So you've been inundated with end of the year lists like; "The Best Movies starring Captain America" or "The Worst Websites that aren't from Gawker" and you are completely sick of it. You just want to hit a blog that has photos of cats with funny hats or stupid movie trailers. And no way will the SMF site, that has only been around for a few months, do any list-type-bullshit. Those guys are cool! Well...YOU THOUGHT WRONG.
This is an 'end of the year/best of' music kinda thing. And a lot of good music came out this year. Sadly, I don't listen to music. I listen to metal. But the world of heavy rock and extreme nonsense has also produced some good tunes and solid albums, if you were paying attention.
SO here is the "Top 10 Best Metal/Rock Albums of 2011" as told by Chris_Gormley 'resident mosh pit starter and expert in all things rocktacular'. If you haven't heard of these bands (FOR SHAME!) give a click on the youtube links and enjoy the new noise. Here we go:
10) Abysmal Dawn - "Leveling the Plane of Existence"
A crystal clear death metal record (maybe too clear?). 'In the Service of Time' is the best metal song of the year, hands down. Too bad the rest of the album isn't as good.
9) The Atlas Moth - "An Ache for the Distance"
Expansive stoner rock with a penchant for epic riffage. This is an album that should only be listened to after the clock strikes midnight (rock 'o clock!). By the way, is this the best album cover of the year or what?
8) All Pigs Must Die - "God's of War"
I really miss Pig Destroyer. Now I'm listening to any metal band with the word 'pig' in its name to get my fix.
Good thing All Pigs Must Die are fucking excellent. They are one of the best grindy/noisy bands to emerge from the overly saturated grindy/noisy sub-genre (I hope all this scene talk isn't going over everyone's head).
The real question is, "How many pigs must die"? I believe the answer is "All". Yes, ALL Pigs Must Die. Click below for a track from their album, but beware its gonna get noisy.
7) Hate Eternal - "Phoenix Among the Ashes"
This IS death metal. The vocals are scary as shit. The guitars are lush and never stop chugging. And Satan's gift to metal Erik Rutan doesn't allow the album to hit a wall of sound.
This is a record of excess; excessive riffing, excessive noodling, excessive double bass drumming, but the album never falls apart. Hell, you can even hum along to some parts. Just not the song below.
6) Red Fang - "Murder the Mountain"
If every rock record sounded like this then the world would be a better place (to rock).
I guarantee you if these songs hit the radio, bands like 3 Doors-Nickel-Staind and washed up rock star side projects like Velvet Revolver and Sixx AM would flee for their lives. Like citizens of Tokyo running from Kaiju destruction they would be crushed under the foot of slamming drums and dirty bass lines, wiped out by the radioactive breath of fuzz guitars and squeeling leads.
Red Fang is the sound of rock. Recognize.
-Now it gets good-
5) Anal Cunt - "Fuckin' A"
Don't like Seth Putnam? Don't like immature, self destructive, manchild behavior? Then sir you don't like ROCK! "Fuckin' A" is the final vomitous choke from the grindcore band of grindcore bands Anal Cunt and it's not even a grindcore album! "Fuckin' A" is really the worst 80s cock rock record that you never heard of...and it is beautiful.
4) Amon Amarth - "Surtur Rising"
Best metal album EVAAARRRR!
Well, not really, but this is a solid effort from one of the best metal bands of the last decade. "Surtur Rising" is much better than the previous (let's make a cool metal album) "Twilight of the Thunder God". Surtur has focused, well written metal anthems that play as a soundtrack to village pillaging and women enslaving. The production is not as nice as their last 2 albums (which is a good thing), but still not equal to the dirge like power of "Versus the World".
Simply put; great tunes and great fun.
3) Ghost - "Opus Eponymous"
Not only is the concept of this band pure gold (Satanic Pop!), but the execution is perfect. Ghost is a satanic mass lead by an evil Pope. He sings radio friendly songs to entice the youth of the world into the bosom of the dark lord. Cloaked minions play 60/70s era rock behind him to hypnotize the audience while the Pope's evil message is subliminally whispered into their ears. And boy are they upbeat!
2) Wormrot - "Dirge"
Holy Shit!. I mean, HOLY SHIT! Blistering, ugly, and totally-fucking-danceable. Dirge is the best grindcore album since Pig Destroyer's Prowler in the Yard and is just fun, fun, fun in the blackened sun. These Singaporian youths are tight, fast and make their elders look slow and lazy in comparison. Do you wanna dance? Then click the clip below. Just watch out for the fists and karate kicks!
1) Mastodon - "The Hunter"
Shorter tunes, tighter song writing and the perfect balance between rock and metal make Mastodon's "The Hunter" the best album of the year. I love bands that expand their sound. They are a totally different band from Remission and there is no going back (as it should be). The best rock band of the modern era.
Now go forth and ROCK.