I’m closing out my year end listomania special with, of course, the most important list of all, my 10 favorite metal albums of the year. The reason i chose favorite instead of “top metal albums of the year” or “best metal albums of the year”, is because it’s all about opinions, and these are just the 10 albums i really listened to alot and enjoyed more than the others. This list will also be included in the January 2012 issue of the Spazzine along with top 10 lists from members of local bands, as well as Andrew Hernandez, drummer of Tombs, so be sure and check that out, and if you would like one sent to you, be sure and contact Spazz Records.
Mastodon managed to take all of the elements from their previous albums that made them absolutely groundbreaking, and put them all together on this record and i couldn’t be happier about it. I love this album more and more every time i hear it, sure, it’s not totally metal, but it’s so catchy and full of awesome riffs that you can hear it 3 or 4 times in a row and not get bored.It really is just a super fun album that rewards more and more with every listen. Favorite song(s): Curl of the Burl and Spectrelight.
I had a very hard time not making this album my number one of the year. I’m a sucker for the incredibly heroic riffs on this album, as well as the mega-infections hooks, namely on songs like “The Grain” and “The Day The City Died” that stay stuck in my head for days on end. Joe Hutton’s voice is absolutely breathtakingly awesome and the choruses are very easy to sing along like a ding dong to. This album also is seriously fun to air-guitar along to. Favorite song: Staring (The 31st floor).
Simply put, this is, by far, the most entertaining doom metal album of the year for me. It’s got some crazy, off the wall solo’s, it’s got very sluggish but awesome riffs that take a southern-fried take on traditional doom. It’s also got an abundance of chrome-peeling screams, and it takes you through a truly twisted soundscape that is not for those with weak minds or weak stomachs. There are only 4 real songs on this album and they are incredibly epic and take the listener on a truly unique journey that they will want to re-live many times. Favorite song: An Invisible Thread.
This album is the first one i heard this year that i KNEW would be one of my 5 favorite albums of the year. It is also the most complete metal album i’ve heard all year. It’s got alot of awesome black metal parts full of some incredibly well synced guitars/drum parts, but Mike HIll’s vocal delivery is what sets it apart from every other album people might refer to as “black metal”. This album is certainly full of anger and it’s got enough riffs and crazy air-raid siren guitar tone to satisfy the needs of even the angriest headbanger. Favorite song: To Cross The Land.
Mike Scheidt returns with another album full of pulverizing doom riffs and polarizing atmosphere, and one of the more unique vocals stylings you’ll hear in any genre. This album is very similar to Neurosis at times with it’s unique mix of atmosphere and bruising riffs, and Scott Kelly’s appearance doesn’t do much to play down that influence. This is easily one of the most entertaining doom album of the year for me. Favorite song: Prepare the Ground.
Megadeth returns with their 13th album and it’s just as relevant as number 1 if not moreso. With Dave Ellefson back in the fold the songs seem to have a little more punk rock influence than on recent albums, but also, they are loaded with super catchy, almost too catchy for thrash metal hooks that will keep these songs stuck in your head for days. A very solid effort from both Daves on this album. Favorite song: New World Order.
I can’t describe with words how much i love the complete and utter domination displayed on this record. The riffs are STUPID heavy and have a very sluggish and undescribably heavy tone and the way they seemlessly go from earth shatteringly brutal death metal to soul-melting doomy parts makes me smile wider than a redneck at a Taylor Swift concert. Favorite song: Chasm Of Oceanus.
The masters of death metal have returned with a new album and it’s as if they never left. This album is an absolute monster, mostly because of the fantastic musicianship, but also because of Chris Reifert’s amazing lyrics and blood-gargling vocal delivery. Favorite song: Dirty Gore Whore.
9. Atriarch – Forever the End
Very depressing record, Has plenty of elements of funeral doom, drone, regular doom, and what it must be like to take too many shrooms and get trapped in a mine shaft. First time i heard this album, a girl at work passed out and was wheeled out on a stretcher while i was jamming it loudly. Very creepy to say the least. Favorite song: Plague.
Absolutely incredible instrumetal album. Amazingly beautiful melodies and horrifyingly heavy meshuggah-esque brutality mix together like one gorgeous, angry cocktail on this beast of a record. Favorite song: Do Not Go Gently.