2011 was a great year in music and after much deliberation, I’ve realized that I just cannot narrow my list of favourite albums down to five. This year had too much great stuff for that. What I’m gonna do is split my list into two – 5 albums for the first half of 2011, and 5 for the second.
The first half of 2011 in this particular order:
1. Pulling Teeth – Funerary [A389 Records]
Funerary is, without a doubt, THE album of the year for me, and possibly one of my favourite metallic hardcore albums of the past 5 years or so. Pulling Teeth, who sadly are breaking up soon, really upped the ante with this record. The complete U-turn the album takes midway is flawless and something few bands can manage to do. You’ll have to hear it to get what I’m talking about.
Not many albums have managed to affect me musically and emotionally like Funerary did. In fact, the only other album I can think of that had a similar effect was Shai Hulud’s That Within Blood Ill Tempered, which is a classic, so I guess that’s saying something.
2. Young And In The Way – I Am Not What I Am [independent]
Sludgy, delicious blackened crust done just right. I’m so glad I discovered YAITW because they’re one of my favourite bands now. I heard this album a few days after a link showed up online and after the first play, I knew they’d be signed by a big label. And sure enough, the great A389 Records picked them up a few months later. Definitely the best blackened hardcore band around.
3. Rot In Hell – As Pearls Before Swine [Deathwish Inc.]
Holy Terror from the UK. Dark and hateful.
4. Withdrawal – Faith, Flesh, And Blood [A389 Records] / New Lows – Harvest Of The Carcass [Deathwish Inc.]
I’m gonna cheat and put these in together. I just couldn’t decide because both these records absolutely kill!!
5. Harm’s Way – Isolation [Closed Casket Activities]
I love it when hardcore bands are influenced by Entombed. Harm’s Way take it further by adding a big of Napalm Death to the mix as well. So damn heavy!!!!!!
The second half of 2011 in this particular order:
1. Full Of Hell – Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home [A389 Records]
This is album is currently blowing my mind. Such amazing music from a bunch of guys who are barely out of their teens. Take the best of hardcore, punk, sludge and grind and you get this gem. I’d recommended this highly to anyone into extreme music.
“Born as sheep, we die as sheep”
2. Heartless – Hell Is Other People [Southern Lord]
Hell Is Other People is 13 tracks of punishing metallic hardcore, with large doses of crusty d-beat, sludge and powerviolence. If you like Nails, Trap Them, Cursed and Early Graves, you’ll love Heartless.
3. Young And In The Way – V. Eternal Depression [A389 Records]
Yep, YAITW worm their way into my list again. This album is devastating. That is all.
I’m gonna cheat yet again and put in Ringworm’s Scars and their split with Mindsnare at number 4. I really can’t help it. Ringworm is one of my favourite hardcore bands of all time and everything they’ve done has been gold. Scars with the ‘Worm’s trademark thrashy hardcore was no exception. And Mindsnare? They’re the greatest live band I’ve seen and have an almost perfect discography as well. So, when two of my favourite bands teamed up for a split, my tiny penis went instantly hard. Quality stuff.
5. ANNE – Dream Punx [A389 Records]
As you might have noticed, more than half of my list comprises of A389 releases. I happen to be a fanboy when it comes to that label, shamelessly lapping up everything they put out. That’s precisely how I came across ANNE as well. If they were on any other label they’d probably be way out of my radar since shoegaze isn’t really my thing. But oh man, Dream Punx is such a beautiful record. I’ve been listening to this album constantly ever since it dropped a few weeks ago and I just can’t see myself stopping. It’s that good.
Rise And Fall – Deceiver/Sinking In Sin [EP]
Unholy Majesty – Demo 2011
Tombs – Path Of Totality
Integrity – Thee DestroyORR
Backtrack – Darker Half
Deafheaven – Roads To Judah
Seven Sisters Of Sleep/Children Of God – Split
Children Of God – Coup De Grâce
Starkweather/Overmars – Split
I Exist – II: The Broken Passage
PALA – We Don’t Exist
Foundation – When The Smoke Clears
Seraphim – The Light In The Distance
New Found Glory – Radiosurgery
Trapped Under Ice – Big Kiss Goodnight
Oathbreaker – Mælstrøm
Animal Skins – A EP
Rude Awakening – Demo
Night Hag – Gilded Age
Hellhorse – Decade Of Dust
Weekend Nachos – Worthless
The Story So Far – Under Soil And Dirt
Weedeater – Jason…The Dragon
Dead In The Dirt – Fear