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Stumbling Through 2021 April-June

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Albums I've listened to released between April - June.

Created by: LifelikeAdvisor | 28.04.2021

1. Suidakra - Wolfbite
(8.31) [melodeath/folk] There is so much energy and passion oozing from this album. From the incredibly energetic "Faoladh" to more folky "A Shrine For The Ages", this is an album with depth and complexity. Some of the cleans are a little annoying but very little that diminishes the experience.
2. Thy Catafalque - Vadak
(8.10) [avantgarde] Such a breadth of sounds and styles. Everything comes together well and engages throughout, maybe except for a passage or two. Still, fantastic.
3. Duskmourn - Fallen Kings And Rusted Crowns
(8.00) [folk/melodeath] Well-executed melodeath with increedible atmosphere. The lyrics, while not unheard of in this genre, are well written and the entire package transports the listener to a withering realm of swords and magic. I expect this rating to increase with more listens.
4. Odraza - Acedia
(8.00) [black] Brilliant artwork and incredible listening experience. The changes in mood really show the movement of the song and, can I say, it's really cool Odraza collaborated with a museum for an exhibition on society and covid.
5. Crimson Dimension - Crimson Dimension
(8.00) [progressive black] Engaging progressive riffs with enough arabesque qualities to make it stand out. The lyrics are your usual Satan stuff. There are moments, especially with the vocals, which remind me of Shagrath and early Dimmu Borgir.
6. Æthĕrĭa Conscĭentĭa - Corrupted Pillars Of Vanity
(7.95) [progressive black] It's always refreshing to hear diverse inspirations and genres in black metal. The sci-fi story is also interesting.
7. Lowen - Unceasing Lamentations
(7.95) [doom] I'm a sucker for Sumerian things, and the fact the first song is sung in Sumerian and based on ancient tablets makes this a killer experience for me. The second song is sung in Akkadian, and the third Farsi, making this probably the most diverse experience language/lyrics I've had this year. Vocals are incredible and the delivery is why you stay.
8. Amigo The Devil - Born Against
(7.95) [gothic country] I don't think I've heard better storytelling this year. Compelling, if treading on familiar roads, it conjures many vivid images and the heartfelt is weighted by the dark humor.
9. Kauan - Ice Fleet
(7.82) [doom/post-rock] Great atmosphere. The light touches of heaviness give the album nuance, and special props to the production for the continuous bleed from song-to-song
10. Wode - Burn In Many Mirrors
(7.67) [black] Really engaging, punchy black metal. There's nothing I haven't heard before but the way Wode brings everything together while adding extra elements makes this one of the better black metal albums I've listened to this year so far.
11. Bossk - Migration
(7.57) [atmospheric sludge] Brilliant showcase of sludgy atmosphere.
12. Nikolaj Hess - Spacelab & Strings
(7.56) [classical/jazz] Really smooth blend of classical strings and jazz. Warm and complex.
13. Dödsrit - Mortal Coil
(7.56) [black/crust] Atmospheric, melancholic. Really worth the listen.
14. Teramaze - Sorella Minore
(7.56) [prog] The theatrical elements of this lends the album a flair I don't often hear in prog anymore. I was pleased as well with the lack of heavy synths or keys; everything fits where it needs to.
15. Machine Head - Arrows In Words From The Sky
(7.50) [groove thrash/alternative] Having not listened to them since Locust, this was about what I expected. Reminds me a bit of The Blackening with the album cover. Looking forward to the full length. The chorus of "Arrows In Words From The Sky" reminds me of Alice In Chains and will absolutely be on my most-played songs of the year.
16. Salduie - Ambaxtos
(7.50) [folk] Real fun folk metal with a slight chugging guitars twist. Elements of Eluveitie, which is a great thing for me.
17. Wheel (GER) - Preserved In Time
(7.50) [doom] Very good doom, though not necessarily my favorite
18. The Lion's Daughter - Skin Show
(7.48) [blackened sludge/hardcore] This was an interesting blend of synth-tinged sludge, though I felt there was little variety, with "Neon Teeth" and "Sex Trap" having the most to offer.
19. Ildaruni - Beyond Unseen Gateways
(7.47) [pagan black] Very refreshing pagan black metal. The light touches of folk instruments cut through nicely and it's overall a more engaging experience for the progressive elements. Very promising debut.
20. Devil Sold His Soul - Loss
(7.45) [post-hardcore] Very emotional, heavy, and well-executed. The blend of post-rock tremelos really heightens the souful dual singing. Reminds me a bit of Envy, which is only a good thing.
21. Dordeduh - Har
(7.41) [atmospheric black] There's very little black metal in this really excellent, atmospheric album. It almost sounds more of a blend of avantgarde and folk. Regardless, there's a meditative quality in the somber nature of the album, though I admit it didn't hit me as hard as others on this site.
22. Hiatus - Distancer
(7.40) [ambient/electronic] Very soothing and meditative electronic, with enough interesting notes to stand out for me. Parts of this album could have been the soundtrack to Mirror's Edge if it was set in a Middle Eastern sci-fi city.
23. Gojira - Fortitude
(7.36) [progressive death/alternative] Many of the accents of their sound throughout the years take center stage here, which makes this a more interesting listen for me than if they went with their usual sound. It'll take a few more listens to grasp the changes but I think this was an effective and altogether expected experiment.
24. Mammoth WVH - Mammoth WVH
(7.34) [hard rock] Wolfgang Van Halen is an incredibly talented songwriter, and a decent singer. Very surprised at how catchy and heatfelt this album is. High quality hard rock with a modern twist. A lot of similarity to Mark Tremonti and mid-career Alter Bridge. It could have done with some song cutting, but it doesn't detract from the listening experience much.
25. Ballaké Sissoko - Djourou
(7.33) [world/kora] Really pleasant album. Light, yet deep in compositional lyricism.
26. Last Hyena - How Soon Is Mars
(7.28) [progressive rock/post-rock] Such a good vibe throughout, especially the latter half when more of the progressiveness comes out. Great ride.
27. Dark Horse / White Horse - Dark Horse / White Horse
(7.20) [symphonic/progressive] One of the standout EPs this year for me. The vocals are incredible and the music is punchy, heavy, and not the norm for a symphonic album. My biggest complaint is how the mix doesn't give enough clarity to the separate parts. It's as though they couldn't decide on the technical or the symphonic aspects to focus on, and the result is a muddled, noisy experience when it should be smoother.
28. Amenra - De Doorn
(7.20) [doom/sludge/hardcore] Dark and menacing that complements the slower and more aggressive moments. The spoken moments were appreciated because they add to the depths and shallows this album's journey takes you. Not sure that it compels me to listen to their other albums, but worth the listen.
29. Fear Factory - Aggression Continuum
(7.20) [industrial] Fear Factory have never been my favorite industrial band but it's a good release. Definitely worth the listen.
30. Crown - The End Of All Things
(7.20) [darkwave] One of the smoothest listens of this year. Excellent atmosphere and consistently engaging throughout. There's this sense of slowness or maybe patience which I appreciate, probably most apparent in the vocals, which take a conversational drawl tone.
31. Subterranean Masquerade - Mountain Fever
(7.18) [prog/psychedelic] Fun and enjoyable prog with diverse inspirations. Certainly more interesting because of it. I'll be returning to this one for sure.
32. Crypta - Echoes Of The Soul
(7.17) [death] Well executed death metal, and considering elements of their sound reminds me of Death, that's a high mark for me.
33. Cold Cell - The Greater Evil
(7.18) [black] The blend of depressive black shrieks give this a cold, terrifying atomsphere, which kept my attention through most of it. I felt the songs lending more to the depressive black side were less interesting than the songs focusing on societal issues. My biggest complaint is how standard the music is; while done well, there's little in the music which felt unique. "Back Into The Ocean" is the one exception, but even still, I'd love to hear more experimentation in the future.
34. Scale The Summit - Subjects
(7.16) [progressive/instrumental] I listened to the vocalist version and I think I'll need to listen to the instrumental one because some of the singers detracted significantly from the songs.
35. Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime
(7.14) [desert blues/worldbeat] I'm not really sure why the styles on AllMusic don't also say rock, but whatever. There's so much awesome melodies here, and for me it was gratifying to hear the similarities between Moctar's traditional beats and my own. Shows how diverse range is. Definitely a favorite of mine.
36. The Offspring - Let The Bad Times Roll
(7.13) [punk] Not having listened to a full album from The Offspring before, this was a lot of fun and somehow nostalgic, helped by a piano rendition of "Gone Away". I think the nostalgia works in its favor for me, and, really, it's what you expect from the band.
37. When Waves Collide - Chasm
(7.08) [post-rock/electronic] The use of warm electronics beds the post-rock in a sci-fi-esque atmosphere I'd imagine soundtracks astronauts exploring a barren, icy planet.
38. Solars - Negative Apex
(7.08) [instrumental post-rock/post-metal] While the heaviness is great, "Brexriff" really highlights their capacity for melodic and engaging songwriting. Really enjoyable.
39. Rise Against - Nowhere Generation
(7.02) [punk rock] Never listened to Rise Against before this, and while it's a good record it doesn't feel very diverse in its offerings, barring a song or two. Because of that, its far from memorable but executed well.
40. Kataan - Kataan
(7.00) [death] I'm glad I enjoyed the album as much as the cover art hinted I would. There's a lot more complexity to Kataan's blend of death metal than, say, CC. Looking forward to a full length from them.
41. Mega Drive - Neuroframe
(7.00) [synthwave] Enjoyable background music, would definitely lose interest otherwise.
42. Nebula Orionis - Arcanist
(7.00) [atmospheric post-black] Interesting blend of synths and beats with an atmosphere I'd usually associate with ambient or darker post-rock.
43. Bala - Maleza
(6.97) [alternative/stoner] I really enjoy the 90s sound Bala has going on. The energy and speed at which the songs pass by is awesome. Imagine a faster paced Alice In Chains.
44. Vola - Witness
(6.97) [djent/progressive] This feels like what a pop album made by a metal band would sound like. Very accessible, crisp production. If Coldplay listened to metal, it's be this. For me, it's fine and some songs like "Straight Lines" are stellar, but there's little variety or depth in what should be an immersive listen.
45. Echoes And Signals - Mercurial
(6.96) [progressive post-rock] Decent post-rock with progressive elements. There's nothing particularly unique about it, but what it does it does well.
46. Nemorous - Nemorous
(6.90) [atmospheric black] Very beautiful composition, and more complex than you'd expect from a debut.
47. Tetrarch - Unstable
(6.90) [metalcore/nu metal] It's impressive how many influences the band packs in; Linkin Park, Slipknot, Korn, and other early 00's nu metal titans all grace Tetrarch's sound. It also detracts from their own uniqueness, but there are elements here, such as in "Addicted", where I felt less outside influence. A good romp through nostaliga; I'm left with a hope for more originality from them in the future.
48. King Buffalo - The Burden Of Restlessness
(6.89) [stoner/psychedelic] While the vocals aren't to my taste, the watery production gives them a really cool, mystic quality. Nice and crunchy music.
49. Skyzoo - All The Brilliant Things
(6.89) [hip-hop] The vibe of this album is really chill, with smooth jazz layers on top of excellent production values. The lyrics are thoughtful though they didn't capture my interest as much as the music did.
50. Violet Cold - Empire Of Love
(6.88) [shoegaze] A far better experience than its predecessor, Noir Kid. Some people will not like the poppy aspects of the album, though Violet Cold has been experimenting with that for some time. My primary issue is the songs are clumped together in a experimental/standard way; instead of mixing the album, as is it feels a little disjointed or separate from itself.
51. Dave Koz & Cory Wong - The Golden Hour
(6.86) [crossover jazz] Very upbeat, very smooth. There's this odd blend of samey and unique spread throughout this record which at moments made me lose my place and at others, such as "Together Again", which made me stop and listen.
52. Kaleo - Surface Sounds
(6.82) [blues rock] For an Icelandic band to sound so southern is very interesting. Oddly, the most energetic songs are grouped together at the front-end while the softer not only group through the middle and end, but make up the bulk of the album. Very well produced and performed, but nor very interesting for me to return to.
53. Fuoco Fatuo - Obsidian Katabasis
(6.79) [funeral doom] The meditative and ritualistic atmosphere are well done, if something I've heard before.
54. Sons Of Kemet - Black To The Future
(6.78) [jazz/international/latin] Really powerful, dissonant, and engaging jazz. Challenging listen for me, being unfamiliar with jazz, but definitely worth the experience for anyone interested in the genre.
55. Ufo Fev - Magnum Opus
(6.78) [hip-hop] Dark and moody, this album feels like moving through the shadows. It's more interesting than most trap, but doesn't quite hit for me.
56. Scar Of The Sun - Inertia
(6.77) [gothic doom] A bit more melodic than I was expecting. The vocals had some issues staying on point, and I wasn't too moved by the middle tracks. Definitely more energetic than the gothic doom metal tag made me expect.
57. Spring.Fall.Sea - Orengo
(6.75) [post rock/post hardcore] Very personal and powerful record. The lyrics deal with the loss of one of the member's mother while the music blends the emotion and aggression of post-rock and post-hardcore. Songwise, there's more focus on the emotional output, which makes sense, but for future records I hope they build on this, as their talent is easy to pick up.
58. Bodom After Midnight - Paint The Sky With Blood
(6.75) [heavy/extreme power] Brief EP showcasing what now is a lament for a talented musician.
59. Gåte - Til Nord
(6.75) [folk/alternative] Interesting and atmospheric, though I'm perplexed by the decision to place the longest songs first. Honestly, "Hemnarsverdet" wore out its welcome about halfway through, and I can't say I was engaged throughout. Still, can't say I'd listened to an album like this front-to-back, so props for keeping me listening.
60. Crust - Stoic
(6.75) [sludge] solid sludge album.
61. Olivia Rodrigo - Sour
(6.75) [pop] Of the singer/songwriters in that realm of relationship introspection, Olivia seems to be the most compelling to me. Maybe its the execution or being her debut, but the songs held my attention in a way Taylor Swift, for example, never did. Speaking of, there are a few songs here which remind me too closely to Taylor Swift, Paramore, and Coldplay, which detracts from the engagement to me.
62. Frozen Crown - Winterbane
(6.73) [power] Solid power metal. Can't say anything stood out but the execution and smoothness of the album make up for it.
63. Twenty One Pilots - Scaled And Icy
(6.70) [emo-pop/alternative/indie] I'm glad I listened through, cause the better songs are at the end. It's a very warm, optimistic album. There is a bit of samey-production which makes the middle a bit of a slog, but "No Chances" and "Redecorate" are great songs.
64. Porter Robinson - Nurture
(6.68) [electropop/synthpop] Uplifting if a little too much. Could definitely done with some cutting but overall a near-sickly sweet listen.
65. Rhododendron - Protozoan Battle Hymns
(6.67) [noise rock/brutal prog] While I enjoyed the sounds they incorporated, it felt like too much for me to keep my attention. They could have scratched the 1-3 minute tracks and I woundn't have noticed. Interesting, but not condensed enough for me.
66. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - G_d's Pee At State's End!
(6.63) [post-rock] Solid post-rock from one of the genre's greats. The front of the album was stronger to me but the entire package is worth the listen for any post-rock fan.
67. Fyrnask - VII: Kenoma
(6.63) [black] So much of this album feels separate from the black metal; from cavernous production to ethereal soft moments to melodic tension, there's a lot going on here.
68. Nattverd - Vandring
(6.63) [black] There's a lot more melody and touches of variety here, but keeping to a well-worn fundamental base. Easy listening and immersive.
69. Brockhampton - Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine
(6.62) [hip-hop] While it has some decent or powerful storytelling, there's little for me personally to go back to. The feature with Danny Brown is great and the last song boosts the final leg of the album. The middle, though, makes it hard to recommend.
70. Steve Von Till - A Deep Voiceless Wilderness
(6.58) [acoustic/folk/neofolk] Really somber, meditative experience. There's a lot of return value here, with layers of sounds and pulling the listener ever deeper in its world.
71. Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined
(6.58) [death] What everyone expected from Cannibal Corpse.
72. Where Mermaids Drown - And The Raging Winds Do Blow
(6.58) [post-rock] Standard post-rock. Well executed and produced, if little to say about it.
73. J. Cole - The Off-Season
(6.56) [hip-hop] Apart from two songs, "Pride Is The Devil" and "Let Go My Hand", there was very little which I connected to. Some songs had these weird spoken (shouted, rather) intermission which didn't help the song.
74. Methadone Skies - Retrofuture Caveman
(6.55) [atmospheric sludge/stoner/psychedelic] The move to more post-rock territory is welcome, though its not as immersive as I think the band wanted. Its less atmospheric than it should be. However, the album artwork is fantastic.
75. Corr Mhóna - Abhainn
(6.55) [doom/heavy metal/celtic black] An album themed around the rivers of Ireland is interesting, though I'm not sure if the band pulled it off. The music doesn't really fit with the theme, being a standard black metal with progressive elements. I feel I might be missing something in the lyrics though.
76. Flotsam And Jetsam - Blood In The Water
(6.48) [thrash] Music is well done but the lyrics were pretty mundane. Reached into the "things were better in my day" mentality, feeling more whiny than genuine. Not bad, but not great either. Right in the middle.
77. Big Brave - Vital
(6.45) [drone/post-rock] Decent drone metal with execllent vocals.
78. Ellengaest - A Sense Of Falling
(6.42) [screamo/post-metal] The music worked for me, the vocals didn't.
79. Old Forest - Mournfall
(6.41) [black] I don't think black metal alone can summarize the sound here; the album is dripping gothic keys, low cleans, and lyrics about despair and general gothic interests. There's a surprising amount of variety here which makes this a fun album to listen to.
80. Zombi - Liquid Crystal
(6.35) [prog rock] Decent instrumental prog, though had few standout moment for me.
81. Czarface & MF Doom - Super What?
(6.35) [hip hop] Not being a comic book person, I know most of the references go over my head. Still, its a good vibe. Last song is terrible.
82. Weezer - Van Weezer
(6.35) [chamber pop/pop rock] I've listened to more Weezer this year than in the past decade, with two albums released this year. They are skilled enough to change direction into more hard rock territory, so props to Weezer's versatility, but goddamn is their sound and lyrics full of cheese. And not the type which engages me, personally.
83. Jorja Smith - Be Right Back
(6.34) [R&B] Not having much experience with R&B, this was a pleasant experience. Very laid back with an ambient groove but still keeping the core aspects of the genre together.
84. Eremit - Bearer Of Many Names
(6.33) [doom/sludge] It's always a tough gambit for me with the type of long, slow doom riffs like what Eremit does; It's hard to keep my attention. Still, well done and for those who love this type of style will eat it up.
85. Malämmar - Mazza
(6.33) [post-metal] Nothing particularly interesting or engaging here for me; simply a decent jam in oft-tread paths.
86. Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments
(6.25) [gothic rock/darkwave] This was fine but not particularly engaging, even though it has some nice Sisters Of Mercy vibes. Will check out the darkwave-oriented albums though because it's interesting enough for me to check out.
87. Cactus - Tightrope
(6.23) [hard rock] Decent hard rock. The length doesn't do the highlights of the album justice, and there are songs which could have been taken off and would have made the experience better.
88. Myles Kennedy - The Ides Of March
(6.20) [pop rock/jazz] While not entirely engaging to me beyond two or three songs, it's interesting to listen to the sounds which inspire AB's frontman.
89. Helslave - From The Sulphur Depths
(6.15) [melodeath/death] Pretty standard death metal; executed well but offers very little to separate the band from others. It never quite lives up to "Unholy Graves" which is the most interesting song on the album.
90. Morray - Street Sermons
(6.13) [hip-hop] Reminds me a lot of Rod Wave with his singing/rapping mix and songwriting about overcoming his struggles.
91. Witnesses - Poltergeists I
(6.13) [doom/ambient] Pleasant music, if lacking memorability for me.
92. Throat - Smile Less
(6.11) [sludge/noise] It started off promising but gets bogged down by uncoordinated direction.
93. Outlaw - Death Miasma
(6.06) [black] Nothing spectacular about this album; standard black metal.
94. Snoop Dogg - From Tha Streets 2 Tha Suites
(5.70) [bay-area hip-hop] Sometimes, listening to a song about a high guy complaining about forgetting his weed through the entire track is what you need. It's typical Snoop.

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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