QUESTION OF THE WEEK: WHAT WAS THE WORST METAL ALBUM OF 2011?
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Welcome to “Question of the Week,” a (not really at all) weekly debate amongst the MetalSucks staff regarding a recent hot button issue.
Inspired by the ongoing disaster that is Lou Reed & Metallica’s Lulu, this week we asked our writers:
WHAT WAS THE WORST METAL ALBUM OF 2011?
The MS staff’s answers after the jump!
I actually think it’s kind of amazing that, for maybe the first and last time in the history of ever, the metal community (almost) universally agrees on something: Loutallica’s Lulu and Morbid Angel’s Insanum whatever the fuck it’s called are acts of audio terrorism that should be ridiculed at every available opportunity. It’s like their awfulness actually brought everyone together! Amazing.
That being said, I think Emmure’s Speaker of the Dead deserves a mention, too, because holy shit have you heard this garbage? I actually hope that you have not. Because it’s like the musical equivalent of a mentally handicapped drunk behind the wheel of a big rig truck during a rush hour populated exclusively by adorable, innocent babies. You will actually be stupider for having heard it.
If we were fortunate for anything in 2011, it’s that the answer to this question is fairly obvious: either Metallica and Lou Reed’s failed experiment Lulu or Morbid Angel’s failed ’90s sellout album Illud Divinum Insanus. So instead of regurgitating, I’ll expound on my #3 choice for Worst Album: Mastodon’s The Hunter. I was not fond of Crack the Skye, but didn’t hate it for reasons other than the Mastodon that I’d come to love decided to be a C-grade prog band instead of one of the best metal acts going. The Hunter, however, crossed the threshold of obnoxiousness with great flair and resulted in a fantastically unlistenable album. While the praise for the band in this phase of their career astounds me (not to mention the kneejerk “GEE SORRY THERE JUST NOT TR00 ENOUGH FOR U ANYMORE” replies, as if the only reason anyone could dislike the flaccid prog of their last two albums would be because of fear of change and not because, well, the music’s awful), this album in particular rubs me the wrong way due to a) that it’s lousy, but moreso b) at least Crack the Skye had the decency to be Crack the Skye all the way through, whereas The Hunter has “Spectrelight” sounding like a nifty little castoff from the Blood Mountain years. All it proved was the band were still capable of being mighty but were instead choosing to noodle their way up their own asses and throw some tone-deaf singing on top of it for the rest of the album. If anything, Lulu and Illud have one thing going for them that The Hunter doesn’t: no one is trying to argue they’re excellent. I feel like I’m holding a freshly-pressed emperor suit while its owner is balls-and-ass naked and waving to people a few blocks down the street. Who were the people listening to Mastodon but hated all the good riffs they were playing?! You’re all the Yoko in this! The Feist split is on your heads.
Baby, we have to talk. Sit down – no, trust me. It hurts me to have to say it — that it’s even come to this — but, we’re through. I know. I know. This isn’t easy for me either, but you know it’s for the best. We’ve grown apart over the past few years — I know you’ve felt it, too. The first four were wonderful. You changed my life, really. After that, though, things got a little stickier, but we held it together, because the heart was still there. Now, though… I feel like I don’t even know you anymore. You’ve changed. We both have, we’ve both grown, but in such different directions. You have your electronic music now, your mesh shirts and hamfisted sideprojects and, like, Doom or whatever weird shooting thing it is you play on your mom’s old desktop computer all day. I stayed closer to the left-hand path (you used to love Entombed!). This new record, it’s — baby, it’s bad. It’s not you. It’s not the Morbid Angel I grew up loving, the Morbid Angel who’ve spent nearly a decade as my favorite death metal band. This is just… god, stop crying, it will be fine! Be a man for chrissakes. We’ll still be friends, as long as you don’t insist on bringing your creepy new goth buddies over. You’ll have your remix album to play with, I just picked up a new Dead Congregation record. We’ll make it past this, and after all, we’ll always have the memories. Even though you brought this – this abomination (Illud Divinum Insanus? That doesn’t even MEAN ANYTHING) — into our relationship, I forgive you. You didn’t know any better, I guess.
I’ll always love you, Morbid Angel, but you’ve cut me too deeply this time. Some things you just can’t work through. Here. Have a tissue — your eyeliner is running.
“This is the end, my friend.” – Jim Morrison of The Doors
In a year where I listened to 723 metal releases over a 9 1/2 gestational period, I deemed more than 220 albums to be Blowers AKA crap. Now, I could go with some painfully obvious choices for Worst Album Of The Year with such high profile disasters as Metallica & Lou Reed, Queensrÿche, or Morbid Angel. Or, I could choose some inexplicably popular choices such as Last Chance To Reason, Foo Fighters, or the horrid Ghost. There are also some old stand-bys that disappointed such as Motörhead, Devin Townsend Project’s Ghost, and Dream Theater that is sure to piss off plenty of MS readers. Or, some lesser-knowns who miraculously received effusive praise such as Mitochondrion, In Solitude, and Liturgy.
But, no, there is really, truly only one album that makes me want to tell the members of this band, like a lame episode of American Idol, that it’s time to pack it in and think about a new career path. It’s Gallhammer’s insufferable The End. Never was there a more appropriate title for an album, as this is the only career advice anyone should be offering these once-promising poor woman’s Celtic Frost wannabes. The End is so bad that I simply refuse to listen to it ever again.
Dishonorable mentions include Unearth, Loss, Ulver, The Haunted, Jag Panzer, Turisas, Whitesnake, Anal Cunt, Scar Symmetry, Black Tide, We Came As Romans, Eyes Set To Kill, Winds of Plague, Macabre, and sadly, Pentagram.
I was thinking about this the other day and I think I got one that beats Lulu; Reckless Love’s Animal Attraction.
We’ve resorted to shooting fish in a barrel, huh? Lulu, hands down… but something inside me just hates giving way to such an obvious choice. Aside from that, though, I don’t know what to tell you. If I start listening to something I’m really not into (Morbid Angel’s Illud Divinum Insanus immediately comes to mind), I just shut it off — so really, I can’t say whole heartedly I hated it, because I couldn’t stand to listen to the damned thing all the way through. Only when someone implores me to give something another chance will I do so, and then sometimes I’m swayed, as was the case with Jesu’s Ascension. Love Jesu, was not super into it at first listen. Not their/his best, but I’m not as disappointed with it, and can live happily now knowing that they are not starting to suck.
Here’s the short of it: Lulu made me want to murder my eardrums, so she’s gonna take the cake and eat it too, that insufferable bitch.
Okay, kiddies, now it’s your turn! Weigh in with your answer to the question of the week below.