Jan 2022 08

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It has been a rather significant length of time since ReGen Magazine has featured a “Top Albums” list of the year, but in the tail end of 2021, editor-in-chief Ilker Yücel was invited by Sapphira Vee and James Reyna – a.k.a. Melodywhore – to be a guest on the pair’s Situation 47 Podcast, with the topic of discussion to focus on ReGen‘s “Top 20 Albums of 2021.” With the participation of our writing staff, such a list was eventually assembled in time for the Podcast, but as perhaps should have been expected, the number of selections far exceeded 20… even after removing several choices due to their release dates landing in 2020, which really calls attention to the considerable outpouring of musical and artistic creativity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Not that ReGen wishes to pin down such vibrant productivity solely to such dire circumstances – that would be too simplistic, and even dismissive of the wellspring of talent that is the current music scene. Even as people face illness and death, art and music thrives as a source of inspiration and a beacon of hope, reflecting the anger, despair, and confusion of these dreadful times and providing even the faintest glimmers of joy.
As stated, with all of ReGen‘s active staff taking part in the assembly of this list, there was simply no possibility of limiting it to a mere 20; thus, this article marks our first “Top 50” listing of albums released in 2021 that ReGen considers exceptional. Even 50 seems like a small number given the tremendous amount of music released in the last year, and ranking them in any order of quality or aesthetic value seemed a fool’s errand… after all, this is not a competition. As such, ReGen wishes to emphasize to the reader that past the #1 pick on this list, none of these entries are a ranking of merit or aesthetic quality. This listing is but a small sample of the great music that 2021 offered us, with each of the artists and albums represented here worthy of attention and praise.
To the artists who may dig their number placement, sorry, but it doesn’t mean we think your album was better than the one below you or worse than the one above you… you’re all stars here, sharing this little spotlight.
2021 is now past, and as we continue to endure uncertainty and hardship in the coming year, so too is there potential for the light of hope and creativity to persevere in 2022. We hope that you enjoy ReGen Magazine‘s “Top 50 Albums of 2021.”

 

  1. The Joy Thieves
    Album: American Parasite
    Label: Armalyte Industries
    Release Date: 2021-07-23
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  3. Stoneburner
    Album: Apex Predator
    Label: COP International
    Release Date: 2021-09-03
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  5. Unitcode:Machine
    Album: Themes For a Collapsing Empire
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-08-06
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  7. cEvin Key
    Album: Resonance
    Label: Artoffact Records
    Release Date: 2021-02-19
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  9. Sumo Cyco
    Album: Initiation
    Label: Napalm Records
    Release Date: 2021-05-07
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  11. Lucia Cifarelli
    Album: I Am Eye
    Label: Metropolis Records
    Release Date: 2021-07-02
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  13. DHI (Death and Horror Inc.)
    Album: The Idiot Parade EP
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-11-01
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  15. Kirlian Camera
    Album: Cold Pills (Scarlet Gate of Toxic Daybreak)
    Label: Dependent Records
    Release Date: 2021-05-14
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  17. Backxwash
    Album: I Lie Here Buried with My Rings and My Dresses
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-06-20
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  19. Union of Knives
    Album: Endless From the Start
    Label: Disco Piñata
    Release Date: 2021-11-12
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  21. Pitch Black Manor
    Album: Night Creeps
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-08-13
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  23. Consolidated
    Album: We’re Already There
    Label: The End of Records
    Release Date: 2021-03-19
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  25. King Woman
    Album: Celestial Blues
    Label: Relapse Records
    Release Date: 2021-07-30
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  27. I Ya Toyah
    Album: Out of Order EP
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-03-26
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  29. Divide and Dissolve
    Album: Gas Lit
    Label: Invada Records
    Release Date: 2021-01-29
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  31. Chiasm and John Fryer
    Album: Missed the Noise
    Label: COP International
    Release Date: 2021-03-05
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  33. KANGA
    Album: You and I Will Never Die
    Label: Artoffact Records
    Release Date: 2021-03-26
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  35. ACTORS
    Album: Acts of Worship
    Label: Artoffact Records
    Release Date: 2021-10-01
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  37. -ii-
    Album: Extinction
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-03-10
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  39. Pixel Grip
    Album: Arena
    Label: Feeltrip Records
    Release Date: 2021-05-21
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  41. Skatenigs
    Album: What Could Go Wrong?
    Label: Armalyte Industries / Cleopatra Records
    Release Date: 2021-10-29
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  43. Nuda
    Album: Mindful Tragedies
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2020-10-23
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  45. Rhys Fulber
    Album: Brutal Nature
    Label: FR Recordings
    Release Date: 2021-11-26
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  47. Aborym
    Album: Hostile
    Label: Dead Seed Productions / Stridulation Records
    Release Date: 2021-02-12
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  49. Unto Others
    Album: Strength
    Label: Roadrunner Records
    Release Date: 2021-09-24
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  51. Naked Raygun
    Album: Over the Overlords
    Label: WaxTrax! Records
    Release Date: 2021-08-02
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  53. RIKI
    Album: Gold
    Label: Dais Records
    Release Date: 2021-11-26
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  55. Rohn – Lederman
    Album: Venus Chariot
    Label: COP International
    Release Date: 2021-09-24
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  57. Black Dresses
    Album: Forever in Your Heart
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-02-14
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  59. Fear Factory
    Album: Aggression Continuum
    Label: Nuclear Blast
    Release Date: 2021-06-18
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  61. Noise Unit
    Album: Deviator
    Label: Artoffact Records
    Release Date: 2021-09-17
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  63. BARA HARI
    Album: Dark New Day EP
    Label: Re:Mission Entertainment
    Release Date: 2021-05-21
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  65. Fact Pattern
    Album: From Where You’re Hiding
    Label: Re:Mission Entertainment
    Release Date: 2021-11-12
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  67. Slighter
    Album: V O I D
    Label: Confusion, Inc.
    Release Date: 2021-06-04
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  69. Glaare
    Album: Your Hellbound Heart
    Label: Weryd Son Records
    Release Date: 2021-04-30
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  71. Youth Code / King Yosef
    Album: A Skeleton Key in the Doors of Depression
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-03-09
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  73. Stabbing Westward
    Album: I Am Nothing EP
    Label: COP International
    Release Date: 2021-11-05
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  75. BILE
    Album: Sharks and Covid, Vol. 1
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-05-05
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  77. KITA
    Album: Ocean of Acid
    Label: No Profit Recordings
    Release Date: 2021-06-28
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  79. CHMCL STR8JCKT
    Album: DRK PRGRSSNS
    Label: Cleopatra Records
    Release Date: 2021-02-12
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  81. Zwaremachine
    Album: Conquest 3000
    Label: Phage Tapes
    Release Date: 2021-07-17
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  83. Alessandro Cortini
    Album: Scuro Chiaro
    Label: Mute Records
    Release Date: 2021-06-11
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  85. Echoberyl
    Album: Mother Solitude and Other Dark Tales
    Label: Mother Solitude Records
    Release Date: 2021-10-29
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  87. Amphibious Assault
    Album: Simulacrima
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-02-12
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  89. Jim Davies
    Album: Prey Later
    Label: Armalyte Industries
    Release Date: 2021-11-19
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  91. Strange Boutique
    Album: Jet Stream EP
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-05-05
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  93. Solar Fake
    Album: Enjoy Dystopia
    Label: Out of Line Music
    Release Date: 2021-02-12
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  95. Silent
    Album: Modern Hate
    Label: Three One G Records
    Release Date: 2021-04-23
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  97. The Gothsicles
    Album: Animal Songs
    Label: Tigersquawk Records
    Release Date: 2021-02-26
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  99. Project .44
    Album: (The Storm Before) Reform
    Label: Self-released
    Release Date: 2021-12-17
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There you have it – ReGen Magazine‘s picks for the “Top 50 Albums of 2021.” Oh, but it doesn’t end there, for as stated, narrowing the list down to these 50 was a difficult task, and we would be remiss not to mention some of those albums that were considered and are just as worthy of recognition. Among them would be such longstanding legends as Gary Numan with Intruder, The Pop Group’s Y In Dub, or the Moral Hygiene record by MINISTRY. Dave McAnally under his South Street Dungeon imprint also graced audiences in 2021 with the experimental electro of .SYS Machine’s Graceful Isolation and the politically charged industrial/metal of Derision Cult’s Charlatans Inc., both garnering acclaim, while Chris Corner gave us not only the Machinate album from IAMX, but also Squaring the Circle from Sneaker Pimps, marking the trippy electronic band’s first release in nearly two decades.
2021 also saw several momentous collaborative efforts – Mark Lanegan and Joe Cardamone unveiled their Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe project, Jenn Vix joined forces with DIVE’s Dirk Ivens for the Fuck, Rinse, Repeat / Burn single, VSN7 and ▼ created Expired Reality, and Dissonance and Melodywhore gave us a one-two punch with the dual Assault EPs. Julian Beeston’s Featured project gave us the Girly album celebrating the abundance of female talent in the scene, with appearances by I Ya Toyah, Christine Olsen, Mia FluxXx, and more. Dogtablet released Pearldrop Blue with appearances by Cat Hall of Dissonance, Sapphira Vee, Coral Scere, Blue Eyed Christ’s John D. Norten, and Chemlab’s Jared Louche.
As you can see, there was so much to behold in 2021, and even with these honorable mentions, ReGen can’t even begin to scratch the surface. May 2022 prove equally fruitful, if not more so!

 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
ReGen Magazine Staff

 

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