It’s the end of 2011 and that means it’s time for us to tell you what we believe were the best albums of 2011. This is the first AOTY list we’ve written and it’s mostly metal dominated because lets face it metal is the only real genre, lets get into it.
1. Children of Fire by Oh, Sleeper.
In what is definitely one of the best albums of 2011, Oh, Sleeper released one of the hardest, most brutally honest albums of their career. Beautiful guitar shredding, amazing drum work, equally impressive vocals make this album. Read the album review of Children of Fire here.
2. Major/Minor by Thrice.
You all saw this coming. Although, not coming in at the number #1 spot, it still ranks high with the rest. Thrice outdid themselves again, by releasing an album that further pushes the boundaries of rock music without sounding like Nickelback and continuing the momentum and success of Beggars. Read our review of Major/Minor here.
3. Dead Throne by The Devil Wears Prada.
This album was a close tie with Thrice for second place, but alas our slight Thrice fanboyness pushed this to 3rd place which in our opinion is still pretty awesome. Dead Throne many argue redefined metalcore once more as As I Lay Dying did with their redefining release The Powerless Rise. Less tacky song-writing, tastefully placed and non-overuse of breakdowns and 10x more brutal vocals than ever before. Read our review of Dead Throne here.
4. Empros by Russian Circles.
The best instrumental release by an instrumental band in 2011, hands down. Although we can’t forget Animals As Leaders powerful release Weightless, Russian Circles further pushed the boundaries of instrumental music with this release. It’s more cohesive, the guitar is more stripped down, everything is heavier and the drum work? The drumming on this album is some of the best drumming you’ll hear on an instrumental/non-instrumental release for a long time. Read our review of Empros here.
5. Wildlife by La Dispute.
A great album by a great band. Poetic rock at its finest with a story behind it jumping from different perspectives. The track King Park is definitely one of our favourite tracks from this almost perfect release. A 100x improvement for the La Dispute guys. Wildlife showed that La Dispute are anything but a gimmick and can work well together to write amazing music. Read our review of Wildlife here.
6. Hats Off To The Bull by Chevelle.
Undeniably the kings of hard rock since their conception back in the early 2000′s. Chevelle write honest, hard hitting music without the ego baggage. A humble and intelligent bunch of guys all about the music, Hats Off To The Bull sees Chevelle going back to their roots and writing heavy music, the same style of heavy music that propelled them to fame in the 2000′s. Everything about this album is almost perfect.
7. The Hunter by Mastodon
You would think after the incredibly long time Mastodon has been around for that coming up with something heavy and refreshing would be an impossible task, yet here we are at number #7 with Mastodon’s best album in a long time The Hunter.
8. Weightless by Animals As Leaders
It wouldn’t be fair to put Russian Circles on our list without including their more eccentric djent brothers Animals As Leaders who put out one of the best djent instrumental releases this year. The guitar and drum work is amazing, Tosin Abasi is who we would call a guitar God.
9. One by TesseracT
This album was a surprise to many including us. The guitar work on this album is ridiculous. Perfectly crafted soloing and fret work.
10. Endgame by Rise Against
One many small lists will overlook. An amazingly catchy and thought provoking album from political pop punters Rise Against. The album overrall feels heavier than their previous albums, the guitar riffs are awesome, instrumentation work solid and of course the vocals as always are fantastic.