favorite albums of 2011

This blog doesn’t have enough music posts, and every year I get too lazy to decide which albums of the year are my favorites.  Today (or tomorrow, which is 01/01/12) marks a new beginning.  I’m just in time!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Takasago Army – Chthonic
This is a prime example the beauty of the concept album, which must be played in order for maximum listening potential.  It is vicious and powerful, as one criticizing politics and history should be.   But this time, the ehru and Chthonic’s folk elements are not just there to complement and balance as the melodic part of the darkness.  Their harmony combines beautifully with the menacing aggression, marrying echoes of the past with protests of discontent they caused to create an almost unreal, even time traveling, atmosphere.

Dead Throne – The Devil Wears Prada
From the beginning, it was as if TDWP really truly left their comfort zone, and truly stepped their game up with a new direction.  Though the term is loosely thrown around, it sounded more metal than modern metalcore’s synth-decorated breakdowns the band is known for and excel at.  Dead Throne was an album that just made me go, “WHOA, THIS IS TDWP?!” track after track after track.

The Dream, The Space – Crossfaith
While TDWP reduced the synths, I learned to embrace (or at least appreciate) the electronic fusion with hardcore (is it still called trancecore) outside of Enter Shikari because of this band.  Although much less raw than their 2009 release, Crossfaith do not necessarily have to rely on the techno part of the music and make it easier for me to like by strategically layering them with guitar riffs and retaining a generally human sound throughout.  Actually listen to the album, it blows the Omen cover at the end (“the only song people who do not know them know”) out of the water.

Honorable Mentions:

In Waves – Trivium

Sinners Never Sleep – You Me At Six

Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing – The Wonder Years

Dum Spiro Spero – Dir en grey

Almost, But Not Just Yet.

Neighborhoods – Blink-182
They actually thought up something novel, what we all deserved after waiting for so long for new material.  Though it is not at all ‘bigger and better’ than old favorites, it is creative and new for them… But more importantly, it finally happened.

Awakening – Blessthefall
Like Blink, I don’t think they made an album that was a great improvement from the last (which was seriously good) and more of kept along a similar style.  But I believe the list of best albums is about bettering oneself, so even if Awakening is full of the BTF goodness I know and love, it doesn’t make the top of the list just yet.

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