Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2021

There was so much amazing music in 2021. Bands released more singles and EP’s this year than albums, so I started with just under 450 albums to rate.

First step was to get that down to 100 for the Top 100. Then I removed 50 more for the Top 50, and finally I had to remove an additional 20 for the Top 30 (here we are), which will have a corresponding show with one song from each album (pending).

Here are the rules and guidelines I work with for my Top 2021 lists:

  • I must own the album to consider it (either through purchase or provided by band or label).
  • Only albums qualify: no EP’s or Singles. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs.”
  • To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions, covers albums, compilations (“best of”), etc., do not qualify. Intro and outro songs, instrumentals, and intermission songs do not count toward the song total.
  • Albums are weighted so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs.
  • I judge each song individually, then rate the album overall. Did I want to listen to the entire album? Were there songs I wanted to skip? Was I engaged as a listener and fan?
  • I post the lists alphabetically and not in “countdown” style.

I fully recognize that my list (and everyone’s list, for that matter) is subjective. I love that others have different lists and are passionate about different bands and albums! I hope you agree with many fo these, but I also hope you have some favorites that aren’t on my list, but more importantly, I hope these lists introduce you to a band or album you may have missed in 2021!

I have “LISTEN HERE” links next to each album cover below, so give each band and album a chance, and support the bands you like!

The Synthentral Top 30 for 2021 (in alphabetical order):

Balvanera – Courses Of Action (LISTEN HERE)
Beyond Border – Awakening (LISTEN HERE)
BlakLight – Into The Void (LISTEN HERE)
CHVRCHES – Screen Violence (LISTEN HERE)
Dagon – Adam Krueger (LISTEN HERE)
Devours – Escape From Planet Devours (LISTEN HERE)
District 13 – Mind Over Matter (LISTEN HERE)
Double Echo – ☾ (LISTEN HERE)
Dräger – Goths À La Discothèque (LISTEN HERE)
echōdead – Random Headnoise Parallax (LISTEN HERE)
Elektrostaub – Reliance (LISTEN HERE)
F.O.D. – Mensch Macht Maschine (LISTEN HERE)
j:dead – A Complicated Genocide (LISTEN HERE)
LAU – Believer (LISTEN HERE)
Machine Made Pleasure – Danceland Graffiti (LISTEN HERE)
Nation Of Language – A Way Forward (LISTEN HERE)
Nature Of Wires – Out Of My System (LISTEN HERE)
Norderney – Without The Limelight (LISTEN HERE)
Nórdika – Hipnotik (LISTEN HERE)
Nuovo Testamento – New Earth (LISTEN HERE)
Parralox – Travelogue (LISTEN HERE)
Piston Damp – Making The World Great Again (LISTEN HERE)
Potochkine – Sortilèges (LISTEN HERE)
Raindancer – A Different Horizon (LISTEN HERE)
Rector Scanner – Radioteleskop (LISTEN HERE)
The Saint Paul – Core (LISTEN HERE)
Tenderlash – Hold Still (LISTEN HERE)
thewalkingicon – Shadow Of The Saints (LISTEN HERE)
Tobias Bernstrup – Petrichor (LISTEN HERE)
Yota – Lucid Dreams (LISTEN HERE)

Synthentral Top 50 Albums of 2021

There was so much amazing music in 2021. Bands released more Singles and EP’s this year than albums, so I started with just under 450 albums to rate.

First step was to get that down to 100 for the Top 100. Then I removed 50 more for the Top 50 (here we are), and finally I’ll remove an additional 20 for the Top 30, which will have a corresponding show with one song from each album.

Here are the rules and guidelines I work with for my Top 2021 lists:

  • I must own the album to consider it (either through purchase or provided by band or label).
  • Only albums qualify: no EP’s or Singles. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs.”
  • To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions, covers albums, compilations (“best of”), etc., do not qualify. Intro and outro songs, instrumentals, and intermission songs do not count toward the song total.
  • Albums are weighted so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs.
  • I judge each song individually, then rate the album overall. Did I want to listen to the entire album? Were there songs I wanted to skip? Was I engaged as a listener and fan?
  • I post the lists alphabetically and not in “countdown” style.

I fully recognize that my list (and everyone’s list, for that matter) is subjective. I love that others have different lists and are passionate about different bands and albums! I hope you agree with many fo these, but I also hope you have some favorites that aren’t on my list, but more importantly, I hope these lists introduce you to a band or album you may have missed in 2021!

I have “LISTEN HERE” links next to below each album cover, so give each band and album a chance, and support the bands you like!

The Synthentral Top 50 for 2021 (in alphabetical order):

Balvanera – Courses Of Action (LISTEN HERE)
Beyond Border – Awakening (LISTEN HERE)
Bikini Death Race – Refrigerator (LISTEN HERE)
Black Marble – Fast Idol (LISTEN HERE)
BlakLight – Into The Void (LISTEN HERE)
Brutalist Architecture In The Sun – Post Democracy The Album (LISTEN HERE)
CHVRCHES – Screen Violence (LISTEN HERE)
Clicks – G.O.T.H. (LISTEN HERE)
Cold Connection – Seconds Of Solitude (LISTEN HERE)
Creature And The Wolf – Night Feed (LISTEN HERE)
Dagon – Adam Krueger (LISTEN HERE)
Dead Lights – Dead Lights (LISLTEN HERE)
Devours – Escape From Planet Devours (LISTEN HERE)
District 13 – Mind Over Matter (LISTEN HERE)
Double Echo – ☾Double Echo – ☾ (LISTEN HERE)
Dräger – Goths À La Discothèque (LISTEN HERE)
echōdead – Random Headnoise Parallax (LISTEN HERE)
Elektroforez – 505 (LISTEN HERE)
Elektrostaub – Reliance (LISTEN HERE)
F.O.D. – Mensch Macht Maschine (LISTEN HERE)
Faderhead – Years Of The Serpent (LISTEN HERE)
Funker Vogt – Element 115 (LISTEN HERE)
Gary Numan – Intruder (LISTEN HERE)
Glass Spells – Shattered (LISTEN HERE)
Ironfield – No Sound (LISTEN HERE)
j:dead – A Complicated Genocide (LISTEN HERE)
Kat Von D – Love Made Me Do It (LISTEN HERE)
LAU – Believer (LISTEN HERE)
Machine Made Pleasure – Danceland Graffiti (LISTEN HERE)
Nation Of Language – A Way Forward (LISTEN HERE)
Nature Of Wires – Out Of My System (LISTEN HERE)
No Trust In Dawn – Lost And Apart (LISTEN HERE)
Norderney – Without The Limelight (LISTEN HERE)
Nórdika – Hipnotik (LISTEN HERE)
Nuovo Testamento – New Earth (LISTEN HERE)
Parralox – Travelogue (LISTEN HERE)
Piston Damp – Making The World Great Again (LISTEN HERE)
Potochkine – Sortilèges (LISTEN HERE)
Pro Patria – Godless (LISTEN HERE)
Raindancer – A Different Horizon (LISTEN HERE)
Rector Scanner – Radioteleskop (LISTEN HERE)
S Y Z Y G Y X – (Im)mortal (LISTEN HERE)
The Saint Paul – Core (LISTEN HERE)
Tenderlash – Hold Still (LISTEN HERE)
thewalkingicon – Shadow Of The Saints (LISTEN HERE)
Tobias Bernstrup – Petrichor (LISTEN HERE)
Velvet Vega – We’ll Never Get Back (LISTEN HERE)
Yota – Lucid Dreams (LISTEN HERE)
Zanias – Unearthed (LISTEN HERE)
Zoodrake – Seven (LISTEN HERE)

Synthentral Top 100 Albums of 2021

There was so much amazing music in 2021. Bands released more Singles and EP’s this year than albums, so I started with just under 450 albums to rate.

First step is to get that down to 100 for the Top 100 (here we are). Then I remove 50 more for the Top 50, and finally remove an additional 20 for the Top 30, which will have a corresponding show with one song from each album.

Here are the rules and guidelines I work with for my Top 2021 lists:

  • I must own the album to consider it (either through purchase or provided by band or label).
  • Only albums qualify: no EP’s or Singles. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs.”
  • To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions, covers albums, compilations (“best of”), etc., do not qualify. Intro and outro songs, instrumentals, and intermission songs do not count toward the song total.
  • Albums are weighted so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs.
  • I judge each song individually, then rate the album overall. Did I want to listen to the entire album? Were there songs I wanted to skip? Was I engaged as a listener and fan?
  • I post the lists alphabetically and not in “countdown” style.

I fully recognize that my list (and everyone’s list, for that matter) is subjective. I love that others have different lists and are passionate about different bands and albums! I hope you agree with many of these, but I also hope you have some favorites that aren’t on my list, but more importantly, I hope this list introduces you to a band or album you may have missed in 2021!

I have “LISTEN HERE” links below each album cover, so go and listen and give each band and album a chance, and support the bands you like!

The Synthentral Top 100 for 2021 (in alphabetical order):

AEX – AEon deuX (LISTEN HERE)
All Systems Out – Strike Me (LISTEN HERE)
Angelspit – Diesel Priest (LISTEN HERE)
Balvanera – Courses Of Action (LISTEN HERE)
Beyond Border – Awakening (LISTEN HERE)
Bikini Death Race – Refrigerator (LISTEN HERE)
Black Marble – Fast Idol (LISTEN HERE)
BlakLight – Into The Void (LISTEN HERE)
BlueForge – Soul Rockets (LISTEN HERE)
Blutengel – Erlösung – The Victory Of Light (LISTEN HERE)
Brutalist Architecture In The Sun – Post Democracy The Album (LISTEN HERE)
Сад – Незнакомые лица знакомых людей (LISTEN HERE)
CHVRCHES – Screen Violence (LISTEN HERE)
Clan Of Xymox – Limbo (LISTEN HERE)
Clicks – G.O.T.H. (LISTEN HERE)
Cold Connection – Seconds Of Solitude (LISTEN HERE)
Creature And The Wolf – Night Feed (LISTEN HERE)
Croona – Ascend (LISTEN HERE)
Стереополина – Суперлуние (LISTEN HERE)
Dagon – Adam Krueger (LISTEN HERE)
Daniel Hall – Human (LISTEN HERE)
Das Werk – Aeshma (LISTEN HERE)
Dead Lights – Dead Lights (LISTEN HERE)
Devours – Escape From Planet Devours (LISTEN HERE)
The Distant Minds – Bedlam (LISTEN HERE)
Distoxia – Genocidio Espiritual (LISTEN HERE)
District 13 – Mind Over Matter (LISTEN HERE)
Diverje – Purge The World Before (LISTEN HERE)
Doble Núcleo – Mecánica Orgánica (LISTEN HERE)
Double Echo – ☾ (LISTEN HERE)
Dräger – Goths À La Discothèque (LISTEN HERE)
e:lect – Changing Reality (LISTEN HERE)
echōdead – Random Headnoise Parallax (LISTEN HERE)
Elektroforez – 505 (LISTEN HERE)
Elektrostaub – Reliance (LISTEN HERE)
The Ending Nights – A Landscape To Die (LISTEN HERE)
F.O.D. – Mensch Macht Maschine (LISTEN HERE)
Faderhead – Years Of The Serpent (LISTEN HERE)
FHTH – Freedom And Love (LISTEN HERE)
Form – This World Is Ours (LISTEN HERE)
The Frixion – To Hell And Back (LISTEN HERE)
Funker Vogt – Element 115 (LISTEN HERE)
Gary Numan – Intruder (LISTEN HERE)
Glass Spells – Shattered (LISTEN HERE)
Gli Occulti Supersovrani – Capolavoro (LISTEN HERE)
Hamerzya – Earth Rebirth (LISTEN HERE)
Hante. – Morning Tsunami (LISTEN HERE)
Honey Beard – Oneiros (LISTEN HERE)
Imperative Reaction – Mirror (LISTEN HERE)
Implant – Cognitive Dissonance (LISTEN HERE)
Ironfield – No Sound (LISTEN HERE)
j:dead – A Complicated Genocide (LISTEN HERE)
Kanga – You And I Will Never Die (LISTEN HERE)
Kat Von D – Love Made Me Do It (LISTEN HERE)
Konstantin Unwohl – Im Institut Für Strömungstechnik (LISTEN HERE)
LARVA – Void (LISTEN HERE)
LAU – Believer (LISTEN HERE)
Laura Dre – Moving Spaces (LISTEN HERE)
Llumen – Polygon Heart (LISTEN HERE)
Lords Assistants – Infrared (LISTEN HERE)
Machine Made Pleasure – Danceland Graffiti (LISTEN HERE)
Most Modern – Dark Lies (LISTEN HERE)
Nation Of Language – A Way Forward (LISTEN HERE)
Nattskiftet – Stämplar In (LISTEN HERE)
Nature Of Wires – Out Of My System (LISTEN HERE)
Neuropa – Frontiers (LISTEN HERE)
No Trust In Dawn – Lost And Apart (LISTEN HERE)
Norderney – Without The Limelight (LISTEN HERE)
Nórdika – Hipnotik (LISTEN HERE)
Nuovo Testamento – New Earth (LISTEN HERE)
Orange Sector – Alles Wird Gold (LISTEN HERE)
Parralox – Travelogue (LISTEN HERE)
Peppy Pep Pepper – Forced Distance (LISTEN HERE)
Piston Damp – Making The World Great Again (LISTEN HERE)
Potochkine – Sortilèges (LISTEN HERE)
Pro Patria – Godless (LISTEN HERE)
Propter Hoc – Blood Moon (LISTEN HERE)
The Rain Within – Horrorshow (LISTEN HERE)
Raindancer – A Different Horizon (LISTEN HERE)
Reality’s Despair – Perfidious Depopulation (LISTEN HERE)
Rector Scanner – Radioteleskop (LISTEN HERE)
The Rorschach Garden – Grain Culture (LISTEN HERE)
S Y Z Y G Y X – (Im​)​mortal (LISTEN HERE)
The Saint Paul – Core (LISTEN HERE)
Sines – A Series Of Moments (LISTEN HERE)
Solar Fake – Enjoy Dystopia (LISTEN HERE)
StaTiK SeKt – Without Tomorrow (LISTEN HERE)
Stridulum – Soothing Tales Of Escapism (LISTEN HERE)
Super Dragon Punch – Feral (LISTEN HERE)
Tenderlash – Hold Still (LISTEN HERE)
thewalkingicon – Shadow Of The Saints (LISTEN HERE)
Tobias Bernstrup – Petrichor (LISTEN HERE)
Uncreated – Symbiosis (LISTEN HERE)
unitcode:machine – Themes For A Collapsing Empire (LISTEN HERE)
Velvet Vega – We’ll Never Get Back (LISTEN HERE)
Venus In Disgrace – Dancefloor Nostalgia (LISTEN HERE)
Yota – Lucid Dreams (LISTEN HERE)
Your Ocean – Last Days Of Alnoxthenya (LISTEN HERE)
Zanias – Unearthed (LISTEN HERE)
Zoodrake – Seven (LISTEN HERE)

Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2020

Top 30 Albums of 2020

There was so much amazing music in 2020. 2020 saw more singles/EP’s than albums. In 2019 I had 612 albums and this year I only had 447. I narrowed that down to the Top 100, then Top 50, and now it’s the Top 30 albums of 2020!

I have several rules I work with when getting to my Top 30 list:

  • In order for an album to qualify, the album must be in my library, either through purchasing it on my own or given to me by the band or label. There were quite a few albums released in 2020 that were not provided to me by the band/label or I was not able to purchase.
  • To qualify it must be an album. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs” that cover singles and EPs.
  • To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions, cover albums, compilations, and “best of” do not qualify. Intro and outro songs as well as brief intermission style songs do not count toward the total of original songs. This year instrumentals no longer counted since I stopped playing instrumentals on the show.
  • All albums are weighted so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs.
  • I judge each song individually. Then rate the album overall based on the individual song scores, the listenability of the entire album, etc.
  • I post the lists alphabetically and do not list or post them in a “countdown” style.

I fully recognize that my list is subjective and that others will have different lists or disagree with my choices. I love that others have different lists and are passionate about different bands and albums! Regardless, listen to the music and give it all a chance. I have “LISTEN HERE” links next to each album title, so give each band and album a chance and listen and support the bands you like!

While I don’t list the albums in a 30 to 1 list, I think the highest rated album deserves to be recognized: my Number One Album of 2020 is “Singularity” by Voicecoil.

The Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2020 (in alphabetical order):

11Grams - Humanicide
11Grams – Humanicide: LISTEN HERE
Alanas Chosnau & Mark Reeder - Children Of Nature
Alanas Chosnau & Mark Reeder – Children Of Nature: LISTEN HERE
Alphamay - Conformity
Alphamay – Conformity: LISTEN HERE
Ashes 'N' Android - Razors Edge
Ashes ‘N’ Android – Razors Edge: LISTEN HERE
Assemblage 23 - Mourn
Assemblage 23 – Mourn: LISTEN HERE
BlakLight - Music In A Time Of Uncertainty
BlakLight – Music In A Time Of Uncertainty: LISTEN HERE
Brutalist Architecture In The Sun - Sadness Between Cities, The
Brutalist Architecture In The Sun – The Sadness Between Cities: LISTEN HERE
A Covenant Of Thorns - Black
A Covenant Of Thorns – Black: LISTEN HERE
Croona - Nobody Loves You
Croona – Nobody Loves You: LISTEN HERE
Daniel Hall - Dark Horse
Daniel Hall – Dark Horse: LISTEN HERE
Ego Bliss - What The Future Holds
Ego Bliss – What The Future Holds: LISTEN HERE
ES23 - Only Melodies Remain
ES23 – Only Melodies Remain: LISTEN HERE
FCH - Synaesthesia
FCH – Synaesthesia: LISTEN HERE
Frozen Plasma - Gezeiten
Frozen Plasma – Gezeiten: LISTEN HERE
Kim Lunner - This Is Me
Kim Lunner – This Is Me: LISTEN HERE
Kiss Of The Whip - We're Not Here
Kiss Of The Whip – We’re Not Here: LISTEN HERE
Klonavenus - Motion:Less
Klonavenus – Motion:Less: LISTEN HERE
Klutæ - Queer For Satan
Klutæ – Queer For Satan: LISTEN HERE
Korine - The Night We Raise
Korine – The Night We Raise: LISTEN HERE
N-Frequency - Signs Of Evolution
N-Frequency – Signs Of Evolution: LISTEN HERE
Neuroactive - Minor Side​-​Effects
Neuroactive – Minor Side​-​Effects: LISTEN HERE
The New Division - Hidden Memories
The New Division – Hidden Memories: LISTEN HERE
Noise Resistance - Insights Of Ego
Noise Resistance – Insights Of Ego: LISTEN HERE
Pandoria - Clean
Pandoria – Clean: LISTEN HERE
Pitch Yarn Of Matter - Legacy
Pitch Yarn Of Matter – Legacy: LISTEN HERE
Provision - Hearts Turn Dark
Provision – Hearts Turn Dark: LISTEN HERE
Technophobia - Some Of Us Are Looking At The Stars
Technophobia – Some Of Us Are Looking At The Stars: LISTEN HERE
Vandal Moon - Black Kiss
Vandal Moon – Black Kiss: LISTEN HERE
Vaylon - Legacy
Vaylon – Legacy: LISTEN HERE
Voicecoil - Singularity
Voicecoil – Singularity: LISTEN HERE

Top 30 Synth Albums of 2017

TOP 30 Synth-Based Albums/EPs from 2017!

This list was very hard to do. There were so many amazing albums, EP’s, and singles released in 2017. In order for an album to qualify, it had to be in my library. I get music a lot of ways. A lot of times promoters, record labels, and artists send me their music so I can play the music. A lot of times I have to buy the albums. Sometimes the artists offer the albums up for free on their web page, Bandcamp, or other sources.

All those sources resulted in having 4,396 unique album/EP/single entries from 2017 that I had to go through. That’s a daunting number and it should be noted that there’s no way I have all the new music released in 2017! There is no doubt in my mind that I missed some new music that may have ended up on this list if I had it in my library.

Narrowing the list down:

In order for an album to qualify it had to be new material from the musician/band. So the first thing I did was remove any remix albums. The second thing I did was remove any compilation/best of/greatest hits albums. The third thing I did was remove any singles where the song was part of a later or earlier album. Doing those three things dwindled the number of unique entries to 3,477. Still a daunting task.

Next step was to go through each of those almost 3,500 entries and rate them from 1 to 10. Then I deleted everything that I rated 8 or below. Entries required a 9 or 10 to make it to next round. This processes narrowed the unique entries to 76.

I then re-rated the remaining 76 entries with a much stricter ear. After the re-rating I removed anything below a 9. That left me with 47 unique entries. Then I had to do it again until I got down to 40 entries. At this point, removing anyone from the list physically hurt my heart. The amount of awesome goodness on that list of 47 and 40 was painful as I removed one after another.

Now that I had it down to 40, I had to remove 10 more, who are the honorable mentions. As hard as it was getting down to 40, removing those 10 more was even more difficult!

The Caveats:

  1. Music is subjective. There is a really good chance that your list would be completely different from mine. I did not use any criteria like record sales, listening stats, or anything that would require me to hire someone with a Master’s Degree in musicology.
  2. My criteria for the initial rating and re-rating was asking two simple questions:
    1. Do I want to listen to this album on repeat or just once and listen to a different album?
    2. Are the majority of the songs on the album listenable? The more I wanted to listen to an album on repeat and the more songs on it that were listenable, the higher the rating it got (weighted for singles and EP’s of course). Narrowing those down to just 40/30 was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be for sure.
  3. I am sure that I will get a lot of “But what about Band A and album B? How could you not list those?” See #1. Music is subjective to the listener.

There was a lot of amazing new music put out in 2017. Let’s hope 2018 is just as awesome!

2017 TOP 30 SYNTH-BASED ALBUMS (alphabetical order):

3FORCE — Resistance
3Teeth — _shutdown.exe_
AM Tierpark — Trashy Luxury
Angelspit — Black Dog Bite
Arian 1 — Signals
Blakk Glass — Trial EP
Christopher Anton — Connected
CRYSEHD — EP III
deZeption — Mature
Drab Majesty – The Demonstration
Elektrostaub — Birthday And Death
Funker Vogt — Code Of Conduct
Gary Numan — Savage: Songs From A Broken World
Grendel — Age Of The Disposable Body
Hexheart — Midnight On A Moonless Night
Lorelei Dreaming — Banshee
ManMindMachine — Point Of Departure EP
Missing in STARS — Echo Point
Night Drive — Night Drive
Priest — New Flesh
Reflection — Lumen EP
Schwarzschild — Radius
Stilz — Starcrash
T.O.Y — Pain Is Love
Telekon — Hope for Believers
Torul — Monday EP
Wiccid — By Design
William Control — Revelations: The White EP
Xenturion Prime — Humanity Plus
Zynic — Neon Oblivion

2017 SYNTH-BASED HONORABLE MENTIONS:

C-Lekktor — Out Of My Way
Crüxshadows, The — Astromythology
Dav Dralleon — Depths EP
Forces Of Light — Darklights
New Division, The — No Pride In Paradise EP
Orange Sector — Endzeit (Deluxe Edition)
Slave Republic — Songs For Sinners
Sonic Reunion — Turning Point
Vainerz — Patient
Watch Clark — First Week of Winter