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2011: Favourite Albums

Wow, what a year, huh? This list has almost double the amount of ralbums from last years, and that's not including a huge chunk of stuff I rabsolutely loved. 2012 has a lot to live up to.
1Defeater
Empty Days And Sleepless Nights


This is my most listened to album for 2011. It's another brilliant release from Defeater which only further places them on the top shelf of modern Hardcore. It's not a perfect record, but it's the one I've kept coming back to over the past year and in some cases, it's helped me through some low points this year. And contrary to basically everyone else, I think the acoustic tracks are a nice addition, and not simply tacked on for good measure. Top Track: Waves Crash, Clouds Roll
2La Dispute
Wildlife


'Somewhere...' is one of my favourite ever albums, so I went into this with high hopes. It doesn't disappoint. It takes a slightly different approach, and they don't try and outdo themselves. I like how they didn't try to make another 'Somewhere...', as they'd probably end up having it forcibly compared. Top Track: King Park
3The Mountain Goats
All Eternals Deck


Inevitable, there was always going to be that album which 'is really fucking good but I can't really describe why in a justifiable manner'. You'll have to listen for yourself. This is easily Darnielle's best record since 'The Sunset Tree'. Top Track: Liza Forever Minnelli
4Counterparts
The Current Will Carry Us


Who says Metalcore can't be good? Not only does this act as a how-to guide for most "core" bands these days, it also tells an openly honest and emotional story. One which I am able to relate to on a personal level. It really speaks to me, as cliche' as that sounds. Top Track: Reflection
5Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver


I'm gonna come out and say that this is better than For Emma. I know most Iver fans will disagree, but this album is so close to being perfect it's ridiculous. Top Track: Perth
6Swarms
Old Raves End


It's a challenge to make ambient music that is engaging enough to not fly over your head, unnoticed. Swarms succeeds in every way. Top Track: Sky Below Sea
7Manners
Apparitions


One of my favourite hardcore releases this year. This band is going to go far, I can tell. Top Track: Solitary
8Will Haven
Voir Dire


A sadly unheard of band, but this might just be their best release yet. Heavy, and atmospheric, it rivals that of 'Carpe Diem'. Top Track: Mida's Secret
9Thrice
Major/Minor


I wasn't a huge fan of either 'Yellow Belly' or 'Anthology' during the pre-release of the album, but like all of Thrice's work, it quickly grew on me. Another fantastic outing. Top Track: Words In The Water
10Russian Circles
Empros


My love for this band increased tenfold after seeing them live in August. Empros captures their live presence and puts it on record. Simply overflowing with energy. Top Track: Ml?dek
11Wolves In The Throne Room
Celestial Lineage


It doesn't have an epic track like 'I Will Lay My Bones...' or 'A Looming Resonance' but taken as a whole, provides an extraordinary listening experience. Top Track: Thuja Magus Imperium
12Elbow
Build A Rocket Boys!


It's no Seldom Seen Kid, but it's close. And you just can't say no to a band whose lead singer looks like a bear. Top Track: Lippy Kids
13Fleet Foxes
Helplessness Blues


A brilliant record with a 'Folky' feel to it, which not only gives it its sound, but an atmosphere as well. Superb. Top Track: The Shrine/An Argument
14Septic Flesh
The Great Mass


Whether or not this is better than Communion is a sheer matter of opinion. One thing for sure is that they still know how to write huge, orchestral masterpieces. Top Track: Oceans Of Grey
15The Human Abstract
Digital Veil


A fantastic return to form after the godawful Midheaven. Technical, heavy and atmospheric. Top Track: Antebellum
16Born Of Osiris
The Discovery


Another great release from a otherwise average band. Phenomenal guitar work, as well as intelligently placed keyboard and synth which adds a whole other dimension to the record. Top Track: Recreate
17The Devil Wears Prada
Dead Throne


I never really liked these guys until Zombie, and this just expanded on their intelligent songwriting. Not a brilliant album overall, but you've got to give them credit for how drastically they've improved by comparison. Top Track: Born To Lose
18Down I Go
Gods


A fantastic final outing for these guys. Short, but to the point. Top Track: Poseidon
19Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving
Deaden The Fields


While slightly different sounding than their EP, still a really impressive Post-Rock record, with enough of that edge to make it stand out. Top Track: Deep Rivers Run Quiet
20Touche Amore
Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me


It can sometimes lose track of itself in some parts but I don't really mind that. It shows Touche Amore evolving even more so. Top Track: Condolences
21James Blake
James Blake


Do I really have to explain? Klavierwerke was great, and so is this. Top Track: I Never Learnt To Share
22Tyler, The Creator
Goblin


A deep, emotional and psychological trip into the mind of Tyler. What initially comes off as a generic rap album, soon turns into one of many layers and complexities. Top Track: Yonkers
23Between The Buried And Me
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues


I've noticed that some sections sound eerily similar to some of their older material (the Augment Of Rebirth/Ants Of The Sky intro comparison is a little too close for comfort) but it just goes to show that their material is very flexible. Top Track: Lunar Wilderness
24Mastodon
The Hunter


While somewhat a departure, this is another fantastic release from one of the most consistent metal bands out there. Top Track: Spectrelight
25Sylosis
Edge Of The Earth


Heavy, Melodic, and just generally invigorating. An absolute monster of an album. Top Track: From The Edge Of The Earth
26The Jezabels
Prisoner


You'd think after consecutively releasing three EP's, they would take a breather when it came to writing their first full-length. I guess they didn't need to. Top Track: Catch Me
27Cynic
Carbon-Based Anatomy


Disappointing that half of the tracks are merely short interludes but it's just as well that they flow together so well when played as a whole. Top Track: Box Up My Bones
28Youth Lagoon
The Year Of Hibernation


The soundtrack to a lazy, sunny afternoon. Serene, even somewhat hypnotic, music. Just beautiful. Top Track: Montana
29 Red Hot Chili Peppers
I'm With You


I'm quite a big Chili Peppers fan, so this was a welcome surprise. Doesn't stray too far from their formula, but they definitely haven't run out of ideas yet. Top Track: Did I Let You Know
30Gotye
Making Mirrors


Not very well known outside of Australia, but it basically took our country by storm during its release. Well deserved of the various ARIA nominations/wins. Top Track: Somebody That I Used To Know
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