Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My top 10 albums of 2011

This is the first time when I had actual difficulty trying to put together a top 10 list of my favorite albums of the year. I bought a lot of albums this year. Most of the albums I bought were very good but the ones that really stood out with me were few. As much as I enjoyed the new albums by Diffuzion, God Module and Ladytron, I just didn't think the material was memorable to make it on my top 10 list. So without further ado, here is my top 10 albums of 2011.

10. Scala & Kolacny Brothers - Scala & Kolacny Brothers
09. Khaos Legion - Arch Enemy
08. TC Electropunk Vol.6 - Various Artists
07. Mainstream Sellout Overground - Straftanz
06. Tranenherz - Blutengel
05. Imaginaerum - Nightwish
04. Automatic - VNV Nation
03. Chimaera at Heart - Javelynn
02. Synthesis - The Break Up
01. Nightglory - Kirlian Camera

I really struggled with who was going to be in the top spot on my list. I kept going between The Break Up & Kirlian Camera but in the end Kirlian Camera won. The album has some of the most beautiful melodies and lyrics I have heard all year. I love Eleni Alice Fossi's vocal delivery on the songs such as "Hymn" and "Nightglory". On Synthesis (by The Break Up), Severina Sol's vocals totally wowed me away. She shows more range on the album than any of the albums she has done with Cylab, The Myriad Form, and Diva Destruction. Shane Allen Hall's programming is equally memorizing. I felt like I was taking a trip back to the '80s with the various sounds he created (with the assistance of Sarah Ann Stewart of course).

One of the biggest surprises for me this year was the new Nightwish album Imaginaerum. I had totally written off the band after Dark Passion Play but once I heard the first single "Storytime", I was lured back as a fan. I have to say that I have been enjoying Imaginaerum immensely. It definitely surpasses Dark Passion Play. The album just has better melodies and Anette sounds better as singer especially on "Storytime". Another surprise was Khaos Legion by Arch Enemy. I bought this on a whim at the last garage sale for the season at the Electric Fetus. Found a copy for $1.50. Normally not a death metal fan but I totally dug Khaos Legion.

Like Nightwish, I had totally written off Blutengel after their sub-par, barely mediocre album Schwarzes Eis in 2008/2009. That all changed when I heard "Reich die Mir Hand".  With a new and improved line-up, Blutengel once again made me fall in love with their music.

Overall 2011 has been a fantastic year for music. I am looking forward to 2012 when new albums by Stray, Decoded Feedback, The Frozen Autumn,, and possibly Assemblage 23.

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