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03.11.12 Inveigh's Best Of 2011 02.20.12 Beer And Music
02.11.12 Sludge Metal02.07.12 Death Metal
12.24.11 2011: The Year In Hip Hop 10.20.11 F*cking Metal
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Inveigh's Best Of 2011

better late than never, eh? Man, I actually wrote this list up twice last night and each time it made me long in again after I clicked "create list" so I lost it twice. This version is slightly abridged, but I mean what do you expect on the third go-round. Anyways, 2011 ruled, and produced two albums that are as close to personal classics as anything else I've heard in the last 4 years or so. Holla back sputbuds.
Spiritual State
73Domo Genesis
Under the Influence
The Archer and the Owle
To the Chaos Wizard Youth
Blasphemers' Maledictions
When Losing Everything Is Everything You Wanted
66Helms Alee
65Shabazz Palaces
Black Up
64Manchester Orchestra
Simple Math
63Hail Mary Mallon
Are You Gonna Eat That?
62Random Axe
Random Axe

Guilty Simpson, Black Milk and Sean P? what else do you need?
Roads to Judah
60TV on the Radio
Nine Types of Light
59Foo Fighters
Wasting Light
58Wolves in the Throne Room
Celestial Lineage
Attention Please

56Blut Aus Nord
777 - Sect(s)
Old Raves End
The King of Limbs
Geidi Primes
52Peste Noire
L'Ordure a l'etat Pur
No Help For the Mighty Ones

yeah, chick sludge
50Mac Lethal
Irish Goodbye
49The Weeknd
47Laura Stevenson and the Cans
Sit Resist

sorry Maniac, and other assorted fanboys
The R.E.D. Album
Covert Coup
Weekend At Burnie's
43Ash Borer
Ash Borer
42Elder (USA-MA)
Dead Roots Stirring

get stoned
41The Black Keys
El Camino
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

Victoria's Secret
39JK1 The Supernova
1st Come 1st Served Vol. 1
The Golden Age Of Apocalypse

Paragon Of Dissonance
Go Tell Fire to the Mountain

still have no idea what he's saying but it's awesome
35The War on Drugs
Slave Ambient
34Kerouac/The Long Haul

this still needs more love
33Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
Blood lust
Towards the Megalith

death death death death death DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM
31The Antlers
Burst Apart
Bad Time Zoo

This album rules, but man it feels like Doomtree's really fallen off a cliff as of late.
w h o k i l l

what's the business?!
28The Cool Kids
When Fish Ride Bicycles

The best album they've ever put out, and the soundtrack to my summer.
Translation Lost
Weapon of the Future
25Desolate Shrine
Tenebrous Towers

Along with bands like Ulcerate, Tombs and Flourishing, Desolate Shrine is helping lead one of the most exciting movements that extreme metal's seen in nearly a decade.
24The Horrible Crowes

Man, I remember when I was almost positive this would end up in my top 5 or 10 albums of the year. 2011, you sly dog.
23Frank Ocean
Nostalgia, Ultra


kicking myself for not listening to this sooner
21Onry Ozzborn
Hold On For Dear Life
20The Atlas Moth
An Ache for the Distance

19Kendrick Lamar
Section 80

Definitely a rising star in west coast hip hop to look out for, a few minor flaws (a couple production issues and lyrical missteps mainly) hold Section 80 back from achieving the greatness of ReturnOf4eva. Doesn't mean ADHD isn't one of the best rap songs of 2011 though.

Maybe a slight disappointment after the incredible Voices of Omens, Rest still delivers the goods. Great atmosphere, cool guitar, and (for the most part) excellent songs make this a strong contender for sludge aoty (if only for that damn Corrupted!)
17Danny Brown

so, if Lil Wayne and ODB had a baby that hung out with Eminem and did a bunch of psychedelic drugs and cocaine, then recorded a rap album in Detroit...
Heavy Rocks II

14KEN mode

I TOLD YOU THERE WAS STILL SOME GOOD METALCORE. Refreshing stuff, sounding like a mix of Fugazi, Neurosis and Poison the Well / Converge.
13James Blake
James Blake

Don't really think I need to say much here, if you haven't heard this you haven't really heard 2011.
12Submotion Orchestra
Finest Hour

Engrossing atmosphere, jazzy instrumentals and female vocals that sound like straight audio sex? I'm in. Now everyone thank Deviant for turning you on to this.
Path of Totality

Exhilarating mix of blackened hardcore, atmospheric sludge and just a hint of death metal. Must-hear for fans of extreme music.
Garten Der Unbewusstheit

Corrupted gets a top 10 spot not just because it was the best sludge/doom release in a year that had quite a few, but also because it ignited my love for this innovative, exciting band.
9The Weeknd
House of Balloons
8The Weeknd
Echoes of Silence

The man who owned 2011. Seriously, who saw this coming? By dropping three "mixtapes" within a mere 9 months of each other, Abel Tesfaye may have changed the face of R&B forever. While all three of the releases are excellent in their own right, Echoes of Silence feels the most like a fully realized project to me and just happens to contain my favorite songs by The Weeknd, so it gets the top spot. The real question now is... what's he going to do next?
The Hunter

The Hunter just feels BIG. When listening to this album, I get the same feeling I did while listening to the metal classics of my youth (Paranoid, The Black Album, Number of the Beast, Vulgar Display of Power, Dirt). I know Mastodon't been trying to "step out for their Metallica Moment" for quite some time now, but this time it actually worked. This isn't the prog wankfest of Crack the Skye or the ambitious but ultimately directionless effort that was Blood Mountain, this is Mastodon being themselves again (albeit with a lot more polish and Black Album / AiC influence). I know it's nothing mindblowing or revolutionary, but I can't remember the last metal album to come out that was this much fun to listen to, on a grand scale.
The Sum of All Fossils

This will make more sense after you read the next one, but of all the bands on this list with some level of high expectations with their 2011 release, Flourishing is the one that probably did the most to CREATE those expectations for their next release. This is the most original and downright fresh that death metal has sounded in awhile.
5Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver

You're going to notice a theme of heightened expectations over these next few albums, and if anyone is familiar with that phenomenon it's got to be Justin Vernon. You don't just release one of the most acclaimed indie folk albums of the last 10 years and then co-write one of the most acclaimed hip hop records of a similar time frame and then just fade back into obscurity. So what does Mr. Vernon do? Only recruits a full band bordering on an orchestra and composes the most captivating indie record of the year. I'm not going into some long diatribe about the lyrics or emotional connection of this record; instead, I'll give the one reason why I like it above all the others: versatility. This is just as enjoyable to listen to on a set of headphones where you're hanging onto every lyric and note as it is playing in the car on a long weekend drive in the countryside. Just beautiful music.
Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang

Traditionally speaking, Raekwon hasn't been very successful dealing with raised expecations as a solo artist. After dropping the classic Only Built For Cuban Linx as his solo debut in 1995, Rae's next affairs were muddied by inconsistent production and a few misguided lyrical themes (although Lex Diamond certainly doesn't deserve all the hate it gets). Enter OB4CL2, and a whole new set of raised expectations, only this time, Raekwon delivers the goods. A full slab of classic Wu cuts, the record opens with Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang and Soldiers in the Hood (which is an instant classic), and immediately throws the listener into Raekwon's world of kung fu themed motifs and drug-deal-gone-bad gangsta storytelling. The guest spots are well done, the no-name producers who made the beats do an incredible job of making these stories jump off the page and of course Rae is Rae -- and that is, one of the best rappers to ever grace the mic.
3Big K.R.I.T.

Don't call it a mixtape. After dropping the impressive K.R.I.T. Wuz Here in 2010, the young southerner returns with an expansive, lush array of hip hop sounds that quickly turns minor hype into an all-out carnival of high expectations. Since he mans the boards in addition to the mic, K.R.I.T. has an innate ability to meld his music and lyrical themes into fully realized songs, making the designation as a "mixtape" all the more confounding (I'm assuming he just didn't want to pay licensing fees for all the samples). K.R.I.T. handles dirty south anthems, introspective slow-burners, social commentaries and club bangers with equal effectiveness and presents himself on the mic like some kind of wunderkind hybrid of Big Boi, Andre 3000 and Cee Lo Green. There hasn't been a producer/MC this poised to change the game in his region of the country since a cocky kid from the South Side of Chicago dropped out of college.
The Destroyers of All

I was probably more hyped for the release of this album than any other in 2011, and for good reason. Everything is Fire was pivotal in my rekindled love affair with death metal a few years ago, so naturally my expectations were high for the follow up. Ulcerate did no disappoint. Whereas EiF was a riff-filled voyage through all of the claustrophobic, sinister and downright frightening nightmares that death metal has to offer, The Destroyers of All takes listeners on a journey from death metal's murky, desolate ocean floors up through it's ominous and foreboding atmosphere and eventually, straight into outer space. While debating its merits versus its predecessor could be an endless and fruitless endeavor, there is no doubt that Ulcerate are at the forefront of the most exciting movement extreme metal's seen in years. Truly fucking breathtaking.
Charity Starts At Home

I love this album for so many different reasons, but the incredible lyricism has to be number one. Always a respected rapper from his days in Little Brother, 'Tay's at the top of his game here, ripping complex rhymes that result in utter punch line bliss ("flow so addicting, it's habit forming, flow's hair-raising, like rabbit farming"), yet not straying away from touching on some more personal and relevant issues -- albeit not to the point of distracting from the absolutely killer beats and flows. And as great as this collection of beats may be (coupled with a few great guest spots from Big K.R.I.T., Pharoahe Monch and Elzhi), the real focus here is, and should be, on Phonte's incredible charismatic performance behind the mic. Oh, and let's not forget that this guy can sing and write hooks with the best of the best. Anyone with a passing interest in hip hop needs to check this out. Or if you just want to hear what the best album of 2011 sounds like.
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