10. SKELETONWITCH: FOREVER ABOMINATION
Despite arriving around the same time as the retro thrash metal movement and being largely considered one of the bands in said movement, Skeletonwitch has proven to be a much more resilient and impressive band. The band's take on old school blackened thrash with a modern approach has really come into its own. I have enjoyed all of their albums so far, but this one has been the best yet.
9. PRIMORDIAL: REDEMPTION AT THE PURITAN'S HAND
Ireland's top metal band has released yet another classic album with this year's release. While it is not quite as good as their previous release, it definitely still has its moments. Of course the band would not be nearly as impressive were it not for its stunningly talented lead singer.
8. THE GATES OF SLUMBER: THE WRETCH
Traditional doom metal has of course been making a major comeback in recent years and The Gates of Slumber is at the top of the movement. The band has an impressive sound without sounding too retro. The power trio seems to get better and better with each successive album.
7. CROWBAR: SEVER THE WICKED HAND
Crowbar returned for their first new album in nearly six years in 2011 and Kirk Windstein had a whole lot more pain to sing about here. Dealing with overcoming a drug addiction is an extremely painful process, one which the band covers on this incredible release featuring some of the band's best riffing in years.
6. DECEASED...: SURREAL OVERDOSE
Yet another band with a new release after a long time without any new full-lengths, Deceased... has been quietly one of this country's greatest unknown bands. The first band to sign to Relapse Records, Deceased... is still largely the same band that was an early pioneering death metal band.
5. SEPTICFLESH: THE GREAT MASS
Probably my second favorite Greek metal band, next to the amazing Rotting Christ, Septicflesh's sound is much more of a symphonic death metal band. Their music can best be described as epic. It is surprisingly catchy for a band of this style.
4. FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE: AGONY
It was apparently a good year for symphonic death metal as Fleshgod Apocalypse released a stunning album as well. The band's second album was even an improvement on their first album. We are witnessing the growth of an incredible new band.
3. REVOCATION: CHAOS OF FORMS
The thrash metal album of the year was from a band that was largely derided as a retro thrash metal throwaway for some time. But the band's other influences shined through on this release. Their technicality has improved and even some jazz influences popped up.
2. ULCERATE: THE DESTROYERS OF ALL
New Zealand's Ulcerate was born out of brutal death metal and added some surprisingly effective post-metal dissonant guitar melodies. The drumming has remained rooted in brutal death though. This was very nearly the album of the year.
1. SATAN'S HOST: BY THE HANDS OF THE DEVIL
Metallattorney's Album of the Year comes from this Colorado metal band that has released their finest album in years. Their blackened thrash metal material over the last few years has been impressive enough, but reuniting with original singer Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin of Jag Panzer has been a revelation. It can best be described as blackened power metal. An incredible album from start to finish.