I've been too busy to keep up with this, so I'll just do three at a time for now
TOP 15 ALBUMS OF 2011
10: INQUISITION - OMINOUS DOCTRINES OF THE PERPETUAL MYSTICAL MACROCOSM
Hailing from the grimm Northern Valleys of Everett, WA, INQUISITION (inside joke). Their newest release, Ominous, is a great musical ride through darkness and evil. It has that Immortal guitar feeling to it, making you cold all over as if you were walking through the snow covered valleys of Skyrim in search for your next Bandit Camp! When I first gave this album a full listen I didn't think much of it, it really just sounded like a darker and more evil version of Immortal, but the more I listened to it the more I fell in love with it. Dagon's vocals do not fail either, his croaks are something that no one, or at least not many others, do, and they add a whole new dimension to their writing style. I cannot wait to finally see them next year, HAILS!
9: KAMPFAR - MARE
Kampfar comes off as a band that not many people like to take notice of, but their music and live performance (all one minute I witnessed) are absolutely stunning. This was a hard call for number 10 and 9, but I believe I enjoyed this album a little more than the new Inquisition. A lot of hardcore Kampfar fans just gave this album the cold shoulder due to its cleanness and major use of keyboards, but I feel it brings a lot more to the James Hetfield (table). It's hard for me to put my finger on what exactly makes this album such an amazing musical ride, but it just has that feel to it, once you put it in, you want to listen to the whole album. Plus at the end of the title track it has one of my favorite drum beat patterns, so I was hooked (the "Melechesh Beat" as us in Seattle call it). If you want something "kvlt" but still want to keep it clean then check this out. Just wish my van didn't get broken into so I could experience them completely.
8: Ceremonial Castings - March of the Deathcult
For a band that does not have a record deal these guys know how to do it. Releasing a new album at least every two years and still getting a ton of notice and praise as one of the best underground Black Metal bands in the US. Ceremonial Castings is a Symphonic Black Metal band from Battle Ground, WA (yes, we have a town called Battle Ground) and do not fail on this new album. Although MOTD is mainly a re-recording of demo's and remastering of older material it still comes through as a whole new release and doesn't sound aged at all having it released 7 years after the original recordings. Although some tracks may feel like they go on for a while, its worth it, and in the end works out just fine. This release even has two amazing covers, one of Venom's "Manitou", and the other, Emperor's "Night of the Graveless Souls". I would recommend everyone to contact these guys and pick up this new release, you will not be disappointed.
MORE TO COME!