Every year we spent quite a while doing our top albums of the year list combining data driven techniques: rating, number of times we played the album, alongside a quick listening session of all our candidates and their best songs. 2021 was a pretty solid year in music with many bands releasing albums written and recorded during the pandemic, allowing them to fully funnel their creativity and unleashing some of the best music in the last couple of decades. Here is our list of the top 25 releases of 2021:
As one of the genres that saw the most growth in 2021, Atmospheric Black Metal takes all kinds of shapes, from raw and rudimentary to over-the-top keyboard/synth arrangements, these are the top release we reviewed in 2021:
Honorable Mention Aara - Triade I: Eos (2021)
The year 2021 was filled with tons of awesome Metal releases, but it was Black Metal releases that really stood out with some killer debuts and considerable improvements over their previous efforts from established bands. Our list was hard to rank, but we did our best to reflect what we think was the best of the year:
Being one of our favorite genres, we are quite picky as to which releases make our list. During 2021 we had some solid contributors that pushed the genre in new directions while retaining melancholic supperiority:
Honorable Mention: The Nightly Disease - Delicate White Sound (2021)
Post-Metal and its subgeneres continued to grow in 2021, in our list we tried to capture releases that went in multiple different directions from this exciting and complex genre:
Honorable Mention: Kardashev - The Baring of Shadows (2021)
The year 2021 was a great one for epic Symphonic/Melodic/Folk Black Metal releases. Topping previous years, these bands kept alive the genre with outstanding musicianship and extreme catchiness.
Honorable Mention Varmia - Bal Lada (2021)
Putting the lid on 2020, today we have the releases that got us through this year of working from home and no summer festival travels. We had a hard time picking and sorting due to all albums being awesome, but we managed to pull a comprehensive list together.
Another of our favorite genres had some killer releases this 2020. Perfectly fitting for a doomy and gloomy year, these bands delivered crushing albums that ooze emotion and contrast it with brutality.
Honorable Mention On Thorns I Lay - Threnos (2020)
Black Metal has evolved in very interesting ways adding highly atmospheric and experimental features to its raw roots. In this list, we aim to highlight the best releases that continue to expand the genre’s horizons and create unique atmospheric/emotional experiences for listeners.
The year 2020 had some intense Black Metal albums being unleashed into the wild. We don’t discriminate and love both raw and oppressive BM alongside Melodic/Symphonic stuff, hence this list we include Black/Death Metal, Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal and traditional Black Metal.
Honorable Mention God Dethroned - Illuminati (2020)