I will be doing this the same way as I did my 2010 review, I set my itunes on random order, and review from there.
1.) Legion Of The Damned- Descent Into Chaos
2.) Evergrey- Glorious Collision
This is the 8th album from one of the bands that helped to appreciate Metal, Evergrey. Evergrey is one of the finest Progressive Power Metal bands to ever exist as evident from albums like Recreation Day and In Search Of Truth. Many say that they lost their touch on the albums Monday Morning Apocalypse and Torn with their modern style elements being added. Since that time, 3/5 of the band left and in my eyes gave the band new life. Glorious Collision brings back some of the more classic Evergrey sounds while staying modern. They may have written their finest song, The Phantom Letters, which I hope will be a staple in their lives shows. The album, as Evergrey tends to always have is a great balance of heavy songs and emotional ballads. This is definitely their come back album, and they are stronger then ever.
3.) Vandrum- Classic Drumming
This album is clearly just drumming masturbation. It is clearly just drummer Vandrum (Most famous for doing drum versions of the Mario Bros. Themes on Youtube) playing over public domain Classical songs. It is a cool listen at first, but you easily get bored with it after a few songs.. While Vandrum is clearly a phenomenal drummer, this isn't an album you can listen to all the way through and still keep your interest. It's just to show drumming chops. Cool, but just a gimmick.
4.) Hibira- Blind Ride
One of the finest Power Metal albums I have heard in quite some time. The vocals may take a while to get into, but it's worth it if you do. It's a great mixture of Iced Earth, Edguy, Blind Guardian, and Nevermore. It's a very fun album to rock out to from start to finish, I hope these guys get huge.
5.) Samael- Lux Mundi
I just started getting into these guys after years of knowing about them. The incorporate a unique style of Industrial, Black Metal and Symphonic Metal. Lux Mindi is an album that showcases all 3 styles very well. Those that remember Shining's Blackjazz from last year, picture Shining without the Jazz elements and that would be a fair comparison. The album may take a while to really sink in, but it is very good stuff.
6.) Cynthesis- DeEvolution
Cynthesis is a side project of the member of Zero Hour. DeEvolution is a lot more simplistic then that of a Zero Hour album, but I think in that case, it helps. In Zero hour they began repeating themselves over and over again. Cynthesis brings new life in a damn good way. It's still proggy as all hell, but it's the best Zero Hour album they never put out.
7.) Explosions In The Sky- Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
As much as I LOVE Post Rock, this album really bored me a lot. While it has nearly everything you could want in a Post Rock album, it leaves very little to the imagination. I guess the best way to put it, TOO DAMN MELLOW! There is very little dynamics shown at all. Only in a couple songs do things pick up at all. Not to say Mellow albums are not good, but they at least gotta be interesting. Explosions In The Sky used to master that. Now it's only in half of an album.
8.) Boris- New Album
One of my favorite releases last year was the EP from Boris featuring Ian Astbury of The Cult. The music was so dynamic and cool. This year Boris has released 4 ALBUMS! The first one to pop up on here is New Album. It's introducing me to a style that I'm not too entirely familiar with, but am now very intrigued by, J-Pop. Boris' take on J-Pop is to make it heavy with guitar and electronics, while making it poppy and catchy as hell, while still being a rock band. Being From Japan, this should not be a shock. I am really, REALLY digging this album a lot. For those experimental types that want something mainstream, and vice versa. Check out NEW ALBUM!
9.) Dark Castle- Surrender To All Life Beyond Form
Dark Castle creates a form of Doom Metal that matches directly with Sludge Metal. It's not nearly as slow as most Doom Metal, but not fast enough to be Sludge Metal (which is pretty slow as well). It's right in between. Dark Castle is a great kickass band if you want something heavy as FUCK! It truly is.
10.) Dredg- Chuckles & Mr. Squeezy
In the Prog world, this may go down as one of the most hated albums. I swear I'm one of the 7 Die Hard Prog fans who truly loves this album. Yes it is absolutely different then all 4 previous albums, every electronic and Poppy. And before I heard the album in full and just the singles, I was scared as hell, but once you sit down with it late night, catching up with your thoughts, this album is perfect. It's very laid back, Mellow, but still has songs that are up tempo. Don't expect anything much Rock on this one. This is most definitely a a Pop/Electronic album that does have guitars and no rapping. But to all the haters of this album. Just go on youtube and listen to the live versions and get back to me. I will be very shocked if it doesn't change your mind.
11.) Demonlord- Only The Dead Are Safe
YEAH! BRUTAL DEATH METAL!!!...right? Actually, not at all. It's is Thrashy, but very Power Metal. It's almost as if you took the best of Metallica (Guitar and Vocals) and made it Power Metal, BAM! you got Demonlord. It is very cool stuff. For something out of the norm in both Thrash and Power Metal, check these guys out!
12.) Protest The Hero- Scurrilous
Protest The Hero has always been an either Dead On or Dead Off band to me. I love Kezia, pretty meh on Fortress, and Scurrilous....I guess I don't have a real opinion on. There are some songs I really love on it, while others sound like B-sides to Fortress or Kezia. Musically, as always it's up to par, but it's just something about them that won't let me click with them completely. I think it just might because I discovered Between The Buried And Me first, and in my eyes they are light years ahead of Protest The Hero. None the less, I think it's worth at least one listen to see how you take it. TO me it's better then Fortress, but not by much.
13,) Alestorm- Back Through Time
The greatest Pirate Metal band is back lot more Thrash then in the past but still plenty of the Pirate Metal influenced Power you've come to know and love. For the haters of the band, the song, Scrapping The Barrel is dedicated to you, haha. I love a good gimmick once in a while, Alestorm is one of the few.
14.) Boris- Attention Please
The second Boris album featured so far is a bit more subdued version of New Album. More laid back and controlled but just as poppy and catchy. Perfect night music for sure. I'm digging this one a lot as well in the same reason I like New Album.
15.) Deadlock- Bizzaro World
Again, Deadlock is a band I didn't know too much about till this year. It is great female Fronted Metal. with Male Growls. It sometimes has an electronic feel from the keyboards. But the music is Modern and badass. After a full listen, I can honestly say this is the band Lacuna Coil should have been.
16.) Born Of Osiris- The Discovery
This band finally got good. Their first EP had a lot of promise, but their first full length sucked! The Discovery is actually, pretty damn badass. It has some, but very little deathcore breakdowns. It features more on Progressive and Electronica, which is a welcomed change from the Deathcore style plaguing the world right now. If these guys keep going the way they are, they will be a damn good band, I just hope they do.
17.) Autopsy- Macabre Eternal
For fans of real, Death metal, Autopsy have returned. This is one of the best Death Metal albums I've heard in a long time. Just brutal in your face Metal. The vocals may take a while to get used to, but I think they are perfect, especially coming from the drummer. If you want classic Death metal in the Modern Age, get this now!
18.) Devin Townsend- Deconstruction
Album of the Millennium. I think that pretty much covers it.
19.) Fen- Epoch
For fans of the Post Black metal stylings on Alcest, this may be right up your alley. This is Post Black Metal to the core and I love it. Very heavy and dynamic. It feels like the perfect scary soundtrack.
Turias- Stand Up And Fight
Turias has been a great Battle Metal band over the last decade. The newest album has become a spectacular Symphonic Metal masterpiece. I hate using the term, but it is the definition of EPIC. SO many dynamic, and the full orchestra make that happen. The only thing I'm afraid of is that it doesn't live up live, because the orchestra adds so much to the music, but I'm sure they can pull it off. This may has well been the soundtrack to Thor.
And that is it for now, I will continue this either Saturday or Sunday night. Hope you guys dig it.