Jan 122011

I got home from my fucking day job last night and what do you think was waiting in my mailbox — other than more fucking bills?  No, it wasn’t cash from Hong Kong — not yet (see the post below this one). It was the February issue of DECIBEL magazine (the only metal mag worth reading any more).  And what do you think was inside the magazine? Well, lots of stuff, of course, but what immediately caught my eye was the magazine’s list of the Top 25 Most Anticipated Albums of 2011.

We try to keep up with news about forthcoming releases. In fact, we run a monthly list that collects news items about albums headed our way. But the DECIBEL list still included some albums we hadn’t yet heard about. Fuck, we hadn’t even heard of some of these bands. Beyond that, of course, is the question whether the albums on the list belong on the list, and whether other deserving releases were omitted. We’re curious what you think about those issues, so leave us some comments please.

Here’s the DECIBEL list:

TRAP THEM, Darker Handcraft
COFFINS, Fleshland
PRIMATE, Draw Back A Stump (EP)
AMON, Liar In Wait

(the rest of the list follows the jump, plus some names DECIBEL left off their list. . .)

AMON AMARTH, Surtur Rising
TOMBS, Path of Totality
CROWBAR, Sever the Wicked Hand
CAVE IN, White Silence
PRIMORDIAL, The Puritan’s Hand
AUTOPSY, Macabre Eternal

Now, here are a few bands who we know have albums on the way this year that we’re looking forward to, but who didn’t make the Decibel Top 25 list:

Abysmal Dawn, All Shall Perish, Animals As Leaders, Arch Enemy, Asphyx, Ava Inferi, Barren Earth, Belphegor, The Black Dahlia Murder, Born of Osiris, Children of Bodom, Coldworker, Cripple Bastards, Darkest Hour, Deicide, DevilDriver, Down, Evile, The Famine, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Ghost Brigade, Goatwhore, Gorgoroth, Hate Eternal, The Haunted, Hull, Iced Earth, In Flames, Insomnium, Job For A Cowboy, Korpiklaani, Lazarus A.D., Lock Up, Man Must Die, Meshuggah, My Dying Bride, Necrophagist, Negura Bunget, Nervecell, Neuraxis, Neurosis, Norther, Nothnegal, Obscura, Omnium Gatherum, Periphery, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, The Red Chord, Regurgitate, Reign Supreme, Revocation, Rotten Sound, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Samael, Scale the Summit, Septicflesh, Sepultura, Shai Hulud, Suicide Silence, Suidakra, TesseracT, Testament, Thulcandra, Today Is the Day, Turisas, Ulcerate, Unearth, Universum, Winds of Plague, Wolvhammer, Wormrot.

And as DECIBEL’s Rod Smith wrote in his introduction to the magazine’s line-up, “Twenty-five bucks says we all end the year with brains blown out by at least this many unforeseen releases.”

We ain’t taking that bet, because surely that prediction will come true. Looks to be a brutal, skull-cleaving year of metal ahead.

What are you looking forward to hearing? And what do you think of DECIBEL’s list?

UPDATE: In addition to identifying their Top 25 Most Anticipated albums, DECIBEL’s current issue also includes a near-exhaustive list of all albums scheduled for release in 2011 of which DECIBEL is currently aware.  We haven’t taken the time to count the number, but would estimate it’s in the range of 450 releases.  To see that list, use this link.


  1. Personally I can’t wait for the new Primordial, “To The Nameless Dead” I thought was nothing short of brilliant.

    Other ones that should be intestesting..:

    Fleshgod Apocalypse
    Negura Bunget

    and, not yet mentioned:
    Dordeduh! (The other half of Negura Bunget from the split)
    Les Discrets
    and the DVD from Negura Bunget should be cool too!

    • Also, in browsing metal sites over the last few days, I’ve twice come across references to a forthcoming album called “Parasignosis” by a band called Mitochondrian that looks like my kind of thing. From The Living Doorway blog: “This is absolutely hellish blackened death metal, rife with jagged twists and turns which are sewn into a sickeningly malevolent atmosphere. The churning maelstrom of intensity summoned here is nearly a pitch-perfect collision of death metal complexity and cold, ritualistic black metal, spitting poison blood and bile in the face of god and everyone else.” Sounds tasty.

    • Fredrik, on the subject of albums on the way, I got this e-mail from Skepticism’s guitarist Jani Kekarainen. Thought you’d be interested since you pointed us to Skepticism for one of our Finland Tribute Week posts: “Thanks a lot for the support and writing the article! It has been already almost two decades since we started, which is quite amazing. We are currently (slowly) writing new material and probably after a year or two we will be able to visit studio next time. And by the way, three Skepticism members are also playing in other group called Thromdarr (faster stuff). A new Thromdarr album will be released within the next two months. More info: http://www.thromdarr.com (includes myspace and facebook links for samples).”

  2. Ah hell, I knew about some of those on your “not yet mentioned” list and should have included them. I’m still just beginning to listen to previous releases from Alcest and Les Discrets, Dornenreich is a band I definitely need to catch up to, and I’m very curious to hear what Dordeduh comes up with,

  3. Even though they only talked about those 25, there’s a long list of upcoming releases right after that. Lots of names I’m unfamiliar with, but after skimming through the list, I think my wallet’s going to be busy this year.

    Fleshgod Apocalypse would have to be on my top 25, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it’d be on yours as well. I’m also looking forward to new offerings from Amorphis, TesseracT, My Dying Bride, Psychotic Waltz, Futures End, Symphony X and Testament – assuming the upcoming lists are all right about new stuff from them this years. Plus there are many more. The new Korpiklaani album is fun, but might not be as accessible as previous albums. One of the drawbacks to being entirely in Finnish.

    Who knows, maybe Worship Music and the followup to Chinese Democracy will come out this year. But I’m not going to bet on it.

    On a side note, whats does your cover say at the top? The list is Most Anticpated Records Of 2011, but on the front cover, mine says 2010.

    • Fuck, I didn’t even notice that — my copy also says Most Anticipated Records of 2010. They must use the same proofreaders we use here at NCS. This may also explain why, when I first posted this piece, I wrote “2010” in the title of the post. For some reason I noticed that and changed it.

      I do like that long list of forthcoming releases that followed the Top 25 in the magazine, though even that one omitted a few we had one our last couple of monthly “forthcoming” lists.

      And yes, I had the same feeling you did in looking at all these names — that metal will put me in the poorhouse this year if I’m not careful.

      • What’ll probably happen is that most purchases are going to be for stuff I haven’t heard of before and that isn’t on my radar, with only a few albums that I’m actually looking forward to now being added to my collection. Kind of how it’s been for the past few years or so for me. Something tells me NCS will be a part of the reason.

        • 🙂 Well, I hope we’ll be part of the reason. I’m actually working on a review of an under-the-radar band from Canada whose music I think will be right up your alley. Hoping to get that done by Friday.

      • Care to post the rest of forthcoming list they had?

        • I’m afraid that would be a lot of typing — just eye-balling the list, I’d guess it’s about 450 albums. set in tiny print that runs for 3 pages. I skimmed through it fairly quickly and picked about 60 names for the list I put in the post, plus about a dozen others I knew about that weren’t on the DECIBEL list.

        • I thought of another way to skin this cat without typing ’til my fingers bleed. Check the new Update to this post above.

          • I noticed The Project Hate MCMXCIX has two releases on the list, Bleeding The New Apocalypse next month and another in March. Typo or a planned release that I haven’t seen mention of? Not that they’re on my radar (I’ve heard them a couple times, but that’s about it), but it stuck out when I saw their name twice on the list – more so because they’re only a month apart.

        • This isnt the whole list, but this website is pretty good at keeping track of most upcoming releases:


  4. Odd. I will poke around and see what i can find. I’m not a big fan of theirs (not crazy about Ruby’s vocals, so i’m not up on their news).

  5. Lots of goodies to look forward to but I’m most excited about Skeletonwitch, Pig Destroyer, Crowbar, Goatwhore, The Red Chord and Omnium Gatherum (after hearing Niek’s samples).

    • Reminds me I should have put Crowbar on my list — which continues to grow and grow and grow . . .

    • Out of the top 25, Disma is the one I want most, been waiting all of last year to hear about a full length from them….followed closely by Amon Amarth. Suidakra should be good too after the awesomeness of Crogacht

  6. If they listed them in order of anticipation, then I couldn’t agree more. Holy shit, so excited for the new Trap Them album. The new song “The Facts” is fucking catchy (dare I say, infectuous?) and I have been listening to it on repeat since I heard it last week.

    I’m also greatly looking forward to new Pig Destroyer and The Faceless.

    Did I mention how excited I am for Trap Them?

    • Ah yes, since the LAST time you raved about that song I went and got it and I’ve been listening, too. Infectious, yes. And the phrase “fucks your face off” also comes to mind. For others who may be picking their way through these comments, Brooklyn Vegan is still offering the song for free download here:


      I’ve also been listening to another band with a forthcoming album that reminds me of Trap Them — Tacoma’s Owen Hart. They also know how to grind your head down to a nub but still load up with groovy riffs. And they don’t give a shit either.

      • Thanks for the solid recommendation, I’m liking these guys. I’ve definitely been into the raw sound lately – Magrudergrind is just so good, and you can’t really go wrong with Pig Destroyer. Trap Them and Converge are also getting a lot of plays. I found that 2010, at least for me personally, was very djent-heavy and I listened to a lot of bands with that “processed” kind of sound. I do like that sound a lot, but got a bit overloaded with it and now am on this raw/grind kick.

        • I’m finding myself more open to the raw grind sound now, too. I’ve always liked it, but the desire ebbs and flows. Now it’s flowing. Can’t wait for the new Pig Destroyer. I was hoping it would be out last year. I haven’t heard the new Magrudergrind (“Crusher”) but it got an 8 out of 10 rating in a vibrant Kevin Stewart-Panko review in the same issue of DECIBEL we’ve been talking about.

  7. NEUROSIS…..Brooklyn Vegan had an interview with Scott Kelly stating that they would release a new album this year.

    • I saw the Neurosis name buried in that list of about 450 albums on the full DECIBEL list following the Top 25, but that’s a reissue of Souls At Zero scheduled for February, with some bonus items included. I put Neurosis on my list above because of an interview I saw in August, where Kelly said a new album was “tentatively” planned for release late this year. I didn’t see the Brooklyn Vegan interview. Here’s what I saw:
      This may turn out to be wishful thinking, given all the caveats that Kelly threw in. We’ll see.

  8. Btw, new CoB track is up on YouTube…and…well, it’s not good at least, 😉


    (But then again, I haven’t really enjoyed CoB since “Something Wild”…)

    • I hadn’t heard this yet, but just did. I think the song is okay, but just that. Very simple, and definitely a far cry from Something Wild and Hatebreeder. Getting close to formulaic arena rock. I hope there’s more to the album than this style.

  9. I gotta say looking through this list as well as others online very little excites me, off the top of my head:

    Dawn (yeah right, they’ve only been promising the new album for seven years now)
    Deicide (have a feeling this will suck, just like everything since Serpents of the Light, but who knows)

    • Alrighty then. Our mission is to tunnel deep underground and find something that’s not on any of those lists that will excite you. Fortunately, we’ve got almost 12 months to do it.

  10. Very late with my post, but can I add Wintersun to the list?

    • Wintersun is very late, so you can certainly be late with your post. 🙂 I sure we hope we finally see their next album this year. It was one of my most highly anticipated last year!

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