpart in bass player Bill Crook and partnering with Pale Chord Music to create and release music in single and EP formats. With its lineup completed by drummer Zev Rose, Spiritbox signed to Rise Records in 2020 and made waves with the singles “Constance” and “Holy Roller,” the number one song of the year on SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal.

“We are very anxious to release our album,” LaPlante said. “It is a body of work we have been accumulating for over two years. Having the recording process put on hold for so long due to the pandemic has made me see that I can never take the experience of tracking an album for granted ever again. 

“I must say that although we never intended to wait so long to do this record, I think it did help the songs become stronger. I am so happy with every single song, I wish I could release each one as a single with a music video. They all reflect different moments and influences in our lives. We have had enough time to release the exact music we would like to put out into the world, with no need to compromise. Every single note and every single syllable is the music that we have always dreamed of making, and we are very proud of it.”

Prior to the festivals, Spiritbox will head out on its first U.S. tour, supporting Limp Bizkit at a dozen shows this summer.

What you need to hear:

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