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Album Reviews Stoner Rock

Monster Riff’s Top Stoner Rock & Doom Albums and EPs of 2021

Monster Riff was never intended to be a music review site. When I started this website back in 2019, it was supposed to be a personal side project, something I could play around with in my spare time. At the time, I had hoped Monster Riff would be a place to tell the stories behind classics like Dopesmoker, discuss the demise of bands like Kyuss, and unpack some of the merits within Stoner Rock, like the value of repetition in songwriting.

Well, things rarely go according to plan. 

Monster Riff published more than 40 album and EP reviews in 2021—almost triple what we covered in the year before. 

With so many great albums reviewed (and the year almost over), it makes sense to finally stack them all against each other to pick out the best Stoner Rock and Doom projects of 2021. 

The Best Albums of 2021

Here’s a collection of Monster Riff’s favorite albums of 2021, based on initial review scores ranging from 9/10 to 10/10.

Stonekind – Spirit of the Void

Stonekind's "Spirit of the Void" Album Cover

Album Release Date: June 11, 2021

Album Summary: Despite a brief appearance on the Doom Charts for Best New Album, Stonekind’s Spirit of the Void has remained one of 2021’s best kept secrets. This album is solid. And intense, emotional rollercoaster, the Stonekind duo channel a Heavy Blues that occasionally calls to mind bands like King Buffalo and All Them Witches.

Read the Monster Riff review of Stonekind’s Spirit of the Void.

Final Score: 10/10

Favorite Song: “Untethered”

Get Spirit of the Void on Bandcamp.

Miss Lava – Doom Machine

Album Release Date: January 15, 2021

Album Summary: The Lisbon, Portugal-based rockers channel the passion, energy, and radio-friendly hooks of bands like Red Fang and ASG, draping the entire experience in powerful, melodic servings of atmospheric Metal and Stoner Rock.  

Read the Monster Riff review of Miss Lava’s Doom Machine.

Final Score: 10/10

Favorite Song: “Fourth Dimension”

Get Doom Machine on Bandcamp.

Gustavo De Beauville – Second Sun

"Second Sun" Album Cover

Album Summary: Second Sun is an intense, cinematic instrumental album blending sensibilities from Prog, Grunge, and Stoner Rock, ultimately delivering a slew of entertaining songs that should appeal to a wide range of fans—including TOOL, My Sleeping Karma, and Karma to Burn.

Read the Monster Riff review of Gustavo De Beauville’s Second Sun.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Favorite Song: “Second Sun”

Get Second Sun on Bandcamp.

Aiwass – Wayward Gods

Wayward Gods Aiwass Album Cover

Release Date: November 5, 2021

Album Summary: The debut full-length album from the Blake Carrera-led Aiwass offers heavy Stoner riffs, the dread and gloom of Doom, and the intricate structures of Heavy Psych. This is a hellish, foot-stomping adventure straight into the underworld, and we’re properly braced for everything Aiwass produces in the future. 

Read the Monster Riff review of Aiwass’ Wayward Gods.

Final Score: 9/10

Favorite Song: “Man As God”

Get Wayward Gods on Bandcamp. 

King Buffalo – The Burden of Restlessness

King Buffalo's "Burden of Restlessness" Album Cover

Album Release Date: June 4, 2021

Album Summary: The first of three albums that were supposed to come out before the end of the year (spoiler alert: it looks like we won’t get that third album before January 1, as they only released Acheron on December 3). For The Burden of Restlessness, the Heavy Psych kings melded their signature sound with the Alt Rock and Grunge of the ‘90s, flexing the full Rock power of the Rochester, NY band.

Read the Monster Riff review of King Buffalo’s The Burden of Restlessness.

Final Score: 9/10

Favorite Song: “Burning”

Get The Burden of Restlessness on Bandcamp.

Van Groover – Honk If Parts Fall Off

Van Groover's "Honk If Parts Fall Off" Album Cover

Album Release Date: August 14, 2021

Album Summary: Honk If Parts Fall Off is a Stoner Rock buffet of thick, heavy riffs and husky, masculine vocals—all of which is blended with desert wind and grit. This debut album from a German trio even punches up the sound with a few pinches of Doom, Psychedelic Rock, and plenty of humor. 

Read the Monster Riff review of Van Groover’s Honk If Parts Fall Off.

Final Score: 9/10

Favorite Song: “Streetfood”

Get Honk If Parts Fall Off on Bandcamp. 

Indus Valley Kings – Indus Valley Kings

Indus Valley Kings Album Cover

Album Release Date: January 22, 2021

Album Summary: A straightforward, hard-hitting Hard Rock album with massive Stoner Rock vibes and the occasional addition of Heavy Metal and Doom, Indus Valley Kings channels the likes of Kyuss and Helmet while offering a sound that is completely its own.

Read the Monster Riff review of Indus Valley Kings’ Indus Valley Kings.

Final Score: 9/10

Favorite Song: “Angels”

Get Indus Valley Kings on Bandcamp.

Green Hog Band – Devil’s Luck

Green Hog Band's "Devil's Luck" Album Cover

Album Release Date: July 4, 2021

Album Summary: Packed with fuzzy riffs, excellent guitar work, and the occasional dips into Sludge and Drone, Devil’s Luck lives up to Green Hog Band’s own description for the band: a “two-wheeled adventure for bikes, stoners, and doom-heads.”

Read the Monster Riff review of Green Hog Band’s Devil’s Luck from contributor Nick Pipitone.

Final Score: 9/10

Favorite Song: “Full Moon”

Get Devil’s Luck on Bandcamp.

White Powder – Blue Dream

White Powder's "Blue Dream" Album Cover

Album Release Date: May 7, 2021

Album Summary: An intricate and fun Psychedelic Rock album mixed with dashes of Space Rock and Prog Rock, Blue Dream is a compelling listen through and through, and references as diverse as Alice Walker and Aokigahara in a mostly instrumental album mean you’ll find a few surprises along the way.

Read the Monster Riff review of White Powder’s Blue Dream.

Final Score: 9/10

Favorite Song: “Alice Walker”

Get Blue Dream on Bandcamp.

The Best EPs of 2021

Here’s a collection of Monster Riff’s favorite EPs of 2021, based on initial review scores ranging from 9/10 to 10/10.

Aiwass – His Name Was Aiwass

His Name Was Aiwass EP Cover

EP Release Date: April 24, 2021

EP Summary: Built on three hard-hitting tracks, His Name Was Aiwass is an exciting blend of Stoner Rock and Doom Metal bolstered by influences from the Occult and songwriter Blake Carrera’s meticulous attention to detail. 

Read the Monster Riff review of Aiwass’ His Name Was Aiwass

Final Score: 10/10

Favorite Song: “Aphrodite”

Get His Name Was Aiwass on Bandcamp. 

Team Hoss – Get It On

Team Hoss Get It On Album Cover

EP Release Date: October 29, 2021

EP Summary: While this EP is criminally short (it’s only two songs), both tracks are spin-worthy singles from the Hobart, Indiana-based band. Here, Team Hoss hacks away at some of their Drone and Doom tendencies found on 2019’s Molten Riffs of Fury to craft a couple of short-lived Stoner Rock feasts with massive, surging riffs. 

Read the Monster Riff review of Team Hoss’ Get It On.

Final Score: 10/10

Favorite Song: RIP R Lee E

Get Get It On on Bandcamp. 

Korsunnuz – Negative Earth

Korsunnuz Negative Earth Album Cover

Release Date: May 2, 2021

EP Summary: There is nothing pretentious about Negative Earth. Instead, Korsunnuz blends its favorite elements of Desert Rock and Stoner Rock with hints of Alt Rock and Nu Metal, offering six outstanding tracks of unabashed songwriting and beer-chugging fun.

Read the Monster Riff review of Korsunnuz’s Negative Earth.

Final Score: 10/10

Favorite Song: “Half Life”

Get Negative Earth on Bandcamp.

Stonus – Séance

Stonus Séance EP Cover

EP Release Date: March 26, 2021

EP Summary: Built on the band’s infectious energy, massive Stoner Rock riffs, and desperate vocals, Séance is a powerful EP from a Cypus-based five-piece on a mission to change the world through fuzzy guitars and pounding drums.

Read the Monster Riff review of Stonus’ Séance.

Final Score: 9/10

Favorite Song: “Evil Woman”

Get Séance on Bandcamp.

Your Favorite Album and EP of 2021?

Of course, there’s bound to be a few disagreements with the above, and you’re likely to spot a few snubs as well. Just remember: There’s a lot of music Monster Riff didn’t get a chance to review in 2021, and that means they didn’t have an opportunity to appear here.

If you love something that came out this year, mention it in the comments below! We’d love to give it a listen.

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