Albums of 2011: 10-1

It’s time to complete the countdown of DoesItRock.nets favourite albums of 2011…

10) Mastodon – The Hunter

Prog metal kings Mastodon’s latest LP is by far their most accessible, weaving a path of destruction though chunky heavy metal grooves, gorgeously powerful backdrops and infectious melodies. The mix of super smooth clean lyrics and snarling tongue lashings are superb as each track flips from lightning fast metal riffs to thunderous hard rock in an instant. Mixing up their sound with meandering prog-outs, straight laced rockers and metal assaults this album has much to offer all music lovers. Simply put, there was no better metal in 2011.

9) The Treatment – This Might Hurt

Ok, so technically this is a re-issue. But it is very rare that you get a chance to make amends for overlooking an album within its release year. Bolstered with a handful of brilliant bonus tracks, This Might Hurt screams like Aerosmith, drinks with Gun’s n’ Roses and parties like Motley Cru. Good old fashioned rock and roll is safe in their hands as they combine huge Marshall backed riffs with classic rock solo’s and catchy ass vocals. If you’re looking for a big time rock and roll album of head banging, balls to the wall and drunken debauched anthems. The Treatment are all the medicine you need!

8) Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones

Frank’s Turner esquire, punk poet laureate extraordinaire has focused his lyrical eye towards his homeland, producing a fine folk album with stadium ambitions. Slightly faded are his everyman tales, replaced with beautiful compositions and ever growing confidence to write bigger and better than the last. This album has shown his adept ability to write lyrics close to his heart, retaining his honest Englishness while his musical arrangements reach for the skies. There are no better melody maker alive, and no better man to lead a sing-a-long with his utterly impassioned delivery. England Keep My Bones signals a significant step up.

7) The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

A hugely underrated album which I keep on coming back to. Its graceful and beautiful in its soothing softness backed with folky nasal vocals which are oddly fitting to their sound. This is not a happy album by any imagination stretch, feelings of isolation, despair and mellowness are present throughout. Yet when they crank up the dials and start to unleash some energy with crashing percussion and thrusting guitars their outstanding melodies take centre stage. A delightful album of perfectly staged catchy tunes that are emotionally fraught and honest.

6) Maybeshewill – I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone

Strings and Guitars gleefully unite on the most stunningly beautiful album on this year’s countdown. This collection of instrumentals send soaring violins crashing into waves of guitar noise and sends fizzing electro keys flying into epic cymbal smashes. When these elements all collide in one huge melodic crescendo, there is simply no better sound of 2011. Sit back and bask in it’s magnificence!

5) …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao of The Dead

This year,… AYWKUBBTOTD have never ventured far from the play button. With repeat listens this album just gets better, revealing new melodies each time or a new favourite track dependent on my mood. Their ability to retain their melodic groove throughout some apocalyptically massive prog-outs of guitar noise is hugely enviable. Tao of the Dead, once you give it a fair shot, will mesmerize you too.

4) Black Spiders – Sons Of The North

UK’s new rock heroes finally dropped their debut album in february, and my word…it ROCKS! Tongue in cheek lyrics and a huge sense of fun only increase my love for this album, one that’s already steeped in humungous melodies and no-nonsense all out attack guitars. Every song is a winner, from bluesy swaggers, recklessly energetic romps to foot stomping plunderers. Black Spiders wear the Hard Rock crown of 2011!

3) Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

After a couple of rather dull albums of run of the mill pop rock, this years return from the Foo’s billed as a return to roots was a welcome addition to their catalogue. True to word, from the very first tune the guitars are cranked up, the vocals are in attack mode and the amps are set to 11. Taking the best of the Foo’s arsenal of pop rock melodies, memorable choruses and high octane rock power, Wasting Light sees the return to form we’d been dreaming of.

2) And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs

For the second year in a row, a debut album reaches #2 on the countdown with this offering from Northern Ireland’s Post-Rock saviors ASIWYFA. This album full of super tight instrumentals takes slices of metal, rock, prog, pop and post-rock and amalgamates them into a glorious storm of musical storytelling. Astounding guitar harmonies range from super technical metal to the ambient melodies, driving each and every tune. The lack of vocals doesn’t seem to matter as intricate instrumental interplay feeds this addiction. All that’s left is to sit back, be blown away by the often brutal, often beautiful but ever-infectious grooves of Gangs.

1) Fucked Up – David Comes To Life

David Comes To Life is such a brilliant rock record that it most definitely deserves it place at number 1 this year. Looking through a critical eye, it’s hard to fault this inventive concept album on its epic 80 min scope, unbridled energetic outbursts and for bringing hardcore punk back into fashion. For me this was an album which has some of the most infectious guitar melodies, choc a block with wall to wall riffs, thunderbolt drumming and angst tongued lyrics (matched beautifully by female clean vocals). Without lifting their foot off the pedal for David Comes To Life’s duration, who cares about the storyline when the soundtrack is this good! A rock and roll ride of stratospheric proportions.

Roll on 2012!

Honourable Mentions: Fair To Midland – Arrows And Anchors, You Animals – Crimes Creeps & Thrills, Turbowolf – Turbowolf,

Click here for the top 25 as a Spotify Paylist

>> DoesItRock Albums of 2011 <<

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