It’s that time – the end of 2021. With any music-related posting, that necessarily entails top “of the year” lists. It’s time to get mine rolling.
I’ll do this in a few parts. Today I’m going to roll out the bulk of a Top Ten Albums list. I’ll do everything from 10 through 2 today. On Monday I’ll give extra space to my 2021 Album of the Year. And on Wednesday I’ll go over some other stuff like Song of the Year and various thoughts about music this year.
No point in wasting time, here it is – my top 9 of 10 albums for 2021.
10: Darkthrone – Eternal Hails
The old gods of black metal switch it up, much as they have over the past many years, and go full-out dungeon dank on this record. It’s part Celtic Frost worship and very awesome. Only five songs but 42 minutes of old school, depth-trawling throwdown.
9: Hypocrisy – Worship
After 8 years away, Hypocrisy returned with a set that hits all the right notes. This set is a bit more savage and in-your-face than previous, more atmospheric efforts. It’s a highlight from a band that has done little wrong in a very long career.
8: Cradle Of Filth – Existence Is Futile
The group’s 13th studio album finds the band reinvigorated and firing on all cylinders. This album blends the band’s signature sound with the present day existential crisis running through the world.
7: Asphyx – Necroceros
A bit of a tricky one here. I could’ve sworn this album came out in 2020, but everything I’m seeing indicates it was released the very first day of 2021. We’ll go with that. Anyway, another great effort from the reformed group who have been kicking ass since their somewhat unexpected return several years ago.
6: Genocide Pact – self titled
Unrelenting death metal that doesn’t take a note off from pummeling the listener. This is brutality at its finest.
5: King Woman – Celestial Blues
A spectacular record that shapes its sound from several genres to fashion a harrowing masterpiece. This album can’t be labeled by any one thing and is a work greater than the sum of its parts. Truly one of the more unique listening experiences of the year.
4: Iron Maiden – Senjutsu
The 17th studio album from the legends raised some eyebrows with song length and composition. The album saw Steve Harris reclaim the creative reigns and head in a more atmospheric, ponderous direction.
Senjutsu was my Album Of The Week on September 6.
3: Illuminati Hotties – Let Me Do One More
This one came out of nowhere for me and instantly reeled me in with a mix of indie rock, pop punk and plenty else going on. It has been climbing this list since I started going over it this fall.
Let Me Do One More was my Album Of The Week on October 25.
2: Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine Of Hell
I only really began exploring Emma’s work earlier in the year and she capped 2021 with this minimal, desolate collection of songs. Only her voice, a guitar and piano weave these tales of trauma and sorrow.
Engine Of Hell was my Album Of The Week on November 29.
That’s the list, except for the Album Of The Year, of course. I’ll be back Monday with my 2021 champion.