Dec 072011

As I assume everyone knows, part of this site’s philosophy is not to crap on metal bands whose music sucks. Instead, we pretty much just ignore those bands. About the only exceptions are big, famous, wealthy, arrogant bands who just won’t shut the fuck up. If you think a minute, you can figure out who those bands are. But when it comes to just about everyone else, our philosophy is to stay positive and spend our time talking about music we feel we can honestly recommend. There are plenty of other sites that will tell you in amusing ways which music you should avoid like genital herpes.

BUT, since we’re here in December and Listmania is rampant, other sites are making lists of the worst metal albums of 2011, and I thought I’d feature one of those lists in this post to go along with all the “Best of 2011” lists we’ve been posting — just to get the conversation started, because I know all of you have heard some music this year that disappointed you, or worse yet, made you want to stick your finger down your gullet to relieve the nausea.

So, the list I’ve picked as a conversation-starter is one put together by Adrien Begrand for MSN Entertainment. MSN Entertainment is another one of what I’ve been calling “big platform” sites, i.e., websites that have huge amounts of traffic but cover metal as only one of dozens of interests. As in the case of other big-platform sites whose Best of 2011 lists I’ve been featuring, I’d be surprised if any of you visit MSN Entertainment to get guidance about good and bad metal. But Adrien Begrand writes for lots of sites and publications and I certainly respect his opinions.

So, after the jump, we’ll take a look at his list of the 10 Worst Metal Albums of 2011, and then we’ll open up the Comments for discussion. And yes, you will be able to guess which albums are in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions.

To see Adrien’s list with explanations of why he picked these albums as the 10 worst, use this link. Here they are, which Adrien prefaced with this statement: “To preface, I should mention that I have to hear tons of terrible albums throughout any given year, especially by young bands just starting out. It’s much more fitting that my list of worst albums sticks to the higher-profile turkeys out there, the mediocre records by bands that should know better. So here they are, ten albums that I hope to write about for the very last time and wash my hands of forever. But we’ll never forget the top two, will we?”

10.  Trivium, In Waves

9.   Chimaira, The Age of Hell

8.   As I Lay Dying, Decas

7.   Pestilence, Doctrine

6.   Limp Bizkit, Gold Cobra

5.   Winds of Plague, Against the World

4.   Gamma Ray, Skeletons & Majesties

3.   The Haunted, Unseen

2.   Morbid Angel, Illud Divinum Insanus

1.   Lou Reed and Metallica, Lulu

Do you agree with all of these choices? I don’t. For example, though I wouldn’t put the Chimaira or the Pestilence on my list of the year’s best, I certainly didn’t think they were among the 10 worst albums I’ve heard this year either. In fact, there are things about both those albums that I liked.  Are there albums on this list you don’t think belong there?

And what would be on your list of the worst metal you heard this year — other than Morbid Angel and Loutallica. Unless you’re Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) or Dale Crover (Melvins), we already know that if you listened to those two atrocities, you thought they sucked ass. But other than those two, what albums made the most negative impression on you this year?


  1. I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with this, but perhaps my biggest disappointment this year was the new Primordial album. I think the worst part was that the single (Bloodied yet Unbowed) was quite good, and made one feel hopeful about the album, and then it turns out to be just ‘meh’.

    Now I’m going to put on my flame-retardant suit and go hide while I’m told how wrong my opinion is 🙂

    • agreed. i had high hopes for this album and it is sooooooooo boring. i only really enjoy “no grave deep enough” and the title track. i don’t think it would make my worst metal list. i’m not even sure i could make one (generally i don’t listen to shit that sucks. i’m stupid that way).

  2. I don’t even know why “In Waves” is on here. It should’ve been a given that it would suck ass. Putting it on a list is rather redundant =p

    Putting “Decas” on here seems rather pointless being that it was nothing but an extras package. Seems unfair.

    As for The Haunted “Unseen”… I think they’ve lost “it” and think they haven’t had “it” since “ReVoLvEr”. The fact this sucks shouldn’t have been surprising after the nu metal suckfest of “The Dead Eye”.

    I kinda would’ve liked to find some more unique number 1 and 2 choices besides Loutallica and MA. Felt like a gimmicky obvious option.

    • I think the Haunted has unfortunately been a band in perpetual decline. The first album was great, the second good, and after that I’ve had pretty much zero interest in them …

        • Hey, I think my review speaks for itself.

          I can let you know now though that NONE of those albums appear on my “Disappointing” list of 2011.

          For any one of 4 reasons:

          1 – didn’t hear them (Trivium)
          2 – thought they were “Good” (Chimaira)
          3 – they were always going to be fuck awful, so could never count as “Disappointing” (Winds Of Plague)
          4 – it’s been well documented how awful they are, so there’s no point wasting time on them (Metallica)

  3. Wait…Gold Cobra is on here????

    That was THE sleeper hit album of the decade, right there!!! In about two years, everyone will have forgotten 20 amp dildos and Anal Nathrax, and they`ll be talking about the glorious rhymes, riffs, and vomit induced by seeing Kirsten Dunst wear her hat backwards while wearing baggy pants. Yes, it is strange that she somehow grew a douche-goatee, but at least the music was fucking sick. Bro.

    • Uh . . . that’s DURST, not DUNST. I know you know this. I’m just trying to un-do the psychic projection you have made that would cause me to think of Fred Durst when I see Kirsten Dunst, which would poison a perfectly good visual experience, because the former causes my bizkit to become limp while the latter causes the dough to rise in the oven.

      • You`re right that I did know and that I love ruining your boners.

        I`m the same as the time you couldn`t get it up because you couldn`t stop thinking about your grandmother`s big, floppy tits.

        • That only happened the one time. Ever since then I stay so rock hard I could drive nails without a hammer. Y’know, just in case anyone gets the wrong idea.

  4. Limp Bizkit is metal?

  5. Comment from my wife, who really dislikes metal, upon seeing the top of this post on my computer screen: “That must be a really long list.”

  6. I…see…Gamma Ray….WHAT THE HELL MAN?! (I’m the one weird hybrid where I am that listens to Power Metal and Death Metal.)

  7. OK– Gold Cobra has the best video of the year, I LIKE Winds of Plague, and That Haunted record is the best thing they’ve done Since rEvolveR…but like all their albums past the first it was 2 or 3 good signles and then bullshit.

  8. Man I really like In Waves. I really feel like there was some genuine talent it, which is to say talent in the way that crafting an album full of genuinely good catchy pop songs is a lot more difficult than you think it is. The instruments seemed better and his singing voice has improved. Is Trivium too “clean” to be considered “good”? By that logic maybe Unto the Locust should be on this list. I always though it was funny that Trivium’s worst album was the one with the blatant metalllica worship.

  9. I haven’t listened to “Lulu” or much of “Illud Divinum Insanus” mostly because I haven’t really heard enough good things to check those out, in fact most of what I’ve heard is basically “they suck” which shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you. I don’t have enough interest in LB and WoP to check them out… actually, most of this stuff I haven’t had enough interest to check out. I will say that some of the stuff I heard from the new Trivium album didn’t warrant my official return to fan status. I do want to check out “Doctrine” though, seeing as how I enjoyed “Resurrection Macabre” from the last album a good bit.

    • I’m definitely an outlier on “Doctrine” As I remember, it got roundly savaged in most reviews and blogger commentary I saw when it came out. I do understand why people felt that way. At first blush, I found it . . . odd-sounding, and it’s definitely a disjointed, often jarring listen, mixing together, as it does, kind of funky jazz-fusion and blunt-force death metal. But it grew on me, in part because all the musicians are so skilled and they hit stretches of really wild instrumental stuff. Even the widely condemned Mameli vocals grew on me.

      • Were Mameli’s vocals on the previous album or were those someone else’s? Whether they were or not, I actually enjoyed the them; I think I should clarify that this was my first exposure to Pestilence and that I only ever bought the title track though… I guess it’s pretty clear that I’ve only been into metal for a short time (I’d say I’ve been a fan of some extent since sometime in 2008).

    • I should add that your enjoyment of Resurrection Macabre does not mean you will like Doctrine. They’re very different.

  10. Some things in life I am sure of. So, when Limp Bizkit or Winds Of Plague put an album out, there is no need to jump on ITunes and spend my hard earned money. With that said, some of the albums on the MSN list I am sure are really poor, and I will take their word for it. One thing I have learned in my short 35 years is that I don’t need to touch the stove when I am told it is hot.
    These are the albums that I listened to this year and regretted.

    Bury Your Dead
    Protest the Hero
    Darkest Hour
    Weekend Nachos
    Ed Gein
    Embalming Theater
    Arch Enemy
    Dimmu Borgir

    One album I was hoping to be better than it was, Legion of the Damned.
    One album I have seen on some year end lists and disagree with, Toxic Holocaust.

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