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MPF 06-03-2011 09:37 PM

MPF's 2011 Music In Review
Hey guys,

I was originally planning on doing all of this tonight for the 1st half of 2011, but with getting side tracked (Thanks Facebook and hot chicks) and realizing how many albums I have so far, I gotta do this in sections. So this is my first 20. This is also posted on my blog, if anyone is interested I'll put up the link.

Yes, we all survived the May 21st, 2011 Judgement Day of absolutely nothing happening. So in honor of that I complied all the albums I listened to in 2011 that have come out as of June 2011. Some are absolutely amazing, some are....bad. But either way It's worth reading.

I will be doing this the same way as I did my 2010 review, I set my itunes on random order, and review from there.

Let's begin:

[B]1.) Legion Of The Damned- Descent Into Chaos[/B]

I just discovered Legion of The Damned earlier this year. They are a great Thrash/Death Metal band from The Netherlands. Like Hellish Crossfire last year, Legion of The Damned really caught my interest with their style of Testament mixed with Death. It makes me happy to see Thrash is still alive and well all over the world. While nothing is mindblowing on this album, it does bring back the roots of late 80's thrash and Early 90's Death Metal. Old school fans will love this for sure.

2.) Evergrey- Glorious Collision[/B]

This is the 8th album from one of the bands that helped to appreciate Metal, Evergrey. Evergrey is one of the finest Progressive Power Metal bands to ever exist as evident from albums like Recreation Day and In Search Of Truth. Many say that they lost their touch on the albums Monday Morning Apocalypse and Torn with their modern style elements being added. Since that time, 3/5 of the band left and in my eyes gave the band new life. Glorious Collision brings back some of the more classic Evergrey sounds while staying modern. They may have written their finest song, The Phantom Letters, which I hope will be a staple in their lives shows. The album, as Evergrey tends to always have is a great balance of heavy songs and emotional ballads. This is definitely their come back album, and they are stronger then ever.

3.) Vandrum- Classic Drumming[/B]

This album is clearly just drumming masturbation. It is clearly just drummer Vandrum (Most famous for doing drum versions of the Mario Bros. Themes on Youtube) playing over public domain Classical songs. It is a cool listen at first, but you easily get bored with it after a few songs.. While Vandrum is clearly a phenomenal drummer, this isn't an album you can listen to all the way through and still keep your interest. It's just to show drumming chops. Cool, but just a gimmick.

4.) Hibira- Blind Ride[/B]

One of the finest Power Metal albums I have heard in quite some time. The vocals may take a while to get into, but it's worth it if you do. It's a great mixture of Iced Earth, Edguy, Blind Guardian, and Nevermore. It's a very fun album to rock out to from start to finish, I hope these guys get huge.


5.) Samael- Lux Mundi[/B]

I just started getting into these guys after years of knowing about them. The incorporate a unique style of Industrial, Black Metal and Symphonic Metal. Lux Mindi is an album that showcases all 3 styles very well. Those that remember Shining's Blackjazz from last year, picture Shining without the Jazz elements and that would be a fair comparison. The album may take a while to really sink in, but it is very good stuff.


6.) Cynthesis- DeEvolution[/B]

Cynthesis is a side project of the member of Zero Hour. DeEvolution is a lot more simplistic then that of a Zero Hour album, but I think in that case, it helps. In Zero hour they began repeating themselves over and over again. Cynthesis brings new life in a damn good way. It's still proggy as all hell, but it's the best Zero Hour album they never put out.

7.) Explosions In The Sky- Take Care, Take Care, Take Care[/B]

As much as I LOVE Post Rock, this album really bored me a lot. While it has nearly everything you caould want in a Post Rock album, it leaves very little to the imagination. I guess the best way to put it, TOO DAMN MELLOW! There is very little dynamics shown at all. Only in a couple songs do things pick up at all. Not to say Mellow albums are not good, but they at least gotta be interesting. Explosions In The Syy used to master that. Now it's only in half of an album.


8.) Boris- New Album[/B]

One of my favorite releases last year was the EP from Boris featuring Ian Astbury of The Cult. The music was so dynamic and cool. This year Boris has released 4 ALBUMS! The first one to pop up on here is New Album. It's introducing me to a style that I'm not too entirely familiar with, but am now very intrigued by, J-Pop. Boris' take on J-Pop is to make it heavy with guitar and electronics, while making it poppy and catchy as hell, while still being a rock band. Being From Japan, this should not be a shock. I am really, REALLY digging this album a lot. For those experimental types that want something mainstream, and vice versa. Check out NEW ALBUM!


9.) Dark Castle- Surrender To All Life Beyond Form[/B]

Dark Castle creates a form of Doom Metal that matches directly with Sludge Metal. It's not nearly as slow as most Doom Metal, but not fast enough to be Sludge Metal (which is pretty slow as well). It's right in between. Dark Castle is a great kickass band if you want something heavy as FUCK! It truly is.


10.) Dredg- Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy[/B]

In the Prog world, this may go down as one of the most hated albums. I swear I'm one of the 7 Die Hard Prog fans who truly loves this album. Yes it is absolutely different then all 4 pervious albums, every electronic and Poppy. And before I heard the album in full and just the singles, I was scared as hell, but once you sit down with it late night, catching up with your thoughts, this album is perfect. It's very laid back, Mellow, but still has songs that are up tempo. Don't expect anything much Rock on this one. This is most definitely a a Pop/Electronic album that does have guitars and no rapping. But to all the haters of this album. Just go on youtube and listen to the live versions and get back to me. I will be very shocked if it doesn't change your mind.

11.) Demonlord- Only The Dead Are Safe
YEAH! BRUTAL DEATH METAL!!!...right? Actually, not at all. It's is Thrashy, but very Power Metal. It's almost as if you took the best of Metallica (Guitar and Vocals) and made it Power Metal, BAM! you got Demonlord. It is very cool stuff. For something out of the norm in both Thrash and Power Metal, check these guys out!


12.) Protest The Hero- Scurrilous[/B]

Protest The Hero has always been an either Dead On or Dead Off band to me. I love Kezia, pretty meh on Fortress, and Scurrilous....I guess I don't have a real opinion on. There are some songs I really love on it, while others sound like B-sides to Fortress or Kezia. Musically, as always it's up to par, but it's just something about them that won't let me click with them completely. I think it just might because I discovered Between The Buried And Me first, and in my eyes they are light years ahead of Protest The Hero. None the less, I think it's worth at least one listen to see how you take it. TO me it's better then Fortress, but not by much.

13,) Alestorm- Back Through Time[/B]

The greatest Pirate Metal band is back lot more Thrash then in the past but still plenty of the Pirate Metal influenced Power you've come to know and love. For the haters of the band, the song, Scrapping The Barrel is dedicated to you, haha. I love a good gimmick once in a while, Alestorm is one of the few.

14.) Boris- Attention Please[/B]

The second Boris album featured so far is a bit more subdued version of New Album. More laid back and controlled but just as poppy and catchy. Perfect night music for sure. I'm digging this one a lot as well in the same reason I like New Album.


15.) Deadlock- Bizzaro World[/B]

Again, Deadlock is a band I didn't know too much about till this year. It is great female Fronted Metal. with Male Growls. It sometimes has an electronic feel from the keyboards. But the music is Modern and badass. After a full listen, I can honestly say this is the band Lacuna Coil should have been.

16.) Born Of Osiris- The Discovery[/B]

This band finally got good. Their first EP had a lot of promise, but their first full length sucked! The Discovery is actually, pretty damn badass. It has some, but very little deathcore breakdowns. It features more on Progressive and Electronica, which is a welcomed change from the Deathcore style plaguing the world right now. If these guys keep going the way they are, they will be a damn good band, I just hope they do.

17.) Autopsy- Macabre Eternal[/B]

For fans of real, Death metal, Autopsy have returned. This is one of the best Death Metal albums I've heard in a long time. Just brutal in your face Metal. The vocals may take a while to get used to, but I think they are perfect, especially comming from the drummer. If you want classic Death metal in the Modern Age, get this now!

18.) Devin Townsend- Deconstruction[/B]

Album of the Millennium. I think that pretty much covers it.


19.) Fen- Epoch[/B]

For fans of the Post Black metal stylings on Alcest, this may be right up your alley. This is Post Black Metal to the core and I love it. Very heavy and dynamic. It feels like the perfect scary soundtrack.


Turias- Stand Up And Fight[/B]

Turias has been a great Battle Metal band over the last decade. The newest album has become a spectacular Symphonic Metal masterpiece. I hate using the term, but it is the definition of EPIC. SO many dynamic, and the full orchestra make that happen. The only thing I'm afraid of is that it doesn't live up live, because the orchestra adds so much to the music, but I'm sure they can pull it off. This may has well been the soundtrack to Thor.


And that is it for now, I will continue this either Saturday or Sunday night. Hope you guys dig it.

MPF 06-04-2011 08:47 PM

So I'm back for part 2 of this musical endeavor. This is a short one, but it's worth checking out. I'll make up for it tomorrow. Let's kick it off right:

1.) Periphery- Icarus EP

Periphery was one of my favorite discoveries of last year. Their Self Titled debut Long Play album, Periphery made my top 5 of 2010. This EP is to more of less serve for the Title track (Icarus Lives), and it's 3 remixes. As a newer fan of Electronica, I really dig the remixes as they serve a cool new spin on the music. The song also features a new updated version of Jetpack's Was Yes and 4 new songs. It is a great listen and a cool interpretation for what is to come with the band in the future. For the open minded Metal fan, pick this one up!


2.) Crowbar- Sever The Wicked Hand

Who doesn't love Sludgey Hardcore? Crowbar is one of the few bands that can pull it right. Their new return album is a great return to form. The slow songs are heavy as all Hell, the fast songs have that great Hardcore sound that has a been missing in a lot of bands lately. it does bring back the hay day of 90's Hardcore.FOr older fans of the Metal scene, and for new ones who want a 2011 version of Real Hardcore and Sludge Metal. Check this out!


3.) Weedeater- Jason...The Dragon

This is a very strange band to me. It's as if Sleep got back together and wrote short songs in the style of Kyuss. Depending on the type of listener you are, that is a good thing or a bad thing. The music is the definition of Stoner Metal. It may be hard to get into if you are not already a fan of the style, btu I'd say this one is a great starter album for the genre.


4.) Amorphis- The Beginning Of Times

Amorphis is arguably one of the greatest underrated Metal bands to ever come out of Europe. Their style of Folk Metal, Progressive Metal, mixed with elements of Melodic Death Metal and Doom Metal. Amorphis does it right. I am a much bigger fan of their newer work then their earlier material (That may be sacrilege to say). 2009's Skyforger is one of my favorite albums of 2009, and The Beginning Of Times is just as good, if not better. It carries on the Tradition of Skyforger while adding in a bit of the past work as well.This will end up in my top 10 albums for sure.


5.) Thomas Giles- Pulse

Pulse is the second solo album from the singer/keyboardist of Between The Buried and Me. His first release was a very electronica style album. But Pulse on the other hand is a very Prog album. Almost every style of music is covered on this album. Electronica, Pop, Metal, Rock, Acoustic. It is a great variety album. I think there is only 1-2 songs that feature any kinds of screams, otherwise it is all great clean vocals. For a great songwriter album, check this one out, it is awesome.


jd091 06-04-2011 11:28 PM

Oh, MPF, You and Devy would make a cute couple...


MPF 06-05-2011 12:12 AM

[QUOTE=jd091;365536]Oh, MPF, You and Devy would make a cute couple...


Last I checked he wasn't into guys, and neither am I.


MPF 06-05-2011 03:17 PM

Well it is now time for part 3. Some of the best is yet to come.

1.) Blackfield- Welcome To My DNA

I do like Blackfield, the side project of Porcupine Tree frontman, Steven Wilson.. They have written some of the most beautiful music that's ever happened in music. But at the same time. They have written 3 of the exact same albums. The only real difference is the song, Go To Hell, which has really turned out to be a real love/hate song among fans. The lyrics are juvenile, but that is the point of the song. If you have heard the first 2 Blackfield albums, you are absolutely not missing anything on Welcome To My DNA. If you have yet to check out Blackfield, This would be a great introduction to the band.


2.) Long Distance Calling- Long Distance Calling

Long Distance Calling's previous album, Avoid The Light, is one of my favorite albums of all time. SO I was really excited to hear that they have released their new self titled album. To my almost dismay, it's just not the same. None of the real memorable hooks Avoid The Light had. The one song I truely do love is the song, Middleville featuyring John Bush of Anthrax/Armored Saint fame.It reminds me of what would have happened if Anthrax kept up the Alternative feel they had going with John Bush in the early-mid 90s. Not to say the other songs on the album are bad, but compared to Avoid The Light, it's just not as good. It feels like something big is missing. I still consider it among my top 20 of 2011 so far, but at the same time, I know it could have been so much higher.


3.) Havok- Time Is Up

I will love Thrash until the day I die. That will never change. Havok is a big reason why I still do. They are a big part of the Thrash Metal Revival that is still desperately needed. Time Is Up is a revival of the great 80's thrash scene, reminding me of a mix between Exodus and Death Angel. Like Most thrash metal of today, there is nothing groundbreaking, or innovative on this album, just pure ass kicking Thrash, That's all I ask for in Thrash Metal.


4.) Lazarus A.D.- Black Rivers Flow

Wisconsin based Thrashers, Lazarus took a complete left turn on their new album. Their debut album, appropriately title, The Onslaught, was exactly that., An Onslaught of Thrash. Black Rivers Flow, is about half the tempo of The Onslaught, and focusing much more on Melody and Groove. Which is a welcoming change to me. A lot of Tr00 fans will hate this album because it's not just an audio attack of Metal. It is a much more focused album that has better song writing and better overall songs. The best way I can describe it, is a much more Melodic Megadeth. I really dig this album, if you need a bit of a change from standard Thrash Metal, this is an album for you.


5.) Emmanuel And The Fear- Hands

This is an EP from a great Indie Rock band that needs to be known, Emmanuel And The Fear. These guys do something that is a welcoming change in the Indie Rock scene, write original sounding music. Musically, Hands goes everywhere. From heavy to Political, to bluesy, to the indie Rock sound. Hands appears to me a much angrier album, especially lyrically. then their debut album from last year. WHile I typically don't add EPs on my top of lists (unless I make a separate EP list) But in terms of Non Metal music, this will rank very high in my favorite releases of the year.


6.) Goes Cube- In Tides and Drifts

Goes Cube is a favorite discovery for me in 2009. A much more Hardcore version of Torche. Thier style of fast driven Hardcore Sludge Metal is something I love to listen to. It also has a Math Rock/Math Metal feel in some spots, but almost always in 4/4. Amongst all the chaos, there are odd moments of slow beauty. It's not too often on the album, but it hits you pretty damn hard. This album goes by very fast. And definitely worth giving a shot.


7.) Darkest Hour- The Human Romance

Darkest hour is one of the forefront bands in the Metalcore scene. I originally gave up on ever liking Darkest hour when I heard guitarist Kris Norris left the band, their last album left me wanting so much more, and I realize now, the band felt the same way. So what did they do about. They wrote one of the best albums of 2011. The Human Romance. Every song has what a Metal fan would want. Melodicness, Brutality, non-shitty breakdowns where needed. They finally wrote and album that I love all the way through. I gotta hand it to them, I didn't that that was ever going to happen. If this album doesn't get them the recognition they deserve, nothing will.


8.) Panzerchrist- Regiment Ragnarok

How these guys are not the biggest Death metal band in the world right now is beyond be. It has everything a lot of Death Metal bands are missing right now. Absolutely brutality, the greatest blast beats on record, excellent songwriting. They are a Death Metal band, that breaks from the stereotype and creates absolutely, listenable chaos.


9.) Boris- Klatter

This album is more of the Boris that I've remembered from years gone by. Very Doomy and experimental. But unlike the original Boris of just pure noise, there is actual structure to these songs rather then just, make noise when you feel like it. It's almost like 70's Hard Rock meets Doom, or to be more relative to the times, if The Sword made an Experimental Black Sabbath album. While it is good overall, it is a mood album. Make sure you are in the mood for something different, then this should be right up your alley.


10.) DevilDriver- Beast

DevilDriver is a band who constantly gets better and better musically and songwriting wise. I always give these guys a chance, but there is something about them that just never seems to click with me. Bands like Chimaira are the same way. Absolutely excellent, but just not for me. That said, Best is very badass and easily the best DevilDriver album to date. Technical, Melodic, and heavy as hell. It still isn't clicking with me enough to really like DevilDriver, but after a few more real listens, Beast just might change mind on these guys.


11.) Shining- VII- Fodd Forlorare

No this isn't the shining that Love more, the Norwegian Shining, but rather the Swedish Death metal Shining. The Swedish Shining is band that I discovered a couple months ago and I'm starting to get into their back catalog. But VII is a good start for me. It reminds if Opeth would have went more into a Blackened Death Metal route. I do agree with others that this album doesn't live up to their past work, but this album is still damn good, and when you need something more out of Death Metal, check these guys out.


12.) Pestilence- Doctrine

I'll keep this one short and sweet, Amazing music, shitty almost unbearable vocals.


13.) Novembers Doom- Aphotic

Simply the greatest Doom/Death Metal album of 2011. There is as much beauty as their is despair on this album. The music is top notch and the vocals are the best they have ever been. It constantly changes like Opeth from Death Metal heavy to acoustic beauty., but all in it's own way. To me, it's a Masterpiece. Novembers Doom's finest work!


14.) Amon Amarth- Sutur Rising

It's funny how all the Death metal albums are getting lumped together in this list. Amon Amarth put out an album that doesn't sound like the rest of their songs, granted there are similarities, but Sutur Rising adds something different that hasn't been there before. It's hard to describe. Also to note this marks the first time there is clean vocals on an Amon Amarth album, for the System Of Down cover of Arials. Later down the line this will be noted as one of their finest albums.


15.) Daniel Jakubovic- Elef Kirot

This will be going down in my top 5, if not higher, albums of 2011. This album has absolutely everything I want in an album...expect vocals in English. But even though the lyrics are in Hebrew, It makes me sing a long to every word. The music constantly goes from Proggy to Poppy to Rockin' to Acoustic. All instruments done by the man himself. This is what Progressive Music needs to be, just hopefully next time in English.


16.) Destruction- Day of Reckoning

Germany's finest Thrash Metal band is back. While once again pointing out it is just straight up Thrash Metal, It is so damn good. It makes you want to bang your head on every song. The musicianship is spectacular, while sometimes the lyrics can be taken as cheesy, I don't pay attention to that. When it comes to Thrash, the music comes first, and these guys pull it off.


17.) Blackguard- Firefight

I first heard these guys opening for Nevermore on Halloween night. They are the other 2 Pirate Metal bands around besides Alestorm (Swashbuckle being the other, at least in in notoriety). Blackguard is a much more Thrash orientated Metalcore band. While the album does feature a lot of great songs, live it does not come out the same, due to the lack of Synths, which is heavily featured on the album. To me, it feels a lot lacking on the album. Nothing too much sticks out to me, other then just the overall style. It's worth checking out, but I prefer Alestorm.


18.) Primordial- Redemption At The Puritan's Hands

I can't believe I didn't discover these guys until this year. This is the perfect epic Metal. Irish Folk Battle Metal with a vocal style similar to Blind Guardian, with the occasional scream. The album is perfection from start to finish musically. And the vocals, holy shit the vocals are amazing. This is one of the bands I hope to one day see, despite the lack of U.S. touring. Maybe one day.


19.) Water And Bodies- Light Year

Water and Bodies is a great band that came form the dissolution of the Progressive Rock band, Kaddisfly. The music is a bit more alternative, then Kaddisfly but in a way, it is very similar. It is very catchy and enjoyable all the way through. While I one day hope for the return of Kaddisfly, Water And Bodies will more then hold my interest. for a break from the Metal, this is an album that will sooth the soul.


20.) Red Fang- Murder The Mountains

The return of Kyuss, with entirely different members and a different name. Red Fang is single handedly going to bring back Stoner Metal to the forefront on the upcoming Mayhem Festival. Their second album is chalk full of memorable Kyuss style riffs and the Stoner Metal style that left the mainstream and went into the doom Metal vein. Once again pointing it out, if you miss Kyuss, check out Red Fang, you won't be disappointed.


That should be it for now, tomorrow will bring part 4

larvtard 06-05-2011 03:42 PM

I'm confused as to how anybody can tolerate the new Lazarus A.D. My problem with it isn't that it's not thrash, my problem with it is that it sucks.

jd091 06-05-2011 03:49 PM

New Scale the Summit and/or Human Abstract? :snivel:

MPF 06-05-2011 03:56 PM

[QUOTE=loganarchy;365719]I'm confused as to how anybody can tolerate the new Lazarus A.D. My problem with it isn't that it's not thrash, my problem with it is that it sucks.[/QUOTE]

Agree to disagree I guess.


[QUOTE=jd091;365721]New Scale the Summit and/or Human Abstract? :snivel:[/QUOTE]

They'll be coming up. They haven't hit yet on my iTunes, but once they do, they'll be here.

jhdeity 06-05-2011 05:23 PM

[QUOTE=loganarchy;365719]I'm confused as to how anybody can tolerate the new Lazarus A.D. My problem with it isn't that it's not thrash, my problem with it is that it sucks.[/QUOTE]

Yeah I'm with Logan here. I like 2 songs tops. Maybe my expectations were too high but to rate that cd over Havok is a real head scratcher to me. That is the exact cd I was expecting out of Lazarus and got their version of Souls of Black instead.

MPF 06-05-2011 05:34 PM

[QUOTE=jhdeity;365748]Yeah I'm with Logan here. I like 2 songs tops. Maybe my expectations were too high but to rate that cd over Havok is a real head scratcher to me. That is the exact cd I was expecting out of Lazarus and got their version of Souls of Black instead.[/QUOTE]

I like Souls Of Black.

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