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


Quicksand Shares New Single and Video – “Missle Command” – New Album Incoming


Post-Hardcore originators Quicksand have announced a new album – Distant Populations out digitally on August 13 and on vinyl September 24 via Epitaph Records. Included on the album will be their recent single “Inversion” and they dropped a new single – “Missle Command” along with an an awesome animated video. Watch ‘Missile Command’ now!Continue reading


Quicksand Shares New Single and Animated Video – “Inversion”


New York post-Hardcore legends Quicksand (Gorilla Biscuits/Deftones members) have shared a new single and inventive animated video for the track “Inversion.” The standalone single follows their 2017 full-length album Interiors. The video features artwork by Japanese artist Tetsunori Tawaraya animated by Los Angeles-based artist Rob Fidel. Quicksand’s current lineup includes frontman/guitarist Walter Schreifels, bassist/guitarist Sergio Vega and drummer Alan Cage. Watch it now!

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CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Quicksand Released “Manic Compression” 25 Years Ago


Post-Hardcore is a sub-genre that gets tossed around today as commonplace, but in the early 1990s, it was a new little brother that the older sibling was not ready to cede attention to. As Hardcore Punk mutated into other offshoots, post-Hardcore started to gain ground. In New York City alone, the epicenter for many new waves of hardcore music, a lot of bands crossed over (see what we did there) and bands started to absorb elements of both with Prong, White Zombie, and Biohazard were all leaning more on metal vibes, Quicksand formed by members of ex-hardcore legend status bands we’re pushing towards a new sound. Heavy, but not in a tough guy way, vulnerable, but smart. By the time the members of essential musical outfits Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Beyond, Bold, Burn, and Collapse formed an anti-supergroup, released demos and the amazing Slip (Polydor) album, and toured tirelessly, fans in the scene could feel they were building to something huge. They walked in both worlds of Punk and Metal but were also world-building themselves at the same time. Continue reading


Quicksand – Glassjaw – Primitive Weapons: Live At Brooklyn Steel


If you grew up in the 198os and you liked heavy music, New York Hardcore has a profound effect on you. If you were born too late, say the little bros and sisters of hardcore kids, you too might have been influenced by this massive scene. Some of you formed bands yourself, that matched the style and fire of the earlier wave but did their own thing, like Madball. Others included their own influences, emo, thrash, rock, reggae and other subgenres to shape and mold what musical sound was coming next. What came next was post-hardcore. Not exclusive to NYC or even the east coast, it soon became a worldwide phenomenon, and like it’s older brother, it also came in waves. All these years later, two of the most impressive and talented bands ever Quicksand (first wave, helped create the genre) and Glassjaw (second wave, equally defining and crucial) not only have recent new albums out, they are both vital today as they were back then. Continue reading


Throat – Bareback


Throat’s Bareback (Svart) is the type of album you used to notice getting high marks in magazines like Pitchfork or NME. You know, the types of magazines that you got into for a brief while in college right around the time you started drinking lagers and attempting to smoke cigarettes. You didn’t particularly care for most of the articles, but reading these musical journals sure raised the right flags. You are cultured. You are no longer the rube with the cheap shoes.Continue reading


CONTEST WINNER: Glassjaw Tickets Winner Announced For O2 London Show This Week


Ghost Cult has been psyched to collaborate with www. GigsAndTours.com to give away two tickets to this weekend’s Glassjaw gig on 18 August at London’s O2 Academy Brixton. Palm Reader has now been added as an opener. Now we announce Chris Parker of Dartford as the winner. Congrats Chris! There are still tickets available at the link below. Stay tuned for future contests from Ghost Cult! Continue reading


Darryl Palumbo Of Glassjaw Talks Material Control, Touring and Longevity


Glassjaw has been one of the most enduring and beloved bands to ever come out of New York City. The band hit the scene from Hempstead, Long Island and immediately made an impact locally and beyond. Their 2000 album Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence is still essential listening. Now two and decades later, the band is as fresh and important as ever, with their recent album Material Control (Century Media). The band is wrapping up their current tour with their brethren in Quicksand before heading over to Europe. We caught up with vocalist Darryl Palumbo to discuss the longevity of the band, the experience of touring as a veteran band, the challenges they face, playing the newer material live and some important milestones coming up for the band. Continue reading


Rock on the Range Live at Mapfre Stadium


What began at Crew Stadium in 2007 as a one day festival with 14 bands has evolved into a three-day festival with around 60 bands each year. Since its humble beginnings of Rock on the Range, it has sold out. In 2007, the fest sold out at only 30,000 tickets compared to this year’s 140,000 tickets. ROTR has become the “mecca” of rock fests on the east coast. Rockers AKA “Rangers” migrate by the thousands to Mapfre Stadium in Ohio from across the globe to attend. A spiritual pilgrimage of sorts for die-hard rock fans perhaps? I can only speak for myself, but it is an amazing experience to embrace the many cultures.

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