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Best of 2011

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 2011

When I first began the thought process of this list I feared I wouldn't even be able to think of ten albums I liked. However, when browsing through my iTunes of all the releases that came out this year, I narrowed it down to far more than far more than 20 albums that I loved. So, a challenge was posed to decide which 10 were my absolute favorite. After much deliberation, by which I mean smoking and re-listening to these albums (my job is hard), here are my ten favorite albums that came out this year: 

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 201110) Skeletonwitch – Forever Abomination

This is metal for everybody. Metal your dad who loves Ozzy and Maiden can enjoy, or for your kid brother (or sister) who is just getting into metal for the first time. I have yet to meet a person who has something bad about this band, because there is nothing negative to be said. These guys deliver on all fronts: great riffs, great drums, great frontman. I may have seen them live more than any other band on this list, because they live on the road and have perfected it. That surly helped in the appreciation for this album, because as fast as it is on record, it seems even faster live.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20119) Goes Cube – In Tides And Drifts

This album came out around this year's SXSW and I will forever associate it with my trip because I remember it was in heavy rotation on the flight to and from Austin. What sticks out most is the memorable riffage. The riffs would not sound as crunchy without some great drum fills to work around them and the ripping bass lines. A great post-metal record.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20118) Wormrot – Dirge

Anything Wormrot ever does will always make my list. This trio know how to write disgusting songs, and I mean that as a compliment. How can you go wrong with 25 songs that clock in at under 18 minutes? You cannot. Because before you can even begin to form a negative opinion of a riff, or think it might be repetitive, the whole album is over. Wormrot are the masters of getting in, ripping faces and getting the fuck out.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20117) Mastodon – The Hunter

Yes, Mastodon is one of the biggest metal bands out there, but they got there for a reason. They're great. They've become master song craftsmen, and The Hunter is proof of this fact. There are a lot of songs I really enjoy on this album, most especially "All The Heavy Lifting." The chorus is just too damn catchy. "Just. Close. Your. Eyes. And pretend that everything's fine." I had that hook stuck in my head for weeks. I saw them live on their most recent tour, and they absolutely delivered on all of these songs, vocals and all.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20116) Absu – Abzu

I first heard this album while doing an A/V Roundup. I was blown away by the intensity of the opening track and it immediately grabbed my attention. I was hooked and had to listen to the entire thing. Then, the second track, "Circles of the Oath" hit, and that incredibly catchy mid-riff came in and I knew that I loved this album. That song alone has earned them a spot my list.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20115) The Human Abstract – Digital Veil

The catchiest album of the year. I know the word "epic" gets thrown around a lot, and I may be guilty of overusing it, but some of the passages in these songs are just plain fucking EPIC moments where everything just aligns. They include tinges of dent, and some of metalcore, and epic sing-a-longs. This is a metal album that evokes happiness in the sheer beauty of the composition of the music. I remember seeing this guys live in a really tiny shithole in the Bronx, and they had the whole crowd in the palm of their hands, singing and jumping along to every song, just the way it should have been.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20114) Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual

An absolute gem of a metal album! I instantly fell in love with this album from the moment I heard it. I remember feeling overjoyed at the familiar sound that Black Dahlia produced, and yet loved that this was a completely new piece of music to add to their already impressive discography. Everybody delivers in a big way on this album, but an extra mention needs to be made about drummer Shannon Lucas. The man is a beast. With that said, there is no weakness in the band, they form like Voltron to bring a crushing barrage of metal to rape your eardrums.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20113) Revocation – Chaos of Forms

This was the album of the summer for me. All I listened to was this jam. Non-stop shred. I love Megadeth, and Revocation clearly love Megadeth too, and it shows in their style. These guys create something new and original while wearing their influences very much on their sleeves. I absolutely love this band and back them 100%.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20112) Decapitated – Carnival Is Forever

This is where it got really difficult. If I were giving out an award for "Comeback of the Year," without question, Vogg would get it. There was some trepidation that this album would not live up to the high standards that Decapitated set with their previous releases, but that was immediately shattered seconds into the album. It kicks off strong, and never lets up.

Rob's Top 10 Favorite Albums of 20111) Obscura – Omnivium

While some fans wait for new albums from Necrophagist and The Faceless, Obscura delivered an amazing album and staked their claim as the reigning champions of technical death metal. Of all the albums I listened to this year, this one had the most repeat value, because there was just so much to take in. This is technical death metal at it's finest.

Just Missed My List
11) Ed GeinBad Luck
12) Meek Is MurderAlgorithms
13) Animals As LeadersWeightless
14) East Of The WallThe Apologist
15) Hate EternalPhoenix Amongst The Ashes
16) Trap ThemDarker Handcraft
17) HullBeyond The Lightless Sky
18) MegadethThirt3en
19) Scale The SummitThe Collective
20) OriginEntity

Best Non-Metal Album
JusticeAudio, Video, Disco

Most Fun Side Project
Thomas GilesPulse

Best EP of the Year
Blotted Science – The Animation of Entomology

Best Source of Material For the RIP a Livecast
Lou Reed & MetallicaLulu

Favorite Shows of 2011
70,000 Tons of Metal
Decapitated, Decrepit Birth in NYC, Fall
Chromeo at SXSW
Argonauts at ABC No Rio
Kvelertak, Skeletonwitch, Barn Burner, Turbid North, Battlecross, CMJ 2011 NYC
Opeth and Katatonia at Webster Hall
Dillinger Escape Plan in Brooklyn, May 2011

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