Actually I decided to kick this off in some capacity today with my "5 Biggest Disappointments" of 2011. I like these albums varying degrees - from thinking some are pretty solid and just outside of my top 30-35, to thinking some definitely suck. But the purpose of this is just acknowledging which artists let me down the most. These are in no particular order.
01 Edguy - Age of the Joker
Despite how much I was scared when Rocket Ride came out, and how much Tinnitus Sanctus didn't exactly change anything, I was still hopeful for a new Edguy album. They've been one of my favorite bands for years, Hellfire Club is one of my favorite albums ever made, and Tobias Sammet wrote and released 2 great albums in 2010 with Avantasia. Sadly all my hopes were in vein. I wouldn't say this flat out sucks, there are a handful of tracks I enjoy, but for the first time in the band's career, there are less tracks I enjoy than ones I don't, and a couple of them just flat-out suck. I would say this band is pretty much done at this point, sadly.
02 Dragonland - Under the Grey Banner
Dragonland started out as the band their name would lead you to assume they are - cheesy power metal, but in 2004 they began to change directions with their outstanding album Starfall, and the evolution continued with 2006's Astronomy. I really loved the niche these guys began to carve out for themselves, so it saddens me that guitarist Olof Morck has apparently decided to continue to push that style 5 steps too far in the new project Amaranthe, while Dragonland have somewhat returned to form. That's not REALLY the problem though - the songs just aren't very good. I wasn't even compelled to listen to this album more than twice.
03 FullForce - One
FullForce are a supergroup of Prog/Power musicians, including Cloudscape vocalist Michael Andersson, Hammerfall drummer Anders Johansson, ex-Hammerfall guitarist Stefan Elmgren, and Carl Johann Grimmark of Narnia and Rob Rock fame. I had high expectations for this project, but ultimately, it just didn't deliver. I think songwriting is mainly to blame - the songs just aren't as strong as they should be.
04 Scheepers - Scheepers
The Ralf Scheepers solo album - this one just kinda sucked. This album had a great roster of guests, and I do like Ralf/Primal Fear, so I was definitely expecting to at least get a few great tracks out of it - and opener "Locked in the Dungeon" started off pretty strong. But overall this disc is just pretty damn disappointing.
05 Jag Panzer - Scourge of the Light
It's been almost 7 years since the last Jag Panzer album - long enough that I was wondering whether or not this would even happen. I loved Casting the Stones, and always have been a pretty big Jag Panzer fan - so it honestly really, really bummed me out when this dropped and I was just very underwhelmed by it. Nothing about this is genuinely bad, I just think it's not as good as it should have been - there's nothing much that made me want to keep listening to it. Sadly the band have now parted ways with this as their swan song - but if it took them this long to release an album like this, maybe it was for the best.