Okay, let’s get going on what worked this year.

You probably know the rules by now, but for those catching up, all entries for consideration had to be original studio album releases.  No compilations, no re-releases, no live records.  Also, my top ten features eleven records, because first of all it’s my damn list and second of it all, “it goes to eleven.” Clear?  Good.  Moving on.

Every now and again, we need an album like this. A concise record that isn’t particularly concerned with technicality or image and instead seeks only to slake our thirst for the base impulses of metal as we know it. Anti-Mortem’s “New Southern,” the debut record from the band hailing from Oklahoma, hangs its hat on the idea that metal burns brightest in the furious furnace of the heart more than the unchained imagination of the mind.

There was a time when sludgy, fuzzy metal reigned supreme. It doesn’t seem possible, but it was almost fifteen years ago that we were satiated by the overdriven, detuned glory of pinnacle acts like White Zombie, Pantera and Powerman 5000. All of those acts did something a little different, to be certain, but they all subscribed to one basic core principle; that metal needed to be loud, rhythmic and easily accessible above all other qualities.