Album Of The Year 2021 – Number 14

Welcome to Day 17 of my ‘Album Of The Year 2021 Top 30 Countdown’ series. That means that I’m about to reveal the album that sits at Number 14 in the list. And it’s a belter, I can promise you that…well, as ever, it depends on your personal tastes, but for me, it is definitely a belter!

That brings me on to an important point – this list has nothing to do with whether the music is technical, original, popular, underground, or whatever; it’s a reflection of the music that I enjoyed the most in 2021, and made the biggest impact upon me. So it’s my subjective list…and I’m in charge!

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed my choices this year so far. However, if you’ve been horrendously negligent and not come across this series before, you can explore to your heart’s content via all the links below. And, if you like this year’s series, I also provide the links to previous countdowns too…not that I’m desperate to reach one million hits this year or anything!

And with that, let’s get on with it and reveal my pick at Number 14…

Number 14

Seth

“La Morsure Du Christ”

Season Of Mist

Release Date: 7 May 2021

Score Of Much Metal: 95%

I’ve always loved a fair bit of black metal, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s one of the genres that’s most extreme in terms of the range of quality. There is also a great deal of interpretation amongst fans about what black metal actually is. Well, for me, Seth are pretty much the perfect definition of what I think of when I hear ‘black metal’. And in ‘La Morsure Du Christ’, they have hit a complete home run.

This is brutal, extreme, and nasty. Yet, at the same time, Seth have imbued their malevolent compositions with some beauty too. The melodies that emerge from the depths of Hell are simply wonderful, helping to add grandeur to the music without attempting to soften the edges too much.

The fact that Seth are an openly blasphemous band makes no odds to me, although I quite accept that others within my readership may take issue with the sentiment and the lyrics that appear on ‘La Morsure Du Christ'(‘Christ’s death is certain’). For me, however, the music comes first, and always will. As such, even though I have no religious beliefs whatsoever, the lyrical content doesn’t factor as a plus or a minus, except that the gruff, caustic rasp fits the music perfectly.

Forget the imagery and forget the lyrics for a moment. Instead, listen to the music, and I suspect most of us may have a hard job to deride the compositions. They are magnetic, majestic, and magical. Black magic it might be, but it’s a form of magic, one that Seth have harnessed to deliver what I consider to be the best out-and-out black metal album of 2021.

What I wrote at the time:

“…on the one hand, Seth’s music is ferocious, raw, malevolent, and extreme. But, on the other, I can only describe it as absolutely beautiful. 

…this is most definitely a spiteful dose of uncompromising black metal. But there’s an almost disarming amount of melody to be heard within the seven songs on ‘La Morsure Du Christ’, be it at the hands of Le Pape’s keys, or via the guitar work of Heimoth and Drakhian. So much melody.

…what Seth have done so well here, is create something that is dark, evil, uncompromising, yet beautiful too. They prove on this record that you really can do both; that you don’t always need to be brutal alone to create satisfyingly extreme music, you can imbue the music with a certain catchiness and elegant melody and still find that it will melt faces and drive a knife through your blackened heart.

…‘La Morsure Du Christ’ is stunning. I liked it on a first spin, as I sat open-mouthed in immediate adoration. And since then, I’ve just become ever more enamoured with this record…At the end of the day, I am reviewing the music and, on that score, Seth have created a stunning record.”

Read the full review here.

The list this year so far…

Number 15

Number 16

Number 17

Number 18

Number 19

Number 20

Number 21

Number 22

Number 23

Number 24

Number 25

Number 26

Number 27

Number 28

Number 29

Number 30

‘Honourable Mentions’

Also, if you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here:

2020

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

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