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12.31.11 Mister Steel Does 201112.22.11 Calling All Industrialists
09.28.11 New Gnaw Their Tongues Streaming08.23.11 A Saturday Evening With Amon Amarth
08.12.11 Seems Like Thrash Day Today12.15.10 The Last Few Days

Mister Steel Does 2011

Everywhere I turn, I see quite a number of people talking about how 2011 was a letdown for them, that it paled in comparison to the recent years past. And honestly, I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Maybe they just weren't looking in the right places, because 2011 has given me a sizable amount of quality music that I'm sure will be making regular rotations in my headphones for years to come. If there was something about my music taste that I could single in on changing this year is that my focus largely shifted from the metal I had focused on in the past to the industrial that I had beforehand only skirted the edges of. Yet, even in my digging into the past of what has become my favorite genre, I found plenty of time for 2011, and boy was it worth it. Instead of writing out a lot of albums, I picked only a few, four to be exact, that struck me as brilliant. After the first four, the ranking isn't as strict.
1Die Sektor
Applied Structure in a Void

Creativity is a bitch, especially in the Internet age. How often do you come across an album that has you excited, only to listen to it and realize you've heard everything on display several times before? The level of creativity on display here is something I honestly haven't come across in the industrial genre in quite a while. Die Sektor have taken the best of what has come before them, and show that they are intent on carrying it on into the future.
I have to admit though, I did come into this with a fair amount of trepidation. "To Be Fed Upon" was a fantastic, if slightly faulted, debut album, that didn't really give any hints at where Die Sektor were planning on taking their sound. Thankfully, Die Sektor took everything on that album that worked, leaving behind the refuse in the process, and were willing to evolve, bringing us to Applied Structure. And EVERYTHING here works. The pacing is perfect, with the album giving you well-crafted moments of reprieve inserted strategically amongst the electronic onslaught. The lyrics, equal points scathing and humorous, are well-written, and given voice by the caustically talented Edwin Alter.
Die Sektor have always been a promising group, ever since their first signs of life. They have now proven that they are a vital part of the industrial genre as a whole. Congratulations boys, 2011 is yours.
The Transhuman Condition

Encephalon's masterful mixing of the mechanical nature of industrial, with its stomping rhythms and processed vocals, and the organic elements of acoustic instruments and clean stretches of vocals have resulted in an album that is completely solid from front to back.
Standout moments are flung at you one after the other, whether it's the enticing pain present in opener "Rise", the peaceful lulling of midpoint "The KIlling Horizon", or the deafeatist airs of closer "Past the Grave", the album just drives on without wasting time whatsoever. Also worth a mention is the fantastic synth work on display, which always manages to feel absolutely essential, and never there just for the sake of being. If you're a fan of any sort of electronic music, you need this.
Wars of the Roses

The most confident-sounding album of the year. It is clear at this point that no matter what Ulver are doing, they know exactly how to play it, record it, assemble it, and finish it. Nothing here sounds unsure, cautious, or inconclusive. All of the ideas are carried out in what seems like the only way possible, flowing perfectly from one to the next, the exact way that a competent record should. But really, should any of us expect anything less from a band 10 LPs in, a number of which are classic records?
Heavy Rocks II

It's Boris, of course it was gonna wind up on here somewhere. The trio gave us a boatload of quality material this year, but Heavy Rocks II comes out tall above the rest. Just like its orange predecessor, II is full of standout tracks and wonderfully fun and beautiful atmosphere. There are signs of almost everything Boris has ever done here, from the opressive fuzzy drone of Czechoslovakia, to the upbeat, hyper-energtic Jackson Head, anyone who has ever appreciated Boris will find something to enjoy here.
Then, of course, is the career-defining moment we all get in Missing Pieces. Twelve and a half minutes of noisy drone, lush, beautiful melodies, and everything else that Boris have ever skillfully done. If you don't take the time to listen to the whole album, at least give this a shot, and I promise you, you'll find it well worth your time. There may be Boris albums better than this, a few come to my mind now, but Missing Pieces may very well be the single greatest track that they've ever written.
The Anticonscience

thanks hyperion
6 Gnaw Their Tongues
Per Flagellum Sanquemque Tenebras Veneramus
Outer Isolation
8Dark Castle
Surrender to All Life Beyond Form
No Help for the MIghty Ones
In Bondage to the Serpent
The Hunter
New Album
14The Project Hate MCMXCIX
Bleeding the New Apocalypse
O Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres
16Tüchters Letztes Gefecht
17Shining (SWE)
VII: Fodd Forlorare

Tillsammans Är Vi Allt is one of the best songs of the year.
18 Ritual Necromancy
Oath to the Abyss
4603 Battlements
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