Well, it’s that time again. Time for year-end lists. Last year I my list was kinda iffy around this time because I just started reviewing albums in September. This time around I have had an entire year to listen to, review and enjoy a shit-ton of records. God knows how many albums I’ve reviewed this year and I honestly don’t feel like counting them all. I know it’s a lot. On top of that, I’ve probably listened to and enjoyed twice as many albums as I reviewed, if not more. I managed to narrow my original list of 50 albums down to 22, that the best I could do. I absolutely love all of these albums and it was a privilege to listen to them and make friends with a lot of these bands.
Of course, as always there are albums that didn’t make my list because I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the albums. Some of those albums are new releases from Burzum, Raspberry Bulbs, Batillus, Full Of Hell, Entrails, Fuck The Facts and Ptahil as well as many, many more. Most of the albums that I didn’t get to include were not included because I didn’t get to give them a thorough listen. I regret this because I know a lot of these albums would be fucking amazing. I guess it’s time to get to the list, huh? This list includes signed as well as independent bands because I see no reason to exclude a band because they lack the support of a major label. A lot of these bands seem far superior to signed ones, so lets just see who ranked where, shall we?
#22 Water Torture – S/T
#21 Thrall – Vermin To The Earth
#20 The Atlas Moth – An Ache For The Distance
#19 Owen Hart – Earth Control
#18 Children Of God/Seven Sisters Of Sleep – Split
#17 Weekend Nachos – Worthless
#16 So Hideous, My Love – To Clasp A Fallen Wish With Broken Fingers
#15 Krallice – Diotima
#14 Wolvhammer – The Obsidian Plains
#13 Hordes – Aborignosis
#12 Sister – Hated
#11 Wolves In The Throne Room – Celestial Lineage
#10 Heartless – Hell Is Other People
#9 Welkin Dusk – Born Into A Dying World
#8 Deafheaven – Roads To Judah
#7 An Autumn For Crippled Children – Everything
#6 Leviathan – True Traitor True Whore
#5 Loss – Despond
So godless, so evil, so fucking crushing. These are the thoughts that initially went through my skull when I first listened to Loss’ Despond. This album blew me away. Before this, I had not even heard of Loss and am I glad that I stumbled across this amazing record. Definitely my favorite doom album of 2011.
#4 Young And In The Way – V. Eternal Depression
From the first moment I heard Young And In The Way’s V. Eternal Depression, I knew this album was going to make my year end list. This album is so dark and atmospheric that it is almost unbelievable that the blackened crust entity was able to outdo themselves. Like I said, I always knew this album would be on my year end list. It was just that fucking good.
#3 Crooked Necks – Alright Is Exactly What It Isn’t
Crooked Necks are an amazing band that was introduced to me very recently by Kim Kelly. In the short time I’ve been listening to the album it has made a huge impact on me. It’s atmospheric, post-apocalyptic post-rock coupled with shoegaze mastery is unparalleled and unmatched. If you’re not loving this album, you should be. Immediately.
#2 Lake Of Blood – As Time And Tide Erode Stone
I love Lake Of Blood. It’s that simple. This band has a crushing, atmospheric quality that many bands wish they could take on. This album is two tracks at just over thirty minutes, no of which let the listener down one bit. I have listened to this record nonstop for months and this album was my number one record of the year until recently.
#1 Chasma – Declarations of The Grand Artificer
It took a long, long time for me to make my decision for my favorite album of the year. I mean, seriously. It’s taken me a few months to choose between Lake Of Blood’s As Time And Tide Erodes Stone and Chasma’s Declarations of The Grand Artificer before I finally had to settle. This was the hardest choice I’ve made this year and it literally came down to one album barely poking through as my favorite.
Declarations of The Grand Artificer is an epic black metal album which consists of three songs at just almost thirty minutes. I listened to this album over and over again and I never get tired of it. It’s so dark and atmospheric and at the same time it’s real, there is nothing artificial about what these guys do. Their music is absolutely fascinating and if you happened to let this album slip past you, I highly recommend you check it out immediately. Do not sleep on Chasma. These guys will be doing great things, huge things very soon.
And of course, honorable mentions:
Toxic Holocaust – Conjure and Command
All Pigs Must Die – God Is War
Black Tusk – Set The Dial
Little Sister – Repercussions
An Isle Ate Her – Phrenia
Punch – Nothing Lasts
Obscura – Omnivium
Meek Is Murder – Algorithms
Buried At Birth – Pestilent Hallucinations
Barghest – Untitled