Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Allen's "Best of 2011"


Here is my "top 10 of 2011" playlist. I tried to keep it to stuff I like that may not be covered on the other amazing mixes that are on here. Hopefully you will find something in here that entertains you. Thanks to everyone for posting such awesome playlists!

1 A Winged Victory for the Sullen - A Requiem for the Static King, Part 1
It will come as no surprise to fans of Stars of the Lid that one of their members are in this project. This reminds me of Johann Johannsson & Esmerine. Great ambient chillin' music.

2. Waka Flocka Flame - Hard in the Paint
I am not a huge fan of most contemporary hips & hops. But there is something so ridiculous about this song that it is constantly stuck in my head. If you get a chance you should check the video out for this song, it is pretty great.

3. Dead Congregation - Hostis Humani Generis
This is the first of two bands that I saw at this year's Maryland Death Fest that I hadn't heard & now love. An interesting take on New York Death Metal with a smidge of Dissection in there from this band of Greek maniacs.

4. High Spirits - High Spirits
I fucking love this band. A one man project executed with precision & heart by Chris Black. Blending 70's rock, Traditional Heavy Metal & NWOBHM into a malestrom of awesome. This is the get stoked jam of my year.

5. Dawnbringer - You Know Me
Another band featuring Chris Black. Dawnbringer is much more contemporary. There are nods to 80's thrash & some NWOBHM, but also some influence from 90's black metal. Great album with killer artwork.

6. The Body - A Curse
The drums & quiet guitar work on this song are so good. If you have not checked out the new album from The Body, you need to. This album may turn out to be their "Through Silver in Blood." Genre bending & possibly genre defining. They toured this past summer with an all female choir & the show was transcendent.

7. Acid Witch - Metal Movie Marijuana Massacre Meltdown
The latest album from this band comes with a Hallowe'en diecut of a witch smoking a bong with a black cat riding on her shoulder. You can imagine that this fact was enough to endear this band to me. I walked in while they were playing at Maryland Death Fest & immediately left the room to find their LP because I didn't want to miss out on it. Acid Witch are a band that is almost tailored made for me. Equal parts fun, horror film worshiping, hallowe'en nostalgia, heavy metal worshiping & did I mention fun.

8. Anima Morte - He Who Dwells in Darkness
Got turned on to this band from a review in Rue Morgue & from a split 7" they did with Hooded Menace. Anima Morte are a group of Swedish metal dudes playing Goblin/giallo inspired horror rock. Or maybe more exactly progressive horror rock. At any rate they do a damn fine job of it. Not merely aping Goblin but pushing forward with the sound.

9. Christian Mistress - Black Vigil
Powerful female vokills. Crushing riffs. NWOBHM influence set to ten. If these things sound of interest to you than you will enjoy Christian Mistress.

10. Mike Patton - Deep Down
Mike Patton did an album of covers of 1950's & 1960's pop songs. Jen & I love listening to it on car rides & when were just hanging out. I have always had a weird interest in Mike Patton despite not liking a lot of his artistic output. I think I admire his gumption & work ethic. But this album sealed the deal for me. The record shows the depth & breadth of his vocal range. Pretty impressive. This particular track is a favorite of mine. Deep Down was written by Ennio Morricone & appears on the soundtrack to Diabolik.

Alright, those are the songs. Hopefully I stirred some interest in you to check these out. I know I am terrible at explaining shit. Jen always says I am an awful teacher. Music is so emotional & intangible. I don't fucking know! Anyway, thanks for giving these a shot.

Honorable mentions:
Bohren und der Club of Gore - Catch my Heart (featuring Mike Patton). They cover a Warlock song with Mike Patton basically doing a very emotive Lionel Ritchie. Pretty great.

I also want to praise the latest Of the Wand & the Moon record & the 40 Watt Sun record. Both are so good & especially as the weather is getting colder I think they are perfect soundtracks to the season.

Thanks, Allen.


  1. Waka. Waka Flocka Flame. By far my most listened to album of 2011

  2. 1) man, you are already off to a brilliant start. description is dead on for me. amazing how lifting and gorgeous is it while retaining such a short time span. will definitely be searching for this record, thanks Allen

    5) wishing the vocals sounded like anything else, but really love this kind of metal, especially the kind that makes me want to shoot lasers in space

    6) this is a new and welcome kind of pummeling, perhaps in its production. super intrigued

    7) not ridiculous enough of a release

    10) Jiri was really my intro to Patton, and while there's very little i can listen to, there is a tremendous amount to admire.

    totally with you on Bohren und der Club of Gore; Dolores was on a bit here this year.

  3. 1. Yes.
    4. Double fucking Yes. I want to do magic while jumping a motorcycle.
    7.Negative world weed monster nightmare Yes. Which, I think might only make sense in a world where this music exists.
    9. Allright. Reading your description made me think I might NOT be interested....but fuck it. YEs, please.