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 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best

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Ganon1998
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PostSubject: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:05 pm

So I decided to put together a list of all the albums I've listened to this year, rate them, and post them from worst to best.
I've listened to a total of 68 (and counting, maybe) albums this year, so it's going to be quite a list. I'll be updating in my list as time goes on within their own posts likely (unless no one posts, then I'll just edit them into the newest post I guess). Accompanied with the pick is the album artwork and a short paragraph on why I put it there.
Most of these albums fall into metal or indie/"hipster" genres because I stalk websites like Pitchfork (website that deals mostly in and reviews indie music), Metalsucks (deals mostly in metal of all kinds), and whatnot. Some more mainstream stuff is on here as well (Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers), sometimes because I've been a fan of the band or because I felt some sort of obligation to listen to it.

Anyways, I don't know how long this will take me to get through, but hopefully not too long because I've already written out like a quarter of the list (and will be continuing to do so before I post many of my picks).

So enjoy. Maybe this'll provide some of you guys with some recommendations.



Also, the rating I give the albums aren't really that important to me, I just put them in there for lulz. :U


Last edited by Ganon1998 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:11 am; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:06 pm

# 67
Trivium - In Waves
Metalcore



.1/10 (not a 0 because technically, it is music. They managed to make music. Which is just about the only “good” thing I can say about this record)

There isn’t enough time in the world to describe just how much I despise this album so I’ll just repost the post I made after listening to it:

“This album is irritating in the worst sense of the word. There is nothing redeeming about this album.
The lyrics are inane (and sometimes lacking coherence either as a sentence or in meaning) , the singing is annoying (the singer is either in whiny or shitty James Hetfield-ah mode. And if not those two, incredibly one dimensional growling), and the actual music elicits no emotional response whatsoever.
Furthermore, the album is way too overproduced to the point where the overdubbing of different vocal tracks makes the singer sound annoyingly autotuned.
There is literally nothing good I can say about this album.”


#66
Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus
Industrial Death Metal



1/10

This is a truly awful album and I simply cannot imagine how I’d feel if I were a Morbid Angel fan. The ONE thing that this album has over In Waves though is that it’s laughably bad. Songs like Radikult, at the very least, are hilarious. That said, by all intents and purposes this is the worst album of the year, and the only reason I put Trivium below this is simply because Trivium piss me off to no end.


#65
Machine Head - Unto the Locust
Metalcore/Groove Metal



3/10

More metalcore crap, yay. Now, this album isn’t anywhere near as bad as Illud or In Waves, no, those two albums are in a class of their own. This album has some of the same problems that In Waves does (some songs are incoherent lyric wise, the “All inclusiveness” of the lyrics are annoying, etc.), but the only difference is it doesn’t piss me off. Just gives me an “eh” feeling. Aside from that though, yeah, not a good record.


#64
Metallica/Lou Reed - Lulu
Experimental Rock/Metal



3/10

Not a single person in this world can seriously claim to say that they thought this album was good… and everyone was right. However, it’s nowhere near as bad as people say it is. The album does have its moments, but between James Hetfield (his official title is “The Table”) randomly shouting stupid things, the riffs that are driven into the ground for about twenty minutes after the riff got stale, and Lou Reed (official title “Grandpa Simpson”), those moments are far and few between. Not a good record at all.


#63
A Pale Horse Named Death - And Hell Will Follow Me
Doom/Gothic Metal



4/10

There’s not much I can really say about this record other than I’m not big into doom or gothic metal (even the gothic metal I listen to, Lacuna Coil, aren’t even really metal, and barely “gothic”) and this album combines the two genres. It’s just not my thing, so I can’t really give this album a fair shake to begin with. But whatever.


#62
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Dance-pop



4/10

What happened to Lady Gaga, sheesh? I love songs like Just Dance, Poker Face, Bad Romance, and Paparazzi. Starting around the time she released the song Telephone she really started to go downhill. The massive, bloated music videos didn’t help. Which brings us to Born This Way. Nothing on it is really that catchy and even the “catchy” stuff like Born This Way are buried under mountains of scratchy electronic sounds. The lyrics are terrible, giving the songs that have messages (even if those are good messages) what I would describe as a “bad 90’s public service announcement song vibe”. All in all, this is just a album that was likely thrown together really fast to pander to her audiences. And if I was a Lady Gaga fan (which I’m not, I just like some of her singles), I’d be offended that she went out of her way to try and rope me in.
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:06 pm

#61
Locrian - The Clearing
Drone/Noise



5/10

I dunno, this album just didn’t do much for me. I mean, it’s good, it’s got some nice sections and stuff, and if you like drone-y and noise-y (like Merzbow, but you know, actually is music) music go for it, but the album couldn’t really pull me in.


#60
Cloudkicker - Loop
Progressive Rock



5/10

There is only one glaring problem with this album. If that problem was taken care of, it’d be an easy 8/10 in my book. And that problem being that this is only half an album. Each song, is at most, one to one and a half minutes long, with at least thirty seconds of each song being devoted to the fade in and out. These songs seriously needed more thinking and fleshing out. I don’t know what the band was thinking when they released this album, but someone needed to step in and go “Dude, these songs aren’t finished. They’re, at most, just a section of a song”. I can’t really comment on the songs as they stand simply because they are, in essence, just a portion of a song.


#59
The Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction
Progressive Metal



5/10

Again, like Locrian, this album didn’t do much for me. It was interesting and whatnot having guest contributions from people like Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), Joe Duplantier (Gojira), Tommy Giles Rodgers (Between the Buried and Me), and Fredrick Thordendal (Meshuggah), along with having a very chaotic and deranged sound. But where it lost me was the song Deconstruction” which starts off with childish farting noises and whatnot. And I know Devin Townsend usually employs humor in his work, but dude, seriously, be a little more mature with your humor.


#58
Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light, Vol. 1
Drone Doom



5/10

Really kills me that I’m rating this album so low, because I do like it. It’s just that this album drags on for far too long without changing much (if anything up). First song was great with it’s Morricone-ish Western feel. The second song continues in that vein but starts to wear out before it finishes. After that, I couldn’t give any of the other songs more than two minutes of interest because they just went on for far too long. They’re good, I guess, but when a song wears out its welcome two minutes into its twenty minute runtime, there’s a problem.


#57
Gorillaz - The Fall
Electronica/Alternative Hip-Hop



6/10

There’s not really much to say about this album, because, at its heart, it’s little more than a glorified B-sides album. However, the standout track is really Revolving Doors for me. There’s a few other decent songs on here, but I can’t really fault Albarn for any of the songs’ shortcomings simply because it’s pretty much a B-sides album that was recorded on an I-Pad during the band’s tour.


#56
Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You
Alternative Rock



6/10

Basically, I’m With You is a pretty standard RHCP album with some new sounds thrown in. The songs are enjoyable (although songs like Raindance Maggie are starting to wear out for me), the band doesn’t stray too far from their general sound, and it’s overall, a pretty decent record from one of the most consistent bands of this generation. Standout track, for me, is Look Around, which makes me feel like I’m driving down the California coastline while the sun is setting.
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:57 pm

#55
Protest the Hero - Scurrilous
Progressive Mathcore



6/10

Firstly, I’m not a fan of Protest the Hero. At all. Don’t like the vocalist, the music is way too noodly and hard to follow at times, and I just don’t like the sound. However, this album really moves away from those problems I have with the band. The vocalist still gets on my nerves, but his clean voice isn’t that bad, the music is easier to follow, and there’s less noodly-ness. All in all, decent album.


#54
AraabMUZIK - Electronic Dream
Hip-hop



7/10

This is the only hip-hop record I listened to this year, and honestly, I feel it barely qualifies as that. Basically, what it is, is AraabMUZIK sampling different dance songs heavily (from what I understand, not changing them much), and throwing a hip-hop beat over it. No rapping, just the original vocals on the songs he sampled along with this (admittedly annoying) person saying “You are listening to AraabMUZIK” at the beginning of each song. Aside from that though, pretty good. The beats give the music a darker feel and ultimately create some pretty good music overall.


#53
Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow
Art Rock



7/10

Not much to really say about this album. It’s good, although I think it overstays its welcome in places. Definitely lives up to its name though by containing a song that literally states fifty different words for snow, but not only that, it successfully creates a very cold, wintery feel for the lisener.


#52
Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues
Progressive Metal/Metalcore



7/10

Like Protest the Hero, I’m not big into this band. The music has always been good (although maybe a little core-y for my tastes), but the singer has always been the problem for me. Kinda sounds like a frog when he goes into his death growls, I dunno. Anyways, enjoyed this EP for what it was, but not something I think I’d go back and listen to. One thing I can say about it though is, I swear, one song on here rips off the opening riff of Triumph’s song Fight the Good Fight. I hate it


#51
Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events
Progressive Metal



7/10

Decent effort from Dream Theater. They haven’t made a truly great album since maybe Train of Thought. Some would argue Octavarium was their last great album, but eh, IMO, that album wasn’t as amazing as everyone else claims. Pretty good though. I liked Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds, but they are not masterpieces either. Anyways, first album without Portnoy and… still the same old Dream Theater. Standout track is Breaking All Illusions which is, interestingly, the first song John Myung provided lyrics for since a song from Scenes From a Memory. The other tracks are good, but are standard Dream Theater fare. Only question now is, now that Mike Mangini is drummer, what will their next album be like when he has more input into the songwriting (Petrucci wrote the drums before they even chose a new drummer). All in all though, good album, even if it is just more of the same from Dream Theater.


#50
The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient
Indie Rock



7.5/10

Been a while since I listened to this song but there is basically only things to say about the album. Musically, this is fantastic. Really like what they have going on here.. Vocally, not my thing. The singer is like if Bob Dylan could actually sing. And I can’t stand Bob Dylan’s voice. Either way though, if you like Dylan, this is probably something you could get into (along with another album that’s a lot further up this list).


#49
Primus - Green Naugahyde
Alternative Funk Rock



7.5/10

Pretty decent album coming from Primus here. However, some songs just didn’t really click with me like Tragedy’s A Comin’. However, other songs like Salmon Men (continuing Primus’ longstanding tradition of writing songs about fishing) are really freaking good. But ultimately, pretty good album.
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:55 am

#48
Beirut - The Rip Tide
Indie Folk



7.5/10

Really good album here coming from Beirut. Kinda an European take on indie folk music, and it definitely works really well. One thing that really stands out though is the horns, always an instrument that I love hearing in my music. No real gripes about this album, but just not as great as the albums above it.


#47
Giant Squid - Cenotes
Post-Metal/Progressive Metal

[I'd post the album art, but it contains nudity]

7.5/10

A kinda post metally progressive album here, pretty good in my opinion. A few hints of bands like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum in here (in some of the shouty-er vocals) and the music is a little reminiscent of bands like maudlin of the Well. All in all, good album, check it out if you like some avant-garde or post-rock in your metal.


#46
Septicflesh - The Great Mass
Symphonic Death Metal



7.5/10

Interesting take on death metal coming from Septicflesh here, where they add some real heavy symphonic influences to death metal. Basically, they play in front of a full orchestra, and it really sounds amazing. However, in some areas I feel the orchestra and Septicflesh don’t necessarily mesh perfectly in that it kinda sounds just like a death metal band playing in front of a superfluous orchestra. However, when the band and the orchestra do click, it makes the music so much heavier. Also of note, the singer’s death growl kinda sounds like the sound of the mummy’s voice from The Mummy films before he was fully formed. Kinda funny, but it works nicely. Very good album, definitely check it out if the premise interests you.

Septicflesh - The Vampire From Nazareth:
 


#45
Oakhelm - Echtra
Folk/Black Metal



7.5/10

Some pretty good black metal coming from Oakhelm here. If there’s something to say about this album, it’s that the riffs, I would say are a little more “rock-oriented” and “epic” compared to other black metal bands (aside from, like, Skeletonwitch or something). Also to note are the nice folky sections thrown into the songs, very reminiscent of bands like The Falls of Rauros and Agalloch. Just didn’t hit me as hard as some of the other black metal albums released this year. Very good album though.


#44
Coasting - You're Never Going Back
Indie Pop/Rock



7.5/10

Pretty good debut by Coasting here, with some very enjoyable indie pop tunes throughout the album. Only real problem though is, despite its short runtime, the album starts to drag about halfway through once you realize the songs start to sound real samey. Otherwise good album though.

#43
Megadeth - TH1RT3EN
Thrash Metal



7.5/10

[Starting with this album, I'm going to start posting a song from each album for you guys to check out if you want to]
The first album I’d say is the first “good” album of the year. Everything after Lady Gaga and before this was decent, but not “good”. I’m a massive Megadeth fan, by far my favorite of the classic thrash bands (Metallica in a distant second and the rest I just don’t listen to). Endgame was a fantastic album and this is a decent follow up to it. However, it did take me a while to get into some of the songs on this album like Public Enemy No. 1 (some cheesy lyrics I guess), but once I did, they are some pretty solid songs. By far my favorite song on the album though is Whose Life (Is It Anyways?) with it’s absolutely catchy chorus. Other standouts are Never Dead and Sudden Death. All in all though, a solid album and a decent follow up to Endgame. Basically, the modern Megadeth’s Countdown to Extinction.

Megadeth - Whose Life (Is it Anyways?):
 

#42
Krallice - Diotima
Avant Garde Black Metal



7.5/10

Now here’s an album that was probably one of the first albums I’ve listened to this entire year, and it’s stood up pretty well competing with another sixty six albums. This is probably the only Krallice album I really care for (not that I’ve really dug too deep into their discography), but all I know is I couldn’t get into their previous album, which was a bit too noodly (weird for a black metal band) for my tastes. It seems however they turn down the noodliness and really churn out a strong avant-garde black metal album.

Krallice - The Clearing:
 


#41
EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
Noise Pop/Rock



7.5/10

Powering this album all the way up this list is the fantastic song The Grey Ship. Aside from that, I don’t think there’s really much I could say about this album, aside from the rest of the album is pretty solid, even when not compared to the song The Grey Ship. Usually an album doesn’t hold up for me on the merits of one song, but this album does a pretty good job of it. Only other song of note for me would be Anteroom, which, IMO, has a very Nirvana-esque quality that I’d liken to the song Polly.
Pretty good album though.

EMA - Anteroom:
 

#40
Little Dragon - Ritual Union
Synthpop



7.5/10

Continuing where they left off on the fantastic album Machine Dreams, Little Dragon churns out another catchy and fun synthpop album here. I mean, there’s not really much to say than I absolutely love Little Dragon. While not being quite as strong as Machine Dreams IMO, Ritual Union is definitely a worthy follow up to a great album.

Little Dragon - Ritual Union:
 


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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:31 pm

#39
Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
Alternative Rock



7.5/10

Out of every band in existence today (aside from RHCP and Radiohead, who are about on par with the Foos), the Foo Fighters have to be the most consistent bands of this generation. And ultimately, they put out another good record. I mean, there’s not really much to say here aside from that it’s standard Foo Fighters fare, anyone expecting anything different is an idiot, but the album’s still good. Standout tracks are White Limo and Dear Rosemary, although all the tracks are solid.

Foo Fighters - White Limo:
 

#38
Cynic - Carbon Based Anatomy
Progressive Rock



7.5/10

Not a big fan of Cynic, but this here is a pretty good EP they put out. Was expecting a more metal sound, but that’s not what we get here at all. It’s more of a, I want to say, experimental progressive rock sound, and it really works pretty well. All in all, good EP, check it out.

Cynic - Box Up My Bones:
 

#37
ChthoniC - Takasago Army
Oriental Death Metal



8/10

Probably the most interesting band I listened to this year, a band from Taiwan that plays symphonic black and death metal. Previous to this album, they generally played black metal, but starting with this record moved off into death metal. What’s interesting though is the sounds they incorporate, such as instruments like the erhu and whatnot, which gives it a really oriental feel without it feeling forced (because, lets face it here, the majority of cheese within metal music ends up coming from the shoehorning in of oriental, medieval, or folk music). While I feel the erhu sounds ends up becoming a bit stale by the end of the album, it doesn’t detract too much from the album, adding up to it being a very solid album.

ChthoniC - Legacy of the Seediq:
 


#36
Radiohead - The King of Limbs
Electronic/Experimental Rock



8/10

Pretty solid effort for Radiohead. Nowhere near up to the quality of releases like OK Computer (my second favorite album of all time) and Kid A, but still a pretty serviceable release. Really though, it’s a tougher record to get into than most, but once it does click, it’s a really good listen. Standouts are Lotus Flower and Codex.

Radiohead - Lotus Flower:
 


#35
The Atlas Moth - An Ache For the Distance
Sludge/Stoner Metal

[I'd post the album art, but it contains nudity]

8/10

Ultimately, what we have here is a pretty good slab of sludgy stoner metal. Interesting to note though is the vocals almost verge on a black metal shriek, but don’t quite get there. However, that’s not a bad thing because the vocals are strong (he also employs some clean vocals reminiscent of other sludge bands like Baroness). Opener Coffin Varnish is a fantastic song, and the second song, Perpetual Generations has a pretty catchy riff. What I really like about this album is how “open” it is. It just has that quality that lets the music breathe IMO.
Really good album.


#34
Opeth - Heritage
Progressive Rock



8/10

Really good album here by Opeth. While not as good as some of their previous albums, the move towards more 70s-ish prog and away from their death metal prog is pretty cool. Songs like The Devils Orchard and Folklore are really great songs, and the rest are pretty solid as well. Don’t think there’s a single dud on the whole record.

Opeth - Folklore:
 

#33
Cloudkicker - Let Yourself Be Huge
Progressive Rock



8/10

Now here’s what Cloudkicker should have done with Loop, create a whole album. Let Yourself Be Huge is pretty much what Loop would be if they had actually finished the album. Really good album. If I did have a problem with the album though, it'd be the annoyingly pretentious/hipster names for the songs. Seriously, a song called "Explore, Be Curious"?

Cloudkicker - Explore, Be Curious:
 
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:15 pm

#32
Feist - Metals
Indie Rock



8/10

I’d probably compare this to an album like Wye Oak’s Civilian, just not as weird sounding. Another album that I have a hard time really talking about. Just another album that I absolutely adore. I’d definitely recommend this great indie rock album.

Feist - The Bad in Each Other:
 


#31
Burzum - Fallen
Ambient Black Metal

[would post the album art, but it contains nudity]

8/10

I went into this album expecting not to like it (mainly based off of my opinions about Varg, the guy who’s behind Burzum), but regardless of what stupid shit the dude’s done, this album surprised me. Pretty good ambient black metal here with some heavy hints of folk as well. For the most part, Varg keeps his idiotic beliefs out of his music (mainly to talk about nature and stuff), but one song in particular, I believe, kinda veers off into that direction. With the exception of that one song, the rest of the album is pretty strong I’d say.


#30
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
Indie Rock



8.5/10

Way back down on the list, when I was talking about Slave Ambient, I mentioned another album that fans of artists like Bob Dylan would like, and this is it. Really fantastic indie rock/Americana thing going on here. It’s really tough to describe why I like this album, but I just do. Really damn good album.

Kurt Vile - Baby's Arms:
 


#29
Leviathan - True Traitor, True
Black Metal



8.5/10

Another good black metal album coming here courtesy of Leviathan. While not as good as previous efforts such as The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide or Tentacles of Whorror (odd name for an album, wouldn’t you say), I think TTTW holds up well in comparison. Just a good slab of American black metal here really.

Leviathan - Her Circle is the Noose:
 


#28
Adele - 21
R&B/Soul



8.5/10

Now, I’m not too big on R&B or soul music, but Adele really churned out a damn good album, really rising out of the strength of the song Rolling in the Deep (one of the best mainstream hits of the year). But aside from RitD, the album is loaded with fantastic songs. All around just a damn good album.

Adele - Rolling in the Deep:
 


#27
The Black Keys - El Camino
Garage/Blues Rock



8.5/10

The first time I heard The Black Keys was like a year and a half ago when they released their single Tighten Up. Loved all the singles they’ve released since then pretty much. Speaking of this album, it continues off with the same type of garage rocky song they had on Brothers, and it’s still in full force here. Also, the song Little Black Submarine sounds like if you mixed Jethro Tull’s song Aqualung with Led Zep’s Stairway to Heaven. Now that’s a song I can get behind.

The Black Keys - Lonely Boy:
 


#26
Oneohtrix Point Never
Avant Garde Electronica



8.5/10

Really interesting avant garde electronic album here. Really tough to describe due to how avant garde it is, so I’d be more inclined to say you’d have to really listen to it to see if you’d like it. All I know is that I like it.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Sleep Dealer:
 

#25
Mastodon - The Hunter
Progressive Sludge Metal/Rock



8.5/10

You know, at this point, I honestly don’t think Mastodon could do any wrong. While not as strong as anything they’ve released before, this is still a damn good album. The Hunter sees Mastodon go down a more rock-oriented path (think Mastodon’s “The Black Album”), but I think that ultimately helps the band really trim down to the basics of what makes Mastodon Mastodon. Not to mention the songs are catchy as hell, especially lead single Curl of the Burl. Only misstep on the album is the song Creature Lives. That song should have been left off entirely IMO.

Mastodon - Curl of the Burl:
 
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:30 am

#24
Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
Post-Rock



8.5/10

Explosions in the Sky haven’t really changed that much since, like, ever, but they know what they do and they do it damn well. Ultimately what it comes down to is they’ve produced another great post-rock album with some catchy tunes.

Explosions in the Sky - Let Me Back In:
 


#23
The Antlers - Burst Apart
Indie Rock



8.5/10

Following up their absolutely brilliant album Hospice, The Antlers moved off into a less rock-opera direction and come up with a damn good album. Songs like Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out and I Don’t Want Love are just fantastic, and the rest of the songs hold up in comparison. One thing to note though is this album as some electronic influences and the sounds have moved off into a bigger sound as compared to songs on Hospice which are, for the most part quiet and depressing. All around a great album.

The Antlers - Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out:
 


#22
East of the Wall - The Apologist
Progressive Metal



8.5/10

Strong prog metal album produced here by East of the Wall. Love the jazzy interludes and the heavy bass presence throughout. Linear Failure is just a damn good album, incorporating the aforementioned prog metal and jazz, along with some alt prog and whatnot. Just a damn good record.

East of the Wall - Linear Failure:
 


#21
Blut Aus Nord - 777: The Desanctification
Industrial Black Metal



Blut Aus Nord released two albums this year, and this is the second album. It’s tough to talk about this album without talking about the previous album, and considering the previous album hasn’t appeared on this list, it’s safe to assume it’s higher up. While not quite as strong as 777 Sect(s), this is still a damn fine slab of industrial black metal, however this album veers off into a more ambient/atmospheric direction than Sect(s) does (although that does have a strong ambient/atmospheric presence as well). Great album and one of my favorite black metal artists right now.

Blut Aus Nord - Epitome X:
 


#20
Talkdemonic - Ruins
Avant Garde Rock



9/10

Absolutely fantastic album here that’s tough to put down after listening to it. Combining avant-garde rock with electronica and post-rock, Talkdemonic throw down an album that has a very “video game-y” feel to some of the songs (particularly, Midcentury Motion and Palace Walk).

Talkdemonic - Midcentury Motion:
 


#19
Russian Circles - Empros
Post-Metal



9/10

Releasing their fourth album, Russian Circles prove once again they are one of the kings of post-metal. While not quite as strong as some of their previous albums IMO, this album is still amazing in its own right.

Russian Circles - Mladek:
 


#18
Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation
Indie Rock



9/10

Another great indie release (and debut), this time coming from Youth Lagoon. While the production isn’t nearly as good as some of the other stuff on this list (this album is noticeably lo-fi), that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. The production gives it a kinda muddled, underwater feel, which is really cool I’d say. All around, just a damn good album.

Youth Lagoon - Cannons:
 


#17
Obscura - Omnivium
Progressive Technical Death Metal



9/10

One of the things I most admire about this album is the absolutely amazing basswork. Just reminds me of something from Symbolic era Death or something. Other than that, this is a damn fine technical progressive death metal album.

Obscura - Septuagint:
 


#16
*shels - Plains of the Purple Buffalo
Post-Rock



9/10

You know, it gets really tough to review a constant stream of post-rock albums, especially when they don’t include vocals, but what it ultimately comes down to with this album is that it’s just the strongest post-rock record released this year, bar none.

*shels - Journey to the Plains:
 


#15
Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood
Folk/Black Metal




9/10

From the opening notes to the end, this album just holds onto you while continually getting better throughout the album. Reminding the listener of bands like Agalloch and whatnot, the folk sections are absolutely pitch perfect, and the black metal sections come out in full force. Absolutely beautiful album with the standout track being Awaiting the Fire or Flood That Awakes It.

Falls of Rauros - Awaiting the Fire or Flood That Awakes It:
 
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:43 am

#14
Ash Borer - Ash Borer
Ambient/Atmospheric Black Metal



9/10

Producing the same type of black metal as bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, Ash Borer comes off as slightly more harsh I’d say (think WitTR’s album Black Cascade, except more ambient/atmospheric). Some good production and absolutely fantastic music result in a damn good ambient/atmospheric black metal record.

Ash Borer - In the Midst of Life, We Are in Death:
 


#13
Blut Aus Nord - 777 Sect(s)
Industrial Black Metal



9.5/10

Like I said before, this is Blut Aus Nord’s strongest release of this year. The album as a whole is fairly dissonant and creepy sounding, something I’d liken to if a band of zombies got together and made a metal album. What’s most interesting though is Blut Aus Nord’s absolutely perfect incorporation of industrial metal into their black metal sound. While many bands struggle to incorporate industrial sounds into their music (*coughMorbidAngelcough*) or even make a straight industrial song that doesn’t come off as insanely cheesy, Blut Aus Nord shows everyone else how it’s done. By making it sound very mechanical and lifeless, it ultimately creates some very creepy and dissonant music.

Blut Aus Nord - Epitome 2:
 


#12
Tombs - Path of Totality
Experimental Black/Sludge Metal



9.5/10

An interesting mix of post-metal, black metal, and sludge metal, this album took me a few tries to get into, but once I did, holy shit does this album absolutely kick quack my stingray bloo. Their previous album, Winter Hours, I loved, but this album is just so much better. It’s really tough to describe because not one song really stands out above the others, but as a whole, it’s just a fantastically satisfying album.

Tombs - To Cross the Land:
 


#11
Absu - Abzu
Blackened Thrash Metal



9.5/10

Like Skeletonwitch (who will be appearing later and are one of my favorite bands in the metal scene today), Absu creates a type of blackened thrash metal, but whereas Skeletonwitch focus more on catchy riffs, Absu seem to peddle in far more harsh form of it, but while also throwing in some slower and quieter sections . Ultimately, not quite as strong as Skeletonwitch in my opinion, but a damn good band and album none-the-less.

Abzu - Earth Ripper:
 


#10
Autopsy - Macabre Eternal
Death Metal



9.5/10

Now here’s an album that really surprised me. Straight death metal with a focus on gory lyrics has never really been my thing mainly because a) the production’s usually crap b) gore lyrics are childish. But Autopsy really come out with a strong modern death metal album that still stays true to classic death metal. The production is amazing (I’d probably say this album is the best produced album of the year) with it’s very grimy but clear production, the instrumentation is top notch and catchy. There’s just nothing wrong with this album (aside from my own personal gripes against gore lyrics). Absolutely fantastic death metal album here.

Autopsy - Bridge of Bones:
 


#9
Wye Oak - Civilian
Indie Rock




9.5/10

Really solid album by Wye Oak here. Kinda an indie rock thing going on here, but very unique sound. Really hard to describe it. Either way, damn good album. Highly recommended.

Wye Oak - Civilian:
 


#8
Vektor - Outer Isolation
Progressive Thrash Metal



9.5/10

Really interesting premise here from Vektor, a progressive thrash metal band. Basically, it kinda sounds like if you mixed Megadeth with Death (the first death metal band). Also to note is the focus on sci-fi themes. Really interesting music here, and damn is it good. Definitely recommend it.

Vektor - Tetrastructural Minds:
 


#7
Cormorant - Dwellings
Progressive Metal



9.5/10

Fantastic progressive metal album coming here from Cormorant. Absolutely pitch perfect in execution and the lyrics do a great job of telling a meaningful story. One song, Junta, tells the story of a recent Guinea Protest against the Junta government. Another tells the story of a Chinese man being hung for defending himself. Just some truly gripping stories that Cormorant talks about. All in all, one of the best progressive metal releases of the year.

Cormorant - A Howling Dust:
 


#6
Ulcerate - The Destroyers of All
Technical Death Metal



9.5/10

Now here’s an album that doesn’t really sound like it should work, what with it mixing post-metal and technical death metal. When you think of that combination, the two genres just don’t really seem to mesh in your mind, but Ulcerate somehow manage to pull it off. Taking the dissonant riffage from post-metal and the blasts and vocals from death metal, this album just doesn’t let up. One other thing to mention though is the runtime of the album, which clocks in at 52 minutes. So it’s definitely not a lightweight and needs the utmost attention paid to it to really “get it”.

Ulcerate - Dead Oceans:
 
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:04 pm

#5
Animals as Leaders - Weightless
Djent



9.5/10

I wasn’t a huge fan of Animals as Leaders’ debut album. It was a bit noodly for my taste, but I did grow fonder of it as time went on. The follow up to the self-titled debut however, Weightless, is absolutely fantastic. There’s really not much to say here aside from the band members in Animals as Leaders are some of the most talented musicians on the face of the Earth. Really fantastic album.

Animals as Leaders - An Infinite Regression:
 


#4
Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination
Blackened Thrash Metal



9.5/10

Always been a massive Skeletonwitch fan ever since I heard their song Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery on Brutal Legend, they are like the only band I can name that can reliable come up with catchy riff after catchy riff. It should be a crime to be this good at writing catchy music. But seriously, Forever Abomination is by far their best record yet. The production is amazing (although, tiny gripe, I’d prefer the vocals to be a bit more forward in the mix) and clear, the songs are hard hitting, heavy, and catchy. There’s not a single misstep on this album. Very strong album from Skeletonwitch here.

Skeletonwitch - This Horrifying Force (The Desire to Kill):
 


#3
Cults - Cults
Indie Pop



9.5/10

Peddling in an interesting mix of modern indie pop and heavy influences from Motown music, Cults really hits it home with their debut here. Endlessly catchy and fun music, you simply cannot go wrong with this record. Standout tracks are Abducted and Bumper.

Cults - Bumper:
 


#2
Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
Ambient/Atmospheric Black Metal



10/10

Wolves in the Throne Room, along with Blut Aus Nord, are by far my favorite black metal bands. Whereas BAN deal in a more ambient/atmospheric industrialized black metal (and it works beautifully), WitTR stick more with straight ambient and atmospheric black metal. And this album has got to be, in my opinion, the finest example of ambient/atmospheric black metal I’ve seen. The softer parts with the female vocals are haunting, the black metal parts are atmospheric and melancholic. Everything about this album is amazing. Would be #1 if only not for the fact that I had to choose between this and my #1 pick, and that one got it.

Wolves in the Throne Room - Astral Blood:
 


#1
Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Indie Folk



10/10

By far my favorite album of 2011 and honestly, there’s not much to say about it. It’s just that damn good. Songs like Perth, Holocene, and Towers are absolutely beautiful, and the rest of the songs aren’t that far behind. What I really like about this album is the evolution from Bon Iver’s previous album, For Emma, Forever Ago, a very personal and quiet album. Bon Iver however, add so much more to the album that it really stands out over For Emma while still being very subtle in it’s execution. At this point, Bon Iver can do no wrong.

Bon Iver - Holocene:
 
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PostSubject: Re: 2011's Albums, From Worst to Best   Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:00 pm

Going thorough some of these as I have time.

If I remember I'll post opinions later.
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