Rob’s Best of 2011 Countdown: #10-6

We’re getting closer to number one. This next batch is probably the heaviest of the list. If you’ve missed the list to this point you can go here and here. Let’s get the list on the road.

10. Skeletonwitch – Forever Abomination

Skeletonwitch has been one of my favorite extreme metal bands of recent years and the latest release, ‘Forever Abomination’, is without a doubt the most progressed album to date. While the previous efforts were great in their own right there wasn’t much deviation in styles. FA takes the same template but adds more elements and styles that makes this the most engaging album to date. Blackened thrash never sounded so good. Check out the review here.

9. Abysmal Dawn – Leveling the Plane of Existence

Late in the year I got into a big death metal kick and the reason was because of Abysmal Dawn. You see there is this high school near where I live and they have a radio station that plays alot of punk and metal and the song ‘In Service of time’ came on. Such a punishing riff and the vocals were just killer. So I checked out the rest of the album, ‘Leveling the Plane of Existence’, and wow, I was blown away. Abysmal Dawn is labelled as tech death but it’s not as weedily as typical death metal is. Just tons of heavy riffs that keep me going back to this album quite often.

8. Evile – Five Serpents Teeth

I’m actually amazed that Evile is on my own list much less in the top 10. You see I enjoyed the British thrash units debut but was less then wowed by the second effort. So I wasn’t sure what to expect when Five Serpent’s Teeth was released. What the guys did was combine both elements from previous albums and turn out a great melodic thrash album that is superior to anything even the most veteran of thrash bands (with exceptions of course) have released of late. The noticeable influences of classic Metallica and Slayer are still here but those bands would be hard pressed to put out something this good these days. Go here for more of my gushing.

7. Ana Kefr – The Burial Tree

I shall now make the bold claim that Ana Kefr has made the best progressive death metal with philosophical themes of the year.And it’s not because we’ve become friends this year. I have listened to a ton of music this year and I’ve been hard pressed to find any bands that could come close to the amount of styles, tempo changes, and just flat out diverse forms of music crammed into one album as on the Burial Tree. It’s hard to impress me these days but with my introduction to what Rhiis and the gang have put together I can honestly say I’m stoked to see what the future brings to Ana Kefr. Something I haven’t been able to say about most other progressive bands. I’d link you to a ton of articles we’ve done on the guys this year but I’d rather you hear for yourself so click on the Ana Kefr banner and check them out for yourself.

6. Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising

My how the internet seems to forget things. Amon Amarth was one of the most talked about releases in the middle of the year and yet I look at most of these other year end lists and the Swedish champions of all things Vikings are hardly there. Surtur Rising was the culmination of older raw death metal from their days of yore to the more accessible death metal of recent years and a release I came back to in my listenings quite often. It helped that they put on a killer show with the first set being the album in it’s entirety. If death metal is going to branch out and get more exposure I can’t think of a better band to be at the head of the charge.

Almost there to number one. Check back to see what the last five albums are going to be plus a recap of the list and honorable mentions that just missed the cut.

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