Sounds from 2011 that made us want to drink copiously (and not in a happy way)

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We’re going to spend the rest of the year celebrating what’s been great and fun and awesome about the metal year 2011, but let’s not forget some of the pure garbage that’s out there, too. I’ve lost count of how many new records I’ve heard this year (it’s in the thousands), and now and again, something particularly heinous makes me question it all.

Some of these will be obvious, some will not be, but all made me want to remove my head, beat it a hundred times with a shovel, and catapult it into the nearest river. Usually I just turned to beer to make it all better.

Might as well start off with the worst of the worst, that being the tragedy that is the Metallica/Lou Reed union. When I first heard about their collaboration, I assumed it was a joke. I immediately went to The Onion for the source material. Alas, it was real, and it turned out to be worse than imagined. This is embarrassing. I demand both entities retire immediately. I await the day that Cliff Burton rises from his grave and righteously murders and devours his former bandmates.

Oh, Queensryche. When will it all end? Geoff Tate cannot sing anymore and is so utterly flat that it’s disheartening now to go back to their older, glory-era stuff and realize where it eventually goes. I can’t believe no one has intervened with this band yet. Tate sounds half-dead. They don’t get this? And in this song he threatens that it’s just the start? Mercy. Please. Also, if you see the band live and can’t believe how good Tate sounds on the classic material, remind yourself of these two words: backing tracks.

Japanese black crust band Gallhammer apparently thought they could move on successfully without replacing guitarist Mika Penetrator. They were horribly, terribly wrong. Now just a bass-drum duo, this band is so abysmally awful on their third full-length “The End” that it shocks me that Peaceville went ahead and released this tragedy. I was excited to hear this record because I dug 2007’s “Ill Innocence” a lot. I no longer will anticipate any of their records unless they get a new damn guitarist and stop those horrifyingly awful high-pitched warblings.

Hey, remember when 2011 was pegged as a really exciting time for Morbid Angel fans because the band was releasing a new studio record? Then remember when everyone heard the industrial-marred, programming-choked piece of garbage “Illud Divinum Insanus”? I laughed many, many times when trying to endure this. While I’ve heard the whole thing a few torturous times, I have yet to make it through the entire album in a single sitting. It’s a shit sandwich. And if that’s not bad enough, next year we’re getting a remix of this crap that’s … please be sitting … THREE DISCS LONG. Kill me.

It’s been a good 250 years since I got excited about anything The Haunted released. This band has been stale for a long time. But they just went over the top with garbage, generic metal on their latest record “Unseen.” It’s the worst metal record of the year. Worse than Morbid Angel, because at least “Illud” has a couple of songs that are mildly passable. “Unseen” is pure, total garbage, an album only a Haunted lemming could forgive. They should be forced to retire.

That’s enough garbage for one day. Or for one year. Let’s dwell on nice stuff from here on out. And please forgive me for posting these songs, forever etching them into the history of Meat, Mead, Metal.