And now... what you’ve all been waiting for; the second and final installment of our list of the best heavy metal albums of 2011 (so far)! If you haven’t yet, read part one here first then continue on with part two below.
Still the only album to ever receive a perfect score on this site, Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa is just that; perfect. Released during the bitter cold month of February, this album became my soundtrack to the rest of the winter and spring and will most assuredly be getting some more spins when the sky darkens and coats this mountain town with white once more. Read my full review here.
This Polish power metal outfit is yet another band on this list whose debut offering outshines and outclasses a lot of the veterans that released an album this year. The Back of Beyond is a pretty solid, unchained assault of power from a band that seemingly came out of fucking nowhere. Or, at least, is news to me. Admittedly, top ten material, this is probably not—but worth a moment of your time and a mention, it is.
Once again we find an album making an appearance on this list that I can’t wrap my head around why I like. I’ve never really cared for Peste Noire or bands of their ilk but this schizophrenic blend of folk, black metal, electronic, and circus sounds somehow work and I find myself coming back to it a lot. This is not for everyone.
Guilty pleasure. I liked Rhapsody before the fire, I enjoy them with the fire and mother fuckin’ Christopher Lee narrates the album again so, yeah.
With Harry “Tyrant” Conklin back in Satan’s Host ditched their death metal sound from the albums after Metal from Hell and came storming back onto the heavy metal scene with By The Hands of the Devil. I was sad to see Jag Panzer (Conklin’s previous band) go but having the old Host back is like a wet dream. Hail the Host! Hail the Tyrant! This album rules.
I don’t feel I need to explain myself here. It’s Saxon. They are old and probably getting tired but Call To Arms made it clear that even after 30 plus years of making music, this band is not out of ideas and still seated comfortably on the throne.
God, this album is infectious. I haven’t listened to it over a week and yet the title track was instantly in my head, and will probably be stuck there for the rest of the day, the very moment I wrote it out. Speed metal in the vein of Helloween and Running Wild, Stormwarrior has released solid record after solid record since 2002 and judging by this release, has no plans of slowing down.
Until this year, this album, I did not like Turisas. But Stand Up And Fight, which plays more like the soundtrack to some amazing heavy metal musical you’ll never see than an album, is phenomenal. It’s almost always on in my car and after over two dozen plays though, I can say without hesitation that you’ll see it on my, and I’m sure a few other, top ten lists come December.
More USPM for this list, Twisted Tower Dire’s Make it Dark may be lacking somewhat after the departure and death of Tony Taylor (RIP) but is still a strong offering from these dashing classic metallers.
*If you’re new to this band don’t start here, check out Crest of the Martyrs or Netherworld first but do come back and partake.
Another debut?! Yes, kiddos, another one. This Italian heavy metal act came storming out of the clouds on mighty steel steeds this year and are here to pillage your eardrums. Under The Moonlight is an amazing exercise of the kind of traditional metal we all love and should not be ignored.
Born of two ex-members of Nokturnal Mortem, Ygg quietly released their self-titled debut this year, a generally impressive black metal offering you likely overlooked or wasn’t informed of, but absolutely should know. As far as black metal goes, the Ukraine seems to be ripe with talent and Ygg exemplifies this notion. Fans of black metal rejoice; this is the kvlt record you’ve been searching for this year.
And there you have it, the albums that have been on regular rotation here in the metal Call-Out Compound and will most likely make up much of the material in our forthcoming best of 2011 lists. So many great albums already and we’re only just over half-way through 2011! What a year, eh?
Now let’s hear your picks! The comments section is all yours…
Chief Editor and Writer for Metal CallOut. Favorite sub genre of heavy metal includes Black, Death, Folk and Traditional. Josh can be found at Google+.