Saturday, December 31, 2011

TMHTimes Top 50 Albums of 2011: Part 6 -- The Final 5

You've waited and waited, now it is here. The final 5. Check out the recap below of all the other albums and songs that made our end of the year list!
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)
10) Thy Art Is Murder - Infinite Forms (Single) (December 2011/Self-released)
9) Rooks - Infinite II EP (June 21st, 2011/Self-released)
8) Bury Your Dead - Mosh 'n' Roll (August 2nd, 2011 via Mediaskare Records)
7) The Eyes Of A Traitor - The Disease EP (September 16th, 2011/Self-released)
6) Structures - Divided By (October 25th, 2011 via Sumerian Records)

Part 6: 5 to 1

5) Volumes - Via (September 27th, 2011 via Mediaskare Records)

This was one of the most hyped up records of the year and fortunately it was worth all the attention it got. Volumes released an EP titled The Concept of Dreaming in 2010 that garnered them quite a bit of attention within the metal scene. Two of these songs, "Intake" and "Wormholes" appeared re-recorded on VIA. Known has a young group of men with a do-it-yourself ethic, they quickly made a name for themselves as a forerunner in the emerging djent scene. Something that makes this band unique is their use of two vocalists. Unlike most vocal duo's in metal bands, both vocalists seem to have about the same range however their voices are different in their own right. There are only a couple singing parts on the album featured in "Edge of the Earth" and "The Colombian Faction". These singing parts are some of my favourite clean vocal work from this year, I'm just glad they don't over use it. The band also creates many ambient segues between songs which add a great sense of flow on the album. This album grew on me more and more with each listen. It was fun to listen to the record every time and find something new within the music that I hadn't noticed before. This is without a doubt in my mind the best debut full length of the year.

4) Born Of Osiris - The Discovery (March 22nd, 2011 via Sumerian Records)

While in a lot of ways this is the Born Of Osiris we've always known with fast breakdowns and catchy keyboard hooks; the band has gone to lengths to push their sound forward and release their most technical and progressive album to date. Granted that two of the songs are purely instrumental segues, it was also really nice to get a record that was 15 songs long and over 50 minutes in length. The New Reign was only 18 minutes (although one of my favourite albums ever) and there are too many releases lately that fall under 10 songs and still try to pass as LP's (I'm looking at you Human Abstract and After The Burial). Not only has the band expanded on their musicianship they've also expanded on vocal themes including environmentalism and global politics. It's also the first album to feature their new guitarist Jason Richardson and 7 string guitars. Both the new member and choice to employ a heavier element to their music are great fits for the band. A Higher Place was accused of not having enough keyboard parts but it's safe to say they are plentiful on The Discovery. 2011 was a big year for this band where we saw them shoot to one of the forerunners of the progressive metal scene.

3) Ligeia - Welcome To Palm City EP (November 8th, 2011/Self-released)

What a year for Ligeia... Many fans were excited to hear when the band announced they were making a comeback after a brief hiatus. It was announced they would self-release a 7 song EP for free and then begin touring full-time again. Thousands of fans were able to get their hands on the album in early November but a little more than a week later the band had gone back on hiatus due to singer Keith Holuk's drinking issues. Holuk was too intoxicated to play a show in Rhode Island and the other members walked off stage. The future of the band is still unclear. With all of that being said, the situation the band found themselves in adds a deeper meaning to EP's lyrics that mostly deal with alcoholism, drug addiction, and promiscuous women. You know, sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. "Two Weeks Notice" & "Vodka Demon" are particularly dark pieces that deal with Holuk's addictions and thoughts of suicide. In fact, this record is by far the darkest release of 2011. While Ligeia might not use blast beats and growls, they are extremely good at grasping the true emotions of anger, angst, and just a generally pissed off attitude and making a tune out of it. Ligeia have retained most elements of their previous release Bad News but that's all I wanted, some straight up rock n roll without djent riffs or a dub-step remix. "Lie To Me" contains one of the most bad-ass riffs of the year and was one of my personal favourites as well as the appearance of Drew York from Stray From the Path on "Vodka Demon". Ligeia is still the party from hell they always were.

2) Beheading Of A King - Quasar: Preserving Legacy (July 7th, 2011 via Outerloop Management)

For anyone that heard this amazing album this year you probably know that sad story that will always linger in it's past. Shortly after the albums completion, vocalist Matthieu Paquette took his own life at a very young 19 years old. This loss was devastating to the Canadian music scene and others abroad since Paquette was known to be charismatic and a friend to many. Five months later, the band released Quasar to the world and added Preserving Legacy to the title. Fans of the band will know that Paquette was a vocal perfectionist who practiced relentlessly (videos of him can be found here and here). All of his hard work translates onto the album and we witness some of the heaviest and most authentic death metal screams ever! There is a force of energy behind that guy's voice that would be impossible for many to imitate or do any better. Paquette uses an extremely wide range and variety of screams to create a sound that is interesting and unique. For a non-English speaking band the lyrics are well written. The music is up to par with the vocals too. The drumming on this record is tight and out of this world. The guitar work and songwriting is progressive and very technical. This is definetly a record for fans of Born of Osiris or Whitechapel. They have since replaced Paquette and plan to release a full length in 2012. You can check out their new song here.

Congratulations to:

1) Stray From The Path - Rising Sun (August 29th, 2011 via Sumerian Records)

There was never a doubt in my mind while I was compiling this list that this would end up at number 1. Nothing that came out in this shitty year of music is as original, genuine, fierce, etc etc etc as this record. I loved their previous release Make Your Own History too and there are many elements from that record that return. Their ability to write 'focused' songs beginning to end has increased with their maturity. Drew York has created almost a signature style of vocals, especially with his now infamous "blegh!" Not only are his vocals distinct but so are his lyrics. I think this album contains my favourite lyrics of the year especially on certain songs. "Bring It Back To The Street" is about stealing music, "iMember" is about bands playing their iPods instead of instruments live, and "Prey" is about "christian" bands using their religion as a platform to make more money. The list I love about this album could go on and on but the main thing is there's a lot of passion and meaning behind these songs. The band also draws influences from old favourites of mine like Norma Jean and Poison The Well. This album is the defining album of this band's career so far and will be one of my favourites for years to come.

Jaime Bosvik of Beheading of a King also submit to us his top 5 albums of the year. Check 'em out.

1) Born of Osiris - The Discovery
2) The Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual
3) Structures - Divided By
4) Volumes - Via
5) Flesh God Apocalypse - Agony

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That's it, that's all! I hope you enjoyed reading about all these bands in 2011! 2012 will be a big year for TMHTimes so be sure to check back every day! Happy New Year,

- Austin M.

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