Wednesday, November 24, 2021

November is Doom- the Top 10 Sludge Albums of 2021

It's that time of year again. We continued to need sludge as we marched further towards an apocalyptic future, here are the best of the current crop. When I am done sorting through the top 10 albums of all the respective genres, I will then compile the top 10 albums of the year. I know many of you are ready for another year to be over with. Hate to break it to you but nothing is getting better next year. As far as 2020 goes for sludge there are only2 newish bands on this year's list. The very fact these bands 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. Sure, you can bitch and complain about your favorite band not being on the list. However, 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 Sludge albums of 2021

10-Eyehategod- " a History of Nomadic Behavior" 

More punk flavored than their earlier work. The vocals are spit out in a more coherent fashion rather than anguished screams. Lots of fun, while it might not go down as their best album, it does serve as a reminder of their role in metal history. 

 Abysmal Hymns: Eyehategod : a History of Nomadic Behavior"

9-Bossk - " Migration" 

This band might not no longer settle for just being a sludge band, thought displays enough power here to show they belong on this as well as expanded what you can do as one, fans of the bands will welcome this return. 

Abysmal Hymns: Bossk : " Migration" 

 8- Domkraft : "Seeds"

Most bands try to sound like they are from Sweden, these guys are from Sweden and do not sound like, they might as well be tripping in a van in the desert. This album does best when it leans into a steamier grunge place, but fans will still love it. 

Abysmal Hymns: Domkraft : "Seeds"

7-Year of No Light -" Consolamentum" 

This French sludge project delves deeply into post rock. The fact that it can hold my attention as an instrumental says something as a pretty solid testament to this entire album since instrumental music is not normally what I listen to and tends to fall along the lines of what I appreciate, yet this album won me over.

Abysmal Hymns: Year of No Light : " Consolamentum"


6-LLNN- "Unmaker" 

These angry Danes are ready to challenge Ruin for heaviest album of the year. Though it is more melodic than their last album "Deads". A much more musical affair than the sheer punishment of the grooves they dealt out back in 2018. Much more matured in terms of songwriting.  

Abysmal Hymns: LLNN : "Unmaker"

5-Dridge- "Curing"

While they also trade in death rock and noise rock sludge is the back bone of this album. It comes with a dirty depressive post-apocalyptic anger. Not the first time these elements have been combined, but this is done is a grittier manner than we have heard since Atriarch, 

 Abysmal Hymns: Gotober- Dridge : "Curing"


4-Withered - Verloren "

Sludge is the next step in this Atlanta band's evolution. In steeping away from death metal, they opened themselves up for melodic excursions that play to the listener's favor. Along with yet another lineup change, the darkness here is more expressive than it has been in the past.  They tap into the sweet spot of being just as heavy sonically as it is metal. 

Abysmal Hymns: Death is June -Withered : "Verloren"

3-Sunnatta- "Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth"  

This Polish band might have the honors of creating the most diverse and dynamic album on this list. Thye know how to make droning work, and they never drone without a destination.   If you wondered what it might sound like if Wovenhand jammed with Pink Floyd then they answer that with their brand of e trippy hazy hypnotic stoner sludge. 

Abysmal Hymns: Sunnata : "Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth"


2- Glassing- "Twin Dream" 

At first you think ...ok this is a sludge album with a great deal of post rock atmosphere, not an uncommon sub-genre these days. As this album unfolds your ears are bathed in a great deal of powerful heaviness that hits you outside the sonic scope of sludge. Angular twists and turns as well as sections that pound at you like an angry hard- core band, or I suppose screamo since that tends to blend its sonic texture more in this direction. This album could have taken the number one spot, if not for the power of the two forces that snatched that one from them. 

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom - Glassing - " Twin Dream"

1-Converge & Chelsea Wolfe - " Blood Moon "

I like these two artists almost equally it brings out Converge's best side as I prefer their dark creepy melodic stuff over when they are just a total punk rock freak out the album leans in more of a sludge direction though by the highly experimental definition of that sub-genre, Wolfe's solo work had those elements previously, so this is not a surprise. They work together in a masterful way to create heavy music that is still beautiful in different ways. 

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