It’s been a busy year for Australian rock and metal bands, despite the ongoing COVID situation, as the ongoing popularity of our weekly TERROR AUSTRALIS column would attest; Debate raged at Sentinel Daily HQ as to the pros and cons of a number of Aussie albums before we came to rest on these ten as the records we thought represented the best of Australian rock and metal in 2021, with a few honourable mentions thrown in for good measure. So, who will follow Meshiaak (2016), Caligula’s Horse (2017), Rise of Avernus (2018), Lord (2019) and Vanishing Point (2020) as Sentinel Daily’s Metal monarchs? Let the countdown begin…

Hovering just outside the top ten this year were The Amenta‘s Revelator, Morbid Delusions by Melbourne death metallers Nefariym, N1FG from Hellz Abyss, The Harvest Trail‘s Instinct and Cathedral of Bones from Sydney’s Flaming Wrekage; all great albums in their own right which greatly added to the incredibly strong canon of Australian rock and metal released in 2021…


10. KimuraCircle The Prey (Own Label)
Kimura Top Ten
“An absolutely coruscating production gives absolutely no quarter to the ears of the listener whilst at the same time presenting the band in crystal clear fury. It’s as good an ‘own label’ sound as I’ve heard in a while…I have to say that I keep gleefully pressing play every time this album ends to relive the fun all over again” – Michael Stronge, 15/10/21

Read Michael’s full review HERE

9. DesecratorSummoning (Own Label)
Desecrator top ten
“It’s not often that a traditional, old school thrash metal record from an ‘unknown’ band does anything other than make you wish you were listening to Bonded by Blood or Hell Awaits instead; For the second time in their career, Desecrator will have you not only not doing that, but actively considering taking your old Whiplash albums down to the record and tape exchange instead as you have no need for them anymore. Summoning is what thrash metal should sound like in 2021. And it’s a bloody good sound, let me tell you…” – Scott Adams, 12/8/21

Read Scott’s full review HERE

8. WerewolvesWhat A Time To Be Alive (Prosthetic Records)
Werewolves Top Ten
“Put simply, WATTBA is thirty four minutes of pure, unadulterated, debilitating filth…There is not a single scrap of art on offer here that anyone remotely considering themselves to be ‘decent’ would be interested in, let alone want to stand in the vicinity (IE earshot) of. I have treated my neighbours to the whole thing, in full, on multiple occasions, and they’ve stopped greeting me on the communal landings with no explanations given. In these terms, and obviously by extension in accordance with their stated war aims, What A Time To Be Alive is an unmitigated success”. -MS, 27/1/21

Read Mick’s full musings on What A Time to Be Alive HERE

7. LordUndercovers Vol 1 (Dominus Music)
Lord Top Ten
“There’s definitely something for anyone here with an interest in seeing how one great artist looks at reinterpreting the works of another. And you’ll get a stiff neck into the bargain, which really must count as a result in these days of diminished expectations”. – Gavin Strickmann, 24/03/21

Read Gavin’s full look under the covers HERE

6. Shotgun MistressShotgun Mistress (Crusader Records)
Shotgun Mistress Top ten
“Thunderous retro flavourings from Melbourne… all four members acquit themselves superbly in terms of performance throughout, and there are enough song writing moments on Shotgun Mistress to suggest that this, indeed, is a band with a big future ahead of it. A very big future, in fact”. – GS, 22/06/21

Read Gavin’s full review of Shotgun Mistress HERE

5. Lucifer’s FallFrom The Deep (Sun & Moon Records)
Lucifer's Fall TOP TEN
“One of the best things about Adelaide’s Lucifer’s Fall is their apparently complete refusal to acknowledge that modern life exists… The band cover most bases familiar to fans of ‘classic metal’, not least that great, long-lost eighties metal artefact the ‘hit single’; had it been released in 1984, The very perky Reverend Revenant would have found itself riding high in the charts, with Milkmen all around the country whistling it’s jaunty ‘hey! hey!’ refrain as they delivered your daily pinta. This is undoubtedly a good thing…” – MS, 22/7/21

Read Mick’s deep take on From The Deep HERE

4. Nothing SacredNo Gods (Rockshots Records)
Nothing Sacred Top Ten
“These guys, as befits an outfit with bags of experience, actually have a sound that’s pretty much all their own. Much of this comes down to the impressive vocal presence of singer James Davies; the man offers serious chops in the vocal department…The band aren’t breaking any new ground with this record, of course, but as purveyors of solid, at times superb melodic metal like First World Problems, where guitarists George Larin and Stu Bedford frank their credentials as a guitar partnership of high value, they’ve emerged as one of the best we’ve heard around these parts in quite a while”. – SA 26/6/21

Read Scott’s sacred words in full HERE

3. TeramazeAnd The Beauty They Perceive (Wells Music)
Teramaze Top Ten
“Closing track Head of The King is another stone-cold highlight, but to be honest in an album nearly an hour in length with no weak points discernible at all highlighting tracks seems pointless. This album is the complete article, top to bottom, front to back, and it is, with no word of a lie, one of the most consistently breathtaking records I’ve heard this year. Bravo” – GS, 27/9/21

Read Gavin’s Beautiful prose on Teramaze HERE

2. TemtrisRitual Warfare (WormHoleDeath)
Temtris Top Ten
“Talking of classic metal, Tempus Aeturnum is just that; Bassist Nik Wilks churns away like Jimmy Bain on Holy Diver as the band build an epic sound around him that could rightly be described as ‘Dioesque’ without ever actually resorting to mimicry. It’s stirring, hair-raising stuff and no mistake, and proves that there’s more to this band than simple power metal overload… Temtris prove again on Ritual Warfare just what an accomplished, important band they are; if you’ve still not experienced their majesty yet, what are you waiting for?” – Ferry Templeton, 21/4/21

Read Ferry’s full review of Ritual Warfare HERE

All of which leads us to the Sentinel Daily team’s favourite album of 2021… congratulations to

1. Dangerous CurvesSummertime Highs (Own Label)
Dangerous Curves Top Ten
“Tracks like Nightmare Games are, in simple terms, right up there with anything that established hair metal retroactivists like Crazy Lixx are committing to wax right now. Built around a Cam Shoobert riff that eighties Gods Leatherwolf or Icon would have killed for ‘back in the day’, and buoyed by a quite superb vocal delivery from Kym Britten that really does send an unfeasible amount of voltage through the hairs on the back of the neck, this is astounding hair metal of world class ambition and execution… Dangerous Curves may be the sum of their influences, but they’ve also transcended them, in the process developing a sound that manages to respect the old whilst forging ahead with a spring in the step, alive to the promise of what lays ahead. And that’s a pretty good position to be in”. – SA, 15/7/21