Top ten metal/hard rock albums of 2021

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This list trended more towards hard rock than metal this year, with many bands making their usual appearance. With a year as static as 2021, it’s no surprise that old standbys provided more comfort than newer finds: Legends Chevelle and Evergrey both released fine examples of longevity at its finest, groups like Beast in Black and Greta Van Fleet continued to mine the sounds of yore for their brands of throwback power metal and 70’s dino-rock respectively, and a group like Aephanamer just kept doing whatever incredible spell-casting they do to produce another album both beautiful in sound and sight. It wasn’t the greatest year for the genre by far, but it’s a sign of my enduring trust in it that I could still find ten albums that reminded me why I never give up on metal. In no particular order, here are my ten favorite:

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The Pretty Reckless: Death by Rock and Roll // Evergrey: Escape of the Phoenix

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Chevelle: NIRATIAS // Greta Van Fleet: The Battle at Garden’s Gate

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DIAMANTE: American Dream // Unto Others: Strength

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Angels & Airwaves: Lifeforms // Beast in Black: Dark Connection

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STARSET: Horizons // Aephanemer: A Dream of Wilderness

Honorable Mentions

Khemmis: Deceiver
Dee Gees: Hail Satin
Eastern High: Halo
IOTUNN: Access All Worlds
Orden Ogan: Final Days

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