Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Top 10 Extreme Metal Albums of 2021

This list is new to encompass anything heavy that does not fit neatly into a sub-genre. Some lists were overcrowded and not a good fit so those bands who are just about sonic hedonism are here to haunt you.  Much like in years past I 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. 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 Extreme metal albums of 2021

10-Archgoat - "Worship the Eternal Darkness" 

These guys from Finland are one of the few bands who bring the legit Evil on a regular basis, sometimes it has a track record on hitting you with all the brutality and not placing the most emphasis on songs. This time that is not the case. These are strong songs that stand on their own. There is a measure of restraint used as they slow into a more mid-paced throb at times, but their mission statement seems to be one that wants to punish you.  

Abysmal Hymns: Archgoat : " Worship the Eternal Darkness"

9- Succumb- "XXI"

The very fact they are on the Flenser, as label with a reputation for forward thinking artists means they are not going to simply be recycling Incantation riffs. There is a fair amount of chaos. Yes, grind core and especially Napalm Death is an influence. At times offering more mood and breathing room, for the punkish snarl of the vocals before reverting back to that more primitive state of brutality.

Abysmal Hymns: Succumb : "XXI"


A first this seems like a black metal band proving you do not have to live on blast beats alone, which is welcome. Eventually it transitions into an album that owes more to Godflesh than Darkthrone which was not what I went into the album expecting, but it was a surprise I enjoyed. 

Abysmal Hymns: Black Metal History Month- Culted : "Nous"

7-Seeping- 'the Watcher" 

The mournful quality of their sound does not overtake the aggression. Their songwriting is very compact, never sprawling out past the five-minute mark. The guitar sound is much dirtier than death doom. This rough around the edges approach helps place them closer toward death metal, though at the end of the day all the working parts of this nightmare machine made it a fun listen. 

Abysmal Hymns: Death is June - Seeping - "the Watcher"

6-Apparition - "Feel" 

California based death metal band who is clearly fixated on Incantation. They do slow things down and offer enough atmosphere to jump on the death doom bandwagon. They have some hooky riffs and sometimes speed up to a more Obituary like pace . and win out at the end of the day with their very dirty and dark sound.

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom - Apparition " Feel"


5-Severed Boy - "Tragic Encounters" 

This duo summons a very dense sound for just the two of them. The come of a dark and dirty corner of the sonic world where sludge and death metal collide. There are moments of hurtling speed placed between very deliberate walls of lumbering fuzz. They are not about making noise as spaces are left for you to catch your breath Unlike many sludge-oriented bands thanks to their death metal intentions they do not drag things on into sprawling drones and keep their songs under the five-minute mark.

Abysmal Hymns: Death is June - Severed Boy : "Tragic Encounters"

4-Portrayal of Guilt - " Christfucker" 

Most bands would be lucky to release something as dark and beautiful as " We Are Always Alone" , but no, these guys had to go and get even heavier and more dissident with this album that sounds like a discordant blend of indie rock with black metal vocals before the aggression overtakes it.  There no abbreviated grind core blasts of songs that are under a minute, at this point they are fully committed to song writing, even when it's a feral thrashing that they give you with the deliberate chug 

Abysmal Hymns: Portrayal of Guilt ; "Christfucker"

3-Fawn Limbs - "Darwin Falls" 

Much more metal in their intentions than say Portrayal of Guilt, I do admire bringing some jazz into the equation which makes some of the mathematics make more since after they step on the distortion. It also makes the heaviness they hit you with easier to digest and reflects back on more musical moments. The vocals are more death metal where other influences are all over the place

Abysmal Hymns: Fawn Limbs : "Darwin Falls"


2- ERDVE - "Savigaila"

If you have found yourself complaining it is hard to find music that is heavy enough for you these days then this band has got you boo There is more to this than just punishing your ears, there are some layers of eerie atmosphere to set off the breakdowns. You can have music that is blisteringly heavy and still care about the songs and make it well yes, catchy.

Abysmal Hymns: Erdve : "Savigaila"

1- Portrayal of Guilt - "We are Always Alone"

This time around they brought the more sonic kind of heavy I love. They are pretty deliberate using very chilling chord structures.  From the first listen I knew that this was going to be the fucking album to beat this year this shit kicks your face in and is a beautiful dark mess, just what the world needs right now/The parts that did not tug at me right away grew on me, making this an almost perfect album and the best of the heaviest.     

Abysmal Hymns: Portrayal of Guilt : "We Are Always Alone"

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