The Disappointments of 2011
9. Across The Sun - Before The Night Takes Us
This is nothing ground breaking. This is nothing special. This isn't even anything original. It's just metalcore. A blind download that didn't turn out well.
8. In Flames - Sounds of a Playground Fading
To be perfectly honest, I had no hope for this album. In Flames has always been one step forward, two steps back since Reroute to Remain and unfortunately this album was one of those steps back. All the progress made on Come Clarity seems to have been completely lost between this album and A Sense of Purpose. They are the makers of their own future and they've decided to do whatever they feel like doing. I give them props for taking that stance and they deserve the opportunity to take these leaps of faith musically after everything they have given metal......I just miss my old school melo-death In Flames. Hints of all the right thing show up on this album but it still doesn't seem to capture the old essence. The good thing is we have our 2 steps back so maybe the next one will be the next step forward, line-up changes be damned.
7. Deadlock - Bizarro World
I fell in love with Wolves the year it was released. It was everything I loved about melodic death metal on top of having perfect female vocals. It was a big U-turn from Earth.Revolt but it was the correct U-turn to make I think. Since In Flames lies above this, I can equivocate Wolves to being an album full of tracks that could have been spawned from the track "Dead End" from Come Clarity. What made Wolves even better was that they took the risks of incorporating techno music and electronic samples into their songs. They took these risks to a bigger extreme on Manifesto but it hindered the musicianship within the songs. With this album, Deadlock seemed to have their heads in the right place but the second half of the album doesn't seem to match the pace of the first half. It fizzles out after track 5, "You Left Me Dead" and left me wondering where the magic went.
6. Norther - Circle Regenerated
I still remember the days when Norther were being hailed as the new Children of Bodom. They were supposed to take up Bodom's throne but that train seems to have long left the station. After Mirrors of Madness they struggled to match the heights they had been billed to reach. Fast forward to today, they have virtually fallen by the wayside in the metal world; a band that few know about. And they few that seem to know about them we're exposed to them during the COB comparison era. They are capable of a lot more but line-up changes seem to have crippled the thriving musicianship that once existed in this band. Overall, I enjoyed this album a lot but with the background history and knowledge of Norther that I have I know they are capable of so much more.
5. Edguy - Age of the Joker
I became a fan of Edguy way late into their career so I admit to not being an expert on their work. But this album failed to stand out to me as Rocket Ride and Tinnitus Sanctus did. It was just forgettable amidst their own catalog and the rest of the releases of the year. It's a shame though because I always expect top notch stuff from these genre-defining musicians but this missed the mark in 2011.
4. The Human Abstract - Digital Veil
Ohhhh The Human Abstract. Nocturne still stands as one of the best albums I have ever shelled out my hard earned cash for. I also blind bought it on a whim with no knowledge of what this band sounded like. I am always hoping for an extension and evolution of that album but after Midheaven and now this I know it's never going to happen. Good ideas feed off of each other throughout the entire album but it's missing that kick that made Nocturne such a classic LP. I still have hope for this band though. They are relatively young still but nothing has yet been able to stand up to Nocturne. Maybe the next album will be the charm. Still, for fans of Protest the Hero and Ion Dissonance I highly recommend to check out this entire bands discography. It's just that this release and Midheaven and miles apart from the debut album.
3. Children of Bodom - Relentless Reckless Forever
Every single person on these forums have a certain number of bands that they hold close to their hearts. Usually it is these bands that expanded the vast musical landscape of metal for their ears and paved the way for exploration into the personal uncharted dominions of epicness. Bodom is one of those bands that I not only hold close to my heart but they stand as one of the few bands that seem to have failed to achieve the excellence of their past releases. Still, I always have that small glimmer of hope that the next album could be the album that offers us the redemption we have been waiting for since Hate Crew Deathroll. Unfortunately, for us, the third time is not a charm. The main problem I have with Bodom as of late is that they've gotten lazy musically. Even though this album is short as shit (around 30 minutes and just 9 tracks.......fucking really?) they show more flashes of their former glory than they have on the past 2 releases. They also rehash alot of these solid pieces of writing throughout the album which drags it down even more. Nothing is more painful than listening to Bodom and coming to the realization that they are capable of so much more. If any other band would have released this album, it would have made my top albums of the year. But the fact that Bodom released this, it just caused massive disappointment.
2. The Haunted - Unseen
The Haunted is another one of those bands that I hold close to my heart. They don't get as much recognition as they should for their influence on modern thrash and metal in general but with Versus and now Unseen it's no wonder why. Versus sucked in my honest opinion and this album isn't much better. I was crushed when the last track finished playing. I remember thinking to myself "That's it? Really? A poor ripoff of The Dead Eye?". They are going down the In Flames experimentation road but it hasn't really been successful for them. I think I stand as one of the few fans that actually like the direction they took on The Dead Eye but Unseen doesn't even come close to it. I know when an album is disappointing me when I constantly have to check to see how many tracks are left to go. I started doing this after "Never Better" finished and I knew I was in for a long haul with it. It made it even worse that "Never Better" stood out as the best track on the album. Thrash our faces off again Dolving and Co.!!!! CRUSH US!!! For christ sake, dominate us once again! You have the remnants of At The Gates. Make us aware of that! You can experiment all you want but embrace you're past just a tiny bit more.
1. Megadeth - TH1RT3EN
What a piss poor piece of shit excuse of an album. Utter trash. Deplorable if I had to use one word to describe it. I literally was saying to myself every other track "Wow, this sucks....way to step it up Dave." Having Ellefson back in the band did absolutely nothing for Megadeth after this release. How this crap received a Grammy nod and Anthrax and Opeth got the giant "fuck off" from the music industry is still something I am trying to come to terms with. Not a single part of this album is memorable at any point in the 57 minutes that it lasts. Also 3 of the songs are re-recordings of incomplete or already released material.........once again, it's mind blowing that this is getting a Grammy nod. It's just as bad as Slayer getting one for a re-issue of Christ Illusion.......it shames me that this is being passed off as the current fact of metal music. Show up next time Dave or fucking go home. If you show this lack of drive on you're next album I would gladly say you should just call it quits.