Annet’s Albums of the Year 2021

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2021, a year where we all hoped to have concerts and festivals again. We got some festivals and some concerts luckily, but we’re not quite there yet. Let’s hope that next year brings us much more live music, but for now, lets see what pearls of releases we got to enjoy this year from our living rooms. For now, here are the albums that came out in 2021 I enjoyed the most:

10. AlestormLive in Tilburg

At the bottom of the list we start with a party. This live show by Alestorm was played in Tilburg, Netherlands in 2019, and is free to watch on youtube. But they released it on CD and DVD in 2021. It’s a reminder of how things were before COVID hit and also shows how much we want to do this again. 2021 was a bit better for shows than 2020, but still not quite as much as we liked to. It’s a classic Alestorm show with a lot of awesome songs being played and a lot of humor throughout the whole thing. No one is ever bored during an Alestorm show, and if there was somebody that looked bored, he probably would be called out on it by lead singer Christopher Bowes himself. This show has been the cure for my ‘no live music depression’. Let us thank the sound guy for this amazing audio, Jeff ‘Poison Man’ Sarabia. Not only can we hear the fans loud and clear, the band is loud and clear as well. 

You can read the review here.

9. The Dead DaisiesHoly Ground

An album that came out at the beginning of this year that screamed pure Rock ’n Roll. It actually sounds like you are on the Holy Ground. The album has killer guitar solos and kick ass riffs throughout. And surprisingly, it ends with a ballad. Unexpected, but it gives you some time to think about your first steps on the Holy Ground.

Check out the review here.

8. Holding AbsenceThe Greatest Mistake of My life

I’ll use the last sentence of my review for the first sentence of this piece: With this being only their second album, I can imagine why they won Best UK Breakthrough Band in 2019. Because let me tell you one thing: this album will haunt your heart and your brain until you decide to give in to it and let it devour you. This album came out in April 2021, and is still haunting my brain. So I can prove the thoughts of my past self. Lead singer Lucas Woodland has a special way of using his voice. It’s not a clean voice, but also not a screaming voice. It’s somewhere in between. This in combination with a genre that could be described as metalcore, but is often not that heavy, creates the special sound of this album.

7. Chris MaragothTales EP

This EP definitely gets the award for most surprising album of the year. This EP contains three songs, two of them instrumental. And man, was I blown away by them. I’ve never heard instrumental songs capturing so much emotions and translating them perfectly into music. It got me hooked form the first second to the last.

You can read the review here.

6. Eskimo CallboyMMXX Hypa Hypa Edition

A lot of Hypa Hypa in one album. It’s cool to see that one song can have so many different faces. And if you have followed what Eskimo Callboy is doing, you might have heard ‘We Got the Moves’ and ‘Pump It’. As a lot of fans were saying they should participate at Eurovision Songfestival, they created an official video application for it. So let’s hope we get some awesome dance metalcore into the world!

You can read the review here.

5. Sixx A.M. Hits

A celebration not only for Nikki Sixx’s book ‘The First 21’, but also the proof that you can get off drugs. It’s possible to get your life back. Mötley Crüe’s bass player has spread this message before, but he let us in to another part of his life were we didn’t know that much about. The album contains 5 new songs that go together with this book. The other songs are a compilation of Sixx A.M.’s greatest hits. It has some calmer songs on there, it has some kick ass fast songs on it, but most of all, it has a very special and deep message.

You can read the book review and the review of the new songs here.

4. PowerwolfCall of the Wild

Powerwolf once again proved themselves though this album full of powerful songs. First, I thought this was going to be full of “Amens” and “Halleluja’s”, but it’s not. Powerwolf created a style true to themselves, but different from what it was before. There’s this wall of sound that comes at you, especially with headphones on. The song that got me wanting to listen to this album, was their second single Dancing With the Dead. This song is the perfect example of what I said before: true to their style, yet totally different from what they’ve done before. The video is presented in a theater like way. Fast video shots follow each other and the movements of lead singer Attila Dorn’s arms make it look like he is dancing. 

You can read the review here.

3. Helloween Helloween

What an album this was. All band members who have been with Helloween before or are currently in it, participated in this one, big heavy metal party celebration. It took Helloween long to create a self titled album, but this album really is the definition of itself. The title couldn’t have been better. The band showed us the classic Helloween formula with solid, usually fast riffs, harmonies in the choruses and killer guitar solos battling each other. And the cool thing is, during the listening session before the album came out, the band stated that they were quite happy with this line up right now. So we can possibly expect more Helloween albums with all the members together. 

You can read the review here.

2. While She Sleeps Sleeps Society

An album that tells you it’s ok to be you. That it’s ok to fail. That you are not alone, even though it seems like it. This all in the form of melodic metalcore that goes straight through your bones. All songs are extremely powerful, but the one that hits me the most might be ‘Nervous’. Listen to the song and tell me if it hits you and what you feel. It’s truly one of the songs this year that touched me the most. Besides the title of the album, Sleeps Society is also a way to support the band with different monthly subscriptions, starting form as low as 6 euros per month. This model helped out the band in times where they couldn’t perform or when it was uncertain for them to perform. Sleeps Society is metalcore that is loud and clear, but at the same time very soothing.

You can read the review here.

1. The OffspringLet The Bad Times Roll

After waiting for 9 years, we finally got a new record by The Offspring. As the band that got me into rock and metal music, I just have to put it on number one. The record shows different sides off The Offspring. It has their classic old school sound on Hassan Chop. It has jazz influences on We Never Have Sex Anymore. And don’t forget that we got a recorded piano version of Gone Away. Overall, the album has a powerful punk rock sound to it with harmonies added. This creates a futuristic sound. An album that was definitely worth the wait!

You can read the review here.

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