1. Darkestrah- Khagan EP 9.24.2011 Label: Osmose Productions (Kyrgyzstan)
Darkestrah is a female fronted Shamanic Pagan Black Metal band from Kyrgyzstan that has put out some really great music. However their newest release Khagan, won me over instantly, which doesn’t happen very often… Even though it’s only three tracks it is simply amazing. The songs have a really nice atmospheric black metal ambiance to them and I can’t listen to it enough. I will be anxiously waiting for their next ingenious creation.
2. Enslaved – Thorn EP 8.27.2011 Label:Soulseller Records (Norway)
Enslaved’s Thorn is another EP that has won my approval. The atmosphere of the two tracks are raw and bring back hints of old school Norwegian black metal that is just a delight to listen to.
3. Obscura- Omnivium 3.29.2011 Label: Relapse Records (Germany)
Obscura is a league of their own. I am not too into technical death metal (although I do have quite the random taste in music) however, Obscura is definitely an exception for me. Omnivium is their third album and I was very pleased with it. I really like the jazz-fusion and prog influences that they incorporate, it gives the music tons of depth.
4. Moonsorrow-Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa2.21.2011 Label: Spinefarm Records (Finland)
Finnish folk-black metallers Moonsorrow have created another impressive album. Like their previous work, Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa invokes many feelings while listening, creating a dramatic flow from a calm doom like feeling then escalating into layers of shredding melodies.
5. Septic Flesh- The Great Mass 4.18.2011 Label: Season of Mist (Greece)
The Great Mass has a powerful presence about it that blew me away with its symphonic elements. It has a very nice balance of powerful riffs and majestic passages that interweave from the classical aspects.
6. Thulcandra- Under a Frozen Sun 9.30.2011 Napalm Records (Germany)
Thulcandra is a project of Obscura’s Steffen Kummerer so no doubt that it is a great masterpiece. Under a Frozen Sun is a great album that follows their tribute to Dissection and reignites that 90’s Swedish black metal sound. I am a huge fan of Dissection and don’t find this at all to be a rip off, I really love that Thulcandra is morphing and reinventing Dissections signature sound into their own interpretation.
7. Vader- Welcome to the Morbid Reich 8.12.2011 Label: Nuclear Blast (Poland)
I was very pleased with Vader’s newest release and found it to have a very strong consistent flow. I find Welcome to the Morbid Reich to be some of their best work to come through one of there albums in awhile.
8. Devin Townsend- Deconstruction 6.20.2011 Label:HevyDevy Records/InsideOut Music (Canada)
Deconstruction bounces around a bit but overall, this album was pretty spectacular for me. It features an array of musicians creating many different layers within the album. Devin Townsend is brilliant and I’ve really come to enjoy his work, the more I listen to it the more it grows on me.
9. Nader Sadek- In the Flesh 5.16.2011 Label: Season of Mist (United States)
Nader Sadek is a metal super group that consists ex-members of Morbid Angel, Mayhem, Vader, Cryptopsy, Zyklon…and In The Flesh carries some mean heavy riffs that make it a solid death metal album. I would have expected something more like this on the most recent Morbid Angel album.
10. Warbringer- Worlds Torn Asunder 9.26.2011 Label: Century Media Records(United States)
This album packs plenty of speed and maintains a high level of energy. It’s a balanced modern day thrash album think Warbringer has really amped up the thrash scene and have truly revitalized the genre.