THIRTEEN BEST ALBUMS OF 2011 VOLUME 1
WORSHIP MUSIC is simply the best music ANTHRAX has made since PERSISTENCE OF TIME, maybe the best work of their career.
I have always liked ANTHRAX more than any other thrash band besides MEGADETH. In fact I love ANTHRAX and MEGADETH, only really like METALLICA and SLAYER and own most everything ANTHRAX has ever recorded in one format or another.
Every single song is an instant thrash classic. The opening is vintage metal and the deeper you get into WORSHIP MUSIC, the better it gets. The End is a moving masterwork tribute to Dimebag and Ronnie James Dio.
Frankie Bello’s bass work is more prominent on this disc than on any since STATE OF EUPHORIA and he is killing it throughout. Make sure you keep the disc rolling after the last song. I promise you will be rewarded with a Frank Bello classic.
Rob Caggiano’s lead guitar work is more impressive than ever and he puts himself among one of the elite metal players on the planet with WORSHIP MUSIC.
The madman and legendary Scott Ian lays down riffs that are as good or better than anything he’s ever stroked.
Charlie Benante. Insanely good on ANTHRAX last album We’ve Come for You All (2003), he steps it up to unbelievable on this album.
For the piece de resistance, may I present Mr. Joey Belladonna. He delivers a tour de force performance on WORSHIP MUSIC sounding better than he’s ever sounded, showing a range and depth to his voice that he’s never shown before. Simply stunning. Belladonna proves he could have, and gives strong evidence that maybe even should have been the vocalist on all the John Bush discs too.
There are plenty of song by song reviews out there of this disc so I will spare you that. But if there is only one album/disc/mp3 purchase you make the rest of 2011, ANTHRAX – WORSHIP MUSIC should be it.
Most of us hard rock and heavy metal fans have been stricken more than once by the supergroup bug. We hear about what seems like a dream team of musicians that we think is going to be the next LED ZEPPELIN or BLACK SABBATH. Then the album comes out and it is lame or even worse, b-o-r-i-n-g….snooze.
This is the second(yeah, second) release from Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, and Chad Smith and it is a glorious rock record. The debut CHICKENFOOT in 2009 was a very good record too but this is a major step forward for the guys. There are songs on this disc that will be played live by all the guys in whatever form they perform for years if not decades to come.
Hard rockers like BIG FOOT, DUBAI BLUES, and LAST TEMPTATION are air guitar magical. While mid-tempo pop rockers like ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, DIFFERENT DEVIL, and LIGHTEN UP would fill radio airwaves if radio still mattered. The most moving tune is THREE AND A HALF LETTERS(I NEED A JOB) while COME CLOSER is one of the best songs Sammy Hagar has written in years.
If you like good old-fashioned rock and roll done right you’ll love CHICKENFOOT III.
3. SIXX A.M. – THIS IS GONNA HURT
The brand new album from SIXX A.M. is simply stunning. A true work of art in a world gone ugly.
The lyrics are one big welcoming embrace to all of the outsiders, the marginalized, the screwed and one big FUCK YOU to the establishment. I Fucking love this album.
From the opening track “This Is Gonna Hurt,” to the closing “Skin,” this album speaks.
It speaks to those who’ve felt slighted and somehow missed the boat. Those who have been forced to hide in the dark. And it says it’s gonna be okay, even if it is gonna hurt. Hurt like hell.
James Michael’s singing is emotive and powerful. His drum work is spot on and his keyboard works is strong, adding a layer of feeling that just fits.
DJ Ashba, who is also guitarist for the current incarnation of Guns N Roses and played on the ill-fated and ill-timed Chinese Democracy does some downright damned good work here.
Elder metal statesman Nikki Sixx dispels some serious demons here with inspired and deeply personal lyrics and of course his bass work will blow your freakin’ head off.
This disc is squarely in my Top 10 albums of 2011 along with Seether’s Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray. The rest I’ll save for the end of 2011. Especially with massive releases from Anthrax and Megadeth still to come this year.
I just can’t get enough of This Is Gonna Hurt. I think you’ll feel the same.
As I’ve stated on more than one occasion MEGADETH is one of my favorite bands of all-time. In fact, they are my favorite of the BIG FOUR thrash metal bands easily outpacing the biggest of the BIG FOUR, METALLICA on my list. While METALLICA gets the credit as the first thrash metal band and indeed are great and legendary, their music, beginning with the BLACK ALBUM has been too inconsistent and to non-thrash for me.
The first four METALLICA albums are brilliant, seminal, groundbreaking, earth shattering releases and I love them but the rest have fallen a bit flat and uninspiring for me.
MEGADETH has been strongly thrash (minus the mis-directed RISK) from KILLING IS MY BUSINESS…AND BUSINESS IS GOOD right through to this latest release.
MEGADETH’S musical output has been far more consistently good to great with only one dud (RISK) out of their twelve previous studio recordings and over 25 years of albums. Dave Mustaine’s anger, political and social commentary, and willingness to put himself out there as a target has earned much respect from this longtime fan.
THIRTEEN only deepens my love and respect for Mr. Mustaine and MEGADETH. From the opening salvo of SUDDEN DEATH to the closing reflective autobiographical THIRTEEN the band is K-I-L-L-I-N-G it…and it is G-O-O-D!
RUST IN PEACE remains my favorite MEGADETH album but THIRTEEN is a strong contender for the top works of MEGADETH’s career. Right up there with COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION, YOUTHANASIA, and PEACE SELLS..BUT WHO’S BUYING?
Tracks three, four and five make up one of the strongest trio of tunes I’ve heard on any disc all year-long. GUNS, DRUGS & MONEY is one of my favorite MEGADETH tunes now. The triumvirate that closes out THIRTEEN is even stronger with the finale making an appropriate and impressive closing.
If you like some thought and emotion with your metal along with a headbanging good time THIRTEEN could be your lucky number.
Hard Edged grooviness that makes ya’ wanna’ shake your booty. Shades of DEEP PURPLE, and GOV’T MULE. Air guitar boogie-ness and Zeppelin-esque with a signature sound all their own, every last note dripping with soul.
Vocalist Glenn Hughes DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH) is powerful and moving. Mr. Hughes work here is my favorite hard rock vocal performance of 2011.
Blues master guitarist and solo artist Joe Bonnamassa sounds magnificent here too. The sounds he lays down are bloody brilliant.
Hard rock drum king (oh, and the son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham) Jason Bonham (Blue Murder, Bonham, Jimmy Page, and Led Zeppelin for one whole day!) is playing better than I’ve ever heard him play. He’s got the heavy hard hitting right foot of his POPS and a little more shake in his rattle and roll than on anything else I’ve heard of his.
But the thing that really makes this album even better than last year’s debut is the work of Derek Sherinian (KISS, DREAM THEATER, BILLY IDOL, SLASH, ZAKK WYLDE). Mr. Sherinian is out front a lot more on this album and BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION 2 is all the better for it.
If you miss the hard rock of the 1970’s this is a must have.
Another old school hard rock band that is just plain gettin’ it done.
Mr. Coverdale is still a mighty force and the band that he’s had on the last couple albums is the best since the SLIDE IT IN record. Heavily blues tinged hard rock riffs and a whiskey soaked voice always sounds good if the songs are right and these songs are right ON.
The opening tracks kick things off in impressive fashion (Steal Your Heart Away and All Out of Luck) with All Out of Luck having one of my favorite riffs of 2011. It is a dirty, greasy, juicy lick that will throttle you and make you wanna do dirty, greasy, juicy things with your lover.
Now that is ROCK AND ROLL!
The power ballads are here too and David has always done them just about better than anybody else. WHITESNAKE does them well again but the majority of FOREVERMORE is hard rock and it is good. Really good.
Closing strong with three stellar tunes: Whipping Boy Blues, My Evil Ways, and Forevermore this is one of those discs that gets better and better the more you listen.
Their 2009 album GOOD TO BE BAD was a damned fine record too but FOREVERMORE is even better.
It does my heart good to see a man and a band that has been around since my youth still producing quality rock and roll.
If you’ve ever liked WHITESNAKE and you’ve been away for a while, do yourself a big favor and find yourself some FOREVERMORE.
7. FOO FIGHTERS – WASTING LIGHT
Dave Grohl, the forever rocker, the motley fool, the fun lovin’ hard rockin’ Lemmy for the grunge generation. Oh, and he is pretty damned talented too.
WASTING LIGHT is a shining light in the scrap heap of leftover artists from the NIRVANA generation. While most of the bands from that era have long since faded away FOO FIGHTERS, themselves pulled out of the wreckage of the loss of KURT COBAIN, keep putting out solid albums. WASTING LIGHT is so much more than solid though.
From the sweet sounding opening riff it’s clear that the FOO FIGHTERS are still an inspired band and they can really kick out the jams. Bridge is Burning is a fine opening rocker.
I really love the openings that the FOO’s came up with for WASTING LIGHT. Refreshing and original with some real musical connections to late 60’s pop/rock tunes in songs like Dear Rosemary, One of These Days and Alandria. The entire album seems to be informed by those pop sensibilites but has heavy duty links to metal in songs like White Limo.
Back and Forth is reminiscent of bands THE KNACK. A Matter of Time is FOO FIGHTERS meets CHEAP TRICK. My favorite track Miss the Misery has a DEEP PURPLE influenced feel to it and just grooves baby grooves.
Closing strong as H E double hockey sticks with I Should Have Known and Walk this is an album you are sure to hear a lot about in 2012.
WASTING LIGHT really is a tour de force performance and is probably the best work of the FOO FIGHTERS career.
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Here are the Top seven albums of 2011. Submitted for your approval.