We have now entered the final month of 2021, and that begins the final countdown to the end of the year. In the world of metal, this month we’ll also start seeing more and more lists of the year’s best releases.
Back in 2009, when this site was just a few days old, I wrote a post about year-end lists and why people bother with them. The best reason still seems to be this: Reading someone else’s list of the albums they thought were best is a good way to discover music you missed and might like.
We don’t do an “official” NCS year-end “best albums” list. However, we publish the picks of each of our regular staff writers as well as a group of invited guests, in addition to lists that we re-post from a few print zines and “big platform” online sites.
Every year we also invite our readers to share their lists and we’re doing that again right here, right now.
If you’ve been pondering what you’ve heard this year and have made your own list of the albums, EPs, or splits released in 2021 that you think are the best of what you’ve heard, we invite you to share it with everyone in the Comments section to this post. And if you haven’t made a list yet but want to, there’s still plenty of time (read below).
We don’t have any hard-and-fast rules about year-end lists. Your list doesn’t have to be a specific number — it doesn’t have to be a “Top 10″ or “Top 20″ list, it could be a Top 2 list or a Top 15, or any other number.
And it doesn’t have to be a cross-genre list, i.e., the best of all metal you’ve heard this year. It could be the best death metal, or the best black metal, or the best grind, or the best crust or doom or prog or thrash metal, and on and on — pretty much whatever you want to do and feel comfortable doing, as long as it fits your definition of metal.
Don’t be shy, and don’t worry about being judged — if you haven’t figured it out already, it ain’t our style nor is it usually the style of our commenters to ridicule what someone else thinks is great metal.
And if you don’t have a list ready yet, no sweat, because you can come back to this post whenever you like and add your list later — or comment on the lists others have posted. I’ll put a link to this post at the top right side of every page so people can find it quickly — look for the link to 2021 NCS READERS’ YEAR-END LISTS. That will make the comments to this post a collection point for “Best of” readers’ lists. And that link will stay on our page from now through this time in 2022.
Last year we had 114 comments on this invitation, and I think that says something about how interested people are in seeing each other’s lists and reacting to them. So start thinking and start commenting (please, and thank you).