Ghost Cult Albums of the Year Part 2 (40 – 21)


You can read Part 1 of our 2021 Album of the Year countdown here…

Check out our podcast for a sneak preview of 20-11 on the list!

The tension mounts… On with the body count!

 

40. Beartooth – Below (Red Bull) Making it four bangers in a row, Beartooth continue to deliver anthems while peppering their rampant punked-up Metalcore with more Hard Rock flourishes to devastating effect. Caleb Shomo and his compadres are on fire on Below.

 

 

39. Leprous – Aphelion (InsideOut Music) “Ten tracks that vary a lot from the traditional heavy passages that the band has always showcased but keeps expanding onto other genres like glimpses of Trip Hop and more popular genres. The overall talent of the band is undeniable”. GC Review

 

 

38. Spelljammer – Abyssal Trip (Riding Easy Records) “An equally catchy, beautiful, heavy, and dark album that brings a scenario that can be only compared as being a collection of Black Sabbath’s darkest, twisted tracks but heavier and more melodic.” GC Review

 

 

37. Quicksand – Distant Populations (Epitaph Records) Veteran, ney, legendary post-hardcore heroes maintain form with their second comeback album, an album which delivers a lot in a short run time and confirms the adage that class is permanent.

 

36. Dream Theater – A View From The Top Of The World (InsideOut Music) “The fifteenth studio album from prog legends Dream Theater finds the Bostonian act with nothing left to prove but still in the form of their lives. At a mighty seventy minutes in length yet featuring a mere seven tracks, A View From the Top of The World explores and probes new ideas while reinventing the past.” GC Review

 

 

35. Lorna Shore – …And I Return To Nothingness (Century Media Records) “on … Nothingness they are doubling down on their spooky sound. What you definitely want to check out is the title track as guitarists Andrew O’Connor and Adam De Micco put in a hell of a shift.” GC Review

 

34. 1914 – Where Fear Meets Weapon (Napalm Records) “It’s almost arbitrary to weigh 1914’s albums when they’ve maintained such a powerful track record, but Where Fear And Weapons Meet may be their strongest iteration so far. A broader platform works greatly in the band’s favor” GC Review

 

 

33. Harikari For The Sky – Maere (AOP) Emotive, reflective and building from a whisper to howling, pummelling driving riffs, there’s something for most on HFTS’ fifth album, with the duo maintaining more heft than most post-Black outfits.

 

32. Employed To Serve – Conquering (Spinefarm Records) “No longer too hardcore for the metal kids, or too metal for the hardcore kids, The Conquering hits that sweet spot that Brainwashed, There Is A Hell… and Ire once found…, and that helped catapult their protagonists to the forefront and across the bridge to the promised land, though perhaps with a bit more vitriol in its spit.” GC Review

 

31. Portal – Avow (Profound Lore Records) “Barely even describable as songs, the illogically structured, screeching dissonant terrors of Avow almost defy description. ‘Catafalque’ is a repeated crescendo of molten chromatic bludgeoning while ‘Eye’, and ‘Offune’ are churning quagmires of jellified, tentacled malevolence.” GC Review

 

 

 

30. Full of Hell – Garden of Burning Apparitions (Relapse Records) I think we all know what we’re getting from US grind experts by now: disgustingly aggressive short bursts of dirty discordant rage-fuelled aural violence of the highest order. Again. And long may it continue

 

29. Boss Keloid – Family The Shining Thrush (Ripple Music) “With their fifth album, Family The Smiling Thrush, the Wigan (UK) prog / stoner / psych rock troupe hit the sweet spot of evolution from a predecessor without abandoning the elements that made it such a sterling release.” GC Review

 

28. Converge & Chelsea Wolfe – Bloodmoon: I (Epitaph Records) “Turbulent but serene, abrasive but polished, Bloodmoon: I never ceases to enthral and amaze. An harmonious cacophony of beautiful melody and jagged rhythms, ideas crash into each other one moment and complement each other unhurriedly the next.” GC Review

 

27. Gatecreeper – An Unexpected Reality (Closed Casket Activities) “A response to short-term playlist culture, and released with no build-up, just “here you fucking go”… An Unexpected Reality is a success. Seven tracks of grinding power-violence, averaging around a minute each in length, and one epic expansive doomier beast of an eleven-minute closer… an unexpected delight.” GC Review

 

26. Monolord –Your Time To Shine (Relapse Records) “Five albums into a career as one of the top bands in the modern Stoner Doom scene, Monolord offers their most mellow, tripped-out effort to date with Your Time To Shine. While there’s still plenty of dank fuzziness to go around, it feels almost like a backdrop at times as the cleaner guitar textures are given near equal priority and the vocals are at their most prominent.” GC Review

 

25. The Killers – Pressure Machine (Island Records) “There is an initial sense of shock as you expect some rousing, anthemic pop, but give it time and the record’s charms wash over you. This is not a record with immediacy, it is one you slowly soak in and discover its intricacies. It is a mature and moving piece of work, telling 11 tales of a small American town in an honest and genuine way.” Thomas Thrower, Ghost Cult writer via LMF

 

24. Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine of Hell (Sargent House)Engine Of Hell feels like a very personal expression, but the emotional honesty and fragile presentation seems to tap into something universal. This is a record that can bring a tear to the eye and a smile to the face at the same time; that can make you feel emotions that are strange, cathartic and instantly understandable. It’s a very human album.” GC Review

23. Exodus – Persona Non Grata (Nuclear Blast Records) “Exodus’s eleventh studio album has been more than worth the wait. A raw and unapologetically belligerent lunatic parade of dive-bombing solos, crunching riffs and razor sharp hooks, inhuman drumming and deranged vocals, Persona Non Grata delivers on its promise in every way imaginable.” GC Review

 

22. Møl – Diorama (Nuclear Blast Records) “One thing became crystal clear very quickly after listening to MØL’s most recent effort, Diorama: this band can do it all. They’ve devised eight elegant tracks to prove just that, frankly leaving fans wanting more; these Danes dabble in Progressive Rock, Black Metal, Melodic Death Metal and even a snippet of Pop Punk.” GC Review

 

21. Deafheaven – Infinite Granite (Sargent House) “Deafheaven has scored another winning outing in their so far undefeated discography. Worth noting here is that Deafheaven is very much still in the business of producing some lean music that never loses its drive. ‘Shellstar’ gets off the line and sets the tone for what’s to come with a deft combination of shoegaze and alternative sounds that recall the 1990s but never comes across as dated.” GC Review

Read Part 3 (20-1)

Ghost Cult Albums of the Year Part 3 (20 – 1)

and Read Part 1

Ghost Cult’s Albums of the Year 2021 Part 1 (75 – 41)

STEVE TOVEY


ALBUM REVIEW: 1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet


1914 may have their Blackened Death/Doom formula honed to a science, but it’s still interesting to note how their methods get affected as their platform gradually expands. Their third album, Where Fear And Weapons Meet (Napalm Records), certainly sees some effects of this as their highest profile release so far. The production job is their most polished to date and the riffs have a more noticeably grandiose edge to them than usual. They even got Nick Holmes to perform guest vocals on the appropriately Paradise Lost-esque brooding of ‘…And A Cross Now Marks His Place.’

Continue reading


1914 Shares New Single- “Pillars Of Fire (The Battle Of Messines)”


Blackened death/doom innovators 1914 have dropped the new video for “Pillars Of Fire (The Battle Of Messines),” the second single off their forthcoming record Where Fear and Weapons Meet (Napalm Records) on October 22nd, 2021. The brutal animated music video can be seen below.Continue reading


Inferno Festival Canceled for 2021, Dates for 2022 Announced


Sad news as the 2021 edition of the legendary extreme metal annual event Inferno Festival in Oslo, Norway has been canceled due to the ongoing covid-19 outlook and restrictions this spring. The festival has put out a statement canceling, offering to roll over tickets and offer a refund period as well. Bands booked for 2021 that have reconfirmed for 2022 include Kreator, Mayhem, Venom, Ihsahn, Kampfar, Ved Buens Ende, Vreid, Cadaver, Myrkskog, Entombed AD, Asphyx, Benighted, Bølzer, Dark Fortress, Tulus, Whoredom Rife, Djerv, Hamferd, Dyscarnate, The Great Old Ones, 1914, Sylvaine, Asagraum, Nyrst, Isvind, From The Vastland, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, Nachash, Ulvehyrde, Kosmos Brenner, Sovereign, Gnida, Eridu, Zifir, Solbrud, Xenoblight, Oranssi Pazuzu. Read the statement from the festival here:

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Inferno Festival 2020 Has Been Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Restrictions


Sad news as one of the greatest metal festivals in the world, and a favorite of Ghost Cult, Inferno Festival 2020, set to take place in Oslo, Norway has been totally canceled. The fest was to feature Kreator, Mayhem, Triumph of Death, Amorphis, Venom, Gorgoroth, Marduk, Ihsahn, Kampfar, and many more! According to a message from the festival, “all public events in Norway are banned until the end of April, and this period might be extended. The health authorities estimate 4-5 months. So, there are no chance that we can make Inferno happen this year.” See a message from the fest here: Continue reading


Brutal Assault 2020 Adds Cattle Decapitation, Fever333, Katatonia, Life of Agony and More!


Brutal Assault has added a plethora of new bands for 2020! Among the new bands playing the festival include Cattle Decapitation, Fever333, Katatonia, Life of Agony, Shadow of Intent, Fueled By Fire, Katatonia, Psykup, Mysticum, and Imperial Triumphant. The twenty-fifth edition of Brutal Assault Festival takes place August 5 – 8th at historic Fortress Josefov, in Czech Republic and will feature 130+ bands on five stages over four days. Watch a new trailer for the fest right now!Continue reading


Cradle of Filth, Static-X, Kvelertak, Havok, While She Sleeps and More Added to Brutal Assault 2020


Brutal Assault has added twenty more bands for their 25th anniversary in 2020. Now joining the bill (in alphabetical order) are 1914, Arcturus, Author & Punisher, Beyond Creation, Cradle Of Filth, Draconis Infernum, Frontierer, Havok, Kvelertak, Mass Infection, Me And That Man, Necrophobic, Ottone Pesante, Pensées Nocturnes, Ring Of Saturn, Sigh, Static–X, Toxic Holocaust, Vader, and While She Sleeps. Brutal Assault 25 takes place August 5-8, 2020at the legendary Fortress Josefov and boasts 140+ bands on four days over five stages. Tickets and full band list below. Continue reading


Triumph of Death, Amorphis, Asphyx, Oranssi Pazuzu, and The Great Old Ones are The Final Bands Booked for Inferno Metal Festival 2020!


Events Center, Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV 8/17/19

Inferno Metal Festival has booked its final five bands for the 20th anniversary in 2020, and they are all legends. Triumph of Death (Hellhammer/Celtic Frost band led by Tom G. Warrior), Amorphis, Asphyx, Oranssi Pazuzu, and The Great Old Ones will perform at the fest in Oslo, Norway next spring, on 9-12 of April. The full lineup and details can be found below. Continue reading