Best of 2011 – Brat
01. Rhapsody of Fire – From Chaos to Eternity
And so the journey comes to an end, and with it, the production quality missing from the earlier albums. No longer does Luca Turilli’s guitar playing dominate the music and Fabio Leone’s multi styled vocals receives the attention it so rightly deserves on this album. Sing for me in Italian again, Fabio!
02. Turisas – Stand Up and Fight
This album transports me to classic Hollywood movies such as Danny Kay’s The Court Jester or Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood.
Venetoi! – Prasinoi! would be the instrumental introduction to the movie also featuring during certain scenes of the movie; The March of the Varangian Guard would be the inspirational song sung by troops and mounted knights upon steeds while on some quest; and the horns in Take the Day transport me to the great banquet halls of damp-stoned castles.
03. Crimfall – The Writ of the Sword
04. Suidakra – Book of Dowth
05. Mortal Sin – Psychology of Death
06. Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising
07. Pain – You Only Live Twice
08. Rarog – Vzoidi solnce!
09. Whitesnake – Forevermore (fan pack)
10. Tarot – Spell of Iron MMXI
11. Edguy – Age of the Joker (fan edition)
12. Arkona – Slovo
13. Powerwolf – Blood of the Saints
14. Iron Savior – The Landing
15. Nightwish – Imaginaerum
16. Anthrax – Worship Music
17. Symfonia – In Paradisum
18. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming
19. Poisonblack – Drive
20. Shakra – Back on Track
Arkona – Stenka na Stenku EP
Best New Band
Symfonia (see Top 20)
With a special mention to Stargazery. Where from? Finland, of course!
Sonata Arctica Live in Finland
Best 2010 Retrospective
Albums I only got to listen in 2011, but had I heard these in 2010, they would definitely have been in my Top 20 last year
Gamma Ray – To the Metal
Forgotten Tales – We Shall See the Light
Best Industrial/Goth Album
Pain – You Only Live Twice
This is more industrial than metal IMO, but as some people include is as a metal release I included it in my Top 20.
Best Pop Metal Album
Amaranthe – Amaranthe
Within Temptation – The Unforgiving
Brilliant album. Previous albums haven’t had the magic.
Best Metal Concert
Looking back at my diary, I’m shocked to find so few gigs listed. Maybe I should make a new year’s resolution to attend more shows…
Festival: Soundwave Festival, Sydney Olympic Park; and Graspop Metal Meeting, Belgium.
Equal ranking for these 2 festivals as I had issues with both (beyond the control of the organisers).
Soundwave was marred by Slayer cancelling and Rob Zombie starting late because his AV show wasn’t working. DUDE! Don’t care about the picture, just get up and play!
Ozzy Osbourne #%$&ed up my Graspop by cancelling which pitted Whitesnake against (cue melodrama: "Oh! The…) Pain.
Stadium: Iron Maiden, Sydney Entertainment Centre
Being so close to the stage for Iron Maiden will probably be a once in a lifetime event so I made the most of it.
Theatre/club/pub: Destruction and Mortal Sin, Bald Faced Stag Hotel, Leichhardt (Sydney)
Best Local Band
Undoubtedly would have to be thrash metal band MORTAL SIN from Sydney, Australia. Still slogging it out with international tours and local gigs 20 years later
Greatest Metal Hopes…
…that I can get to another European metal festival in 2012.
…that more of the bands I love can tour Australia.
…to cross more bands off my bucket list.
Greatest Metal Disappointments
(Cue melodrama) Missing ("Oh! The…) Pain at Graspop because of Ozzy I-hope-your-larynx-fall-out Osbourne
Missing out of the special Nuclear Blast edition of Nightwish Imaginaerum
Best Live Album
Sabaton – World War Live: Battle of the Baltic Sea
Even though the DVD part of the release didn’t cut the cheese, the CDs did
Best Remake Album
Tarot – Spell of Iron MMXI
Great remake with the benefits of added members, new technology and a touch of humour in the video for Wings of Darkness MMXI
Firewind: This band blasted the stage at Graspop. Brilliant energy and visually entertaining live.
Forgotten Tales: Stumbled upon this band in a blog. Always interested in female fronted power metal bands and with the samples I heard I had to get the album. No opera, no meek nightingale – just pure female vocals with balls!