It's Monday, so it's time for part 4. The forthiest part so far.
1.) While Heaven Wept- Fear Of Infinity
While looking at the band title, many at first glance will picture this band as Christian Emo band. That is not the case. While Heaven Wept does something that was nearly thought impossible, be a Power Doom Metal band. As much fast double bass Power Metal is shown, so is Doom Metal (with Clean vocals). This band really took me surprise when I found about them. The music keeps your interest and never lets go. This is one of the bands I really hopes breaks through this year, they deserve it.
2.) Ocoai- The Electric Hand
It's been a while since I heard a Post Metal band really capture my interest through a whole album. Ocoai managed to accomplish that with The Electric Hand. There is elements of Pelican, Isis, Mastodon, Torche all over but making it all fit in their own unique way. It's not the stereotypical Droney Post Metal, there is much more substance and dynamics. If you are looking to get into Post Metal, this is a great starter album, it will capture you're interest from start to finish.
3.) Foo Fighters- Wasting Light
I've been an on again off again Foo Fighters fan for years. For me, They haven't released an album that had more then 4 good songs since The Colour And The Shape. They FINALLY made an album that accomplish that with Wasting Light. From the Rush style of Rope, to the Moterhead style of White Limo. All the wile still keeping a fresh, catchy Rock vibe. I'm glad to see the Foo Fighters are still capable of doing that in more then just a EP's worth of good songs.
4.) Onslaught- Sounds Of Violence
Another great Thrash band on the list. Their 5th album, Sounds Of Violence is another great spin on bringing classic Thrash with a 2011 filter. It brings references of Slayer, Warbringer and Death Angel all over in their own brand. It's great to see Thrash bands who were dead come back to life to bring such great music to the table. Onslaught more then followed through on this album.
5.) Beardfish- Mammoth
Beardfish is one of the greatest underrated/under-appreciated Progressive Rock bands going right now. Their blend of 60's/70's Progressive Rock with a bit of a modern tinge is exactly what Prog Rock needs right now. Mammoth definitely delivers that and then some. The album varies all over with hints of Zappa, Rush, Yes, while mixed a bit with modern prog like Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree and a tad bit of Opeth. This definitely has my vote for the best Progressive Rock album of 2011. It covers everything a genuine Prog fan wants.
6.) Liturgy- Asthethica
This is a very strange Black Metal band. It's almost as if they take a Noise Rock/Alternative Metal project, added some Prog to it, then layered Black Metal vocals and Blast beats over it. Another comparison is if Krallice and Nachtmystium and Hella started a project. It's a bit jarring a first to listen to. a real "WHAT THE FUCK" kinda band. I oddly like it because it is so strange and different, after a couple listens things start to make more sense. This own't end up in my top 20, or even lower, but it is a good excuse to trying something completely different.
7.) Boris- Heavy Rocks
The fourth and Final Boris album on this list (at least until I hear they are writing and releasing more music this year). Heavy Rocks brings back the sound that made me get into Boris, Psychedelic Punk, Stoner, Metal. While not as heavy as their original albums, Heavy Rocks still stands as an absolutely badass album. For a great Brutal album (clean vocals by the way) with a 60's rock tinge. Pick up Heavy Rocks.
8.) TesseracT- One
I believe this is the only Djent band on my list. For those who don't follow Djent, the way I describe it is "Meshuggah with Melody." Tesseract is a phenomenal band that takes Djent and gives is a better Progressive Metal flavor to it. Much more clean vocals then other bands and bit more ambient and electronic at times. A very outerspace feel through out. One is one of the finest debut albums I have heard from any band. For those looking for a new band of a "trend" that is actually starting their own trend out of it, check out TesseracT's One.
9.) Deicide- To Hell With God
Classic Death Metal, Deicide always keeps their Death Metal/"I Hate Christianity" aspect on every album. Obviously, To Hell With God, is no different. Straight pull no punches Death Metal with some great solos and songwriting over Glen Benton's Patoned voice. Not the best Death Metal album this year, that still goes to Autopsy until something else comes out this year, but To Hell With God easily takes 2nd place.
10.) A Storm Of Light- As The Valley Of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade
A very great Isis/Mastodon-esque Post Metal band, A Storm Of Light brings a very heavy, grungey spin on Post Metal. While the album is pretty much straight forward Post Metal, it's dynamics, changes, and overall songwriting keeps you interested not wanting to change to the next track. Overall, just a really damn good, heavy Post Metal album.
11.) Hate Eternal- Phoenix Among The Ashes
I never liked a full Hate Eternal album until now. Pure Brutal Death Metal the way it is meant to be played. Every song is just as brutal as the next. When you are pissed off, it's a great album to unleash your aggression. Now a days in 2011, that is becoming more and more. Check this out!
12.) Scale The Summit- The Collective
The perfect Instrumental Progressive Metal album. So much talented songwriting, amazing Melodies and Harmonies, overall perfection in my eyes. It is a march darker album then their two previous albums, but it adds a whole new element that I know they have been dying to show off. To me that is what makes a band better is by showcasing all of your skill and creativity. Scale The Summit pulled it off Flawlessly with The Collective. BUY IT NOW!
13.) VYGR- Hypersleep
Pronounced (Voyager), VYGR is another great spacey Post Metal band. As if someone combined Isis and Cynic. Their album is an outstanding example of what happens when you really put your time into an album. It is so atmospheric and heavy. Its the perfect music to listen to when you are looking up into space at night. Like bands like Alcest, it sends you into a whole new world. If this is what happens on a debut album, expect HUGE things on their next release. Absolutely stellar!
14.) Last Chance To Reason- Level 2
Video Game Metal. Not like Power Glove. It's original Technical, Progressive Death Metal. As if Cynic wrote a soundtrack to Halo. Their previous work I had a bit of a hard time getting into because of all the Deathcore elements, but Level 2 to is much more Proggy and focused. These guys are going to be a force to be reckon with, they will prove this on the upcoming Animals As Leaders tour.
15.) Polkadot Cadaver- Sex Offender
Polkadot Cadaver came from the Ashes of one of the best Avant Garde Metal bands of the 90's/2000's, Dog Fashion Disco. Their second release, Sex Offender, carries off where the debut left off. Very electronic, but even more Dog Fashion Disco sounding then before. Every song is simply catchy, whether it is heavy, or electronica sounding. I one day hope Dog Fashion Disco can get back together and tour once again, until that day, I hope Polkadot cadaver can actually tour.
16.) Enslaved- The Sleeping Gods
This FREE EP has everything an Enslaved fan could want. 2 classic Enslaved songs, an eerie atmospheric instrumental, A classic Prog sounding song, and a doomy heavy closer. Tied with Between The Buried And Me's newest EP, this is EP of the year for me. And I couldn't be happier they are taking Alcest and Ghost with them on their upcoming North American Tour. I can't miss it.
17.) Times Of Grace- Hymn Of The Broken Man
The best Killswitch Engage album never made. It is really Killswitch Engage with a bit of Post Rock added. 3/5 of the original KSE are in the touring lineup of Times Of Grace, and I can honestly say it sounds better then anything KSE has done in the past. I have always dug Jesse's vocals, to me they are better then Howard Jones, sorry....they are! I'd love to see these guys live, even if they don't throw a KSE cover in.
18.) Alter Of Plagues- Mammal
I really hate saying this, but Alter Of Plagues really disappointed me with this one. Their previous work is mindblowing, Mammal feels...boring. Of course like in any Post Black Metal band it does have its moments of impact, but this doesn't nearly have enough. It's very Droney and subdued in a unemotional way. Maybe after a another listen or two I can maybe dig it more, but as of now, it's too uninspired for my taste.
19.) Mogwai- Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
The way I feel about Mogwai, when they are on, THEY ARE ON. But when they are off, they are really off. To me, this album has both of that. Some of their best work and some of their worst. I guess you can say this is an average album for Mogwai overall because the Ying and Yang are equal. It's a shame considering I love their last album, The Hawk is Howling. Not to say there isn't some great music on here, there is, but the bad songs overshadow it by far. Also their 22 minute bonus track, is pure atmospheric, not bad if it's not long, but 22 MINUTES? no thanks.
20.) Hotel Of The Laughing Tree- Terror And Everything After
One of the most original sounding rock bands I have heard in a long time. And my token Non-Metal album of the year. Every song is pure excitement and enjoyment. Catchy as hell and inspired. Something very hard to find in a Indie Rock band now a days. It does have some heavy moments, but I prefer this album for it's original style and going out of the norm. I would love to see these guys live someday if they ever hit Minnesota. But until then, if you are a fan of great overall music, check this one out for sure.
That concludes part 4. Part 5 (which may end up the last part until the end of the year) will be coming up tomorrow. until then ENJOY!
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