Best albums of 2011

Even if this blog is film oriented I've decided this year to share a little more about my other interest: music. To me, genre doesn't matter as long as it is original and honest. However, like everybody I have favorite genres like Indie rock and Metal. Don't be surprised to see some opposites on this list. This is a Top 10 and I must admit I listened to way more new music in 2010. But still, 2011 was an interesting year in the indie scene. On the side of Metal I think it was decent but not exciting like last year with the late release of Enslaved's superb effort in Axioma Ethica Odini

Those are albums worth mentionning but that don't deserved to be on my personal list.

Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committe Part Two

While being not so much a fan of Rap/Hip Hop I always go to the Beastie Boys wanting to renew with the Licensed To Ill, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Paul's Boutique era that made me love them so much. Their latest effort is worth metionning because it has this return to their roots and to what I used to like about them. Even if they won't ever be like they were back then it is the kind of nostalgic album you have to listen here and there.

Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising

This established melodic Death Metal band never been my cup of tea. Amon Amarth's latest release sounds lie a return in form while being less melodic and a lot heavier. The themes of battles and Viking lifestyle are recurrent and even if it won't be the best Metal album of the year it is a honest yet strong effort from a band I would have passed if it wasn't from a friend of mine that pratically sold it to me.

Moonsorrow - Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa
This special mention is for the lenght of the title that is ridicoulously long. Seriously, I'm not into Viking Metal at all, but this brilliant effort of the masters of the genre is sure worth a listen. While being a little catchy the aggressivity of this album is nearer to Black Metal in it construction and also in the ambiances thorough the entire opus.

The Strokes - Angles

Renewing with this nice Rock outfit was like candy to our ears. It hits the tenth place because Is This It is one of my favorite albums from the 2000's. With a more 80's revival sound than ever Angles might be for some fans a step apart from their original form but I still think that it is an album that has been overpassed pretty quickly and that we should revisit because it is more than worth it.

Primordial - Redemption At The Puritan's Hand

This Irish Black/Heavy Metal band that can't really be categorized because not being that Black or that Heavy sure brings you somewhere near Folk music without falling into the clichés the bands like Finntroll keep going to. Primordial is a superb band that masters its sound and keep every production at the top everytime. Redemption At The Puritan's Hand stands as strong as Primordial's music; an altar to excellence.

Septic Flesh - The Great Mass

This outfit of Extreme Symphonic Metal, explores the boundaries of beauty and savagery in their music. Another great hit form these masters in a band that has more than twenty years of music in its career. They managed to make their own niche and have their own flavour. A band that has always been overlooked in my opinion.

Demonaz - March Of The Norse

The return of the cofounding member of Immortal, Demonaz has been long awaited since his mandatory departure from the aforementioned band due to severe tendinitis problems that obliged him to stop playing guitar at the pace Immortal was playing. More on the Heavy Metal side of darkness, Demonaz is never that far from the Black Metal roots he grew up forging with fellow Norwegians musicians. A good album that has a little nostalgic frosting but not too oversentimental.

Opeth - Heritage

Mikael Akerfelt is a fan of 1970's music and this album is dedicated to the greats that influenced him without copying or redoing the music of his fathers. An Opeth album without any screams or heavy parts. This is a record for fans of music, musicians, and an album made without any commercial compromize. Akerfelt proves that he has complete control on the destiny of his band and that even if he is known for his Progessive Death/Heavy Metal he can play the guitar and sing cleanly. Get it on vinyl if you want the perfect sound. Listen to some Camel to get you into this.

Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
The great kings of Rock came back with this eight song album that separated critics and fans. Many thought that it was a lesser album that what we're used to. I just think that Radiohead wanted to try something here that hits sometimes and that it is not quite there other times. As a whole this is another Radiohead release that kind of grows on you as more a as you give it some listens.

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
I discovered M83 with the release of the snowboard movie The Art of Flight. This double album full of interesting textures mixing electro/pop/indie/rock doesn't really fall into the 80's revival wave but catches some of the 80's spirit in the depth of its music. This is my working music for a while now.
Foster The People - Torches

The success story of the year, Foster The People charms by its happy light-hearted music and its groving beats.An addictive record that I thought I'd get tired pretty quickly that instead stuck into my head for many listens to come. One of my favorite discovery of the year.
Mastodon - The Hunter
Mastodon has taken a more radio sounding attitude with The Hunter and the shorter songs and the ever growing exploration of styles without forgetting their roots makes this brilliant effort my second favorite album of the year. Probably the most inspiring Rock/Metal band of the last decade, since Remission, Mastodon managed to reinvent itself.

Bright Eyes - The People's Key

Without a doubt this album is far from being Oberst's best offering but I must admit that it was the album I listened the most in 2011. The blend of Indie/Pop/Melancholy charmed me and got me.

Albums I haven't listened that could have changed my mind: Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn Of Events, The Airbourne Toxic Event - All At Once, Blackfield - Welcome to my DNA, Cage The Elephant - Thank You Happy Birthday, etc.


  1. Nice list. I liked that Primordial album, too, it just missed my list and lately I've been wondering if I should have included it after all. Very solid metal album, I love the vocals.

    I was one of those who was disappointed in King of Limbs. It just never did much for me the way even Radiohead's less satisfying older albums did. It was not bad, just a little on the boring side to me. I loved In Rainbows, too.

    1. Thanks! It might not be as exhaustive as yours but it is my roundup of the year. Primordial have been a band I've been following since their last three albums and I think they just get better with aging. I find their music timeless and efficient for many moods. Rare are the bands that follow me in different situations... This is probably why I would many genres.

      In Rainbows was a masterpiece if you ask me, but I'm one of the few that thinks that King of Limbs is a good follow up. Not nearly as great but good enough to be better than most of many releases this year.

      Thanks for passing by and commenting Ed you're always welcomed here!


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