• The 25 Best Metal Albums of 2011

    Jump in the heavy metal time machine and buckle up — we’re looking back at the Top 25 Metal Albums of 2011!

    First, let’s look back at some significant moments of the year — Barack Obama was President of the United States; Donald Trump was still hosting the reality competition show The Apprentice; Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had died; Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis due to a spider bite; an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan; triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster and Rebecca Black’s god awful “Friday” song was released.

    As usual, new music was there to help us all through the ups and downs of daily life. We finally got a new album from Anthrax, which the band had been talking about for what felt like an eternity. That album solidified the Big 4’s presence early on in the new decade.

    Dream Theater had a big shakeup after drummer Mike Portnoy left and the prog legends made their recording debut with new kinsman, Mike Mangini, after an intense and publicized search for Portnoy’s successor. Elsewhere in prog, Opeth revamped their sound completely and Devin Townsend continued to somehow get even weirder, all to our benefit, of course.

    Metalcore’s sound was evolving, classic heavy metal was starting to be embraced by a new crop of bands while some of the 21st century’s biggest names continued to reinforce their reign.

    Scroll through our picks for the Top 25 Metal Albums of 2011 below.

    The 25 Best Metal Albums of 2011

  • 87 Rock + Metal Albums That Are Turning 20 This Year

    Wow, 2001 was a long time ago. It was also a heck of a year for rock and metal. Tons of killer albums came out in 2001; we’ve compiled 87 of ’em that rock and metal lovers of all stripes likely enjoyed — and still do! Indeed, it’s almost hard to believe these releases all turn 20 this year.

    Back then, most had to purchase an album physically to enjoy it at home. Legally, at least. Sure, peer-to-peer file-sharing networks were on the rise. But the iTunes Store was still two years away!

    All the same, plenty of efforts by big-name rockers emerged in 2001 — many of them on the same day. Think about the landmark release date of May 15, 2001: That’s when Megadeth’s The World Needs a Hero, Tool’s Lateralus and Weezer’s “Green Album” dropped simultaneously.

    It was also smack dab in the middle of nu-metal’s mainstream popularity. Drowning Pool’s Sinner, Ill Niño’s Revolution Revolución, Mudvayne’s The Beginning of All Things to End, Mushroomhead’s XX, P.O.D.’s Satellite, Saliva’s Every Six Seconds, Sevendust’s Animosity and Staind’s Break the Cycle all came out in 2001. Talk about a banner year for the infamous alt-metal subgenre.

    So relive some rock and metal history with 87 albums celebrating two decades of existence this year. There’s something for everyone. Which of these records did you have on your shelves in 2001?