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2021: Jul-Dec

At around 450 album, I've been averaging something like 75 new albums per month since the start of 2021, not to mention albums I only listen to 1-2 songs of before moving on. It's been intense, and I'm hoping the lifting of restrictions will mean I get through slightly less music in the rest of this year, but let's see what the rest of 2021 has in store musically.

Created by: musclassia | 02.07.2021

1. Between The Buried And Me - Colors II
[9.0] - Possibly the best BTBAM since Parallax II, great to see them pushing the intensity again whilst still maintaining the great melodicism, and the long songs are all very strong.
2. Year Of No Light - Consolamentum
[8.5] - A highly enjoyable return from these guys, who make some of the finest instrumental post-metal.
3. Be'lakor - Coherence
[8.5] - Another fine release from arguably the gold standard of melodeath.
4. LLNN - Unmaker
[8.5] - Dense AF sludgy industrial post-metal with abrasion and atmosphere to spare.
5. Spaceslug - Memorial
[8.5] - Continuing to explore the confines of their melancholic stoner doom sound, they even branch into post-metal territory at times here, to great effect.
6. Dormant Ordeal - The Grand Scheme Of Things
[8.5] - Excellent semi-dissonant death metal that fits in some nice melodic hooks and fat grooves as well.
7. Noctambulist - The Barren Form
[8.5] - Impressive Ulcerate worship; Infintesimal will be one of the best death metal songs this year.
8. So Hideous - None But A Pure Heart Can Sing
[8.5] - What a truly impressive compositional step up this is, probably falls into 'post-black' but it's such a unique take on that sphere of music, and delivered with so much conviction.
9. Terminus - The Silent Bell Toll
[8.5] - Fucking great stoner album with dense riffs combined with high-pitched vocals.
10. Farer - Monad
[8.5] - Shame that this is a re-release, as it would be getting a glowing review otherwise; tough post-/sludge/doom/drone from members of Ortega.
11. Hippotraktor - Meridian
[8.5] - Strong effort from another Mechelen prog/post-metal band, featuring a member of Psychonaut, which you can tell from the music.
12. Trivium - In The Court Of The Dragon
[8.5] - A band going from strength to strength, this sees the band leaning back towards their Shogun days, and for once not throwing in a weaksauce ballad.
13. In Mourning - The Bleeding Veil
[8.0] - Pretty great follow-up to Garden Of Storms, sees the band going into new territory and sounding excellent in doing so.
14. Still - { }
[8.0] - Excellent blackened post-metal/hardcore combination to make something atmospheric, sprawling and occasionally savage.
15. Mastodon - Hushed And Grim
[8.0] - Far more consistent than Emperor Of Sand, its best songs are grouped at the beginning and end, which does make the middle a bit of a slog, but overall a really good effort.
16. Fractal Universe - The Impassable Horizon
[8.0] - Really digging this prog death/tech-death approach.
17. Papangu - Holoceno
[8.0] - Pretty wild interpretation of the Magma zeuhl sound.
18. Musk Ox - Inheritance
[8.0] - The title track of this album is haunting.
19. Sun Of The Suns - TIIT
[8.0] - Juggernaut of a tech-death/deathcore album.
20. Ikarie - Cuerpos En Sombra
[8.0] - Very promising post-metal/death-doom combination.
21. Osi And The Jupiter - Stave
[8.0] - Nordic neofolk with a hint of Americana, delivered to great effect.
22. Eidola - The Architect
[8.0] - Some really solid swancore, with a couple of stellar songs at the beginning and end of the record.
23. Noise Trail Immersion - Curia
[8.0] - Strongly atmospheric post-black metal that incorporates mathcore elements.
24. Cân Bardd - Devoured By The Oak
[8.0] - Pretty epic, as far as folk metal goes.
25. Ethereal Shroud - Trisagion
[8.0] - Huge songs that sweep you up in their majesty.
26. Redemptor - Agonia
[8.0] - Very distinctive-sounding and impressive proggy death metal album that brings in muted dissonance and atmospherics very effectively.
27. Aephanemer - A Dream Of Wilderness
[8.0] - Very brightly melodic melodeath rampage.
28. Woman Is The Earth - Dust Of Forever
[8.0] - Very solid melodically inclined black metal album with strong atmosphere and riffs.
29. Tauk - Chaos Companion
[8.0] - Very fun synth-heavy jazz/funk-fusion rock.
30. The Devouring Void - Hypnagogic Hallucinations
[8.0] - Well-balanced black metal record that manages to bring some viciousness, but also some melancholy and blackgaze tones, along with surprising but well-incorporated occasional clean vocals.
31. Enslaved - Caravans To The Outer Worlds
[8.0] - More Enslaved, more quality music.
32. Trophy Scars - Astral Pariah
[8.0] - Pretty neat saloon blues rock sound, even if I'm not always taken by the vocals.
33. Obscura - A Valediction
[8.0] - Probably their most accessible and melodically-inclined record yet, but their mixture of tech-death with more approachable styles results in an excellent combination of virtuosity and memorability.
34. Omnium Gatherum - Origin
[8.0] - Very charming release with some of that signature uplifting magic coming through.
35. Adjy - The Idyll Opus (I​-​VI)
[8.0] - 90+-min indie odyssey - a bit too indie for my tastes at times, but surprisingly great considering the length.
36. Heiress - Distant Fires
[8.0] - Nice muscular sludge with post- elements.
37. No Living Witness - Cosmic Simulacra
[8.0] - Diverse and slightly overwhelming prog array of different black/death sounds, ranging from Fallujah to meloblack to blackgaze and more.
38. Froglord - The Mystic Toad
[8.0] - Very fun frog-themed sludge with some quality riffs.
39. Low Flying Hawks - Fuyu
[8.0] - Nice at-times gaze-y, at-times sludgy, at-times doomy stoner metal.
40. Agrypnie - Metamorphosis
[8.0] - Powerful black/meloblack/blackgaze effort, a bit overlong but some nice range and force to it.
41. Leiþa - Sisyphus
[8.0] - Satisfyingly relentless black with some sick riffs and quality occasional hooks, particularly the emphatic closer.
42. Dola - Czasy
[8.0] - More avant-garde/psychedelic and less doomy than I remember the self-titled debut being, this is out there but very good.
43. Yoo Doo Right - Don't Think You Can Escape Your Purpose
[8.0] - Very cool post-rock-tinged psychedelic rock with some really strong songs on it.
44. Lykhaeon - Opprobrium
[8.0] - Intimidating, cavernous black/death/doom.
45. I Built The Sky - Coalesce [Collaboration]
[8.0] - Very conventional instru-djent-prog EP, but one that has a surprising amount of feeling to it.
46. At The Gates - The Nightmare Of Being
[8.0] - Very strong effort slightly hampered by Lindberg's waning vocals.
47. Telomēre - Where Are We Still
[8.0] - Really nice prog/math debut with plenty of clean post-hardcore/math rock sections juxtaposed with some real heaviness.
48. Fawn Limbs - Darwin Falls
[8.0] - Definitely the best thing from this project so far, it's still chaotic but the sound has expanded to feel more rounded and adventurous, and the blistering technical grind assaults aren't overly abrasive.
49. Iskandr - Vergezicht
[8.0] - One of the year's best meloblack releases, with great blackened riffs, nice folky moments, very good use of acoustics, and other nice elements.
50. Inferi - Vile Genesis
[8.0] - Exciting melo-tech-death release.
51. Belore - Artefacts
[8.0] - Cheesy but very stirring folk/epic black metal.
52. Monosphere - The Puppeteer
[8.0] - Still room to grow, but really nice post-tinged prog/metalcore album.
53. Bloody Cumshot - Nymphomania
[8.0] - Gloriously batshit (melo)death debut.
54. Glassing - Twin Dream
[8.0] - Good post-metal/post-hardcore/+X combination, not quite as good as Still but better than A Secret Revealed.
55. Temple Fang - Fang Temple
[8.0] - Very listenable, emotionally resonant and well-crated 80-odd-minute psych rock jam.
56. Phinehas - The Fire Itself
[8.0] - Thoroughly enjoyable Killswitch worship.
57. Untamed Land - Like Creatures Seeking Their Own Forms
[8.0] - "Summoning meets Sergio Leone" still doesn't feel quite accurate, it's far more Summoning than Western sounds, but it does sound much less boring than Summoning this time around.
58. Portico Quartet - Monument
[8.0] - More electro-jazz and less minimalist than Terrain, this is nevertheless another lovely release from Portico Quartet.
59. Cave Bastard - Wrath Of The Bastard
[8.0] - Some more great prog-death that has both classic death and tech-death aspects to it.
60. Stormkeep - Tales Of Othertime
[8.0] - A tad cheesy in aspects, but this synth-heavy meloblack is enjoyably epic.
61. The Answer Lies In The Black Void - Forlorn
[8.0] - Interesting combination of a relatively classic (if droning) doom sound with floating, higher-register vocals and an array of experiments with dark jazz, electronics and other elements.
62. Emeka Ogbah - Beyond The Yellow Haze
[8.0] - Really nice ambient electronica combined with field recordings from Lagos.
63. Leprous - Aphelion
[8.0] - The strings and art pop sensibilities of Pitfalls are present, but combined with proggier, rockier instrumentation and more potent writing.
64. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Illusory Walls
[8.0] - Highly impressive combination of emo, indie, post-rock, post-hardcore and other sounds, particularly on the very lengthy duo of closing songs.
65. Negură Bunget - Zău
[8.0] - Nicely atmospheric folk-heavy black metal farewell for this band and Negru; I'd rank Dordeduh's album from this year above it, but I did enjoy this quite a bit.
66. Havengarth - The Path Through Reminiscence
[8.0] - Yet more quality melodeath this year, great Finnish-style debut.
67. Teramaze - And The Beauty They Perceive
[8.0] - Dean Wells continues to shine as a vocalist, and Teramaze somehow produce a third solid record within a year.
68. Mastiff - Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth
[8.0] - Ballistic hardcore/sludge done to a fine standard.
69. Creature (FRA) - Eloge De l'Ombre
[8.0] - Arcturus-ish prog/avant-garde black(ened) metal, good fun, imaginative and well-crafted.
70. Anomalie - Tranceformation
[8.0] - More quality blackened post-metal from this band.
71. Cutterred Flesh - Sharing Is Caring
[8.0] - Weave some melodic and proggy hints into brutal death and come up with something really exciting.
72. Ars Magna Umbrae - Throne Between Worlds
[8.0] - Strikes a good balance between semi-dissonance in the more aggressive black metal and some interesting use of melodic or atmospheric moments.
73. Funeral Mist - Deiform
[8.0] - Impressive follow-up to Hekatomb, atmospheric and frenetic.
74. Wolves In The Throne Room - Primordial Arcana
[8.0] - I didn't remember this band being so melodic from the times I listened to them long ago, but this was very easy-going listening.
75. Qrixkuor - Poison Palinopsia
[8.0] - Cavernous death metal epic with a ferocious production, albeit slightly long-winded writing.
76. Clæmus - Daydream
[8.0] - Very nice atmospheric modern prog sound, with some djent sections but also not stuck in that sound; the vocalist shows a lot of promise.
77. Nishaiar - Nahaxar
[8.0] - Really intriguing mixture of ambient folk, more melodic black metal and occasional post-rock interweavings.
78. Kaatayra - Inpariquipê
[8.0] - More impressive acoustic black metal antics after last year's groundbreaking release.
79. Demonic Temple - Through The Stars Into The Abyss
[8.0] - Slightly lo-fi production with the keyboards, but the RLHT-esque vocals and sinister atmosphere of this debut are very impressive, as are the subtle melodic hints.
80. The Breathing Process - Labyrinthian
[8.0] - Strong exciting symphonic-tinged deathcore that is more (melo)death with -core than straight deathcore, got some really solid songs here.
81. Рожь - Вечное
[8.0] - Starts off as extreme doom, only to turn into blackgaze, and rather good blackgaze at that.
82. X'ed Out - We All Do Wrong
[8.0] - Nicely brooding hardcore-tinged noise rock.
83. Spelljammer - Abyssal Trip
[8.0] - Quality stoner doom album with a strong atmosphere to it, including hints of melancholy.
84. The Mask Of The Phantasm - New Axial Age
[8.0] - Hard progressive rock with post-hardcore and mathcore tendencies, it's a distinctive and compelling mix.
85. Converge - Bloodmoon: I [Collaboration]
[8.0] - Takes two artists I mildly like and produces something I prefer to either.
86. Michał Łapaj - Are You There
[8.0] - Quality moody electronica from the keyboardist of Riverside.
87. Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster - The World Inside
[8.0] - Strong return from these guys with more well-crafted heavy post-rock.
88. Worm - Foreverglade
[8.0] - Enjoyable death/doom effort with a fairly broad sonic palette, with some good use of melody to contrast more extreme aspects.
89. Black Sites - Untrue
[8.0] - Very good effort at making a more trad heavy sound feel relevant and inspired in these times.
90. Lightning Bug - A Color Of The Sky
[8.0] - Gentle and evocative dreamy pop/shoegaze.
91. Rivers Of Nihil - The Work
[8.0] - It's still got a good amount of the charm of Where The Owls..., but is also missing a few things for me.
92. Kayo Dot - Moss Grew On The Swords And Plowshares Alike
[8.0] - Another subtly weird release from this project; the Isis vibes in Get Out Of The Tower were nice.
93. Ordinul Negru - A Sojourner Wandering Through The Barren Openness
[8.0] - Solid single-song EP that varies from aggressive, semi-dissonant black metal to more ritualistic atmospheres and onto more ethereal territory before all is over.
94. Hope Drone - Husk
[8.0] - I'm such a sucker for post-(black) metal, this is conventional but very atmospheric and gripping.
95. Stahv - Cold Plunge
[8.0] - Really good improv ambient electronica.
96. Vauruvã - Manso Queimor Dacordado
[8.0] - The latest project featuring Caio Lemos and another home run; slightly more conventional meloblack sound, but with some elements from particularly Kaatayra still finding their way in.
97. King Buffalo - Acheron
[8.0] - A happy middle ground between the more stoner metallish sound of the last couple of albums and the chillout vibes of Longing To Be The Mountain in a jam-like format.
98. Hands Of Despair - The Crimson Boughs (And Other Short Tales)
[8.0] - Opeth-y prog death/black beast.
99. Drott - Orcus
[8.0] - Pleasantly strong debut prog/psych rock debut from this quasi-supergroup.
100. Skepticism - Companion
[8.0] - Not really dabbled with these guys before, but rather like their approach to funeral doom.
101. Moon Unit - Differences In Language And Lifestyle
[8.0] - Impressive alt/prog rock/metal debut with hip-hop scattered in, got some Faith No More vibes amongst other influences and sounds pretty great.
102. Veilburner - Lurkers In The Capsule Of Skull
[8.0] - Impressive avant-garde/proggy blackened death metal album that manages to be enjoyably weird whilst still hitting hard.
103. Bornholm - Apotheosis
[8.0] - Pleasantly engaging folk/pagan blackened metal with some nice little twists in the songs.
104. Aquilus - Bellum I
[8.0] - Excessive at times, but great when on song.
105. Fargue - Ruines, Irradiées
[8.0] - Nicely hypnotic drone.
106. She Said Destroy - Succession
[8.0] - Death metal, blackgaze, post-hardcore, math rock/mathcore, about half a dozen other sounds... wild to think that one band can throw such an array of sounds into a single album and it work, but it's an impressive effort.
107. Blanket - Modern Escapism
[8.0] - Another quality post-metal album this year, somewhat on the post-rock border for stretches, but also venturing into djent or other territories on certain songs.
108. Eldritch - Eos
[8.0] - Soaring power metal that manages to avoid feeling particularly cheesy.
109. The Temple (NZL) - The Temple
[8.0] - Ex-Ulcerate members play music that sounds like Ulcerate, a good time is had by all.
110. Ophidian I - Desolate
[8.0] - Too technical to the detriment of the natural feel of the music at times, but conversely also has some surprisingly gripping moments, as well as a healthy consideration of melody.
111. Maybeshewill - No Feeling Is Final
[8.0] - Solid return from this post-rock powerhouse.
112. Fluisteraars - Gegrepen Door De Geest Der Zielsontluiking
[8.0] - Another good interpretation of their meloblack/blackgaze style.
113. Kalmhain - Thanatos
[8.0] - Sometimes symphonic, sometimes melodic, sometimes ferocious, it's an impressive blackened effort.
114. Succumb - XXI
[8.0] - Includes hints of OSDM next to dissonant death and some occasional but well-implemented semi-melodic/atmospheric moments.
115. Destinity - In Continuum
[8.0] - Straightforward 00s Dark Tranquillity-esque melodeath with strong riffs and some nice Finnish melancholic moments.
116. Mire - A New Found Rain
[8.0] - Strong proggy metalcore.
117. Dessiderium - Aria
[8.0] - Lots of very good ideas and overall very solid, but still has room to grow a bit to more consistently land killer blows.
118. Abstracter - Abominion
[8.0] - Death/doom with plenty of death and doom.
119. Psilocybe Larvae - Where Silence Dwells
[8.0] - A bit too similar to In Mourning at times, but I enjoyed it quite a lot.
120. Sgàile - Ideals & Morality
[8.0] - Solo project of Saor/Falloch collaborator, it's got some meloblack but is more proggy; it's slightly hit and miss at times, but when it's on it's really nice.
121. Møl - Diorama
[8.0] - Very pleasant Deafheaven-inspired blackgaze, with Serf as a particularly nice departure soundwise.
122. Ske - Insolubilia
[8.0] - Charming instrumental prog rock release.
123. Diskord - Degenerations
[8.0] - Coming a long time after their last onslaught of cacophony, these off-kilter death metal guys throw out more impressive weirdness.
124. Graveslave - No Center
[8.0] - Impressive extreme metal debut that adds grind, black and other influences to a death metal base to very good effect.
125. Eastern High - Halo
[8.0] - Nice condensed prog record with short songs, nice melodies, occasional Viking-esque melodies and rich Voyager-esque vocals.
126. Barús - Fanges
[8.0] - Sneaking in at the end of the year with some nice ambient-oriented proggy death.
127. Los Males Del Mundo - Descent Towards Death
[8.0] - Slightly melodic, slightly blackgaze-y, slightly atmospheric, slightly infernal - sits comfortably at the intersection of a few different black(ened) metal approaches and sounds pretty good.
128. Burial In The Sky - The Consumed Self
[8.0] - A few bum notes with the clean vocals, but this is otherwise a very enjoyable prog-death release.
129. Altesia - Embryo
[8.0] - Somewhat Haken-esque prog record, but very well made.
130. Funeralium - Decrepit
[8.0] - Has some mild lulls, but crept up to be pretty impactful in its stronger stretches.
131. Der Weg Einer Freiheit - Noktvrn
[8.0] - Very solid black/post-black record with intensity and atmosphere.
132. Funeral - Praesentialis In Aeternum
[8.0] - Good melancholic doom, some growls and slightly funeral-y but mostly (good) cleans-heavy.
133. Havukruunu - Kuu Erkylän Yllä
[8.0] - Flies out the gates with the immense title track; the rest isn't quite as attention-grabbing, but more quality music from these Viking frontrunners.
134. Druma - Dawning
[7.5] - It's conventional post-metal, but it does sound pretty great.
135. Anakim - The Elysian Void
[7.5] - Another strong prog death album in a year packed with them, Bearer Of The Sacred Flame had some killer solos in it.
136. Mesa - Collapse
[7.5] - Very promising extreme prog effort with some contorted yet engaging heavier riffing as well as some lovely melodic bits (particularly A Final Snowfall As The Dawn Of Man Flickers).
137. Lorna Shore - ...And I Return To Nothingness
[7.5] - Good display of the quality of these guys; really enjoyed the super-synth-heavy title track.
138. NorthTale - Eternal Flame
[7.5] - Stratovarius-esque power metal with strong hooks and a quality vocalist.
139. Feeling Of Presence - Of Lost Illusion
[7.5] - Very pleasant cinematic-esque prog/post-rock.
140. Apallic - Edge Of Desolation
[7.5] - Some rough edges, but a very competent prog-tinged melodeath record.
141. Kælan Mikla - Undir Köldum Norðurljósum
[7.5] - A distinctive and inspired spin on post-punk.
142. Iron Maiden - Senjutsu
[7.5] - The band show off on several times how they've still got the magic on this album; however, there's still too many sections that drag for it to be an all-round excellent listen.
143. As The Sun Falls - Last Days Of Light
[7.5] - Very generic but very enjoyable Finnish-style melodeath.
144. Elder - Eldovar - A Story Of Darkness And Light [Collaboration]
[7.5] - Bit too hippie for my tastes, and too Floydian at times, but that Elder magic does come through nicely at times.
145. Illudium - Ash Of The Womb
[7.5] - Melancholy, evocative post-rock/metalgaze/doomgaze sound with occasional stoner-ish moments.
146. Cynic - Ascension Codes
[7.5] - Enjoyed this more than expected, feels quite esoteric on first listen but it delivers proper sensory overload, which is enjoyable.
147. Dark Watcher - Hymns Of A Godless Land
[7.5] - This band could well follow in the footsteps of Wayfarer and Untamed Land in making this Western black metal mash-up a rich source of quality music.
148. Ghostheart Nebula - Ascension
[7.5] - Rather nice melodically inclined funeral-ish doom with plenty of Gothic piano/keyboard work.
149. Chorosia - A Call To Love
[7.5] - Sprawling, regularly grim sludge; not every aspect of it works, particularly early on in the album, but on the later songs, particularly the longer ones, the proggier tendencies and greater dynamic range work nicely in its favour.
150. First Fragment - Gloire Éternelle
[7.5] - A tech-death wet dream, but pushes the techiness a bit too much for my tastes.
151. Voices - Breaking The Trauma Bond
[7.5] - Very interesting sound, ranging from more straight/dissonant black through melodic black to post-punk-inspired sections.
152. Gloosh - Sylvan Coven
[7.5] - Solid black metal that occasionally brings in folk or more melodic elements.
153. Soars - Enfold
[7.5] - Kristian Karlsson cements his affinity with post-rock/metal with this impressive first solo outing.
154. Old Sport - Quietly Like The Sky
[7.5] - Nice post-rock-tinged melancholic post-hardcore.
155. Pantheïst - Closer To God
[7.5] - I enjoy the extensive keyboard use on this funeral doom album.
156. Mono - Pilgrimage Of The Soul
[7.5] - Another very nice post-rock effort from these veterans.
157. The Water Witch - The Eternal, Unrelenting Daylight
[7.5] - Pretty interesting combination of acoustic folk, drone and metallic moments.
158. Redemptus - Blackhearted
[7.5] - Slightly hardcore-tinged but relatively conventional post-metal that sounds very good.
159. Green Lung - Black Harvest
[7.5] - Nice heavy stoner rock rampage.
160. Archspire - Bleed The Future
[7.5] - Arguably more insane on the technical front than even First Fragment, but it's an exhausting listen.
161. Hidden Rivers - Golden Age Of Dereliction
[7.5] - Cool bouncy electronica.
162. Jurassic Witch - Black Masses And Ashes
[7.5] - Some mean stoner doom that covers both regular light stoner rock, crushing plodding doom, and even some moments of sludgier menace.
163. Trna - Istok
[7.5] - The more twee sections were a bit much, but when it went more serious, such as on Burning Bridges, I liked that.
164. Blak - El Tall d'Escil·la
[7.5] - Powerful crescendocore post-rock on the heavier end of the spectrum (with bursts of double bass rolls or harsh vocals).
165. Wormwood - Arkivet
[7.5] - Nothing wild, but acutely melodic black metal made well.
166. Nothing Noble - Modern Dismay
[7.5] - Another good entry in this year's djent-sphere, got pummelling grooves, math-y technicality, bursts of genuine extremity, and a general forceful approach, plus a bit of blackgaze on the song that features Mol and a couple that follow it. Quite varied this one is.
167. Bulb - Moderately Fast, Adequately Furious
[7.5] - Wouldn't pick it over the Periphery material, but there's some really nice ideas on this solo album, particularly the strings on Two Brothers.
168. Act Of Denial - Negative
[7.5] - Solid debut from this Gothenburg super-group, one that sounds very solid when going full-pelt.
169. Syncatto - A Place To Breathe
[7.5] - Cool Latin-influenced instrumental math/djent.
170. Voidfallen - The Atlas Of Spiritual Apocalypse
[7.5] - Nice atmosphere to this symphonic-tinged melodeath (sometimes extreme power-leaning) release.
171. Jake Bowen - The Daily Sun
[7.5] - Unlike Bulb, this Periphery guitarist's side-project is all ambient electronic; it's not particularly original, but it sounds nice.
172. Forebode - The Pit Of Suffering
[7.5] - Thick, dirty, swingy sludge debut EP.
173. Insomnium - Argent Moon
[7.5] - More consistently strong than Heart Like A Grave across the four songs, but without a song as good as the best from that album.
174. Petroglyphs - Into The Aether
[7.5] - Nothing exceptional, but more enjoyable djent-core, and this one has a pleasant number of moments that sound like Augment by Erra, certainly more than Erra's new album did.
175. Fierce Deity - Power Wisdom Courage
[7.5] - Solid debut that's not necessarily easy to categorize (heavy, hard rock, stoner at times, somewhat proggy), but is reliably enjoyable.
176. Thank You Scientist - Plague Accommodations
[7.5] - Arguably better than this, but something about TYS holds me back from enjoying them as much as I would like.
177. Yes - The Quest
[7.5] - Rather enjoyable addition to the extensive Yes catalogue.
178. Éphémère - Departure Of Self
[7.5] - Should be bored of symphonic deathcore by now, but seeing how much I liked this EP, that's obviously not the case.
179. Otargos - Fleshborer Soulflayer
[7.5] - Fun, weighty death metal assault.
180. Swallow The Sun - Moonflowers
[7.5] - Perhaps a bit more gothic than their previous stuff, didn't like it as much as the last one but it's fine.
181. Skuggsjá - Hardanger
[7.5] - All too brief, but these guys are so good at what they do.
182. Maestitium - Tale Of The Endless
[7.5] - Impressive debut EP from this one-man melodeath act.
183. A Secret Revealed - When The Day Yearns For Light
[7.5] - Lacking some of the atmosphere of Sacrifices, it's still a good combo of post-metal, post-hardcore, post-rock, blackgaze, and whatever else.
184. Hiraes - Solitary
[7.5] - Another solid melodeath effort this year, not quite as good a debut as Act Of Denial or As The Sun Falls, but I enjoyed it a fair amount.
185. Turin Horse - Apothoesis
[7.5] - Pretty solid debut EP.
186. Khemmis - Deceiver
[7.5] - Apparently people have been sniffy about this; not sure why, I thought it was as decent as their other albums.
187. Dream Unending - Dream Unending
[7.5] - Rather moving doom debut; it does go into death/doom territory at times, but also has plenty of more spacious and melodic parts.
188. Ænigmatum - Deconsecrate
[7.5] - Strong dissonance-tinged death metal, starts off unassuming but becomes quite engrossing as it progresses.
189. Malady - Ainavihantaa
[7.5] - Solid jazzy prog rock that balances sounding retro and feeling modern quite well.
190. Autumn Nostalgie - Ataraxia
[7.5] - Nicely moving post-punk-tinged blackgaze.
191. Noltem - Illusions In The Wake
[7.5] - Good solid atmo-black effort, regular melody but also a lot of heft to the riffing.
192. Blackwater Holylight - Silence​ /​ Motion
[7.5] - Interesting mix of slowcore, post-rock, desert rock and other elements in a quasi-ethereal package.
193. Vanishing Twin - Ookii Gekkou
[7.5] - Very eclectic art pop, not everything works but the general vibe is quite enticing.
194. The Silver - Ward Of Roses
[7.5] - Cool prog black debut featuring Horrendous members.
195. Diablo Swing Orchestra - Swagger & Stroll Down The Rabbit Hole
[7.5] - Slightly flat production, but generally a good fun release.
196. Frontierer - Oxidized
[7.5] - To an extent, I can enjoy the manic ballistic aggression of this, but 50 minutes of it gets incredibly draining.
197. Light Of The Morning Star - Charnel Noir
[7.5] - Pretty strong gothic metal with some solid riffs and good, deep vocals.
198. Bogwife - A Passage Divine
[7.5] - Nice, gnarly stoner doom with clean vocals.
199. Helheim - WoduridaR
[7.5] - Pretty neat viking sound, measured tempo but nice atmosphere to it.
200. Grace Hayhurst - Existence Is Temporary
[7.5] - Enjoyable instrumental-only proggy post-metal/rock debut EP.
201. Dead Space Chamber Music - The Black Hours
[7.5] - A more sinister dark ambient take on neofolk.
202. Alkuharmonian Kantaja - Shadowy Peripherals
[7.5] - Questionable vocals, but quite a cool and interesting spin on prog/avant-garde black metal.
203. Amon Tobin - How Do You Live
[7.5] - Good dark electronica, featuring IBM, downtempo and experimental approaches.
204. Hooded Menace - The Tritonus Bell
[7.5] - The d/d + trad-heavy combo works really nicely here.
205. Tremonti - Marching In Time
[7.5] - Solid heavy hard rock from the Alter Bridge guitarist, The Last One Of Us is a nice song.
206. Marissa Nadler - The Path Of The Clouds
[7.5] - Charming dark singer-songwriter material with haunting husky vocals.
207. Plebeian Grandstand - Rien Ne Suffit
[7.5] - Psychotic avant-garde violence - there's grind, death and hardcore inside a chaotic, amorphous form.
208. Imperialist - Zenith
[7.5] - Pretty solid modern-sounding but kvlt-tinged black metal record.
209. Within Progress - Inner
[7.5] - Solid modern melodic prog-metal debut, shades of Teramaze and Anubis Gate here, amongst others.
210. Interesting Times Gang - Beats, No Rhymes, No Life
[7.5] - Good mellow instrumental hip-hop.
211. Bestial Invasion - Divine Comedy: Inferno
[7.5] - Technical, thrashy, proggy power metal - quite an interesting sound for the convergence of styles.
212. Kowloon Walled City - Piecework
[7.5] - Cool metal-leaning atmospheric noise rock record.
213. Hollywood Burns - The Age Of The Saucers
[7.5] - Rather energetic and metal-tinged synthwave, good fun.
214. Zornheym - The Zornheim Sleep Experiment
[7.5] - Some good fun extreme symphonic metal, good use of different vocal and instrumental elements.
215. 6:33 - Feary Tales For Strange Lullabies: The Dome
[7.5] - Very quirky album that features some very annoying songs, but also some very good ones.
216. Maston With L'éclair - Souvenir
[7.5] - Very smooth-listening prog-jazz short effort.
217. Walg - Walg
[7.5] - Rather nice meloblack debut that uses symphonics and folk melodies occasionally but effectively.
218. Ungraven - Ungraven / Slomatics
[7.5] - Good dirty sludge/stoner split.
219. Black Flak And The Nightmare Fighters - Ad Meliora
[7.5] - Nice post-rock effort with pleasant vocals.
220. Eonian - The Nomad
[7.5] - Enjoyably dramatic symphonic melodeath/black EP debut.
221. Bleeth - Harbinger
[7.5] - Neat little sludge EP.
222. Closet Disco Queen & The Flying Raclettes - Omelette Du Fromage
[7.5] - Great album title aside, this is a fun psych-rock jam album.
223. Mega Colossus - Riptime
[7.5] - Rather decent high-energy NWOBHM-influenced powery/thrashy heavy metal.
224. Scrimshire - Nothing Feels Like Everything
[7.5] - Curious modern jazz effort, with some progginess to it, moments of soul, and other ideas in the mix.
225. Lord Mortvm - Diabolical Omen of Hell
[7.5] - Conventional but enjoyable Electric Wizard worship.
226. Vildhjarta - Måsstaden Under Vatten
[7.5] - Way too long; their fierce djent focus is impressive, but over 80 minutes it's draining.
227. Sermon Of Flames - I Have Seen The Light, And It Was Repulsive
[7.5] - Ballistic, repulsive black-tinged dissonant death metal.
228. Intaglio - II
[7.5] - Funeral doom on the lighter end of the spectrum.
229. Autokrator - Persecution
[7.5] - Wasn't too invested in some of the full-pelt stuff, but Caesar Nerva Traianus has some great atmosphere to it.
230. Rival Consoles - Overflow
[7.5] - Baggier than the previous album and with a couple annoying tracks, but generally decent still.
231. Fortress - Don't Spare The Wicked
[7.5] - Surprisingly enjoyable NWOBHM/80s stadium rock worship.
232. FM Skyline - Illuminations
[7.5] - If this is chillwave, then I like chillwave, very fun record.
233. Guhts - Blood Feather
[7.5] - Not always sold on the vocals, but there's quite a distinctive feel to this sludge album, it gets almost industrial on one track, goes in more atmospheric directions otherwise.
234. Portrayal Of Guilt - Christfucker
[7.5] - Some more appropriately grim black-tinged hardcore.
235. Felled - The Intimate Earth
[7.5] - The use of violin in this slightly lo-fi atmos-black album is very nice; it does a good job of bringing in folky vibes without feeling cheesy.
236. Big Brave - Leaving None But Small Birds [Collaboration]
[7.5] - Prefer this to the albums by each individual project this year, nice folky ambient sound.
237. Obscura Qalma - Apotheosis
[7.5] - Not quite the next Septicflesh, but an enjoyable symph-(melo)death debut, mostly mid-paced and somewhat atmospheric.
238. Sungazer - Perihelion
[7.5] - All over the shop, with jazz, electronic, rock and lots of other weird stuff going on.
239. Sugar Horse - The Live Long After
[7.5] - A lot going on here, from hardcore and noise rock to shoegaze and post-metal.
240. Absynth - Plèbe 2178
[7.5] - Fiery stoner doom, similarly intense at times to Green Druid, but a bit more stoner-based, and also with time for the occasional stoner rock jam amidst the roars and huge walls of sound.
241. Súl Ad Astral - Heritage
[7.5] - Cool 20-minute blackgaze track with some really nice post-rock-style builds during it, particularly when the phat tom drumming combines with the delicate tremolo in the latter third of the song.
242. Pillars Of Autumn - Sodomizer II
[7.5] - One of the more symph-heavy symph-deathcore releases from this year, and a solid one, if not exceptional.
243. Hail Spirit Noir - Mannequins
[7.5] - Bit of a shame to see a very interesting prog/black band turn into a very conventional synthwave band, but at least it's enjoyable synthwave.
244. Dunerider - Ruins
[7.5] - Crunchy, fuzz-heavy sludge/stoner/doom, good fun and nice tone.
245. Alien Weaponry - Tangaroa
[7.5] - Cool grooves, and I like the indigenous vocal styles.
246. Callus - A Breath Of Flesh Air
[7.5] - Interesting combo of stoner and sludge with punkier/thrashier elements.
247. Phantom Heir - Fear Harness
[7.5] - Solid ambient/drone-oriented debut, with tinges of DBR or Oranssi Pazuzu.
248. Tardigrada - Vom Bruch Bis Zur Freiheit
[7.5] - Post-rock tremolo-heavy atmos-black, has a nice LOTR fantasy feel.
249. Aeon Zen - Transversal
[7.5] - Haven't heard (of) these guys since I saw them open a show a decade ago, but it was worth revisiting; some very competent classic-styled melodic prog, with hints of bands such as Seventh Wonder and Symphony X.
250. TarLung - Architect
[7.5] - Another decent stoner/sludge release from this year, kinda fluctuates between the two styles.
251. Gold Spire - Gold Spire
[7.5] - Interesting idea to merge jazz with extreme doom, doesn't always work in practice.
252. Big Hogg - Pageant Of Beasts
[7.5] - Canterbury sound album with plenty of personality to avoid it feeling like a complete retread of former efforts in the sub-genre, and it's a fun album too.
253. Thyrfing - Vanagandr
[7.5] - Very respectable folk effort, the occasional stodgy trudges outweighed by some strong melodies, particularly rounding out the album.
254. Seims - Four
[7.5] - Eclectic combination of math rock, jazzy elements, post-rock and other styles; it doesn't always click, but it clicks very nicely when it works.
255. Anette Olzon - Strong
[7.5] - The synths are a bit Blood Stain Child, the symphonics more Olzon-era Nightwish, the melodeath moments more Amaranthe; all of it comes together into something that is very catchy and has some substance to it.
256. Aorlhac - Pierres Brûlées
[7.5] - Some nice Pagan touches in the meloblack here that work, it's generally a solid record, albeit not quite as compelling as some of the stronger albums in the subgenre this year.
[7.5] - Math-tinged, sludge-tinged hardcore assault, brings abrasion but also has some more intriguing detours at times.
258. Somhos Tomam Conta - Hypnagogia
[7.5] - Muted yet sometimes uplifiting blackgaze-leaning shoegaze effort, with some powerful drumming and occasional screams contrasting with shimmering leads, hushed vocals and curious oscillating electronics.
259. Agony By Default - A Seranade For Eternity
[7.5] - Enjoyable symph-tinged death, not at the level of Obscura Qalma in terms of integrating symphs but some of the death metal is arguably more interesting.
260. Carnifex - Graveside Confessions
[7.5] - I like the blackened deathcore sound here, although >1 hours is way too much.
261. Sneaker Pimps - Squaring The Circle
[7.5] - Prefer the songs that lean closer to trip-hop and have Simonne Jones on, but generally makes for rather nice listening.
262. Thy Grave - Filth
[7.5] - Quite interesting in its dronier moments, this sludge doom record is conventional but enjoyably grim.
263. Michel Anoia - Nervures
[7.5] - Chaotic, demented tech-death/grindcore.
264. Mannveira - Vítahringur
[7.5] - Very competent and at times enthralling dissonant BM debut.
265. Lvcifyre - The Broken Seal
[7.5] - Aggressive, occasionally slightly dissonant DM that also has some groove and punch, sounds good.
266. Twelve Foot Ninja - Vengeance
[7.5] - Remember them being a bit too 'lol wacky' when I tried them in the past; this is much more tolerable.
267. Noctambulist (NED) - Noctambulist I: Elegieën
[7.5] - Pleasant blackgaze predominantly on the lighter side, but with some nice emotions in its heavier patches.
268. Wizardthrone - Hypercube Necrodimensions
[7.5] - Extreme power album, an exercise in excess but good fun whilst doing it.
269. Night Crowned - Hädanfärd
[7.5] - Good slice of symphonic-tinged dramatic meloblack.
270. Wizzerd - Turned To Stone Chapter III: Wizzerd vs. Merlin
[7.5] - I liked Wizzerd's stoner doom jam; the funk on Merlin's song was a bit off, but still a decent track.
271. Butcher In The Fog - Exonerate Me, Baby
[7.5] - A tricky album to nail down, featuring aspects of doom, stoner, punk, thrash and more, but it all sounds pretty good, particularly on the doomier tracks with some nice lead guitar stuff.
272. Morningstar Delirium - Morningstar Delirium
[7.5] - Nice dark ambient/electronic album from Dreadnought/Flight Of Sleipnir members, although track 3 was a bit iffy.
273. Sawtooth Monk - Goddess Empress
[7.5] - Nice quick blast of synth-heavy instrumental rock.
274. Weedpecker - IV: The Stream Of Forgotten Thoughts
[7.0] - The line-up change heralds a move even further towards psychedelic rock, and not in the way that made III so appealing.
275. W.E.B. - Colosseum
[7.0] - Strong implementation of symphonic elements throughout the record, even if it's not quite as strong as Obscura Qalma as a complete package.
276. The Dear Hunter - The Indigo Child
[7.0] - It's still not the version of TDH that I really want to hear, but it's on the stronger end of the indie spectrum.
277. Beneath The Sod - Beneath The Sod
[7.0] - Would benefit from a more refined production, but cool indus-doom sound.
278. Devin Townsend - The Puzzle
[7.0] - Wacky Devin, but enjoyably wacky.
279. Thårn - Collisions
[7.0] - Conventional but satisfying post-metal debut.
280. In Vain (ESP) - All Hope Is Gone
[7.0] - I prefer the other In Vain, but this is nicely emphatic for power metal.
281. Abstract Void - Wishdream
[7.0] - Decent prototype for mixing synthwave with a more intense metal genre, albeit with room to grow still.
282. Gravewalker - As The Earth Grew Dark
[7.0] - Some exciting lead guitar work elevates this competent deathcore debut.
283. Hemelbestormer - Collide & Merge
[7.0] - Some nice stuff in this instrumental post-metal album, but at 70-odd minutes, it's a bit bloated.
284. Asylum - Sharpen
[7.0] - Another good tech-/prog death album out this year, but at 80 mins, it's much longer than the rest, and not good enough in comparison to make up for this.
285. Wide Eyes - Oneironaut
[7.0] - Like Asylum, this is a good effort in a genre with a lot of enjoyable records this year, but 2 hours of instrumental djent is excessive unless every song is killer, and ultimately the songs blend together here like on the Vildjharta record due to the length.
286. Ulver - Hexahedron (Live At Henie Onstad Kunstsenter)
[7.0] - The very drone-y opening track is a bit too much for me, but the more upbeat ambient electronica later on is very nice, as is the more direct and bass-heavy A Fearful Symmetry.
287. Ghost Bath - Self Loather
[7.0] - A decent version of what you might expect from this band.
288. Unreqvited - Beautiful Ghosts
[7.0] - Very bright synth-heavy blackgaze, makes for very easy listening.
289. Azure - Of Brine And Angel's Beaks
[7.0] - Lengthy power/prog album with some quirkiness and intriguing melodic work; I like it overall, but didn't quite click with their style or vocals as much as I might've expected.
290. Jon Hopkins - Music For Psychedelic Therapy
[7.0] - Bit too ambient for my tastes, but still pleasant enough.
291. Spiritbox - Eternal Blue
[7.0] - Hopefully repeat listens will improve this, but on first listens, the pop-heavy djent sound of their early releases doesn't click quite as well with me on this debut full-length.
292. Bloodred Hourglass - Your Highness
[7.0] - At times feels slightly in a no man's land of melodeath ideas, but is generally pretty enjoyable.
293. Brainstorm - Wall Of Skulls
[7.0] - Bit too trad-heavy at times, but generally respectable power metal record.
294. Synapse - Singularities
[7.0] - Includes some weird moments that feel a bit 'brattish' for a lack of a better word right now, but then there's also some nice soundscapes in here.
295. Lee Gamble - A Million Pieces Of You
[7.0] - Nice low-key UK electronica.
296. Tangents - Timeslips & Chimeras
[7.0] - Enjoyably atmospheric jazz fusion record; "Debris" is class.
297. Gosudar - Morbid Despotic Ritual
[7.0] - OSDM-leaning without being a complete rip-off; it throws out some pretty sick riffs and grooves, but there's also occasional moments that fall a tad flat for me.
298. Confusing Paradise - Qualia
[7.0] - Very competent djentcore debut with decent vocal hooks and djenty grooves, plus the occasional surprise (e.g. the blackgaze-style assault opening Mnemosyne).
299. Enshine - Transcending Fire
[7.0] - A good return from this project, even if I would prefer to get the full new Atoma album.
300. Unto Others - Strength
[7.0] - Perhaps slightly more up my street than Mana, but neither is quite my thing as far as gothic music is concerned.
301. Erdve - Savigaila
[7.0] - The hardcore abrasiveness seems amplified here, a decision that I don't think works to the band's favour, as the best moments remain the more approachable sections in line with their debut.
302. Dok Wol - Avenoir
[7.0] - Nice post-rock-leaning djent EP.
303. Portrait - At One With None
[7.0] - Between the King Diamond-isms with the vocals and the energy of the instrumentals, this is going to be one of the better classic heavy-sounding albums of this period.
304. Somalgia - Inverted World
[7.0] - A prog debut featuring the main guy from Zopp, has some really nice stuff and also has some ideas that don't really work.
305. Cara Neir - Pain Gel Of Purification
[7.0] - Pretty good blackened grindcore, even has some unusually atmospheric tones, such as on We Don't See Much Of Yer Boy Anymore.
306. Deafheaven - Infinite Granite
[7.0] - The hipster black metal band go full shoegaze; the outcome is very pleasant, if slightly lacking in personality compared with some of their other efforts.
307. Prognostication - Collapse
[7.0] - Generally enjoyable tech-deathcore, with some good prog elements in the writing.
308. Mockcharge - Into The Valley Below
[7.0] - Decent Motorhead/stoner metal crossover.
309. Driftin'Line - Born As Slaves We Die Free
[7.0] - Some nice instrumentation and vocal work on this atmospherically inclined melodic prog debut, just slightly undersold by the production job.
310. Vulvodynia - Praenuntius Infiniti
[7.0] - Good tech-y deathcore, but why is this nearly an hour long?
311. Aborted - ManiaCult
[7.0] - Sounds like 90s Carcass making brutal death.
312. Full Of Hell - Garden Of Burning Apparitions
[7.0] - I mean, it's good grindcore, but it's still grindcore, so it's never going to be 'my thing'.
313. Dream Theater - A View From The Top Of The World
[7.0] - DT putting technicality above everything else, bit of a disappointment after the last album's promise.
314. Devoid (FRA) - Lonely Eye Movement
[7.0] - Respectable Evergrey worship.
315. Mortiferum - Preserved In Torment
[7.0] - Chonky doomy death metal.
316. Scarlxrd - Dead Rising
[7.0] - Good enough for me to get surprisingly far through, but 20 songs is a bit much for me for a trap album, even if it is a metal-tinged and aggressive one.
317. Atlas - Ukko
[7.0] - Has aspects that stand out from other djent records, but also just isn't that engaging.
318. Whitechapel - Kin
[7.0] - Decent evolution to a more melodic sound, even if it's not a gripping result.
319. Cradle Of Filth - Existence Is Futile
[7.0] - The music's actually pretty solid once again, but the vocals are painful.
320. Modern Rites - Monuments
[7.0] - Good, if unexceptional, melodic-tinged black metal release.
321. Headshrinker - Callous Indifference
[7.0] - Nice mix of death, doom, grind, blackened tones and some weirdness in a nasty debut package.
322. Decoherence - System I
[7.0] - It's a good dissonant industrial BM album, but I clicked more with Unitarity.
323. Crescent - Carving The Fires Of Akhet
[7.0] - Nice to hear a non-brutal Egyptian-themed death metal band, although occasionally I felt the songs were lacking a bit in momentum.
324. Netherbird - Arete
[7.0] - Very competent meloblack, but not that notable beyond that.
325. Starless - Hope Is Leaving You
[7.0] - Good alt-y post-rock album with vocals, can get quite heavy at times, I generally like it, although there's moments (particularly the last song) that are less appealing.
326. Carcass - Torn Arteries
[7.0] - Generally decent, does feel a bit dry though.
327. Eclipse - Wired
[7.0] - I feel like I should hate cheesy-heavy arena hard rock like this, but something about it is strangely endearing.
328. Emma Ruth Rundle - Engine Of Hell
[7.0] - Has some very nice moments, but is a bit soporific in general.
329. Thulcandra - A Dying Wish
[7.0] - More competent but unmemorable Dissection worship.
330. Sol Kia - Zos Ethos
[7.0] - I much prefer Neptunian Maximalism, but after a concerning start, this ended up being quite interesting.
331. Lutharo - Hiraeth
[7.0] - Decent melodeath-tinged power metal record with mostly solid vocals.
332. Sleep Token - This Place Will Become Your Tomb
[7.0] - They're objectively good at mixing modern pop/indie styles with heavier instrumentation, but I don't like the styles of pop that they use.
333. Angel Olsen - Aisles
[7.0] - Nice cover EP, Olsen offers nice spins on the likes of Gloria.
334. Synestia - Ashes
[7.0] - Nice symph-tinged deathcore EP debut.
335. Elderblood - Achrony
[7.0] - Dramatic, flamboyant synth-tinged black metal, good enough fun.
336. Sorcia - Death By Design
[7.0] - Tasty stoner doom single-song EP, it starts off a bit meh but really grows into itself during the quiet, atmospheric midsection.
337. Die Apokalyptischen Reiter - The Divine Horsemen
[7.0] - As scattered and inconsistent as you might expect for an improvised double album recorded in 2 days; the short songs feel very throwaway quite often, but there's some very high-quality moments in the longer tracks.
338. Wormwitch - Wolf Hex
[7.0] - Just as 'decent, but not quite my thing' as the last one.
339. Insect Ark - Future Fossils
[7.0] - No drone-rock this time around; this is dark ambient all the way, for better or worse.
340. Devoid Of Thought - Outer World Graves
[7.0] - Cacophonic but regularly hard-hitting death metal debut.
341. Apathy Noir - At The Edge Of The World
[7.0] - Nice melodeath/doom record with plenty of nice guitar melodies in here.
342. Ruadh - Eternal
[7.0] - Good steady improvement of their Saor-esque style.
343. Nightlife - New Low
[7.0] - Ambitious new EP that brings djent instrumentation into R&B; R&B is very much not my thing, but on the first two songs, the fusion works great when they bring the more metal side out.
344. Lucifer - Lucifer IV
[7.0] - Perfectly fine for what it is, but doesn't really do anything to be more than just another adequate record that sounds exactly like what came out in the 70s.
345. Sunless - Ylem
[7.0] - Slightly overly chaotic tech-death at times, although it does manage to slip into some satisfying grooves or patterns at times.
346. Monolord - Your Time To Shine
[7.0] - Another perfectly alright album, with some surprisingly nice moments (e.g. the chillout vibes near the end of the title track) but I still don't quite see what makes Monolord a particularly notable band within the stoner metal scene.
347. Maarja Nuut - Hinged
[7.0] - Quite weird avant-garde electronica/art pop, strangely compelling.
348. Desperate Journalist - Maximum Sorrow!
[7.0] - A modern post-punk record that feels a bit more modern than most, this is quite enjoyable.
349. Blunt Horse/Grilth - Split
[7.0] - Fairly intense sludge band joins force with murky sludge-stoner doom band to produce something chunky and mostly satisfying, bar some occasional excesses in unpleasantness.
350. Groza - The Redemptive End
[7.0] - Very heavy on blackgaze tremolo for substantial portions; some parts are straighter black metal, so there is some range.
351. Dauðaró - Af Moldu Er Ég Kominn
[7.0] - The lo-fi trudging funeral doom of the first song became draining after not too long, but the shift to keyboard symphonics in the second track was positively surprising.
352. Low Roar - Maybe Tomorrow
[7.0] - Touching subdued and melancholic ambient electronic/indie record.
353. A Sea Of Dead Trees - Garmonbozia
[7.0] - Pleasantly dreamy indie-tinged shoegaze/post-rock.
354. Lantlôs - Wildhund
[7.0] - Unfortunately, still haven't quite got this band's appeal.
355. Eternal Valley - Kingdom Of Misery
[7.0] - Heavily tremolo-dominated blackgaze with some nice atmosphere.
356. Cosmic Void - All Is Lost In Time
[7.0] - Another respectable post-black EP from the underground, although this gloomy effort is a bit less inspiring than the likes of Bezkresy.
357. Naia Izumi - A Residency In The Los Angeles Area
[7.0] - Cool brand of soul with some interesting math influences.
358. Intercessor - Sola
[7.0] - Meaty djentcore debut, one that refrains from cleans, which affects the memorability a bit.
359. Arcane Existence - Colossus
[7.0] - Somewhat 'rough around the edges' symphonic black album, but with a talented vocalist and some meat behind the extravagancy.
360. King Woman - Celestial Blues
[7.0] - I like the Chelsea Wolfe vibes of the songs in the quieter moments, but the sound overall isn't quite gripping enough for me.
361. Sadness (USA) - Rain Chamber
[7.0] - Not too fond of the harsh vocals, but this brief blackgaze venture is otherwise quite evocative.
362. Antediluvian - The Divine Punishment
[7.0] - On the one hand, this is a very impressively hellish concoction; on the other hand, I really hate listening to it. Hard to judge an album like this.
363. A Night In Texas - The Divine Dichotomy - Chapter I
[7.0] - Fairly neat deathcore with some nice melodic/symphonic flairs and decent riffs/breakdowns, although perhaps merging the best of the two chapters into a single album would've been the best option.
364. Cavern Deep - Cavern Deep
[7.0] - Sludgy/stoner doom album with trad doom vocals, it's an interesting mix but maybe a heavier vocal approach would have worked slightly better.
365. Seven Spires - Gods Of Debauchery
[7.0] - Why the hell is this nearly 80 minutes long?!
366. Dawn Fades - Ode
[7.0] - Quite interesting record in the post-metal/doom/metalgaze intersection, but doesn't quite have the ideas to back it up.
367. Catalyst - The Eternal Sleep
[7.0] - Enjoyable and well-produced, but fairly generic, djent-core debut EP.
368. Amaro Freitas - Sankofa
[7.0] - Pleasant piano-driven jazz, few parts don't click for me but it's quite easy listening with some delicate playing.
369. A Ritual Sea - A Ritual Sea
[7.0] - Decent dream-gaze.
370. Shiva - Planet Eater
[7.0] - At-times djenty deathcore record with some decent melodic/atmospheric hints amidst some fairly satisfying riffs/grooves.
371. Born Of Osiris - Angel Or Alien
[7.0] - Bit too long, but they make a reasonable job of transitioning from deathcore to a more djent-y metalcore sound.
372. White Stones - Dancing Into Oblivion
[7.0] - Still clear death-Opeth influence, albeit perhaps less so, but still not something that's particularly engaging.
373. Lord Of The Lost - Judas
[7.0] - I generally enjoyed this, but it has no excuse being nearly 2 hours long. Take the best 45 minutes' worth of songs and this would be 0.5-1 points higher.
374. Rhapsody Of Fire - Glory For Salvation
[7.0] - Very Rhapsody, but bit better than some more recent albums.
375. Times Of Grace - Songs Of Loss And Separation
[6.5] - A collection of pleasant, albeit somewhat unremarkable, tracks.
376. Sion - Sion
[6.5] - Bit too Killswitch-esque, albeit understanding with Howard Jones as vocalist, but it's a decent listen.
377. Ad Infinitum - Chapter II: Legacy
[6.5] - Unfortunately found this to be missing some of the charm of their debut, particularly the Kamelot tendencies.
378. Of Mice & Men - Echo
[6.5] - Adequate but somewhat forgettable melodic metalcore.
379. Halsey - If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power
[6.5] - Bit too 'over the place' musically, so that every song that I like is followed by one I'm less into, but it's a very respectable effort.
380. Beast In Black - Dark Connection
[6.5] - Very well-produced, but this hyper-cheesy mid-tempo anthem approach gets grating long before an hour of it has been concluded.
381. Vivid Illusion - Vivid Illusion
[6.5] - Passably pleasant but occasionally irritating blackgaze with some slightly offputting pop/indie moments.
382. Overtoun - This Darkness Feels Alive
[6.5] - Decent but slightly dry thrashy tech-death, albeit with occasional sweet moments.
383. Koreless - Agor
[6.5] - Some nice vibes on this album, but some of the more glitchy effects can tend to grate a bit.
384. Bleeding Sorrow - Drowning
[6.5] - Stirringly pleasant blackgaze/meloblack hindered by some fairly offputting vocals.
385. Towards Atlantis Lights - When The Ashes Devoured The Sun
[6.5] - The industrial feel of the percussion is quite cool, but there's a slight lack of thickness to the heavier sections here, considering that it's funeral doom.
386. The Grasshopper Lies Heavy - A Cult That Worships The God Of Death
[6.5] - Draining post-/sludge/noise/hardcore album with some cool moments but also some abrasiveness that enters into tedium, a bit like Old Man Gloom.
387. Fallfiftyfeet - Twisted World Perspective
[6.5] - Decent mathcore effort with plenty of frenetic musicianship and some decent vocal hooks, but not quite a Motion Mosaic-level release.
388. Charnel Altar - Abatement Of The Sun
[6.5] - Good atmosphere to this old-school doom/death, but I don't really click with it beyond that.
389. Hypocrisy - Worship
[6.5] - I've not really bothered with Hypocrisy before so I don't know if this is due to the band's music in general or this album in particular, but in a year stacked with great melodeath albums, this isn't one of them.
390. Khabal - The Divine Deception
[6.5] - Deathcore, mostly mid-tempo and not overloaded with breakdowns, it's a bit more on the death metal side of things, but is enjoyable.
391. Scythelord - Earth Boiling Dystopia
[6.5] - I'm not huge on the vocals, and there's some proggier moments that don't work (e.g. opening of Rod Of Asclepius), but it's decent thrash.
392. Volumes - Happier?
[6.0] - First dalliance with Volumes, not very exciting.
393. Ministry - Moral Hygiene
[6.0] - Fairly plodding effort without too much to be excited by, plus a tedious cover of The Stooges.
394. Lamp Of Murmuur - Submission And Slavery
[6.0] - Really don't get anything out of this lo-fi retro-BM sound.
395. Employed To Serve - Conquering
[6.0] - Half-decent metallic hardcore, but nothing particularly hooked me, and some of the male vocals in particular were not enjoyable.
396. Orbit Culture - Shaman
[6.0] - Wouldn't mind the Testament bits being turned down, but when it's in its groove, it's nice.
397. Underdark - Our Bodies Burned Bright On Re​-​Entry
[6.0] - A decent effort ranging from euphoric blackgaze to harsher territory, but doesn't offer enough for me to elevate it above other similar acts.
398. Jinjer - Wallflowers
[6.0] - The alt influences in the vocals really make parts of this record irritating, even if the instrumentation otherwise pushes in quite extreme directions.
399. A Night In Texas - The Divine Dichotomy - Chapter II
[6.0] - Reasonable, although slightly less interesting than Chapter I.
400. 71TONMAN - War Is Peace // Peace Is Slavery
[6.0] - Suitably grim sludgy death/doom, although the 9-minute noise track to finish off a 23-minute EP was a bit much.
401. Domination Campaign - Onward To Glory
[5.5] - Death metal spin-off from Psycroptic, it's adequate but a bit lowest common denominator mid-tempo chugging.
402. Archaic Earth - Wisdom In Burning Boughs
[5.5] - Mildly promising atmo-black (+ other styles) debut undermined by the production (not as badly as the entry below, however).
403. Sculptured - The Liminal Phase
[5.0] - Potentially promising Orphaned Land-esque prog fatally undermined by an awful production.

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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Comments: 11   Visited by: 105 users
04.07.2021 - 19:06
Lost To Apathy
Question for you, Matt. With the sheer amount of new music you listen to - especially given the number of in depth reviews you write - how often do you find yourself revisiting any of those 450 albums? And do you even manage to return to classics/favourites from previous years? I struggle to keep up while listening to a tiny fraction of the new stuff you do!
"Pay no heed to anyone and do what seems right to yourself." - Franz Kafka, The Trial
2022 List:
2021 List:
05.07.2021 - 00:23

Written by LordFezzington on 04.07.2021 at 19:06

Question for you, Matt. With the sheer amount of new music you listen to - especially given the number of in depth reviews you write - how often do you find yourself revisiting any of those 450 albums? And do you even manage to return to classics/favourites from previous years? I struggle to keep up while listening to a tiny fraction of the new stuff you do!

It's certainly a challenge, the albums that really grab me in a year, I do find the time to go back to them sometimes. The ones that I'm imprssed by on first listen but not decided if it's something I'll listen to long-term, I leave them in a queue to check out, but that can take months to get round to doing relistens. I sometimes find myself taking shorts breaks from finding new stuff just to give myself a chance to enjoy the things I already know, but there are albums that slip through the cracks
06.07.2021 - 08:48
Cynic Metalhead
Nasha Vich Paisa
One can categorize them into MS excel basis of listening habits. I don't keep mine, but I know it's get relatively easy to follow up to the albums you need to listen/revisit.
06.07.2021 - 18:31
Lost To Apathy
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 06.07.2021 at 08:48

One can categorize them into MS excel basis of listening habits. I don't keep mine, but I know it's get relatively easy to follow up to the albums you need to listen/revisit.

I've started doing that. But while a spreadsheet might remind you of what was good, it doesn't create extra time to listen again.
"Pay no heed to anyone and do what seems right to yourself." - Franz Kafka, The Trial
2022 List:
2021 List:
07.07.2021 - 18:48

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 06.07.2021 at 08:48

One can categorize them into MS excel basis of listening habits. I don't keep mine, but I know it's get relatively easy to follow up to the albums you need to listen/revisit.

I leave albums on the database that I'm unsure about on my wishlist (ones that I'm confident I won't revisit I remove, ones I know I will I download and add to collection) - for albums not on the database, I usually just leave a tab open on my browser to remind myself to give it another blast, but those albums are mostly related to clandestine cuts or the non-metal article, in which case I'll have to give them a couple of spins in order to write them up. Still, having an excel spreadsheet to track everything in wouldn't be a bad idea
21.07.2021 - 10:54

Froglord should be here, that album had some killer riffs.
Ride a horse that's cleaving through the air and space of dreams.
21.07.2021 - 11:15

Written by Mehrad on 21.07.2021 at 10:54

Froglord should be here, that album had some killer riff.

That's why it is, #4

Edit: Or do you mean on the website? You could suggest them to be added, I sadly don't have the power to add bands
21.07.2021 - 11:20

Written by musclassia on 21.07.2021 at 11:15

do you mean on the website? You could suggest them to be added, I sadly don't have the power to add bands

Yup I meant on MS, and I'm going to suggest them right now.
Ride a horse that's cleaving through the air and space of dreams.
18.12.2021 - 12:19
Au Pays Natal
Oops. Hemelbestormer is here . My bad. Need to redeem myself. Some post rock: (pg.lost band member) January 2021 release
18.12.2021 - 13:03
Written by tea[m]ster on 18.12.2021 at 12:19 (pg.lost band member)

Scroll down a bit here.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
18.12.2021 - 17:38
Au Pays Natal
Can't get nothing by you guys!

I'll try this: The Moth Gatherer have been working on new material. Expect an album in 2022.

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