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The Metal Excess Awards: 2011 Edition

Last year I said 2010 was a better year for music than 2009 was. I went on to wonder how 2011 could even begin to top it. Well, guess what… 2011 did indeed top 2010! I’m looking back at my Top 25 list for 2010 and while those albums are all still good, this year’s Top 25 list is much stronger top to bottom.

2011 was a great year that saw classic rock/metal acts like Whitesnake, Warrant, Riot, Alice Cooper, Journey, Black N’ Blue and King Kobra deliver some of the best albums of their career while younger acts like Steel Panther, Reckless Love, Savage Messiah, Evile (who missed the list by this much) and Black Veil Brides have shown that they are more than capable of carrying rock & metal into the future.

Top 25 Albums of 2011

1. Whitesnake – Forevermore
2. Sixx:A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt
3. Riot – Immortal Soul
4. Warrant – Rockaholic
5. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
6. Steel Panther – Balls Out
7. Megadeth – Thirteen
8. Anthrax – Worship Music
9. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming
10. Reckless Love – Animal Attraction
11. Edguy – Age of the Joker
12. Hurtsmile – s/t
13. Journey – Eclipse
14. Chickenfoot – III
15. Mike Tramp & The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz – Stand Your Ground
16. Black Country Communion – 2
17. The Poodles – Performocracy
18. House of Lords – Big Money
19. King Kobra – s/t
20. Saliva – Under Your Skin
21. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
22. Black N’ Blue – Hell Yeah!
22. Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscience
24. George Lynch – Kill All Control
25. Joe Bonamassa – Dust Bowl

Best E.P./Single
In light of a few non-album singles being released this year, I’ve decided to make this a hybrid category.

1. Sixx:A.M. – 7
2. Black Veil Brides – Rebels
3. Who Cares – Out of My Mind / Holy Water
4. Wildstreet – II …Faster …Louder!
5. The Last Vegas – The Other Side E.P.

Best Compilation/Cover/Live/Reissue Albums
Kind of a catch-all category this year. Instead of listing each category individually, I decided to lump them all into one list and rank them that way.

1. Black Sabbath – Born Again [Deluxe Edition]
2. Stryper – The Covering
3. Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped
4. Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990
5. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11
6. Hell – Human Remains
7. Scorpions – Comeblack
8. Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More
9. Eric Carr – Unfinished Business
10. Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer [Deluxe Edition]

Want to read more about the year in music? Check out some of the fine sites & blogs listed below! And be sure to keep checking back for more Year-End posts here at Metal Excess!

All Metal Resource —

Bring Back Glam —

The Crash Pad of Ray Van Horn, Jr. –

Hair Metal Mansion —

Hard Rock Hideout —

Hard Rock Nights —

Heavy Metal Addiction —

Heavy Metal Time Machine —

Imagine Echoes —

Layla’s Classic Rock —

Metal Odyssey —

The Ripple Effect —

Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscience

Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscience (2011, Earache Records)

1. “Plague of Conscience” … 5:31
2. “Six Feet Under the Gun” … 5:01
3. “Carnival of Souls” … 6:02
4. “In Thought Alone” … 4:36
5. “All Seeing I” … 05:09
6. “Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt” … 4:09
7. “Architects of Fear” … 5:14
8. “The Accuser” … 4:04
9. “Shadowbound” … 4:50
10. “The Mask of Anarchy” … 8:37

Dave Silver – Vocals, Guitar
Joff Bailey – Guitar
Stefano Selvatico – Bass
Mauricio Chamucero – Drums

Producer: Scott Atkins

Savage Messiah are a band I knew absolutely nothing about until I watched  music journalist Dom Lawson’s “Iron Sandwich” video review for Plague of Conscience. He gave it a lot of high praise so I figured since the album is currently free to download I’d be a fool to not sample it.

This is the band’s third release and it’s apparent I’ve been missing out on this slice of British steel. I don’t know how this album compares to previous releases, but I’ve seen some places present Savage Messiah as a (retro) thrash metal band but they aren’t that at all. Thrash is just a portion of their sound, they are also equal parts power, speed, melodic and progressive.  In short, they are HEAVY METAL. They don’t dance anywhere near the extreme side of metal (like Slayer) and the vocals of Dave Silver are clean & extraordinary. I don’t even get much of a retro vibe from them but they are certainly going to appeal to that community of old school fans because you can hear a bit of Priest, Maiden and Megadeth.

Plague of Conscience has been made available as a FREE download over at Earache Records’ website, so download it while you can. I’d also like to point out that the download comes complete with artwork for the album cover, booklet (with lyrics) and back cover. The artwork throughout is just beautiful. A CD edition of the album will be hitting shelves (and distros) in January 2012.

Granted, you shouldn’t take something just because it’s free but in the case of Plague of Conscience, Savage Messiah & Earache Records have given the public one hell of a deal and now the band has at least one more fan.

Highlights: “Plague of Conscience”, “Six Feet Under the Gun”, “In Thought Alone”, “Beyond A Shadow of a Doubt”, “Architects of Fear”, “The Mask of Anarchy”

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