You can find the Collective List as well as all our Best of 2021 content including contributors’ individual lists, podcasts and radio DJ shows here: CGCM’s Best of 2021 (Year in Review)
BEST OF 2021
IVAN GALESIC 🇨🇦
Well, here we are again this time of year where I stress about getting my top 10 list together. After last year I thought would be more prepared but I was wrong. I was able to get my list down to about 30 really good releases. There was no fancy formula or system for coming up with my top 10 other than I had to like 85%-90% or more of the album. For my top 5, it was easy I just went with the ones that I played the most this year and also the ones that had the most songs that I liked on them. So let’s get on with it. Here are my top 10 of 2021:
Madhouse are a hard rock band from Austria formed in 2017, releasing their debut album Money Talks Bullshit Walks in 2019. This is the band’s sophomore album Bad Habits. Is this sleaze rock? INDEED IT IS! This is among the sleaziest rock n’ roll I have heard in my life, right up There with Faster Pussycat. Songs like “First Lick Then Stick”, “Bang Bang” and “I Walk the Pony Girl” are classic sleaze. Grab this if you miss the sound of vintage 80’s Glam/Sleaze like Motley Crue, Ratt, Faster Pussycat and Skid Row.
KICKIN VALENTINA 🇺🇸
The Revenge of Rock
Another great sleaze release in my top 10. this was a great album that got plenty of airtime on my playlists. I have heard their stuff before but didn’t really know them until they took over the station and I got to hear them talk and play some of their favourite songs. That was some great stuff you should check it out on our MixCloud replay it’s definitely worth the listen as is this album. Some highlights for me are “Freak show”, “Rat Race” and “Somebody New”.
CGCM album review by Trevor McDougall HERE
Triumph & Tragedy
This band came out of nowhere and was a pleasant surprise. Based out of Spain they have been around since 2011 but I have never heard of them until this year. Metal riffs, hard rock hooks, screaming solos and classic, soaring vocals fill the album. Triumph &Tragedy has a familiar feel and you can’t help but think that if this were released in the late 70s or early 80s, Hitten would be sitting alongside the likes of Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Judas Priest and so on. Stand-out tracks are: “Under the Spell”, “Hard Intentions (secret dancer)”, and “Built to Rock”.
WIG WAM 🇳🇴
Never Say Die
Wig Wam from Norway has reformed and is as good as, if not better than, before. They gained a reputation as one of Norway’s largest Hard Rock bands after forming in 2001 and releasing four official studio albums between 2004 and 2012. They formally disbanded in March of 2014 and reunited in 2019. Never say Die is one hell of an album. This is without a doubt the band’s most comprehensive record to date. Offering twelve new, breath-taking songs that display a more mature Wig Wam sound. Highlights on this release are “Never Say Die”, “Hypnotized”, and “Kilimanjaro”. This is the first of two albums on my top 10 that feature Åge Sten Nilsen on vocals. keep reading for the second one.
CGCM album review by Sparky HERE
Creatures Of The Dark Realm
Bloodbound is another band that I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing before. Man have I missed out. I’m a fan of good power metal and this album is full of that. Huge sing-along choruses and monster melodies along with some amazing guitar work. This is one band that I need to go back and check out their back catalogue. This release started out near the bottom of my list and kept getting higher the more I listened to it. Some tracks to check out are: “Creatures of the Dark Realm”, “When Fate Is Calling” and “Death Will Lead The Way”.
THY ROW 🇫🇮
The band hails from Finland and was formed in 2017. Thy Row offers up a fresh mix of old-school heavy metal with modern hard rock. This is the ideal head-banger record. One that mixes metal heaviness with a powerful rocking groove in a dynamic way. This is the kind of album that can get almost anyone up and moving. I liked this one more and more every time I listened to it. Songs to check out: “Road Goes On” and “The Downfall Parts 1, 2 and 3”.
THE NORESEMAN COMPANY 🇳🇴
The Coming of the Chord
The Norseman Company is a band project founded by drummer Geir Arne Dale formerly of the Norwegian band Humbucker. Geir wrote all of the songs and brought together some of Norway’s biggest stars to join him on this release. There are eleven songs on this album and the tracks are sung by five different vocalists. I have only heard of one of them prior. That would be Åge Sten Nilsen of the band Wig Wam. The songs are short and simple, very likeable and memorable. It’s worth checking out. A great album from Geir.
My review of the album HERE
TEMPLE BALLS 🇫🇮
Temple Balls are an energetic hard rock band from Finland. Pyromide, their Frontiers debut and third album overall, is a tour de force of melodic hard rock that sees the band pushing themselves onto the world stage. This release is full of great catchy melodic hard rock that walks a fine line between melodic rock and sleaze/glam metal. There are great riffs, hooks and melodies and gang vocals throughout the album. If you are a fan of glam/sleaze metal then you need to get this one. Standout tracks are: “Bad, Bad, Bad”, “T.O.T.C”, and “What is Dead Never Dies”. Those are just a few but the album is full of great songs.
My Review of the album HERE.
ORDEN OGAN 🇩🇪
Final Days. Wow, what an album. This gets better with every listen. You can expect to hear typical Orden Ogan melodic power metal with big choruses and huge vocal melodies that they are known for. I love the guitars, not over the top but just perfect for the song. The vocals fit the songs and they don’t sound the same on every song throughout the record. Bombastic drumming throughout and the production work is as perfect and crystal clear as always. Every song on this release is great. Here are a few to check out: “Inferno”, “In the Dawn of the AI”, and my favourite on the album “Let the Fire Rain”.
My review of the album HERE.
SHADES OF GRAY 🇬🇧
Shades of Gray is the new project by Myke Gray (Skin, Jagged Edge, UFO and Red White & Blues). Myke wrote all of the songs, plays all the guitars and does the singing and he also produced the album. Pete Newdeck (Midnite City, Eden’s Curse) plays drums and co-produced and it was mastered by Andy Sneap. As Myke stated on his Facebook page when describing the positive feedback his album was getting. “The amazing part is that All this was done with no record company, no management, no agent, no marketing budget, no publicist, no support from any magazine“. I am pleased to pick Shades of Gray – 2021 as my number one album of the year.
My review of the album HERE
Well, that’s it for another great year of awesome music. Like I mentioned before I had a good 30 albums that were in the running for the top 10. I will be playing those for you during my radio show. The Power Chord. You can listen Mondays at 4PM EST, the show then repeats on Thursdays at 12PM EST and Sundays at 4AM EST.
I’m so thankful for CGCM that it allows me to enjoy my passion for music. I get to listen to it, write about it, share it with you on the station and talk about it on the social pages. Stay tuned to my show the Power Chord I will be doing a show and listing the runner-ups that made up my top 30 of 2021.
Find more of my album reviews here: Ivan Galesic
Don’t forget to take a look at all our Best of 2021 content including the COLLECTIVE BEST ALBUMS LIST (culminated via the ratings in the individual lists), all our contributors’ individual best lists, podcast episodes and Radio DJ shows CGCM’s Best of 2021 (Year in Review)