So yeah, who needs another "top this, top that"-post? No one. Except for oneself though. It's fun to do it, and I think everyone should do at least one of those lists.
So even if no one's gonna read it, here's my top 5 of 2011. Keep in mind though that those are not necessarily records that were released in the course of the year 2011, but the records that I've listened to the most.
1. Trivium - In Waves
In Waves is the "Black Album" of our time. I've said it before and this opinion still stands. In Waves features some of the catchiest, most stripped-down Trivium songs up to date. Yet, at the same time, the Orlando four-piece manages to stay technical at times - just when the song asks for it. And that's the crucial thing about this record: the song is always in the main focus. And that's one of the things that sets Trivium apart: they can write actual songs that stay in one's mind. On top of that, you got one of the best sounding records of this year (no wonder with Colin Richardson producing), and a great visual concept that sets standards.
In Waves thus isn't only a mainstream-metal-masterpiece of our time - I'm sure it will influence other "generations" of musicians as well.
2. Born of Osiris - The Discovery
I was never a huge fan of Born of Osiris. I always thought their songs were kinda messy and out-of-place. I then listened to their old songs while doing research for the interview with them. The interview was going to be the first one for the blog, and I had no idea if it'd work out. Naturally, I was a "little" nervous.
But yeah, the interview worked out great. I knew what I'd still have to work on, but the basement had been set up so to speak.
BoO played a phenomenal show that night. I was blown away by their live-ability at such a young age. They also happened to play two new songs off of their then unreleased record "The Discovery", which were filmed by my good friend who also filmed the interview.
So the next few days, thinking about the interview and what I'd do to make things better, I watched those live videos. And since then I'm sold.
The Discovery is a total new take on what's been done before. The songs are extremely technical, with odd time-signatures and insane leads. But BoO has put more focus on songwriting on The Discovery. The songs are more thought-out and better structured in my opinion. Joe Buras finally gets more room to breathe on this record and really adds a unique touch to the whole listening-experience.
We can expect a lot from this band, and I hope that they'll be around for a long time. They work hard, tour their asses off and still manage to top themselves with every record.
3. & 4. Misery Signals - Controller and Mirrors
How could I miss out on such a great band for such a long time? I can't even remember how I finally came across those guys. But what I can remember is, that I was blown away right on first listen. I didn't exactly know what was going on, but I knew I liked it.
Misery Signals really aren't your standard metalcore-band. They combine odd timed riffs with great melodic hooklines and a huge chunk of anger and frustration. The thing I love the most about them is vocalist Karl Schubach's ability to express real feelings through his vocals. This ability combined with some of the lyrics had me coming back again and again to those two records - I can really relate to songs like "Labyrinthian", "One day I'll stay home" or "Reverence Lost".
The best thing about Misery Signals is, that they've finally put a touring line-up together and are writing new songs as we speak. I personally can't wait for their next record!
5. Sylosis - Edge of the Earth
What do you get, when you combine Rush with Death? Sylosis! I know this assumption seems a little bit too ambitious. But I dare anyone to listen to those guys. Epic melodic parts go hand in hand with thrashy, almost deathy riffs and huge choruses. The thing about Sylosis is, that they can write 7-minute songs that won't get boring. There's just so much going on that you're being held in awe for the whole 75 minutes this record goes on. We're talking value for money here. What's really mindblowing about them is, that lead guitarist and mastermind Josh Middleton has taken over vocal duties as well. So now he's not only doing the insane leads, but he's also the frontman of the band. This guy is nuts. In a positive way though.
Sylosis really need to get on huge tours and get their name out more, they deserve to play bigger venues. I have to finally catch them again live - and you should do too.