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2021


10 years of lists. No plans to slow down.

Created by: Neachy | 07.02.2021



1. Sermon Of Flames - I Have Seen The Light, And It Was Repulsive
(9.5) (Blackened Death/Grind/Noise) This is so far the best release of the year, hands down, not really close. Harsh af. Technical without being overly self indulgent. Has a perfect amount of grind, where the sands of song flow are ever changing under your metaphorical feet. Not enough to be completely disorienting but where no section over stays it's welcome. Every track has it's own vibe but they all cohere into a single disturbing vision. These Irish lads are truly onto something here.
2. Worm - Foreverglade
(9.5) (Doom Death) Really great doomy, riffy stuff here. Has a great flow to it and easy to listen to. My only complaint is that the sound here doesn't really fit the theme. This doesn't sound like a swamp. The production is clear and cavernous rather than murky and claustrophobic as one might expect.
3. Lykhaeon - Opprobrium
(9) (Black/Doom) I must have been in some weird mood when I first heard this because I initially gave it a 7. Nah. This is great stuff. Excellent blend of modern black with some extreme doom. The doom comes and goes so it's definitely more of a black metal record but it's fantastic all the same.
4. Kwade Droes - Met onoprechte deelneming
(9) (Avant-Garde Black) The Dutch seem to create some of the most consistently challenging, unique and engaging black metal around these days. This is no exception. Wouldn't be surprised if the guy from Turia and Iskandr is involved in this. Vicious yet euphoric.
5. Portal - Avow
(9) (Dissonant Death) Gone is the stripped down production from Ion. This is more akin to what we heard on Vexovoid in terms of production. The songwriting if you can call it that, is as abstract, demented and surreal as it's ever been. I've basically had this on repeat the whole 3 day weekend since it's been released and it's definitely grown on me. This might be Portal's best work.
6. Plebeian Grandstand - Rien Ne Suffit
(9) (Black/Mathcore/Breakcore/Noise) Nothing is enough. And certainly whatever I could say about this wouldn't be enough either. Listen for yourself.
7. Krallice - Demonic Wealth
(9) (Avant-Garde Black) If you'd told me at the beginning of the year that my first 9 would be Krallice, I probably would've laughed at you. Not because I didn't recognize the talent of the band but rather because they had their niche as a band doing fairly uneventful, stripped down, highly technical black metal and never showed much inclination to deviate from that path. I wasn't a fan of that approach. This is something else entirely: Ambient, synths and just an entirely different approach to songwriting. There's still highly technical Black metal involved here but it never feels over indulgent as it always did before. This is something special.
8. Diskord - Degenerations
(9) (Avant-Garde Tech Death) This is like what Pyrrhon shoots for but can't quite attain. Crazy, angular, manic tech death done right. Had to be produced by Colin Marston. Absolutely top notch stuff.
9. Antediluvian - The Divine Punishment
(8.5) (Blackened Death) The production on this is so much better than I remember their old stuff having. This is top notch evil shit. My only complaint is the track White Throne is like 6 minutes of some distorted voice talking about the number 666 being about the sun or some bullshit. Stellar release other than that superfluous shit.
10. Gosudar - Morbid Despotic Ritual
(8.5) (Death) God damn banger of a death metal album by this band out of Russia. Reminds me a bit of Dead Congregation which I could use more of in my life.
11. Mefitis - Offscourings
(8.5) (Death) This is in sound and spirit a successor of the trend of death metal in the vein of Horrendous, Morbus Chron, Chapel of Disease and Venenum. Perhaps less overtly progressive than any of those at their most progressive. Rather a prominent focus on clean riffs and an old school vibe that blends the spirit of black, death and thrash in their infancy. It helps that this thing rips without any context as well.
12. K.F.R - Shayṭān 2.0
(8.5) (Raw Black/Dark Ambient) This project has a deep and prolific discography. A brief exploration finds that prior albums are almost exclusively raw black metal. On this one dark ambient is thrown into the mix and the project is much better for it. Has a similar vibe to mid-era Leviathan.
13. Decline Of The I - Johannes
(8.5) (Post-Black) Before even laying ears on this: Strike 1 - Genre tag is Post-Black. Strike 2 - Wasn't impressed by the previous efforts I heard by this band. I was prepared to not give this much of a shot. Fortunately it wowed me right off the bat. This is a damn fine album. Mature, engaging, aggressive.
14. Funeralium - Decrepit
(8.5) (Blackened Funeral Doom/Death) God damn, just tear my guts out. Amongst the many acclaimed albums released today (29 October) this one reigns supreme for me. The final track is a bit anticlimactic after the prior two absolutely devastating tracks which total 55 minutes between them. A bit too light and fluffy compared to what came before. If life's got you down, give this a whirl and your depression will be emphatically confirmed.
15. Fawn Limbs - Darwin Falls
(8.5) (Experimental Mathcore) Take excellent, proficient mathcore and add in western-tinged spoken word, post-rock, Slint-esque apocalyptic interludes and this is something utterly unique.
16. Vertebra Atlantis - Lustral Purge In Cerulean Bliss
(8.5) (Blackened Death) A youtube commenter wrote that this sounds like a mix of The Great Old Ones and Ulcerate. I approve.
17. Between The Buried And Me - Colors II
(8) (Progressive Metalcore) I can tell after a few listens that this is prime "grower" material. This was also the case for me with the original Colors back in 2007/2008. Unfortunately, the album isn't currently on Bandcamp which is my streaming platform of choice. I'm relegated to listening to this broken up track by track on YouTube complete with stupid ass ads all over the place. Get this up on Bandcamp, guys!
18. Mesarthim - Vacuum Solution
(8) (Black Synth) This is the first thing I've heard by Mesarthim that I've actually fully enjoyed. This is much more 80s style synth heavy and dynamic than I remember their other stuff being.
19. The Devouring Void - Hypnagogic Hallucinations
(8) (Black) Heavy, often melodic, mid to slow paced black metal which tastefully employs many DsO tropes. This reminds me in a lot of ways of The Great Old Ones. Black metal about proper madness is where it's at. Come, let's descend into the void.
20. Iskandr - Vergezicht
(8) (Black) The Dutch are at it again. This is part melodic, part avant garde but doesn't fit neatly into either category. A highly addictive listening experience.
21. Labor Intvs - Sunken Crucible
(8) (Black/Death/Doom) Ritualistic black metal with death metal heaviness and often doom metal speed. Debut album out of Finland. Long sections of repetition interspersed with bouts of chaotic black metal. Really fantastic stuff discovered courtesy of Odium Nostrum YouTube channel.
22. The Temple (NZL) - The Temple
(8) (Tech Death/Doom) Ulcerate playing death doom.
23. Qrixkuor - Poison Palinopsia
(8) (Death) I wouldn't call this progressive though the track lengths may disagree. It's not really Avant-Garde either. This is more like what Chaos Ech-s might have sounded like if they played cavernous death metal. This has a stream of consciousness, almost improvisational feel to it. The production with mastering done by Greg Chandler really elevates this to the next level.
24. Sepulcros - Vazio
(8) (Funeral Doom/Death) 3 of the 4 main tracks on this album have been streaming for over a month before this thing was released. I was really hoping I had only heard half the album but unfortunately, the first and last tracks are an intro and outro. This is very short for an album of its style at 37 minutes. The sound here is mostly excellent atmospheric funeral doom with short passages of black/death metal in each track. This is great stuff, just wish it was longer.
25. Acausal Intrusion - Nulitas
(8) (Black/Death) This is dissonant, often cacophonous stuff in the vein of Portal. Certainly not as dense as Portal often is. The tone of the snare drum can be a bit annoying, almost sounding like a cowbell at times. Other than that I find very little fault here.
26. Ekdikēsis - Canvas Of A New Dawn
(8) (Dissonant Black) Insane shit out of Iceland. Great use of samples and the bass slaps hard. Wouldn't be surprised to discover that this is another project of H.V. Lyngdal of Wormlust and Ljain as this just seems too well put together to be the work of an amateur.
27. Dakhma - Blessings Of Amurdad
(8) Blackened Death
28. Tumba De Carne - Decatexis // Perpetuo Altar
(8) (Blackened Death) Severely dirty vile stuff from Argentina.
29. Noctambulist - The Barren Form
(8) (Atmospheric Tech Death) Mentions of Ulcerate seem apt on a superficial level but in truth this sounds very little like our New Zealander heroes. Less focus on mechanical precision and more on atmosphere while still be being unrelentingly technical.
30. Suffer Yourself - Rip Tide
(8) (Funeral Doom) Entirely too short at just over 30 minutes. A proper Funeral Doom album needs to be right around the hour mark in my opinion. Could definitely go for another 20 minute track on this baby.
31. Decrepisy - Emetic Communion
(8) (Death) Terrific death metal out of Portland, Oregon. This is shaping up to be one of the best years for death metal since probably 2013.
32. Succumb - XXI
(8) (Grindy Death) This shit rips and that's all there is to it.
33. Wesenwille - II: A Material God
(8) (Urban Post Black) Excellent modern sounding urban Black metal in the vein of Odraza and Shining but with less unique flair. The sound compliments the subject matter well.
34. Borgne - Temps Morts
(8) (Industrial Black) This thing just drips with hatred. I need that in my life from time to time. Probably more than most, it seems. Excellent electronic heavy, abrasive spiteful stuff. I remember really disliking their last album so will have to give that another shot. A bit on the long side at 73 minutes but there's enough variation here to justify it.
35. Crystal Coffin - The Starway Eternal
(8) (Progressive Black) Excellent Sci-Fi themed progressive black metal out of Canada.
36. Thy Catafalque - Vadak
(8) (Avant-Garde) Nobody can ever accuse this project of not being unique. I've found their releases to be hit and miss, more miss than hit since I first heard them in around 2011. This one hits the mark for sure. Didn't give it much of a chance on first listen but this is really intricate, nuanced stuff with plenty of unique charm.
37. Ars Magna Umbrae - Throne Between Worlds
(8) (Black) Progressive-ish modern black metal. DsO influence stands out as always but this is the most "mature" album yet from this project.
38. Apparition (USA) - Feel
(8) (Death Doom) Extremely solid stuff with just enough character to make it worth returning to multiple times.
39. Saille - V
(8) (Black/Death) Structurally this isn't much different from your typical dime a dozen black/death metal album. However, as is generally the case, the production, vigorous performance and a certain je ne sais quoi make the difference here. Labelled symphonic black here, these Spaniards have gone full black/death here and have foregone any symphonic tendencies that may have been present on other albums.
40. Divide And Dissolve - Gas Lit
(8) (Drone Doom) I took one look at the song titles and the band photo and fully expected to have a laugh at this. Figured it would sound like some horrible art project from a womens studies class. Perhaps it is but I'll be damned if it isn't damn fine Drone Doom.
41. Ophis - Spew Forth Odium
(8) (Death Doom) Pretty standard stuff for what we've come to expect from Ophis. More on the doom side with less emphasis on riffs than their best work from the past. More of grower for me but may get lost among the flurry of death doom from the end of 2021.
42. Wormwood - Arkivet
(8) (Melodic Black) I didn't particularly want to like this album. The whole weepy environmentalist aesthetic is not my vibe. However I found that when I was only half paying attention to this I was jamming out. It's just so well put together and catchy.
43. Dvne - Etemen Ænka
(8) (Progressive Sludge) This is in the process of growing on me. Album seems to get better as it goes on.
44. Aureole - Alunarian Bellmaw
(7.5) (Ambient Black) Was really disappointed with Markov's latest offering from his project Drown, so didn't know what to expect from this. It seems he's found his footing with this project. Excellent electronic/ambient washed cosmic black metal. Really great stuff to just calm the nerves.
45. Mortiferum - Preserved In Torment
(7.5) (Death Doom) This has already started to grow on me a bit. On first listen I did not care for the production, particularly on the drums. The cymbal work overwhelms the rest of the sound far too often. But there is plenty here to like.
46. Vessel Of Iniquity - The Doorway
(7.5) (Black/Drone/Noise) Easily the best thing I've heard from this project. Worthy of multiple listens. The shift toward drone on this album is interesting as everything I recall hearing from the project previously was basically drum machine + noise amounting to a headache.
47. Monte Penumbra - As Blades In The Firmament
(7.5) (Black) Excellent mid to slow paced modern doomy black metal out of Portugal.
48. Fossilization - He Whose Name Was Long Forgotten
(7.5) (Death/Doom) Just heavy as fuck death metal brought to you by some of the same talent from Jupiterian.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Neachy ]



Comments

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Comments: 21   Visited by: 81 users
23.02.2021 - 21:52
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
I like your inclusion of some of the more disappointing releases from the year. The new Suffering Hour is a definitely a step down from Dwell and In Passing Ascension. I have no idea why they went with that weird-ass lead guitar tone.
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12.04.2021 - 03:12
Defunctus

Not gonna lie, your lists have been my primary source for finding new stuff in the past 3 years or so, or even revisiting bands that I've already known, which has kind of made me lazier to discover new interesting works myself lol, but I'm really glad that you're still keeping it up!
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12.04.2021 - 11:17
Cynic Metalhead
Nasha Vich Paisa
Written by Defunctus on 12.04.2021 at 03:12

Not gonna lie, your lists have been my primary source for finding new stuff...


His, and smatter of others who regularly updates the list comes very useful to me. I don't have to grind.
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17.04.2021 - 21:46
Neachy

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 12.04.2021 at 11:17

Written by Defunctus on 12.04.2021 at 03:12

Not gonna lie, your lists have been my primary source for finding new stuff...


His, and smatter of others who regularly updates the list comes very useful to me. I don't have to grind.

I'm glad my lists prove useful for someone other than myself. And I appreciate you telling me so. I can't really see myself stopping after all this time any time soon. I just realized this list makes 10 straight years of metal listing. An odd passion for sure, and unfortunately one that makes me no money. Cheers anyway guys!
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10.05.2021 - 10:32
Mehrad

So much black metal
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Ride a horse that's cleaving through the air and space of dreams.
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10.05.2021 - 19:05
Neachy

Written by Mehrad on 10.05.2021 at 10:32

So much black metal

Why is that funny?
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24.05.2021 - 03:10
Chobo_jokeR

I was curious where Acausal Intrusion was going to end up because I could see you weren't a fan of Ad Nauseam. I agree with everything you have to say on both.

Tried Borgne's new one, didn't do much for me but I'm not the biggest industrial fan.

Grave Miasma's is definitely a highlight thus far.

I'm waiting for that clear cut 9 to start my list because I've been struggling to pick my top albums. Been a little disappointing this year.
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25.05.2021 - 06:18
Neachy

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 24.05.2021 at 03:10

I was curious where Acausal Intrusion was going to end up because I could see you weren't a fan of Ad Nauseam. I agree with everything you have to say on both.

Tried Borgne's new one, didn't do much for me but I'm not the biggest industrial fan.

Grave Miasma's is definitely a highlight thus far.

I'm waiting for that clear cut 9 to start my list because I've been struggling to pick my top albums. Been a little disappointing this year.

I really didn't care for Borgne's last album so I was surprised to like this one so much. I've been getting more into Synthwave and some darker electronic type stuff the last few years and that album just really nails it as far as blending some of those sounds with vicious black metal.

Grave Miasma is a tough one because it's hard to not judge them against their previous material which is top shelf. Still a great album nonetheless as you stated.

It sucks that you haven't found a 9 yet. I thought you might enjoy Kwade Droes more than you did. There's still a bunch of promising stuff coming up such as Flight Of Slepneir and Portal on Friday so here's hoping you find something you really dig soon.
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26.05.2021 - 03:33
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Neachy on 25.05.2021 at 06:18


I really didn't care for Borgne's last album so I was surprised to like this one so much. I've been getting more into Synthwave and some darker electronic type stuff the last few years and that album just really nails it as far as blending some of those sounds with vicious black metal.

Grave Miasma is a tough one because it's hard to not judge them against their previous material which is top shelf. Still a great album nonetheless as you stated.

It sucks that you haven't found a 9 yet. I thought you might enjoy Kwade Droes more than you did. There's still a bunch of promising stuff coming up such as Flight Of Slepneir and Portal on Friday so here's hoping you find something you really dig soon.


I definitely get what you mean with the new Grave Miasma album. Their prior releases were so good, it's hard not to hold that against the new one. I've only listened to it 3 or 4 times. There's something that is missing from it compared to their other albums. It may be the vocals not being high enough in the mix, but I'm not quite sure.

I plan to revisit that Kwade Droes album. I gave it an "unfocused" listen, and it may require a more undivided attention type listen. The new Dordeduh has really been growing on me, so I've been going down that rabbit hole a bit and listening to older Negura Bunget as well.

I saw Flight of Slepneir showed up on the main review page today, so I'll have to watch for that one. I'm also intrigued by the new Portal. It sounds like a more muddy production again compared to Ion.
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16.06.2021 - 20:37
Uxküll

Love your lists, always find bands I don't know about which is rare these days. Will check back on this at the end of the year for sure.
----
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z: http://metalstorm.net/users/lists.php?user_id=158339
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17.06.2021 - 08:22
Mehrad

Written by Neachy on 10.05.2021 at 19:05

Written by Mehrad on 10.05.2021 at 10:32

So much black metal

Why is that funny?

it's not heh
----
Ride a horse that's cleaving through the air and space of dreams.
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05.07.2021 - 02:09
Chobo_jokeR

I gave Ad Nauseam another pass today. May be a bit of a grower for me. Jury is still out though.

Not sure if you've come across them yet but you may dig Bacterium. Labelled as Raw Funeral Doom. Stumbled across them from a comment on reddit. In the vein of thergothon, and name your price on Bandcamp.

Thanks for having Gosudar on your list. That album is a treat.
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17.08.2021 - 18:37
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Your list has been my only real source of new music for the year. Haven't had the time nor patience to search for new shit on my own.
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26.08.2021 - 03:58
Neachy

Written by Alex F on 17.08.2021 at 18:37

Your list has been my only real source of new music for the year. Haven't had the time nor patience to search for new shit on my own.

Glad I can help you out even if in such a small way. Happy listening, man. What are you up to these days? Feel free to respond in a dm if you prefer if you have the time.
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17.10.2021 - 00:09
Chobo_jokeR

Not sure if you’ve already listened to them or not but I suspect you’d like The Silver’s Ward of Roses. Has members of Horrendous and Crypt Sermon. I’ve spun the album a couple of times now. Just trying to decide where it fits on the list lol.
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24.10.2021 - 02:43
Neachy

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 17.10.2021 at 00:09

Not sure if you’ve already listened to them or not but I suspect you’d like The Silver’s Ward of Roses. Has members of Horrendous and Crypt Sermon. I’ve spun the album a couple of times now. Just trying to decide where it fits on the list lol.

I had passed by it numerous times on bandcamp. The artwork had me assuming it was some lame blackgaze akin to Unreqvited. After your recommendation I've started to listen to it about 4 times (making it all the way through once or twice) but it hasn't really captured my fancy despite its intriguing pedigree. Sounds like you need to expand the list to 50
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24.10.2021 - 03:46
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Neachy on 24.10.2021 at 02:43

I had passed by it numerous times on bandcamp. The artwork had me assuming it was some lame blackgaze akin to Unreqvited. After your recommendation I've started to listen to it about 4 times (making it all the way through once or twice) but it hasn't really captured my fancy despite its intriguing pedigree. Sounds like you need to expand the list to 50


That’s fair! Just curious was it the mix of clean vocals that didn’t do it for you?

Man… my list may need to get expanded a touch. Especially with all of the albums coming out in the next handful of weeks. Worm, apparition, Feral Season and Rothadas are 4 that I have to spin more of but all good candidates. Really excited for The Temple on profound lore.

Numerous other ones as well.
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20.11.2021 - 00:37
Chobo_jokeR

I see you extended your list beyond the 40! Im going to have to go back to Pleb Grandstand. I tried it the other day when it was on early stream and couldn’t get into it. I really enjoyed the last two but this one seems more industrial / noise based on how far I got into it.
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20.11.2021 - 00:58
Neachy

Written by Chobo_jokeR on 20.11.2021 at 00:37

I see you extended your list beyond the 40! Im going to have to go back to Pleb Grandstand. I tried it the other day when it was on early stream and couldn’t get into it. I really enjoyed the last two but this one seems more industrial / noise based on how far I got into it.

Yeah, I usually round the yearly lists off at 50 by the time of the metalstorm awards. It's always in flux prior to that. I would say Breakcore is the biggest new influence on that PG record. I can definitely see plenty of people not enjoying it. I keep looking to your list probably more than any other this year. If nothing else, it gives me an idea of albums to give a second listen to that I may have breezed through the first time. So thanks for keeping up with it!
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20.11.2021 - 01:25
Chobo_jokeR

Written by Neachy on 20.11.2021 at 00:58

Yeah, I usually round the yearly lists off at 50 by the time of the metalstorm awards. It's always in flux prior to that. I would say Breakcore is the biggest new influence on that PG record. I can definitely see plenty of people not enjoying it. I keep looking to your list probably more than any other this year. If nothing else, it gives me an idea of albums to give a second listen to that I may have breezed through the first time. So thanks for keeping up with it!


I’m not too sure if I even know what breakcore is.

Yours is the number 1 I refer to so I greatly appreciate all the effort you put into it! Glad mine has been helpful.

Dream Unending is likely going to end up on mine somewhere. Gothic Death Doom with the guy from Tomb Mold and a guy from Innumerable Forms. You’ve probably heard it already since you follow 20 Buck closely.
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20.11.2021 - 01:31
Neachy

Venetian Snares is the most commonly cited band as being the standard of breakcore. Igorrr also has a lot of breakcore in it. Its basically glitchy, hardcore/electronic stuff.

And yeah, I put Dream Unending on earlier today but only made it through a couple songs before switching over to some other new release. It didn't capture my fancy but it's still in the queue for a more focused relisten.
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