Sunday, January 1, 2012

But It Goes To Eleven

The Top 11 Metal Albums of 2011

Here it is Bangers, the eleven golden champions of face-ripping, ear-splitting, skull-crushing HEAVY METAL for the year of our unholy lord, 2011.

11. Megadeth – Th1rt3en

This follow up to the excellent Endgame was a bit lackluster. The album was recorded in just seven weeks and it shows. The best track on it is the thrice previously released “New World Order” but this new version is crushing. Not a bad effort but not exactly great and the album title sucks ass.

10. White Wizzard – Flying Tigers

Another great disc of bass-driven, traditional metal from this L.A. band. Half of the album is an exceptional concept about alien conquest which is explained in the well appointed CD booklet. White Wizzard are one of the best of the NWOTHM and this album cements their greatness.

9. Portrait - Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae

Fantastic Swedish traditional metal that’s heavily influenced by Mercyful Fate. Amazing guitar tone, leads and riffs dominate the album and require vigorous and sustained headbanging. This is a big step up from their first full length release in terms of quality of the songwriting and vocals.

8. Twisted Tower Dire – Make It Dark

The fifth full-length release from these North Carolina Metallers is an excellent collection of hooky, traditional Metal. This also gets the vote for best liner notes/booklet of the year.

7. Wolf – Legions Of Bastards

These Swedes unleashed another great album and a worthy successor to Ravenous. Check out “Skullcrusher,” “Full Moon Possession,” and “Tales From The Crypt” if you want to hear how traditional Metal should be done.

6. Widow – Life’s Blood

There must be something in the water in North Carolina because Life’s Blood is the best release of Widow’s career. Ripping guitars, great vocals and catchy songs demand your attention. Buy or die!

5. Cauldron – Burning Fortune

Canadian headbangers deliver another fantastic album that could have been released in 1984. These guys know how to craft mid-paced songs that are hooky as all hell. Hailz!

4. Saxon – Call To Arms

Biff and the boys unleash an amazing album that easily competes with the masterpieces from their early catalog. The album flows beautifully with nothing but excellent cuts and should be in every Metalhead’s collection.

3. Anthrax – Worship Music

Quite possibly the strongest Metal comeback album of all time. Anthrax released their best album since 1993 much to the shock of the Metal community as they had been written off as irrelevant for years. Joey slips into the songs seamlessly, the writing is focused and the band is tight. Welcome back guys, you’ve been missed.

2. Orchid – Capricorn

One of The Metal Blog Of Metal' favorite bands, the first full length album from San Francisco’s Orchid continues the excellence displayed on the band’s earlier EP, Through The Devils Doorway. Everything is perfect on this release, from the creamy guitar tone, the superb vocals, booming bass, eclectic drumming and the beautifully appointed double-gatefold CD packaging. Orchid have crafted not just one of the best Doom Metal releases of all time, but one of the best Metal releases of the past decade. Just buy the damn thing already.

1. Vicious Rumors – Razorback Killers

Killer! VR finally found the lead singer they have been searching for since the untimely demise of Carl Albert in 1995. New vocalist Brian Allen is a perfect fit and Geoff Thorpe takes full advantage of Allen’s vocal abilities. The songs are white-hot, molten slabs of Metal perfection which demand the listener throw up the horns like a maniac. It’s great to see a long suffering band achieve greatness after soldiering on in obscurity for years. Buy this immediately!

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