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