Firewind - The Premonition

Good power metal 30.12.2011

Whenever I pick up Firewind's latest effort, Days Of Defiance, I always end up listening to this instead. Classy, polished, catchy, heavy and prog-tinged, nicely written and performed - probably as high as this band's gonna get. No cigar in 2011 for you, lads. But it's cool, this one has got enough swag in it to last for several years.

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Picked by: MoraWintersoul

To Cast A Shadow - In Memory Of

doom / gothic metal 28.12.2011

Like walking through a home just as its owners are silently moving out, with different cities as their destinations, To Cast A Shadow finds a way to express warmth and desire within a lonely, gloomy atmosphere of doom-drenched gothic metal. Deliberate percussion, heavy bass and guitar, with a pulsing drama and internal struggle lyrically, they mostly keep it mid-tempo to slow, but with the occasional outburst that adds an urgency to the overall arrangements within. Distraught male growls & murky female vocals that yearn for an end to interpersonal distances, In Memory Of is a swansong to what two people once were, and the reality of what is left behind.

Vildhjarta - Måsstaden

Djent 25.12.2011

The ultimate djent mind-fuck and the most extreme album of the year. Tesseract, Uneven Structure or Textures might be more accessible, but this is the real deal.

Forefather - Last Of The Line

Anglo-Saxon Black Metal 23.12.2011

If you ask me (and why wouldn't you) Forefather have long been the ultimate guilt-free way to enjoy cheesy and emphatically epic metal without having to give up your scruples and go to the Dark side that is power or folk metal. The hyper-melodic leads and soaring cleans are always in direct opposition to guttural rasps, blasting drums and heavy riffing.

Any fans of 'Steadfast' should luxuriate in this like a Viking bathes in the blood of his enemies.

ThanatoSchizo - Origami

Prog/alternative/folk 22.12.2011

ThanatoSchizo may be unknown but they are talented. This year's Origami couldn't be a better testament to that. The album is very unique: you'll find many Portuguese and other folk elements and instruments, outstanding original female vocals and acoustic brilliance. If you like progressive rock or just acoustic sounds and experimentation in general, chances are this album will not leave you indifferent. Other than that, good music is always worth listening to.

Unfortunately, Origami was the band's swan song, precisely when they decided to revisit their metal career. But at least we got this goodbye note.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Dane Train, Ivor, Lyrinan, Fat & Sassy!

De Magia Veterum - The Divine Antithesis

Divine Noise 22.12.2011

Seven hymns to honor the beauty of chaos.
Disharmony reigns supreme!

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Hedon Cries - The End Of The Path Is Nigh

Melodic Death Doom 16.12.2011

A bit of doom and gloom breath of fresh air in this stagnant scene that's not to be missed if you're a fan of melodic death metal.
Picked by: Ag Fox

Giant Squid - Cenotes

Post metal 16.12.2011

A gem of a band you might have overlooked in the past. Excellent song-writing, beautiful and haunting melodies supplied by the cello, varying songs, a bit doomy, a bit proggy - this here is a great post metal blend to accompany you as we near the longest night of the year. Yes, it's a short release, and yes, it does lose some edge towards the end. Still worth your time, though.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Ag Fox, BloodTears, Dane Train, Mr. Doctor
Bandcamp music player

Uneven Structure - Februus

Tim Heckershuggah. 16.12.2011

Say what you will about the "Djent" genre but it mixes rather nicely with ambient soundscapes. Deep tone, spacey atmosphere and surprisingly pleasant clean vocals make this one of the most organic and impressive sounding Djent-affairs on the market. Called it "Progressive" instead of "Djent" if it irks you.

Voyager - The Meaning Of I

Progressive awesomeness 16.12.2011

When the year is good, awesome releases of little bands often get overlooked. But the Prog Police has deemed this worthy. Enjoy.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
GT, Dane Train
Bandcamp music player

Iron Savior - The Landing

Heavy Power metal 08.12.2011

Piet Sielck's Iron Savior returns after four years with The Landing. In great form, this band always deliver some of the heaviest and catchiest power metal around.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Baz Anderson
Ag Fox, Lyrinan, MoraWintersoul

Forteresse - Crépuscule d'Octobre

Atmospheric black metal 08.12.2011

Steady as she goes...

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Total Fucking Destruction - Hater

Grindcore 06.12.2011

Grindcore isn't really my thing, but for whatever reason the 27 tracks in 27 minutes catchy blast plastered a smile on face. This album won't be on "repeat repeatedly", but paired with a mug of coffee it is a nice adrenaline spike to get me going in the morning. Haters be hatin' Hater, but not me.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
White Winter Sun

Shadowside - Inner Monster Out

Heavy Power Metal 01.12.2011

Inner Monster Out has it all: heaviness; catchy melodies; non-cheesy vocals; boundless energy; badassitude; everything. Do you remember how great it felt to experience a truly amazing new power metal album? Let Shadowside remind you.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
dismaleuphony, Ag Fox, GT, MoraWintersoul

The Fallen Divine - The Binding Cycle

Epic Progressive MeloBlack 28.11.2011

Ok folks, shit just got real.

If Santa only brings your sorry ass one thing this year, pray it's The Fallen Divine's The Binding Cycle. It's a ferocious, yet melodic album that is appealing on so many levels.

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Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Doc Godin
Troy Killjoy

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