THE BEST METAL ALBUMS OF 2011, AS CHOSEN BY METAL MUSICIANS THEMSELVES — PART IX
FEATURING MEMBERS OF GWAR, DARKEST HOUR, REVOCATION, INTRONAUT, ABYSMAL DAWN, BRUTAL TRUTH, THE ATLAS MOTH, AND IKILLYA
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!
ODERUS URUNGUS, GWAR
1. Molotov Solution, Insurrection — The grooves are super-heavy, the leads are sickly-sweet, and they claim to give a fuck… the music is intelligent and passionate, without going cornball… Molotov continues to mature in a non-suck way.
2. Miss May I, Monument (re-release) — What can I say about this bunch of kids other than their upbeat and technical take on metal has all kinds of diverse influences but still retains the simple concept of being good fucking head-banging music?! Doesn‘t that feel good? Do it HARDER.
3. The Black Dahlia Murder, Ritual — My fellow Metal Blade road dogs are still expanding the sound of their band, all the while continuing to forge the unique vision of chaos that is TBDM. This band shows no remorse nor sign of slowing down until the world itself is reduced to glowing shards. And if you don’t dig the bluesy solos you need to take the dicks out of your ears.
4. All Shall Perish, This Is Where It Ends — I love this band and follow Ben on Twitter! The ASP sound is so fucking awesome. I love the low-tuned, up-front vocals and the naked aggression of the band. I hate to give humans so much credit, but hey, I did create you by fucking apes. The entire album from front to back is a true gesture to what metal should be and where it should go. And how much it should hurt when it does it.
5. Between the Buried and Me, The Paralax: Hypersleep Dialogues — There’s very few bands that can take three songs and make them last thirty minutes and make me give a shit. In fact, I don’t think there are an… any except BTBAM. The compositions on this record are all modern day classics of epic scope. Don’t be afraid to put goats or accordions in your songs, because these boys are not,and play it off way too well.
6. Born of Osiris, The Discovery — This is the best album these guys have done yet. The Meshuggah-effect on BOO is strong, as that bands mythic influence on the metal of today continues, and that’s not a bad thing…I just think it took a couple tries for these guys to get it perfect, you know, working with what has come before yet not being derivative… they did, and have created a formidable recording. Congrats. You may keep your heads.
7. Emmure, Speaker of the Dead — I find myself adding this band to the top of 2011 only because this is a different kind of metal, more along the lines of hip-hop metal if you will. No, I’m not talking about Limp Bizkit. But its a very heavy album that has a nice flow about it. I find Palmeri’s vocals very straight-forward as an MC. Probably not what you would expect an undead chaos-demon to listen to, but hey! Take it as you will.
8. I Declare War, S/T — Brutal, aggressive, all the lame adjectives you always hear about heavy bands are re-written after IDW delivers an impressive debut pummeling. It’s dangerous for me to listen to this album, I bust shit up really bad.
9. U2, No Line on the Horizon — Before I go on about my reasons for this pick, just let it be known everyone has a guilty pleasure. Mine are not limited to midget mouth-fucking. I love fucking U2. Not many bands have lasted as long as them and still retained the original line-up, yet still consistently put out good records. This band continues to deliver dense, moving albums. No Line is dark and moody, and Brian Eno’s brush touches the mix just enough to bring things out-of-focus, and The Edge’s guitar is as jingle-jangly as ever. Bono’s voice is naked and mostly un-effected… and lyrically the album seems to pre-sage a lot of the Arab Spring.
Special thanks to my evil assistant, Miss Ohio, and Steve Jobs for making me an Oderus-proof iPod. Later!
MIKE SCHLEIBAUM, DARKEST HOUR
1. The Devin Townsend Project, Deconstruction
2. Brent Hinds Presents: Fiend without a Face/Westend Motel
3. Stic Man, The Workout
4. In Flames, Sounds of a Playground Fading
5. Talib Kweli, Gutter Rainbows
6. The Cars, Move Like This
7. The Devin Townsend Project, Ghosts
8. The Black Dahlia Murder, Ritual
9. Revocation, Chaos of Forms
10. Mastodon, The Hunter
DAVE DAVIDSON, REVOCATION
1. Obscura, Omnivium — A modern technical death metal masterpiece. This CD is brain meltingly complex but also has great songwriting. Didn’t think they could top Cosmogenesis, but they definitely did on this one!
2. The Black Dahlia Murder, Ritual — This record rips from start to finish, and the solos have never sounded better, thanks to the shredding expertise of Ryan Knight. This might be my favorite record that they’ve ever released.
3. Baring Teeth, Atrophy — Incredible and bizarre death metal in the vein of later period Gorguts. These riffs are dissonant and fucked up sounding — totally up my alley!
4. Absu, Abzu —Another incredible record from these black metal magicians.
5. Nader Sadek, In the Flesh — A killer death metal record with an all-star cast and a great concept.
6. Exhumed, All Guts, No Glory — The triumphant return of the goregrind masters!
7. Cannabis Corpse, Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shall Rise — Best record they’ve done so far, a very fun record chock full of heady riffs.
8. Disma, Towards the Megalith — Amazing old school death metal, ’nuff said.
9. Trap Them, Darker Handcraft — Pissed-off and dirty sounding. Makes me wanna chug PBR in an overcrowded basement show.
10. Kvelertak, Kvelertak — Hard to pronounce fun as fuck to listen to!
SACHA DUNABLE, INTRONAUT/GRAVITON/BEWILDERBIEST
In no order whatsoever…..
Disma, Towards The Megalith — Onward to Golgotha and The Mortal Throne of Nazarene are two of my favorite death metal records ever, so naturally I checked this out after learning Craig Pillard was on vocals. These guys must all be old school New York death metal guys, because they totally nailed that early 90’s Incantation/Immolation/Mortician greasy shitball vibe as I imagined it when I was sixteen, high on dirt weed, and worshipping those bands from afar out here in LA.
Mastodon, The Hunter — I will never not like a Mastodon record, but this might be my favorite one from them yet. Props for keeping things interesting and making a completely different kind of record. The songs are great and as usual the musicianship is blistering.
Animals As Leaders, Weightless — I haven’t even heard the whole thing, but I already know that it totally smokes everyone doing the shred/prog thing. I don’t need to tell you kids how ahead of the curve these guys are and how inspiring they are to watch live, but I guess I just did anyway.
Red Fang, Murder the Mountains — Another band I’ve been lucky enough to tour and party with. I didn’t actually give this record a fair listen until a few months ago because I am pretty much a lazy ass, but I was blown away at how hard these guys rock, and how catchy the songs are. I have listened to this every other day for like three months.
Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues — Whatever, you don’t like anything that isn’t metal? That’s cause you’re fifteen. These guys are my favorite band. Shut up.
Das Racist, Relax –Rap. The mortal enemy of metal. Seriously, check this album out and tell me it doesn’t make your life awesome for at least forty-five minutes. These beats and rhymes are impressive, and these guys are hilarious. Unless you are a mongoloid energy drink metal wall of death initiating fifteen year old. Or if you are deaf.
Altar Of Plagues, Mammal — I didn’t love this right off the bat as much as White Tomb, but after a few spins I couldn’t put it down, either. These guys are just perfect at being the kind of music I want to listen to.
Krallice, Diotima — Another band I can always count on. Brutal, psychadelic, dizzying, and emotionally rewarding. Their guitar player has a great haircut, too.
Cynic, Carbon-Based Anatomy — Explaining why I like this is a waste of time because any sane person already has the same opinion as me. This is an excellent, one of a kind band who I will always love.
DANNY WALKER, INTRONAUT/EXHUMED/MURDER CONSTRUCT
1. Cynic, Carbon-Based Anatomy
2. Animals As leaders, Weightless
3. Mastodon, The Hunter
4. Ulcerate, Destroyers of All
5. Phobia, Unrelenting
6. Gorguts, demo of new record
7. Maruta, Forward into Regression
8. Trap Them, Darker Handcraft
9. Gravehill, When All Roads Lead To hell
10. Junius, Reports From the Threshold of Death
CHARLES ELLIOTT, ABYSMAL DAWN/BEWILDERBIEST
1. Origin, Entity
2. Hate Eternal, Phoenix Amongst the Ashes
3. Decapitated, Carnival is Forever
4. Septicflesh, The Great Mass
5. Obscura, Omnivium
6. Lock Up, Necropolis
7. Krisiun, The Great Execution
8. All Shall Perish, This is Where it Ends
9. Belphegor, Blood Magick Necromance
10. Fleshgod Apocalypse, Agony
RICHARD HOAK, BRUTAL TRUTH/TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION/PEACEMAKER
1. The Company Corvette, End of the Summers cd
2. Robert Piotrowicz, Lasting Clinamen vinyl
3. 20 Jahre, Ajz Bahndamn live comp CD
4. Morticite, The Nondescript CD
5. Leng T’che, Hypomanic CD
6. Obscene Extreme 2011 Comp CD
7. Anything by Vagaasm!
8. Hessian, Unholy Mantras 7”
9. Fekal Party 9 DVD
10. FU On the Earth album
STAVROS GIANNOPOULOUS, THE ATLAST MOTH
1. Lou Reed & “Metallica,” Lulu (duh)
2. Morbid Angel, Illud Divinum Insanus (see #1)
3. Emmure, Speaker of the Dead
4. Limp Bizkit, Gold Cobra
5. The Haunted, Unseen
6. Suicide Silence, The Black Crown
7. The Bunny The Bear, Don’t Have the Attention Span to Keep Googling Awful Album Titles
8. Lou Reed & “Metalica,” Lulu
9. Jamey Jasta, Jasta
10. Victory Records
JASON LEKBERG, IKILLYA
I’m honored to be able to submit a list for 2011. I can’t wait to read the lists of national bands from guys like Chris Adler and Alex Skolnick, so I decided to put together a list of my favorite NYC metal releases. Unfortunately, not all of my favorite bands (Hung, Alekhine’s Gun, Mutant Supremacy, Krystaleen, Resolution 15) put out albums this year, but here are the ones who did.
Tombs, Path of Totality — NYC’s Converge. Perfect for those days when you feel like Travis Bickle. If you ever see me driving a cab, Tombs will be on the stereo.
Hull, Beyond the Lightless Sky — These guys continue to up their game with every release. The atmospheric touches on this album just help accentuate the brutality of their songs.
Fall of the Albatross, Entanglement — Genre-bent to the point of lunacy and then saved from the brink by the vocal acrobatics of frontman Ray Hodge. Given some time, I predict they could achieve that listenable originality that produces immortality.
Ashes Within, Ashes Within — The bastard child of Meshuggah and Hatebreed, this band delivers on their EP just like they do on stage. 100% baby kicking metal.
No Remission, Through Blackened Skies — No holds barred, old school thrash. Not your good time, drink and break shit thrash. The mean ass, your fingers might catch on fire from playing so fast kind.
Lies Beneath, Death of the American Dream — Somewhere between Shadows Fall and early All That Remains lives Lies Beneath. Gunfire staccato riffs and the mournful howling of Nick Serr make for a potent beatdown. Extra points for the AIC reminiscent touches that add just enough emotional heft.