2011: A pretty good year for the old school. And, no, with all due respect to the band, Worship Music is not the best Anthrax album.

11. Selena Gomez & the Scene, When the Sun Goes Down (Hollywood) — Yup, Selena has a BAND, motherfuckers. A band that capably backs her in songs like “Whiplash” and “Hit the Lights” — which, I realized all too late, are not Metallica covers. But they sure are catchy. Wait, Disney wouldn’t pretend she has a real band just to push her musical career and cross-promote Wizards of Waverly Place, would they?

10. Warbringer, Worlds Torn Asunder (Century Media)

9. Ringworm, Scars (Victory) — Talk about truly metallic hardcore. Or is it the other way around?

8. Chimaira, The Age of Hell (eOne) — Mark Davis (sic) is not your fucking scapegoat.

7. Skeletonwitch, Forever Abomination (Prosthetic) — Worship the ‘witch.

6. Toxic Holocaust, Conjure and Command (Relapse)

5. Red Fang, Murder the Mountains (Relapse) — Rad rock, but can everyone please drop the compression?

4. Saviours, Death’s Procession (Kemado) — Gnarly with a capital N, dude.

3. Crowbar, Sever the Wicked Hand (eOne) — For a band that doesn’t release records that often, Crowbar have a lot of albums.

2. Split: Daft Punk, Tron Legacy Soundtrack (Walt Disney)/Mogai, Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will (Rock Action Records/Sub Pop)  All instru-metal dudes should take notes from these two albums to learn how to inject a narrative element into your instrumental music.

Mastodon - The Hunter

1. Mastodon, The Hunter (Reprise/Warner Bros.) — The Masto-dudes still aren’t writing the kind of pop gems that made Zeppelin a true phenomenon, but pretty much every aspect of their massive rock assault is firing on all cylinders.


D.X. Ferris is the author of 33 1/3: Reign in Blood, the first English-language book about Slayer, which is available cheap in hard copies and for the Kindle machines. (He’s been know to send bonus swag in exchange for a proof of purchase.) You can friend it on the Facebook, or follow his bullshit daily on the Tweeters: @dxferris and @SlayerBook.

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