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KNAC.COM Staff Top Ten Releases For 2021

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Friday, December 31, 2021 @ 6:34 PM


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A new year is now upon us, and even though 2021 was a continuation of the all kinds of fucked up we saw in 2020, a boatload of great hard rock and heavy metal was released, and to that end, the staff at KNAC.COM have compiled their lists of Top Ten (and in some cases, Top 15 or 25) releases of the year.

Larry Petro, Managing Editor/News Monkey

01.) Todd La Torre Rejoice In The Suffering (Rat Pak)
02.) Icon Of Sin Icon Of Sin (Frontiers)
03.) Accept Too Mean To Die (Nuclear Blast)
04.) Iron Maiden Senjutsu (BMG)
05.) K.K.'s Priest Sermons Of The Sinner (Ex1)
06.) Plush Plush (Pavement)
07.) Black Veil Brides The Phantom Tomorrow (Sumerian)
08.) Laurenne/Louhimo The Reckoning (Frontiers)
09.) Victory Gods Of Tomorrow (AFM)
10.) Armored Saint Symbol Of Salvation Live (Metal Blade)

Krystiee Lee, Assistant Editor/Social Media Coordinator

01.) Gojira Fortitude (Roadrunner)
02.) Mastodon Hushed & Grim (Reprise)
03.) Spiritbox Eternal Blue (Pale Chord Rise)
04.) Unto Others Strength (Roadrunner)
05.) The Pretty Reckless Death By Rock And Roll (Fearless)
06.) Dread Sovereign Alchemical Warfare (Metal Blade)
07.) Orbit Culture Shaman (Seek & Strike)
08.) Tribulation Where The Gloom Becomes Sound (Century Media/Metal Blade)
09.) Mercury Circle Killing Moons (Noble Demon)
10.) King Buffalo The Burden Of Restlessness (Self-Released)

Wendy Jasper, Death Metal Aficionado

01.) Darkthrone Shadows of Iconoclasm Boxed Set (Peaceville)
02.) Darkthrone Eternal Hails (Peaceville)
03.) Enslaved Caravans to the Outer Worlds (Nuclear Blast)
04.) Mayhem Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando (Century Media)
05.) Cradle of Filth Existence is Futile (Nuclear Blast)
06.) Doro/Warlock Triumph and Agony Live (Nuclear Blast)
07.) Northtale Eternal Flame (Nuclear Blast)
08.) Burning Witches The Witch of the North (Nuclear Blast)
09.) Hate Rugia (Metal Blade)
10.) Nervosa Perpetual Chaos (Napalm)
11.) Seth La Morsure du Christ (Season of Mist)
12.) Necrofier Prophesies of Eternal Darkness (Season of Mist)

Alex "Dr. Metal" Yarborough, Orlando Contributor

01.) The Three Tremors Guardians of The Void (Steel Cartel)
02.) Brainstorm Wall of Skulls (AFM)
03.) Todd La Torre Rejoice In The Suffering (Rat Pak)
04.) Flotsam And Jetsam Blood In The Water (AFM)
05.) Exodus Persona Non Grata (Nuclear Blast)
06.) Herman Frank Two For A Lie (AFM)
07.) Helloween Helloween (Nuclear Blast)
08.) Running Wild Blood On Blood (Steamhammer/SPV)
09.) Volbeat Servant of The Mind (Republic)
10.) KK’s Priest Sermons of The Sinner (EX1)
11.) Chalice Of Sin Chalice Of Sin (Frontiersl)
12.) Todd Michael Hall Sonic Healing (Rat Pak)
13.) Accept Too Mean To Die (Nuclear Blast)
14.) Victory Gods of Tomorrow (AFM)
15.) Ashes of Ares Emperors and Fools (Rock of Angels)
16.) Iron Maiden Senjutsu (BMG)

Halo, Heavenly Contributor

01.) Diamante American Dream (Independent)
02.) Evanescence The Bitter Truth (BMG)
03.) Myles Kennedy The Ides of March (Napalm)
04.) Blacktop Mojo Blacktop Mojo (Sand Hill)
05.) Volbeat Servant of the Mind (Republic)
06.) Smash Into Pieces A New Horizon (Independent)
07.) Gemini Syndrome 3rd Degree - The Raising (Century Media)
08.) Metalite A Virtual World (AFM)
09.) Chevelle Niratias (Epic)
10.) Rob Zombie The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (Nuclear Blast)

Ruben Mosqueda, Pacific Northwest Contributor

01.) Exodus Persona Non Grata (Nuclear Blast)
02.) Iron Maiden Senjutsu (BMG)
03.) Carcass Torn Arteries (Nuclear Blast)
04.) Thunder All The Right Noises (BMG)
05.) Grinder Blues El Dos (Metalville)
06.) Smith/Kotzen Smith/Kotzen (BMG)
07.) Buckcherry Hellbound (Round Hill)
08.) John 5 & The Creatures Sinner (Big Machine)
09.) L.A. Guns Checkered Past (Frontiers)
10.) Rob ZombieThe Lunar Eclipse Kool Aide Conspiracy (Nuclear Blast)
11.) MinistryMoral Hygiene (Nuclear Blast)
12.) Chez KaneChez Kane (Frontiers)
13.) Burning WitchesWitch Of The North (Nuclear Blast)
14.) NervosaPerpetual Chaos (Napalm)
15.) Resist & BiteResist & Bite (LOR Live)
16.) StyxCrash Of The Crown (Alpha Dog T2/UMe)
17.) Black Label SocietyDoom Crew, Inc. (eOne)
18.) Todd La TorreRejoice In The Suffering (Rat Pak)
19.) KK‘s PriestSermons Of The Sinner (EX1)
20.) AcceptToo Mean To Die (Nuclear Blast)
21.) Crystal ViperThe Cult (Listenable)
22.) Lee AaronRadio On (Metalville)
23.) Deep PurpleTurning To Crime (earMUSIC)
24.) Marta GabrielMetal Queens (Listenable)
25.) Scattered HamletStereo Overthrow (Buck Moon)

Junkman, On Air Personality, Hoarder Of All Things Salvageable

01.) Dirty Honey Dirty Honey (Self-Released)
02.) Gojira Fortitude (Roadrunner)
03.) Mammoth WVH Mammoth WVH (EX1)
04.) Jinjer Wallflowers (Napalm)
05.) Volbeat Servant of the Mind (Republic)
06.) Mastodon Hushed & Grim (Reprise)
07.) Dream Theater A View From The Top Of The World (Inside Out)
08.) Monster Magnet A Better Dystopia (Napalm)
09.) Accept Too Mean To Die (Nuclear Blast)
10.) The Dead Daisies Holy Ground (SPV/Steamhammer)
11.) Smith/Kotzen Smith/Kotzen (BMG)
12.) Liquid Tension Experiment LTE3 (Inside Out)
13.) Iron Maiden Senjutsu (BMG)
14.) Ricky Warwick When Life Was Hard And Fast (Nuclear Blast)
15.) The Pretty Reckless Death By Rock And Roll (Fearless)
16.) Ayron Jones Child Of The State (Big Machine/John Varvatos)
17.) Buckcherry Hellbound (Round Hill)
18.) Michael Schenker Group Immortal (Nuclear Blast)
19.) The End Machine Phase2 (Frontiers)
20.) Cactus Tightrope (Cleopatra)

Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Correspondent

01.) Iron Maiden Senjutsu (BMG)
02.) Gojira Fortitude (Roadrunner)
03.) Mammoth WVH Mammoth WVH (EX1)
04.) Flotsam & Jetsam Blood In The Water (AFM)
05.) Armored Saint Symbol Of Salvation Live (Metal Blade)
06.) Lycanthro Mark Of The Wolf (Alone Records)
07.) Dirty Honey Dirty Honey (Self-Released)
08.) Marta Gabriel Metal Queens (Listenable)
09.) Buckcherry Hellbound (Round Hill)
10.) Monster Magnet A Better Dystopia (Napalm)
11.) Black Label Society Doom Crew, Inc (eOne)
12.) NorthTale Eternal Flame (Nuclear Blast)
13.) Exodus Persona Non Grata (Nuclear Blast)
14.) Dream Theater A View From The Top Of The World (Inside Out)
15.) Night Ranger ABPTO (And The Band Played On) (Frontiers)

Honorable mentions:

L.A. Guns - Checkered Past (Frontiers Music SRL)
Artillery - X (Metal Blade Records)
Greta Van Fleet - The Battle At Garden’s Gate (Lava/Republic Records)
U.D.O. - Game Over (AFM Records)
Plush - Plush (Pavement Records)
KK’s Priest - Sermon Of The Sinner EX1

Travis Failey, Planet Earth Contributor

01.) Todd La Torre Rejoice In The Suffering (Rat Pak)
02.) Dee Snider Leave A Scar (Napalm)
03.) Iron Maiden Senjutsu (BMG)
04.) L.A. Guns Checkered Past (Frontiers)
05.) Armored Saint Symbol Of Salvation Live (Metal Blade)
06.) KK's Priest Sermons Of The Sinner (EX1)
07.) Charlie Benante Silver Linings (Megaforce)
08.) Megadeth Unplugged In Boston (Cleopatra)
09.) Dirty Honey Dirty Honey (Independent)
10.) Crobot Rat Child EP (Mascot)
11.) Plush Plush EP (Pavement)
12.) Trivium In The Court Of The Dragon EP (Roadrunner)

Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor

01.) Illusory Crimson Wreath (Rockshots)
02.) Todd La Torre Rejoice In The Suffering (Rat Pak)
03.) Dee Snider Leave A Scar (Napalm)
04.) Robin McAuley Standing On The Edge (Frontiers)
05.) Joel Hoekstra's 13 Running Games (Frontiers)
06.) Damon Johnson & The Get Ready Battle Lessons (Double Dragon)
07.) U.D.O. Game Over (AFM)
08.) Cheap Trick In Another World (BMG)
09.) L.A. Guns Checkered Past (Frontiers)
10.) The Dead Daisies Holy Ground (Spitfire/SPV)

Honorable Mentions:

Night Ranger - ATBPO (Frontiers)
Todd Michael Hall - Sonic Healing (Rat Pak)
Billy Idol - The Roadside EP (Dark Horse)

Geoff Ketler, Cleveland Contributor/Aces High Photography

01.) Exodus Persona Non Grata (Nuclear Blast)
02.) Spiritbox Eternal Blue (Rise)
03.) Jinjer Wallflowers (Napalm)
04.) Trivium In The Court Of The Dragon (Roadrunner)

05.) Accept Too Mean To Die (Nuclear Blast)
06.) Gemini Syndrome 3rd Degree – The Raising (Independent)
07.) Twelve Foot Ninja Vengeance (Volkanik)
08.) The Darkness Motorheart (Cooking Vinyl)
09.) KK's Priest Sermons Of The Sinner (EX1)
10.) Iron Maiden Senjutsu (BMG)

George Mihalovich, Pittsburgh Contributor/AFTERSHOK Guitarist

01.) Accept Too Mean to Die (Nuclear Blast)
02.) Iron Maiden Senjutsu (BMG)
03.) U.D.O. Game Over (AFM)
04.) Herman Frank Two For A Lie (AFM)
05.) The Grandmaster Skywards (Frontiers)
06.) Artillery X (Metal Blade)
07.) Michael Schenker Group Immortal (Nuclear Blast)
08.) Evergrey Escape Of The Phoenix (AFM)
09.) Flotsam And Jetsam Blood In The Water (AFM)
10.) The End Machine Phase2 (Frontiers)
11.) Smith/Kotzen Smith/Kotzen (BMG)
12.) Victory Gods of Tomorrow (AFM)
13.) Generation Steel The Eagle Will Rise (Pure Steel)
14.) Eternity's End Embers of War (Prosthetic)
15.) Pharoah The Powers That Be (Cruz Del Sur Music)
16.) Alcatrazz V (Silver Lining Music)
17.) Robin McCauley Standing On The Edge (Frontiers)
18.) Brainstorm Wall Of Skulls (AFM)
19.) Highways Texas is Coming for You (Stormspell)
20.) Syrek Story (Independent)
21.) Manimal Armageddon (AFM)
22.) Joel Hoekstra’s 13 Running Games (Frontiers)
23.) Dark Arena Worlds of Horror (Pure Steel) [Paul Konjicija, R.I.P. 2019]
24.) KK’s Priest Sermons Of The Sinner (EX1)
25.) Icon of Sin Icon of Sin (Frontiers)

Metal and hard rock are alive and well, so once again there were too many albums in 2021 to properly acknowledge them all. In addition to the above, the following are just a sampling of bands that released CDs that are worth your time and effort to investigate. Legends (you probably know about these): Alice Cooper, Exodus, Helloween, George Lynch (instrumental), Gary Moore, Running Wild

These may have flown under your radar: Agent Steel, Blacksword, Blaze Bayley, Blazon Stone, Crowne, Existance, Heavy Water, Human Fortress, ScreaMachine, Silent Winter, Sunbomb, Sunstorm, Timo Tolkki’s Avalon, Todd La Torre, Todd Michael Hall, Wizard

Terry Martinson, Contributor

01.) FuZZrD Near Life Experience (Independent)
02.) Crisix The Pizza EP (Listenable)
03.) Thy Row Unchained (Rockshots)
04.) Big City Testify X (Frontiers)
05.) Electric Guitars Freewheeler (Mighty Music)
06.) Lordi Lordiversity (AFM)
07.) Alien Force We Meet Again (From The Vaults)
08.) Steve Whiteman You're Welcome (Independent)
09.) Johnny O' Neil Truth Or Dare (Independent)
10.) Pavement Princess Second Skin (Independent)

Peter Atkinson, Northeast Contributor

01.) Helloween Helloween (Nuclear Blast)
02.) Tribulation Where The Gloom Becomes Sound (Century Media/Metal Blade)
03.) Tomahawk Tonic Immobility (Ipecac)
04.) Obscura A Valediction (Nuclear Blast)
05.) Swallow The Sun Moonflowers (Century Media)
06.) Jerry Cantrell Brighten (Independent)
07.) At The Gates The Nightmare Of Being (Century Media)
08.) Cannibal Corpse Violence Unimagined (Metal Blade)
09.) Dordeduh Har (Prophecy)
10.) Carcass Torn Arteries (Nuclear Blast)

Mike Lewis, Pacific Northwest Photographer

01.) Doedsvangr Serpents ov Old (Debemur Morti Productions)
02.) Cannibal Corpse Violence Unimagined (Metal Blade)
03.) Vulture Lord Desecration Rites (Odium)
04.) Hate Rugia (Metal Blade)
05.) Godless States of Chaos (Independent)
06.) Pestilence Exitivm (Agonia)
07.) Vassago Storm of Satan (Nuclear War Now! Productions)
08.) Бѣсъ Чертополохъ (Банзай-Рекордс)
09.) Archgoat Worship the Eternal Darkness (Debemur Morti Productions)
10.) Cenotaph Precognition to Eradicate (Coyote)

Rob McNees, Vinyl Aficionado

01.) Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush Real Live Vol. 2 (Justin Time)
02.) Def Leppard When The Walls Came Tumbling Down (Bludgeon Riffola/Mercury)
03.) KK’s Priest Sermons Of the Sinner (EX1)
04.) The Michael Schenker Group Immortal (Nuclear Blast)
05.) Helstar Clad In Black (Massacre)
06.) Exodus Persona Non Grata (Nuclear Blast)
07.) Agent Steel No Other Godz Before Me (Back On Black)
08.) Todd LaTorre Rejoice In the Suffering (Rat Pack)
09.) Kiss Off The Soundboard: Live in Tokyo 2001 (Universal)
10.) Accept Too Mean to Die (Nuclear Blast)

Daniel Licitra, South Florida Contributor

01.) Billy Gibbons Hardware (Concord)
02.) Danko Jones Power Trio (Sonic Unyon)
03.) Orden Ogan Final Days (AFM)
04.) Wig Wam Never Say Die (Frontiers)
05.) Weezer Van Weezer (Atlantic)
06.) Gojira Fortitude (Roadrunner)
07.) Spirit Adrift Forge Your Future EP (Century Media)
08.) Amyl And The Sniffers Comfort To Me (ATO)
09.) Michael Schenker Group Immortal (Nuclear Blast)
10.) Maneskin Teatro D'Ira Vol. 1 (RCA)


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