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Seventhzealot
12-06-2011, 10:31 AM
Hey guys, so I usually do film reviews but this is my first year reviewing the albums of the year so expect some mistakes :D

How I plan to do this is to put out the notable EPs and honorable mentions of the year today and then list one album per day from tomorrow till the 31st. Hope you guys enjoy the list as much as I enjoy sharing it with you :)

NOTE: I listened to over 120 albums this year and so it has been extremely difficult for me to whittle this list down to just 25. Feel free to leave your comments, opinions and critiques on the same.

Notable EPs of the year

Cynic - Carbon-Based Anatomy
Giant Squid - Cenotes
Immolation - Providence
Blotted Science - The Animation Of Entomology
Between The Buried And Me - The Parallax Hypersleep Dialogues

Seventhzealot
12-06-2011, 10:33 AM
Honorable Mentions (In no particular order)


Symphony X - Iconoclast
The much awaited follow-up to Paradise Lost is a tad lengthy but fruitful affair. Russel Allen once again proves why he is one of the most respected vocalists in heavy metal. This is one album which I really hate to put in my honorable mentions but thats been the nature of the realeases this year.

Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn Of Events
John Petrucci and Jordan Ruddess demonstrate that they indeed are fantastic songwriters by delivering a really solid album, the first without co-founder Mike Portnoy.

Disma - Towards The Megalith
Take some spine-crushing sludgy riffs and the brutality of death metal and you get Disma's debut. Having said that, these guys have been around for a long time and that shows in the old school nature of their music(and album art).

Woods Of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason
The post-black metal or "dark metal" genre has been replete with releases in the past few years. Australia's Woods Of Desolation, though deliver a record that stands apart with some distinction as much for its atmosphere as for its execution.

Machine Head - Unto The Locust
Machine Head have always tended to polarize the metal community into conflicting opinions on their work but 'Unto The Locust' gives a pretty good idea of Machine Head as a band and that's not always a bad thing

Opeth - Heritage
Undoubtedly the record which warranted the most discussion across metal apart from except Lulu. Opeth's ode to 70s progressive rock, bereft of growls and their trademark heavy dynamics, falls short of their albums of past but is not a bad effort either.

Seventhzealot
12-06-2011, 10:35 AM
Grayceon - All We Destroy
An entry which might surprise many but this almost made my top 25. Grayceon play a blend of well written progressive metal fused with the magic of the cello and some heavy riffing. This is an album not to be missed.

Solstafir - Svartir Sandar
Moving away from their previously existing black metal roots, Solstafir release a post rock/metal release replete with psychedelic elements. Also its sung entirely in Icelandic.

Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony
Talented Italian brutal death metallers FleshGod Apocalypse blend the pace of technical death metal with the classical aura of orchestration to leave you with several memorable moments.

Lazarus AD - Black Rivers Flow
The release of the year which disappointed many. I was pretty much enamored with this on first listen but on subsequent listens, some flaws are discernable. Like some of the newer thrash bands, the vocals are a point of contention for me but overall, a decent album with a few solid tracks.

Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
Heralded as one of the more talented bands in the 'new wave of American black metal' WITTR albums are always a focus of much discussion. Contrary to their previous albums, this has shorter songs and more of an atmospheric element to it.

Septicflesh - The Great Mass
Armed with a choir and the Prague filmharmonic orchestra to boot, Septicflesh embarked on perhaps their most ambitious project yet and they pull it off rather well.

Epidemic Reign
12-06-2011, 11:55 AM
Looks good so far! One of those albums is going to pop up on my list.

Looking forward to the rest ;)

illuminatus917
12-06-2011, 11:56 AM
Solstafir - Svartir Sandar
Moving away from their previously existing black metal roots, Solstafir release a post rock/metal release replete with psychedelic elements. Also its sung entirely in Icelandic.

Super stoked to see this album mentioned.

This record really hit me in a lot of different ways. To say they've moved away from their roots in an understatement, but unlike a lot of bands that do (Morbid Angel), it really works for them. Super interesting band, super interesting record.

Seventhzealot
12-06-2011, 12:35 PM
Looks good so far! One of those albums is going to pop up on my list.

Looking forward to the rest ;)

Nice to know man! Look forward to your list too :fist:

Super stoked to see this album mentioned.

This record really hit me in a lot of different ways. To say they've moved away from their roots in an understatement, but unlike a lot of bands that do (Morbid Angel), it really works for them. Super interesting band, super interesting record.

Yeah I didn't word that one right :lol: I was going for something like "their black metal roots are completely non-existent now". But yeah its a very interesting album and maybe not the most natural of progressions, but a worthwhile one.

Natrlhi
12-06-2011, 06:59 PM
Cynic - Carbon-Based Anatomy
Giant Squid - Cenotes

Disma - Towards The Megalith
Take some spine-crushing sludgy riffs and the brutality of death metal and you get Disma's debut. Having said that, these guys have been around for a long time and that shows in the old school nature of their music(and album art).

Woods Of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason
The post-black metal or "dark metal" genre has been replete with releases in the past few years. Australia's Woods Of Desolation, though deliver a record that stands apart with some distinction as much for its atmosphere as for its execution.

Grayceon - All We Destroy
An entry which might surprise many but this almost made my top 25. Grayceon play a blend of well written progressive metal fused with the magic of the cello and some heavy riffing. This is an album not to be missed.

Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
Heralded as one of the more talented bands in the 'new wave of American black metal' WITTR albums are always a focus of much discussion. Contrary to their previous albums, this has shorter songs and more of an atmospheric element to it.:fist: :fist: :fist: :fist: :fist: :fist:

Seventhzealot
12-07-2011, 10:03 AM
#25
Anthrax - Worship Music
Megaforce Records

http://www.metal-archives.com/images/3/1/1/5/311587.jpg?0924


With Joey Belladonna back in the ranks, much was expected from Anthrax's first full length record in seven years and with much joy I can say that they didn't disappoint. Clocking in at 65 minutes(mainly due to the final song clocking at 15 minutes), Worship Music represents a signifact return to form for the band. Belladonna shows that he still possesses the vocal chords to hit all the right notes while the guitar pairing of Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano produce some absolute face-melters, especially in 'I'm Alive'. Anthrax also manage to keep in touch with their punk roots with a Refused cover which is included as a hidden track. To wrap it up, I'd say this is a pretty solid record and deserves its place in the top 25.

I'm Alive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW_gMmTKu4A)

IrritatedTrout
12-07-2011, 10:32 AM
A great album.

Seventhzealot
12-08-2011, 10:08 AM
#24
Altar Of Plagues - Mammal
Profound Lore Records

http://www.metal-archives.com/images/2/9/9/8/299885.jpg


Another jewel in Profound Lore's crown, Altar of Plagues' sophomore effort 'Mammal' is a 51 minute long journey deep into the abyss of your subconscience. All the tracks, more or less lead into one another but still are fairly distinguishable. The riffing, though simple, is quite hypnotic and with the succinct drumming, provides a majestic wall of sound that drives this album. The band also manage to break the flow by including an ambient and almost disturbing track featuring an old lady singing a Gaelic dirge. The vocals can best be summed up as screams which get increasingly aggressive as the album progresses along, epitomizing the existentialism and nihility expressed in the lyrics.

When The Sun Drowns In The Ocean (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eln1J4g2fX0)

Seventhzealot
12-09-2011, 09:28 AM
http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/entries/icons/original/000/003/619/Untitled-1.jpg?1288903617

Seventhzealot
12-09-2011, 09:28 AM
#23
Belphegor - Blood Magick Necromance
Nuclear Blast Records

http://www.metal-archives.com/images/2/8/8/2/288263.jpg?5820


I have to say even though I dig Belphegor a lot, I wasn't really expecting much from this but thankfully I was proven wrong and how! You'd think Belphegor would choose to live on the legacy of 'Lucifer Incestus', 'Goatreich Fleshcult' and 'Pestapokalypse VI', especially after their recent offerings being rather lacklustre. But they proved a lot of people wrong and Blood Magick Necromance shows that they indeed put a lot of effort into it and are far from done. Make no mistakes, this sounds like Belphegor but with an added element of a rhythm to it, one you can't really put your finger on. As usual, the lyrics involve blasphemy, and a whole lot of it based on Viennese actionism. They also released a video for 'Impaled upon the tongue of Sathan' involving one of those rites being performed on camera and lets face it who doesn't love black metal and titties on the same video? ;)

Also does anyone know what's up with these dudes and the weird spellings? :eyes:

Impaled Upon The Tongue Of Sathan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6w6LcyLFdw)

Natrlhi
12-09-2011, 01:49 PM
^ Agreed. This was a surprisingly good album. :fist:

Mammal fucking rules, too. Obviously.

Seventhzealot
12-10-2011, 09:53 AM
^ Agreed. This was a surprisingly good album. :fist:

Mammal fucking rules, too. Obviously.

:fist:

Seventhzealot
12-10-2011, 10:00 AM
#22
Draconian - A Rose For The Apocalypse
Napalm Records

http://www.metal-archives.com/images/3/0/5/9/305967.jpg?2146


As everyone's aware there has been a proliferation of gothic doom bands recently. Almost all of these bands are an extension of the sound that the Peaceville three produced and incorporate the beauty and the beast vocal style involving harsh growls complemented by soothingly clean female vocals. Draconian, to a degree do the same but with extra dollops of a Draconian touch so as to speak. Lisa Johansson's vocals soar over the instruments and the harsh vocals and are a real USP for the record. The use of violins in some segments also adds to the doom and gloom. The songwriting is tight and every song is quite easily distinguishable. It is quite the shame that this will be Lisa's last album with the band and so it'd be quite interesting to see the path Draconian take from here on. If you like your gothic doom, this record should definitely be on your list.

Also I'd love to eat Lisa out.


Elysian Night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1mXFisQ9yU)

Epidemic Reign
12-10-2011, 03:22 PM
Sadly I haven't gotten around to hearing the new Belphegor or Draconian yet. It's nice to see them on somebody's list though. I'll check them out ASAP.

Seventhzealot
12-10-2011, 05:15 PM
Sadly I haven't gotten around to hearing the new Belphegor or Draconian yet. It's nice to see them on somebody's list though. I'll check them out ASAP.

Yeah they were both pretty decent albums. You should check em out!

hb420
12-10-2011, 11:34 PM
Woods Of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason
The post-black metal or "dark metal" genre has been replete with releases in the past few years. Australia's Woods Of Desolation, though deliver a record that stands apart with some distinction as much for its atmosphere as for its execution.

:party:
Great pick, this was in constant rotation for me the first half of the year.

Seventhzealot
12-11-2011, 09:31 AM
:party:
Great pick, this was in constant rotation for me the first half of the year.

Yep! I was so sure this would make it but some end of the year releases brushed it out of the top 25 sadly :(

Seventhzealot
12-11-2011, 09:54 AM
#21
Landmine Marathon - Gallows
Prosthetic Records

http://www.metal-archives.com/images/3/1/2/6/312630.jpg?0148


Although female vocalists tend to get easily stereotyped in metal, there comes an album once in a while which all buts smashes the stereotype into smithereens. Landmine Marathon's 'Gallows' is one such album. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, it pretty much achieves what it intends to with some established riffing, crushing blast beats and a whole lot of impressive growling. If you love straight up death metal, this should definitely be high on your priorities for 2011.


Morbidity (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcHXT77zZKM)

Epidemic Reign
12-12-2011, 08:19 AM
:fist:

Gallows kicks ass, definitely their best work yet I think.

Seventhzealot
12-12-2011, 03:46 PM
:fist:

Gallows kicks ass, definitely their best work yet I think.

Yeah, by far :fist:

larvtard
12-12-2011, 03:56 PM
:fist:

Gallows kicks ass, definitely their best work yet I think.

EWW definitely not.

Seventhzealot
12-12-2011, 03:57 PM
#20
Tyr - The Lay Of Thrym
Napalm Records

http://www.metal-archives.com/images/3/0/2/2/302244.jpg?4121


In the past Faroese band Tyr have stated that their musical mission is to break the barriers between Power, Doom, Viking, Folk and other genres of metal. Their latest offering 'The Lay Of Thrym' though is basically Power/Viking metal but something which turns out to be quite an enjoyable listening experience. The album begins with a bunch of energetic tracks and though the rhythm slows down with 'Evening Star', it infact is one of my favorite tracks from the album. The highlight of the album though is 'Shadow Of The Swastika' which combines an ebullient tune with lyrics which speak about being proud of your heritage without dwelling on the past, no matter how dark it may be. I also get the impression from this album that the band really enjoyed it too which reflects in the overall quality.


Shadow Of The Swastika (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP5-BfCr_D8)

Seventhzealot
12-13-2011, 09:38 AM
No love for Týr on here :eyes:

Seventhzealot
12-13-2011, 09:41 AM
#19
Revocation - Chaos Of Forms
Relapse Records

http://thedailyrotation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/revocation-chaos-of-forms.jpg


Revocation play a brand of thrash metal with influences from technical death metal and their recent offering 'Chaos Of Forms' aptly illustrates this fact. The songs are well arranged with the aggressiveness of thrash being well complemented with the preciseness of technical death without really wearing out either, too much. The title song deserves a special mention as it could really be a track off of 'Focus' or 'Unquestionable Presence' and lives up to its billing rather well. Revocation have consolidated their standing after the impressive 'Existence Is Futile' with this album and have gone quite a way to mark themselves out from the overflowing hordes of thrash bands emerging in the present era.


No Funeral (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bOHF9m0m8k&ob=av2n)

Seventhzealot
12-14-2011, 04:32 PM
#18
Tombs - Paths of Totality
Relapse Records

http://www.mindovermetal.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/pathoftotality_1400-300x300.jpg


Coming in at number 18 is Path of Totality by Tombs(No, not the Korn album). As stated by Stereogum, this album combines New York hardcore intensity with a blackened atmosphere. The drumming especially seems very punk-influenced and really stands out. At first listen I was sure this would crack my top 10 but with time its impact wore off. However it still does just enough to come in at number 18. If you like your black metal sludgy or vice versa, you should really check this CD out.

Vermillion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXhLPqnBRmw)