When I started counting down my favourite albums of 2011 I mentioned that there were a couple of albums I intentionally left off. I left them off not because I wouldn't consider them among my favourite 40 but because I know they aren't among the best 40. My bias towards these artists is too strong to allow me to judge them fairly against the rest of the list. So instead of trying to find the proper place and then imagine people saying "Are you kidding me?!" I just decided to make a separate post.
Megadeth - TH1RT3EN: I don't really feel guilty per se for liking this album as much as I do. But I'm not going to pretend that it's AMAZING either. I'm also not going to pretend that 13 is their best album either. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I don't believe there are any duds. It's Megadeth doing what Megadeth does. You have to admit that besides Slayer, Megadeth are the best and most consistent band among the BIg 4. Megadeth played a big part in my early metalhead life. For a time, they were my favourite metal band of all time. This band has had so much influence on me, and holds a special place in my heart. I actually framed my autographed sleeve for The World Needs a Hero. I met them, had it signed and saw them perform an acoustic on the day it was released. That's actually the only time I've seen them live. UNTIL FEBRUARY 5TH!!! For all that, I can't judge Megadeth. Unless they pull a Metallica. Then all bets are off.
Traditionally, any new release from Clutch graces the top spot on my list. I don't have to worry about bias. They ARE the best. But with no new release from them in 2011, (the Blast Tyrant re-issue doesn't count) a Clutch album doesn't come into play here. In such (disappointing) years as Clutch fail to release an album,.top honours usually go to Soulfly. Their release schedules are mostly staggered. Since no Soulfly album was released either, my second "guilty pleasure" of 2011 is:
Cavalera Conspiracy - Blunt Force Trauma: This feels like more of a guilty pleasure. CC get no respect. Soulfly doesn't get much either for that matter and really, in a blind taste test, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two. But I have a man-crush on Max Cavalera as a musician (he's not much to look at) so I really dig just about anything he is involved in. It's really unfortunate that his name is so associated with nu-metal. I really dig this album and I don't care what you think. Although, "I Speak Hate" isn't Max's best effort.