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2011 Halfway Report

We are about halfway through the year, and below are all the albums I've heard this year, ranked, with some quick thoughts on each.
50Drifting Icon
Submerged in the Andromeda

[ 1 / 5 ] -- Lol.
49Morbid Angel
Illud Divinum Insanus

[ 1.5 / 5 ] -- Even if this wasn't released by Morbid Angel, it would still be horrible. As it was released by them, however (one of death metal's most famous acts,) this album becomes not only terrible, but also crushingly disappointing.

[ 1.5 / 5 ] -- Just terrible. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the pointless voice samples, which end almost all the songs on here and add absolutely nothing to them.
Back Through Time

[ 2 / 5 ] -- Alestorm have released an album that, for the most part, sounds like a collection of b-sides from their past releases.
Speaker of the Dead

[ 2.5 / 5 ] -- A step in the right direction for Emmure, but this is still pretty bad.
45As Blood Runs Black

[ 2.5 / 5 ] -- You'd think that with a five year gap between albums and most of the original band leaving, As Blood Runs Black might have changed their sound a [i]bit[/i]. Unfortunately, they haven't; that isn't good news, considering it wasn't great in the first place.
44 Anal Cunt
Fuckin' A

[ 2.5 / 5 ] -- It has its funny moments, but it's also stupid/unlistenable at points. R.I.P. Seth Putnam (1968-2011)
43Sum 41
Screaming Bloody Murder

[ 2.5 / 5 ] -- Disappointing. Some good songs, but it is too long and there are some moments on here that are not very good.
42Abysmal Dawn
Leveling the Plane of Existence

[ 2.5 / 5 ] -- Basically: generic death metal. Not really worth a listen unless you're a rabid fan of the band/genre.
41Tyler, The Creator

[ 3 / 5 ] -- Some great tracks, but way too long for its own good.

[ 3 / 5 ] -- Listenable, but pretty boring- particularly the second half.
Macabre Eternal

[ 3 / 5 ] -- Some good moments, but it's all a bit same-y to me.
Asylum Cave

[ 3 / 5 ] -- Slightly better than Autopsy's record this year, but again, a lot of this runs together. Some crushingly heavy moments/tracks can be found here, though.

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Better than "Belus," though still below his best work, "Fallen" isn't Burzum's greatest album, but it isn't bad either.

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Some extremely catchy moments, but some equally annoying ones too. Still a pretty good release.
35 Yellowcard
When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- After hearing "For You, And Your Denial," I immediately got this; I loved the increased violin presence. And I still do. Unfortunately, some tracks on here just don't stand out. However, it's good to see Yellowcard back, and heading in the right direction.
34In Flames
Sounds of a Playground Fading

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Some good moments, some (apparent) filler, but it all adds up to a pretty good In Flames release.
The King of Limbs

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- I feel like I don't fully "get" this record yet, so it's position may change in the future.
32Explosions in the Sky
Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- This grew off me since my initial review. Still enjoyable, to be sure, but it is sort of rehashed from their previous work.

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- I didn't like this as much as some other people seemed too- the lyrics seemed kind of lame and some of the songs were just boring. I did like more of the songs than I didn't though.
30Symphony X

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Some great tracks, it's just way. too. long. Particularly the Special Edition; I'm sorry, but there's only so much chuga-lug-lug guitar I can take. The title track kicks ass, though, and Micael Romeo's playing is as great as ever.

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Good, if at times overly cheesy, power metal release.
Sever the Wicked Hand

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Repetitive at points, though there are more than a few great ones to make up for them.
27 Primordial
Redemption at the Puritan's Hand

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- A bit repetitive in spots and feels kind of overlong, but it's still a very enjoyable album that I would recommend to most.
26Dropkick Murphys
Going Out In Style

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Solid and consistent release from the Dropkick Murphys.
25Foo Fighters
Wasting Light

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- A couple of songs on here really blew me away (opener "Bridge Burning," and one of the heaviest Foo Fighters songs ever recorded, "White Limo," for example,) but there were a few too many sappy ballads for my tastes, and some of the tracks on here were kind of throwaway.
24Dance Gavin Dance
Downtown Battle Mountain II

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- A worthy (probably final) album from Dance Gavin Dance.
The Sleeping Gods

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Very good, but not mind-blowing, EP from Enslaved.
Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Some great tracks, some filler, but I'd still recommend this release to just about anybody.
The Destroyers of All

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- I think I need to listen to this one a little more; it seemed to all run together, but with more listens I may appreciate it more.
20Thomas Giles

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- It may be unfocused, and one or two of the tracks may be duds ("Catch & Release," for example,) but "Pulse" kept my attention throughout.
19Born of Osiris
The Discovery

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- I love ambition, and this record has that in strides. While it may not have paid off in every instance (the album is far too long, for example,) I still applaud the band for going for it.
18The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- I still don't feel that I've fully wrapped my head around this one yet.
Empty Space

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Not [i]quite[/i] as good as Big B's other release this year ("It's Alive,") but still a very good record.

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Fantastic; this album may get higher on the list as I listen to it more.
15Protest the Hero

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Disappointing in terms of lack of innovation to their sound, but it's still a great release.
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light (Volume 1)

[ 3.5 / 5 ] -- Another grower; this one may move up the list as time goes on.
13Between the Buried and Me
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

[ 4 / 5 ] -- Excellent EP from an excellent band.

[ 4 / 5 ] -- Grindcore, plain and simple. Short and sweet album.
11The Devin Townsend Project

[ 4 / 5 ] -- One of the harder albums for me to rate from this year- some tracks are amazing (the first three, "Sumeria,") while others go from overlong ("The Mighty Masturbator") to just terrible (the title track). Some of the guests also could have been put to better use. Still, though, this is a good, if inconsistent, release.
10And So I Watch You From Afar

[ 4 / 5 ] -- Great instrumental CD.
9Beyond Creation
The Aura

[ 4 / 5 ] -- A very good technical death metal album; some of the songs may run together at times, but the musicianship is so good that it kind of makes up for that fact.
8Paul Wardingham
Assimilate Regenerate

[ 4 / 5 ] -- Awesome guitar virtuoso album. Great soloing, killer tone, and the keyboards are out-of-this-world.
7 Buckethead
It's Alive

[ 4 / 5 ] -- The first in Buckethead's new comic book-like "album series" is also one of his best records of recent years. Despite being his shortest studio album ever, it manages to cover a lot of ground in that time.
Wars of the Roses

[ 4 / 5 ] -- A very interesting listen- while the last track may be a [i]bit[/i] too long, the rest of the album more than makes up for it. This album has grown on me with each listen, so by the time October rolls around this may have even moved up.
5Funeral for a Friend
Welcome Home Armageddon

[ 4 / 5 ] -- An excellent album.
Fables of the Sleepless Empire

[ 4 / 5 ] -- An improvement on their previous album, "Fables of the Sleepless Empire" is an intriguing, dense, complex, but rewarding, listen.
3The Devin Townsend Project

[ 4.5 / 5 ] -- Relaxing, soothing, and beautiful listen.
2Septic Flesh
The Great Mass

[ 4.5 / 5 ] -- Perfect utilization of the orchestra, coupled with awesome performances from all the band members and top-notch songwriting, make this one of the best albums of the year so far.
1Scale the Summit
The Collective

[ 4.5 / 5 ] -- Best record of the year so far. Amazingly tight instrumental work.
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