The Top Ten Metal Albums of 2011…..

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

                                                                                 “Prelude to Perfection”                                                               

In recent history, metal has been quite….stagnant? The overdosage of British metalcore breakdowners, or the flipped cap donning retro “thrashers”, metal has had its far share of  “bumps in the road”. I say this in the past tense, as saying, put down your pizza box shields, and take off your aluminum foil helmets, the danger is gone. The worst is behind us.

                How you ask? Well, seeing as the best of the best have released quite some, eh, sub par, albums as of lately, the chances of a year of “classics” seemed to be long gone. The last great metal album before this year, in my honest opinion, was The Blackening by Machine Head. And saying that means I honestly didn’t believe anything “classic” was released for nearly 4 years. But, fret not, I no longer live by this doctrine. The number of classic albums this year has been quite staggering. Not just classic, I mean classic. Like, “Holy sh*t dude, this album is ripping my face off !!” But  of course, the term classic is extensively subjective to each person. One may say Ke$ha released a classic album, while I say that she released some great comedic material. But, in terms of metal, the list of ten album I have composed are what I believe to be the best of the best, out of at least millions of albums released this year, mainstream, underground, in your neighborhood. These are the best……

10.  Devildriver – Beast

     Released February 21, 2011

Devildriver are no stranger to metal love, from me and millons of other fans. But to say that Beast is indeed “beast” is an utter understatement. All bullshit aside, Dez sounds absolutely vicious on this album. And the guitar work is full of death, black , and even nu metal references that leave everybody grinning. And speaking of grinning, the track “Grinfucked” is their best song ever. The packaging couldve been a bit more, eh, metal?  But they couldve put a picture of flowers and butterflies, and I wouldve bought this. The songs stand on their own, and the album leaves you bloody, beleagured, and begging for more. Yes, Devildriver, you done good.


9.  Trivium – In Waves

 August 9, 2011

Wait a second, before getting all “Their not metuhllll!!!11” on me. I too was not completely sold on the album when I first heard it. But after a few mor samplers, and eventually mostly the whole album, I came to find Trivium had created their best work since the very Metallica-ish “The Crusade” in 2006. The opening duo of “Capsizing the Sea” into “In Waves” harkons visions of 2004-era Slipknot and Bullet For My Valentine. The rest of the album is just Trivium being Trivium. Clean vocals give way to Corey’s bellowing yelling. The guitar work may not be the best, and the bass is nearly inaudible to the trained ear, but the album overall keeps the idea going. Metalcore with a hint of progressive metal, topped off with the stamp of Trivium. Their best effort in a long time, and a nod at # 9 it grabs them.


8. The Black Dahlia Murder

– June 20, 2011

Detroit’s quirky metal band of choice is in fact TBDM. Their latest effort, Ritual, was in fact the best of the career. The tides were leaning toward a huge release for the death metallers, in fact their last few albums have been near masterpieces of modern metal. But how is this one, you ask? Well, its #8 on my list of top metal albums of the year! So in all, its brutal, striking, and sometimes even entertaining on a “clever” level. Vocalist Trevor Strnad is truly in a league of his own vocally, shrieking across his lyrical uniqueness. The drumming is just godly, especially on the track “Malenchanments of the Necrosphere”  . The mere fact they made the bass audible enough is more than justifiable for me to throw them on this list, but the songs themselves are truly art. No, their not art….their just fucking metal


7. Symphony X – Iconoclast

   June 17, 2011

 New Jersey, frankly speaking, is not always know for its metal. But all that seems to be smashed to bits by the Garden State raised proggers. Their latest is truly mesmerizing. With artwork done by the guy who designed  the flick 2012, and the theme of humans getting bitched by machines, the album was set to be epic from the start. If youre not a fan of long songs, heed caution to this because these guys have very long songs. But the length is just more of a gift when the songs entrace you into some sort of metal spell. The almost inhuman guitar work of Michael Romeo, and the despair causing godliness of bassist Mike DeLepond, the musicianship soars to levels of near god level.  This album wouldve been placed higher years ago, but in a year of great albums, its saying at #7. Job well done!

#6- Suicide Silence – The Black Crown

 July 12, 2011

Okay, I’m the first to admit deathcore, for the most part, sucks. But, as with almost genre of metal there is, are some huge expections to the rule. What I mean when I say this is that Suicide Silence have somehow, some way, staved off the “trend” and are one now of the best, if not the best, deathcore bands of all time. “The Black Crown” clearly has a theme to it. The title, and most tracks, all elude to a dark side  of “fame”. The drugs, “Slaves To Substance”, Witness The Addiction), anger (Fuck Everything), hatred of their own genre mates (The Only Thing That Sets Us Apart) and most explicitly dying young “You Only Live Once”. Listen to this album once and you’ll get it. This is their equilavent to Slipknot’s “Iowa”. Suicide Silence hate the way their peers are acting, and they decided the “black crown” they were given was the perfect manifestation of anger and hope. Anger at the past of metal, hope for the future.

#5- All Shall Perish – This Is Where It Ends

 July 22, 2011

Not gonna lie. I was literally counting the days to this albums release back in the summer. Yes, another deatchore band. But like I said, there are many exceptions to the hate. All Shall Perish rule. Their vocals and breakdowns are like hell on Earth, and the mere metal they exude is enough to convert any non believer to a regular goer of gigs. The day this was released, I ran home and listened to the whole thing on Youtube. To be honest, it blew away any expectations I had, with the ripping opener of “Divine Illusion” straight to the end, you feel like their attacking you and you want to be savagely beaten. Hernan is most probably possessed by a demon, and the breakdowns are nearly eardrum crushing. Not to mention the most metal artwork of the year ( a man being put to the guillotine by a priest, politician, town, and aliens….?). The album is merely crushing from start to end, if you want to be an elitist, dont listen to it. But if you want to have your sould crushed by mere brutality, click play.


#4- Korn – The Path Of  Totality

 December 6, 2011

Yes. I did it. I put the new Korn album on my list. Not just anywhere, but at #4. Why you ask? Well, remember when I first said that metal has been “stagnant” for a while. Yeah, well this was the breakthrough I and many others have been waiting for. I wont lie, I am not quite too keen on dubstep, but this album is absolutely heavy. The bass drops are speaker shattering. And Jonathan Davis’ vocals are perfect for this type of music, strangely. The album may be subject to some horrific reviews (mainly those who just want to join the herd) but Ive always been outside the box, and I honestly will say this is Korn’s best album since their 1994 debut. Yea, that good. Gone are the cliche “goth” songs, or the pseudo- rap tracks that were awkward (All In The Family?).  This is truly an exceptional album, with truly exceptional cahones. Kudos to Korn for throwing the middle finger to the elitists, and making an album thats truly different.

3. Mastodon – The Hunter

 September 26, 2011

Did Mastodon step in a time machine back to 1969 , or did they just really get the vibe of “rock”. This album shook up the die hards, split it down the middle like a fat chick on ice, actually. No more 10 minute long space rock songs about disabled kids in Russia, this is just a plain, old fun rocking metal album. The opener “Black Tongue” is heavy and hard with the feel of Led Zeppelin. The leads to the best song they have ever made, “Curl Of The Burl”. The track is the most fun ever. The rhythm is enough to get Glen Benton himself boogeying, and its uphill from there. Mastodon have made it clear. They are not afaird to be mainstream, on the radio, or anywhere else. This is truly the dark side of pop. Love it or leave it, Mastodon do what they want.


2. Anthrax – Worship Music

 September 14, 2011

Adios, Nelson( *cue the HA-HA from the Simpsons*). One word to describe the past few  years for Anthrax it would be, wow. They hired Dan Nelson, fired Dan Nelson, hired John Bush, he quit, and than they shock everyone by inviting their old singer Joey Belladonna back. What a great decision that was!  “Worship Music” is really a thrashing, groove metal album, up to par with rivals Megadeth and Slayer at their best (forget $elloutica). The opener “Worship Music/Earth On Hell” is just pummeling. The staccato guitars, the synced drums, the vocals of Joey, and the bass of Frankie all add up to be like heaven on Earth. The rest of the album just rules. The interludes of classical music, and the thrashy tracks all make you want to hit replay, again. And again. And Again.

And the #1 metal album of 2011 is……………………………………….!!!


Machine Head – Unto The Locust

 September 24, 2011

Machine Head are the epitome of absolute metal. Their debut blazed trails for countless metalcore bands, and their recent offering are nothing sort of heroic classics. “Unto The Locust” is no different. The most distinguishable growl known as Robb Flynn , mixed the riff mastery of Phil Demmel the drums of Dave McClain, the bass of Mr. Adam Duce, Machine Head are all the metal I personally aspire to be. The album starts out with the chanting of Sangre Sani, and than pounds into the emotional blaster “I Am Hell”. “Be Still And Know” will have any guitar lover (myself) confused and wondering how the hell they played those godly riffs. Than the single “Locust” which is the epitome of the apocalypse on album. The album just kills from there. The tear jerking “Darkness Within” ,  “Who We Are” features a childrens choir and orchestra, taking the classical influence of the album to a whole new level. back to back covers of Judas Priest’s “The Sentinel” and Rush’s “Witch Hunt” lead to the acoustic closer of a revampedversion of “Darkness Within”, with just Robb, his guitar, and the pure emotion the album reeks of. To say this album is a classic is an understatement. Machine Head have made yet another emotional roller coaster of metal, making the listener feel every emotion they feel. Machine Head are a giant of godly proportions. This is the best album of 2011 for many reasons, but mainly because they deserve it. Long live The Head. 

                                                                                                                      Because Heavy Matters






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