Unleashing waves of Vampiric Black Metal, today we have Australia’s Krvna and their debut full-length release “Sempinfernus”. With over 35 minutes of intense music, this release reminds us of early Dimmy Borgir, Old Man’s Child, and similar outfits, filled with atmosphere and harshness. For a one-man project, this release packs a mean punch and high replay value.
Opening with the sinister “From The Shades Of Hades…”, the atmosphere immediately feels tense and eerie thanks to blistering drumming, intricate guitar work and devilish vocals. Things turn a bit more melodic and less chaotic with the melodic onslaughts of “...To The Targovistean Night”, contrasted by its punishing aggressive sections. We are suckes for epic melodies and the track “The Triumph Of The Flesh Over The Spirit” is one fine piece of melodramatic guitar work.
By far one of the most productive musicians in the Metal scene, Déhà’s creativity is probably just bounded by time as he continues to unleash massive albums under his solo project, Wolvennest, Slow, and plenty of other bands. In “Ave Maria II”, he continues work he released over 10 years ago under his side project Yhdarl. Featuring one monumental track of 42 minutes, this release is both haunting and completely harrowing, mixing up dense atmospherics, punishing screams and all mighty riffs.
Separated into two movements, the first part, “Morituri Te Salutant” sets a very cavernous mood that suddenly turns with the introduction of Thergothon-level distorted riffs alongside dramatic vocal arrangements, similar to what Elend did in the past, but with a heavier dose of distortion. The angelic female vocals are masterfully flanked with incisive guitars and massive growls/screams, perfectly turning beauty into nightmare.
Another release that we didn’t have time to review in 2021, “The Undoer’s Key” is one hell of a debut album from Finland’s Caestus and their blistering Black Metal onslaughts. In the same vein of traditional Finnish BM releases from Horna, Sargeist and similar outfits, this album delivers 36 minutes of relentless music with savage riffs and hellish screams.
Opening with the punishing “Reclamation”, the band really warms up with the incisive riffs of “Ultimate Weapon” and its fierce brutality. By the time the album title track drops alongside the dissonant “Burning Hope”, the listener is fully immersed in the band’s piercing sound. Featuring members of Blood Red Fog (bass guitar), ex-Algazanth (guitars and backing vocals), this band delivers swift blows intense music as tracks like “Condescenders”, “Muinaisen Kunnian Taike” and “Dawn of Reckoning” showcase.
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)
We like our Metal out of the ordinary, however, some of the releases we review and really enjoy sometimes fall out of the genre itself. 2021 was full of very interesting and engaging releases, making our selection quite hard. Here is our list:
Honorable Mention The Amenta - Revelator (2021)