KJ Draven – The metal man from Melbourne has weighed in on last year’s stellar releases that definitely deserve your attention!
TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2021
10 – Every Time I Die – Radical
9 – Exodus – Persona Non Grata (Review)
8 – Bullet for my Valentine – Bullet for my Valentine (Review)
7 – Architects – For Those That Wish to Exist
6 – Iron Maiden – Senjutsu (Review)
Special mentions to: Fear Factory’s menacing Aggression Continuum, Whitechapel’s excellent Kin, Erra’s amazing self titled album, Mastodon’s masterpiece Hushed and Grim, Carcass’ brutal Torn Arteries, The Hyena Kills’ catchy A Disconnect, the awesome record Death by Rock n Roll by The Pretty Reckless, Dee Snider’s inspiring Leave a Scar, the kick ass chaotic debut from Go Ahead and Die, SOEN’s impressive Imperial, and the returns of Rob Zombie, Ministry, Evile and Accept.
TOP 10 SONGS OF 2021
10 – Maneskin ‘ZITTI E BUONI’
9 – Go Ahead and Die ‘Truckload Full of Bodies’
8 Beartooth ‘Fed Up’
7 Oceans featuring Robb Flynn ‘Everyone I love is broken’
6 Northlane ‘Clockwork’
5 – Make Them Suffer featuring Courtney LaPlante ‘Contraband’
4 – Arch Enemy ‘Deceiver, Deceiver’
3 – Slipknot ‘The Chapeltown Rag’
2 – Machine Head ‘Become the Firestorm’
1 – Code Orange ‘Out for Blood’
BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2021
Fear Factory – ‘Disruptor’ – A great mini-film!
FIRST GIG YOU HAVE LINED UP POST-COVID?
All the ones postponed by the pandemic! Faith No More is the first one, though not until March, so may well pop down to something between now and then, such as the final Melbourne shows by The Cat Empire.
WHAT BAND/S GOT YOU THROUGH THESE PAST TWO YEARS?
Lots of metal to be honest. Wall of Sound has given me the opportunity to share what I like to a great audience. I have fallen back on my comfort bands at times: Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Iron Maiden, etc., but have also had time for Architects, Code Orange, Jinjer and Alien Weaponry. Experiencing the elevation of Trivium and Gojira to metal masters has been breathtaking and kept both albums on high rotation.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT YOU GOING INTO NEXT YEAR?
Having been largely stuck at home in Melbourne since March 2020 I have learned a lot about patience and appreciating small victories. But I’m looking forward to hitting the road and getting on a flight next year.
FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2021
I came across Minus Life out of Brisbane and their sophisticated take on industrial rocked me. Give the track below and whirl and let me know what you think!
NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2022?
Worth noting the latest Northlane single, ‘Echo Chamber’, has a hell of a clean vocal hook. With them headlining Full Tilt and dropping album number six, it’s time to celebrate them as one of our leading bands. And the world is waiting for them.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2022?
Hopefully more awesome bands release amazing albums and Wall of Sound let me review them! Surely touring must resume and we get to see the new breed (Trivium, Gojira, BFMV, Lamb of God, Code Orange) in addition to the proven headliners (Metallica, Slipknot) who still owe us tours from 2019!
Wouldn’t mind finally celebrating my 40th either!
Words by KJ Draven @kjdraven