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Best Hard Rock Albums of 2011 (so far)

For those who don’t know, music has always had a big impact on my life. While I listen to basically everything, I prefer to listen to heavier rock (hard rock, punk, metal, metalcore, post-hardcore, etc…). So since June has come to an end, here, in order by release date, are my favorite albums of 2011 so far and albums to look forward to in the next six months. FEEL FREE TO PUT IN ALBUMS THAT I MISSED AND LEAVE COMMENTS!!!

Best of the year

-”The Hymn of a Broken Man” by Times of Grace (1/18): What do you get when you combine the two people that made Killswitch Engage the band that it is today into a side project focused on a spiritual theme but stays true to metal? Not only one of the albums of the year, but one of the best vocal performances I have heard in a while. It does sound very similar to KSE but I would be the last person to complain about that.

-”Until We Have Faces” by Red (2/1): I saw these guys when they opened up for Creed last summer and they were amazing. This album showcases their talents and is a great listen. The Christian quintet smacks you in the face with hard riffs and wonderful vocals a la Breaking Benjamin.

-”Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows” by D.R.U.G.S. (2/22): I will admit it, I like the new Chiodos more than the old one. But Craig Owens’ new project is definitely a great replacement. An album that’s very nice to listen to and sing along to, it’s heavier than old Chiodos. It could have been a little better given the amount of hype it received but I am not going to complain much.
For fans of: CHIODOS

-”Digital Veil” by The Human Abstract (3/8): Another top candidate for album of the year. Progressive metal at its finest, it possesses riffs and breakdowns that are unique and powerful. Everything just seems to mesh well with this beautifully.This has also been hyped for a while but it meets it with flying colors.

-”Downtown Battle Mountain II” by Dance Gavin Dance (3/8): Jonny Craig is back! His soulful voice really bring DGD to life in this one. The best way to describe it is “organized chaos” and this album pulls it off better than anyone could expect.
For fans of: EMAROSA

-”My Devil In Your Eyes” by The Color Morale (3/8): A great post-hardcore release from a band that can really gain notoriety from a record like this. The cleans mixed with the rough vocals and the unique riffs make a powerful album that any fan will enjoy.
For fans of: WOE IS ME

-”Endgame” by Rise Against (3/15): Rise Against will always hold a special place in my heart. Although I disagree with pretty much everything the band stands for politically, they preach with such passion that you know it is them the second you hear a song. While it cannot touch the masterpiece that is “The Sufferer and the Witness,” it is certainly one to remember.
For fans of: PENNYWISE

-”The Discovery” by Born of Osiris (3/22): My pre-ordering of this album was a very smart decision. It is definitely a step above the average pieces in the deathcore genre. The instrumentals are top-notch and the keyboard work is beyond awesome (the few instrumentals featuring strictly synth work are nice).
For fans of: VEIL OF MAYA

-”Great Faith in Fools” by The Air I Breathe (6/7): Similar to The Color Morale, this heavy headbanger brings very strong guitar riffs that come close to topping The Word Alive.
For fans of: MISS MAY I

-”The Flood” by Of Mice & Men (6/14): Another band full of drama and hype, OM&M most definitely deliver on their second album. If you are into breakdowns, unique screams, and very good clean vocals, this is the album for you. While it is not revolutionary, it is a step-up from the original and is a fun one to jam to.

-”Leveler” by August Burns Red (6/21): If this album is not my album of the year at the end of 2011, it will have to be from a monumental effort. August Burns Red is arguably my favorite bands and this album reassures that statement. Guitar solos, massive drums, passionate vocals, and even a SALSA DANCE SECTION! Oh, and there are some pretty stellar breakdowns too.
For fans of: OH, SLEEPER

Also listen to

-All Time Low’s “Dirty Work”
-Architects’ “The Here and Now”
-Asking Alexandria’s “Reckless and Relentless”
-Texas in July’s “One Reality”
-Yellowcard’s “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes”

Keep an eye out for

-3 Doors Down
-Every Time I Die
-Red Hot Chili Peppers
-The Devil Wears Prada
-We Came As Romans


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