Monday, November 29, 2021

November is Doom- The Top 10 Doom Albums of 2021

We are still seeing who can take the slow burn of the world ending 2021 offers little hope, so we need music to match this feeling. II celebrate death, that is why I listen to doom. I mean the name of the genre says it all. If you are not down with despair then get the fuck out of here. Ok now that that is out of the way, much like in years past sort through the genre lists before making the overall top ten of the year list. The fact these artists made it on the list speaks to how great these albums are, so it's not a slight that the number 8 album is above the 9th album, there is something that just gives it an edge that makes me want to listen to it more. After all we can try to look cool and pick the hippest bands for a list, but at the end of the day what makes an album the best is that it makes you want more, you look forward to listening to it again. You can bitch and complain about your favorite band not being on the list.  I listen to five new albums a day so yes, I heard your favorite album and was not impressed. No I do not care what you think about it. I do hope you can find your next favorite on this list and have included links to reviews of these albums if you want to check out audio on these guys. Anyways here are the top 10 Doom albums of 2021

10- Altareth- "Blood" 

I suppose this is almost more like an honorable mention, as they at times struggle to separate themselves from sounding to much like Pallbearer, as the end of the day however they are more depressed than Pallbearer who seems hopeful in comparison and manage to convey that in their music which is a beautiful thing to me as I want my doom depressing as fuck.

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom- Altareth- "Blood"

9- Kuan - "Ice Fleet"

There is a band from Estonia, which means they are going to have both Finnish and Russian influence to their sound. This might factor into the dark woodsy sound that might even bring Agalloch to mind at time. To call this band atmospheric doom is a bit of an exaggeration at this point in time. They have a very expansive sound. They are mournful and sonically intense so; it might be fitting to say they at least color their songs with a similar shade of melancholy as doom does.

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom- Kuan : "Ice Fleet"

8-Clouds - "Despartire"

 I have always liked hearing this Romanian band, but never really invested much time into their albums, this album showed me the error of my ways.  The create a beautiful mix of atmosphere and melody off set by the low growled vocals which are really the only heavy or dark element of the otherwise soaring sound that retains many of the emotional elements of doom and the dynamics shift in levels of how woefully expansive they paint these songs with those sounds. 

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom - Clouds :"Despărțire"

7-Swallow the Sun - "Moonflowers"

The 8th album by the Finnish orchestrators of doom. Their last album placed number 4 on 2019's Best Doom Albums list so the bar was raised rather high. Catchy melodies prove you can ease hooks into your melancholy. These guys have always effectively worked harsher vocals into their songs and do it in a less predictable way here as well.

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom -Swallow the Sun - "Moonflowers"

6-Indigo Raven - "Looking For Transcendence" 

This album surprised the hell out of me. They pound into the chords more like sludge at times as there is not a great deal of Sabbath worship. But the mood is more atmosphere and doomy. Female vocals doing their own thing and not trying to be Coven haunt the songs. Are there some Diamanda Galas moments mixed in this the more gothy stylings of her voice. Yes, but that is a rarer bird to find in the wild so I will take it.

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom - Indigo Raven- "Looking For Transcendence"

5-Grief Collector - "En Delirium" 

All you have to tell me is Robert Lowe is singing and I am there. If you are not educated in metal enough to know that he sings for Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass, then your ability to call yourself a metal head is thus revoked. Riff wise this band really does not have to do much but give this man plenty of room to sing. This is more aggressive than his past work. The chug of the riffs has more attack to them and make for a powerful listen.

Abysmal Hymns: Grief Collector : "En Delirium

 4-Worm- "Foreverglade" 

There are a few ways to do death doom. Neither is wrong. Some rely on Incantation more and others rely on Paradise Lost, then there is just slow death metal. If these guys have to pick a team, they would be Incantation, but they employ a wider range of atmosphere and come across sounding way more legit in their mood. Much like funk, metal is something you can no fake, I need to feel the darkness. Even when the pick up the pace; their chug I am never left thinking ok this is just slow death metal, this is so dark it is beautiful.

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom - Worm : "Foreverglade"

3-King Woman - "Celestial Blues " 

the follow up to "Created in the Image of Suffering" find the band not a bluesy in terms of the guitar riffs, but it does have a heavier emotional weight. The riffs themselves feel depressing at times, which I of course love since darkness and sonic heaviness are what I seek out in music. For an opener the title track is more introspective in its ambiance, though there are punchy doom ridden dynamics.

Abysmal Hymns: King Woman : "Celestial Blues"

2- Monolord - "Your Time to Shine" 


This Swedish band is back and heavier than they have been in some time on their 5th album and it recalls the more classic Sabbath influenced groove. The chords as allowed to ramble out from the smoky mountains. While the guitar tones are dialed in and they are making the most of a sound, they have taken even more time to polish these often dirge like rumbling riffs into pieces the vocals can find their way upon.

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom- Monolord - "Your Time to Shine"

1-Witnesses - 'the Collapse"

They bravely follow up to "Doom II " which was such a perfect album, In my head this bar they set for themselves, they did not make the same album twice. Instead, they approached this more another angle. Perhaps, not as desolate and dark in the way it occupies sonic space as their previous album. But after a couple days of playtime, it is clear the guitar melodies are as equally haunting. I think in doing so for this album they have allowed the vocals to convey a similar emoting with more subtle flow as the take on a rawer edge. Heavier and more metallic it works in its own way.  

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom- Witnesses : "the Collapse"

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