As compiled by DJ Metal Lord
The Top 50 Albums of 2011
Host, Throne of Metal Radio Show
Well, 2011 has come to an end and there were a lot of releases from the year. With many veteran bands releasing new albums to some newcomers like Orchid, who released an album called Capricorn (fine album) and then Speedwolf which was signed to Hells Headbangers Label. Then there was Amon Amarth, and the long awaited Anthrax release with the whole band from the Among the Living line up, which turned out to be a pretty good release.
Some bands released stuff so awful to where fans where like WTF is this crap? Meaning the worst of 2011 would be Lou Reed & Metallica's Lulu to the long-awaited Morbid Angel which was a total let down, and that's not just me. Many many people from Facebook to the listeners of my radio show were really upset about this and let the band know.
In short this is the top 50 albums as I see of this year, due to my own tastes and likes, and the feedback from folks who listen to the show. But all in all, to say that 2011 was a lame year for metal would be crazy. There was a lot more to choose from; to chop it down to 50 was a task for sure. And there where a few late releases, like Vore - Gravehammer which was a favorite of mine right off. It was also self-released and they did a fine job of it too. So I hope you enjoyed 2011 in the world of metal, I sure did. Also there will be a special-edition show on Jan.7th spotlighting the top 50 of 2011 on Throne of Metal Radio @ 2pm Eastern (in United States time) Join me at www.hardrockradiolive.com and bang your head!
50. Amorphis - The Began Times
49. Dark Tranquility - We Are The Void
48. Helgrind - Inquisition
47. Septic Flesh - The Great Mass
46. Megadeth - 13
45. SpeedWolf - Ride With Death
44. Pestilence - Doctrine
43. Mortal Sin - Psychology of Death
42. Kampar - Mare
41. Toxic Holocaust - Conjure and Command
40. Oz - Burning Leather
39. Saxon - Call to Arms
38. Devil - Time To Repent
37. Enslaved - Sleeping Gods
36. Hate Eternal - Phoenix Amongst the Ashes
35. Sepultra - Kairos
34. Deicide - To Hell With God
33. Carnifex - Until I Feel Nothing
32. Illdisposed - There's Light (But Not For Me)
31. Exhumed - All Guts No Glory
30. Iced Earth - Dystopia
29. Crowbar - Sever The Wicked Hand
28. Sabbat - Sabbatrinty
27. Jungle Rot - Kill on Command
26. Anvil - Juggernaut of Justice
25. Korpiklaani - Ukon Wacka
24. Samael - Luux Mumdi
23. Ghoul - Transmission Zero
22. Absu - Abzu
21. Bones – Bones
20. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony
19. Morbid Flesh - Reborn in Death
18. Vader - Welcome to the Morbid Reich
17. Venom - Fallen Angels
16. Amon Amarth - Surter Rising
15. Deceased - Surreal Overdose
14. Autopsy - Macabre Eternal
13. Blaspherian - Infernal Warriors of Death
12. Skeleton Witch - Forever Abomination
11. Burzum - Fallen
10. Cavarler Conspiracy - Blunt Force Trauma
09. Anthrax - Worship Music
08. Vried - V
07. Orchid - Capricorn
06. Ghost - Opus Eponymous
05. Vore - Gravehammer
04. Inquisition - Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm
03. Legion of the Damned - Descent Into Chaos
02. Krisiun - The Great Execution
01. Falkenbach - Tiurida
Bahimiron - Rebel Hymns of Left Handed
Einherjer - Norron
Hammerfall - Infected
Bones - Bones
Alestorm - Back Through Time
Misfits - The Devil’s Rain
Brutal Truth - End Time
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Manhole at Fitzgeralds
by Wes Dodson
As consumers, the turn of the 90’s was an odd time in the music market place. The heavy metal genre that provided a soundtrack to juvenile testosterone adjustment in the prior decade had ran its course and somehow managed to evolve into something androgynous. The inner city urban movement that involved break dancing as a means of settling a score would also evolve when a sore loser came back and shot up everyone on that particular street corner.
Locally, we had not seen many of our own make national waves or start any trends. That is not to say that Houston wasn’t alive and well with a fine crop of local talent, driven by artistic freedom rather than the pipe dream of landing some big label deal. Granted, we didn’t have the sparklers and confetti that the likes of Seattle once waved around, there was something here of substance.
Over the years I have learned that the old “does it stand the test of time?” method is still a reliable standard in measuring if something was genuine and of merit… and on February 5, 2011, producers Jay Schneider, Robbie Conley, and Brent Himes indeed proved that standard by presenting When We Ruled H-Town, a dual showcase of Houston band reunions, and screening of an upcoming film that captured the momentum of that vibrant Houston music scene in the 90’s. This eclectic retro evening consisted of an untouchable lineup, including Tread, Spunk, Manhole, Monster Soup, Dinosaur Salad, Taste of Garlic, and Hoss.
The 90’s would also usher in an age of angry, pissed off women who stood their own ground in a male dominated music scene. But before that movement had garnished any national attention, before any of those bands would become household names, we had Manhole waving that flag right here in Houston.
Manhole was not at all cut from the same fabric as anything I had heard before. It literally sounded like it had been dredged up from the swamp that Houston was built atop of. It was aggressive and dirty… like a giant tank rolling through your neighborhood, squashing parked cars, little kids, and… your dog! It was vile! One can only imagine walking the halls of Francisco Studios today and hearing Manhole muffled from behind its concrete walls. Their 18 song, 1994 self titled release was a must have in my library of local music, and I can say that it is still with me to this day.
One thing that had changed over the years was the introduction of social networking, which permitted me a brief dialog with guitarist Eev Rodriguez, who it turns out, was coming in from New York to make this performance happen. Now that was dedication! I didn’t notice any individual band flyers circulating for this show, so as a fan may have done back in the olden day, I swallowed my daily allowance of Geritol, and put one together for them.
Fitzgerald’s took their time opening the doors, but once they did the venue filled up fast. Looking around the crowd was like going through a time warp. There were more than a few familiar faces, most of them aged in some way or another, some better than others… some not at all! Some toted little kids around with them, some of them with kids who were now young adults. My attention drifted to a fellow wearing Blizzard of Ozz tee shirt. Was that…? I’ll be damned!
After a brief introduction, and the debut screening of When We Ruled H-Town, Manhole took to the stage for the first time in thirteen years, tearing through their set as if they had never skipped a day, and setting the tone for one of the best shows I have seen in recent memory.
Then, as if a proverbial alarm clock had gone off, the 90’s were again over with a blur. After a much needed shower (and trip to the dentist), were able to count our blessings and go back to whatever job, marriage, prison, or graveyard was waiting on us.