Matt’s(Atleastimhousbroken) Honorable Mentions of 2011

Man, what can I say?  2011 has been a hell of a year.  First things first, since this will be my final post of 2011, I just want to thank all our readers old and new for tuning in to Metal State.  The site has grown so much over the past year and I’m honored to have all you readers and commenters here for the ride!!  And a thank you to my blogger in crime Reggie(Plantera7) for being a completely awesome blogging partner and brother in metal!!!!  And to everyone I say Happy Holidays and have a great start to your New Year, may it be great 2012 overflowing with copious amounts of Peace, chock full of Love, and tons upon tons of glorious Metal!!!

So onwards, like every other media website, Metal State will also be doing “Best of 2011” lists, I’m sure you’ve already seen/read a few of our other various “Best of” posts, and naturally we are waiting till the end to unleash the big daddy, the “Top 15 Albums of 2011”, which you will be able to read as soon as we return from our 2 week holiday break which will start today(we will still be around here and there to respond to comments, report any “huge” news, etc, but the regular posting will be on hiatus while we enjoy our holidays).  On Jan. 4, 2012 we will be posting our “Top 15 Best Albums of 2011”.  While making mine I had a bit of difficulty getting all the albums I really enjoyed honestly on the list, so I decided to make a mention of a handful of some great albums that ultimately didn’t make my personal Top 15.  Some factors I used when doing my list were how often I returned to the album, my initial reaction to it or how well it grew on me, and most importantly, how much I personally and unbiasedly enjoyed it.

The great thing about reading all of the year-end lists for me is being able to see some of my favorites get mentioned, and if there is someone who mentions a good amount of albums I like, chances are there are some great releases on their list that might be right up my alley.  Anyways, here are some of my honorable mentions in no particular order.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

Uneven Structure Februus

This year this whole “Djent” thing caught my interest, and while I am not really blown away by the whole scene, in my research to find more out about it, I came across a few bands that were pretty bad ass.  Leading the pack of bands that genuinely impressed me was Uneven Structure and their debut album Februus.  This album has a great mix of trance-inducing ambient music and some thick and heavy metal sections which made for one of the best debuts of the year.  I am certainly looking forward to what these guys will put out in the future.

Stratovarius- Elysium

Much like another band this year, Stratovarius experienced a major lineup change as they lost their founder and main songwriter Timo Tolkki.  Their previous album Polaris was them finding their footing with the loss of their leader and the new guy, Matias Kupiainen, getting used to his new band.  With the follow-up, Elysium, they nailed it and found their groove and IMO, they are back at their high point and have potential to go even higher than ever before.  This album is melodic, bombastic, and filled with everything that makes Stratovarius great.  It also contains my now personal favorite Stratovarius song, the 20 min. epic title track, “Elysium”.

Turisas- Stand Up and Fight

Taking their “battle metal” sound even further, Turisas push their envelope even further and went all out for Stand Up and Fight.  They crafted more epic songs as they utilized a full on choir and orchestra to make an album that could do battle with both Spartacus and Russel Crowe from Gladiator at the same time and decimate the both of them and still have energy and vigor to take on the lions afterwards.  A great album and if you like big orchestras in you metal, this album is worth your attention.

Fleshgod Apocalypse Agony

Personally I’m not to huge of a technical death metal fan, but I do enjoy it from time to time in short doses.  Somehow Fleshgod Apocalypse were able to craft a technical death metal album that I was able to listen to front to back non-stop for the near hour it played, not an easy feat.  The uses of symphonic keyboards and operatic pieces help my attention span with this one very much and I can honestly say that this is one of the best albums that death metal has to offer.  If you agree with me on the statement that technical death metal is becoming stagnant, I highly recommend checking out this album, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Amon Amarth-Surtur Rising

Solid riff after solid bone-crushing riff, Surtur Rising will unleash your inner Viking.  The only reason this album didn’t make my final list was that I felt it was a continuation of their previous album Twilight of the Thunder Gods and I found myself going back and listening to that one more often.  That’s not to say that this is an absolutely killer album as it does kick some major ass. Songs like “War of the Gods” and “Slaves of Fear” will have you looting and pillaging as you peruse around town with your headphones on.

Ghost Brigade-Until Fear No Longer Defines Us

This is one of those albums that I didn’t get to spend enough time with to have it make “the list” and it got a bit buried under the deluge of other new releases that came out at the same time.  One of my New Years Metal Resolutions is to give this album the attention it deserves as through the few spins I gave it, I hear it is quite an awesome album(I did, however, listen to the track “Clawmaster” a whole bunch of time, one of my favorite songs of the year).  The best way I can describe this album is if Alice in Chains were to form in the late 2000’s and had a hint of Isis influence to them, Ghost Brigade is how it would sound.  If you’re a fan of A.I.C. or good music in general, do yourself a favor and check out Until Fear No Longer Defines Us(one of my favorite album titles of the year BTW).

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on December 21, 2011, in Metal Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Man, I love that Surtur Rising album! It was tough capping my favorite ablums at 15, but it’s probably for the best so the list doesn’t get too long and watered down.

    It’s been a great year dude! If I don’t get to talk to you soon, I will before we resume blogging. Until then, have a great holiday season!

  2. I had Spotify playing earlier today and heard something I really liked and realized it was the new Stratovarius! Good picks man, I’m not much of a djent fan, but I’ll have to give Uneven Structure a spin since I haven’t even heard of them! – Chris

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