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2021: Jan-Jun

After clocking well over 700 albums in 2020, I'm hoping 2021 will be a bit busier IRL and thus slightly less comprehensively covered in these lists, but let's see - with all the new strains emerging, who TF knows when we might return to a semblance of normality. Until then, I'll be trying to make sure that nothing noteworthy passes my radar.

On reflection, the .1 scores in these lists that I've had previously feel a bit excessive considering most albums are rated on 1 listening, so I'm going to switch to grouping albums into .5 boundaries instead

Created by: musclassia | 24.01.2021

1. Vulgaris - Asundre
[NA] - Too good to score, or more no chance for objectivity. I'm in this band; if you like my tastes when reading this list, feel free to check out my music.
2. Dvne - Etemen Ænka
[9.0] - An excellent sequel to Asheran and an album that justifies having been one of my most anticipated releases in 2021.
3. Heliocentric - Ishmael
[8.5] - Tasty djent-core, got plenty of nasty djent riffing as well as a solid melodic metalcore side.
4. Decline Of The I - Johannes
[8.5] - Top-notch post-black record drenched in atmosphere.
5. Dordeduh - Har
[8.5] - Less folk to be found here than on the debut, but an excellent sophomore effort nonetheless.
6. Amenra - De Doorn
[8.5] - Every bit as emphatic as you would hope an Amenra album to be, with a few new moments here too.
7. Cult Of Luna - The Raging River
[8.5] - Another engrossing release by an unstoppable post-metal force.
8. Thy Catafalque - Vadak
[8.5] - Excellent follow-up to Naiv, heavier at times but also with more keyboards and still top-quality writing.
9. Wheel - Resident Human
[8.5] - A really accomplished step forward from the Tool-indebted debut, Wheel really show themselves to be the next exciting voice in alt metal with this record.
10. Opprobre - Fragments De Destinées
[8.5] - Euphorically melodic black/blackgaze album, really enjoyable listening.
11. Melancholia - Static Church
[8.5] - Excellent dynamic EP drawing from black, sludge, post- and doom.
12. Delving - Hirschbrunnen
[8.0] - Very likeable solo debut effort from Nick DiSalvo of Elder.
13. Backbone - Grey Foundations Of Stone
[8.0] - Top-quality post-metal EP.
14. Arcaeon - Cascadence
[8.0] - Really lovely djent-core with Periphery-style vocals and some delightful guitar melodic work; a couple of the tracks are missteps but most of this is excellent.
15. Wolvennest - Temple
[8.0] - Similarly lengthy to Void, it's not quite as enthralling as that album, but is similarly atmospheric and with arguably greater gothic and ritualistic elements.
16. Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon
[8.0] - The 'grind' part of the cybergrind has been lost; this is an electronic album with patches of heavy rock/metal, but it's some really compelling electronic music.
17. Moonspell - Hermitage
[8.0] - After Paradise Lost and Draconian's successes last year, another big name in gothic metal delivers a strong offering. The Pink Floyd aspects on All Or Nothing work really nicely.
18. Wardruna - Kvitravn
[8.0] - What you'd expect from Wardruna, performed and written as well as you would expect, albeit not quite at Runaljod - Ragnarok levels.
19. Soothsayer - Echoes Of The Earth
[8.0] - Thoroughly enjoyable sludge/doom effort with a rather distinctive sound.
20. Yoth Iria - As The Flame Withers
[8.0] - Making good on the promise from last year's EP, there's good use of keyboards, acoustic guitars and other melodic elements alongside the mid-tempo blackened core of their sound.
21. Five The Hierophant - Through Aureate Void
[8.0] - Unique and satisfying ambient/avant-garde effort with nice use of sax and percussion.
22. Sithu Aye - Senpai III
[8.0] - Sithu Aye proving again that he's the best in the business in terms of uplifting instrumental prog.
23. Earthshine - My Bones Shall Rest Upon The Mountain
[8.0] - A curious release fluctuating between Medieval-style doom and blackgaze; despite the rough production (or perhaps because of that), I rather liked it.
24. The Lion's Daughter - Skin Show
[8.0] - Hugely impressive brand of electronic-heavy sludge with other elements included - unique and thoroughly enjoyable.
25. Ophiuchi - Shibboleth
[8.0] - Very distinctive, imaginative and compelling spin on post-metal.
26. Stortregn - Impermanence
[8.0] - Wild blackened tech-death album.
27. Cyderian Son - Necropolis
[8.0] - Feels a bit like the midpoint between Language and Clairvoyance by The Contortionist, thanks to the understated vocal style. It's a nice mesh of djent, prog, post-hardcore in an effective package.
28. Karmanjakah - A Book About Itself
[8.0] - A very likeable djent album; the vocals remind me a bit of Corelia's singer, but the instrumentation is both more muscular and more prone to light moments.
29. Psychonaut - Emerald
[8.0] - Best split that will be released this year; Psychonaut find a band worthy of their talents in Sâver.
30. Neptunian Maximalism - Solar Drone Ceremony
[8.0] - Another impressive display of their drone jazz sound.
31. Teramaze - Sorella Minore
[8.0] - It's a bit of a 2112 case, with an epic title track taking up over half the record; like 2112, the remaining tracks do get rather overshadowed, but thankfully, like 2112, the title track is fantastic.
32. Crown - The End Of All Things
[8.0] - It's not metal anymore, but it's a really enjoyable electronic album.
33. Kollapse - Sult
[8.0] - Emphatic display of powerful post-metal with intense heft to the heaviness, as well as some math-y, proggy, and sludgy quirks.
34. White Ward - Debemur Morti
[8.0] - A strong extension of the distinctive path White Ward have been forging thus far, even if it's only 2 songs.
35. The Ruins Of Beverast - The Thule Grimoires
[8.0] - Really solid and enjoyably diverse extreme doom effort; Anchoress In Furs is an excellent song.
36. Bossk - Migration
[8.0] - A respectable successor to Audio Noir.
37. Eremit - Bearer Of Many Names
[8.0] - Crushing sophomore album that replicates the suffocating repetition of the debut with aplomb.
38. Backxwash - I Lie Here Buried With My Rings And My Dresses
[8.0] - More intense, hype industrial-style hip-hop.
39. Lysjakt - Ethereal Palace
[8.0] - Really enjoyable proggy sludge debut record from this one-man project, with a great sound.
40. Sunnata - Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth
[8.0] - Initial fears were wide of the mark; this is another strong effort from one of the most interesting bands in the stoner metal sphere right now.
41. Dirge - Vanishing Point
[8.0] - Epic multi-hour compilation of unreleased tracks spanning their career, from industrial sludge to ambience.
42. Paranorm - Empyrean
[8.0] - Very impressive Vektor-esque prog thrash.
43. Kultika - Capricorn Wolves
[8.0] - Incredibly creative album that starts off as a fairly conventional post-metal record before going through psychedelic, black, sludge, death, prog and other territories, the style everchanging but the quality mostly staying high, with only a couple of missteps.
44. The Beast Of Nod - Multiversal
[8.0] - Really distinctive prog/tech-death sound; there's a lot of extremity and techy complexity, but also a lot of melody taking cues from the likes of Plini and similar musicians.
45. Moanaa - Embers
[8.0] - Solid, if slightly underwhelming, long-awaited third album from this quality post-metal act.
46. Grima - Rotten Garden
[8.0] - Again getting certain Panopticon vibes off of this one, albeit with more overtly melodic elements from the keyboards and at one point accordion (I think?), and again an enjoyable effort.
47. Japanische Kampfhörspiele - Neues Aus Dem Halluzinogenozinozän
[8.0] - Wonderfully mad grind-based music featuring hip-hop amongst other additional elements.
48. Tribulation - Where The Gloom Becomes Sound
[8.0] - Perhaps the softest their gothic sound has been to date, I think it works to their benefit, as in the absence of material reminiscent of The Formulas Of Death, I find the approach here more rewarding than the previous one or two albums.
49. Soen - Imperial
[8.0] - Another solid if not jawdropping record, but I think this is probably a step up from Lotus.
50. Humanity's Last Breath - Välde
[8.0] - Satisfying deathcore with punchy breakdowns and neat atmospheric bits.
51. Oslo Tapes - Ør
[8.0] - Some actually pretty great krautrock, very hypnotic synth tracks.
52. Vokonis - Odyssey
[8.0] - Prog sludge-stoner album that draws from influences, particularly Mastodon, but nonetheless sounds pretty great.
53. Motorpsycho - Kingdom Of Oblivion
[8.0] - A bit interlude-heavy, but quality driving prog rock.
54. Zao - The Crimson Corridor
[8.0] - Metallic hardcore that balances aggression with hooks, and also deftly branches out into different directions, such as the post-metal and stoner metal elements on R.I.P.W.
55. Dust Moth - Rising // Sailing
[8.0] - A really solid heavy-ish shoegaze album with great vocals and good energy.
56. Spoiwo - Martial Hearts
[8.0] - Really interesting muted and atmospheric electronic post-rock style.
57. Mare Cognitum - Solar Paroxysm
[8.0] - Really solid album; between this and last year's compilation, I'm starting to think Mare Cognitum is stronger than Spectral Lore.
58. Inferno - Paradeigma (Phosphenes Of Aphotic Eternity)
[8.0] - Hefty evil atmosphere on this beast.
59. Fucked Up - Year Of The Horse
[8.0] - Staggeringly ambitious 90-minute post-hardcore/indie/art rock/whatever album - it's a colossal undertaking to listen to but there's some great stuff to be found in there.
60. Bruit - The Machine Is Burning And Now Everyone Knows It Could Happen Again
[8.0] - Very nice post-rock, quite cinematic in approach, nice use of classical elements too.
61. Fyrnask - VII: Kenoma
[8.0] - Powerfully atmospheric black metal with a dense production.
62. Æthĕrĭa Conscĭentĭa - Corrupted Pillars of Vanity
[8.0] - Exciting prog black metal with interesting use of saxophone.
63. Chevelle - Niratias
[8.0] - I'm not familiar with Chevelle, but I really dug this - nice mix of fun and pathos.
64. Dissenting Minds - Fly In The Face Of God
[8.0] - Impressive and gripping melancholic, and at times melodic, black metal debut.
65. Domkraft - Seeds
[8.0] - Potent, intense stoner metal with plenty of personality.
66. Demande À La Poussière - Quiétude Hostile
[8.0] - Strong mix of black, post- and sludge.
67. Urne - Serpent & Spirit
[8.0] - Thoroughly enjoyable sludge-based debut.
68. Graveborn - Transmigrator
[8.0] - Visceral, faintly melodic proggy deathcore.
69. Esoctrilihum - Dy'th Requiem For The Serpent Telepath
[8.0] - More quality out-there BM from this project.
70. Iotunn - Access All Worlds
[8.0] - Very decent prog death metal album, with the balance between intensity, melody and complexity on the closing track particularly impressing.
71. Siderean - Lost On Void's Horizon
[8.0] - A similarly impressive prog death debut to the Iotunn one above, albeit less melodic and closer to tech-death.
72. Wesenwille - II: A Material God
[8.0] - High-quality black metal effort, has some of the urban melancholia of Shining, but also has some sharp aggressive riffing.
73. Birmani - Birmani
[8.0] - Distinctive and fun stoner release, reminds me a bit of Methadone Skies at times, other times is more swaggy, but all good fun.
74. Hail The Sun - New Age Filth
[8.0] - Bright post-hardcore with nice melodic vocals.
75. Ison - Aurora
[8.0] - A fairly mighty demonstration of the whole 'doomgaze' thing, with space ambient thrown in on top - it's quite gothic, quite doomy, and quite gaze-y, but very compelling in terms of atmosphere.
76. Moanhand - Present Serpent
[8.0] - Powerful sludgy/stoner doom debut elevated by evocative yet not morose clean vocals.
77. My Burden To Bury - Paradigm City
[8.0] - Yes, I am a complete sucker for music in the djent-sphere atm, but for an EP with one download on Bandcamp at the time of listening, this is really enjoyable Plini-style instru-djent (although the third track is redundant).
78. Horndal - Lake Drinker
[8.0] - Nicely tides over until the next High On Fire album.
79. Concrete Ships - In Observance
[8.0] - Heavy, psychedelic noise rock with trippy builds and hard-hitting riffs.
80. Alustrium - A Monument To Silence
[8.0] - Good tech/prog-death with melodeath elements, groove sections, BTBAM-esque sequences and more to be found.
81. Sundrowned - Become Ethereal
[8.0] - AMG hated this for some reason; I thought it was some of the best metalgaze I've heard in a while, with some really compelling atmospheres.
82. Borgne - Temps Morts
[8.0] - Bit overlong, but good solid industrial BM.
83. Malist - Karst Relict
[8.0] - Not the tech-death I expected from the cover, but a very good atmos-black album.
84. Kauan - Ice Fleet
[8.0] - More evocative post-rock from a very competent band.
85. The Weather Station - Ignorance
[8.0] - Peaks with fantastic early track Robber, but this is a hugely impressively well composed art pop effort with impressive layering of the array of instruments and fronted by a compelling vocalist.
86. Suffering Hour - The Cyclic Reckoning
[8.0] - Good, but not as enthralling as their Dwell EP.
87. Evergrey - Escape Of The Phoenix
[8.0] - Another good solid effort from these guys.
88. Bríi - Sem Propósito
[8.0] - A similarly unique and compelling experience to the first album.
89. Mānbryne - Heilsweg: O Udręce Ciała I Tułaczce Duszy
[8.0] - Straightforward but exciting black metal.
90. Spire - Temple Of Khronos
[8.0] - Atmospheric, faintly dissonant, and emphatic.
91. Warrior Path - The Mad King
[8.0] - I thought this new vocalist sounded familiar; there's no missing Yannis when you've got the guy from Lost Horizon in, and he sounds as good as he did on A Flame To The Ground Beneath. Likely to be one of the stronger power metal albums in 2021.
92. Tenue - Territorios
[8.0] - 30-minute post-/hardcore+post-rock/-metal song - ambitious but well-delivered.
93. Suffer Yourself - Rip Tide
[8.0] - Grim, cavernous funeral doom with some nice atmospheric guitar leads.
94. Cult Of Dom Keller - They Carried The Dead In A U​.​F​.​O
[8.0] - Engrossing psychedelic rock effort, very eerie atmosphere at times.
95. Morokh - All The Darkness Looks Alive
[8.0] - Fun mid-paced black metal debut with quality riffs, atmosphere and song structuring.
96. Harakiri For The Sky - Mӕre
[8.0] - Too long for its own good, but they're very good at what they do.
97. Mega Drive - Neuroframe
[8.0] - Despite its length, very engaging synthwave throughout.
98. Nemorous - Nemorous
[8.0] - Nice atmos-black offshoot from Wodensthrone.
99. Fragment Soul - Axiom Of Choice
[8.0] - Lengthy, moody gothic metal tracks featuring Heike Langhans on this debut, very nice.
100. Eternal Void - Serenity In The Black
[8.0] - Djent-influenced metalcore/deathcore with some dirty deathcore breakdowns, djent hints in some of the riffing and nice clean vocal melodies.
101. Frummyrkrið - Dauðans Myrkri
[8.0] - Good Enslaved-esque record.
102. Ulthima - Symphony Of The Night
[8.0] - Very fun Bodom-esque debut.
103. Dawn Of Dismality - Half-Light Ascension
[8.0] - Very nice extreme-sided prog debut with its fair share of soft, clean moments, and nice male/female vocal exchanges, plus an evocative, gloomy atmosphere.
104. Methadone Skies - Retrofuture Caveman
[8.0] - Misses some of the grandeur of the previous album, but they've done a great job of welding post-rock and stoner rock/metal together here.
105. A Death By The Seaside - A Death By The Seaside
[8.0] - Impressive 'light' funeral doom debut record.
106. Lorem Ipsum - Vivre Encore
[8.0] - Baroque screamo: an interesting concept, but one pulled off with aplomb.
107. Ciccada - Harvest
[8.0] - Lovely folky prog rock album.
108. Unknown Artist - The Stench Of Delusion
[8.0] - Vicious but not impenetrable grindy dissonant black metal EP.
109. Breaths - Lined In Silver
[8.0] - Very promising post-metal debut that ranges from gaze-y moments to djenty moments with plenty of atmos-sludge in between, with Mechina-esque clean vocals.
110. Cicada The Burrower - Corpseflower
[8.0] - Unrefined but promising and very likeable combination of proggy black metal with other musical styles.
111. The Armed - Ultrapop
[8.0] - Like Genghis Tron, The Armed bring electronica into their sound in a big way; however, both the electronica and the hardcore are a lot more abrasive than anything on Dream Weapon.
112. Vallendusk - Heralds Of Strife
[8.0] - Perhaps a bit too all-out for its own good, but a fairly mighty blackgaze/atmos-black effort.
113. Wreche - All My Dreams Came True
[8.0] - Black metal that uses piano in place of the guitar (there is some guitar here still): it's a bold idea, but I'm impressed by the execution.
114. King Buffalo - The Burden Of Restlessness
[8.0] - A clear improvement on Dead Star, and an indication that King Buffalo can remain relevant even if they continue putting the softness of Longing To Be The Mountain further in the background.
115. Helloween - Helloween
[8.0] - A good comeback elevated by a monster of a closer.
116. Impure Wilhelmina - Antidote
[8.0] - A post-metal (+ other stuff) album with a very distinctive sound and intelligent songwriting, although admittedly not a sound I fully click with.
117. Where Mermaids Drown - And The Raging Winds Do Blow
[8.0] - Evocative and powerful tremolo-dominated heavy post-rock.
118. Black Sheep Wall - Songs For The Enamel Queen
[8.0] - Lengthy, explorative sludge/hardcore/math onslaught.
119. Mental Cruelty - A Hill To Die Upøn
[8.0] - Yet another symph-tinged deathcore release, and another one elevated by the symph-black influences.
120. Rhododendron - Protozoan Battle Hymns
[8.0] - Proggy noise rock, it's scattered but quite captivating.
121. Code - Flyblown Prince
[8.0] - Well-made proggy black metal album.
122. Xeper - Ad Numen Satanae
[8.0] - A good solid short burst of semi-melodic black metal that shines when it leans into those melodic elements with some of the lead guitars. "Riding The Spiral Of Lilith" hits really hard.
123. Mother Of Graves - In Somber Dreams
[8.0] - Impressive melancholic melodic death/doom EP.
124. Muyubyosha - Noč Na Krayu Sveta
[8.0] - Good spread of extremity, weirdness and melody, particularly with some of the instruments used.
125. Akhenaten - The Emerald Tablets Of Thoth
[8.0] - A lighter strain of Egyptian-themed death metal than Nile or Scarab, but a very likeable one, with good use of folk instruments and melodies.
126. Labyrinth - Welcome To The Absurd Circus
[8.0] - Enjoyably memorable and powerful power metal album, with nice guitar and keyboard arrangements and a solid frontman.
127. Subterranean Masquerade - Mountain Fever
[8.0] - Very fun and vibrant prog record.
128. Culted - Nous
[8.0] - I wasn't totally convinced on first listen, but I did really dig some of the more psychedelic/droney/repetitive grooves.
129. Cryptosis - Bionic Swarm
[8.0] - Not quite Paranorm, but likely to be amongst the best thrash out this year, which already looks like a good year for thrash.
130. Crust - Stoic
[8.0] - Preferred this to last year's album, the symph-black elements add a nice touch and there's some great riffs and atmospheres here.
131. Hellish Form - Remains
[8.0] - Mournful funeral doom with pained shrieks and heavy use of keyboard/synths for dramatic flair.
132. Alluvial - Sarcoma
[7.5] - Solid return to the sound of Autotheism from Wes Hauch.
133. One Hundred Thousand - Zodiac
[7.5] - Perhaps a touch overlong, but very enjoyable proggy/djenty (no real -core or extreme elements for the most part) exploration of the zodiac.
134. Haine - Haine
[7.5] - Crunchy mid-tempo deathcore, more likely to feature a melodic guitar lead than a trudging breakdown but still hitting hard thanks to punchy riffs and a clear production.
135. Noctule - Wretched Abyss
[7.5] - Solid blackgaze/meloblack Skyrim-themed album.
136. Scale The Summit - Subjects
[7.5] - Going all-in with guest vocalists on every song to make a very pleasant modern prog/djent record, with some PTH vibes at times too.
137. Kataan - Kataan
[7.5] - Compelling combo of death and black (with some blackgaze leanings) on this debut EP.
138. Panopticon - .​.​.​And Again Into The Light
[7.5] - Production and length issues notwithstanding, another solid addition to Panopticon's impressive discography.
139. Vola - Witness
[7.5] - A reasonable middle ground between Inmazes and Applause..., but one that's inferior to either.
140. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Butterfly 3000
[7.5] - Blissfully shiny psychedelic journey.
141. The Flight Of Sleipnir - Eventide
[7.5] - The black is a bit more up front this time around, on what is a successful return for the band after a relatively long gap by their standards.
142. Aylwin - The Arch Holder
[7.5] - Single 30-minute-song debut mixture of black metal, blackgaze and post-metal; there's a few lulls but it's highly impressive for the most part.
143. Dethrone The Corrupted - The Amygdaloid Decay
[7.5] - Gripping, chunky, intense deathcore EP.
144. Zombi - Liquid Crystal
[7.5] - Very enjoyable easy listening.
145. De Arma - Strayed In Shadows
[7.5] - An intriguing and very likeable combination of gothic rock/metal with blackgaze.
146. Duskmourn - Fallen Kings And Rusted Crowns
[7.5] - Very enjoyable folk/melodeath (with bits of meloblack) record with good hooks and intensity, and some effective dynamics.
147. Boss Keloid - Family The Smiling Thrush
[7.5] - Really creative prog sludge/stoner album, albeit one with regular moments that throw me off a bit.
148. Suffocate For Fuck Sake - Fyra
[7.5] - 80-min post-metal/post-hardcore album - it's very good, but toooo loooong.
149. Kuiper - Alignments
[7.5] - Nice dreamy electronic-heavy post-rock.
150. Morost - Forged Entropy
[7.5] - Cool prog/groove/death album, arguably best when at its proggiest.
151. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - G_d's Pee At State's End!
[7.5] - Probably one of the GY!BE records that I've most enjoyed.
152. Ekdikēsis - Canvas Of A New Dawn
[7.5] - Vicious, demented but not impenetrable avant-garde BM sound.
153. Liquify - Illusionary Reality
[7.5] - Lush instrumental stoner/psychedelic rock with occasional entries into stoner metal territory.
154. Everson Poe - Grief
[7.5] - Blackened/extreme-tinged doom with heft, but also some nice melodic elements, particularly on the more post-metal/post-hardcore "Depression".
155. Mandragora - [d]Æscend
[7.5] - Good fun melodeath that has some Finnish melancholy but also some good energy.
156. Amammoth - The Fire Above
[7.5] - A good solid stoner doom effort that's a bit more ambitious than just nakedly retreading well-established sounds; the dirty guitar tone, and interesting dynamic range work nicely.
157. Devil Sold His Soul - Loss
[7.5] - I don't think it's their best stuff, but I'm also not super familiar with their older work. I do like the post-hardcore/rock mix generally though quite a lot.
158. Asymmetry - Anima
[7.5] - Commendable debut album, djent-focused but with only clean vocals from a great frontwoman.
159. Evelyna - Spun Undirected
[7.5] - Hefty blackgaze/sludge debut EP with bruising dirges, harsh blackened tones and atmospheric stretches.
160. Silver Lake - Silver Lake By Esa Holopainen
[7.5] - Esa does a much better job than most lead guitarist in making a feature-centric solo album satisfying.
161. Chassm - Falling Forever
[7.5] - Classed as post-metal for some reason, sounds an awful lot like stoner metal to me; either way, it sounds good.
162. Aduanten - Sullen Cadence
[7.5] - Melodeath/post-black/+ debut EP with a great sound.
163. Bezkresy - Koniec Wieku
[7.5] - Inspired and atmospheric post-black album.
164. Elderwind - Fires
[7.5] - Pleasant folk-tinged meloblack, not miles away from Skyforest, but it doesn't grip me like A New Dawn does.
165. Circle Of Sighs - Narci
[7.5] - Doom metal, prog rock, synthwave and other weirdness in a very weird package.
166. Hannes Grossmann - To Where The Light Retreats
[7.5] - More Hannes Grossmann extreme/tech-death prog, more music from that scene of musicians that is well-crafted but not that exciting.
167. Sarram - Albero
[7.5] - Nicely atmospheric drone/post-rock album.
168. City Of The Lost - Wasteland Guide
[7.5] - Quite a good post-rock effort.
169. Blindherd - Brink Of Extinction
[7.5] - Deathened black release with some nice riffs and atmospheric tendencies.
170. Manchester Orchestra - The Million Masks Of God
[7.5] - Nice Dear Hunter-esque soft indie record.
171. Nomadic Rituals - Tides
[7.5] - Similar vibes to Sevan (below), but the more primal sludge is more convincing.
172. Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments
[7.5] - Still one of the better purveyors of this style, but I miss the energy of The Uncanny Valley.
173. Silver Talon - Decadence And Decay
[7.5] - Fairly exciting Nevermore-esque USPM debut.
174. Sinamort - The Idle Veil
[7.5] - Good d/d debut with enjoyable riffs and melodies.
175. Grey Aura - Zwart Vierkant
[7.5] - Quirky, somewhat avant-garde black(ened) metal with dissonant sections, jazzy breaks, blistering segments; it's strange but magnetic.
176. Jours Pâles - Éclosion
[7.5] - Interesting spread across a few different black metal styles on this debut album.
177. Svdestada - Azabache
[7.5] - Bleak post-metal-leaning (post-)hardcore.
178. Wowod - Yarost' I Proshchenie
[7.5] - Another 'technically released in 2020 but promoted in 2021' album, the grind sections don't work great for me but the post- side is strong, particularly on the closing track.
179. Bongzilla - Weedsconsin
[7.5] - Well-composed sludgy stoner metal album with a thick tone and some very nice lead guitar work.
180. Sojourner - Perennial
[7.5] - Some nice pleasant listening, probably preferred it to the previous year's album.
181. Blessings - Biskopskniven
[7.5] - Interesting post-/sludge/hardcore/noise rock effort, some bits feel a bit rough, but when it's on form it's potent.
182. Meer - Playing House
[7.5] - Nice symphonic prog rock, hint of Leprous in the vocals.
183. Heavy Temple - Lupi Amoris
[7.5] - Conventional but classy stoner rock/metal debut.
184. Pestilence - Exitivm
[7.5] - Good chunky death from the tech-death legends.
185. Seth - La Morsure Du Christ
[7.5] - Good symph-tinged mainly mid-tempo black.
186. Mountainscape - Acceptance
[7.5] - Good instru-post debut.
187. Aara - Triade I: Eos
[7.5] - Quite gazey meloblack, could maybe not blast in every second but it's nice and uplifting.
188. Bongzilla - Doom Sessions Vol. 4
[7.5] - Bongzilla are the more established band, but I arguably got more joy out of Tons' 3-part super-song.
189. Afghan Haze - Nihilistic Stoner Hymns
[7.5] - Sludge-leaning stoner with booming harsh vocals; got more meat, volume and personality to it than a lot of stoner.
190. SleapingDreaming - M. Inclemens
[7.5] - Nice subdued post-rock/shoegaze with some heavier moment.
191. Frozen Crown - Winterbane
[7.5] - Nice smooth power metal style with easy-on-the-ear vocals.
192. Monte Penumbra - As Blades In The Firmament
[7.5] - A bit too relentlessly singular in its approach, but solid evil black metal.
193. Jari Lindholm - Trajectories
[7.5] - Really pleasant instrumental melodeath sound, with a really nice post-rock detour on Mare Balticum.
194. Colors Unseen - Vivid
[7.5] - Very conventional (purely instrumental) djent-core sound, but one that I enjoy a fair amount.
195. Ice Howl - Erhan's Quest
[7.5] - Some good banging fun stoner/heavy metal, I enjoyed this.
196. When Waves Collide - Chasm
[7.5] - Interesting modern prog-influenced post-rock EP.
197. Termina - Dysphoria
[7.5] - Djent-core debut from some prominent Youtubers (more deathcore-y than some); it's pretty solid, but compared to some of the really great djent releases I've heard this year so far, it's not [i]quite[/i] up there with the rest.
198. Crypta - Echoes Of The Soul
[7.5] - The melody infused in this album makes it more interesting than most OSDM worship.
199. Ildaruni - Beyond Unseen Gateways
[7.5] - Nicely written and enjoyable pagan metal debut.
200. Seputus - Phantom Indigo
[7.5] - Manic, chaotic dissonant prog/tech-death.
201. Serpent Sermon - The Saurian Hymns
[7.5] - Exciting symph-tinged blackened death.
202. Genune - Inert & Unerring
[7.5] - Nice if not overwhelming blackgaze effort.
203. Nicarus - Coal People, Coal Puppets
[7.5] - Nice melancholy -gazey singer/songwriter project, bit livelier than the likes of Chelsea Wolfe/A.A. Williams and a bit heavier than ERR.
204. Atvm - Famine, Putrid And Fucking Endless
[7.5] - Quirky and entertaining tech death.
205. 65daysofstatic - Tomorrowd
[7.5] - In its best moments (TENS in particular), this EP highlights why 65dos are so renowned in post-rock spheres.
206. Sevan - Guide Me Holy Ararat
[7.5] - Not sold on all the sludge parts, but otherwise I like it a lot, particularly as it leans more towards post-metal.
207. Elephant9 - Arrival Of The New Elders
[7.5] - Rather unusual but also rather enjoyable prog/jazz rock sound.
208. Pupil Slicer - Mirrors
[7.5] - Wild and aggressive grindy mathcore, but with enough downtime to avoid being overwhelming.
209. Sex Blender - Studio Session I
[7.5] - Very nice, if typically, instrumental psychedelic/stoner jam.
210. Gexerott - Hallucinetic Violet Ignition
[7.5] - Good off-kilter black metal album.
211. Superlynx - Electric Temple
[7.5] - Moody, mellow stoner/doom effort with nice muted vocals.
212. Thron - Pilgrim
[7.5] - Very enjoyably well-made melodically inclined BM with quite a bit of Necrophobic in their sound, but it's very conventional-sounding considering the little surprise on the first track.
213. Trillionaire - Romulus
[7.5] - Enjoyable proggy alt-metal release with lively, dramatic vocals and intriguing off-kilter writing.
214. The Absence - Coffinized
[7.5] - Well-crafted and good fun Gothenburg-style melodeath with memorable hooks.
215. Howling Giant - Alteration
[7.5] - Well-written and moving stoner EP.
216. Evile - Hell Unleashed
[7.5] - Blistering return from Evile.
217. Big Brave - Vital
[7.5] - Relatively evocative drone doom metal.
218. Maria Arnal i Marcel Bagés - Clamor
[7.5] - Curious art pop effort with a great vocal performance and interesting use of electronics.
219. Tomahawk - Tonic Immobility
[7.5] - A good dose of Patton.
220. Exanimis - Marionettiste
[7.5] - Fun, ambitious extreme symphonic debut - too long for it's own good, but generally rather enjoyable.
221. Cambion - Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium
[7.5] - Vicious, chaotic blackened death metal, some manic dissonant guitar leads/solos and relentless blasting but also some chonky riffs.
222. Misotheist - For The Glory Of Your Redeemer
[7.5] - Short burst of fairly conventional black metal, but with a solid balance of intensity, atmosphere and hints of melody.
223. Brand Of Sacrifice - Lifeblood
[7.5] - Another deathcore album dabbling with symphonics, albeit not as much as some others, and one that features a litany of guests, it's a good effort, but not quite up with some of the ones in the genre that have really taken me in the last 2 years.
224. The Sun And The Mirror - Dissolution To Salt And Bone
[7.5] - Cool drone release, very long build but nice climax to Currents.
225. Wode - Burn In Many Mirrors
[7.5] - An effective sound close in approach to Tribulation's The Formulas Of Death.
226. Fly Pan Am - Frontera
[7.5] - Experimental, noisy post-rock with a dance companion piece, it's a weird choice for a dance performance but it's quite engaging.
227. Anchorsong - Mirage
[7.5] - Quirky, dreamy electronic effort.
228. Epica - Omega
[7.5] - Extravagant and bombastic, lacking a bit in memorability but much better than fellow symphonic heavyweights Nightwish managed last year.
229. Emptiness - Vide
[7.5] - An interesting extension of the moodier, softer parts of their previous couple of albums into something that is certifiably non-metal but still sinister.
230. Nordsind - Lys
[7.5] - Nice blissful instrumental blackgaze record.
231. John Carpenter - Lost Themes III: Alive After Death
[7.5] - A really fun album of horror movie soundtrack-style electronica that highlights how much synthwave has taken from Carpenter's movie soundtracks.
232. The Crown Of Yamhad - Epilogues For The Fallen
[7.5] - An effective Oriental/symphonic-infused gothic metal sound with good contrasting growled/clean male/female vocals.
233. Marianas Rest - Fata Morgana
[7.5] - A nice melodic d/d album, it has peaks and troughs ("Glow From The Edge" is definitely a peak), but is generally pleasant throughout.
234. Kanonenfieber - Menschenmühle
[7.5] - Blackened death debut that does a good job of spanning the death/black spectrum.
235. L'Effondras - Anabasis
[7.5] - Nice post-rock album.
236. Gojira - Fortitude
[7.5] - This is a good album - it's not a disaster, but it is underwhelming for Gojira compared to their best.
237. Infliction - Infliction
[7.5] - Vicious Singaporean hardcore with some sick riffs.
238. Intonate - Severed Within
[7.5] - Well written and interesting death metal with doomy and proggy elements.
239. Dark The Suns - Suru Raivosi Sydämeni Pimeydessä
[7.5] - Pleasant melodic keyboard-heavy Gothic metal.
240. Rorcal - Witch Coven [Collaboration]
[7.5] - Filthy collaboration combining sludge, black, doom and drone into an increasingly grim experience.
241. Plaguestorm - Purifying Fire
[7.5] - Starts off sounding incredibly typical Gothenburg metal, but as it develops it throws some rather nice ideas in there, particularly courtesy of the clean vocals and electronics. Actually rather solid Gothenburg worship.
242. Sigil - Nether
[7.5] - Impressive blackened hardcore swansong.
243. Nightfall - At Night We Prey
[7.5] - Enjoyable melodeath with a few interesting tricks up its sleeve.
244. Oryx - Lamenting A Dead World
[7.5] - Mean sludgy doom.
245. Cosmic Reaper - Cosmic Reaper
[7.5] - Good chunky stoner doom, quite dirty in the sound but with hazy vocals.
246. Lost Girls - Menneskekollektivet
[7.5] - Not in love with some of the less structured, more avant-garde sections, but songs like Losing Something are very pleasant.
247. The Amenta - Revelator
[7.5] - A rather interesting melodeath/industrial/other sound, with some nice atmospheric elements and fairly hard-hitting riffs.
248. Anna Pest - Dark Arms Reach Skyward With Bone White Fingers
[7.5] - Intense burst of tech-death/grind/math/deathcore, but one that also fits in curious little detours, such as the melodic section on Skyward.
249. The Ember, The Ash - Fixation
[7.5] - Deathcore bands love symphonics these days don't they? Not quite a new SoI/Lorna Shore, but I enjoyed this one.
250. The Crown - Royal Destroyer
[7.5] - Fun melodeathrash record.
251. KOLLAPS\E - The Pandemic Sessions
[7.5] - Punchy, sludgy post-metal 2-song EP; nothing original but a solid listen.
252. Somnuri - Nefarious Wave
[7.5] - Good hench swaggy stoner/sludge with meat on the riffs and fun percussion.
253. White Void - Anti
[7.5] - Nice psych/prog hard rock from alumni of Borknagar and other Norwegian metal bands; track 3 is the obvious highlight, but the last two songs are good too.
254. Fuoco Fatuo - Obsidian Katabasis
[7.5] - Dense and gnarly funeral doom-leaning death/doom.
255. Erra - Erra
[7.5] - A much djentier sound than on Augment, and quite a scattered approach; I generally like it, but some tracks are hit and miss.
256. Enforced - Kill Grid
[7.5] - Blistering deathy thrash.
257. Sur Austru - Obârşie
[7.5] - Felt like it had fluctuating appeal throughout, but offered some very good folk/black when on song (e.g. Caloianul).
258. Sepulcros - Vazio
[7.5] - Cavernous blackened death/doom with a hefty atmosphere.
259. Midnight Odyssey - Biolume Part 2 - The Golden Orb
[7.5] - The synth-heavy triumphant atmo/ambient BM sound is definitely interesting, but it's not '100 minutes of this please' interesting. Below Horizon is very good though.
260. Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime
[7.5] - Rather unique-sounding rock from Niger.
261. Cosmic Void - All Is Lost In Time
[7.5] - Post-black/doom effort with an interesting range of sounds.
262. Joel Kent - Paper Dragon
[7.5] - Pleasant djenty instrumental prog effort.
263. Osiris - Meanders A Soul​.​.​.
[7.5] - Respectable meloblack with semi-regular use of symphonic elements.
264. Slaughter For The Daddy - Medeiros
[7.5] - Fairly exciting deathcore with some limited but nice use of keys and other electronics.
265. The Scalar Process - Coagulative Matter
[7.5] - Respectable prog/tech-death debut; the tech-death parts get a bit bland but the softer moments are well-written.
266. Ischemic - Ischemic
[7.5] - Well-composed combination of various different extreme sounds (death, sludge) within an intense doom framework.
267. Empyrium - Über Den Sternen
[7.5] - It's got a distinctive sound, albeit a tad Summoning-esque, in the combination of black metal, dungeon synth and the distinctive plucked instrument they use (sounds like a hammered dulcimer but no idea if it is); generally, I wasn't that enthusiastic about it, but The Wild Swans is very good.
268. Needlepoint - Walking Up That Valley
[7.5] - Very quaint Canterbury prog band; not as good as Zopp's album from last year, but pleasant and enjoyable nonetheless.
269. Nadja - Luminous Rot
[7.5] - Similarish vibes to Queller, quite hypnotic.
270. Ande - Bos
[7.5] - Nice gaze-y atmos-black.
271. Gangrened - Deadly Algorithm
[7.5] - Respectable doomy sludge debut.
272. Obsolete - Animate//Isolate
[7.5] - Interesting tech-death/thrash combo.
273. Spectral Wound - A Diabolic Thirst
[7.5] - Rudimentary but enjoyable black metal.
274. Molten - Dystopian Syndrome
[7.5] - Satisfying deathrash rampage with quality guitar soloing.
275. Blindfolded And Led To The Woods - Nightmare Withdrawals
[7.5] - Distinctive and chaotic tech-death.
276. Yautja - The Lurch
[7.5] - Vicious hardcore-based maelstrom of sound.
277. God Is An Astronaut - Ghost Tapes #10
[7.5] - Another good effort from this band, even if their staying power has decreased a lot in the past decade for me.
278. Ferriterium - Calvaire
[7.5] - A good one-man black metal project; nothing overly remarkable about it but it is enjoyable.
279. Magogaio - Memorial
[7.5] - Very pleasant blackgaze debut EP.
280. The Monolith Deathcult - V3 - Vernedering: Connect The Goddamn Dots
[7.5] - The industrial and symphonic elements are cool, and as a whole there's some slick grooves and fun stretches, even if it's not quite consistently engaging throughout.
281. Supervøid - The Giant Nothing
[7.5] - Curious space/doom/stoner debut using Jo Quail's cello in place of vocals; impressively atmospheric.
282. Jordsjø - Pastoralia
[7.5] - There's plenty of classic-sounding prog rock coming out these days; there's nothing overly remarkable about this, but it's a very pleasant listen nonetheless.
283. Yu Su - Yellow River Blue
[7.5] - Nice downtempo record with interesting occasional inclusion of Chinese folk instruments.
284. The Drowned God - Pale Home
[7.5] - Good post-metal/post-hardcore middle ground album, pretty bleak but does enter into the lighter post-hardcore territory at times.
285. Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows - The Magnetic Ridge
[7.5] - Enjoyable, easy-going stoner rock.
286. Bewitcher - Cursed Be Thy Kingdom
[7.5] - Short, sharp burst of fun blackened NWOBHM-style metal.
287. Dreamwell - Modern Grotesque
[7.5] - Good screamo sophomore with interesting use of clean guitars in heavier sections.
288. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Last Of The Great Thunderstorm Warnings
[7.5] - Captivating indie/psychedelic crossover with some mesmerizing vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements.
289. Mogwai - As The Love Continues
[7.5] - I've not really dabbled with Mogwai before, as far as post-rock goes it's pleasant and makes good use of electronics.
290. Glen - Pull
[7.5] - Interesting and pleasant combination of post-rock, prog and stoner in an instrumental package.
291. Interloper - Search Party
[7.5] - Prog metalcore, taken a few listens to convince me but I moderately like it - still room for growth however.
292. Need - Norchestrion: A Song For The End
[7.5] - One of those prog albums that is very well made, with good vocals and solid instrumentation, but lacks the emotional hooks to raise it above the competition; having said that, the lengthy track Ananke is pulled off very impressively.
293. Break Of Dusk - ?And The Winter Came
[7.5] - Finnish melodeath in the Insomnium/Wolfheart mould; some rough edges but I rather enjoyed it overall.
294. Steven Wilson - The Future Bites
[7.5] - Steven Wilson moves further into poppier territory, but aside from an occasional misstep (Eminent Sleaze), it's pulled off successfully thanks to Wilson's signature vocals, writing and production style.
295. Witherfall - The Curse Of Autumn
[7.5] - Respectable US power metal effort with an impressive long closing song.
296. Transatlantic - The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)
[7.5] - Pleasant new addition to the Transatlantic discography.
297. StarGazer - Psychic Secretions
[7.5] - Good, unpredictable prog/tech-death.
298. Portrayal Of Guilt - We Are Always Alone
[7.5] - Some nice grisly sludgy hardcore with portions of malevolent atmosphere and bursts of sickening aggression.
299. Wheel (GER) - Preserved In Time
[7.5] - Actually pretty solid for trad doom.
300. Chaliced - City Of God
[7.5] - Very enjoyable alt/prog rock debut record with some really nice instrumental stretches on the likes of Kings, City Of God and Colossus.
301. ArcanΣ - Septem
[7.5] - Generally enjoyable metalcore release that has its share of tech-y parts but also a keen ear for melody; parts of it rub me up the wrong way but it's generally solid.
302. Bleeth - Harbinger
[7.5] - Vicious, intense hardcore/post-metal release.
303. Pious - The Crawling Head
[7.5] - Fun 'hair on chest' stoner rock.
304. Voronoi - The Last Three Seconds
[7.5] - Interesting jazz/prog metal hybrid sound.
305. Abiotic - Ikigai
[7.5] - Tech-deathcore, not as memorable as it could be but decent fun.
306. Ballaké Sissoko - Djourou
[7.5] - Relaxing kora-based music with other instruments or voices thrown into certain songs to add variety.
307. Sugar Wounds - Calico Dreams
[7.5] - Dreamy, grindy hardcore/screamo release - a lot to digest here, but it's interesting and unique.
308. Sturle Dagsland - Sturle Dagsland
[7.5] - Wild avant-garde folk/pop/rock/electronic debut album with zero inhibitions and plenty of ideas.
309. Aethyrick - Apotheosis
[7.5] - Very rudimentary meloblack approach, but one that's delivered well.
310. Alkerdeel - Slonk
[7.5] - A top-quality ambient-leaning BM opening track followed by three decent blackened sludge cuts; I would like more of the style of track 1 in the future, really enjoyable.
311. Vorvaň - Awakened
[7.5] - There's some hardcore, metalcore, sludge, driving rock, and more in here, most of it done well.
312. Kita - Ocean Of Acid
[7.5] - Interesting Tool-inspired proggy sludge EP, showing signs of promise rather than being the finished deal, but it is definitely promising of better things to come.
313. Hammer King - Hammer King
[7.5] - Power/heavy mix that manages to be surprisingly likeable by leaning closer to power than heavy metal.
314. White Powder - Blue Dream
[7.5] - Some of the piano work added a really dimension to some songs here, but overall it's pretty standard instrumental jamming stoner rock.
315. Miasmata - Unlight: Songs Of Earth And Atrophy
[7.5] - Respectable meloblack debut.
316. Xael - Bloodtide Rising
[7.5] - Fun symphonic death with hooky riffs.
317. The Vintage Caravan - Monuments
[7.5] - Slight mixed bag, but when on form, some of the more fun hard rock I'd heard in a while.
318. Aztlan - Legión Mexica
[7.5] - A very original take on folk metal, with heavy use of Latin American acoustic guitars; however, the extreme length and relative lack of memorability beyond the concept do hold it back from being quite as great as the premise suggests.
319. Bicep - Isles
[7.5] - Solid UK dancefloor music.
320. Descensum - Conjure Possessions
[7.5] - Impressive deathcore-leaning symphonic tech-death EP.
321. Mefitis - Offscourings
[7.5] - Probably similar to Black Curse last year in that it's an impressive extreme metal release with a lot of hype that I unfortunately don't connect with.
322. Wristmeetrazor - Replica Of A Strange Love
[7.0] - Balances by-the-numbers metalcore with some more math-y/hardcore aggression.
323. Acid Mammoth - Caravan
[7.0] - Like their last album, there's no reinventing the wheel on this stoner doom album, it's good fun.
324. Eros - Eros
[7.0] - Nothing new here as far as grungy stoner rock goes, but it's very good fun.
325. Summoning The Lich - United In Chaos
[7.0] - Sounds like TBDM but with some deathcore/Cattle Decapitation thrown in.
326. Ad Nauseam - Imperative Imperceptible Impulse
[7.0] - Impressive but overwhelming dissonant death metal.
327. Bodom After Midnight - Paint The Sky With Blood
[7.0] - Nice little EP highlighting the potential of this project to revive the 90s Bodom sound had Alexi not gone the way he sadly did.
328. Typhonian - The Cosmic Pendulum Of Time
[7.0] - Fairly standard OSDM base, but some nice lead guitar work to liven it up.
329. Goats Of Doom - Shiva
[7.0] - Good fun pagan-themed meloblack, albeit with somewhat limited clean vocals.
330. Djevel - Tanker Som Rir Natten
[7.0] - A very standard style of semi-melodic Norwegian black metal, but one that's at least done very competently.
331. Sein - The Denial Of Death
[7.0] - Bit too derivative of At The Gates, but fun melodeath EP.
332. Terminalist - The Great Acceleration
[7.0] - Moderately exciting thrash debut.
333. Flotsam And Jetsam - Blood In The Water
[7.0] - Very melodic old-school thrash, fine but not that much for me.
334. Spectral Lore - Ετερόφωτος
[7.0] - A good album with some great moments, but enough periods where it felt lacking in true direction for me to really like it.
335. Hanternoz - Au Fleuve De Loire
[7.0] - Pagan/medieval BM album.
336. Kwade Droes - Met Onoprechte Deelneming
[7.0] - Decent and not generic BM, but also the kind of record where nothing really memorable to describe stands out.
337. Tash Sultana - Terra Firma
[7.0] - Not what I was expecting and a bit too mellow, but this soul record is rather nice, with the first couple of tracks in particular shining.
338. Heave Blood And Die - Post People
[7.0] - Rather neat psychedelic rock album, effects-drenched vocals and all.
339. Sacred Oath - Return Of The Dragon
[7.0] - Not really my thing, but much better as a straightforward heavy metal album than something like Accept's latest.
340. Carcinoma - Labascation
[7.0] - Vicious, cavernous and at times doomy death metal.
341. Postvorta - Riahpstvrt [Split]
[7.0] - Generally enjoyable post-rock/metal split with a few underwhelming patches.
342. Saccades - Flowing Fades
[7.0] - Muted synthpop/indie/funky album, makes for easy listening.
343. Owane - Yolo EP Vol 1
[7.0] - Pleasant little lockdown EP that ranges from instru-prog instrumentation to poppier territory.
344. Withered - Verloren
[7.0] - Decent, dense-sounding blackened death with some nice solos.
345. Paysage d'Hiver - Geister
[7.0] - Definitely a step up on last year, but still not hugely enamoured with it, particularly given the length.
346. Orden Ogan - Final Days
[7.0] - A decent album, but I felt Gunman was a lot better.
347. Fange - Pantocrator
[7.0] - Long-form expansion of their industrial inclinations on these two lengthy tracks.
348. Exit Bag - LP
[7.0] - Nasty-ass sludge debut with some vile walls of sound alongside more digestible material.
349. Knoll - Interstice
[7.0] - Quite advanced grindcore sound that takes hints from mathcore and black metal.
350. Venter - Hikikomori
[7.0] - Rough around the edges, but enjoyable djenty post-rock effort.
351. Greenleaf - Echoes From A Mass
[7.0] - Enjoyable mid-tempo driving stoner rock sound.
352. Violet Cold - Empire Of Love
[7.0] - Still no kOsmik, but the last couple of songs are rather nice.
353. Weird Tales - Y'all Motherfuckers Forgot 'Bout Good Ol' Son Of A Bitchin' Blues
[7.0] - Very competently delivered stoner metal covers of classic blues tracks, with track 3 in particular working nicely as the slow doom riffs contrast with the guitar leads.
354. Noah Angel - Black Manifestations Of Suffering
[7.0] - Some really nice riffs and atmospheres on this fairly lo-fi black metal effort.
355. Ephemerald - Between The Glimpses Of Hope
[7.0] - Fun folk/melodeath record.
356. Django Django - Glowing In The Dark
[7.0] - Mainly worth it for the title track to me, the 60's-influenced neo-psychedelia is interesting.
357. Eyehategod - A History Of Nomadic Behavior
[7.0] - Standard swaggy, dirty and mean sludge from EHG; nothing wild but enjoyable enough.
358. Unknown Fault - Fabric
[7.0] - Curiously tagged as doomgaze, the -gaze aspects come through clearly in this doomy effort. It's got room for improvement on some tracks but works really nicely when it gets into a groove.
359. Planet Cruiser - Riders Of The Edge
[7.0] - Easy listening stoner EP.
360. Wolf King - The Path Of Wrath
[7.0] - Gets a bit tiring before it's over, but generally enjoyable blackened/sludgy hardcore.
361. Radio Supernova - Takaisin
[7.0] - Pleasant dreamy shoegaze, albeit with some tracks that are more effective than others; Utopia makes for a strong conclusion to the record.
362. Seventh Dimension - Black Sky
[7.0] - Very derivative but decent rendition of the classic prog-metal sound.
363. White Moth Black Butterfly - The Cost Of Dreaming
[7.0] - Dan Tompkins' art pop project is interesting; there's some strong moments here, but also occasional irritations.
364. Sinistral Doom - In Somber Dreams
[7.0] - Nicely atmospheric melancholic death/doom.
365. Pan-Amerikan Native Front - Little Turtle's War
[7.0] - No-frills Pagan-touched BM riffing with some atmospheric moments, could potentially draw upon different sounds to go with the theme but it sounds fine.
366. Nekromantheon - Visions Of Trismegistos
[7.0] - Angry death-y thrash.
367. Yawning Sons - Sky Island
[7.0] - Decent soft stoner/psychedelic rock.
368. Neurotech - Solace
[7.0] - More of the same, but some good songs, such as Waking Silence.
369. Odal - Welten Mutter
[7.0] - Relentless, albeit slightly one-dimensional, pagan black metal.
370. Divide And Dissolve - Gas Lit
[7.0] - Some feisty drone metal, lacking some of the appeal of the albums in that genre that are most up my street, but I generally liked it.
371. Depths Of Hatred - Inheritance
[7.0] - A decent deathcore effort with more of a connection to death metal in the riffing than some counterparts.
372. Forhist - Forhist
[7.0] - Pretty easily approachable atmo-black with some harsher bits too; good, if lacking in something to make it stand out.
373. Silkie - Panorama
[7.0] - I could do without the songs with vocals, but the other tracks are enjoyable, particularly the more psychedelic ones.
374. Thurnin - Menhir
[7.0] - Nice quiet synth-y instrumental neofolk.
375. Pharaoh - The Powers That Be
[7.0] - Decent, but I don't think power metal really benefits from roughness in the way this album sometimes has.
376. Sordide - Les Idées Blanches
[7.0] - Decent black metal.
377. Aussichtslos - Völlig Aussichtslos
[7.0] - Conventional but enjoyable BM.
378. 1782 - From The Graveyard
[7.0] - Like Dopelord last year, it's stoner doom done exactly as expected.
379. Drown - Утоплення
[7.0] - Aquatic dark ambient.
380. Exosphere - Nightmares
[7.0] - I didn't pick up the Death in the sound on first listen; I wasn't taken in that much by the sludge approach here, although the Corelia-esque cleans add an interesting dynamic.
381. Gravesend - Methods Of Human Disposal
[7.0] - Meaty blackened grindcore effort with some solid grooves, more up my street than most grindcore records.
382. Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined
[7.0] - It's a CC record, nothing more, nothing less (well, perhaps a bit more than some of their albums). Enjoyable but slightly expendable.
383. DSKNT - Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition
[7.0] - Densely cavernous dissonant BM.
384. Forest Fog - Of Broken Branches And Wilderness Unknown
[7.0] - Enjoyable and pleasantly well-produced raw BM debut EP.
385. Dread Sovereign - Alchemical Warfare
[7.0] - Enjoyable classic-sounding doom that has a somewhat up-tempo rampaging energy to it at times, as well as a good Alan Averill showing and ear-catching percussion.
386. Asphyx - Necroceros
[7.0] - Will probably be going against the majority on this one, but didn't really pick up on much with this album to make it stand out against the vast majority of other old-school style death metal; the tone is authentic and cool, but the songs aren't memorable enough to elevate this above the endless competition.
387. Eximperitus - ?ahrartu
[7.0] - Stupid fucking name aside, it's a good tech death album.
388. Ominous Glory - The Elven Dream
[7.0] - This album should not be 80 minutes long; it's an impressive Europower (albeit a US group) debut with a good share of memorable hooks, but it's just far too long for the style.
389. Crypts - Coven Of The Dead
[7.0] - The use of keyboards and more melodic breaks, particularly on the title track, help to elevate this otherwise good but very standard OSDM full-length debut.
390. Osiah - Loss
[7.0] - Too breakdown-heavy for its own good.
391. Baldocaster - Visions
[7.0] - One of those synthwave albums that sounds great to begin with but does drag as it goes on.
392. Kvaen - Kvaen / Mother Of All [Split]
[7.0] - Good meloblack and melodeath tracks.
393. Hacktivist - Hyperdialect
[7.0] - Not great but could definitely be worse, quite enjoyed the crunch to it and the flows of the songs.
394. King Of Asgard - Svartrviðr
[7.0] - Competent viking/meloblack album, but could be a bit more exciting.
395. Einherjer - North Star
[7.0] - A well-made viking metal effort, but not one that I'm eager to revisit.
396. Suidakra - Wolfbite
[7.0] - It makes all the right noises, but doesn't have that special something that Book Of Dowth did.
397. Sarin - You Can't Go Back
[7.0] - Generally enjoyable post-metal effort with a strong second track, but overall relatively forgettable.
398. Bummified - Beware The Living
[7.0] - Hefty sludge doom debut EP with a filthy guitar tone and mean, trudging riffs.
399. Bog Wizard - Four Tales Of The Strange [Split]
[7.0] - Two-band split full of heavy stoner/sludge/doom.
400. Crypts Of Despair - All Light Swallowed
[7.0] - Suitably blistering death metal assault.
401. Anneke Van Giersbergen - The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest
[7.0] - Pleasant acoustic music with nice use of strings, but none of the songs really go beyond being 'good', except perhaps Promise.
402. Really From - Really From
[7.0] - Intriguing fusion of jazz, math rock and emo.
403. Desolate Realm - Desolate Realm
[7.0] - Respectable heavy/doom debut.
404. Nadja - Seemannsgarn
[7.0] - Not the next Sv, but this one-track drone album is still quite hypnotic, even as it mixes an otherwise dreamy landscape with some quite harsh noise.
405. Keys Of Orthanc - Of The Lineage Of Kings
[7.0] - Conventional but decent atmos-black with some similarity in tone to the likes of Summoning but with a more urgent approach.
406. Melvins - Working With God
[7.0] - Quite stoner rock-y for a lot of it, there's also a couple of songs (apart from the obvious Beach Boys 'cover' opening it) that I think are reimaginings of other songs, but can't find anything about it online.
407. Nadja - Nadja / Disrotted [Split]
[7.0] - Punishing drone split, but a well-made duo of tracks.
408. K.F.R - Shayṭān 2.0
[7.0] - Creepy, slightly theatrical ambient BM.
409. Baest - Necro Sapiens
[7.0] - Decent groovy death metal.
410. Floating Points - Promises
[7.0] - Feel like the Floating Points part is undeveloped, with the jazz taking centre stage.
411. 16 - Doom Sessions Vol. 3
[7.0] - Grim sludge followed by grimmer sludge.
412. Incursed - Baskavígin
[7.0] - Very cheesy and by-the-numbers Euro-folk metal, but it's well made and mildly memorable.
413. Lake Of Tears - Ominous
[7.0] - I haven't listened to their previous stuff, but this is a perfectly adequate gothic metal album, but not one that compares favourably to the heavy hitters from last year.
414. Cacola - A Gift to Us All
[7.0] - Mainly enjoyable upbeat and energetic electronic music, with a nice tribute to Muse's Hysteria on "How To Take Complete Control Of Everything And Everyone".
415. Alastor (SWE) - Onwards And Downwards
[7.0] - Classic-sounding stoner doom.
416. Thou - The Helm Of Sorrow [Collaboration]
[7.0] - An enjoyable but forgettable extension to the decent collaboration album from last year.
417. Frozen Soul - Crypt Of Ice
[7.0] - Competent Bolt Thrower worship.
418. Gatecreeper - An Unexpected Reality
[7.0] - A mostly throwaway OSDM/grind release rescued by a quality doomy final track that takes up over half the EP.
419. Light The Torch - You Will Be The Death Of Me
[6.5] - Howard Jones sounds good on otherwise kinda standard metalcore fodder.
420. Gallows - 66 Black Wings
[6.5] - Very lo-fi and rudimentary BM, but not bad at what it does.
421. Portal - Avow
[6.5] - Portal are getting closer to something I might actually like listening to, but still not for me yet.
422. An Autumn For Crippled Children - As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes
[6.5] - Fine, but more of the same.
423. Dead Witches - Doom Sessions Vol. 666
[6.5] - Enjoyable but highly predictable Electric Wizard worship from both bands.
424. Vreid - Wild North West
[6.5] - Quite imaginative melo/black sound, but it did annoy me in a few places.
425. Slant - 1집
[6.5] - Old-school hardcore punk.
426. Altarage - Succumb
[6.5] - Some of the atmosphere here is quite compelling, such as on the lengthy closing track, but in general it doesn't quite mesh with me.
427. To The Grave - Epilogue
[6.5] - Solid enough deathcore sound, but 1 hour and 19 tracks in this style is ludicrous.
428. Sanguisugabogg - Tortured Whole
[6.5] - Decent enough brutal death.
429. Juan Bond - Womb
[6.5] - Definitely not the most appealing mathcore album I've heard recently, but it's got some really nice moments, and the controlled chaos of the -core side is generally enjoyable.
430. Nazxul - Irkalla
[6.5] - Black metal.
431. High Reeper - Doom Sessions Vol. 5
[6.5] - More heavy/doom-influenced stoner sound than some of the other splits, not quite my thing, although I like parts of Hippie Death Cult.
432. Architects - For Those That Wish To Exist
[6.5] - I can only assume some fans will consider this a sellout, as it's a lot simpler and more electronic-focused than the previous album. More than anything, though, it's just a bit boring.
433. Daius - Ascuns
[6.5] - Another entry into the folk/black world of Saor, Ruadh and the like; I enjoyed this throughout, but did find it to be slightly limited compared to other projects within the genre.
434. Plasmodium - Towers Of Silence
[6.5] - One of those releases that is pushing boundaries and sometimes sounds good, but is a bit too over the place for its own good.
435. Fear Factory - Aggression Continuum
[6.5] - It's okay, but not a fan of the clean vocals here really.
436. Salduie - Ambaxtos
[6.5] - Eluveitie-esque folk metal, decent level of conviction but also a bit annoying at times.
437. Liquid Tension Experiment - Liquid Tension Experiment 3
[6.5] - Some good moments, but too much wank.
438. Dalriada - Őszelő
[6.5] - Competent but not particularly memorable folk metal.
439. Steve Roach - Into The Majestic
[6.5] - 75 minutes of pleasant electronic ambience.
440. Spliffriffer - Spliffriffer
[6.5] - Enjoyable but basic sludgy stoner.
441. Ancient Mastery - Chapter One: Across The Mountains Of The Drämmarskol
[6.5] - Summoning-esque at times, folkier at other times, it's fairly enjoyable if not stunning.
442. Black Coffee - Subconsciously
[6.5] - I prefer his house mixes, but there's some nice tracks here.
443. Mechina - Siege
[6.5] - Generally enjoyable but lacking in dynamics across the album.
444. Sirenia - Riddles, Ruins & Revelations
[6.5] - Closer to Amaranthe than symphonic metal on certain songs, but it's not all that bad really.
445. Ghost Iris - Comatose
[6.0] - Proof that you can't just throw djent tones into metalcore and make me a fan, I was not enthused by this.
446. Lungtoucher - The Battle Of Jórvík [Split]
[6.0] - I enjoy Lungtoucher's contributions, but Panzerwar's songs are a bit too 'raw primitive BM'.
447. Blanck Mass - In Ferneaux
[6.0] - Ambient/noise release that ranges from blissful to brutal.
448. Darkthrone - Eternal Hails
[6.0] - Maybe I'm just hearing the worst of them, but I always find any DT I try to be pretty boring, and this isn't really an exception - adequate raw black-tinged retro-heavy/doom.
449. Distant - Dusk Of Anguish
[6.0] - Decent but unremarkable deathcore, with the use of keyboards probably the only particularly notable element.
450. Krallice - Demonic Wealth
[6.0] - Very lo-fi keyboard-heavy chaotic BM, bit of a departure from their previous work.
451. Foo Fighters - Medicine At Midnight
[6.0] - A perfectly passable album, and one with some good and new moments for the band, but also one that's fairly lacking in exciting/memorable moments.
452. Vatican Shadow - SR-71 Blackbird Survivors
[6.0] - Stripped-down, bleak ambient techno.
453. Autarkh - Form In Motion
[6.0] - Formed by members of Dodecahedron, it takes some of that chaos in a cybergrind direction; I don't like it, but I can respect some of the inventiveness.
454. Therion - Leviathan
[6.0] - Less baggy that the snoozefest that was Beloved Antichrist, and has some good moments (particularly thanks to guests like Marco Hietala), but mostly very forgettable.
455. Kuan - Pictures From An Electric Landscape
[6.0] - Full-on noisy drone, actually okay background music.
456. Loathe - The Things They Believe
[6.0] - Pleasant ambient effort, a stark contrast to last year's album.
457. Quantumnaut - I Want To Believe
[6.0] - Decent instrumental post-metal debut, but one that has room to develop both in terms of production and songwriting.
458. Korpiklaani - Jylhä
[6.0] - Never been a Korpiklaani fan, but I heard this was divisive so gave it a try. I didn't especially like it, but it was alright and the dark tone on something like "Miero" works quite well.
459. Accept - Too Mean To Die
[6.0] - A collection of competently written but forgettable classic heavy metal/hard rock songs.
460. Mother Of All - Age Of The Solipsist
[5.5] - Not terrible, but aside from the promising opener Autumn, it's not a particularly inspiring melodeath debut.
461. Red Fang - Arrows
[5.5] - Red Fang are boring.
462. Keor - Tearoom
[5.5] - Softish prog rock with some distracting spoken word sections and other random detours.
463. Furia - W Śnialni
[5.5] - Seemingly a huge departure from their previous work, some of the more abstract sections don't really offer that much to enjoy, but I liked some of the builds that were featured on it, particularly due to the basswork. The second track undermines really promising ideas with offputting fluctuations in the audio channels.
464. Këkht Aräkh - Pale Swordsman
[5.5] - Bit too primitive for my tastes, although the keyboards are quite nice.
465. Alice Cooper - Detroit Stories
[5.5] - It's not terrible, as there's some lively parts that are enjoyable, but it's mostly pretty forgettable.
466. Black Dresses - Forever In Your Heart
[5.5] - Like Fax Gang, definitely not made with me in mind, but whilst I enjoy some aspects of their intense noisy pop approach, some parts are very irritating.
467. Witch Egg - Witch Egg
[5.5] - Some quite engrossing dark droney jazz vibes on certain tracks are rather appealing, but this is one jazz album that my enjoyment of is substantially undermined by the saxophone.
468. Hoofmark - Evil Blues
[5.5] - I definitely enjoyed parts of this, but too many parts made me want to listen to something else.
469. Perennial - Trichotomy
[5.0] - Some nice ideas on this prog/djent/death/core/whatever release, but also some roughness in the writing.
470. DJ Rozwell - What Happens After The Death Is Recorded
[5.0] - Some interesting ideas, but this moody electronic record has too much filler.
471. The Bread Scientists - Amidst Radiances
[5.0] - I quite liked parts of this IDM/glitch release, but other parts either annoyed me or even made me feel nauseous, which isn't ideal.
472. Fax Gang - Aethernet
[5.0] - Heavily electronically distorted rap/RnB/pop music, not really for me but aspects of it I like.
473. Souls Of Diotima - Janas
[4.5] - I unfortunately found this rather grating and quit after a few songs; I wouldn't say that the singer is bad, but I did not enjoy her performance sadly.

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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Comments: 12   Visited by: 140 users
24.01.2021 - 17:17
I've been waiting for this
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
24.01.2021 - 17:18

It's going to be slow to start with, but wait until it flourishes during Spring
30.01.2021 - 05:18

Nice list thus far. Bummified is some good sh*t. Probably wouldn't have bumped into it otherwise. Found the Steven Wilson album quite enjoyable unfortunately I cannot add it to my list since I'm just composing a list with bands that feature at least some metal.
31.01.2021 - 12:53

06.02.2021 - 16:49
Au Pays Natal
05.04.2021 - 21:17
Au Pays Natal
17.05.2021 - 04:14

Found quite a few releases I was not aware of from this list, thank you for taking the time.
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z:
29.05.2021 - 20:52

Those lists with more than 100 albums are just ridiculous.
Metalhead since 1987
29.05.2021 - 22:51
i c deaf people
Written by PēterisP on 29.05.2021 at 20:52

Those lists with more than 100 albums are just ridiculous.

It depends.
The list at hand is ranked and it contains ratings and short but meaningful mini-reviews. I believe that this particular list is very useful for anyone who has a brief idea of the list owner's musical taste.
And if you happen to have no idea: just read musclassia's numerous reviews or simply take a look at the top (or the bottom) of the list.

To give a counterexample, this list contains only 10 albums. It tells me almost nothing, except for the fact that someone whose taste I don't know has at some point listened to 10 albums.
signatures = SPAM
29.05.2021 - 23:17

Written by Starvynth on 29.05.2021 at 22:51

It tells me almost nothing, except for the fact that someone whose taste I don't know has at some point listened to 10 albums.

... or even has not yet but might want to
30.05.2021 - 09:18

Written by Starvynth on 29.05.2021 at 22:51

Written by PēterisP on 29.05.2021 at 20:52

Those lists with more than 100 albums are just ridiculous.

To give a counterexample, this list contains only 10 albums. It tells me almost nothing, except for the fact that someone whose taste I don't know has at some point listened to 10 albums.

Actually it tells a lot For example, that last year there were only 10 albums that are really worth to listen to.
Metalhead since 1987
30.05.2021 - 11:36

Written by PēterisP on 29.05.2021 at 20:52

Those lists with more than 100 albums are just ridiculous.

This list is entirely for my own purposes of keeping a record of what I listen to this year that I can go back to in the future, in case e.g. an album from 3 years ago starts building hype and I'm interested in what I felt about it at the time. If anyone finds it useful then good for them, but personally I don't particularly care about what anyone else gets out of it

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