GMD Poll: Top Ten Albums of 2021


Active Member
Jan 30, 2016
Chicagoland, Illinois
Reminder of the rules:
- please submit at least *5* releases. But just remember, real men vote at 10.
- first place in your rankings gets 10 points, 2nd gets 9, etcetc, 10th gets 1.
- feel free to post more than 10, but only the top 10 will get points.
- feel free to post less than 10, the same scoring will apply.
- feel free not to rank your picks, in which case all ten picks will get 5.5 points.
- if you're so much of a dick that you have to post more than 10 unranked picks, only the first 10 will count. In other words, go back to the third rule.
It's a little different to previously mentioned, but I bought less last year which means listening to stuff I'd previously bought more often.

1. Flotsam & Jetsam - Blood In the Water
2. Exodus - Persona Non Grata
3. Helloween – Helloween
4. Kenn Nardi – Trauma
5. Iron Maiden – Senjutsu
6. Memoriam - To The End
7. Effigy Of Madness - As The Page Burns
8. Black Mass - Feast At The Forbidden Tree
9.Bonded - Into Blackness
10. Cosmic Psychos - Mountain Of Piss

Technically the physical copy of Kenn Nardi wasn't released until March 22, but the digital download was available from his bandcamp in November '21 so I'm listing it :p
Yeah it's a cool album. There was a chat with him on M-A forums, which started out as an attack on his vocals, about the time the album was release on bandcamp and he seems like a cool guy.
1. Apostasy - Death Return

apostasy death return.jpg

2. Force of Darkness - Twilight of Dark Illumination

force of darkness twilight of dark illumination.jpg

3. Absurd - Grabgesang

absurd grabgesang.jpg

4. Warloghe - Three Angled Void

warloghe three angled void.jpg

5. Cult of Eibon - Black Flame Dominion

cult of eibon black flame.jpg

6. Zofos - Erevothen

zofos erevothen.jpg

7. Suffering Sights - When Sanity Becomes Insanity

suffering sights when sanity.jpg

8. Krolok - Funeral Winds & Crimson Sky

krolok funeral winds.jpg

9. Witches Hammer - Devourer of the Dead

witches hammer devourer.jpg

10. Darkthrone - Eternal Hails......

darkthrone eternal hails.jpg

Basically all I had but I keep making lists anyway:

1. Whitehorse - Death Weight
2. DAHTM - Kurungaituku
3. Skull Patrol - This Is Skull Patrol
4. Black Velvet Butterfly - Feed Darklings Feed
5. Fatdick - Hits From the Skullbong
6. Novichoke - Wounds
7. Lucifungus - Clones
8. Stone Angels - Satanic Smoke Ceremony
9. Real Slam Poetry - Big Anxious Energy
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My Top 10 Full Length Slabs ov 2021 Metal:

1. Derailment - Come Clean in Death

2. Dipygus - Bushmeat

3. Tyrannic - Mortuus Decadence

4. Count Raven - The Sixth Storm

5. StarGazer - Psychic Secretions

6. Cerebral Rot - Excretion of Mortality

7. Darkthrone - Eternal Hails......

8. Diskord - Degenerations

9. Nekromantheon - Visions of Trismegistos

10. Reveal - Doppelherz
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01. Marius Danielsen's Legend of Valley Doom - Marius Danielsen's Legend of Valley Doom Part 3
Favorite song: "Stars Will Light the Way"


02. Evermore - Court of the Tyrant King
Favorite song: "My Last Command"


03. Bloodbound - Creatures of the Dark Realm
Favorite song: "Ever Burning Flame"


04. Skeletoon - The 1.21 Gigawatts Club
Favorite song: "Outatime"


05. Dragony - Viribus Unitis
Favorite song: "Magic"


06. Helloween - Helloween
Favorite song: "Out for the Glory"


07. Apostolica - Haeretica Ecclesia
Favorite song: "The Sword of Sorrow"


08. Tales and Legends - Struggle of the Gods
Favorite song: "Return to Fly"


09. Beast in Black - Dark Connection
Favorite song: "Highway to Mars"


10. Metalite - A Virtual World
Favorite song: "Beyond the Horizon"
1. Crazy Lixx - Street Lethal
2. Beast in Black - Dark Connection
3. Agent Steel - No Other Godz Before Me
4. U.D.O. - Game Over
5. Running Wild - Blood on Blood
6. Alice Cooper - Detroit Stories
7. Accept - Too Mean to Die
8. Dream Theater - A View from the Top of the World
9. Alcartazz - V
10. Frozen Crown - Winterbane
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1. Stormkeep- Tales of Othertime

While countless bands have built off the ideas 90s black metal legends like Burzum and Darkthrone, the more melodic, symphonic style of the era has remained less explored. Stormkeep remedy with that with an album soundly rooted in the sounds of bands like Emperor, early Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, and early Borknagar. However, this album is by no means derivative, producing an original album within that tradition. The riffs are dark and epic, with sweeping melodies backed by majestic yet restrained keys. The songs are dynamic, ranging from 8-11 minutes, with interesting shifts and developments. This lends to the fantastical nature of the record. The vocals are a raspy but well articulated growl; some well-timed clean vocals and modulated spoken lines draw out the conceptual nature of this record.

2. Converge & Chelsea Wolfe- Bloodmoon: I

This collaboration between metalcore legends Converge and Chelsea Wolfe, the most relevant goth rock artist of the 21st century, is a truly great collaboration. While elements of both artists' traditional sounds can be heard here, they ultimately produce an original record that stands on its own. This is primarily a doom/sludge metal album, with dense and heavy guitars that sound as if they were recorded within a cathedral. The vocals vary greatly, with Jacob Bannon offering a mix of hardcore shouts and more alt-rock style clean vocals, while Chelsea Wolfe shows of her full range, from the banshee screams to soft ethereal coos. There's great variety between tracks, with some some more direct goth and alternative rock songs interspersed between the longer slabs of sludge. The name implies this record is evidently a part 1, meaning this may just be the beginning.

3. Lamp of Murmur- Submission and Slavery

On Lamp of Murmuur's debut, the one man band offered a compelling mix of DSBM stylings with the raw savagery of France's Les Légions Noirs and a touch of goth rock. On the sophomore record, the goth rock elements are even more pronounced. As the Sisters of Mercy inspired album cover implies, this is more of a true fusion of raw black metal and goth rock, though it's still primarily black metal. True goth rock progressions, guitar solos, and eerie gothic crooning can be found throughout the record. The album is a little short, with only three original metal tracks, adding up to 25 minutes. These are surrounded by two ambient tracks and a Christian Death cover, which is a fairly vanilla closer. However, those three original metal tracks offer some of the best black metal/goth rock fusion we've ever seen.

4. Archspire- Bleed the Future

The first word that comes to mind when thinking of Archspire is "fast." There's plenty of fast death metal, but I have trouble thinking of another band that plays this sort of technical death metal at such break neck speeds. None of the precision is lost with the speed, and if your mind can keep up, there's a ton of nuance to appreciate. The songwriting is also quite strong, with mid-tempo and "just fast" passages countering the "warp-speed" passages. There's a nice mix of savage, crushing progressions and wonky melodic progressions that are surprisingly catchy. For such a complex album, this is very addictive. Pinched notes are peppered throughout, often used as transitions, though some clean progressive lines are deployed as well.

5. Ad Nauseum- Imperative Imperceptible Impulse

The sophomore release of Ad Nauseam is the latest contribution to the avant-garde extreme metal tradition highlighted by the likes of Deathspell Omega and Ulcerate. If you enjoy those sorts of artists, you will not want to miss this one. This is cold and unrelenting death metal loaded with eerie jagged progressions and buzzing leads peppered in the backdrop. The arrangements are complex, with lots of twist and turns produced through shifts in tempo and intensity. The musicianship is stellar throughout, with the drumming managing the constant shifts with expertise. The guitar tone is interesting, as there's little distortion on the guitars, making the record less heavy than than your average death metal album, but sharper and more chilling than most.

6. Epica- Omega

Nine albums in, Epica is still going strong. Omega is a record that is focused and consistent, with a ton of memorable songs. This is a fairly safe album that gives listeners what they'd expect from Epica: sweeping, dramatic songs with heavy riffs and sweeping orchestral elements. There are a ton of sticky choruses, aided by Simone Simons angelic voice, which sounds as good as ever. There is a bit more of a pronounced Arabic flair to this record, with a number progressions that are clearly inspired by Middle Eastern music, and even some of the backing vocals allude to this tradition. Still, even if this isn't overly ambitious, it's very well executed and will please fans of Epica, while also serving as a good introduction to newcomers.

7. Effluence- Psychocephalic Spawning

Psychocephalic Spawning is one of the weirdest death metal albums I've ever heard. Effluence is by and large a one man band, though guests do perform the guitar solos. The foundation is blast beat driven brutal death metal, with lots of chaotic chug riffs, peppered with a large dose of pinched notes and scaling. The vocals are a low gurgled growl that I'm pretty sure is wordless. However, there is a lot of strange layering on this record that makes this a record that sounds like no other. There's a ton of odd percussion, including cow bells, xylophones, and chimes. The synths are equally odd, adding bubble sounds and atonal ambient layerings. The culminating result is a mind-bending record.

8. Trhä- Endlhëtonëg

There are a few mysterious acts on the 2021 list, but none more so than Trhä. Little is known about Trhä, other than someone who goes by Thét Älëf performs everything. If I had to guess, this act is Scandinavian, but I could be completely wrong on that. The music is raw, lo-fi atmospheric black metal. The production is paper thin, with the keys standing at the forefront of the mix, creating an cold, dark magic vibe. The guitars and drums are somewhat buried in the mix, and sound quite muddy. The vocals are a gremlin screech that's bulked up with lots of reverb. Trhä is unafraid to explore large stretches of ambient, and even the metal parts feel pretty ambient. If you are looking for a record that is equal parts beautiful and creepy, then Endlhëtonëg is for you.

9. Ethereal Shroud- Trisagion

Ethereal Shroud is a one man band from England that plays in a "dark metal" style that fuses elements of black and doom metal with symphonic and ambient elements to create a dreary and archaic sound. Trisagion is an ambitious record, with a mere three tracks adding up 64 minutes. The songs naturally take on a number of forms throughout their massive lengths, but probably not as many as one would expect, as there is a good amount of repetition on this record, allowing the listener to be immersed in the atmosphere. And the atmosphere is quite good. The guitars have a shivering quality to them, that make them feel mountainous, while the touch on the keys is soft, giving them a dreamy quality, like clouds floating across the sky.

10. Wolves in the Throne Room- Primordial Arcana

Wolves in the Throne Room are one the most consistent black metal bands, and have struck a really nice balance between having an established sound and ensuring that each album is unique. As you would expect from Wolves in the Throne Room, Primordial Arcana is a dark, melancholic, woodsy album with lots of atmospheric elements. The usual chilling tremolo is present with a peppering of melodic leads and eerie keys. However, the songs are far more compact than on prior albums, with only one song lasting more than 8 minutes. The tighter compositions do not compromise depth, but do result in some tracks that stick a little easier. It's far from their best, but is still a strong contribution to their deep catalogue.
My Top 10 Full Length Slabs ov 2021 Metal:

View attachment 33764
1. Derailment - Come Clean in Death
Favourite song: "Skeptics Convention"

View attachment 33763
2. Dipygus - Bushmeat
Favourite song: "Bushmeat"


3. Cerebral Rot - Excretion of Mortality
Favourite song: "Crowning the Disgustulent (Breed of Repugnance)"


4. Count Raven - The Sixth Storm
Favourite song: "The Curse"


5. Reveal - Doppelherz
Favourite song: "Stalactites (When Cast Down the Mountain)"


6. Darkthrone - Eternal Hails......
Favourite song: "Voyage to a North Pole Adrift"


7. Tyrannic - Mortuus Decadence
Favourite song: "Tormented by Deathly Cataract"


8. Gruesome Stuff Relish - Kill Baby Grind
Favourite song: "Kill Baby Kill"


9. Diskord - Degenerations
Favourite song: "Raging Berzerker in the Universe Rigid"


10. Nekromantheon - Visions of Trismegistos
Favourite song: "Seven Rulers of Fate"

11. Transilvania - Of Sleep and Death
12. StarGazer - Psychic Secretions
13. Ashen Earth - Oceans Above
14. Steel Bearing Hand - Slay in Hell
15. Anatomia - Corporeal Torment
16. Morbific - Ominous Seep of Putridity
17. Ride for Revenge - Feed the Infamy
18. Suffering Sights - When Sanity Becomes Insanity
19. Nocturnal - Serpent Death
20. Sněť - Mokvání v okovech
Updated my list, bumped a few things up and/or out. Added favourite songs etc.
Also I got rid of my crappy notes, which sucked compared to @crimsonfloyd's lmao.
Iotunn - Access All Worlds
Ethereal Shroud - Trisagion
Dumal - The Confessor
Noltem - Illusions on the Wake
Mystras - Empires Vanquished and Dismantled
Wormwood - Arkivet
Reworked and finalized.......for now :err:


10. Transilvania - Of Sleep and Death

9. Steel Bearing Hand - Slay In Hell

8. Insane - Victims

7. Nekromantheon - Visions of Trismegistos

6. Morbid Cruelty - Holodomor

5. Hallux Valgus - Reflections of Distant Dreams

4. Suffering Sights - When Sanity Becomes Insanity

3. Sick Violence - Hegemonia De La Decadencia Humana

2. Exanimatvm - Sollvm Ipsa Mor

1. Apostasy - Death Return

Honorable mentions:
Bonehunter - Dark Blood Reincarnation System
Frightful - Spectral Creator
Kenn Nardi - Trauma
Paranorm - Empyrean
Witches Hammer - Devourer of the Dead