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Top 10 Albums of 2011

 

 Moving Mountains Waves

1.  Moving Mountains – Waves

Moving Mountains pumps this album full of raw emotion. In past albums the vocals took a sideline to the instrumentation. With ‘Waves’ vocalist Gregory Dunn lathers every song with deep lyrics and paints a soundtrack powerful enough to, well, move mountains. Invoking a ‘Thrice’ feel with the screaming abilities in “Alleviate” and incorporating strings and having such an epic sound for just 4 guys from Purchase, New York. They’ve come to put the art back into music, and are now the underdog to watch for.

 This is the Warning

2. Dead Letter CircusThis Is The Warning

Although released in Australia in 2010. The US release hit in April 2011. I had discovered these guys when listening to their Aussie pals in Karnivool and they just blew me away. Listen to any songs and you’ll get the distinctive sound. The rapid-fire bass guitar is not done by an effect, that’s bassist Stewart Hill’s fingers plucking out 32nd notes throughout most of the songs, overlaid by Kim Benzie’s (m) sonic vocals. These guys are changing the landscape for bands to come.

 Long Distance Calling

3. Long Distance Calling –  Long Distance Calling

Sometimes music without words is just more powerful, and boy, does Long Distance Calling bring it to the table. LDC creates songs movements ranging from 6 to 12 minutes and this album features the albums only vocals by Armored Saint’s John Bush on the track ‘Middleville’. This German 5-some take you through a daydreamer’s battlefield on every album.

 Stealing Fire

4. Boy Hits Car – Stealing Fire

Califoria boys Boy Hits Car return for their 4th album in ‘Stealing Fire’ and revive the ‘Lovecore’ movement. Returning to the classic BHC formula of 12-string infused uptempo get-the-f***-up jams and hefty breakdowns. Cregg’s explosive screams infect your emotions and hook you in for a wild ride. When it all comes together it makes for one hell of a live show. It’s amazing to see the wherewithal that these guys have to keep it going, you can’t help but ‘get connected.’

 Conditions of My Perole

5. PusciferConditions of My Parole

I wasn’t as attentive to the first Puscifer album as some. I wasn’t a fan of the deep-voiced Maynard, I thought he sold himself short as a singer. But with ‘Conditions of My Parole’ Maynard returns to his pitch-perfect range and weaves in the angelic overtones of singer Carina Round to make for a euphoric flight through the album. When the vocals wash over you and then the drums kick in on ‘Green Valley’ and also on the closing track ‘Tumbleweed’ just close your eyes and you’ll be taken away.

 Awolnation Megalithic Symphony

6. AWOLNATION – Megalathic Symphony

As a solo project from Aaron Bruno, mixing Techno/Rock/Punk/Dance elements into the perfect mixture, Awolnation took the charts by storm. Aaron then recruited for live shows and hit the road for a headlining tour. Concocting infections grooves for the ladies and the metal-heads alike this album has a little for everyone.

 Thrice - Major/Minor

7. ThriceMajor/Minor

Shortly after release of Thrice’s 8th album the band announces a hiatus for family reasons. They’ve come a long way since 2000’s Identity Crisis. With Major/Minor Thrice covers the gamut of what a veteran rock band should be doing. Thought-provoking and insightful lyrics, Thrice captivate you into the righteous mindset to portray the values that humanity has begun to ignore: From their single Promises  “We are cowards and thieves, will we never turn to grieve the damage done, never see, never quake with rage with what we have become.”

 8stops7 Fables

8. 8stops7 –  Fables

Not every band can release an album every 5-7 years and keep the same consistency and familiarity as they had on day one. Not to say they’re not evolving, they’re just doing things right. These guys had major exposure in ’99-01 and have since released 2 albums independently and still continue to impress. The new album ‘Fables’ takes the experience to another level with each song taking on a characteristic of its own.

 My Goodness

9. My Goodness My Goodness

Ever wonder what the Doors would sound like if Kurt Cobain was the frontman, and then the band made a lovechild with The White Stripes? Well, My Goodness is the answer. Aggro vocals meets blistering 60’s rock guitar sound. This 2-man band from Seattle take the blues/bar-rock/aggro/reverb sound and tear it up. My Goodness is one to keep your eye on in 2012

 The Dreaming Puppet

10. The DreamingPuppet

Having a successful music career for 12 years, only to see it all dissipate may cause someone to give up. Now starting from scratch with little notoriety Chris Hall of Stabbing Westward fame is back. Puppet is The Dreaming’s sophomore album and is just now starting to get spattered radio play. Removing the electronic elements and stripping down the effects, The Dreaming pick up where Stabbing Westward left off. Chris’s signature lyrical content and blistering vocals can never be duplicated.

Honorable Mentions:

Allele – Next To Parallel
*Shels – Plains of the Purple Buffalo
Russian Circles – Empros
Cold – Superfiction
A Hope For Home – In Abstraction
Seether – Holding onto Stings Better Left To Fray

 

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