All votes are greatly appreciated!
I've been thinking about the possibility of doing this for some time; presenting a few albums which I've found thoroughly impressive throughout the year, and then allowing readers of the blog (and unfortunate people I encounter on forums) to vote for which of these albums they consider the best, in a poll. Of course, I've not listened to all of the fine albums released this year, and so I've picked albums which I have listened to, be they big releases, or lesser known, which will probably narrow the scope slightly - I'm afraid that your personal, pet favourite album may not be on here. Nonetheless, to anyone who could take a little time to vote for one of these ten fine albums, I'd greatly appreciate your time. To get a good spread of results, I'll be taking votes until the 1st of January 2012. Anyways, here are the albums;
Burzum - Fallen:
The albums which Varg creates are seldom entirely disappointing. and "Fallen" met with great acclaim from many fans. Heralded as a step up from "Belus" by many, this album is high-quality, and distinct from Burzum's other material, with intensity, development of style, and solid songwriting, everything which you could desire to see in an album.
Venom - Fallen Angels:
Venom are still going strong, and "Fallen Angels" is a solid addition to their discography, and hearkens back to the bands roots not only pleasingly, but also in a well-executed manner; the band aren't overdoing it, they're getting it just right. It's crunchy, mischievous, and is simply Venom doing what they do best.
Iced Earth - Dystopia:
Perhaps not everyone loves Iced Earth, but who doesn't love a comeback album after a less-than-intense period of a bands history. "Dystopia" possesses a ridiculously refreshing new found intensity in the band, rejuvenated by the vocals of Stu Block, the band have managed to turn around and unleash a thoroughly well made album.
Thrall - Vermin to the Earth
An eerie, extinction crazed black metal journey, filled with sinister wailing guitar, and an atmosphere which practically makes spiders scurry forth from the cracks in your floorboards, Thralls second album is easily as good as their first. The album has a genuine originality about it, but still manages to bring the features of conventional black-metal into play effectively.
Root - Heritage of Satan
Root have always been underrated, and their new album is no exception. It's not been talked about much, but it's a genuinely solid effort, and shows that the band still have exactly what it takes to make good material, which is memorable, demonic, but also melodic, in a way which only Root have truly mastered.
Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination
Innovative black-thrashers Skeletonwitch haven't made a bad album yet, and this one is no exception. It carries on in the band's eclectic, quirky style, just as surprising, unique and pleasing as the bands previous works, and with all of the odd charm and aesthetic which the band have always possessed.
In true Canadian metal style, Skull fist created a virtuosic, unique and tight traditional-metal album; The vocals are fascinating, the guitars are smooth and virtuosic, the humour is tongue in cheek, and, well, the cover art is a bit odd, but don't let that get in the way of a thoroughly decent album.
You can say what you want about Evile, their latest album is catchy, well written and talented. In my opinion, probably their best offering so far. Everything you could want to hear in quintessential thrash is there. Whether you like it, of course, remains up to you.
Vektor - Outer Isolation
Vektor's brand of super-technical progressive thrash has certainly gotten them well known around the metal community. Following in the style of "Black Future", "Outer Isolation" is a festival of technical, out-of-the-box playing, and dark, sci-fi lyrical themes, brought forth by some of the most distinct vocals of the year.
Magnificently heavy stoner/doom metal band Yob left quite an impression on me with their latest release; Atma. Heavy as hell, with hypnotically long songs, diverse and evocative vocals, and a heaviness which I have seldom heard topped, Atma is a solid release, earning it a place on this list.
That's the "nominations". I'm fairly certain that for a good number of people, your personal favourite will be missing. Cheer up - I'm sure you'll enjoy atleast one of these. Remember to vote in the poll on the side of the blog's main page!