Favorite track: The Songbird
Release date: 04 Feb 2021 | Bandcamp
This year for me was one of huge surprises and Soza, a French label, and their releases were some of the biggest ones. If you are into doom as a mindset, not the old-fashioned desripction of a genre, and like to witness the progression of an idea first-hand – then do not forget this French band and their miraculous debut!
Favorite track: À droite du démiurge, à gauche du néant
Release date: 19 Nov 2021 | Bandcamp
What should I say about a band that has been around for some years? That has produced some high-end releases? Has redefined the term “blackened hardcore” in a completely new way combining it with high chaos-core? Whose record has probably set the standard for modern hardcore for the next decade? Hmmm maybe that I can hardly wait for the next record to come!
Favorite track: Redemption/Retaliation
Release date: 02 Apr 2021 | Bandcamp
A secretive band whose main focus is their music, not their success. Songs that defy terminology and anything like first-level approachability. Ritualistic Krautrock and Psychedelia disguised as thunderous, blasting black metal. Or in a different way of saying: The hope of change (because that is the basis for every ritual) underneath total confusion. A human voyage towards the “other” stage.
Favorite track: Gewesten der Tijd
Release date: 24 Sep 2021 | Bandcamp
Vergezicht is another milestone by O, the mastermind behind Turia and many more. Iskandr is his (for lack of a better word) historian-project for he incorporates many sounds that remind us of times long past, sometimes scales that seem to echo from the 16th, 17th centuries and all clad in wonderful elegant black metal.
Favorite track: Crimson Stone
Release date: 19 Nov 2021 | Bandcamp
To me hardcore is an attitude. An “f*** you” attitude born from the suburbs of America trying to annoy the older generations and vent off some steam. Now it is much more than that – the idea of anything goes and that is exactly what Converge and their brothers in crime did with Bloodmoon: I. This is no genre at all, it is pure mood – darkness, only a few bright spots in crimson. And it surely pissed off a lot of those “fans” who never got the fact that You Fail Me is more important than Jane Doe. There I said it.
Nadja and Luminous Rot : If sandpaper ever had a sexy appeal – then on Luminous Rot. And that begins with the artwork which one of the most seductive shades of red I have seen in a long while. And inside of the wonderful gatefold, Leah and Aidan give us five tracks for the party among the ruins of humanity. Teethgrynder’s Hostages might not be sexy but: If Nick Cave ever came back to his post-punk origins and produced a noise-rock record with the exact same mindset of the Birthday Party that might sound strangely similar to Teethgrynder’s latest full-length that he recorded with the help of some of the UK’s most important “post-” artists! A pretty young band is The Sun and The Mirror, at least to my knowledge. Their Dissolution to Salt And Bone is hard to describe: Raspy. Sharp. On the verge of ripping away at the foundations of the string needed to produce their music this duo produces some of the best doom I have heard this side of the pandemic! You should also follow their label, Brucia Records! Next on the list are two stunning debuts: First Gold Spire’s self-titled one which raises the question: Is this the epitome of how closely you can blend (death) and jazz? I would say there might a tiny bit more overlapping left but Gold Spire really take this combination a step further than all the Rivers of Nihils or White Wards of this world. One of the surprises of 2021! Ropes Of Night and their debut full-length Impossible Space is last on this list but when I think back on the original list with more than 100 records on it, this means a lot. Post-Punk has seen a huge revival other the last couple of years – Deathsomnia, Fotocrime, Jaye Jayle and also Ropes of Night. This is much more than a side-project, this is another wonderful form of expression and, for me, the post-punk record of 2021. Impossible to vacate this space in my heart.