Favourite Metal Albums of 2011
Published Feb 02, 2012To wrap up 2011, we published our picks for the best Metal albums of the year, featuring releases from KEN Mode, Mastodon and Fuck the Facts, before turning the vote over to you, the fans, with our year-end Readers Poll.
After receiving our most entries ever, the results are finally in, including the "modern titans of the metal genre," a shout out to the "monster" that is Mike Mangini and the veteran metal "masters" that you say still have it.
Check out the full Metal results below and read why they topped your playlists in 2011.
Exclaim! Readers Poll: Top 10 Metal Records of 2011:
The Hunter (Reprise)
"Eschewing the high-concept elements of Crack the Skye, the group have produced a riff-heavy album that kicks out the jams. God-awful ugly cover, though!"
Wayne Yuzik, Saskatoon, SK
"Mastodon are the best of the best in metal these days. I'm an ex-metalhead and these guys are one of the only modern metal bands who still interest me."
Michael Phillips, Toronto, ON
"Front to back an astounding accomplishment for any band, yet it is just another outstanding achievement for Mastadon."
David De Santis, Guelph, ON
"What do you do when you're considered the modern titan of the metal genre in order to keep your prog-hungry fans satiated? You turn your back on all expectations and write an album of short, catchy, swaggering and relatively straightforward songs that invoke the spirit of old school '70s metal bands like Sabbath. If that weren't enough, you further confuse fans and pundits alike by announcing an upcoming split with Leslie Feist. Go go gadget random!"
Shane Saunderson, Toronto, ON
"As focused as ever, Mastodon deals heavy riffs and powerful lyrics like nobody's business."
Brett Smith, Saskatoon, SK
"Megadeth has been around forever and they still deliver. I thought they would have lost the feel during all those years, but I was really surprised by the energy of this album."
Francois Hachey, Dieppe, NB
"A true metal band for all future metal bands to look up after they are gone."
Dave Kaple, Kitchener, ON
"The boys still have it!"
Joshua Kiley, Orleans, ON
"I enjoy the music and political commentary."
Antonio Busto, Burnaby, BC
Worship Music (Megaforce)
"Finally a new album from the thrash masters. Amazing stuff."
Luke Pallaris, Toronto, ON
"The best album with Joey Belladonna. John Bush still rules!!"
Candace Toderian, Winnipeg, MB
"Amazing comeback album."
Daniel O'Halloran, Winnipeg, MB
"Joey Belladonna. What else do you need to say?"
Laurence Smink, Toronto, ON
"Great new album from one of the big 4."
Travis Kondratuk, Winnipeg, MB
4. Fucked Up
David Comes to Life (Matador)
"They're prolific, unusual, a great live band and intellectual. In short: not your average punk band."
Tom Thwaits, Meaford, ON
"Sometimes punk can get repetitive, it is the progressiveness balanced with punk roots that make this band so interesting. Its smart, layered, heavy, yet accessible. Third and best album."
Scott Wolfe, Winnipeg, MB
"Some naysayers may dismiss this band as not being 'hardcore,' but Fucked Up's ambition lets it transcend musical boundaries in a way that few artists today can. And while the narrative in David Comes to Life isn't easy to decipher (especially if you're trying to figure out what Damian Abraham's growling without a lyrics sheet), the incredibly layered, musically diverse album stands as one of the most unique punk gems since Husker Du's Zen Arcade."
Mathew Blenkarn, Ashton, ON
"Probably the best thing to have ever happened to punk. And the fact that they are Canadian makes them the best punk band in the business. Also, they are my favourite band."
Jordan Matheson, Saskatoon, SK
"No other punk or hardcore record this year or for the past decade has come close to this one. It makes the switch from muscular to melodic seem effortless, expansively ambitious, and somehow both challenging and accessible, Fucked Up reminded me why I love punk rock. Astounding."
Aaron King, Wilberforce, ON
5. Machine Head
Unto the Locust (Roadrunner)
"Wow! Unbelievable album. Heavy and intricate guitar riffs and great covers."
Steve Shon, Toronto, ON
"Great inspiring album."
Mike Graham, Westmeath, ON
"This band faltered in the late '90s, but keep improving as they age."
Chris Hibbard, Lethbridge, AB
6. Five Finger Death Punch
American Capitalist (Prospect Park)
"Their albums have always been good. This one doesn't disappoint."
Shane Ricketts, Grand Falls, NL
David Jenkins, Hamilton, ON
"Great band and haven't seen any coverage."
Brad Hill, Stoney Creek, ON
7. Ken Mode
Venerable (Profound Lore)
"I've been a huge fan of theirs since Reprisal. Very happy to see them finally getting the attention they deserve."
Alexander Kurth, Calgary, AB
"1) Like the band, I am also from Winnipeg. 2) "Obeying the Iron Will" is the single best heavy song of the year. 3) The mix of songs creates a great flowing album, not a dull moment to be found."
Scott Wolfe, Winnipeg, MB
"I hope to see Ken Mode live this year, the last show was epic."
Julie Kille, Vancouver, BC
"Waiting for my chance to be their bassist."
Jody Carleton, Alliston, ON
8. Avenged Sevenfold
"Overcame every bands greatest fear."
Steven Teslic, Stoney Creek, ON
"Best album they have."
Kerri Brillinger, Ajax, ON
9. Dream Theater
A Dramatic Turn of Events (Roadrunner)
"Instrumentally, a feast for the ears."
Mark Belanger, Quebec City, QC
"Mike Mangini is a monster!"
Joel Belizario, Edmonton, AB
"Very good first album with Mike Mangini."
Renny Malone, Toronto, ON
"Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember seeing Dream Theater covered. They are easily one of the most technically gifted bands on the planet who write awesome prog-rock songs."
Shaun Snow, Dartmouth, NS
10. Russian Circles
Empros (Sargent House)
"This is an awesome, raw, crunchy, rock 'n roll ride!"
Jonathan Ryval, London, ON
Mariful Alam, Toronto, ON