Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Top 10 Hard Rock Albums of 2021

These albums are not aggressive enough to be metal. They do have more balls to them than the ones on the rock list. Ok now that that is out of the way, 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. 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 hard rock albums of 2020

10-Trillionaire- "Romulus" 

They are not too far out of the sonic spectrum of say the more prog latter days of Mastodon. The vocals are more ambitious. They fall somewhere between Pain of Salvation and Devin Townsend. There is some belted rock grit to them. Both ambitious and catchy

Abysmal Hymns: Trillonaire :" Romulus"

9-Living Dead Girl- "Exorcism" 

If you came here for the hot girl factor, make sure you stay for the music. Many bands use the sex to sell it, here that is not needed, and the eroticism is downplayed.  Perhaps it was a more gothed out New Years Day".; In some ways I was not totally off base, though it is heavier, more along the line of older In This Moment, when there was more of commercial metal core element to their Myspace fueled sound

Abysmal Hymns: Living Dead Girl : "Exorcism"


8- Unto Others - "Strength" 

Idle Hands by any other name. My first thought on the change is the vocals are more aggressive which plays to their advantage. There is less of an 80s metal vibe. Not that it is shed entirely as the second song has some Iron Maidenish harmony guitar parts. The goth side of the band sits more smoothly into what they do with more of a Misfts vibe, though vocally he is more like Graves than Danzig,

Abysmal Hymns: Gothtober - Unto Others : "Strength"

 7-A Pale Horse Named Death- "Infernum In Terra" 

I really liked their last album they released two years ago.  Up to this point I have appreciated it but did not really give enough of a listen to become a fan until the last one. There is less of the doom vibe that pervaded that album and more of an Alice In Chains flavored grunge vibe. Less rock n roll, and more intentionally darker harder rock that flirts with Hot Topic styled goth

Abysmal Hymns: A Pale Horse Named Death : 'Infernum In Terra"


6-Devil Electric - "Godless" 

This Australian band is back with more swagger and attitude. Less metallic in its intentions they have come to boogie down this time around. The use a more blues-based musing when venturing into the darker corners of their sound that owe more to the Doors this time around than Black Sabbath. When the songs give her the room to weave her youthfully belted alto into less obvious melodies that this band is at it's most powerful. 

Abysmal Hymns: Devil Electric : " Godless"

5-Black Label Society - "Doom Crew Inc" 

Wylde's legacy is more impressive than any band on this list.  however, this album shines most when he steps out from behind this and does something different. Not the heaviest album by the band, but one of the most dynamic which shows many sides of one of the best rock guitarists going today. 

Abysmal Hymns: Black Label Society :" Doom Crew Inc"


4-Haunt- "Beautiful Distraction" 

 These guys continue to grow into themselves. I am still stuck on wanting this to be Beastmaker instead, they have fine-tuned their hooks to make this a more radio friendly version of what this was in the 80s. The guitar harmonies are even more razor sharp, creating an almost power metal feel. Hooky proto metal that is a party just press play.  


Abysmal Hymns: Haunt : "Beautiful Distraction"


3-Tomahawk- " Tonic Immobility" 

If you have had a hard time keeping up with Mike Patton's side projects, then this one is the closest to Faith No More, though darker, heavier and with a rougher edge since he has the guitarist from the Jesus Lizard on board and Helmet's drummer.  This album is marked with an increased tension reminding me more of their first two albums. Patton's lower throaty whisper is one of the more reoccurring voices that pops up in his ever-shifting arsenal. The explosive dynamics owe more to the Jesus Lizard, as the lyrics are a collection of ugly metaphors which is another staple of Patton's work

Abysmal Hymns: Tomahawk : "Tonic Immobility"


  2-the Melvins - " Working With God" 

Some moments are more fun and games for them than others, finding the band doing just what you would expect them to do without being stale in the process. Buzz's voice sounds pretty good. The the chug to "Bouncing Rick" proves things are getting even more serious. The vocals are smoother, and the guitar heavier equates to everything I want from this band

Abysmal Hymns: the Melvins : "Working With God"

1- Quicksand- "Distant Populations" 

They pretty much pick up where they left off though not as aggressive. They do try to hit you with grooves that are just as solid. This album grew on me with each listen and has little in the way of filler. While, they might not have the urgency of youth in their veins, they are far more consistent and inspired than the majority of bands from the 90s are today.

Abysmal Hymns: Quicksand : " Distant Populations"

No comments:

Post a Comment