Monday, December 12, 2011

The 5 Worst Metal Albums of 2011

Bottom 5 List

There were a hell of a lot of good albums released in 2011. On Friday, I'll give credit where it's due. But there were also some major piles released this year. I may not be an expert tracker, but I know shit when I see it.

I have not listened to the reputed abominations created by Morbid Angel or Metallica. Illud Divinum Insanus (average Metal Archives score: 37%) and Lulu (average MA score: 17%) may well be the two worst albums of the year. They were so roundly criticized as the work of hubristic out-of-touch has-beens that I steered clear. But I didn't manage to avoid every train wreck.

5. Turisas: Stand Up and Fight
Average MA Score: 78%

Given the score on MA, I'm probably in the minority on this one. Admittedly, I don't get the point. Folk metallers Turisas take all the cheesiness of power metal, but strip it of the killer guitar playing and vocal acrobatics. I guess some people like power metal for all the wrong reasons, and Turisas fulfill that need entirely. I really, really don't get it.

4. Liturgy: Aesthetica
Average MA Score: 46%

Liturgy is one of the most divisive bands in metal right now. The "transcendental" black metal outfit is fronted by one Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, who can't help but spew all kinds of hipster rhetoric every chance he gets. Now, I'm willing to look past hipsterism if the music is good enough, as my article shows, and there are a lot of metalheads that think this is good enough. They're wrong. Liturgy think they're capital-A Artists, on another level from the rest of us entirely, but the music is flat-out stupid--and not in a good way.

3. Devin Townsend Project: Deconstruction
Average MA Score: 73%

Given that score, again, I think I'm in the minority here. But I have a theory about that. Deconstruction is so ridiculous, so over-the-top, so mind-bogglingly awful, that it can only be a joke. Devin Townsend knows that there are people (e.g. MetalSucks) who worship him so much they would have his used guitar strings sewn into their skin (and not without reason). So he pranked everyone who thinks it's a masterpiece, and only a handful of us got the joke.

2. Gallhammer: The End
Average MA Score: 48%

Put Gallhammer alongside Turisas in the category of "bands I just don't get". I like crust well enough, and I like Hellhammer well enough. But I don't see the point in sloppily played music if it lacks intensity, discernible riffs, hooks, compelling atmosphere, or anything else that makes music worthwhile. Especially when the pieces don't fit together. This is a band that has made their career based on who they are, rather than their music, and that's never been more apparent than on The End.

1. The Haunted: Unseen
Average MA Score: 44%

I used to love The Haunted. They had a brand of melodic death/thrash that was catchy and memorable, features that aren't always prominent in extreme metal. What the hell happened? Unseen is full of limp repetition the likes of which you can find on any vanilla rock radio station across the country. This album makes Nickelback look good. Well, scratch that, nothing could make them look good. But they belong in the same record collection. It really is that bad.

All 2011 List Week Posts:

- Top 5 Rejected Names for New Korn Album
- Best Metal Album Cover
- The 3 Most Controversial Albums in Metal
- The Top 5 Ways Classic Bands Will Shit on Their Legacies in 2012
- The Top 3 Non-Metal Albums
- The Top 3 Metal EP's
- The Top 8 Blog Posts on Full Metal Attorney
- The Best Metal Song
- The 2 Biggest News Items in My Personal Life
- Promoter Exchange
- The Top 25 Metal Albums: 25-11
- The Top 10 Metal Albums


  1. Luckily I avoided all of these as well as the Metallica and Morbid Angel wrecks. I would say that my worst is probably Scar Symmetry.

  2. To me, Liturgy sounds like a cheap Krallice rip-off. I have no problem with ripping off Krallice, but my problem is that these pretentious assholes think they're doing something new, unique, and original.

  3. Liturgy does indeed seem to be heavily favored by the hipster crowd. I've seen them appear on several Top 10 lists for the year. I'm more inclined to agree with your take on them, though.

    And on Devvy's new record, I think I fall somewhere in the middle. It certainly wasn't anything special, but I didn't think it was that incredibly awful either. Just "meh".

    Haven't listened to your other 3 picks yet. I've never got Turisas though, so I doubt I'd care much for theirs. I'll probably just skip those others as well.

  4. Liturgy shouldn't be on this list. Not because it's any good but because it's mediocre.