Rounding out what I like to call "Yearendlistmas," we have our overall picks: a summation of everything we, Invisible Oranges as a total entity, liked enough to rate in 2021. Some rules we had to follow: no themed lists (sorry to our metalcore and dungeon synth lists), and no guest lists (sorry, John). Each album's score was weighted in reverse order from 20 to 1 (slot #1 would get 20 points, slot #20 would get 1 point, and everything in between). In total, we had ten lists to peruse and summarize. At 20 picks per list, that makes a total of 200 slots for what came to 156 unique albums. This means one thing: overlap, and there was a surprising amount of it this time around. With some exciting three-and-four-way ties, here are our overall top 20 picks of 2021.

1. Lamp of Murmuur - Submission and Slavery (77 points on five lists)
2. Trhä - Endlhëtonëg (50 points on four lists)
3. Worm - forEVERGLADE (46 points on three lists)
4. Stormkeep - Tales of Othertime (43 points on four lists)
5. Circle of Ouroborus - Kiromantia (42 points on three lists)
6. Herzel - Le dernier rempart (38 points on two lists)
7. Dream Unending - Tide Turns Eternal (35 points on three lists)
8. Dungeon Serpent - World of Sorrows (34 points pn four lists)
8. Hooded Menace - The Tritonus Bell (34 points on three lists)
8. Këkht Aräkh - Pale Swordsman (34 points on three lists)
8. Paysage d'Hiver - Geister (34 points on three lists)
12. Old Nick - A New Generation of Vampiric Conspiracies (33 points on two lists)
13. Panopticon - ...and Again Into the Light (30 points on three lists)
14. Mare Cognitum - Solar Paroxysm (27 points on two lists)
14. Steel Bearing Hand - Slay in Hell (27 points on two lists)
14. The Ruins of Beverast - The Thule Grimoires (27 points on two lists)
14. Wheel - Preserved by Time (27 points on two lists)
18. Lucifer - IV (26 points on two lists)
19. Ghastly - Mercurial Passages (24 points on two lists)
19. Gonemage - Sudden Deluge and Mystical Extraction (24 points on two lists)

This is by far the coolest list I've seen in a while. Not only are my own (it's Jon writing, duh) interests represented, but there's also a great variety of metal and hard rock represented here. We like a lot of stuff, be it chiptune black metal, romantic raw black metal from Ukraine, or even whatever those weirdos in Old Nick are up to this time around. What surprises me the most are the top two. Lamp of Murmuur and Trhä: two artists who a) make incredibly raw black metal, b) do not self-promote, and c) are effectively independent. Recognizing these previously unknown parts of the underground and moving away from whatever is presented to us by paid PR people is a key development in this site's history, moving back towards what I feel Cosmo Lee's original vision was. When I started here as Editor in Chief, I said we could do better (we always can), and it shows here that we did, and continue to do so. Expect great things from Invisible Oranges over the next year – we're as excited as you are.


2021 Lists:

Joseph Aprill
Ivan Belcic
Cheryl Carter
Brandon Corsair
Colin Dempsey
Neill Jameson
Ted Nubel
Brandon Nurick
Jon Rosenthal
Chris Rowella


Oh, and if you're into analytics like I am, I've made a few measures which are pretty interesting. Feel free to email us at if you want to learn more.


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