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Caliber’s Best Of 2021: Top 25 Albums Of The Year
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Caliber’s Best Of 2021: Top 25 Albums Of The Year

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We’ve officially made it to the end of 2021, and what a year it has been- especially for the scene. There have been so many releases over the course of this year, ranging from the highly anticipated, the breakouts, and some that straight up came out of nowhere (and ended up being iconic, at that!) With that being said, here is CaliberTV’s picks for the albums of the year!


25. Can’t Swim – ‘Change Of Plans’

Pop/Post Punk New Jersey natives Can’t Swim dropped their full length album Change of Plans in October of this year and the release proved that the band deserves a whole lot more recognition than they’ve gotten over the years. The album showcases just how much the group is able to push the boundaries of pop and post punk, teetering the line between both genres by including upbeat pop punk-esque choruses and pairing it without phenomenal screams, and heavy, fast paced riffs that are not necessarily expected but without a doubt work flawlessly. The album is basically a Turnstile, Two Door Cinema Club lovechild and we mean that in the best way. The standout tracks on the album include “Set the Room Ablaze” and “To Heal at All You Have To Feel It All” but it doesn’t sell the rest of the album short as all of the tracks are strong and flow perfectly into one another.”

Gina Lymberopoulos

24. Ice Nine Kills – ‘The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood’

Metalcore powerhouses Ice Nine Kills dropped their highly anticipated album The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood in October of this year, and it goes without saying that this cult classic band did not disappoint their fans with this release. Ice Nine Kills were able to create brand new storylines for their tracks  based off some of the most iconic horror characters to ever exist including their singles “Hip to Be Scared” featuring Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach , based off the classic American Psycho as well as “Assault and Batteries” based off the forever terrifying Child’s Play along with so many other scary icons. The group managed to combine their usual hauntingly theatrical roots with absolutely brutal vocals as well as heavy instrumentals, making for yet another fantastic and overall killer album release that is guaranteed to be a classic and fan favorite for years to come.”

Gina Lymberopoulos

23. Limp Bizkit – ‘Still Sucks’

If you would’ve told us that Limp Bizkit was dropping an album in 2021 a few years ago,  we would’ve thought you were absolutely batshit, but the past few years have proved that literally anything is possible- including this. The nu-metal legends dropped their latest album, Still Sucks on Halloween of this year following the cancellation of their tour with Spiritbox this summer- and the band definitely proved that they’re still G.O.A.T’d without a single doubt. The album is probably one of the most fun listens on our list this year with every track giving us the OG Limp Bizkit sound and vibe that we all grew to love in the 90’s and early 2000’s in 2021 and we were totally here for it. The group was able to show off their style versatility as well, with “Turn It Up, Bitch” essentially being a rap song and ‘“Barnacle” sounding like it got ripped off of a 90’s Grunge MTV video list and we mean that in the best way and of course  “Dirty Rotten Bizkit” sounding like it came straight from the Chocolate Starfish era. All in all, Limp Bizkit’s is a fantastic album, landing it a spot on our list!”

Gina Lymberopoulos

22. Phinehas – ‘The Fire Itself’

“It’s a breath a fresh air for the genre in a scene that currently lacks musicality and technically with its own instrumentation and falls into lyrical tropes, which the album completely subverts and blows out of the water, with some of the most advanced and creative guitar riffs written in a hot minute in the scene, with stellar lyricism and genuinely authentic feeling vocals to go along, a rare combo in the modern metalcore scene. The record is a spectacular comeback after 5 years in between records and one of the best metalcore albums of the year.”

Mateo Ottie

21. Citizen – ‘Life in Your Glass World’

Ohio based Post-Hardcore group Citizen released their album Life in Your Glass World in March of this year, making it their fourth full length album release. The release proved that the band is able to venture into a more experimental realm of alternative rock while still managing to stick to their roots that their fans have grown to love. The album deals with the same deep and meaningful roots that their previous releases like the iconic Youth (2013) and As You Please (2017) were able to showcase along with the unmistakable vocals that lead vocalist Mat Kerekes brings forward time and time again- yet they brought a whole new almost upbeat sound (shoutout to “I Want To Kill You” and “Edge of the World”) making for a beautifully executed contrast that produced an album that has absolutely no skips… at all- earning it a spot on our top albums of 2021 list.”

Gina Lymberopoulos

20. As Everything Unfolds – ‘Within Each Lies The Other’

Coming in right at number 20 is new UK 6-piece As Everything Unfolds’ debut full length album ‘Within Each Lies The Other’. Introducing their own brand of emotional post hardcore mixing interwoven synths and ambient guitars on top of a breath-taking vocal performance from frontwoman Charlie Rolfe making the record is one of the best offerings from new artists this year. The band’s biggest strengths come to life on the intense riff-fest “Wallow”, a track that sums up the entire record’s sonic pallette in epic fashion and on the energetic instrumentation and soaring chorus of opening track “On The Inside”. It’s a fantastic release from one of the fastest-rising acts in the scene and deserves to be on your radar if it isn’t already.”

Mateo Ottie

19. Dying Wish – ‘Fragments Of A Bitter Memory’

Feeling like a fresh blast of 2000’s nostalgia, Dying Wish unleashed a visceral assault on all fronts on their debut album ‘Fragments of a Bitter Memory’. Crushing bass tones and pulverizing walls of guitars drive each and every track to it’s fullest extent, complimenting the call-outs of institutionalized injustice and substance abuse such as on “Blood Laced Misery” and and it’s title track that are embedded in its lyrics which vocalist Emma Boster passionately delivers throughout the entire record. And as if that didn’t sound enticing enough, Bryan Garris of Knocked Loose elevates the best moment of the record on “Enemies In Red” with a surprise guest feature.”

Mateo Ottie

18. Blood Youth – ‘Visions Of Another Hell’

With their third full-length, Blood Youth’s ‘Visions of Another Hell’ is a welcome addition to the nu-metal revolution of recent years. With more emphasis on the full, atmospheric sound, the band’s newest effort is massively captivating. Full of blistering riffs, intense groove, and powerful vocals, Blood Youth boasts itself as a UK-version of Slipknot with their aggressive instrumentation mixed with catchy choruses. Just one listen to this behemoth of a record and the hooky choruses are sure to be caught in your head all day.”

Tyler White

17. Switchfoot – ‘Interrobang’

“It feels authentic and intentional, focused on artistic expression and creating a meaningful masterpiece out of the pain and confusion and division of the past year and a half of our lives thanks to prolific songwriting from Jon Foreman and an outpouring of passion that resonates from every note played on the record. The album is a massive step forward for the entire band as a whole and offers satisfying resolution and semblances of realistic optimism amidst its own urgent bleakness and fear. It’s an incredible record and a must listen for any fan of alternative music.”

Mateo Ottie

16. Don Broco – ‘Amazing Things’

The British masterminds have done it again. With ‘Amazing Things,’ Don Broco seamlessly mixes rock/metal with electronic elements, crafting a record of catchy synth-centric hooks and hard-hitting choruses. Although their whole style isn’t meant to be taken completely seriously, this album is seriously well composed. Whether venturing down the metal side or taking a jab at the poppier elements of music, Don Broco manages to remain captivating and enjoyable throughout their fourth genre-bending full-length.”

Tyler White

15. Volumes – ‘Happier?’

“With ‘Happier?,’ Volumes returns to their original form with just as much power and emotion as before. With Barr’s return and chemistry with Terry, their most recent effort brings back the beauty of the dual-threat vocals mixed with the intriguing progressive metalcore style of their older style. Volumes is back, and we couldn’t be Happier.”

Tyler White

14. Imminence – ‘Heaven In Hiding’

‘Heaven In Hiding’ is a dark and cathartic expression of cinematic poetry tackling the oftentimes unseen or ignored battle within one’s self, searching for light and hope amidst it’s lowest moments and riding on the edge of bitter hopelessness and uneasy optimism. It’s one of my favorite metal releases so far this year and a worthy successor to ‘Turn The Light On’”

Mateo Ottie

13. SeeYouSpaceCowboy – ‘The Romance of Affliction’

‘The Romance Of Affliction’ is Seeyouspacecowboy…’s best and most mature project to date, dripping with emotion and painful honesty as it pulls at the seams of a broken life trying to find some form of catharsis. It’s a record intent on self-expression and being real, peeling back the layers of shame and regret and revealing a slight glimmer of hope despite the horrific events that inspired it, making for an enthralling and powerful listen that is not only enjoyable, but emotionally connective and incredibly respectable.”

Mateo Ottie

12. Thrice – ‘Horizons/East’

“‘Horizons/East’ is a masterpiece, a work of art worthy and deserving of all recognition, an incredible display of impressive musical prowess and creativity from all four members of the band, exemplifying the interrelatedness of our current situations with a sense of awareness and self-reflection that drips from every word sung on the album. It’s easily the band’s best record in a long time and a mesmerizing record full of inspiration and innovation as it takes its place as one of the best albums of 2021.”

Mateo Ottie

11. Turnstile – ‘Glow On’

Hardcore punk band Turnstile has not only earned their way onto our top albums list, but they also have managed to take off in the alt scene and truly make 2021 their year. The band dropped their album Glow On in in August of this year, and it was without a doubt one of the best punk albums to drop in a very, very long time. The band’s release grew so far in popularity (and rightfully so!) that they were even set to perform at Post Malone’s Postyfest, a massive mixed genre music festival that features artists hand picked by Posty himself. Following the release of their singles ‘Holiday’ and ‘T.L.C. (TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION)” the scene quickly hopped on the Glow On bandwagon with people loving the fast paced classic punk roots paired with the overall hardcore vibe we’ve grown to love from the band over the years. Turnstile proved that they are a force to be reckoned with after this album drop landing them on our list.”

Gina Lymberopoulos

10. Converge / Chelsea Wolfe – ‘Bloodmoon: 1’

“The marriage of Converge’s hardcore with Chelsea Wolfe’s gothic seems like an ambitious attempt, yet it’s an attempt that is well executed in ‘Bloodmoon: I.’ With the group’s first venture into this new style, they already seem to have mastered their musical chemistry among each other. This is only the beginning of what’s sure to be a fantastic endeavor for both Converge and Chelsea Wolfe. One can only wait to see what’s to come.”

Tyler White

9. Hail The Sun – ‘New Age Filth’

Progressive post-hardcore group Hail the Sun made their triumphant return to rightfully claim their swancore throne with ‘New Age Filth’, their fourth full-length studio record and first since 2018’s ‘Mental Knife’. The album’s best moments come from it’s incredibly addictive rhythm section and complex drum grooves over insanely technical guitar riffage and constant time signature changes. Shame Gann and Aric Garcia melt faces with mind-blowing guitar licks full of inspiration and technique and continue to prove themselves as some of the best of their craft in the scene. Donovan Melero delivers some of his most passionate vocal performances to date, showcasing an impressive range of notes and versatility in both his cleans and his screams that emotionally connect to the record’s hard-hitting lyrics. The record shines brightest during its heaviest moments, such as on the dissonant walls of sound of “Hysteriantics” or on the metal-influenced riffage and screams of “Parasitic Cleanse”, with the latter being one of the best tracks on the whole record. The nostalgic power-ballad “Made Your Mark” provides a great change of pace half-way through the record, led by touching bittersweet lyrics examining the lessons learned from a failed relationship and the impact on those Melero has lost made on his life. The lead single “Domino” is the perfect encapsulation of ‘New Age Filth’s sound, opening the album on a literal high note with soaring choruses and modulations and proving instantly why it’s one of the best records of 2021.”

Mateo Ottie

8. Spiritbox – ‘Eternal Blue’

“It feels as if the group has managed to open the floodgates for a new era of alternative music that we have yet to tap into. It wouldn’t surprise me if this is the album that ends up pushing metalcore to the forefronts of the mainstream again, because while giving brutality and heaviness – it also manages to encapsulate a sound that could potentially serve as something timeless and enjoyable for music listeners outside of our scene as well.”

Gina Lymberopoulos

7. Sleep Token – ‘This Place Will Become Your Tomb’

Improving upon the foundation of their debut record, Sleep Token’s ‘This Place Will Become Your Tomb’ effortlessly combines piano-driven pop elements with their progressive metal style. Throughout the record, the anonymous performers craft fantastic piano melodies combined with beautiful vocal harmonies that catch the attention of listeners while also amplifying such moments with powerful instrumentation. Although we still don’t really know who they are, what we do know is they are phenomenal songwriters, and ‘This Place Will Become Your Tomb’ perfectly displays that.”

Tyler White

6. Whitechapel – ‘Kin’

Following their dynamic record ‘The Valley,’ Whitechapel has produced yet another record filled with intense deathcore and beautiful clean harmonies and melodies. ‘Kin’ feels like the natural progression of the band as it tackles similar lyrical themes among some of the band’s most intense songs like their ‘This Is Exile’ era with tracks more melodically focused that feel like A Perfect Circle or Tool. Despite their recent shift from their exclusively deathcore sound into a more diverse and dynamic style, Whitechapel already seems to have mastered this new sound within only two records.”

Tyler White

5. The Plot In You – ‘Swan Song’

Switching between beautifully melodic moments full of atmosphere and ambiance and intense, hard-hitting riffs and grooves, The Plot In You feels like they’ve found their niche by mixing their old nu-metalcore style with the new electronic rock feel of their recent discography. Even though they still haven’t fully returned to their entirely heavy roots, The Plot In You show major signs of life with their newest effort.

Tyler White

4. ERRA – ‘ERRA’

Progressive metalcore kings Erra came into their own and established themselves as a dominant force to be reckoned with on their 2021 self-titled record, after grinding it out to moderate scene success for the better part of a decade, the band finally hit the break they’ve been longing for on this album, piecing together intricate song structures and a plethora of mind-bending riffs with fantastic duet vocal performances by Jesse Cash and JT Cavey. Jesse continues to prove his place time and time again as quite possibly the most talented musician in all of modern metalcore, playing incredibly technical guitar parts while singing beautifully in the process in an endless stream of creativity on this record. “Gungrave” perfectly displays the riff-focused side of the band, with one of the most satisfying breakdowns in the scene this year, and incredibly underrated deep track “Lunar Halo” showcases the band’s artistic creativity combining vocoders and synths with the band’s signature metalcore sound and a beautiful guitar solo from Cash. All of this to say, ‘ERRA’ appropriately and proudly adorns the band’s own namesake with music that makes an undeniably massive statement. This is ERRA.”

Mateo Ottie

3. Silent Planet – ‘Iridescent’

‘Iridescent’ shows the entire band working with complete chemistry with one another. Full of some of the best riffs and grooves of their discography as well as the collaborative vocal efforts of all members, Silent Planet feels to be working to their fullest potential here, resulting in an album full of emotion, power, technicality, and proficiency. From its startling beginnings to its desperate endings, the record is one of the strongest releases the band has crafted to date, and a powerful contemplation of life during moments of mental disarray.”

Tyler White, Mateo Ottie

2. Every Time I Die – ‘Radical’

“As a whole, the combination of musical proficiency, lyrical composition, and record flow elevate ‘Radical’ as a highlight in the discography of Every Time I Die. Without a rough spot in the record, neither faltering from pacing or engagement, ‘Radical’ flows along fluidly with an immense amount of replay value. Despite being over two decades into their career, Every Time I Die very much seem to be in their prime.”

Tyler White

1. Holding Absence – ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’

UK outfit Holding Absence released the best album of 2021 with their sophomore effort ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’, showing lots of maturity and a refined sound compared to the young band’s prior works. Exploding with ethereal guitar tones and lush pianos amidst impeccable drumming and led by Lucas Woodland’s jaw-dropping vocal performance, ‘TGMOML’ is a masterpiece. The record sets an incredibly high precedent for the band’s future releases and containing some of their best songs to date such as the ambient and emotive “In Circles” or the raging energetic fury of “nomoreroses” and the expansive instantly catchy choruses of “Curse Me With Your Kiss” and “Afterlife”. With it’s beautifully crafted blend of shoegaze and post-hardcore and ‘80s aesthetics, ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’ is a near-perfect album and a must-listen for any fan of alternative music.”

Mateo Ottie

CaliberTV Team The best team in the world!

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