The Top 20 Albums of August | 2021

THE TOP 20 ALBUMS OF THE MONTH is just that, a grip of twenty albums that’d resonated most powerfully throughout this month. If you’re new to the site, it’ll be about 75-100% metal albums. Choices are selected based on temporal immersion, personal connection, impressive style, point of view, and with great consideration for the lasting value of each album. All choices are ultimately personal and land without consideration for popular culture, hype or “relevance”. There are several albums that I will leave out of this list, but they’ll still be considered for end of the year list(s). Links to full reviews are provided when applicable. Do not think I’ve overlooked any promotional material, I am but one man and writing about music is a passion I afford as much time as is manageable. I am eternally grateful to have so much to choose from. Thank you.


I. Maximalism, over the top poetics and high-effort expressivity have either missed the point, befuddled many or reached very few in the past. So ensues the first stage of our progression into simplified, higher-impact functionality. This month you’re either getting a single sentence or some free association based off each album’s lasting impression. Most of these include links to reviews if you need more context. Where is the hardcore punk, psychedelic rock this month? I was too busy playing Risen 3: Titan Lords to be bothered scouring those pits.

II. In pursuit of a not-so blatantly commercial way to cover as much music as I’d like, I continue to experiment. Trying my hand at a few less elaborate reviews and more impactful columns so far hits upon mixed results which’ve kept me a week behind and largely uninspired. I intend to review the entirety of the September release schedule in a single column and reserve the rest of the month for weekly sets of reviews that aim for the heavy-hitters. This way everyone gets a review, I get to focus on stuff I’m passionate about, and things are less formulaic within a weekly format. Also, heads up, two releases coming up on my own label Spirit Coffin Publishing next month: Journey Into Darkness and Swelling Repulsion.

III. Each day I meditate with all-consuming gratitude aimed toward the bands, labels and PR firms who choose to work with me — As well as the kind few readers who donate to the site intermittently. The goals and ethos of Grizzly Butts have not changed in 2021 but this year I will focus on long-form reviews, sub-genre features, more interviews, and generally keeping up to date with new releases. Thank you.


#1Album of the Month
ARTIST:ÆNIGMATUM
TITLE:Deconsecrate
RECORD LABEL(S):20 Buck Spin
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Expressive, intense, intricate, brutal, elite, and dizzying progressive death metal.


#2
ARTIST:QRIXKUOR
TITLE:Poison Palinopsia
RECORD LABEL(S):Dark Descent Records,
Invictus Productions
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Dissociative, hallucinogenic, whirling, venomous, and enthralling atmospheric black/death.


#3
ARTIST:DISKORD
TITLE:Degenerations
RECORD LABEL(S):Transcending Obscurity Records
FULL STREAM:[CLICK HERE]

Dissonant, avant-garde, cerebral lacerations, visceral, potent, commanding progressive/technical death metal delirium.


#4
ARTIST:DEVOID OF THOUGHT
TITLE:Outer World Graves
RECORD LABEL(S):Everlasting Spew Records,
Caligari Records
FULL STREAM:[CLICK HERE]

Delta quadrant-bound former thrashers presenting atmospheric psycho-cosmic death metal mastery, their debut is a massive grower beyond its first impression.


#5
ARTIST:MORBID CRUELTY
TITLE:Holodomor
RECORD LABEL(S):Burning Coffin Records
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Murderous speed metal empowered death/thrash metal debut from this inspired Chilean duo.


#6
ARTIST:ANGUISH
TITLE:Doomkvädet
RECORD LABEL(S):Sun & Moon Records
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Arcane, irreverent, imaginative, morbid, aggressive and necromantic epic doom metal.


#7
ARTIST:FLUISTERAARS
TITLE:Gegrepen Door de Geest der Zielsontluiking
RECORD LABEL(S):Eisenwald
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Organic, inspired, solar, naturalist, spontaneous, esoteric, melodic, and gloriously atmospheric black metal.


#8
ARTIST:BAXAXAXA
TITLE:Catacomb Cult
RECORD LABEL(S):The Sinister Flame
FULL STREAM:[CLICK HERE]

True ancient black metal — Doomed, malevolent, mysterious, tuneful, esoteric, and blasphemic.


#9
ARTIST:STUCK
TITLE:Content That Makes You Feel Good [EP]
RECORD LABEL(S):Exploding in Sound Records
STREAM:[CLICK HERE]

Alienation, automation, disarray, megaphone-worthy post-punk/noise rock brevity.


#10
ARTIST:NOCTURNAL
TITLE:Serpent Death
RECORD LABEL(S):Dying Victims Productions
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Venomous witching heavy metal scraped back to its earliest evil speed metal skin and re-envisioned in prime context, another classicist masterclass from Avenger.


#11
ARTIST:DECREPISY
TITLE:Emetic Communion
RECORD LABEL(S):Chaos Records,
Life After Death,
Seed of Doom
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Riffs, chunking, heaving, clobbering n’ drooling pure death metal violence.


#12
ARTIST:BURIAL IN THE SKY
TITLE:The Consumed Self
RECORD LABEL(S):Rising Nemesis Records
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Whole-hearted, expressive, over the top, narrative sublimity, dystopian modern progressive death metal.


#13
ARTIST:IRRLYCHT
TITLE:Wolfish Grandeur
RECORD LABEL(S):Folter Records
STREAM:[CLICK HERE]

Caustic, maniac, diabolically free, restlessly creative vocalist, yet traditional German black metal superiority.


#14
ARTIST:LUCIFER’S FALL
TITLE:III – From the Deep
RECORD LABEL(S):Sun & Moon Records
REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Harsh, clever, traditional, Cthulhu-swarming, personality rich doom metal.


#15
ARTIST:BOHEMYST
TITLE:Čerň A Smrt
RECORD LABEL(S):Petrichor
REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Evolution, elevation, self-transcendence, memorable, melodic and mystic black/death metal.


#16
ARTIST:WHITE STONES
TITLE:Dancing Into Oblivion
RECORD LABEL(S):Nuclear Blast Records
STREAM:[CLICK HERE]

Indulgent, nostalgic, tuneful, expressive, professional, fusion-minded progressive death metal. If you missed this one, tons of early Opeth love here from their current bassist. Couldn’t stomach the blandness of ‘The Tritonus Bell’ and this remedied it.


#17
ARTIST:SOLEMN LAMENT
TITLE:Solemn Lament [EP]
RECORD LABEL(S):Self-Released
SHORT REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Emotive, moonlit, thunderous, high-resolution epic doom metal resonance.


#18
ARTIST:QUICKSAND
TITLE:Distant Populations
RECORD LABEL(S):Epitaph Records
FULL REVIEW:[CLICK HERE]

Rival Schools-y, shimmering, aching, contemplative, modern, exploratory post-hardcore/alternative rock.


#19
ARTIST:WORMWOOD
TITLE:Arkivet
RECORD LABEL(S):Black Lodge Records
FULL STREAM:[CLICK HERE]

Sentimental, sorrowful, arresting, anthropocene-“scenic”, atmospheric melodic black metal.


#20
ARTIST:SERPENT COLUMN
TITLE:Katartisis [EP]
RECORD LABEL(S):Dissociative Visions
STREAM:[CLICK HERE]

Wounded, ruminant, violent, transformative, extremist, non-conformist black/death metal.


<strong>Help Support Grizzly Butts’ goals with a donation:</strong>

Please consider donating directly to site costs and project funding using PayPal.

$1.00