Top 5 Albums Of 2011
05. The Hunter – Mastodon
A slight disappointment, but still an excellent album, Mastodon tone down the prog in favor of sludgy hard rock, peppered with the band’s trademark odd humor and unusual lyrical themes.
04. Epsilon – Blood Stain Child
A weird mixture of melodic death metal, trance, and J-pop that’s way better than it sounds. It doesn’t win any awards for technicality or musicianship, but on the basis of being an enjoyable and entertaining album alone it’s definitely one of my Top 5.
03. TIE: Surtur Rising – Amon Amarth and One for Sorrow – Insomnium
Two excellent melodic death metal releases by two of the best modern bands in the genre (which, admittedly, is growing a bit stale). Surtur Rising is the perfect follow-up to Amon Amarth’s 2007 offering Twilight of the Thunder God, while One for Sorrow is Insomnium’s best album yet, chock full of moody and emotional melodeath.
02. Heritage – Opeth
The band’s biggest stylistic departure since 2003’s [NSFBZP title], Heritage is a surprisingly great album in which they succeed in capturing the sound of the 70s prog-rock artists that influenced them, while retaining a style that is distinctly Opeth. The deluxe edition of the album is especially good, containing the code to download two excellent bonus tracks that honestly should have made it onto the main album itself.
01. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – M83
Straight out of left-field comes this majestic work of electronic/dream-pop art. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is without a doubt M83’s best work yet, a mesmerizing double-album that recalls Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in its scope and ambition. The 80-minute running time of the album passes by extremely quickly as the album continues to keep you entertained and interested.
Unto the Locust - Machine Head
Th1rt3en - Megadeth
Good & Evil - Tally Hall
Ritual - The Black Dahlia Murder
Threat Signal - Threat Signal