The 20 Greatest Death Metal Albums of 2021!
Aborted – Maniacult [Belgium]
Released: September 10th, 2021 via Century Media Records
With brain-smashing, ear-melting, ball-crashing fervour, these kings of modern death metal always bring their A-game…..and Maniacult was no exception.
When extremity comes as standard it’s hard to differentiate release from release, and while Aborted‘s brutal death/grind can be a little too reliable at times, there’s such joy to be had in cranking up Maniacult and simply letting Aborted aurally destroy you.
Masters of their craft.
Memoriam – To The End [UK]
Released: 26th March 2021 via Reaper Entertainment
Memoriam‘s latest bruising collection marked the beginning of a second trilogy of albums, with To The End serving as something of a prologue to the first three Memoriam releases. “Onwards Into Battle” was a huge opener; ably building the mood for the entire album and its slow, heavy, destructive nature was as strong an intro as you’d hope for. Conceptually, we were in World War I territory (obvs) with Karl Willets’ throaty bellow demanding we march “onwards into battle….one more time” sounding as stupendously heavy as ever.
Unsurprisingly, there was no huge surprises to be found here with Memoriam‘s distinctive sound and approach remaining fully intact (despite the bombardment).
Cannon fodder take heed, Memoriam‘s To The End is all you need!
Revulsion – Revulsion [Finland]
Released: February 5th, 2021 via Transcending Obscurity Records
Finnish death metal kicks ass. Serious ass. With a long lineage of high quality bands emerging from Finland’s shores since the early 90’s (Amorphis, Convulse, Demigod, Demilich, Depravity, Purtenance to name but a few) expectations are always high for a new name in Finnish death metal to come along and blow our fuckin’ socks off.
Revulsion are one such band.
With a punishing low end and oodles of groove, Revulsion are a satisfying mix of both the old and new, taking obvious cues from their forefathers while also setting their sights on the future of the genre. In fact, Revulsion‘s appropriation of recognisable melodic death metal, death/doom and brutal death metal influences actually lea to a welcome diversity – as opposed to over-familiarity – and their powerful grooves will have you head-banging for a fortnight (could be longer, depends on your tolerance for such things).
Baest – Necro Sapiens [Denmark]
Released: March 5th, 2021 via Century Media Records
Let’s be honest, Baest’s influences were so obvious that every review of Necro Sapiens drew attention to obvious Swedish death metal comparisons – with more than a little prime Dismember, Bloodbath and Grave providing tutorage – but it was worth noting that, as far as OSDM goes, Baest were at their very best here; stepping up and delivering a stripped-back lesson in old-school death metal brutality for un-schooled pupils of the genre.
……and there’s not really much more we can say.
So, take Necro Sapiens at face value and you’ll have a great time. Go in expecting something challenging and innovating and you’ll leave disappointed. We suggest you do the former and simply enjoy the retro ride!
Ageless Oblivion – Suspended Between Earth and Sky [UK]
Released: April 30th, 2021 via Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings
After a 7 year wait, Ageless Oblivion returned with their 3rd album, Suspended Between Earth and Sky, an album that offered up an all-consuming atmosphere of primal dissonant rage.
Narrowly missing the top spot in this particular list, the key to Ageless Oblivion‘s cavernous creations lay in their ghastly parade of progressively-minded, thunderously-heavy, world-building songs. Yes. Songs. Not hummable ditties but certainly memorable excursions into the darkest depths of full-on despair.
The demented dirge that is the funeral doom-esque “The Sun Surrenders its Crown” aside, these songs were frightening beasts; epic in duration and dynamically enthralling.
2014’s Penthos was a modern-era kick to the throat and remains an unmitigated highpoint of recent (relatively recent) UK death metal. While Suspended Between Earth and Sky doesn’t quite beat it, it does come perilously close…..which is good enough for us and fully rewarded our patience for new material!
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