Monday, January 3, 2022

2021: My Favourites

The end of 2017 was bad. 2018 was subsequently sad. 2019 was shitty. 2020 was really shitty. (There was also the pandemic.) 2021 was even shittier. (There was also the pandemic.) 2022 is shaping up to be pretty shitty. (There will also be the pandemic.) Through it all was the music. Everyone has their escape, their grounding point, their way to drown out the tinnitus. However, the music that gets me through the good times and the bad has changed quite a bit. In 2018 I attended Migration Fest which was predominantly black and death metal and never wanted to miss a second of it. By 2021 I barely listened to black or death metal at all. Or thrash. At least not anything new. Nope. It was all about the doom, the stoner, the rock, the sludge, the psych. With exceptions. Nothing too violent or aggressive. I don't have time for that. I needed chill. I needed vibe. I needed groove. I needed dark and slow. I needed stuff to take my mind away. So, here's what filled those needs the most in 2021! 

Instead of a numbered list, I used three tiers for the top 25 albums. After the top tier is a big ole list of albums that I felt obligated to list because they were also pretty damn good.

Third Tier

Gojira - 'Fortitude' (Roadrunner Records)
Monster Magnet - 'A Better Dystopia' (Napalm Records)
Hippie Death Cult - 'Circle of Days' (Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
Yawning Sons - 'Sky Island' (Ripple Music)
Dvne - 'Etemen Ænka' (Metal Blade Records)
Go Ahead and Die - 'Go Ahead and Die' (Nuclear Blast Records)
Kadabra - 'Ultra' (Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
Redscale - 'The Old Colossus' (Majestic Mountain Records)
Snake Mountain Revival - 'Everything in Sight' (Rebel Waves Records)
Monolord - 'Your Time to Shine' (Relapse Records)
24/7 Diva Heaven - 'Stress' (Noisolution)
High Desert Queen - 'Secrets of the Black Moon' (Ripple Music)
Dayglo Mourning - 'Dead Star' (Black Doomba Records)
King Buffalo - 'Acheron' (self-released)
Earthless - 'Live in the Mojave Desert' (Giant Rock Records/Heavy Psych Sounds Records)

Second Tier

Lazer Beam - 'Lazer Beam' (LCF Records)
Danko Jones - 'Power Trio' (Sonic Unyon Records)
Fear Factory - 'Aggression Continuum' (Nuclear Blast Records)
Sons of Alpha Centauri - 'Push' (Exile on Mainstream)
Archspire - 'Bleed the Future' (Season of Mist)

Top Tier

Olde - 'Pilgrimage' (Seeing Red Records)
King Buffalo - 'The Burden of Restlessness' (self-released)
Stӧner - 'Stoners Rule' (Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
Blackwater Holylight - 'Silence/Motion' (RidingEasy)
Elder and Kadavar - 'Eldovar: A Story of Darkness and Light' (Robotor Records)

Other Rad Albums

Appalooza - 'The Holy of Holies' (Ripple)
16 and Grime split - 'Doom Sessions Vol. 3' (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Acid Mammoth - 'Caravan' (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Shiva the Destructor - 'Find the Others' (Robust Fellow)
Greenleaf - 'Echoes From a Mass' (Napalm)
Bongzilla - 'Weedsconsin' (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Domkraft - 'Seeds' (Magnetic Eye)
Moon Coven - 'Slumber Wood' (Ripple)
Vokonis - 'Odyssey' (The Sign Records)
Head of Jeddore - 'How to Slaughter a Lamb' (self-released)
Somnuri - ' Nefarious Wave' (Blues Funeral)
Black Sky Giant - 'Planet Terror' and 'Falling Mothership' (self)
Smiling - 'Devour' (Rebel Waves)
Black Label Society - 'Doom Crew Inc.' (eOne)
Jointhugger - 'Surrounded by Vultures' (Majestic Mountain)
Lucifer - 'Lucifer IV' (Century Media)
Mastodon - 'Hushed & Grim' (Warner)
Kowloon Walled City - 'Piecework' (Neurot/Gilead Media)
Crystal Spiders - 'Morieris' (Ripple)
Bogwife - 'A Passage Divine' (Majestic Mountain)
Holy Death Trio - 'Introducing' (Ripple)
Hooded Menace - 'The Tritonus Bell' (Season of Mist)
Trappist/Connoisseur - 'Crossfaded' (Tankcrimes)
Marc Rizzo - 'Living Shred Vol. 1' (Godsize)
Low Flying Hawks - 'FUYU' (Magnetic Eye)
Kal-El - 'Dark Majesty' (Majestic Mountain)
Comet Control - 'Inside the Sun' (Tee Pee)
Snail - 'Fractal Altar' (Argonauta)
1782 - 'From the Graveyard' (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Sunnata - 'Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth' (self)
Heavy Temple - 'Lupis Amoris' (Magnetic Eye)
Sion - 'Sion' (self)
Spirit Mother - 'Live in the Mojave Desert' (Giant Rock/HPS)
Stӧner - 'Live in the Mojave Desert' (Giant Rock/HPS)
Mountain Tamer - 'Live in the Mojave Desert' (Giant Rock/HPS)