BEST OF 2021 – SHAWN SAND (Writer/Photographer/Contributor)


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



Well, how do you wrap up a year’s worth of music into only 10 favourite albums in 2021? There have been so many solid releases by so many up-and-coming artists along with so many great releases from the artists that have been around for many decades. It is difficult to break out only 10 albums it all depends on the mood you are feeling if you want an insane instrumental guitar-driven album or if you’re looking back to a nod to the ’80s or ’70s.



A new all-female band to the scene and is starting to get noticed. Their first national tour was with Mammoth WVH, had the pleasure of seeing them on tour. First impression was that standing on that stage was 4 ladies with a huge presence waiting to be discovered. The vocals on the debut album seemed to be spawned from an influence of Halestorm or the likes of Pretty Reckless. The rhythm section is tight with solid bass playing and an insanely energetic drummer. The guitar duties are shared between the lead vocalist and lead guitarist, they both mix well together. Favourite track from this release is “Hate” It is guitar AND drum-driven, again seems to be influenced by Halestorm with the searing vocals.



The Lunar Injection Kool-Aid Eclipse Conspiracy

Rob Zombie has a band with amazing players from Ginger Fish, Piggy D. and last but not least John 5, they each bring their own magic to the sound and creation of this album. The sound of this release is classic Zombie reaching back to the days of White Zombie. You have the driving beat of the bass, drums with the searing sounds of the guitar, followed by the un-mistaken raspy vocals provided by Rob Zombie. Favourite track off this release would be “Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass” the song sounds like it belongs with the greatest hits songs, it has an infectious beat. The bass and drums provide the backbone of the track and then your hit with Rob Zombie’s vocals on the track.



Chez Kane

While she might not be a household name in North America, she is a force to be reckoned with. Her self debut album is full of great guitar hooks, and riffs. Her vocals are sultry and strong. Chez‘s self-titled album sounds like it comes from the late ’80s. The guitars, drums & bass are all driven and give it that no holds barred rock n roll sound. It is fun and full of rock n roll attitude. Her vocal style sounds like a late ’80s Lita Ford or Janet Gardner formerly of Vixen. Favourite track off this release “Rocket On The Radio” starts off with blaring guitars, and the driving force of the bass followed by the punch of her vocals. Feel good summertime cruising song!


U.D.O. 🇩🇪

Game Over

U.D.O. is again proving his vocal prowess on this release, his voice is as strong and powerful as when he fronted the band Accept. The members of U.D.O.’s solo band complement each other so well, they are like a well-oiled machine.  The guitar solos & riffs fit perfectly in each song along with the thundering bass complementing the vocals on each track. Favourite track on this release is “Prophecy” it is a tribute to the down and dirty days of what rock n roll was back in the ’80s.



Too Mean To Die

Accept has released Too Mean To Die with Wolf Hoffman at the vocal reigns again, creating another strong effort by the band.  The band sounds as strong and tight as ever, with ripping vocals, shredding guitars and a driving bass that can be felt in your chest when you crank it up. Favourite track would have to be the title of the album “Too Mean To Die”. Showing that the band has no plans in slowing down and that they are going to be a band to reckon with from the German music scene.

CGCM album review by Tom Cornell HERE




Iron Maiden has found a formula that has worked for them well for many years now and this release proves that they are not going to abandon it. It is a classic-sounding Maiden album with lots of guitar shredding solos and guitar riffs. Bruce Dickinson’s voice is strong as ever on this album and hits and punches at all the appropriate times. Favourite track on this release would be “The Writing On The Wall” it seems to be written in the troubling times of the world as it is now.


JOHN 5 🇺🇸


John 5 has proven yet again that his crazy style is successful. He is truly an exceptional artist that can play anything from an electric guitar, banjo to a ukulele and makes it sing amazingly. John 5 has created another masterpiece with his solo band if you love to listen to instrumental albums. Favourite track on this album would be “Que Pasa” It is strong with guitar licks and riffs. Not so much on the lyrical content but it does have Dave Mustaine of Megadeth lend his legendary chops to the track.



Sermons Of The Sinner

K.K. Downing has put together an exceptional band and created an album that has the sounds and energy of an earlier Judas Priest. The songs on this album have the sounds and raw energy that has been missing from rock n roll. They have proven they are not afraid to keep the rock n roll alive with large riffs and solos on this album. Favourite track on this album would have to be “Brothers Of The Road” It shows the trials and tribulations of being on the road, that you only have the ones that surround you on the road to lean on in the good times and the bad times.



Mammoth WVH

Wolfgang has had a larger-than-life presence to overcome and with this release he has proven himself that he does not need to fear living in the shadow of his father Eddie Van Halen. This is a solid release he comes out strong with great riffs and hooks on this album. His band will be a force to be dealt with on future releases. Favourite track would have to be an ode to his father “Distance”. It shows emotion and strong lyrical content, which is throughout the entire album.



Detroit Stories

Alice Cooper has gone back to the Detroit roots on this album. He has captured the classic raw sound that came from Detroit back in the ’70s and yet at the same time created an album that captures today’s sounds and energy. Favourite track on this album is “Shut Up And Rock” it captures perfectly the tongue-in-cheek attitude of rock n’ roll to this day.




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)