We have needed heavy music more than ever this year. This is the culmination of all the other metal lists. Yes, I have done other metal lists for other blogs, and I seem them as being a refining process for when I make this list. So, while result may have varied, this is the final word. I know many of you are ready for 2020 to be over with. Hate to break it to you but nothing is getting better next year. At the very fact these bands made it on the list means they are the cream of the crop 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 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 Metal albums of 2021
10-Hooded Menace - "the Tritonus Bell"
This band from Finland never struck me over the course of their careers so far as being as creative in the song writing department as they have so midway into the first song of this album. The have really paid more attention to their guitar melodies without becomes cheesy melo-death. The low guttural vocals could always turn into the one-dimensional element that shoots this inspiration down as the album progresses so we will see.
8- 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. Songwriting is what beats out the brutality of Ruin.
7-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. Darker a more powerful emotionally than Flotsam's more headfirst assault.
6-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. Riffs are what beats out Glassing.
3-Bloody Hammers - "Songs of Unspeakable Terror"
What gave these guys the edge is that this album came out back in January and hung tough as an album I would return to at least once a week or so. An impressive feat when you consider how much new music I ingest. This time the band leaned into the punk side of their influences, and it works much better. It is not total Danzig as the Elvis side of the coin is toned down. The vocals are great and very catchy. I can appreciate how this is married to an almost edgy cock rock side of 80s metal, but all horror anthems which earned their place at the top of this list. They beat out Hypocrisy because I just got a little more mileage out of this one.
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. They beat out Bloody Hammers, because well this is Iron Maiden and they do not just stick to one riff no matter how cool it is their songs are an adventure.
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. Beating out Maiden because they took more chances.