Friday, December 30, 2011

TMHTimes Top 50 Albums of 2011: Part 5

The final 10 are upon us. Here is 10 to 6.
Here's a recap of the Top 50 so far:

50) The Bunny The Bear - If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say (June 28th, 2011 via Victory Records)
49) Suicide Silence - The Black Crown (July 12th, 2011 via Century Media Records)
48) Periphery - Periphery (April 20th, 2011 via Sumerian Records)
47) The Devil Wears Prada - Dead Throne (September 13th, 2011 via Ferret Music)
46) August Burns Red - Leveler (June 21st, 2011 via Solid State Records)
45) Big Business - Quadruple Single (2011 via Gold Metal Records)
44) The Browning - Burn This World (October 4th, 2011 via Earache Records)
43) Tonight Alive - "Little Lion Man" (Single from Pop Goes Punk 4 via Fearless Records)
42) In The Midst Of Lions - Shadows (November 22nd, 2011 via Facedown Records
41) Thomas Giles - Pulse (February 1st, 2011 via Metal Blade Records)
40) Chelsea Grin - My Damnation (July 19th via Artery Records)
39) Lower Than Atlantis - World Record (April 25th, 2011 via Sumerian Records)
38) Gallows - "True Colours" (Single)
37) Betrayal - Abandonment (April 26th, 2011 via Mediaskare Records)
36) Monsters - Monsters (s/t) (January 11th, 2011 via False Prophet Records)
35) As Blood Runs Black - Instinct (March 15th, 2011 via Mediaskare Records)
34) Wormrot - Dirge (May 3rd, 2011 via Earache Records)
33) The Plot In You - First Born (April 19th, 2011 via Rise Records)
32) The Human Abstract - Digital Veil (March 8th, 2011 via eOne Music)
31) Emmure - Speaker of the Dead (February 15th, 2011 via Victory Records)
30) Whitechapel - Recorrupted (November 8th, 2011 via Metal Blade Records)
29) Jedi Mind Tricks - Violence Begets Violence (October 25th, 2011 via Enemy Soil Records)
28) Confession - The Long Way Home (November 8th, 2011 via Mediaskare Records)
27) Betraying The Martyrs - Breathe In Life (September 20th, 2011 via Sumerian Records)
26) A Plea For Purging - The Life & Death of A Plea For Purging (November 8th, 2011 via Facedown Records)
25) Blink-182 - Neighborhoods (September 27th, 2011 via Geffen Records)
24) Dead & Divine - Antimacy (August 2nd, 2011 via Distort Entertainment)
23) Architects - The Here & Now (January 25th, 2011 via Century Media Records)
22) Limp Bizkit - Gold Cobra (June 28th, 2011 via Interscope Records)
21) Protest The Hero - Scurrilous (March 22nd, 2011 via Underground Operations)
20) Stick To Your Guns - "Bringing You Down" (December 2011 via Sumerian Records)
19) Liferuiner - Sons of Straight Edge EP (December 2011/Self-released)
18) For The Fallen Dreams - Back Burner (May 24th, 2011 via Rise Records)
17) Like Moths To Flames - When We Don't Exist (November 8th, 2011 via Rise Records)
16) The Acacia Strain - The Most Known Unknown (Live) (June 21st, 2011 via Prosthetic Records)
15) Architects - Devil's Island (October 31st, 2011 via Century Media Records)\
14) Legend - The Pale Horse (May 17th, 2011 via Rise Records)
13) Dr. Acula - Slander (February 15th, 2011 via Victory Records)
12) Attila - Outlawed (August 16th, 2011 via Artery Recordings)
11) Dancing With Paris - The Drought (September 20th, 2011 via Self-released/Unsigned)

Part 5: 10 - 6

10) Thy Art Is Murder - Infinite Forms (Single) (December 2011/Self-released)

Although this is just a single song, it deserves the 10th spot on the Top 50 because it is without a doubt in my mind the heaviest song released this year. Hailing from Australia and releasing The Adversary last year, Thy Art Is Murder released this track over the internet earlier this month to showcase their new sound and direction. What we get is a mix of old Thy Art and with more of a grove feel, although still extremely fast and thrashy in some parts. Vocalist CJ McMahon's style has also changed a bit and is more of a "gutteral" scream vs. death metal growls. It actually sounds very similar to Vincent Bennett from The Acacia Strain. The nearly two-minute long outro proves that Thy Art Is Murder will be one of the most exciting bands in 2012.

9) Rooks - Infinite II EP (June 21st, 2011/Self-released)

Rooks is a band that has gone relatively unknown in the emerging djent scene. This is the band's 3rd EP released in a little more than a year, all of which have been recorded and produced by the band. But with quality riffs and some of the rawest most aggressive sounding vocals in business, they've garnered themselves a little underground following over the course of 2011. While this is only a 3 song EP, as was their previous release Infinite I, think quality over quantity. All 3 of the tracks on this little stroke of genius are equally great. Rooks writes infectious djent sounding riffs while keeping their sound original and fresh. A lot of the uniqueness behind their music can be credited towards vocalist Marco, who delivers a frantic and genuine energy to the vocal work. The band announced they were going on hiatus back in September but it seems lately there has been some activity down at the Rooks camp. Speculation is that the band is back at work on their follow-up to this EP, Infinite III which was originally announced by the band prior to their hiatus.

8) Bury Your Dead - Mosh 'n' Roll (August 2nd, 2011 via Mediaskare Records)

Finally I could rest easy again when I found out that Mat Bruso was once again back in Bury Your Dead. The days with Myke Terry in my opinion were dark, dark times for BYD. This was one of my most anticipated release's of 2011 and I wasn't disappointed at all the first time I heard "Slaughter House 5", the first single. They continued to release other strong tunes like "Bluebeard", "Deadeye Dick", and "The Sirens of Titan". These songs are definitely the strongest on the album while a few songs are monotonous endless breakdowns. Fortunately anything Bruso touches turns to gold which makes these tracks all listenable and fun. I think it's a sick joke they re-recorded Mosh 'n' Roll or Losin' It.. or whatever for the third time. This is the last release the band recorded with drummer Mark Castillo who left the band prior to albums release. I get the idea that this album was rushed into completion and now that they are back with a fully functional line-up their next release will be a much better thought out record. Regardless, it's just nice to have the fun back in Bury Your Dead.

7) The Eyes Of A Traitor - The Disease EP (September 16th, 2011/Self-released)

A common trend in 2011 was bands self releasing 3 or 4 song EPs online, usually for free or a few bucks. Such was the case with this young band from England when they released The Disease online this fall. I bought it. I'm glad I did. Just like with Rooks, we see an EP with 4 incredibly good songs that are all just as good as the next. Eyes of a Traitor show fans that their songwriting has matured and they're ready to take on a new heavier sound than we heard on their previous full length, Breathless. I grow tired of breakdowns with many bands these days but that's what makes "Into Dust" and "Searching With Solace" so good. They each contain two of my favourite headbangers from this year. They are rhythmically out of this world and the drumming is spot on. Vocalist Jack Delany (19 yrs old) gives fans some of his best and heaviest vocal work yet. His voice has taken on a more mature sound with a wider range than ever before. I really think that "The Disease" and "Thursday" have some of the best lyrics the band has come up with to date. The 80's synth riff incorporated into the outro of "Thursday" may sound weird and out of place at first to some; it quickly grew on me to become one of my favourite parts of the EP. Sadly, Eyes of a Traitor announced they were going on hiatus shortly after it's release and drummer and primary songwriting Sam Brennan is now drumming for Heart in Hand. Hopefully we will still see another release from these guys in late 2012 or 2013.


6) Structures - Divided By (October 25th, 2011 via Sumerian Records)

Many long time fans of their All of the Above EP had been waiting for this full length debut for quite awhile. After the Canadian quintet was signed to Sumerian in the spring, fans were treated to their first full length offering this fall with Divided By. The result is 10 of the heaviest and LOUDEST songs of the year. Yes, many fans and critics marred the release for having shitty production. The general consensus was the guitars were too loud and the bass drops made your speakers crackle. I don't really agree with this and kind of enjoy the fact that when I listen to the record I feel like I'm being punched repeatedly in the temple. Seriously. This record is loud and heavy and that's partly what makes it unique. The album starts off with the cleverly titled Atlas[t] which sets off with an explosion of sound and finishes with the most melodic offering "/". In between Structures employs some of their most technical and fierce songwriting yet. The songs have more of a flow beginning to end which translates into a more mature sense of songwriting. Franki Palmeri of Emmure, Alex Erian of Despised Icon, and Kevin McCaughey of Ion Dissonance all provide guest vocals on the record. The addition of guest vocals in "Like Clockwork" make it one of the stand-out tracks on the album. A great debut from a  young band. I'm sure their next effort will only keep building on the sound they've begun to establish for themselves.

Check back tomorrow for the FINAL part!!
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