Friday, December 10, 2021

the Top 10 Mainstream Metal Albums of 2021

Time to bang your head. Mainstream metal is either 

A- Middle of the road in it's attempt to appeal to a wider audience 

B- A less extreme sub-genre like Power metal or Thrash that is easier for your average suburban metal to swallow

C- bands that are harder than hard rock , but not what we think of as death or black metal here. 

This list it the best of those kind of of bands, who you are more likely to see in the page of Revolver Magazine. As with years past I sort through the genre lists before making the overall top ten of the year 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 Mainstream Metal albums of 2021

10-Spirit Box- "Eternal Blue"  

Formed from the ashes of IWRESTLEDABEARONCE, these kids have had a buzz about them. This is their first full length. It is more refined that what I have heard in the past from them, it also plays it a little safer and much safer than their former band. A fun listen that is more song focused than many of their peers.

Abysmal Hymns: Spiritbox : " Eternal Blue"

 9-Khemmis - "Deceiver" 

These guys used to seem like a more NWOBHM obsessed version of Pallbearer. Over the years they have established more of their own identity and that can be heard more fully on this album that starts off with a more thrashy power metal tone to offset the melancholier melodies.

Abysmal Hymns: November is Doom - Khemmis : "Deceiver"

 8-the Lions Daughter- "Skin Show"

 Angry sludge vocals and other metal aggression coming in a stomping over some retro synth wave. I like where they are going with this, in some ways the sound is just as important as the songs if not more, but they still are able to keep your attention.   

Abysmal Hymns: the Lion's Daughter : " Skin Show"

7-Rob Zombie- "The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy" 


More metal than you might have expected from the more booty grooving brand of industrial rock he normally peddles in. In other words it is heavier than his last album. though it is also more organic so at times closer to Steppenwolf than White Zombie.

Abysmal Hymns: Rob Zombie : "The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy"

  6-At the Gates - "the Nightmare of Being" 

The Swedish death metal pioneers are back for their 7th album. Granted this band has a 30-year history behind them. They have always seemed more thrash to me than death metal and their twin guitar harmonies are almost power metal, but they come on pretty strong and experience prove they know how to write songs on this album. 

Abysmal Hymns: At the Gates - "the Nightmare of Being"


5-Tribulation- "Where Gloom Becomes Sound" 

There could be a mor truthful title to this times it sounds like what might come from a meeting with a major label and Watain if they told Watain to try to come up with something that might also appeal to fans of Nightwish.which works out better than that might appear on paper. 

Abysmal Hymns: Tribulation : " Where the Gloom Becomes Sound"

4-Exodus- "Persona Non Grata" 

Better than what younger bands following in their combat boots are doing , but not quite on the level of their classic work, thought close enough. At the album's best it feels like they picked up where "Fabulous Disaster " left. 

Abysmal Hymns: Exodus : "Persona Non Grata"


3-Alien Weaponry - "Tangroa" 

This metal band from New Zealand gets labelled as thrash when they are really more like New Zealand's answer Gojira. Granted their heritage somehow also brings with it a touch of Sepultura. As the album progressed the songs got more memorable, and some were pretty damn infectious that made for return listens.  

Abysmal Hymns: Alien Weaponry : "Tangaroa"


2- Flotsam and Jetsam- "Blood in the Water" 

These guys are the masters of power thrash. The album is way heavier than expected, but the songs are hooky, and Erik's voice sounds great, so what else can you ask for these guys, who keep surprising us with some of their best work coming this late in their careers. 

 Abysmal Hymns: Flotsam & Jetsam : "Blood in the Water"

1- Iron Maiden- "Senjutsu" 

There is no real filler on this album, the first single is the weakest song on the album and that is a relative term as it is still better than anything another band trying to be them could do, and a solid song in its own right even if it is not just what I showed up for, If this is their last album it is a fine summary of their legacy.  

Abysmal Hymns: Iron Maiden : "Senjutsu"

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