Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Idol Threat Top 20 Albums of 2011

Here once again is a late (but slightly less late than the last one) year-end list. I've had the list locked well before the end of 2011 but never got around to writing it up, and as I was prepping my 2012 list I figured I should probably post 2011's list first before moving on with this years list. As you know we tend to concentrate on the "lesser known" albums here on Idol Threat, but we do still enjoy the 'mainstream' releases as well. For those that care please check out Tom Waits - Bad As Me, Common- The Believer/The Dreamer, Björk – Biophilia and Bad Meets Evil- Hell the Sequel. Now on to the real list (click on the jump to expand):

Necro DeathMort - Music of Bleak Origin


When I first heard of Necro DeathMort I was skeptical at first. Who would have thought that combining doom metal with electronic and Hip Hop beats would blend so well? (besides Justin Broadrick that is.) Their debut album 'This Beat Is Necrotronic' showed promise but seemed a bit disjointed and jarring, their latest however fulfills said promise and creates a seamless blend of the dissimilar genres.

Skullflower- Fucked on a Pile of Corpses


This deserves to be in the top 10 for the name alone!  The legendary UK band Skullflower has had releases that have touched upon all extremes of drone, noise and psychedelia and they release one of their harshest yet with this latest album.  The name may be blunt but it does more than add shock value, it paints a picture of the experience to come - exquisite, primal pleasure surrounded by decay and death.

True Widow- As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth


Male and female vocals drenched in psychedelic reverb. Stoner rock riffs embedded in drone.  Like My Bloody Valentine but bloodier, The Black Angels but blacker, and lower than LowTrue Widow manage to take their various reference points and create something heavier than the rest and much different than the sum of its parts.


Corrupted- Garten Der Unbewusstheit


I don't know why this album wasn't on more year end lists.  Osaka, Japan sludge band Corrupted return with their first full length in 6 years.  Two 30 minute slabs of doom surround a short acoustic respite as Corrupted brings a dash of hope and beauty into their usual blend of apocalyptic sorrow. This will be the last album to include all three founding members of the band. A fitting bookend to an end of an era.
 

Cut Hands - Afro Noise Vol. 1


William Bennett of pioneering power electronics group Whitehouse indulges his love of African and Haitian rhythms with his side project Cut Hands.  Congolese and Ghanaian percussion surround industrial, polyrhythmic groove with only hints of Bennett's noise past peeking through.  Extreme electronica you can actually dance to.

Bastard Noise - Skulldozer


Bastard Noise delighted many fans when they returned to their more 'traditional' roots akin to their powerviolence past in seminal band Man is the Bastard.  After years of noise and 'caveman electronics' Eric Wood brought back live drums and his virtuoso bass playing on their split with The Endless Blockade and the excellent 2010 album A Culture of Monsters.  With Skulldozer BN adds vocalist Aimee Artz to the mix and the band has never sounded fuller or better.

Dub Trio - IV


Dub Trio's fourth album (aptly titled album IV) is their heaviest endeavor to date.  The dub/reggae rock these studio musicians started with is all but gone now giving way to chugging riffs, stop on a dime changes, and sludgy prog.  Dub Trio has been perfecting it's experimental blend with every release and with IV it looks like they've finally found the right formula.

K-The-I??? – Synesthesia


Rapper K-the-I???’s lightning fast and abstract spoken-word style had me hooked the minute I first heard him but with Synesthesia he decides to leave his mic behind in favor of an Ableton Launchpad with suprisingly refreshing results. The beats found within are a mixture of trip-hop and electronica with obvious influences from the popular dubstep movement and nostalgic video game sounds from the early 90s. The album is mostly an instrumental one despite some appearances from Sole, Ceschi and Mikah 9 (though oddly enough K-the-I??? does not contribute any rhymes himself.)

Indian - Guiltless


Listening to Guiltless makes you feel like Sisyphus rolling his boulder uphill in Tartarus; each soul-crushing riff is the weight of the rock pushing against you, each screech and scream is another slip of your foot - but there’s relief, satisfaction and a promise of joy when you finally reach the end.  When it's over you're tempted to press play again, and you can only watch as the boulder rolls back down the hill.
KEN Mode - Venerable

KEN Mode attacks the metallic hardcore genre at a noise rock angle simultaneously making them Canada's answer to Converge and Unsane.  Every track of Venerable is so perfectly structured and beautifully battering that its hard to pick a favorite among them. This album is amazingly varied and technical for a trio recording.  Blistering, muscular, churning and angular.  Kill Everything Now Mode indeed.


The Rest:
Noisear- Subvert the Dominant Paradigm
Batillus - Furnace
Bloodiest- Descent
Sutekh Hexen - Luciform
Evidence- Cats & Dogs
Anatomy of Habit- Anatomy of Habit I
Gridlink- Orphan
Childish Gambino- Camp
Tombs- Paths of Totality
Yob - Atma

Top 5 EPs of 2011
Fennesz – 7 Stars
Thou- The Archer & the Owle/To the Chaos Wizard Youth
Freddie Gibbs & Statik Selektah- Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away
Slaughterhouse- The Slaughterhouse EP
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Bulletproof Brass

Best Song: Anatomy of Habit – Torch
Best Demo: Wreck and Reference – Black Cassette
Best Compilation: Coffins - Ancient Torture

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