My Top Metal Albums Of 2021

Thumbs up: +2
This time around I'm only including albums rating 78.2% or higher to ensure only quality albums by my standards. This year is the first time I'm including a small description for each album rated around 83.0% or higher. Some below get an exemption because well, I had something to say about it. It's also the first time I'm including release date, record company, type (full-length, if blank), and volume. My volume by default is at 46 so + and - indicate how low or high it deviates from that.

My 2021 Awards (thus far):

Best Vocalist: Musician: Cryptic Lust; Album: Morbid Winds - The Black Corridors Of The Abyssal Depths Of Existence Opened Their Gates
Best Guitarist(s): Musicians: Samuel Boodt & Dustin Ponkovilneus; Album: Dipygus - Bushmeat
Best Bassist: Musician: ?; Album: Caixão - Demo 2020
Best Drummer: Musician: Primeumathon; Album: Anael - Mare
Best Solo: Musician: Plague; Album: Kaal Akuma - In The Mouth Of Madness; Track #3: Master Of Metnal
Best Atmosphere: Emptiness - Vide
Most Creative: Vestindien - Null
Most Evil: Aberration - Aberration
Most Beautiful: Sarin - You Can't Go Back
Most Heaviest: Divide And Dissolve - Gas Lit

I won't get mad if you copy me ;-)

Created by: quieted_darkness | 23.01.2021

1. Gravehuffer - NecroEclosion
(96.2%) Sludge/Crossover Thrash/Doom Metal/Crust Punk, Grindcore with Black Metal, Death Metal, Metalcore, Psychedelic Rock, Slam Metal, and Field Recordings Influences - January 15th - Black Doomba Records - Volume: +7 - United States (Joplin, Missouri) - Unique blend of sludge and thrash along with plenty of other surprises working incredibly well. Vocals take the approach of the ugly and rough intricacies of sludge and grindcore.
2. Chaos Echs - Ecstasy With The Nonexistents
(93.5%) Experimental Death Metal, Blackened Death Metal with Progressive/Technical Death Metal, Post-Metal, Dark Ambient, Occult/Psychedelic Black Metal, Death/Doom Metal, and Noise/Drone Influences - February 5th - [Full-length, Live] - Sentient Ruin Laboratories - Volume: 0 - France - Odd, math-like structured album with ominous atmosphere and riffs. I'd classify this album as strategically technical with progressive-oriented drumming. Solos are occultish as are the black metal riffs featured.
3. Dipygus - Bushmeat
(92.4%) Death/Doom Metal with Deathgrind, Electronic, and Field Recordings Influences - January 25th - Memento Mori - Volume: 0 - United States (Monterey Bay, California) - Disgusting and intoxicating death/doom with the aptitude to activate your gagging reflexes from a mile away with its atmospheric stench. Guitars have a majestic quality where at times one of them is tuned higher than the other creating a distinctive harmony.
4. Spire - Temple Of Khronos
(92.4%) Progressive Black Metal, Blackened Death Metal with Epic, Dissonant, Gothic/Doom Metal, Electronic/Industrial, and Field Recordings Influences - February 19th - Sentient Ruin Laboratories - Volume: +3 - Australia (Brisbane, Queensland) - Eccentric vocals ranging from experimental epic heavy metal, sludgy doom growls, depressive black, chanting, to somber gothic/doom. Wish I could've gotten the limited edition vinyl to hear those glorious blast beats at max.
5. Emptiness - Vide
(91.8%) Experimental Darkwave/Coldwave/Dissonant Avant-Garde/Post-Metal with Ethereal Wave, Folk/Bluegrass, Synth-pop, Industrial, and Jazz Influences - February 12th - Season of Mist - Volume: -2[Y] - Belgium - There's an animosity (anxious-avoidant type) within the vocalist's delivery as if it could kill with a simple stare. Music is equally as dark but the post-metal is as beautiful as seeing a cavern entirely made of crystal even if there's an underlying whirlpool of darkness within it too.
6. Hoofmark - Evil Blues
(91.5%) Black Metal, Heavy Metal with Grunge, Experimental, Doom Metal, Blues, Psychedelic, and Alternative Rock Influences - January 13th - Miasma of Barbarity - Volume: +3/+7 - Portugal - Can see a lot of people disliking this due to the vocal choices. To me, it's a bold avant-gardish decision to approach. It's like a grunge singer becoming an emcee. Musically though, I don't see a problem. There's a s**t ton of influences blending together smoothly. Reminds me of Maquahuitl & Imha Tarikat + some avant-garde group I don't know. Hmm, maybe Funereal Presence.
7. John The Baptist - John The Baptist
(91.3%) Doom Metal, Blackened Dark Metal with Electronic, Crust Punk, Psychedelic, Nature Recordings, and Folk Influences - January 3rd - Independent - Volume: +18 - Finland - F**kin' good doom with a vocalist that could pass off as an epic doom vocalist but not quite, sometimes breaching gothic territory. Riffs have a unique sound from typical doom. Don't quite have the same thickness but are exemplified by its dark metal concept.
8. Dosanjos - Heterogeneous Hieratic Areopagus
(90.3%) Atmospheric/Ambient Black Metal with Dark Ambient, Noise, Power Electronics, Avant-Garde, Glitch, and Nature Recordings Influences - January 13th - Independent(?) - Volume: -14 - Brazil - Eerie and inherently evil via the unseen. Guitars are pushed to the background while everything else to the forefront. Seems bad in theory but Raphael Mandra did an exceptional job capturing their vision.
9. Emme Phyzema - Shorts Are Comfy And Easy To Wear
(89.9%) Experimental/Avant-Garde Progressive Rock with Jazz Fusion, Psychedelic/Noise Rock, Avant-Garde Folk, Progressive Metal, Neoclassical/Chiptune, Cabaret, Epic/Operatic, and Glitch Influences - January 5th - Independent - Volume: ? - United States (Columbus, Ohio) - An enjoyable, wacky and bizarre prog rock trip with a piano carrying a western motif in a frenzy.
10. The Ruins Of Beverast - The Thule Grimoires
(89.5%) Atmospheric Blackened Doom Metal, Psychedelic Post-Metal/Gothic Metal with Ritual/Dark Ambient, Death/Doom Metal, Folk, Electronic, Doom/Thrash Metal, and Stoner Metal Influences - February 5th - Ván Records - Volume: +9[Y] - Germany - So... Much... passion in what Alexander von Meilenwald does. Imagination taking me to a cold landscape subdued by ambience and psychedelia. If you enjoyed Drown's Subaqueous and don't mind Type O Negative then be prepared for a lush environment.
11. Pestis Cultus - Pestis Cultus
(89.2%) Raw Orthodox Black/Death Metal with Industrial and Dark Ambient/Drone Influences - February 12th - Signal Rex - Volume: 0 - Australia (Perth, Western Australia) - The correct way to create riveting and relentless satanic black metal having an inclination toward blast beats.
12. Gravestench - Will To Madness
(89.2%) Raw Black/Death Metal with Punk, Noise, and Doom Metal Influences - January 14th/18th - [Demo] - Independent - Volume: +8 - Finland - I find a lot of punk-influenced metal difficult to love since many choose the lax, mid-paced route. Gravestench, however, have a chaotic, raw and evil atmosphere working wonders for their relentless, punkish satanic metal.
13. LICE (UK) - WASTELAND: What Ails Our People Is Clear
(88.7%) Avant-Garde/Experimental/Industrial/Progressive Rock with Psychedelic Rock, Jazz, Post-Rock, Art Punk, Sludge Metal, and Drone/Doom Metal Influences - January 8th - Settled Law Records - Volume: +2 - United Kingdom (Bristol, England) - The surreal, disturbing atmosphere taking place in the middle of the instrumentation is astounding. Overall, this sounds more Voivod than Voivod. Also don't see how soft-spoken vocals can convey a feeling of absolute emptiness and dread.
14. Kabbalah - The Omen
(88.7%) Heavy Psychedelic/Doom Metal - January 15th - Ripple Music - Volume: -2 - Spain - All-women band knowing how to write songs carrying weight. Infectiously groovy with vocals having a very early gothic rock vibe.
15. Kharàce - Dakhalè
(88.7%) Raw Black Metal with Doom Metal Influences - January 15th - Xenoglossy Productions - Volume: +5/+6 - Italy - Strange album deciding to record the first track with a loud hiss while doing away with it for the remainder. Wasn't minded but improved the experience without it. Style of the final track is a bit different too - following a more depressive composition.
16. Wampyric Rites - The Eternal Melancholy Of The Wampyre
(88.6%) Black Metal with Raw Influences - February 1st - Inferna Profundus Records - Volume: -1/+6 - Ecuador - If your morning coffee won't wake you, surely this will. Enough energy to power up a factory and those drums are the main power source. God those drums are magnificent. They're more fitting for a black/thrash act but you get them here in a pure black metal album.
17. Anael - Mare
(88.5%) Black Metal, Dark/Gothic/Doom Metal with Psychedelic/Post-Metal, Post-Punk, Viking/Folk Metal, and Death/Thrash Metal Influences - February 4th - Into Endless Chaos Records - Volume: +4 - Germany - Oh my god, where do I start? Not your typical black metal. Phenomenal fusion between it and dark metal. Passionate drummer so in tune with what he's doing and a vocalist combining the arrays of black, death, gothic, and viking metal into a homecooked melting pot.
18. Culted - Nous
(88.2%) Blackened Sludge/Doom Metal, Psychedelic Post-Metal/Dark Ambient with Ritual Ambient, Drone/Doom Metal, Electronic, Noise, and Acoustic Folk Influences - February 26th - Season of Mist - Volume: +7 - International (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada/Sweden) - Sludge/doom under the filter of darkness. Album switches between that and more atmospheric moments concentrated on ambience and minimal guitar passages via the interplay of post-metal, droning, and acoustics.
19. Enterré Vivant - Shiki (四季)
(87.5%) Atmospheric Black Metal with Raw, Folk, Gothic/Depressive Black Metal, Neoclassical, and Dungeon Synth Influences - January 5th - [EP] - Independent - Volume: +1 - International (France/Japan) - Vocals have a flair of gargling saliva and spitting fire in the stylings of depressive black metal. Atmosphere and folk tendencies are similar to Esoctrilihum but on the raw spectrum.
20. Rxy - Allá Donde Mueren Los Conceptos
(87.4%) Experimental Post-/Noise Rock/Flashcore/Shoegaze, Depressive Black Metal with Raw, Progressive/Electronic, Psychedelic, Jazz/Fusion, Avant-Garde, Emo, and Breakbeat Influences - February 12th - Independent - Volume: -6 - Spain - Artsy effort seemingly amateurish on the surface but its intensity in the dark arts is well-crafted.
21. Valac - Burning Dawn Of Vengeance
(87.1%) Raw/Atmospheric Black Metal with Field Recordings Influences - January 15th - Independent - Volume: -2 - United States (Santa Fe, New Mexico) - Holy s**t. Guitar tone has a nice black/heavy - raw, cold Hellenic feel. Production helps heaps pushing this onto the plateau.
22. Vermineux - 1337
(86.9%) Raw/Atmospheric Black Metal, Dark/Folk, Space/Dark Ambient with Pagan, Dungeon Synth, and Field Recordings Influences - January 31st - [Demo] - Purity Through Fire - Volume: +16 - United States (Sacramento, California) - I'm in love with the cloudy production of this emotive, 50-minute folkish raw black metal "demo" piece. Turn it up, the tinnitus is worth it.
23. Bummified - Beware The Living
(86.5%) Sludge/Doom Metal, Stoner Metal with Heavy Psychedelic, Psychedelic Southern Metal, Crust Punk, and Post-Metal Influences - January 1st - [EP] - Independent - Volume: +3 - United States (Lubbock, Texas) - Sludge exhibiting raw passion and energy found in 80's hardcore. Satisfying drum kit especially when both sticks hit the snare topped with a groovy, galloping bass drenched in psychedelia and sparingly used vocals.
24. Muyubyosha - Noč Na Krayu Sveta
(86.1%) Industrial/Avant-Garde Metal/Jazz with Dark/Ritual/Space Ambient, Atmospheric Black Metal, Drone/Doom Metal, Folk, Smooth Jazz, and Death Metal/Noise Influences - April 2nd - Sentient Ruin Laboratories - Volume: -5 - Russia/Japan/United States - Mixing is great, especially the interplay between the industrial and jazzy drumming.
25. Furia - W Śnialni
(85.9%) Avant-Garde/Black Metal/Experimental Rock with Atmospheric, Psychedelic/Drone/Noise/Tribal Ambient, Jazz, Electronic, and Rap Influences - February 21st - Pagan Records - Volume: +3 - Poland - Great build-up through and through in this atmospheric and hypnotic experimental rock release. Highly inventive in its sampling concepts and adjusting the mixing and volume as the album progresses.
26. Orgy Of Carrion - Demo 2020
(85.8%) Raw Black Metal with Blackened Death Metal, Industrial, and Darkwave/Electronic Influences - January 22nd - [Demo] - Death's Radiance - Volume: 0 - United States (Massachusetts) - Diabolical and nasty demo creating a wall of sound of shrieks and howling.
27. Hellcrash - Krvcifix Invertör
(85.8%) Blackened Speed Metal with Hard Rock Influences - February 6th - Red Wine Rites Records - Volume: -5[S] - Italy - Nice 'n' dirty 80's unforgiving speed with good 'ol rock 'n' roll solos/leads.
28. Xeper - Ad Numen Satanae
(85.6%) Modern/Orthodox Black Metal, Black/Thrash Metal with Melodic Heavy Metal, Psychedelic, Space Ambient, and Electronic Influences - February 26th - Soulseller Records - Volume: +4[Y] - Italy; Norway - I've an aversion toward the Behemoth sound (which fades as the album progresses) so I feel this band is somewhat special for making me stay 'til the end. Very pleased with the Scandinavian idolatry with its own twist of old school thrash and modern satanic black metal having technical nuances and amazing melodic riffs.
29. Elegiac - Father Of Death
(85.5%) Pagan Black Metal, Black 'n' Roll with Raw and Ritual Ambient Influences - January 28th - Independent - Volume: -3 - United States (Allegany, New York) - Mid-paced black metal more in tuned with the spirit of heavy metal, hard rock, and the cries of their pagan ancestors.
30. Altered Dead - Returned To Life
(85.3%) Death Metal/Grindcore with Death/Doom Metal, Noise, and Crossover Thrash Metal Influences - January 25th - Memento Mori - Volume: -1 - Canada (Victoria, British Columbia) - OSDM combining girthy, crusted riffs from the bowels of Hell with the smooth grooves of grindcore. Everything sounds so good from the necrotic fungi-infested guitars to the energetic drumming.
31. Cara Neir - Phase Out
(84.8%) Experimental Black Metal, Post-Punk/Post-Hardcore with Chiptune, Jazz/Hip-Hop/Funk, Psychedelic/Noise Rock, Jazz Fusion, Emo/Alternative Rock, and Avant-Garde Jazz Influences - February 2nd - Independent - Volume: -2 - United States (Dallas, Texas) - Mmm, haven't heard metal incorporate this much hip-hop without running the risk of sounding like total s**t. "Phasers Set to Relax" is the only weak track sounding like a** twerking hip-hop. Other than that, quite a strong effort by Texans playing French-influenced experimental black metal.
32. Aztlan - Legión Mexica
(84.8%) Folk/Melodic Death Metal, Thrash Metal with Technical Death Metal, Black Metal, and Psychedelic Influences - January 1st - Independent - Volume: -2 - México (Ciudad de México) - Wall of sound folk metal onslaught with glitch-like instrumentation giving this a unique sound. Percussion-heavy but balanced by the emphasized folk sections and sometimes wind instruments and gorgeous violin sections.
33. Koza - Calcification Of The Human Ghost
(84.7%) Blackened Sludge/Doom Metal, Psychedelic Post-Metal with Stoner Metal and Southern Metal Influences - January 1st - Independent - Volume: +4 - United States (Chattanooga, Tennessee) - Slow to mid-paced tainted sludge with a fuzzy and raw atmosphere encased in a first wave of black metal shell.
34. Sår - Absurdism
(84.3%) Depressive Black Metal with Raw and Field Recordings Influences - January 2nd - Independent - Volume: +5 - Russia - Genuine, sincere DSBM not seemingly stuck on overt sadness and desperation. Instead, understanding the hopelessness of the situation realizing little can be done about its manic affairs. Surprisingly, there exists a couple of uplifting tracks coping with the fact inner peace can be found in a chaotic world even if short-lived.
35. Morbid Winds - The Black Corridors Of The Abyssal Depths Of Existence Opened Their Gates
(84.2%) Black Metal with Raw and Atmospheric/Dungeon Synth Influences - February 14th - Analög Ragnarök - Volume: 0 - Poland - Excellent slab of black metal with a disposition of tortured monstrous vocals from the depths of long forgotten catacombs.
36. Socioclast - Socioclast
(84.2%) Deathgrind with Thrash Metal and Slam Metal Influences - February 19th - Carbonized Records - Volume: +1 - United States (San Jose, California) - Phenomenal extreme drumming with the capability to crumble buildings of great stature. Even in its chaotic exterior, there're atmospheric passages allowing breathing room to absorb the fresh mold from the crunchy guitars.
37. Dreamwell - Modern Grotesque
(84.2%) Screamo/Post-Metal/Post-Hardcore, Psychedelic Post-Rock - February 26th - Independent - Volume: -1 - United States (Providence, Rhode Island)
38. Sarin - You Can't Go Back
(84.0%) Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal with Atmospheric, Experimental, and Psychedelic Rock Influences - February 5th - Independent(?) - Volume: -1 - Canada (Toronto, Ontario) - First impressions would deem this as generic but the more you allow yourself to dive in, the deeper inescapable trance you're in. Drums' ability to build momentum and sustain it through its delicate, pummeling, and tropical phases is sublime.
39. Klanen - Coerced Into Desolate Eternity
(83.6%) Raw Black Metal with Melodic, Depressive Black Metal, and Gothic Influences - January 23rd - Independent - Volume: -2/+32 - United States (Virginia) - Solid black metal with of course, shrieks, joined by noisy growls giving this a certain charm. The few black/heavy inserted leads are the highlight of this album.
40. Aberration - Aberration
(83.5%) Black/Death Metal with Industrial Influences - January 15th - [EP] - Sentient Ruin Laboratories - Volume: +9 - United States (Minneapolis, Minnesota) - A thick, poisonous fog surrounds this. Pretty damn insane and clear they want no trace of you in this infernal, suffocating EP.
41. θoʊθ - Ruins Of Gubla
(83.2%) Death/Stoner/Doom Metal with Raw, Brutal Death Metal, and Drone Influences - February 1st - [EP] - Kellerassel Records - Volume: +7/+18 - Germany - Novel EP recorded brilliantly for the style they have going. Never have I heard meshing of all the above mentioned elements in all its raw and somber splendor.
42. Sacrocurse - Supreme Terror
(83.2%) War Metal - January 20th - [EP] - Shadow Records - Volume: +4[Y] - México (Monterrey) - Mind-blowing EP filled with maddening, satanic riffing while having instances of howling dispersed and situated solos at a lower volume in the mix.
43. Demon Head - Viscera
(83.1%) Heavy Psychedelic/Gothic Rock, Doom Metal with Epic Heavy Metal and Psychedelic Black Metal Influences - January 29th - Metal Blade Records - Volume: -3 - Denmark - Delicate yet ghastly occult gothic rock/doom. These guys appear to be masters at their craft. Can see them achieve well-known status if they haven't already. Beautiful blend of all the elements described above.
44. K.F.R - Shayṭān 2.0
(83.1%) Black Metal/Dark Ambient/Electronic, Black Ambient with Atmospheric and Black/Doom Metal Influences - January 5th - Independent - Volume: +1 - France - Hellish dark ambient incorporated with fantastic vocal work from Maxime Taccardi. Creepy overall with late 90's-like synth following suit.
45. Nomadic Rituals - Tides
(82.9%) Sludge/Doom Metal with Progressive/Post-Metal, Noise, Psychedelic Rock, Electronic, and Death/Doom Metal Influences - January 8th - Cursed Monk Records - Volume: +3 - United Kingdom (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - Subtle, noisy, raw production. Holy psychedelic atmosphere on "Moving Towards Total Disorganisation"! What a legendary sounding song. Progressive touches throughout the album are nice too.
46. Mvltifission - Decomposition In The Painful Metamorphosis
(82.9%) Death Metal with Technical, Death/Doom, Gothic, and Jazz Fusion Influences - February 4th - Independent - Volume: -1 - China - Feast on some dark Chinese OSDM infused with heavy metal and technical leanings. Only minor problem is the pretension of the bass in some areas. Great use of the toms though and stellar melodic, mvlti-dimensional solos.
47. Regnvm Animale - Ignis Sacer
(82.9%) Post-Black Metal with Punk, Folk, and Nature Recordings Influences - January 24th - [EP] - Independent - Volume: 0 - Sweden - The few melodic, triumphant Iron Maiden-esque guitar leads are delightful.
48. Labored Breath - Dyspnea
(82.6%) Black/Death Metal with Blackened Death Metal, Extreme Progressive Metal, Industrial Metal, Screamo, Space/Ritual Ambient, Electronic, and Epic Influences - April 2nd - Sentient Ruin Laboratories - Volume: +1 - United States (Oakland, California) - Nice exhibition of extreme aptitude and calm, dark ambience with plenty of breathing room for the rest of the main instruments.
49. Astral Tomb - Degradation Of Human Consciousness
(82.6%) Brutal/Death Metal with Avant-Garde/Free Improvisation and Jazz Influences - January 29th - [EP] - Blood Harvest - Volume: +5 - United States (Denver, Colorado) - All in good fun in its sloppy goodness. Drums set-up momentous headbanging along with the primitive BDM riffs. The integrous dichotomy of the crass-natured slow riffs and the frantic solos is the recipe toward excellency.
50. Kaal Akuma - In The Mouth Of Madness
(82.5%) Death Metal with Death/Doom Metal, Avant-Garde Black Metal, Folk, and Slam Metal Influences - January 18th - Dunkelheit Produktionen - Volume: +3 - Bangladesh - Chilling, ominous, chugging death metal with the iconic Krisiun-styled drumming. With the guitarist, it's the little things giving this an explosion of flavor (e.g. ghastly leads).
51. Dread Sovereign - Alchemical Warfare
(82.5%) Doom Metal with Psychedelic Rock, Heavy/Doom Metal, Dark Ambient, Black Metal, Thrash/Death Metal, Post-Metal, and Black/Speed Metal Influences - January 15th - Metal Blade Records - Volume: ? - Ireland
52. Cthonica - Lesser Incantations Of Chthonic Lore
(82.2%) Blackened Death Metal with Electronic, Dark Ambient, Drone/Doom Metal, and Noise Influences - March 5th - [EP] - Caligari Records/Sentient Ruin Laboratories - Volume: +1 - Venezuela - Dark and truly disgusting and evil s**t. Drums are a tad quieter than other acts but have a unique sound which blends in perfectly with the atmosphere.
53. Stikkersvin - Kælderens Barn
(82.2%) Raw Black Metal with Punk, Epic, and Death Metal Influences - January 24th - [Demo] - Dolk-I-Ryg Records - Volume: +8 - Denmark - Those epic heavy metal vocals sound mad and intoxicated. They're used sparingly so I appreciate them whenever they surface. Surprisingly, my favorite track, "Køtervalsen" doesn't feature them but in place is an equally as amazing riff.
(82.2%) Alternative/Atmospheric Sludge/Doom Metal/Space Ambient, Funeral Doom Metal with Dream Pop/Post-Punk, Psychedelic Drone/Industrial, Electronic, Avant-Garde Jazz, Progressive Metal, Emo/Post-Hardcore, and Dungeon Synth Influences - February 4th - [EP] - SOZA - Volume: -1 - France - Mixture of sludge/doom and funeral doom with ethereal post-punk vocals. The electronics being used feel nostalgic and the dark space ambient and droning are lovely.
55. Breath - Primeval Transmissions
(82.2%) Stoner/Doom Metal, Psychedelic Doom Metal with Experimental and Drone Influences - February 5th - Desert Records - Volume: +6 - United States (Portland, Oregon) - Hypnotic bass-driven, minimal guitar DIY-esque stoner metal with mostly a somber deadpan voice as if the vocalist had a speech impediment.
56. God Is An Astronaut - Ghost Tapes #10
(82.1%) Instrumental, Progressive/Post-Rock, Progressive/Post-Metal with Avant-Garde/Experimental, Ambient/Drone/Electronic, Post-Hardcore, Acoustic Rock/Folk, Alternative Metal, and Hard Rock Influences - February 12th - Napalm Records - Volume: -5[S] - Ireland -One jam session taking you to cloud nine and the final track slowly bringing you back to Earth. Is there a better way to experience a lucid dream?
57. Secret Gardens - Tundra
(82.0%) Instrumental, Depressive/Progressive/Post-Rock with Ambient, Alt-Country/Alternative Rock, Progressive Math Metal/Rock, Electronic, and Blues Influences - January 22nd - Independent - Volume: -2 - United States (New York, New York) - Warm and cozy depressive post-rock with the utmost alluring alt-country elements. The couple of voice narrations are pleasant too.
58. Frostcloud - Frostcloud: One
(81.8%) Black/Dark Metal, Ambient/Dungeon Synth with Post-Black Metal, Psychedelic Folk, and Nature Recordings Influences - January 1st - [EP] - Independent - Volume: -2 - United States (Port Townsend, Washington) - Dreamy ambient sections in a black/dark metal album having the signature Type O Negative sound. Outside of this sound (when this one-man band plays post-black metal), is a fusion of black metal and indie rock instead of shoegaze to be properly called blackgaze.
59. Infected Humans - Unexpected Traumatic Experiences
(81.7%) Brutal Death Metal with Slam Metal, Progressive Metal, Technical/Avant-Garde, Jazz, and Folk Influences - January 15th - Gore House Productions - Volume: -2 - Ecuador - Unlike the drums, the rest opts for a natural, even lo-fi production. Other couple of oddities being midway slamming begins happening while on the final two tracks songwriting takes an experimental turn embracing originality.
60. Sepulchral Cult - Immurement, Spirits And Graveyard Chants
(81.5%) Death Metal with Blackened Sludge Metal, Noise, and Tribal Influences - February 8th - Putrid Cult - Volume: +1[Y] - Poland - Distinct, dark death metal with the feel of blackened sludge and heavy metal integrated.
61. Maledictum - Sempiterno
(81.4%) Avant-Garde Dissonant Black Metal with Psychedelic Post-Metal, Technical Thrash Metal, and Field Recordings Influences - January 13th - Minche Mapu Records - Volume: +5 - Chile
62. Meister Leonhardt - Meister Leonhardt
(81.2%) Black Metal with Punk, Epic/Dungeon Synth, and Field Recordings Influences - February 8th - Purity Through Fire - Volume: 0 - Russia - Well-grounded and somewhat up-beat black metal. There's a lot of interesting riffs, some atmospheric, some evil, and some melodic.
63. Kurushimi - Chaos Remains
(81.2%) Instrumental, Avant-Garde Jazz/Metal, Grindcore/Noise Rock with Industrial, Jazz Fusion, Funk, Electronic, and Progressive Metal Influences - February 26th - Independent - Volume: +3 - Australia (Sydney, New South Wales) - Futuristic, dark industrial setting dismantling under the weight of gravity.
64. Cadaveric Cult - Spiritual Migration
(80.9%) Blackened Death/Doom Metal with Funeral Doom Metal Influences - February 5th/15th - [Demo] - Burning Coffin Records - Volume: +13 - Chile - Loaded with murky, phantasmal, and horrific atmosphere. Excellent use of the funeral doom-lite influences.
65. Divide And Dissolve - Gas Lit
(80.8%) Instrumental, Drone/Doom Metal with Sludge/Industrial Metal, Chamber Music, and Ambient Influences - January 29th - Independent - Volume: -1 - Australia (Melbourne, Victoria) - The haunting, operatic avant-gardish classical music is phenomenally layered around the heavy drone and sludge.
66. Epistle - The Hollow Throne
(80.8%) Lo-fi Blackened/Epic Funeral Doom Metal/Electronic with Dungeon Synth and Folk Influences - January 10th - [Demo] - Independent - Volume: 0 - United States (Myersville, Maryland)
67. Maquahuitl - Con Su Pistola En La Mano
(80.7%) Atmospheric Black Metal with Folk and Latin Music Influences - January 1st - [EP] - Balamkú Records - Volume: 0 - United States (California)
68. Moon (GER) - On The Other Side Of Daylight
(80.4%) Heavy/Doom Metal with Rock 'n' Roll and Punk Influences - January 22nd - [Demo] - Dying Victims Productions - Volume: 0 - Germany - Excellent heavy/doom with the nicest touch of deadpan gothic vocals. Exquisite melodic leads in great contrast to the heavy, dark and evil riffs. Indeed it has left me mesmerized.
69. Skin Tension - Machinic Impulses Of The Hyperreal
(80.4%) Experimental/Technical/Avant-Garde Metal/Mathcore/Noise Rock, Avant-Garde/Jazz with Raw, Free Improvisation/Jazz, Electronic, Drone, Black Metal, and Industrial Influences - February 5th - Independent - Volume: +7 - United States (Nashville, Tennessee) - Raw and dark mechanical chaos entangled with vocals sounding similar to Travis Ryan's (Cattle Decapitation) blackened hissing snarls.
70. Nansarunai - Ultimul Rege
(80.3%) Raw Black Metal with Psychedelic Influences - January 10th - Independent - Volume: +3 - Indonesia
71. Vestindien - Null
(80.0%) Black/Heavy Metal, Experimental Gothic Rock with Ambient/Synth-wave, Post-Metal, Psychedelic, Folk, Speed Metal, and Electronic Influences - February 12th - Dark Essence Records - Volume: +4 - Norway - Album becomes a different beast a third in and while the black/heavy material isn't particularly groundbreaking, the gothic rock elements in all its variances are refreshing. The blending of both genres in juxtaposition creates a wonderful mosaic while still maintaining its dark undertones.
72. Exosphere - Nightmares
(80.0%) Progressive Sludge/Doom Metal with Epic/Operatic, Metalcore, Avant-Garde, Slam Metal, Noise/Drone/Electronic, Industrial, Deathcore, Groove Metal, Blues, and Chiptune Influences - January 15th - Independent - Volume: -7 - United States (Arlington Heights, Illinois) - Sludge covered in crusted earth with the duality of endearing, inventive Mike Patton-esque vocals and BDM/deathcore growls.
73. Ad Nauseam - Imperative Imperceptible Impulse
(79.7%) Technical/Avant-Garde Dissonant Blackened Death Metal with Mathcore, Dark Ambient, Technical Thrash Metal, Jazz, and Electronic/Drone Influences - February 12th - Avantgarde Music - Volume: ? - Italy - Wow... just wow. At least that's saying for the first couple of songs and a bit later on. Eerie atmosphere aside from the cheesy, suspenseful ambience in the first track. Mechanical-like dissonance and structure but less disordered as the album went on. There're times I prefer this over Ulcerate's Stare Into Death And Be Still but many times it found itself in lukewarm territory.
74. Stellar Death - Fragments Of Light
(79.5%) Progressive Metal/Post-Metal/Ambient, Post-Rock with Metalcore, Cinematic Classical, Drone, and Thrash Metal Influences - January 8th - Independent[?] - Volume: +11 - United States (Washington, D.C.) - Journey through the universe surveying celestial, unexplored worlds via emotional and soulful guitar playing. With this curiosity also comes its cold, desolate, crushing mass.
75. Belliciste - Deathsworn
(79.3%) Black Metal with Melodic, Orthodox, Dungeon Synth, and Pagan Influences - January 12th - [Demo] - Independent - Volume: +19/+25 - New Zealand; Serbia - Dude, drums sound so good. Classically thunderous and double bass, especially, has an au naturel, orgasmic production.
76. Proudhon - The Damaged Bodies
(78.4%) Raw Deathgrind with Crust Punk, Slam Metal, Progressive, and War Metal Influences - February 1st - [EP] - Independent - Volume: +15 - France - This Cannibal Corpse, "Eaten Back To Life" sound will always be loved by me and sounds great under the grindcore genre. Their last track hinted toward a progressive direction so it could be a sign of things to come.
77. Wedge - Like No Tomorrow
(78.4%) Psychedelic/Progressive/Hard/Stoner Rock, Heavy Psychedelic/Stoner Metal - January 15th - Heavy Psych Sounds Records - Volume: -2 - Germany
78. Wode - Burn In Many Mirrors
(78.3%) Melodic Death/Black Metal with Thrash Metal, Gothic Metal, and Dungeon Synth Influences - April 2nd - 20 Buck Spin - Volume: +4[Y] - United Kingdom (Manchester, Greater Manchester, England) - Not bad especially an album going the melodic route. Would've been rated higher but I felt, "Vanish Beneath" was a weak song compared to the rest. Love the intros to a lot of these tracks though.
79. Suffering Hour - The Cyclic Reckoning
(78.2%) Atmospheric/Psychedelic Black/Death Metal with Dissonant and Post-Black Metal Influences - February 19th - Profound Lore Records - Volume: +6[Y] - United States (Forest Lake, Minnesota/Longmont, Colorado) - Invoking evil from ancient civilizations while being emotional.
80. Mogwai - As The Love Continues
(78.2%) Instrumental, Post-/Noise Rock/Electronic, Alternative Rock/Shoegaze/Ambient with Experimental, Psychedelic Rock, Alternative/Drone/Doom Metal, Dungeon Synth, Modern Classical, and EDM Influences - February 19th - Rock Action/Temporary Residence - Volume: -1 - United Kingdom (Glasgow, Scotland)
81. Honorable Mentions:
82. Caixão - Demo 2020
(77.5%) Lo-fi Progressive Black/Death Metal with Experimental and Gothic Influences - April 1st - [EP] - Nuclear War Now! Productions - Volume: +10 - Portugal - Blown away by the vocalist's likeness to Attila Csihar's performance in, "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" but more importantly the parallelism to Hagetisse is uncanny. The 90's ingrained bass is akin to the darkness of, again, Mayhem, the peculiarity of Thought Industry, and the modernity of Thecodontion.
83. Athar Aghanon - Fidelitas
(73.1%) Atmospheric/Melodic Black Metal/Medieval Folk with Epic, Gothic, Symphonic, Dark Cabaret, Avant-Garde Metal, Dungeon Synth, Neoclassical, and Electronic Influences - January 1st - Independent - Volume: +5 - Norway - Great music but wish it was a little more guitar-oriented as these guys are competent songwriters.
84. Exit Bag - Exit Bag
(69.9%) Death/Sludge/Doom Metal, Death Metal/Hardcore with Drone/Doom/Industrial, Dark Ambient, Black Metal, and Stoner/Doom Metal Influences - January 1st - Independent - Volume: 0 - United States (Hartford, Connecticut) - First time I felt a genuine, murderous intent from a deathcore act. The amount of petrification and evil is as much as its gargantuan weight. While the hardcore aspects are standard at best, Exit Bag excels in its droning and (especially) dark ambient elements.

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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Comments: 3   Visited by: 33 users
29.01.2021 - 21:46
Pretty great list. I added a few of these today.
Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.

2021 goodies
29.01.2021 - 22:24

Written by RaduP on 29.01.2021 at 21:46

Pretty great list. I added a few of these today.

Ooo, thank you for that. My list doesn't look so empty with the album cover art on the left now.
"If people kept things simple, there would be no discoveries in the world. If scientists said, "The brain is just a brain" and not take it by small segments and labeling it - We would not have come as far. Labels are necessary. Music is sci
07.02.2021 - 23:26

I trimmed several of my descriptive entries so they're more readable and flow better while still having the meat. I left some intact because I really liked them. The only one I'm unhappy with is Infected Humans. I need to restructure that one some other day.
"If people kept things simple, there would be no discoveries in the world. If scientists said, "The brain is just a brain" and not take it by small segments and labeling it - We would not have come as far. Labels are necessary. Music is sci

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