top albums of 2011

Well here it is, my top albums of 2011. I do not limit it to a specific number more or less I limit my list to all of the albums that i liked this year. A few things to clear up. First off these are my favorite albums of the year, meaning I loved every one of these records for one reason or another. I get over 300 submissions from labels every year and that's before the indie bands hit me with their music. On top of this there are still tons of releases I just never got the time to get around to. So take all of this into consideration when you check out my list for this year or any year for that fact. If you are on the list I liked your album a LOT and your record beat out probably over 300 other releases out there.

Also just another point I might add. I am not a big music critic. I am going to tell you why I liked an album and give you my brief thoughts on it. I am not a big fan of music reviews, I actually rarely ever read them and in this case I am just going to give you all some brief thoughts on each of these records. Many reviewers out there write their lists or reviews not from the heart but for the fact they want to kiss up to a record label or a specific band. I don't do that, my list is what it is and it's not doctored in any fashion towards any band or label. I made this list strictly from my personal preferences which may differ quite a bit from many others out there.

When I determine my list I listen to every release from this year nonstop for the entire month of December then make my determination from there. In the past albums that came out early in the year wouldn't get as much attention as the ones that came out later so I spend the entire month of December listening to every album all the way through before I make up my list of my favorites.

As far as this year goes in music, 2010 was a KILLER year. It was a year dominated by thrash metal bands for sure, but it was also a year with a LOT of depth. Last year was the hardest list to put together there were just a slew of albums last year that were beyond awesome. Now comes 2011 which was a much different year. Not as much depth in the quality of releases but I can say I discovered some great new bands this year and some bands who I haven't been big on lately made a sort of jump. I debated the top five quite heavily this year, last year I debated the top 25 with myself. 2011 wasn't as good as 2010 but it was still very solid with a lot of outstanding releases! So with that said, here you go!

And the number one album of the year is.....

1. Pagan's Mind - Heavenly Ecstacy

Well what can I say? Pagans Mind won my number one album of the year spot for the second time. Enigmatic Calling won in 2005 and God's Equation was second only to Symphony X back in 2007. These guys are where it's at when it comes to progressive heavy metal. There isn't a bad song on this release. I really loved this album and Nils K Rue is probably one of my favorite singers in metal today. The biggest thing about Pagans Mind is that they always have great songs and this album symbolizes just that. Even the two bonus tracks are outstanding. This is the one album that all year I could not stop listening to for 4 months straight. I didn't listen to it much again until this past month in December and I have to say I liked it even more now than I did then. It was a hard decision but this album is the one album in 2011 that affected me the most. Pagans Mind had a huge affect on me this year. I listened to this record while mountain biking, working out, in the car, running/working out , playing Star Trek Online and even while I designed this website!

I remember when their debut album Infinity Divine first came out. It had a very raw production but you could definitely see the potential of what this band could (and would) eventually become. I had Nils K Rue and Jorn Lofstad on the phone at the same time back then, it was an awesome interview and they were really excited to interview for a radio show here in the states back in those days.

Pagans Mind is definitely one of my favorite bands in the last 10 years for sure as 4 of their albums were #4, #1, #2 and #1 for me each time they came out. This is truely an amazing band and there isn't an album that I dislike by them. In fact all of their albums have been in my top 10 (except the debut) and 2 of them have won my number one spot. So here it is, the number one album of The Metal Command Radio show, Pagans Mind "Heavenly Ecstacy" !!! Check out:


2. Onslaught - Sounds of Violence

I remember first hearing this band when a listener requested a song off of the album "The Force" over 10 years ago. I found an old vynil copy of the album in the station's music library and after I heard the song I was an immediate fan of these guys. Years later they record a comeback album called "Killing Peace" which was one of my top 10 albums of 2007.

When this came out, it came out at a perfect time for me. I was angry at a lot of people at the time and had been screwed over royally by a former employer. The solution was simple.....Onslaught's "The Sounds of Violence". This album really helped me get through a very bad time in my life and I consider it a very special release. Over the course of the year when a lot of other albums came out I had lost sight of this album with all of the other releases coming out, however I will tell you all that when I went back and listened to this again, the same magic that I heard when I first listened to this was still there. I debated quite a bit whether this would be number one or not, but still, being #2 on the list is still very good! This album is thrash metal at it's finest. I remember this was one of the earliest releases in 2011 and I was fortunate to be able to interview both Sy Keeler and then later on Nige Rockett. Both interviews were freaking awesome and the guys were a lot of fun to talk to. Easily one of the best thrash metal discs of the past 5 years! Check out:


3. Anthrax - Worship Music

Anthrax being high on this list shouldn't be a suprise to all of you. Many of the listeners thought that I would be putting this album number one on my list. It was close . This is one of the band's best albums in their catalog however I am a huge die hard Anthrax fan and have been for years. When I first heard Joey Belladonna was going to be singing on this I was really really skeptical. I was one of the guys who wanted John Bush back at the time or someone who sounded like him because I didn't know how how well Belladonna would sound with Anthrax in the 21st century, especially on songs that really weren't written for his voice (I am a Belladonna fan BTW). I also told people he probably wouldn't sound that great these days.......well I ate crow on that one because Joey put on one of his best vocal performances he has ever recorded. Top that off with killer songwriting and you have the recipe for an excellent metal release. "I'm Alive", "The Giant", "Fight Em Til Ya Cant", "The Devil You Know" and "Crawl" are among the highlights of an album where every song turned out great! Nice to see a member of the big 4 putting out yet another stellar release! Check out


4. Symphony X - Iconoclast

I know I am going to get a lot of hate mail for not voting this number one. Many people emailed me saying this was their favorite album of the year and I can understand that. This is one of Symphony X's best albums. Some advice: Get the 2 disc special edition as it has 3 tracks that are totally worth the extra 2 dollars that the special edition costs. Symphony X is a one time winner of my top album of the year award as "Paradise Lost" was my number one album of 2007. This new Symphony X album is just outstanding. There are a select group of fans who hate their heavier sound and direction but I for one really welcome it. This band has really found itself with their heavier sound. Many of these songs are classics. Not a dud on this record and Rusesell Allen sounds amazing as does the entire band! Symphony X continues to get better and better with each release combining heavy power metal with a lot of prog elements, maybe not as prog as the early stuff but it does blend well and work for them. Check out:


5. Iron Savior - The Landing

Let's go back a few years, say 14 or 15 years ago. Iron Savior releases their self titled debut album, #3 that year on my list behind Bruce Dickinson's "Accident of Birth" and Gamma Ray's "Somewhere Out in Space". I was blown away by these guys, what a killer release the self titled was. Unification and the Interlude EP picked up where the debut left off and this band continued to be awesome. Then something happened, Dark Assault came out and I was disappointed. It wasn't a bad abum but I didn't feel it was up to par with the first two albums and the EP. Over the years I still bought all of their albums, after all they weren't bad they were decent sounding records, Condition Red I thought was good but this band just never really put out a record that blew me away as much as the first three releases-----until now.

I will be the first to admit to all of you that my expectations were low at first, I knew Iron Savior was capable of putting out a good record but never in my life did I think they would put out an album as good as this. There is nothing new or innovative about this release but the songs are well done and I liked them. Eurometal hasn't been tops on my list the last few years but this album really helps put it back on the map. I can honestly say that I have listened to this quite a bit and I was suprised the album was as good as it was, great job Piet and company as you guys put out an awesome album! One odd note is that on the digipack they re-recorded "Atlantis Falling" and "Coming Home" Those were bonus tracks but the originals sounded fine. Makes me wonder why they did thi however they do sound good. Please check them out at:


6. Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events

Dream Theater is a band that for me usually puts out something really interesting. In fact I can tell you that even though they have never won my album of the year award they have had quite a few records in the top ten. I consider them a very innovative band and a lot of fun to listen to. When Mike Portnoy left the band and was not allowed to return many people sort of wrote Dream Theater off as dead. I wasn't able to do this and when Mike Mangini was brought into the band asI was very intrigued and intererested to hear what they would sound like with Mike on the drums. After all, one member doesn't really mean that a band will fail. They still have Petrucci, Rudess, Labire and basically the entire lineup minus the original drummer. Plus Mike Mangini is one of the best drummers in the world. I knew Mangini was a good drummer so my vibes were looking good as far as what I thought the new album may sound like. When I first listened to this release I didn't even know Portnoy was gone, in fact they sound just fine without him. Also, I really like the songwriting on this release. It's some of the best this band has put out in quite awhile. I can say that Dream Theater put out one of their best albums to date and they don't miss a beat without Portnoy. In fact having this new lineup may have rejuvinated the band a bit as they have put out one of their best albums of their career. Check out


7. Iced Earth - Dystopia

I have always had the utmost respect for Jon Schaffer, the guy is one of the most straightforward and honest people out there, something that unfortunately in this day and age isn't common. He is also one of the most unique rhythm guitar players I have ever heard. Sure, Iced Earth as far as their sound goes hasn't changed all that much in a long time but they still put out good metal releases each year. When Matt Barlow left the band many people wondered what was next. When Stu Block was announced as the new vocalist I remember receiving a lot of emails from angry listeners that they thought he wouldn't fit the band. Guess what....they were wrong. Then the band released for free, a new version of Dante's Inferno with Stu singing. When I heard him sing like 3 lines I knew right away from what I heard of his voice he was the right guy. Stu makes the band sound better and he brings the best of both worlds, he can sound like Barlow and he is capable of the high pitched screams that Ripper Owens brought to the band meaning that he could pull off the material Barlow and Owens sang on. Dystopia happens to be one of the best albums Iced Earth has ever recorded and this is the first album of theirs in my top 10 since Horror Show. Definitely check this one out! Check out


8. Artillery - My Blood

Artillery's album "When Death Comes" was my number one album of 2009. What a comeback it was. Artillery reminds me of the band Coroner, in the fact they play really technical thrash metal, have a unique sound, but never received the recognition that they deserved. I have been an Artillery fan for a long time and the fact they came back with such a strong album really got my hopes up for the next one. My Blood is a very strong followup to "When Death Comes". I think Artillery's biggest asset is the fact they have a power metal singer singing thrash, it works and it works well. This band I feel will continue to put out some great albums for years to come. My Blood is a great thrash metal album and you cannot go wrong with this release! Check them out at


9. Cage - Supremacy of Steel

Cage is a band that every year seems to move up in my rankings every year. They have gone from a band in the top 30 to 40 to a band now in the top ten. In fact they are the only band in the last 10 years that moves up on the list. This is an awesome release and by far the band's best album. Cage is one intense metal band and if you ever hear Sean when he comes onto the show then you know where a lot of that intensity comes from. Cage is a blend of speed metal and classic metal with Judas Priest like vocals but a lot more powerful I have really come to like these guys more and more with each album that they put out. Cage may not bring a lot of new ideas to the tables when it comes to their sound but they take what Priest did and take it to an entirely different level! Speaking as a singer I think this is Sean's best vocal performance to date as he sounds amazing as does the rest of the band. Some killer solos on this album are a really nice touch. What an outstanding release! Now if only the San Diego Chargers would let them record a new version of the San Diego Super Chargers song.....I can only dream! Check them out at:


10. Jag Panzer - The Scourge of Light

Jag Panzer rounds out the top ten with perhaps their last album ever. The band broke up a few months after this thing was released and it's a shame because to date this is my favorite Jag Panzer album!! I remember the ultimate bashing Casting The Stones received when it came out and I was surprised by that because I thought Casting was an outstanding record. This one is great as it is not only one of their best sounding albums but it's the best songwriting in this band's entire career. Check out:


11. Redemption - This Mortal Coil

Redemption is one of the best bands coming out of the states these days. In fact I don't think there is an album by them I dislike. The Origins of Ruin is still a classic for me. Nick Van Dyk is one hell of a songwriter, as I told him in the interview we did this year they write such great songs they can make an 8 minute song seem like it goes by in 3 minutes. It was odd because when I first listened to the album I wasn't too hot on the production but it ended up growing on me and now I absolutely love it! Ray Alder is a perfect fit for Van Dyk's songwriting and this band continues to be a favorite of mine. This record also takes first place for me in the lyrics. Best lyrics of the year! Check out:


12. Leperous - Bilateral

This band was a new discovery for me. I had never heard of them but one day I was on Intromental's website and decided to see if they had any bands on there that I hadn't looked up yet so I checked these guys out. WOW I was immediately hooked onto their music! They are truly one of the most unique metal/prog bands out there! This is an album that took me by storm!! This also has some really powerful vocals and the songwriting is some of the most unique I have ever heard! This is definitely a band to watch out for and if you haven't checked them out yet then what are you waiting for?! Check out:


13. Rhapsody of Fire - From Chaos to Eternity

Yes the kings of eurometal cheese are back....Rhapsody of Fire! I have to admit I have stayed a steady fan of anything that Luca Turilli is doing these days and these guys have stayed consistent and have kept me interested since their debut album in 1997. In fact the last two albums and EP have turned out really well ever since they signed to Nuclear Blast. This band manages to blend classical music with heavy metal and it still works after all this time. I will admit also that I really like the cheesy fantasy lyrics too, something about them fits the music really well and Fabio Lione is great as usual. Frozen Tears of Angels was number 15 last year. Check out:


14. Saxon - Call To Arms

Saxon is one of the most consistent bands of all time. They also seem to be getting better with age and heavier even. This album isn't as heavy as their last couple of albums but it's still awesome. Misis of Avalon and Hammer Of The Gods are just flat out awesome and Saxon continues to crank out great album after great album. I get more of the early 80s late 70s vibe from this album than the previous more modern sounding albums they have been putting out, that is not a criticism but more or less a compliment. Saxon continues to sound fresh even after being around 30+ years. Check out:


15. Vicious Rumors - Razorback Killers

Vicious Rumors has long been a favorite of mine for quite some time. I mean who doesn't like "Welcome to the Ball", or "Digital Dictator"? Definitely some of the best metal ever recorded. This album is a great return to form. They got a great singer and some great new songs. American power metal doesn't get any better than Vicious Rumors and this album is a must buy if you are a metal fan! Check out:


16. Brainstorm - On the Spur of the Moment

I remember getting into Brainstorm when Unholy came out, this was before Andy joined the band as their singer. I can honestly say this is one of the best unknown metal bands out there today. Not a bad album put out by these guys however I will agree with Andy that this is by far one of their best efforts to date. I think one of the things that helped make this a much stronger album than the last couple is the fact Andy has only one band to concentrate on. When you are fronting two bands especially if they are both really active it can diminish at times what you contribute to both of those bands. Now that he is concentrating on this one I think Brainstorm will be a better band for it. Awesome dark German powermetal at it's finest! Check out:


17. Megadeth - Thirt3en

Megadeth is my favorite band of the Big 4. Anyone who knows me will attest that there isn't a Megadeth album I dislike. Dave Mustaine is a guitar and songwriting genius. With that said at first I was a little disappointed with this album when I first heard it. I was expecting the asskicking that Endgame gave me. This is still a solid release don;t get me wrong, there are several songs I do like on this one but I can say this is the lowest ranked Megadeth album on my end of the year list since The World Needs a Hero. I will take Megadeth at their worst though over a lot of bands at their best. Also, the lyrics to this record are very easy for me to relate to. Dave's lyrics writing is perhaps one of his biggest strengths. Thirteen may not break any new ground nor does is surpass some of it's predecessors but it's a damn fine album. Check out:


18. Sixx Am - This is Gonna Hurt

Not the typical album you hear me play on the show as I really haven't played it on my show much. However the Sixx AM project has some of the most creative commercial songwriting out there. I HAD to include it on my list this year. The debut was I believe #4 on my list for 2008 releases. I really dig these guys. I don't know what it is but I dig the songs they come up with time and time again. Definitely one of the best hard rock bands on the planet and some of the best and catchiest bands out there!. Check out:


19. Sebastian Bach - Kicking and Screaming

Sebastian Bach for a long time has been one of my favorite singers. The guy just has a really powerful voice and for a long time up until Angel Down he really hadn't put out much musically. Angel Down was a great record and Kicking and Screaming is an album that I really dig. It's heavy, straight to the point and Sebastian sounds awesome. On top of that the songs are really good. I don't think many people really gave this one a chance as I didn't see a huge buzz over the internet for it because not many seemed to talk about this. I do know this, Sebastian has really put out another solid release! Check out:


20. Tesseract - One

Tesseract is a band that I had only heard of when they got signed to Century Media. There was a huge buzz around the internet about these guys before they were even signed. I had never heard them until this record came out and I heard samples on their myspace page. This is a very unique progressive metal band. In fact it's really hard to put them into a category. It actually took me awhile to get into this album, at first I didn't know what to make of these guys but in the end I really started to dig this and now I love it! Good stuff and I cannot wait until they come out with another release because the talent in this band is there! Check out:


21. Voo Doo Circle - Broken Heart Syndrome

The new VooDoo Circle album was really a suprise to me. I liked the debut but in reality I thought the debut was an OK record. This one is much better than what I expected, really catchy songs, great guitarplaying and stellar vocals from pink Cream 69's David Readman. It's a blend of hard melodic rock/metal and catchy songs with some progressive overtones. Alex Beyrodt is one hell of a guitar player! Check out:


22. Anubis Gate - Anubis Gate

Anubis Gate is a progressive metal band from Denmark that I have followed for quite a few years now. Andromeda Unchained was a top 10 album the year it came out and they have been putting out good prog metal since their debut. This album, the self titled Anubis Gate album continues the progressive journey this band has taken. Very good stuff here. Their sound hasn't changed much but if you like good melodies, and good prog metal you can't go wrong with these guys! Check out:


23. Stratovarius - Elysium

The new Stratovarius lineup without Timo Tolkki hasn't;t been a disappointment. In fact i think in some sense the band has gotten better when you compare these two newest releases to the last couple of albums WITH Tolkki. With that said this isn't;t a bad release at all, the song Infernal Maze is amazing enough to put this album on the list and there are a lot of other great highlights as this album is a definite improvement over Polaris. Stratovarius remains a pretty consistent band but they haven't had an album in my top 10 since Infinite. Good stuff nonetheless! Check out:


24. Arch Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance

When I first heard the song sample of Stained Glass Sky I was really excited for this record. I really wanted to hear some output from the Fates Warning camp, even if it isn't an actual Fates Warning album. I reallyed liked the samples I heard of this disc and I sure wasn't disappointed with it. I am not the biggest John Arch fan but his vocals fit this really well. I honestly think he is a lot better than he was 25+ years ago. Jim Matheos also brings it on guitar plus the production is superb. This is definitely a great disc and I hope Jim gets the Fates Warning lineup back together sometime soon and put out another record!! Check out:


25. Havok - Time Is Up

Just where in the hell did these guys come from? I had never heard of them until this year and shame on me because I think I just discovered the best new thrash metal band of the last 10 years. These guys come from Colorado USA and I have to tell you that I was immediately blown away by this album, so much so I had to get their previous release which was pretty good as well. Havok have it all when it comes to classic sounding thrash plus they don't sound dated and have a modern vibe to them. This album took me and the Metal Command by storm this year as I played it several times since it came out. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Havok, a band that has set the standard for new thrash metal bands coming onto the scene! Check them out at:


26. In Flames - Sounds of a Playground Fading

In Flames are one of those bands who have been consistently putting out decent to really good records. Sounds of a Playground Fading is a further progression of what they have been doing all of these years. I always think of them as one of the core bands of the melodic death sound which came out of Sweden along with Soilwork, At The Gates and many other bands out there. I really like the direction in Flames has been taking as of late and I really like the fact they still release good stuff even after all these years, I can;t think of one bad In Flames album as always, they put out something solid yet again. Check out:


27. Bloodbound - Unholy Cross

In 2009 Tabula Rasa album was #3 in my list, it was one of the best albums that year for sure with some outstanding songwriting and Urban Breed on vocals. I didn't know what to expect from this album because when Book of The Dead came out although I liked it I didn't like it as much as their debut. I would say this album goes more for the straight powermetal sound where Tabula Rasa was much more a power/prog album and pretty powerful. Also, when I first heard this record I didn't like it and it almost didn't make my list. Then a month ago I decided to give it a chance once again and to my amazement I really liked it despite the fact it' s not of the same caliber that Tabula Rasa was. There are some really good songs on this album, it's nothing new and innovative but still pretty good. A solid record. Check them out at their official website:


28. Falconer - Armod

Many people gave this album a lot of flak because of the fact that all of the lyrics are sung in Swedish! I don't know any Swedish, but I know French and German but not Swedish therefore I didn't understand the lyrics at all. I for one was able to overlook the language barrier and see this album for what it really is, a great record yet again for Falconer who in their own way have a very unique sound in metal. There are a lot more folk influences on this album that in previous releases, however it fits well and makes this a unique release. If you have that much of a problem with the lyrics you can find various translations online. Check out:


29. Charred Walls Of The Damned - Cold Winds on Timeless Days

The Self Titled was really good.....This was number 46 on my top 50 year year. The new one is much better, better songwriting, better production and Ripper rips as usual. The biggest difference though between the debut and this new one is that the songs are a lot better. The debut had it's flaws but "Cold Winds On Timeless Days" definitely eliminates all of the flaws of the first release. Definitely good old fashioned american power metal! Check out:


30. Indestructible Noise Command - Heaven Sent Hellbound

INC was a band that came out of nowhere. One day I was talking to a friend of mine on who helps promote metal bands and he starts talking to me about this band INC. I had never heard of them before so I decided to give them a listen. From the first song I was hooked, great grooves, hooks, and a lot of great thrash riffs are abound on this album from a band who had been on hiatus for well over 20 years. If you like thrash metal with a modern edge then check these guys out! Check out:


31. Inmoria - A Farewell to Nothing The Diary Part 1

Inmoria's debut album was a good one very solid lineup with a lot of great songs. This one picks up where the debut left off. It is a concept album but more importantly it's an album that is very dark and heavy. I really like it and I am curious to hear what part two will sound like!


32. Communic - The Bottom Deep

Communic are a band from Norway that I have been following for many years now. These guys have it all, great songs, really powerful vocals and a great production! Offleif Stensland is one hell of a singer and his vocals are really powerful, he is a big reason I like this band, he is also a great guitarist. Communic is one of those bands that quietly puts out good albums but they never seem to get much recognition for it. I for one like them and hopefully one day they will come on the show! Check out:



33. Arena - The 7th Degree of Separation

It has been a long time since Arena has put out a new album, I believe Pepper's Ghost came out a few years back. These guys are a prog band from England who have probably been around now almost 20 years . For awhile now Arena have taken a long time in between releases whereas during their early days they would put an album out almost every year. This is good stuff, the one thing Arena have is their own sound. Not the biggest fan of their new singer but he does get the job done and the songs are amazing. Clive Nolan is a great songwriter and if you like prog check em out! Check out:



34. Scar Symmetry - Unseen Empire

Someone made a comment to me that without Christian Alvestam the band has lost something and that Solution 45 and Scar Symmetry are two bands who are half of what they could be. I will agree to an extent, because the band has lost something since Christian left. Don't get me wrong, it's still a good release and it wouldn't even be on the list unless it was good but Christian was someone who was such a big part of the band's sound you can't help but think it would have been better with him. Still there are some highlights as songs such as the Illuminoid Dream Sequence are some of the best they have written. Check out:


35. Edguy - The Age of the Joker

I remember back in 1998, Edguy just released Vain Glory Opera and nobody here in the USA even knew who they were. Back in those Days Edguy put out their best material. It was fresh, it was new and they had a great sound. Fast forward to 2011 and the band over the last couple of releases seems to have lost something. Granted, I think much of what Tobi puts into his songwriting goes into Avantasia which has put out 5 really killer records. It almost seems to me that Edguy is more of a project when it comes to writing the songs. It's got some great stuff here but I am hoping one day Edguy captures what they had in their glory days. Check out:


36. - Eldritch - Gaia's Legacy

Gaia's legacy is one hell of a release by Eldritch from the songwriting perspective but they still haven't topped a lot of their earlier material. The production also hurts this one. Taking that away this is still a good listen. Eldritch blends power and prog metal into a formula that has worked for them for over 15 years running. Check out:


37. Astral Doors - Jerusalem

Astral Doors is fronted by one of the best voices in metal in Nils Patrik Johansson. These guys have been a staple for hard rock and metal for the last few years. Nils is such an awesome singer, he is like the second coming of Ronnie James Dio and the band puts out a good blen of hard rock and metal. Jerusalem isn't really much of a departure from what they have done in the past but they have yet again managed to put out an album with some really good songs: Check them out at:


38. Scheepers

Ralf Scheepers is o0ne of my favorite metal vocalists of all time, from his time in Tyran Pace, to Gamma Ray to Primal Fear I have followed his career for a long time now. At first I thought it was strange that Ralf did a solo album, there are a lot of elements that sound a lot like Primal Fear and then there are some songs that do not. I get the need for him to want to do a solo album, you get more freedom to do what you want and he does have a few guests appear on this album that probably wouldn't appear on a Primal Fear record. Still I give this one a thumbs up because it's a good listen and if you like Ralf's past work you will definitely like this. Check out:


39. Sinner - One Bullet Left

Sinner's new one was a suprise to me, I knew it would be good but not as good as it actually is. Mat added a third guitar player to the band and came out with a pretty good metal record this year. I have always like Primal Fear better than Sinner but this is still some good driving metal. Check them out at:


40. Whitesnake - Forevermore

I have been a fan of David Coverdale and Whitesnake for a long time. I know I don't really play them on the show but nevertheless, I did like this release and therefore included it here in my top 40. This album has a big 70s vibe mixed with the hard rock elements Whitesnake is known for. I liked it although many of their fans wanted a much heavier sounding release just like the previous one. Check out:


41. Andromeda - Manifest Tyranny

And finally rounding out the end of my list, Andromeda Manifest Tyranny! Andromeda is a prog band from Sweden that I have liked ever since their first album "Extension of The Wish" This is another band much like Sons Of Liberty, Megadeth and a few others who are writing a lot about the bad things going on in the world. Really powerful lyrics on this album. Check out:


EPs and Live albums I liked this year. I don't really review these because I only put studio albums in the list but here are some compilations, live albums, and EPs I enjoyed in 2011:

Gamma Ray - Skeletons and Majesties
Grave Digger - The Clans are Still Marching
Pharaoh - Ten Years
Axxis - 20 Years of Axxis Live
Grave Digger - Ballad of Mary
Jorn - Live in Black
Running Wild - The Final Jolly Roger
Sonata Arctica - Live in Finland
Sons of Liberty Spirit of the times EP
Metallica - Beyond Magnetic
Whitesnake - Live at Donnington


Well that's about it everybody! I hope you check some of these releases out if you already haven't done so and I really hope that 2012 is going to bring us a great year in metal, 2011 and 2010 were excellent years. I can't wait for 2012! It's going to be a blast!


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