Monday, January 9, 2012

Top Metal Albums 2011 #20-11

#20 Esoteric: Paragon Of Dissonance
Funeral Doom (UK)
#20 on 2011 year end's list goes to Esoteric. These guys have been around for 20 years now and Paragon Of Dissonance happens to be the first funeral doom album I purchased. The times they are a changing since the 80's I first put Twisted Sister on my cassette recorder and thought "Boy, this is heavy".

Abandonment is a great example of Esoteric sound: slow, crushing and heavy but yet melodic and approachable. The second half of this song literally blew me away, it is just that good.

#19 Amon Amarth: Surtur Rising
Death Metal (Sweden)

#18 Wolves In The Throne Room: Celestial Lineage
Black Metal (USA)
Black metal truly hit me this year. I finally let go of all my prejudices and my mind was blown away many times. One of these bands is Wolves In The Throne Room. Their critically acclaimed Two Hunters and especially I Will Lay Down My BonesAmong the Rocks and Roots was the final blow.

I was lucky to catch them live in November in Tampere and heard the above mentioned song, truly great! Their latest might be the last black metal album according to some sources and the opening track Thuja Magus Imperium captures all the great elements on this album. WITTR enter my list at #18.

#17 Septic Flesh: The Great Mass
Death Metal (Greece)

#16 Ghost Brigade: Until Fear No Longer Defines Us
Atmospheric Sludge (Finland)
Ok people: Ghost Brigade's third release is great. First of all Until Fear No Longer Defines Us has one of the coolest album covers of 2011. It starts oddly with a melodic outro sounding prelude and then explodes into Clawmaster, which is goddamn awesome and one of the finest moments in this album.

I expect these guys will have bigger audiences and lots of international gigs in the future, they are force to be reckoned with. Why didn't they make my top 15 is a question of mood and when I was compiling my list and dragging artists up and down they ended at #16. They could have easily hit top 10 on some other day.

#15 Darkest Era: The Last Caress Of Light
Folk Metal (Northern Ireland)
When I first heard The Morrigan I knew I was going to love this band.Darkest Era hails from Northern Ireland and consists of three young lads and two lassies playing folk/celtic metal. The Last Caress Of Light is only their debut album yet showing great potential, good vocals and songwriting skills.

I urge you to check out this band and I am expecting great things from these guys in the future. Darkest Era #15 on my top 2011 list.

#14 Kroda: Schwarzpfad
Pagan Black Metal (Ukraine)

#13 Light Bearer: Lapsus
Sludge Metal (UK)
Sludge is another genre that I knew nothing a few years ago. I am glad I expanded my view cause I ended finding many great bands. London's pride Light Bearer seems to get only better and better the more I listen to it. There are elements of post hardcore, ambient sludge and progressive metal, but it all blends well together. Lapsus is only their debut album, so my mind is pretty much blown how talented these guys are.

Lapsus ends with this self-titled song and it is massive clocking nearly 18 minutes. Especially the ending should give you chills like it did to me. Take a good seat in your armchair, light up the fire and let these guys expand your horizons. My pick #13.

#12 Cormorant: Dwellings
Progressive Metal (USA)

#11 Thy Catafalque: Rengeteg
Avant-garde Metal (Hungary)
My first encounter with Thy Catafalque was back in 2009 when Roka Hasa Radio ended on many year end lists. I decided to check this band out and didn't regret it. The mastermind behind this one-man avant-garde metal project is Tamas Katai. What is extraordinary about this band is that he sings in Hungarian language and the music varies from synth driven industrial sound to gloomier guitar driven progressive metal.

Fekete Mezök (translated Black Fields) is the opener of the Rengeteg and displays all the great elements of this album. Highly recommended! TC makes it #11 just dropping out of top 10.

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