What can I say, 2011 was a very conflicted year for me musically. Sometimes I wanted to gaze off into an abyss and reflect on life with some lo-fi ambient black metal, and other times I wanted to pound ‘Gansetts on a beach listening to Havok with Swayze’s dead body dressed as Bodhi from Point Break (Weekend at Bernie’s style). Either way, it was a year of great music by some great people.
All I can say is, as you’ll see from this list, on any given day, I have no clue what I’m doing whatsoever. Judge away if you want to, but let’s be serious here, none of you actually ONLY listen to Aura Noir all day; well except for Bari. I’m a music fan first, and an elitist second, with that being said:
MY GODDAMNED TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2011. -Chris Alfieri
10. Junius – Reports From the Threshold of Death
Opening track is ominously beautiful. These dudes create soundscapes that are awe-inspiring, like mid-2000’s Deftones but without a fat Chino Moreno. OH MY GOTH.
9. Trap Them – Darker Handcraft
HAVE YOU GUYS HEARD THIS?! HOLY SHIT. First track makes me want to kill Eurotrash like young Willis in the first Die Hard. Solid production and dirty thrash beats. Let’s rage like we’re Carl Winslow!
8. Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage
One of the most personally anticipated albums of all time and for this genre, it’s killer. No surprises here , but sometimes more of the same is a good thing. Call them what you will, but these dudes can set a mood. Want to kill a late rager at your house? Throw this on. Hard partiers will suddenly turn into “Walkers”. Let’s get transcendental.
7. All Pigs Must Die – God is War
“Death Dealer”. All you need.
6. ZOMBI – Escape Velocity
Sometimes when I’m driving home from work, I like to picture myself on a pacific coast highway at sunset making a drug cartel run in 1986. This album provides the soundtrack. Anyone got a Maserati I could borrow?
5. Tombs – Path of Totality
Your ear holes will be filled to the brim with heaps of sludge. Production is more gross than that thought. Best track: “Bloodletters”
4. KEN mode – Venerable
What if Dave Knudson couldn’t finger tap and Botch was less disjointed and more pissed off? KEN mode showed me. Crushing guitar riffs, and awe-inspiring screams. One of the most intense live bands ever. Support these guys, please.
3. Hetfield & Hetfield – Tidal Wave Dreams
Not even sure what their genre is, but these dudes SLAY. Solid clean vocals, insane guitar runs, and drumming that will ruin your day. Every part of this record begs for your full attention. Also, best band name ever. Get it free at their bandcamp.
2. Deafheaven – Roads to Judah
Can’t put it into words, just listen to this album IMMEDIATELY.
1. VYGR – Hypersleep
If Stephen Hawking could talk, he’d tell you that thing record creates black holes. I mean, really, did you ever watch 2001: A Space Odyssey and think “Man, what would this soundtrack be like if I was high and had the loudest drummer in the world crushing me under his massive Bonham-style bass drum?” Neither have I, but these dudes did, and it’s impressive. A masterpiece.