Dec 222021


Reading year-end lists that someone other than you made tend to provoke mixed feelings of validation, perplexity (which sometimes verges into anger), and discovery. The opportunity for discovery is the main reason we here at NCS devote so much space to our annual LISTMANIA extravaganza, even though we know those other feelings will also be in the mix of reactions. The list we’re re-publishing from Bandcamp Daily will probably be no different in any of these respects.

Bandcamp, of course, has become a vital platform for the digital release of music of all stripes (and physical merchandise as well) since its founding in 2007. Bandcamp used to release an annual compilation of performance statistics, but I haven’t found a similar report since the one they released for 2017. However, the main Bandcamp page today reports that “Fans have paid artists $854 million using Bandcamp, and $212 million in the last year”.

In the summer of 2016, the company launched Bandcamp Daily, an online music publication about artists on the platform. Bandcamp Daily regularly publishes articles of relevance to metalheads, though metal is of course only one of hundreds of music genres represented on Bandcamp. Recently Bandcamp Daily published its list of “The Best Metal Albums of 2021“ under the byline of Brad Sanders, who writes the monthly metal column for Bandcamp.

The list includes 12 un-ranked selections, accompanied by mini-reviews — and you can read those and listen to the music streams HERE.

Speaking for myself, I had all those mixed feelings mentioned above. In terms of discovery, I see four albums I’ve never listened to, three of which I didn’t know existed (Doctor Smoke, Nansarunai, and Saber). Perplexity also came into play when I saw Cannibal Corpse. And validation came from the sight of several albums I’ve really enjoyed, though I have no idea whether I’d put them all in my own Top 12 list if I were to make one, which I won’t.

Anyway, feel free to share your own mixed reactions in the comments.


Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

Doctor Smoke – Dreamers and the Dead

Gravesend – Methods of Human Disposal

Illudium – Ash of the Womb

King Woman – Celestial Blues

Lamp of Murmuur – Submission and Slavery

Nansarunai – Ultimul Rege

Panopticon – …And Again into the Light

Pupil Slicer – Mirrors

Saber – Without Warning

Silver Talon – Decadence and Decay

Spectral Wound – A Diabolic Thirst


  1. Nansaruni is topnotch…I’d recommend that one myself

    Cannibal Corpse currently has a lot of people who enjoy listening to Cannibal Corpse very excited about an album that sounds like pretty much every Cannibal Corpse album since the dawn of time, because Erik Rutan of Hate Eternal is on guitars

    • Haha, very fair point, but also CC (and Hate Eternal) rule! Outside of Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse is just unfuckablewith and incredibly consistent, and it’s fun to be along for the ride.

      Now it’s time to check out Nansaruni.

  2. The Saber album dominates all the other Traditional Metal albums released this year and there were some amazing ones besides. It’s such a fun and exciting record.

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