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Tales from the Jugular

Staff Awards for 2011!

By: Eric Compton, Frank Hill, Greg Watson, Troy Cole, David Loveless, Brad Caplan, Nate Turpin, Vinaya Saksena
Published: Dec 29, 2011

We've gathered up our thoughts on the hard rock/metal releases of 2011! Even if you really don't give a shit what any of our opinions are, there are so many releases put out in this age of do-it-yourself creation that you may see names you missed, older bands you forgot existed or unknowns to look up and sample. It's all about getting the word out and supporting the music!

EC's Top 10
10. In Flames - Sounds Of A Playground Fading
9. Poisonblack - Drive
8. Iced Earth - Dystopia
7. Artillery - My Blood
6. Widow - Life's Blood
5. Mother Misery - Stand Your Ground
4. Falling In Reverse - The Drug In Me Is You
3. Anthrax - Worship Music
2. Burn Halo - Up From The Ashes
1. Rise Against - End Game

Worst Record - Metallica/Lou Reed "Lulu" (also worst album cover I might add)
Best Album Cover - Deceased "Surreal Overdose"

Frank Hill's 's Top 10
Alpha Tiger - Man or Machine
Underride - Distorted Nation
The Living Fields - Running Out of Daylight
The Embodied - The Embodied
Rise Against - Endgame
In Flames - SOAPF
Anthrax - Worship Music
Artillery - My Blood
Aesthesia - Shattered Idols
Widow - Life's Blood

Almost Made It:
Electric Sister - The Lost Art of Rock & Roll
The Dirty Youth - Red Light Fix
Solar Fragment - In Our Hands

Non-metal:
Two Steps from Hell - Invincible
Red Hot Cilli Peppers - I'm With You

Troy Cole's 's Top 10
Burn Halo - Up From The Ashes
Anthrax - Worship Music
Megadeth - 13
Amorphis - The Beginning of Times
Consfearacy - S/T
Poisonblack - Drive
Helstar - Glory of Chaos
Widow - Life's Blood
Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions
Mercenary - Metamorphosis

BEN MCCRAW's Top 10
10. Sonata Arctica: "Live In Finland"
9. Rammstein: "Made In Germany"
8. Megadeth: "THIRT3EN"
7. Burzum: "Fallen"
6. Seven Witches: "Call Upon The Wicked"
5. Symphony X: "Iconoclast"
4. Fleshgod Apocalypse: "Agony"
3. Origin: "Entity"
2. Amorphis: "The Beginning Of Times"
1. Deicide: "To Hell With God"

BRAD CAPLAN - Albums of the Year (Hard Rock/Metal)
Here are my albums of the year. I have included some albums that are not quite "metal" but are close enough for me. I cannot believe that I really did not know Volbeat before this year. I spent more time listening to their albums than any other band this year. Perfect mix of Metallica meets Green Day and Social Distortion. Good to see them getting some airplay on XM Octane, etc. I was pleasantly surprised by the Arch Enemy album. Three or four tracks that are amongst their best. Foo Fighters had a great year. If you did not see their documentary "Back and Forth" you need to try to catch it on Palladia or somewhere. This is a great rock album and would have been my #1 on this list, but they are not metal. Devin Townsend's album was his hardest and most metal since his Strapping Young Lad albums. Complex and brutal - perfect Devin. While Opeth has clearly taken a turn into the Prog Rock world (no death metal vocals on Heritage) it is still pure Opeth and a really great rock album. I was happy to see Children of Bodom get back to form with their 2011 realease after a couple of sub par efforts. I did include one live album on my list - that being the Rush (Time Machine) album. The production is very good and the band are still at the top of their game. Hearing the "Moving Pictures" album in its entirety is something to behold. A great DVD as well. All in all, a great year in metal.

1    Volbeat - Beyond Hell/Above Heaven
2    Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions
3    Foo Fighters - Wasted Light
4    Scar Symmetry - Unseen Empire
5    Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events
6    Opeth - Heritage
7    Devin Townsend - Deconstruction
8    Times of Grace - The Hymn of the Broken Man
9    Rush - Time Machine 2011 Live in Cleveland
10    Whitesnake - Forevermore
11    Black Label Society - The Song Remains Not The Same
12    Within Temptation - The Unforgiven
13    All That Remains - For We Are Many
14    Evanescence - Evanescence
15    My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: True Lives of Fabulous Killjoys
16    5 Finger Death Punch - American Capitalist
17    Edguy - Age of the Joker
18    Children of Bodom - Relentless Reckless Forever

CHRIS KINCAID's Top 10
10. Iced Earth - Dystopia
Everyone needs a Power Metal fix once in awhile and this album satisfies the hunger!

9. Helstar - Glory of Chaos
Dig James Rivera's chops and the menacing guitar duo of Larry and Rob. Power/Speed mix.

8. Anvil - Juggernaut of Justice
Lips and Robb retain their energy and create their most sonically sound album yet.

7. Lazarus A.D - Black Rivers Flow
Heavy Pantera influence. Tons of groove!

6. Onslaught - Sounds of Violence
Brutal! This album seen more action than me!

5. Destruction - Day of Reckoning
German legends in Thrash dish out an assortment of blitzkrieg riffs and solos that slay.

4. Havok - Time Is Up
One of the leaders in the new breed of Thrash. Eargasm Metal!

3. Vicious Rumors - Razorback Killers
Raped the play button on my MP3 Player with this album! Good workout music!

2. Anthrax - Worship Music
Joey is back! Mixes classic Thrash with the more melodic edge of former vocalist John Bush.

1. Steel Panther - Balls Out
2nd album from SP that parodies the hilarious trappings of being a Rock Star.

David Loveless - Top 10 Metal Album's of 2011
1.    Textures – Dualism (Nuclear Blast) = I was a little concerned after Eric (former vocalist) left the band, as his vocals had become the staple in the signature sound of Textures. I was a little apprehensive – at first – to hear Daniel on vocals, but he is simply amazing and has added even more dimensions to Textures, as can be heard on “Dualism” – my pick for Metal Album of 2011.

2.    Mastodon - The Hunter (Roadrunner Records) = Just when you think Mastodon couldn't do any better, they release “The Hunter”, an outstanding album that shows the band at the top of their game. Overall, the songs are not as heavy as previous efforts, but the songwriting is the best it's ever been. And the vocals are in top-notch form!

3.    Junius - Reports From The Threshold Of Death (Prosthetic Records) = With obvious influences from the Deftones, Katatonia, & Anekdoten, Junius create a massive sound of their own on their 3rd album that is equally catchy, beautiful and brutal!

4.    Dirge - Elysian Magnetic Fields (Blight Records) = Taking the sludgy grooves of Neurosis and combining them with the devastating heaviness of Godflesh, Dirge have probably just created the greatest post metal album of all times.

5.    Gigan - Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes (Willowtip Records) = Featuring former members of Hate Eternal, Gigan have created a new genre of brutal psychedelic death metal! This album slays, folks!

6.    A Hope For Home - In Abstraction (Facedown Records) = A Hope For Home have picked up where the great Isis left off and has offered us a massive post metal album called In Abstraction! This band has grown tremendously over their short 4-album career!

7.    Dim Mak – The Emergence of Reptilian Altars (Willowtip Records) = I have been waiting over 5 years for a new Dim Mak and it was finally released this year. Although not as fast as their previous album, this is their most brutal album to date and the production couldn't have been any better. My only gripe is that the album is a mere 31 minutes long! I hope we don't have to wait 5 more years!

8.    TesseracT – One (Century Media) = Tesseract gave us a teaser EP in 2010 called Concealing Fate. This year we get the whole album and it is one of the years best. Although they soon lost their vocalist, I'm excited to hear what is next from this young band.

9.    Uneven Structure – Februus (Basick Records) = Probably the most anticipated Djent album of the year, France's Uneven Structure doesn't disappoint with their debut album, Februus. Brutal, catchy & epic, this album is great from start to finish.

10.    Vildhjarta – Masstaden (Century Media) = There have been a lot of complaints about the genre this band considers themselves to be. Whether it's Thall or Djent, I don't really care because this is one hell of a Metal album and it sounds even better at loud volumes (although, what metal album doesn't, right?). They take the sounds of Meshuggah to the next level and leave the competition in the dust!

THESE BANDS ALSO RELEASED AWESOME ALBUMS IN 2011 AS WELL, THEY JUST DIDN'T MAKE MY TOP 10 LIST:
1. Terra Tenebrosa    -    Tunnels
2. Ulcerate        -    The Destroyers Of All
3. Dir En Grey        -    Dum Spiro Spero
4. Fen            -     Epoch
5. The Arusha Accord    -    The Echo Verses
6. Symphony X        -    Iconoclast
7. Smohalla        -    Resilience
8. The Botanist        -    The Suicide Tree/A Rose From The Dead
9. The Browning        -    Burn This World
10. Morbid Angel    -    Illud Divinum Insanus (That's right, I like it damn it)!!

HERE ARE SOME AWESOME NON-METAL ALBUMS THAT WERE RELEASED IN 2011:
1. Anathema        -    Falling Deeper
2. Blueneck        -    Repetitions
3. Chelsea Wolfe    -    Apokalypsis
4. Fallon Bowman    -    Human/Condition
5. Zombi        -    Escape Velocity

JONAH HAZE'S Top 40 Best of 2011!
Whitesnake - Forevermore
Ghost - Opus Eponymous
Kimball/Jamison - s/t
Saxon - Call to Arms
Black Country Communion 2
Black Widow - Sleeping With Demons
Tank - War Machine
Anthrax - Worship Music
Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Lechery - In Fire
John Sykes - Bad Boy Live
The Elves - Before There Was Elf
Mr. Big - What If...
Iron Fate - Cast In Iron
Astral Doors - Jerusalem
Meanstreak - Declaration of War
Charred Walls of the Damned - Cold Wind on Timeless Days
Sinner - One Bullet Left
Chickenfoot - III
Sebastian Bach - Kicking And Screaming
Motorhead - The World is Yours
HeadCat - Walk the Walk Talk the Talk
Reece/Kronlund - Solid
Doogie White - As Yet Untitled
House of Lords - Big Money
Jan Holberg Project - Sense of Time
Electric Boys - And Them Boys Done Swang...
George Lynch - Kill All Control
Duff McKagan's Loaded - The Taking
Night Ranger - Somewhere Out in California
Steel Seal - Redemption
Crash Diet - Generation Wild
The Poodles - Clash of the Elements
Outloud - Love Catastrophy
Crazy Lixx - New Religion
Bad City - Welcome to the Wasteland
Miss Crazy - II
King Kobra - s/t
Artillery - My Blood
Nightmare - Insurrection

JONAH HAZE's Top 10 Worst of 2011!
Metallica & Lou Reed - LuLu
Queensryche - Dedicated to Chaos
Y&T - Facemelter
Jorn - Live in Black
Bullet Boys - Rocked & Ripped
Warrant - Rockaholic
Symphorce - Unrestricted
Iced Earth - Dystopia
Michael Schenker - Temple of Rock
Tesla - Twisted Wires




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RANDOM ACTS OF METAL
. Bathory. Mudvayne
. Nightwish. Twilight Odyssey
. Mondo Generator. December
. Kalibas. Overkill
. Warhorse. Nazareth
. Rawhead Rexx. Ravage
. Masterplan. Wizard
. Manowar. Late Nite Romeo
. Cage. Vyndykator
. Tungsten. Exawatt
. Catch 22. Bloodbath
. Curriculum Mortis. Kilfast
. Steel Preacher. Savatage
. Krisiun. DevilDriver
. Secret Sphere. Force Of Evil
. Superchrist. Construcdead
. Jag Panzer. Low Earth Orbit
. De Lirium's Order. Schenker/ Pattison Summit
. Ungodly. Dream Evil
. After Forever. Dio
. Occult. I.C.E.
. Polterchrist. Chris Caffery
. The Lizards. Negative Creeps
. Avenue F. Twisted Sister
. Feared Creation. Code Black
. Ligeia. The Apocalyptic Riders
. Entombed. Soilwork
. Vicious Circle. Heartcry
. Mystic Prophecy. Backyard Babies
. Wolverine. Severe Torture
. Lord Gore. Ignitor
. Def Leppard. Agents Of Man
. Naglfar. Amorphis
. Unshine. Horna
. Gaia. Nightvision
. Future is Tomorrow. Loits
. Overloaded. Algol3
. The Absence. Damnation
. Mistress. Vile
. Asrai. God Forbid
. Vanquished. End of Level Boss
. Fallen Wisdom. Beyond Fear
. Scum. The Berzerker
. Bal-Sagoth. Cataract
. Candlemass. Down Factor
. Hate Profile. Sun Descends
. Ensoph. Mouth of the Architect
. Hurt. Jeff Walker und Die Fluffers
. Pretty Maids. Pump
. Enochian Crescent. Twinball
. Cult of Daath. Steve Cone
. Skullflower. Warmachine
. Melechesh. Static-X
. Manticore. Crescent Shield
. Pantera. The Prophecy
. Nation Beyond. Depressed Mode
. Frosthardr. Orthodox
. Cockpit. 40 Below Summer
. The Obsessed. Witchfinder General
. Puscifer. Kreator
. Souls Of We. Trinacria
. Bullet For My Valentine. The More I See
. Luna Mortis. Winterfylleth
. Mustasch