LISTMANIA 2021: ROLLING STONE’S LIST OF THE 10 BEST METAL ALBUMS OF 2021
Here’s another entry in the part of our annual LISTMANIA orgy where we re-post lists of metal from “big platform” web sites and print zines — the kind of places that get a lot more eyeballs on them than filthy little metal-only hovels like ours.
Rolling Stone magazine should need no introduction, so I’m not going to provide one. Last year we didn’t include a Rolling Stone metal list in our year-end LISTMANIA series — because they didn’t publish one. I thought they’d jettisoned the idea permanently, but their Top 10 metal list has made a return this year — and it’s better than I expected it would be.
For one thing, Panopticon’s latest album made the list, and that alone brought a big smile to my face. And there were other pleasant choices I wasn’t expecting to see (e.g., Skepticism and Portal). Of course, there were some others that weren’t surprising at all (e.g., all of the top 5), given the propensity of places like Rolling Stone to shower big names with the biggest praise, though to be clear I’m not suggesting any of those albums is bad.
Also, just to be extra-clear, even after all these years: This is not our list. This is Rolling Stone‘s list.
10. Panopticon: ‘…And Again Into the Light’
9. King Woman: ‘Celestial Blues’
8. Skepticism: ‘Companion’
7. Portal: ‘Avow’
6. Tribulation: ‘Where the Gloom Becomes Sound’
5. Converge: ‘Bloodmoon: I’
4. Carcass: ‘Torn Arteries’
3. Gojira: ‘Fortitude’
2. Mastodon: ‘Hushed and Grim’
1. Iron Maiden: ‘Senjutsu’
I am not getting the love for that Skepticism album. I love doom and sludge metal and I’ve almost fallen asleep listening to that one multiple times now. Sadly, same thing for the King Woman which is super disappointing to me especially seeing as how she has made the most year end lists as far as I can tell. Carcass is really good because it’s, well, Carcass, although I am not quite sure it’s cracking a top 10 list. It feels sorta like the Metallica treatment from Hardwired. I have not gotten a proper listen to the Converge yet but the first few tracks had me pretty 50/50 at best so far.
I’m completely on board, however, with Iron Maiden, Mastodon, Gojira, Tribulation and Panopticon.
Portal are exceptional talents and push the avante-garde envelop in a way I have so much appreciation for but it’s simply too chaotic for me to listen to on a regular basis and mostly tends to serve as the, “Oh you wanna hear the most bananas sounding thing ever – check this out!” album you can put on to make people say, “Interesting”.
Spot on with your Portal take. For me it’s I like them, but I don’t like them.
No one?…..No one? Are we free?
I guess we lost more old-timers than I thought we had, or they’re succumbing to senility.