You know the drill by now, here’s the rundown of my favourite albums from the year that was. I hope you find something you like, click here if you fancy reading my favourites from 2021.
5) Saxon – Carpe Diem
From the punchy title track to the foot to the floor ‘Living on the Limit’, Saxon’s 23rd record Carpe Diem is a no nonsense slab of traditional metal at its finest. Barreling guitar work (‘Age of Steam’), catchy choruses, a bit of bombast (‘The Pilgrimage’) and the wonderfully beefy production of Andy Sneap have all conspired for Biff and co to continue their decade-long purple patch.
4) Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – 4
With their fourth album together, cannily entitled 4, Slash, Myles Kennedy and his Conspirators have made a barnstorming 44 minutes of hard rock. Recorded live with Dave Cobb (Rival Sons) behind the desk, 4 is a showcase of great chemistry, musicianship and songwriting talent – with fiery opener ‘This River is Rising’ and the stomping earworm ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’ just two examples.
3) Puppy – Pure Evil
Puppy are a three piece from London and a band I only discovered this year via 2000 Trees music festival. The heavy stomp of ‘The Kiss’, the slinky riff of ‘Wasted Little Heart’ to the Weezer like hooks of ‘Glacial’ their second album Pure Evil encapsulates their unique sound, which mixes stoner, alternative, metal and pop into one captivating, and thoroughly enjoyable, whole.
2) Reef – Shoot Me Your Ace
Despite only really knowing their mega hit ‘Place Your Hands’ before this, ’90s rockers Reef have knocked it out of the park with Shoot Me Your Ace – a joyous 42 minutes of properly good rock n roll. From the cut and thrust of the title track to the dirty Led Zep like riff of ‘Wolfman’ Shoot Me Your Ace is joyous and one of my surprises of the year.
1) Moon Tooth – Phototroph
Phototroph, the latest offering by Long Island’s Moon Tooth, is a sublime showcase of metal, mixing the melodic, heavy and proggy elements seamlessly. This eclectic metal band has created an ambitious album with a restless spirit and an untrammeled sense of energy. It has nay a dud track on it and endless replay value, get on it if you know what’s good for you.
The albums in sixth to tenth place are as follows; Massive Wagons – Triggered!, H.E.A.T. – Force Majeure, Nervus – The Evil One, Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!, Clutch – Sunrise on Slaughter Beach.