THE BEST METAL ALBUMS OF 2011, AS CHOSEN BY METAL MUSICIANS THEMSELVES — PART V
FEATURING MEMBERS OF MELVINS, RED FANG, JUNIUS, EXHUMED, RWAKE, ORPHANED LAND, HULL, EARTH, AND KILL THE CLIENT
Every year year, MetalSucks asks musicians from across the vast spectrum of the metalsphere (or, in a few cases, the almost-metalsphere) what their favorite albums of the year have been. Death metallers, thrash metallers, black metallers, stoners, grinders, and djenters alike have graciously contributed lists to MS, and we’ll be running them in groups of nine to ten musicians at a time two to three times a day for the whole week.
After the jump, check out the next group… we hope you enjoy seeing what some of metal’s heaviest hitters were into this year as much as we have!
DALE CROVER, MELVINS
1. Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu
2. Beach Boys, Smile Sessions
3. Dirtbombs, Party Store
4. Tweak Bird, S/T
5. Big Business, Quadruple Single
6. Totimoshi, Avenger
7. Nirvana, Nevermind Reissue
8. Wanda Jackson, The Party Ain’t Over
9. Iggy Pop & James Williamson, Kill City Re-mastered
10. Junko Mizuno art book with music by Gay Witch Abortion/ Haze XXL
DAVID SULLIVAN, RED FANG
1. Graveyard, Hisignen Blues
2. Mastodon, The Hunter
3. YOB, Atma
4. Rwake, Rest
5. Big Business, Quadruple Single
6. Danava, Hemisphere of Shadows
MICHAEL REPASCH-NIEVES, JUNIUS
Not in any ranking order, just alphabetical:
Circle Takes The Square, Decompositions Vol. 1: Rites of Initiation
City of Ships, Any Minor World
Grails, Deep Politics
Hooray For Earth, True Loves
M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Mastodon, The Hunter
Tombs, Path of Totality
Washed Out, Within and Without
Wolves Like Us, Late Love
1. Secret Chiefs 3, Saptarshi EP — Yeah, I get it. It’s only an EP, two songs. One is even a cover. However, it’s pretty monumental when these guys, my favorite band, put out anything at all. The “album” has been threatening to drop for like five years now. You see where Murder Construct gets it from.
2. Ulcerate, The Destroyers Of All — Holy fuck. I never thought a straight up death metal album would make it so high on one of my year-end wimp-taste lists.
3. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Rome — You like Ennio Morricone? Spaghetti Westerns? Musical taste?
4. Ghoul, Transmission Zero — No, I’m not in this fucking band, already.
5. Björk, Biophilia — Actually, this is a total lie. I downloaded this immediately after being ordered by Relapse to do this list. Haven’t even heard it yet, but I’m sure it’s at least mediocre.
6. Dreaming Dead, Midnightmares — Yeah, it’s not out yet, but I’ve heard it at least one hundred billion times all the way through. Answers the question of whether or not females belong in metal.
7. Mastodon, The Hunter — Haven’t been a fan of these guys in a really long time, but this album is a fun one for beatin’ on your kids.
I got jack shit else. Last year I made the mistake of filling in the last two spots of my list with albums that I actually played on and totally neglected to call out the new Intronaut album, and for that, all I can say is HA HA SCREW YOU INTRONAUT!!
REID RALEY, RWAKE
The ridiculous amount of killer heavy releases turned loose this year made it very difficult for me to narrow my list of exactly 32 down to 10 for this shindig!
In random order…
Premonition 13, 13
Weedeater, Jason… the Dragon
Autopsy, Macabre Eternal
Graveyard, Hinsingen Blues
Story of the Eye, demo cassette
The Dirty Streets, Movements
Crowbar, Sever the Wicked Hand
Beneath Oblivion, From Man to Dust
Kamchatka, Bury Your Roots
KOBI FARHI, ORPHANED LAND
My first choice for 2011 is the new masterpiece from Opeth, Heritage.It’s always great to see how a band can create themselves all over again and again. The song “Folklore” will be one of my funeral songs without any doubt.
2. Dream Theater, A Dramatic Turn of Events — The best album of Dream Theater since 1994’s Awake.
3. Septic Flesh, The Great Mass — As dark as it can get. The Greek band shows once again who is the boss.
4. Anthrax, Worship Music — It’s so great to hear Belladonna vocals once again. Brilliant mix between old stuff and new stuff.
5. Primus, Green Naugahyde — Another great comeback which was worth waiting for. Les Claypool is probably the best bass player EVER!!
6. Symphony X, Iconoclast — With such great musicians, you can never go wrong. Russell’s voice gets better with every album.
7. Foo Fighters, Wasting Light — To have two great successes is a once in a lifetime achievement. Dave Grohl is a mastermind, and proves again that he can give such a great songs.
8. Within Temptation, The Unforgiving — Just when I thought it was over with female fronted bands, Within Temptation prove me wrong. Great melodic album with beautiful singing.
9. Amon Amarth, Surtur Rising — Once again, melodic death metal at it best. Swedish metal by the book.
10. Ulver, Wars of the roses — Another great atmospheric metal from the Norwegian giants. Dark and sad music with great melodies.
NICK PALMIROTTO, HULL
1. Rwake, Rest
2. Krallice, Diotima
3. YOB, Atma
4. Dark Castle, Surrender To All Life Beyond Form
5. Today Is The Day, Pain Is A Warning
6. Bell Witch, Demo
7. Brutal Truth, End Time
8. Indian, Guiltless
9. Tombs, Path of Totality
10. Black Cobra, Invernal
DYLAN CARSON, EARTH
1. The Unthanks, Last
2. The Smoke Fairies, Through Low Light and Trees — Between the four ladies (two in each band), these are the finest English singers since Anne Briggs and Sandy Denny. The Unthanks have amazing string players (especially their violinist), and a great drummer. The Smoke Fairies have great slide and other guitar player, and both have great material. Which brings us to number three…
3. Sandy Denny, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens — Re-issue of her first solo album with much bonus material. My favorite version of “Blackwaterside” with Richard Thompson on killer guitar and accordion drone. Cover by the same artist who did the first Sabbbath cover and Zep 4… need I say more?
Bad News of the Year — Bert Jansch dies of lung cancer in London. The universe is often cruel and capricious. May you play on in the fields of the Blessed, RIP Reynardine.
CHAMP MORGAN, KILL THE CLIENT
Here’s my personal top 5 of 2011. As always, I base it upon how much I listen to the album, and the situation I’m listening to it for. It’s usually for one of two reasons. Wanting and/or needing a soundtrack to smash skulls in, or relaxing in the aftermath of smashing of said skulls.
1. Tombs, Path of Totality — This is by far the smartest and most entertaining record of the year. It’s wide expanses of sound and raw emotional content put this record way over the top for me. It’s huge yet very claustrophobic. Emptiness, despair, loss, you know all the good feelings are pulled to the surface with every spin of the amazing record.
2. Rotten Sound, Cursed — The kings of euro grind make a smashing return with CURSED. If you play this record and don’t want to kill every single living thing in your path then there is something very wrong with you.
3. Brutal Truth, End Times — Mind bending alien grind. There is nothing plain or simple about this record. It’s is a noisy cacophony of grinding madness. Kevin Sharp as always delivers the goods with some of the best grunts and clicks in the business.
4. Off!, first four EPs — This is old school fuck you punk rock at it’s finest!!! Two words… KEITH MORRIS!!! That’s all I need to say. This is basically a punk rock super group that just rips from begininning to end. A must have for any true punx.
5. Maruta, Forward into Regression — This is next level grind in my opinion becuase it does more than just kick your teeth in. It’s ugly and heavy. But, it has tricky squeally death metal guitar work that just pushes this machine along. These guys finally added a bass player and got a drummer that is a true grinder. This things grinds all the way around.
CHRIS RICHARDSON, KILL THE CLIENT
1. Maim, Deceased to Exist — Proper old school death metal from Sweden. Dark, morbid, and to the point.
2. Blut Aus Nord, 777-Sect(s) — It’s the type of music I would expect to be played in the background of a snuff film, or during the gruesome climax of Takashi Miike’s movie, Audition.
3. Ulcerate, Destroyers Of All — A nice, violent take on discordant death metal.
4. Rotten Sound, Cursed — Well, they did it again… They’ve successfully re-invented the wheel, and it rolls along smoothly.
5. Noisear, Subvert The Dominant Paradigm — Catchy, slightly lo-fi, and just enough off that “falling off your seat” feel to make this a good grindcore album for me.
6. Looking For An Answer, Eterno Treblinka — Great follow up to the their previous full-length, Extinción. A bit more raw than the aforementioned, but proper grindcore.
7. Claws/Grave Wax, Pestilent Formation (split): The Claws material is what one would expect from Scandinavian death metal, while the Grave Wax contribution is an interesting amalgamation of old school DM aesthetics and the more modern technical incarnations of the genre.