As promised, this is my list of 2021 releases that I got hooked into. Like the albums and EP’s that I discovered post, this is just a partial list and I will finalized it on January 2022. Since my musical taste is all over the place (LOL), you’ll get into different sounds and genre. Nevertheless, these jams are my favorite for this year and I think you’ll like it too. If you want a throwback of my favorite picks in 2020, then click here.
Songs of Death and Resurrection (Demon Hunter) – I’m not a fan of this veteran metal band, but this album came to me as a surprise. When metal bands do some acoustic releases of their songs, Demon Hunter jumped into the bandwagon. What should be a compilation of their hits and new songs became a treat for fans and non-fans (like me) of this band. While some will do a few acoustic in a release, Demon Hunter gave an album that is an hour long and I’m not complaining. This album delivers soulful power ballads from Demon Hunter’s catalogue and added new materials which made me a noob because I simply have no ideas of their songs. . You’ll enjoy this one, song after song as the band go mellow but full force power in every song (which is reminiscent of Staind and Everlast).
Paradise (The Gray Havens) – Another band that I’m not well acquainted with (but I’m glad that I did now) is The Gray Havens. The duo’s 2021 release is a delight for it delivers the familiar infused with new elements that brings different vibes throughout this EP. As I have heard, this is not yet complete and The Gray Havens will release a few more song, you’ll love this one enough for heavy rotation in you streaming platform.
Prologue (Mothaltar) – This one is a banger and a promising one! What I like about this EP is giving you enough serving of this metalcore band without getting worn out with a lot of songs. I’m not into progressive metal but if they labelled this as one, this is the progressive metal I like. They give you the heavy and the stripped down stuff. The clear and growling vocals are amazing here. A few songs will get me head banging and look forward from this band.
Tamed Tongue (Dens) – Like Demon Hunter’s album in this list, alternative band Dens release a stripped down album from their last year’s memorable release, Tamed Tongue. You might think it will be the usual acoustic version of the album but Dens, took a different route and that’s why this album is a must listen. They turned their banger of an album and frolic over folk and Americana which is totally blew me away. The genre might be at odds with the treatment they did to this one but the message is still powerful and penetrating. If there will be an album of the year, this latest from Dens is a contender.
Songs from Home (Jonathan Ogden) – After his ambitious 2020 release, Ogden lay aside the lo-fi beat, picks up his guitar and dishes out songs of praise and encouragement. While his band, Rivers and Robots are in hiatus, Ogden manage to churn out tunes for this release titled Songs from Home, that are peaceful and will help you get through this down time.
All Ye Who Hear (Norton Hall Band) – Norton Hall Band already release a couple of albums before this one and another (probably the last) after this. However, for me this is my favorite among their 2021 release because of the hymn selection (mostly are not familiar to me) and the treatment they did for every hymn (female and male vocals interchanges in the tracks). For me this is their 2021 best release. Norton Hall Band breaths fresh air on these old hymns that you can sing in the worship hall to listening inside your car, while maintaining the uniqueness of what a hymn is.
Melancholy Machines (Death Therapy) – Getting news of an upcoming album from a band you love that will be more alternative than their metal garb is one thing but jumping from one label to another for me is anticipating a disappointment for fans. But with just the release of the single, Tension, I was sold! Having less screams and heaviness but more of the singing, less “Nintendo core” and more industrial and groove metal, Melancholy Machines is full of surprise in every song. I think it surpasses the two albums under Death Therapy’s belt.
Departures (Jon Foreman) – What distinguishes Jon Foreman from his band, Switchfoot? Well this album will remind you again the vast gulf between that great band and his solo effort. Both are always deliver great stuff but Foreman takes you into a journey he alone can go and come back. Switchfoot may have taken the same subject to sing about but Foreman goes to it, picks it up and let us peek from his perspective. And boy his view is kaleidoscopic!
Any favorites 2021 albums or EP’s you want to rave about? Please do it on the comment section.
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