Metal Insider’s Zenae Zukowski’s Top 23 albums of 2021

Posted by on December 29, 2021


2021 has been another challenging year, but we saw a return of live music. Artists have once again found more creative ways to virtually bring live music, such as Epica’s unique cinematic event with Omega Alive. Many have unveiled powerful new tunes via LP and EP releases. As difficult as it was to select this year’s best, I managed to narrow things down to my favorite twenty-three albums of 2021!  



23) Sirenia, Riddles, Ruins & Revelations (Napalm)

While it’s not ultimately my favorite Sirenia album as I’ve had bigger expectations for it, they still managed to catch my attention. It still sounds like Sirenia, but they’ve moved in more of a pop direction. However, some highlights and heavy breakdowns have made it stand out as one of my personal favorites (check out my interview and review).

Key Track: “Downwards Spiral”




22) Silver Talon, Decadence and Decay (M-Theory Audio)

After the disbandment of Spellcaster, guitarist Bryce Adams Vanhoosen picked up the pieces and formed Silver Talon. Overall the sound is heavier, darker, and richer than Spellcaster and is a brand new chapter and overall rebirth. Decadence and Decay is an incredible debut album and I’m excited to see where these guys are headed towards next (check out my interview).

Key Track: “Touch the Void”




21) Tribulation, Where The Gloom Becomes Sound (Metal Blade)

Tribulation carries out a unique style with their doom-like horror to retro guitar solos, making me curious what direction they will go after each album. Continuing to surprise their listeners while still executing their signature sound is what amazes me the most with their latest offering, Where The Gloom Becomes Sound. It’s easy to listen through; you will enjoy it after the first round. 

Key Track: “Dirge of a Dying Soul”




20) Vreid, Wild North West (Season Of Mist)

Vreid have raised the bar with Wild North West. Not only did these Norwegian black n’ rollers unleash a raw heavy new record, they paired it with a film. One of their most ambitious pieces yet, and it worked.  

Key Track: “Shadows of Aurora”



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Categorised in: Lists, Top 20