2011 is coming to its halfway mark already, and suffice it to say, we rock fans anticipate some heavy hitters on deck: Soundgarden and A Perfect Circle have reunited, both with respective circulating stories surrounding new material; Rammstein are finally touring their “once in a lifetime” sets for us North Americans; 3 of the “Big 4” touted Jagermeister’s banner last year; Mastodon and Liturgy are, in varying ways, experimenting with the metal medium as we know it; Disturbed and Machine Head are returning to the Mayhem Festival bill for its fourth year, booking Megadeth and Sweden’s own In Flames as supporting acts.
This is phenomenal news. We in the hard rock categories–despite Clear Channel radio–are vying for major support and getting it by all means. What’s a moshin’ kid to do? Who do we root for? The progressives? The ol’ school thrashers? How about speed or thematic metal? You would think we have been enveloped by spikes and sweaty concert tees all for naught. The sad truth is, no one could effortlessly peddle 13 albums encompassing the past 10 years; misses were made, but in retrospect, ’tis still a labor of love.
Please note that this list is in no particular order or sequence of any kind, I merely winged it and tweaked when necessary. To Static-X, Slipknot, Type O Negative, Amon Amarth, Borean Dusk, and otherwise noteworthy bands that did not make the list — feel free to crucify me later, it was not meant personally. Love me or hate me, letters to the usual address (that goes to our Comments section, too).
Meanwhile, as I replay my copy of Iowa for the 1,000,000th time…
…the following is a tiny audio assortment I personally thrive on with my car’s shitty stereo, my computer’s shittier speakers, and my iPod’s blessed earphone jack. One-half egotistical, one-half introductory–from the turn of the millennium to last New Year’s–this is a testament to the tunes I head-bang or wax poetic alongside, a list which noticeably consists almost entirely of CDs this site has not reviewed (go figure). [For a handy reference to any of the below, check out the Map of Metal.]
The hard rock lives on, and should you want to square off with yours truly for a rough tumble in the dirt, meet me at Mayhem 2011 in Raleigh, NC next week. I might be inclined to have a beer with you, shoot the shit at where I went wrong, or something else degrading for the sake of putting rears in the audience.
Nothing on film, though. That’s my word.
Senior Staff Writer