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 Axe's Best of '11

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Axe
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PostSubject: Axe's Best of '11   Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:38 am

2011 had some great music releases, I was never at a loss for something new to listen to all year long. So, without further ado, my favorite albums of 2011.

Toxic Holocaust - Conjure and Command

I was a huge fan of An Overdose of Death, but I didn't get into Toxic Holocaust's older albums nearly as much. So naturally I was excited to see what this album had in store for me. Honestly, I think my opinion of this album is still growing, but I already hold it in extremely high regard. Joel Grind finally has a full line-up (rather than doing everything himself like on the previous albums) and I think that's why I think this album has a much more meatier sound. Fucking viscous is what it is! Gone are the hardcore punk overtones of old, what we have here is a pure thrash album. It's not a game-changer or anything, but it is an extremely enjoyable and violent half hour of pure, undiluted metal.
9/10

Les Discrets - Le Mouvement Perpetuel

You'll find no bigger fan of Les Discrets, but let me assure you my love for this EP isn't pure fanboyism. It's only one track and an instrumental cover of the theme song to the old show The Persuaders, but it's still fantastic nonetheless. I sincerely hope it's foreshadowing the upcoming full-length, because the title track seems to have built on the already stunning sound of their debut album. Folky post-rock at it's finest, really.
10/10

The Strokes - Angles

After a fairly long hiatus, the Strokes are back with Angles. I'm not sure how many of you guys are into alternative stuff like this but as you may or may not know I'm a pretty big fan of select bands. Angles really pleased me though. I enjoyed vocalist Julian Casablancas' solo album more than any of The Strokes' material, but I think this might top even that. I hear some clear influences from Julian's solo material, namely the electronic elements, mixed with the classic Strokes sound. A lot of fans are on the fence about this album, but I personally consider it to be their best work yet.
8.5/10

Fen - Epoch

This is yet another album I'd been anticipating for quite some time, and man did it deliver. It expanded on the post-rock vibe from the band's debut, kept the folky elements and didn't throw out the black metal entirely. What it ended up being for me is a more mature evolution of the sound found on The Malediction Fields.
8.5/10

Falls of Rauros - The Light that Dwells in Rotten Wood

I was not a fan of Falls of Rauros until this year. Hell, I'd never even heard of them. But when I picked up this album off Taxer's recommendation (I believe) I was immediately impressed. And my thoughts of it only grew with each listen. I haven't heard this album too many times, maybe 4 or 5, but it's a treat each time I listen to it. This is truly black metal at it's finest for me. Just the right amount of black metal mixed with just the right amount of folk and just a breath of post-rock. The atmosphere is top-notch, truly an album not to be missed.
9.5/10

Insomnium - One For Sorrow

I've mostly grown out of melodeath, but I'll always enjoy Insomnium's music as long as they keep making albums like this. The sound of the riffs is pretty familiar to anyone who has heard anything melodeath, but what is different here is how the riffs work with everything else to create a great atmosphere. Things like orchestrals and acoustic sections aren't just slapped on top, they actually fit into this nice little formula Insomnium has worked out. This album evokes much more mature emotions than the angst-ridden sound of most of Insomnium's peers.
9/10

Pagan's Mind - Heavenly Ecstasy

Coming off the trainwreck that was God's Equation, Pagan's Mind had to do something to keep their fan's admiration. Heavenly Ecstasy does just that. It's pretty much a return to form for the band, pumping out the familiar proggy power metal of the first three albums. I'm not going to pretend that I like it better than Enigmatic: Calling, but I did thoroughly enjoy this album which is more than I can say for God's Equation. Ugh that album sucks.
8/10

Vektor - Outer Isolation

What's there to say about this little gem? I think it has to be heard to be fully understood. If I simply said it's progressive thrash metal you'll probably think the sound is like Revocation's, but that's hardly the case. This is one of the finest bands making thrash metal today, and I think this album might even top the debut Black Future. Definitely check it out, these guys deserve more credit.
9/10

Azarath - Blasphemer's Malediction

I love my fair share of OSDM, but I don't think death metal today has nearly the same quality. This little beauty, however, is everything I love about death metal. Crushing riffs, insane vocals and a production quality that isn't polished to a squeeky clean sheen. This album will pummel you from start to finish.
9/10

Obscura - Omnivium

I fucking hate tech-death. Most of it is weedly weedly woop that all sounds the same. But every now and then there is one album or band that puts out something that stands out from the rest, and i believe Obscura's Omnivium does that. A common complaint of tech death is that there aren't really any memorable riffs, and that is a justifiable criticism in my eyes. But this album has quite a few, and it has a character all it's own. It even has a nice little crushing Morbid Angel-esque track with Ocean Gateways. Definitely check this one out if you haven't already.
9/10

Absu - Abzu

It's no secret that the black/thrash metal hybrid sound is one of my current favorites, but for those who don't understand why we have Absu. One listen to this band and you should understand. Abzu continues the trend of fast-paced blackthrash with this blitzkrieg of an album, and man does it slay. I don't really have anything else to say about this, it's just fucking fun to listen to.
9/10

Other great albums:
Cynic - Carbon-based Anatomy
Septicflesh - The Great Mass
World Under Blood - Tactical
St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination
Old Silver Key - Tales of Wanderings
Nightwish - Imaginaerum
Lantlôs - Agape
Alda - Tahoma
Marduk - Iron Dawn
Galdr- Galdr
Inquisition - Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm
Falloch - Where Distant Spirits Remain


Last edited by Axe on Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:01 am

Great post Axe. I'm kind of out of the loop but I'm checking some of this stuff out.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:49 pm

Totally agreed with Insomnium. I enjoyed the hell out of that album. They're a band that just seems to keep getting better and better. Didn't know Vektor had a new album out I'll have to give that a look.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:06 pm

i totally forgot about fen. need to listen to that. might check out fall of raorous as well. already a fan of the absu, pagan's mind and insomnium albums. i actually got enigmatic calling for christmas which im happy about. i know its old, but man the production on that album is fantastic.

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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:34 pm

Listened to most of those, confirmed awesome

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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:46 pm

Good list. Speaking of TH Axe... Feb 16th, Reggie's with The Casualties and English Dogs.

Be there?
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:47 pm

Haven't checked a majority of these out. Been so busy!

Just listened to Azarath and Vaktor, never actually listened to them before. But I've heard of them. I enjoyed Azarath quite a bit!

Also, Abzu is awesome! I like it better than Tara... :o
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:46 am

Impossible to like an Absu album more than Tara
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:32 am

PortraitOfSanity wrote:
Good list. Speaking of TH Axe... Feb 16th, Reggie's with The Casualties and English Dogs.

Be there?

Hell yeah man you planning on going? I might have a few buddies coming with me. I have a friend who is really into hardcore punk who might tag along
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:55 am

Taxer666 wrote:
Impossible to like an Absu album more than Tara
Is personal thingeh! Though I prolly overlistened to Tara kekeke
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:51 pm

Axe wrote:
PortraitOfSanity wrote:
Good list. Speaking of TH Axe... Feb 16th, Reggie's with The Casualties and English Dogs.

Be there?

Hell yeah man you planning on going? I might have a few buddies coming with me. I have a friend who is really into hardcore punk who might tag along

Yeah planning on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:01 am

Right on man.

Also, Tara is a fantastic fucking album but I'm not sure... Abzu might top it for me. I'll have to see down the road, Abzu still has that new car smell for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:04 am

LOR wrote:
i totally forgot about fen. need to listen to that. might check out fall of raorous as well. already a fan of the absu, pagan's mind and insomnium albums. i actually got enigmatic calling for christmas which im happy about. i know its old, but man the production on that album is fantastic.

If you haven't heard Epoch yet you're in for a treat. Nothing new or fantastical as far as Fen goes, but it's a much tighter and refined form of their sound off of Malediction Fields. Also, I think you might actually enjoy Falls of Rauros. Definitely check that album out, at least on youtube or something.

And I agree - Enigmatic: Calling has some of the cleanest, tidiest production I've ever heard. And it actually fits with that kind of music, normally I'm annoyed by super clean production.

Senrae wrote:
Haven't checked a majority of these out. Been so busy!

Just listened to Azarath and Vaktor, never actually listened to them before. But I've heard of them. I enjoyed Azarath quite a bit!

Also, Abzu is awesome! I like it better than Tara... :o
Azarath was a new find for me, I've not heard their older albums. But man does their new album slay. And I'm guessing you'll enjoy Vektor a lot, very unique take on thrash.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Sun May 20, 2012 7:21 pm

Loving This Thread. headbanger
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Sun May 20, 2012 11:34 pm

yeah there's alot of good stuff on here. glad you're looking around

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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Mon May 21, 2012 12:45 am

haha how cant a guy look around this place is like a candy store for metal heads.
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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Mon May 21, 2012 1:43 am

haha good point....(byd!!!!! put that in the video)^

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PostSubject: Re: Axe's Best of '11   Mon May 21, 2012 1:58 am

so...I'm in charge of the video...?
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