Internal Rot Photo Long Exposure.
Obligatory 'best of' list for 2011. As with previous years posts, I've broken it down into categories. As also with previous years, none of these are in any kind of order. I had a heap of pictures included originally but it looked all shit because of the differing sizes etc, so I’ve made it pretty bare bones.
This record probably didn't end up being as good as just about everyone expected it to be (or maybe as much as I did); I'll listen to just about their entire back catalogue before I spin this, but it's still a fantastic fast hardcore record. It's obvious that they made some kind of conscious decision to move away from their blatant Crossed Out rip off when they began piecing this record together. What's good is how they managed to retain a total old feel with the recording, without having it sound dated.
Disma- "Towards The Megalith"
I haven’t yet had the chance to post about this monstrosity of an album, as I missed the original release, but I’m really impressed with this New Jersey bands effort. This comes from a handful of guys with notable history’s, most worthy of a mention on this blog I suppose, Daryl of Citizen’s Arrest/Taste Of Fear/Funebrarum etc. Pure down tuned, death metal paranoia. I slept on this band for far too long. Probably the heaviest thing I've heard this year. I will make a proper post about vinyl at some point.
Rot In Hell- "Hallways Of The Always"
You people know what I think about this band. A shining example of good metallic hardcore floating atop (for the most part) a sea of holy terror shit. Nobody can touch these guys, not even Dwid and co. A new singer and new guitarist this year marks (hopefully) a sign of good things to come. A small handful of releases are earmarked.
Autopsy- "Macabre Eternal"
An obvious return to the throne of death metal, it amazes me that guys of this age and history are still so blatantly capable of producing totally knock out, gut wrenching death metal. Most bands just can’t touch this. 20+ years and still killing
Another band that I slept of for way too long, Singapore’s Wormrot have probably produced one of the best grindcore records of the last 5 years with their sophomore effort. I had mp3’s of theirs floating around on my computer for months before I properly discovered them, but as what happens with plenty of bands that I should be familiar with, they simply got lost in the sheer massive amount of new music I’m constantly chasing down. It was inevitable that I would eventually develop some kind of interest in these guys though. The most creative and interesting grind since Insect Warfare’s side on their split with Carcass Grinder. Essential.
Soul Swallower- s/t
Bit of a sleeper here in that I think just about everyone thought this band was done when they first announced that this LP was happening. Beyond categorization, this album draws from so many influences on such a wide scale. Fans of everything from modern hardcore to early 80’s first wave black metal could probably find some kind of interest in this. I doubt that I need to delve much further than that.
Boston Strangler- s/t
I don't think that this is actually out just yet, but the mp3's have been floating around for a while now, and they're pretty cool. Not as good as the demo though. I may be putting this in next years list.
Tear Gas - "The Way Of All Flesh"
Home town heroes (kind of). I enjoyed their demo and initial 7" more, but this is none the less the best example of an Australian band playing old style Japanese hardcore.
Bone Sickness- s/t
I know I said that these were not in any particular order earlier, but I have made an exception for the first two records in this EP category. The debut Bone Sickness single would just about be my number 1 release outright of 2011. I suppose what I like most about the Autopsy style of American death metal (and what I like in a lot of early Swedish death too for that matter), is the obvious, simple punk influence in a heap of the riffs and structures. And that’s what makes Bone Sickness, and this EP so fucking good. For all intent and purpose this IS a pure fucking death metal record, but I can’t see this not entertaining even the most rigid of punk fans.
Vile Intent- "Regression To The Mean"
I don’t think that I have repeatedly spun any other 7” this year as much as I have this record. Over and over and over. Truly impressive. What’s to say? It’s simplistic powerviolence from Canada, but it’s just done so well. Heavy riffs, deadly ring outs, crazy blasts, groaned vocals. It doesn’t sound overly impressive in text, but I can’t get enough of this EP.
No Tolerance- "No Tolerance, No Remorse"
Borderline 2012, I doubt I’ll actually receive this record in the mail until early January, but I have actually ordered and paid for it, and other people are already spinning their platters so this just makes it. In whole not as good as their demo, but the best song they’ve written can be found here. No bullshit Boston hardcore from the nu scene. Now you know.
Corpsessed- "The Dagger And The Chalice"
Finland’s finest right here doing what they do best; playing Finnish death metal. Heavily comparable to Disma’s LP, these guys haven’t seen half the hype of that band and I don’t know why. This is better. The day I first played the opening riff on the opening intro I was hooked. Heaviest of the heavy?
Internal Rot- s/t
The Bosses of Melbourne grind debut with a blistering display of downright chaos. Until that Wormrot LP came along this was slated as my number 1 grind release of the year. It’s not too far behind.
Top of the Youth Attack pile is New York’s Suburbanite with this 7” of fast, punchy hardcore. I heard that this is the singer from Aerosols new band and I must say that this is his best vocal performance so far. What I probably like most about this EP is the fantastic recording. Clear without sounding over produced with all the right scum in all the right places. Catchy stuff.
Get Destroyed- "Shut In"
I’ve raved on and on about this band over the last two years or so, and for good reason. EP number 3 for the band marks probably their heaviest and most slick recording. Thick, downtuned guitars backed with punchy drumming and the best PV styled vocals in modern hardcore. I prefer their prior 7”, but this is still a brilliant release. New LP in 2012.
Waste Management- "Power Abuse"
Easily the most on point example of rehash Boston hardcore. So many catchy riffs and hard breaks. I hate writing stuff about bands that really don’t need any kind of introduction. This is hardcore.
Another one of those borderline releases. I've paid for mine, but I doubt I'll get it until next year.
Death Evocation- s/t
Hardest opening riff of 2011 goes to the first song on this EP. Total thrash/crust mayhem from England/Boston. Not to be fucked with.
Tremors- "Island Songs"
One of the best demos of 2010 went to this London unit and their debut 7" barley misses a more in depth post here. Classy recording for a powerful, thrashy hardcore band.
Some musicians have it, some don't. Obviously Chris of Impalers/Mammoth Grinder/Hatred Surge has it. Better than their demo, this is the coolest incarnation of Discharge I've ever heard.
Put To Death- s/t
It's beyond me how Chris Corry manages to perfect everything he has anything to with musically. What he and Alex Hughes have created here is pure later era Infest tribute. Everything here wreaks of that last LP that that band did.
Hatred Surge/Mammoth Grinder split LP
An utterly unhealthy obsession with both of these bands cements this release as my favourite split of the year. Some of the best stuff from both bands.
Brutal Supremacy comp 2x7"
Not even going to bother writing about this one. You know what I think.
Mindsnare/Ringworm split 7"
In retrospect this split probably isn't as great as I originally lauded. Mindsnare have some much better songs and the Ringworm tracks are boring. It's a bit of a shame really; had the decision been made to include that preview Mindsnare track, this could have been fucking great, as that song is one of Mindsnare's best. Still a cool split.
Agoraphobic Nosebleed/Despise You split LP
As I stated when I originally posted about this record, i've never been much of a fan of Ag Nosebleed and i'm still not. Despise You are a great band though, and this is a brilliant return to form for them.
Shit Weather- Demo Tape
Awesome hardcore/PV demo from Melbournes purveyors of pain. Actual world class punk. I expect cool things from this band.
Sick People- "No Excuse" Demo Tape
Am I up my own arse for including a demo in this list that I released myself? Too bad. Brisbane hardcore at it's best.
Stab- Demo Tape
Straight outta London comes Stab with this handful of tracks totally dedicated to the loving memory of Ripcord and (good era) Heresy.
Mammon- "Demiurge" Demo CD
As far as I know this would be rated as a demo. Three songs all exceeding the 5 minute mark. Many influences including punk, doom death and black. Great band, great release.
Burn The Hostages- Demo CD
Refreshing change of pace for the Australian scene comes in the form of this 2 track demonstration of Eyehategod styled doomed out metal from Melbourne's Burn The Hostages. Members of other notable local acts. Not to be missed.
Shackles- "Preliminary Harm" Tape
Again, my release, but I don't care. Best Australian metallic PV/mosh interpretation of 2011.
Violent Reaction- Demo Tape
More brilliant English hardcore in the form of this new tape from Violent Reaction. Again, I haven't received mine yet, but it's in the mail.
Downpour- Demo Tape
So proud to have something to with this demo. What a band.
ZOM- Demo Tape
Again, borderline 2012. Death metal from some of the guys from Crowd Control.
God Harvest- Demo Tape
Probably the coolest example of Nasum styled grindcore coming from the US at the moment. New releases slotted for 2012.