Dec 19

Tony’s Metal/Hard Rock Top 10 of 2011


1. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

This immediately shot up to the top of this chart as soon as I heard it. Dave
Grohl and gang really knocked it out of the park with this album, which was
recorded analog in Dave’s garage. It rocks from beginning to end.
Favorite tracks: Bridge Burning, Rope, White Limo, Miss The Misery


2. Opeth – Heritage

Stripping out the death metal in their music is nothing new, but this is not
Damnation 2.0 by any stretch of the imagination. The lyrics are still moody and
dark, but accompanied by something much more musically refined. It’s certainly
different, but it’s still great.
Favorite tracks: The Devil’s Orchard, I Feel The Dark, The Lines In My Hand


3. Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising

This band can do no wrong. They have never strayed far from their formula, yet
it still seems to work album after album. The songs just want to make you grab
the nearest sword and charge into battle.
Favorite tracks: War Of The Gods, Destroyer Of The Universe, Slaves of Fear,
For Victory or Death


4. Anthrax – Worship Music

Although considered one of the “Big 4,” they always received the least amount
of attention and never achieved the status of their counterparts. Honestly, this is
the first Anthrax album I’ve cared about in years. Belladonna is back and sounds
fantastic behind the mic. Hopefully it won’t be 7 or 8 years before the next
Favorite tracks: Earth On Hell, Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t, Judas Priest


5. Obscura – Omnivium

Fans of Necrophagist are so happy that Christian Müenzner and Johannes
Grossman left and joined Obscura, as they have easily filled any voids in the
tech-death scene. Hopefully they can keep putting out quality material every
couple years so we’re not left waiting forever on a new Necrophagist album.
Favorite tracks: Septuagint, Ocean Gateways, Celestial Spheres



6. Mastodon – The Hunter

Never hopped on the Mastodon train with everyone else, but the last two albums
have certainly grabbed my attention. The band members are undoubtedly
talented musicians, but it now seems that they’ve been able to reign in their
madness and focus it into really powerful tracks.
Favorite tracks: Black Tongue, Curl Of The Burl, Octopus Has No Friends


7. Cauldron – Burning Fortune

A NWOBHM revival has swept over the metal landscape and this band has
caught my attention. The energy on this album is fantastic, raw and feels good.
There’s no telling how long this trend and band will be around, but for now, I’m
glad they’re here.
Favorite tracks: All Or Nothing, Tears Have Come, Queen Of Fire


8. Machine Head – Unto The Locusts

Since Through the Ashes of Empires, Machine Head have really been on a roll.
Long gone are the rap, nu-metal days…these days, the band are focused on
bringing metal with no frills and no nonsense. It seems as though Machine Head
is simply getting better with age.
Favorite tracks: Locust, Darkness Within, Who We Are


9. Unearth – Darkness In The Light

There’s a soft place in my metal heart for Unearth. There really is no “WOW”
factor with them, but they consistently put out well-written, catchy metal tunes.
This new album is certainly no exception. Ken Susi and crew have done it again
with a solid album.
Favorite tracks: Watch It Burn, Shadows In The Light, Arise The War Cry


10. Psycho – Pain Addict Pigs

I originally heard this album at the end of 2010 and although it wasn’t officially
released until January of this year, there was no question this album would make
the list. The nastiest thing out of Singapore is Psycho. It’s black/death/thrash/
rock blend is killer and vocalist Penny Torture would probably not think twice
about devouring your carcass for breakfast.
Favorite tracks: Pain Addict Pigs, Meat Slit Grinder, Revenge Of The Raging


Comeback of the year: Decapitated – Carnival Is Forever

Losing your drummer in an auto accident is terrible. Losing your brother is even more
tragic. However, Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka decided to continue the band, something his
brother would have wanted. Decapitated managed to come back and put out a solid
album. It’s great to have them back.


Disappointment of the year: Morbid Angel – Illud Divinum Insanus

No album in 8 years and THIS is what we get? Disappointment does not even begin to
describe this album. Morbid Angel…you have left many of us in tears.

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