2011 in Heavy Metal Music: The Best and Worst of the Year

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


It’s been a big year for heavy metal music, with some amazing highs and some crushing lows. Here’s a look back at the best and worst of 2011 in heavy metal.

Best Metal Albums of 2011

There were some great metal albums released in 2011, and it was tough to narrow it down to just a few. But these are the albums that we think truly stood out from the pack this year.

– Slayer, “Reign in Blood”
– Suicidal Tendencies, “The Art of Rebellion”
– Metallica, “Master of Puppets”
– Megadeth, “Rust in Peace”
– Exodus, “Bonded by Blood”

Best Metal Songs of 2011

1. “Roots” – Sepultura
2. “Hail to the King” – Avenged Sevenfold
3. “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” – Volbeat
4. “Burn the Priest” – Lamb of God
5. “Ghost Walking” – Lamb of God
6. “In Flames” – Dark Tranquillity
7. “The Weight of Devastation” – Devin Townsend Project
8. “Unto the Locust” – Machine Head
9. “The Cult is Alive” – Enslaved
10. “A Link Between Worlds” – Mogwai

Best Metal Videos of 2011

There were some great heavy metal videos released in 2011. Here are some of the best:

-A Day to Remember – “All I Want”
This video tells the story of a young boy who is a fan of the band A Day to Remember. He is teased by his classmates and is an outcast at school. However, he finds solace in his love of music, and A Day to Remember is his favorite band. The video follows him as he grows up and becomes a successful musician himself.

-Avenged Sevenfold – “Nightmare”
This video was released shortly after the death of Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. It features footage of Sullivan throughout his life, both with and without Avenged Sevenfold. The video is a tribute to him and shows how much he meant to the band and their fans.

-Bring Me the Horizon – “Blessed with a Curse”
This video tells the story of two lovers who are cursed to never be able to touch each other. They are forced to watch as each other leads happy lives with other people. The video is shot in reverse, so it starts with them as old people and then goes back in time to show how they met and fell in love.

-Bullet for My Valentine – “Your Betrayal”
This video tells the story of a young woman who is betrayed by her boyfriend. He cheated on her with one of her friends, and she takes revenge by sleeping with his best friend. The video includes footage of the two women fighting each other as well as scenes of them both naked in bed with the men they betrayed.

-Emmure – “Solar Flare homicide”
This video tells the story of a man who goes on a killing spree after being rejected by a woman he loves. The video includes graphic images of bloody corpses and mutilated bodies. It also features footage of the killer himself, smiling and laughing after each murder he commits.

Worst Metal Albums of 2011

1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: It’s always a bad sign when an artist releases an album with their own name in the title, and this self-titled debut from former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher is a perfect example of why. With embarrassing lyrics like “She sits beside me like a silhouette/ Hardly focuses on anything,” it’s clear that Gallagher is just phoning it in at this point in his career.

2. Evanescence- Evanescence: Yes, Amy Lee is still pretty, but that’s not enough to save this band from mediocrity. Evanescence was always a pretty unbearable band to begin with, but this self-titled album is just a mess of boring poppy ballads and uninspired metal songs. It’s clear that the band is just going through the motions at this point, and even diehard fans are likely to be disappointed.

3. Metallica- Death Magnetic: It’s been over 20 years since Metallica released their classic album Master of Puppets, and in that time they’ve released some good music (and some bad music). But their latest album, Death Magnetic, is just an embarrassment. With unimaginative songwriting, painfully obvious lyrics, and production that sounds like it was done in a garage, it’s clear that Metallica is well past their prime. Avoid this one at all costs.

4. Avenged Sevenfold- Nightmare: Avenged Sevenfold are one of the most popular metal bands today, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good. Their latest album, Nightmare, is a prime example of everything wrong with modern metal music. It’s overproduced, it lacks imagination or passion, and worst of all, it’s just plain boring. If you’re looking for good metal music in 2011, look elsewhere.

5. Korn- The Path of Totality: Korn were once one of the most essential bands in metal music, but they’ve fallen far from grace in recent years. Their latest album, The Path of Totality, is a prime example of why the band is no longer relevant. With guest appearances from dubstep producers Skrillex and 12th Planet (who?), Korn are clearly trying to cash in on the dubstep craze instead of making good music. Avoid this one at all cost

Worst Metal Songs of 2011

These are the songs that made 2011 the forgettable year in metal it was. We could have done without any of them.

Worst Metal Videos of 2011

There were some atrocious metal videos in 2011, but thankfully most of them were by less well-known bands who aren’t worth naming and shaming. However, there were a few major releases that failed miserably on the visual front, and we feel it’s our duty to point them out. So without further ado, here are the five worst metal videos of 2011.

5. Megadeth – “Sudden Death”
The concept for this video is laughable, and the execution is even worse. It looks like it was made on a budget of about $5, and it features some of the most atrocious acting ever seen in a metal video. We’re not sure what’s supposed to be going on here, but whatever it is, it’s not good.

4. Metallica – “The House That Jack Built”
This video is just awkward. It features the band members as children playing in a house filled with all sorts of creepy clowns and dolls. It’s supposed to be creepy, but it just comes off as silly. The whole thing feels like a bad dream that you can’t wake up from.

3. Lacuna Coil – “Trip the Darkness”
This video isn’t technically bad, but it’s just so boring. It features the band members walking around aimlessly in a darkened cityscape while random people pop up and shout things at them. It’s like someone tried to make a music video without actually having any ideas or creativity.

2. Stone Sour – “Bother”
This video is famous for being one of the most unintentionally funny metal videos ever made. It features Corey Taylor walking around looking depressed while random people give him dirty looks. The whole thing feels like one big inside joke that we’re not privy to, and it just comes off as awkward and lame.

1 . Avenged Sevenfold – “Nightmare”
This is easily the worst metal video of 2011, and possibly even the worst metal video ever made. It’s an animated clip that looks like it was made by a 12-year-old with Microsoft Paint, and it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. We have no idea what’s going on here, or what any of this has to do with the song itself. It’s just a complete mess from start to finish, and we can only hope that Avenged Sevenfold never tries to make another music video again

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