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Well, another year in the books. Another year of excellent metal and another year scrambling to put together year end lists from the vast amount of quality music released in 2021.

Below is the finely crafted crème de la crème of year end lists from our dedicated staff, who strive to provide to the great daily content here at TeethoftheDivine, and their year end reward is to spout their opinions of what they liked, disliked and anticipate.

As usual feel free to add you own lists or comments and of course browse the site to find reviews of the contained material where we have it. But more importantly lets hope for a better and closer to normal year in 2022.

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Steve K


You ever work in food service? I did for a bit. I used to work summers at this waterfront restaurant that was the hottest joint in town for 3 months of the year – both from a business standpoint, and it was also like 140 fucking degrees in the kitchen. MISERABLE. Anyway, there’d inevitably come a time during a dinner rush where you had to run back and grab some bullshit out of the walk-in cooler, and as soon as I’d leave that hellish swamp ass of a kitchen and hit that beautiful wall of refrigerated air, my brain would fritz the fuck out. Whatever you ran back to grab? Gone. Out the dang window. I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know how I had gotten there. I was a vegetable.

Eventually, I’d snap out of it and remember to grab the cheese for your 3lb widowmaker of a bacon cheeseburger still sitting on my grill, quickly turning from the medium rare you ordered into a giant hockey puck, but that 10 – 20 second cognitive fart is the closest personal experience I can compare to the year 2021. I know that, like, SOME things happened, but I struggle to remember any of it. And even if I do remember a thing happening, fuck if I recall WHEN it did, because time seems like it doesn’t mean anything anymore. 10 minutes? 10 months? It’s basically the same thing at this point. Do I have a brain tumor?

That said, 2021 was a DOPE year for music, and just about the only thing I had a solid grip on these past 12 months. So here’s the top 21 of ’21, with a bonus 5 EPs cuz EPs were out of control this year.

1. Demiser Through the Gate Eternal (Boris Records)
Honestly, my only real qualification for record of the year status is, which album did I listen to the most? It was Through the Gate Eternal, and it wasn’t even really close. A sadistic, tongue-in-cheek tour de force that grabbed me by the balls on first listen and never let go.  Only one other album this year was maybe more fun of a listen, but just barely. I’ll get to that later…

2. Herzel Le Dernier Rempart (Cruz Del Sur Music)
My first “HOLY SHIT” moment of 2021 came from these Frenchmen. One of the best, most unique Traditional Heavy Metal albums I’ve heard in a long, long while.

3. 1914 Where Fear and Weapons Meet (Napalm Records)
I like The Blind Leading the Blind more than this one, and it’s STILL easily one of the best albums of 2021. These dudes are on a roll.

4. Crown Lands Odyssey Vol. 1 (Universal Canada/Spinefarm)
Sometimes you hear a band and just immediately know you’ve come across something really special, and Crown Lands absolutely qualifies. A Prog duo that sounds way bigger than their numbers.

5. BeekeeperSlaves to the Nothing [Re-issue] (Metal Assault Records)
Ok so, yeah, it’s a re-issue which, is maybe cheating? I dunno, nor do I care, because Beekeeper was a totally new discovery for me this year, and Slaves to the Nothing absolutely friggin RIPS. AND they’ve got new music coming out next year to look forward to. Join the swarm!

6. Silver Talon Decadence and Decay (M-Theory Audio)
God damn I miss Nevermore, and now I finally have a band more than capably scratching that itch.

7. Dödsrit Mortal Coil (Wolves of Hades)
Christoffer Öster leads his D-Beat Black Metal outfit into it’s first foray with a full backing band – with fantastic results. What a cathartic, moving album.

8. Hooded Menace The Tritonus Bell (Season of Mist)
Death/Doom done just about as well as you can imagine. The band’s best effort yet.

9. Bewitcher Cursed Be Thy Kingdom (Century Media)
Winners of my unofficial “most improved band” award. They stepped up their brand of Speed/Heavy Metal in a BIG way in 2021.

10. Duskmourn – Fallen Kings and Rusted Crowns (Self-Released)
My favorite random discovery of 2021. Do yourself a favor and go check out this unsigned New Jersey duo doing their best take on Finnish Folk/Melodeath. HEY YO, I’M HARMONIZING GUITARS HERE!

11. Dying Wish Fragments of a Bitter Memory (Sharptone Records)
Made me feel like I was in high school during Metalcore’s early 00’s heyday. Break out the handkerchiefs and camo cargo shorts!

12. Every Time I Die Planet Shit (Epitaph)
I hope my boys from Buffalo can get their personal issues squared away, but if not, what an album to go out on. All the bullshit and anger of the last 2 years put on full display.

13. Wraith – Undo the Chains (Redefining Darkness Records)
If any band is ready to carry the torch of modern thrash lit by Riley Gale and Power Trip, it’s these dudes.

14. Evergrey Rise of the Phoenix (AFM Records)
These guys have had quite a career of taking shit for being “too catchy” and “too poppy.” Well FUUUUUUUCK that. Rise of the Phoenix didn’t rewrite any books, but it might be the band’s best mix of heavy and catchy yet, and that’s saying something.

15. Khemmis Deceiver (Nuclear Blast)

16. Be’lakor Coherence (Napalm Records)
I love that Melodeath is quietly having a little resurgence, and these veterans might just be the ones that help it come back in full. A stunner of an album.

17. Harakiri For The Sky– Mære (AOP Records)
This one took a little bit to really sink its hooks in me, but once it did, it didn’t let go. Another really good album from the leaders in post Black Metal.

18. Tower Shock to the System (Cruz Del Sur Music)
Singer Sarahbeth Linden’s vocal performance alone would be enough to put this album on my list – the band’s great songwriting is just icing on the cake.

19. Nunslaughter Red is the Color or Ripping Death (Hell’s Headbangers Records)
The best album by one of metal’s most legendary acts. What more is there to say?

20. The Ruins of Beverast The Thule Grimoirs (Van Records)
One of the most haunting, overwhelming records of 2021 in the very best possible way.

21. Ültra Raptör Tyrants (Fighter Records)
THIS is the most fun record of 2021. Don’t judge me this album fucking rules.

Top 5 EPs

1. Heads for the Dead Slash n’ Roll (Transcending Obscurity)
2. Witch Vomit Abhorrent Rapture (20 Buck Spin)
3. Video Nasty Video Nasty (Self-Released)
4. Eternal Autumn To Tame the Impaler (Self-Released)
5. Gamma Ghouls Earth Stands Still (Self-Released)


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