The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2021

“I wanted to play drums because I fell in love with the glitter and the lights, but it wasn’t about adulation. It was being up there playing.” – Charlie Watts

And there goes another year without a single metal concert in Canada. Another year full of uncertainties, fears, polarization, restrictions, and everything else we “love” so much. I honestly don’t know what to say about 2021 apart form the fact it was undoubtedly much better than 2020, but that means nothing considering the total nightmare that 2020 was. We lost a lot of huge names in the rock and metal scene such as Joey Jordison, Dusty Hill, Mike Howe, Johnny Solinger, Marsha Zazula, Alexi Laiho, John Hinch, John Lawton, Charlie Watts and Hank Von Hell, among many others. Tons of festivals including Download, Wacken Open Air, Hellfest, Bloodstock Open Air, Sweden Rock Festival and Dynamo MetalFest were scheduled to return this year after the 2020 editions of those festivals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately Sweden Rock, Hellfest, Download and Wacken Open Air were once again cancelled. With that said, why do we metalheads still believe in a better future? Is it because, despite all adversities, our favorite bands released some of their best albums from the past few years?

Hence, as new lockdowns are being imposed upon us in a never-ending pandemic loop, there’s not much we can do but enjoy The Headbanging Moose’s Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2021, excluding EP’s, best of’s and live albums, keeping us sane until this madness is finally over. Or maybe I should say if it will be over one day, of course. There’s a bit of everything for all types of fans, from classic Heavy Metal to the brutality of Death Metal, from the modern nuances of Melodic Death Metal to old school Thrash Metal, and so on, and in my humble opinions one of the most interesting facts about several albums launched in 2021 is their duration, with many of those surpassing the one hour barrier such as Senjutsu, Helloween, Persona Non Grata, Existence Is Futile and Blood on Blood, not to mention the over four hours of music from the Lordiversity boxset, which for me proves how much the bands responsible for those albums love their fans by offering them a lot of new music to enjoy during such difficult times. I would say that even if there are ZERO metal albums launched in 2022, we’ll still have a lot of great music to enjoy throughout the year thanks to all the amazing records released in 2021, don’t you agree?

1. Iron Maiden – Senjutsu (REVIEW)
Behold another masterpiece by the one and only Iron Maiden with its 82 minutes of tactics, strategy, war, resilience and determination.
Best song of the album: Hell on Earth

2. Helloween – Helloween (REVIEW)
A dream come true for all generations of “Happy, Happy Helloween” fans from all over the world.
Best song of the album: Skyfall

3. Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon (REVIEW)
It’s time to join Trivium in the court of the dragon to the sound of their magnificent new opus.
Best song of the album: Like a Sword Over Damocles

4. Exodus – Persona Non Grata (REVIEW)
Don’t be a “persona non grata” in the world of heavy music and get into the circle pit to the sound of this newborn thrashing beast.
Best song of the album: Lunatic-Liar-Lord

5. Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined (REVIEW)
State of the art Death Metal played with passion and breathless precision by the most violent and unrelenting band of all time.
Best song of the album: Surround, Kill, Devour

6. 1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet (REVIEW)
Ukraine’s own doom infantry is back into the battlefield with another masterpiece, telling the gruesome tales of World War I.
Best song of the album: Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines)

7. Motorjesus – Hellbreaker (REVIEW)
Let’s drive through the fires of hell together with one of the best bands from the German rock and metal scene.
Best song of the album: Hellbreaker

8. Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos (REVIEW)
A deadly and thrashing lesson in perpetual chaos by four metalheads hailing from Brazil, Italy, Spain and Greece
Best song of the album: Time to Fight

9. Gojira – Fortitude (REVIEW)
Let’s all face up the world to the sound of the new masterpiece by one of the most dynamic bands of the current metal scene.
Best song of the album: Amazonia

10. Blaze Bayley – War Within Me (REVIEW)
The man who will live for a thousand years is back, inspiring us all to fight the war within us and to take our future in our own hands.
Best song of the album: Pull Yourself Up

And here we have the runner-ups, completing the top 20 for the year:

11. Running Wild – Blood on Blood (REVIEW)
12. Lordi – Lordiversity (REVIEW)
13. Cradle of Filth – Existence Is Futile (REVIEW)
14. Diabolizer – Khalkedonian Death (REVIEW)
15. Angelus Apatrida – Angelus Apatrida (REVIEW)
16. Moonspell – Hermitage (REVIEW)
17. Lutharo – Hiraeth (REVIEW)
18. Unflesh – Inhumation (REVIEW)
19. Scarlet Aura – Genesis of Time (REVIEW)
20. Coiled Around Thy Spine – From The Ashes (REVIEW)

In addition to all that, let’s bang our heads with our Top 10 EP’s of 2021 to prove once and for all that not all great albums of the year have to be so long. The EP’s from this list are simply awesome, showcasing the band’s talent and their ability to sound epic even if the music lasts for only a few minutes.

1. Eonian – The Nomad (REVIEW)
2. Lady Beast – Omens (REVIEW)
3. The Agonist – Days Before the World Wept (REVIEW)
4. Tantivy – Eyes in the Night (REVIEW)
5. Grale – AGITACIÓN (REVIEW)
6. Bouquet of Dead Crows – Hemispheres Part 2: Cerebral (REVIEW)
7. Kadavereich – Radiance Of Doom (REVIEW)
8. Wolvencrown – A Shadow Of What Once Was (REVIEW)
9. Juliet Ruin – Dark Water (REVIEW)
10. Black Hole Deity – Lair Of Xenolich (REVIEW)

Do you agree with our list? What are your top 10 albums of 2021? Also, don’t forget to tune in every Tuesday at 10pm BRT on Rádio Coringão to enjoy the best of classic and underground metal with Jorge Diaz and his Timão Metal, and every Thursday at 8pm UTC+2 on Midnight Madness Metal e-Radio for the best of underground metal with The Headbanging Moose Show! And if you lost some or most of our special editions of The Headbanging Moose Show, including our Top 20 Underground Albums of 2021 – Parts I and II, go to our Mixcloud page and there you have hours and hours of the best of the independent scene, sounds good?

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2022!

And before I go, I’ll leave you with some touching words by Mr. Lordi and his crew of monsters…

Something something blah blah to you
All the sincere wishes come true
I put vengeance on my wish list
And that’s what Santa brought
So have a merry something and a happy blah blah blah

Album Review – Kadavereich / Radiance of Doom EP (2021)

Behold the debut EP by a Russian Death Metal horde unleashing hell on earth with its 19 minutes of brutality, hatred and obscurity.

Brought into being in the dirtiest and darkest alleys of Moscow, Russia by members of local underground bands the likes of Grond, Act Of God and Gwarloth, the ruthless Death Metal creature known as Kadavereich has just unleashed hell on earth with their debut EP, entitled Radiance of Doom. Recorded at Rofocale Studio during the summer of 2021 (with the exception of drums, which were recorded at Giereolith Studio in April 2021), mixed at Angelrape Studio, and featuring a sick artwork by the band’s own bassist Daemorph, Radiance of Doom will bring to your ears 19 minutes of brutality, hatred and obscurity masterfully crafted by Morkbeast on vocals, Panzer and Bonecrushing Apocalypse on the guitars, Daemorph on bass, and Kist on drums, providing fans of the most devilish form of Death Metal with a very good reason to slam into the pit and headbang like a true maniac .

Epic, imposing sounds open the gates of the underworld for Kadavereich to crush our souls in Invincible Sun Devourer, a bestial, crude Death and Black Metal onslaught spearheaded by the gruesome vociferations by Morkbeast accompanied by the utterly infernal beats by Kist; whereas Caldarium of Boiling Blood is just as obscure and grim as its predecessor, with Panzer and Bonecrushing Apocalypse showing no mercy for their stringed axes supported by the rumbling bass by Daemorph in another awesome display of primeval Death Metal. Then get ready to be pulverized by this Russian quintet in CCCIII, with the sound of their incendiary riffs and blast beats setting the atmosphere on fire, also presenting elements from D-Beat Crust and the always demonic gnarls and roars by Morkbeast. And closing such devilish EP we’re treated to the massive, pounding tune Dismal Radiance of Doom, with Panzer and Bonecrushing Apocalypse paying a tribute to all things evil through their wicked riffage while Daemorph and Kist generate a beyond Stygian ambience with their heavy artillery.

If you want to add the apocalyptic and venomous Death Metal by Kadavereich to your personal collection of evil music, you can grab a copy of it directly from the band’s own BandCamp page, as well as from the Godz Ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore as a CD, a black cassette or a red cassette, showing your utmost support to our beloved underground. Hopefully the unrelenting Russians from Kadavereich won’t take too long to crush our souls again with another release, maybe their first full-length opus, but until then we can rest assured the 19 minutes of infernal death found in Radiance of Doom will keep us absolutely entertained in the name of darkness.

Best moments of the album: Invincible Sun Devourer and CCIII.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Godz Ov War Productions

Track listing
1. Invincible Sun Devourer 4:26
2. Caldarium of Boiling Blood 4:39
3. CCCIII 4:44
4. Dismal Radiance of Doom 5:12

Band members
Morkbeast – vocals
Panzer – guitar
Bonecrushing Apocalypse – guitar
Daemorph – bass
Kist – drums