Josh Hogan is a crazy busy guy and an important figure in the Canadian East Coast metal scene. He performs vocals for the band Orchid’s Curse and also runs his own record label, Diminished Fifth Records (Last Call Chernobyl, Death Valley Driver, The Daisy Anthesis). He recently took some time out of his busy schedule to exclusively tell PureGrainAudio what he considers to be the 10 albums of 2011. Read below to see what releases could potentially influence a future Orchid’s Curse album.

10. Fuck The Facts – Die Miserable

The Skinny: Another one of our country’s finest exports return with their best album of their career. While Die Miserable is as vicious and powerful as their previous works it’s easily their most cohesive offering in their catalogue. With this new focus on song-writing and the growth of the band one can only hope for an even brighter future for these hardworking canucks.
links: MySpace | Facebook

09. Todtgelichter – Angst

The Skinny: Overlooked? Yes. Under appreciated? Definitely. But does that change the enjoyment of this stunning album? Not one bit. From start to finish Angst is an epic journey to the realms of dark and extreme prog metal.
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08. Opeth – Heritage

The Skinny: Had I waited any longer to listen to Heritage it likely wouldn’t have made this list. As a devoted Opeth fan, it took me awhile to sit down with this and give it the attention it deserves, but I am glad I did! Unlike many other Opeth albums where the enjoyment is almost instantly apparent, this gem took awhile to take hold and grow. However once this musical flower bloomed I realized just how beautiful it was. Although I hope Opeth returns to their more metallic ways, I for one could certainly survive if they continued in this vein.
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07. Steven Wilson – Grace For Drowning

The Skinny: It was apparent with Porcupine Tree but on his second solo effort Wilson’s brilliance is undeniable. 12 songs, over 2 discs of true creative and artistic vision.
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06. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

The Skinny: With Wasting Light Grohl and crew have crafted a damn near perfect rock record from start to finish. Without a bad song, this album will hold up as a benchmark for modern rock and roll.
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05. Rwake – Rest

The Skinny: Much like The Atlas Moth, Rwake create a brilliant blend of all things heavy. With more depth (and length) to their songs they have crafted one of the most dense and thought provoking releases of the year.
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04. The Atlas Moth – Ache For The Distance

The Skinny: This album was the best new find of 2011 for me. Ache For The Distance is a crusty, psychedelic, whirlwind of multidimensional sounds and atmosphere. Although not an easy album to digest this album is an incredible musical journey.
links: MySpace | Facebook

03. Cynic – Carbon-Based Anatomy EP

The Skinny: Cynic can accomplish more in a 5-song EP (really 3-songs plus 2 interludes) than most bands can hope to achieve over the course of a full-length. Not only are Masvidal and Reinert at the top of their games, the re-introduction of Sean Malone on bass is a welcomed return. Despite being void of the metal harshness of their previous works, Carbon-Based Anatomy sacrifices none of the brilliance or emotion.
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02. KEN Mode – Venerable

The Skinny: With Venerable, KENmode was able to do what so few bands can do: harness unbridled aggression. Each track on this record is filled to brim with brooding human emotions, raw energy and the aural chaos resonates very well with the Kurt Ballou production. (On a side note this might be the highest a Canadian release has ever scored on best of lists).
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01. Primordial – Redemption At The Puritans Hand

The Skinny: Within minutes of “No Grave Deep Enough” I realized this record was special, by the time I heard the third song, “Bloodied Yet Unbowed” I knew this would stand high in my top records of 2011. Even 8 months after its release it stands as the best album of the year. Primordial has been on a continued streak of brilliance since The Gathering Wilderness and this album is no exception.
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Check out the song: “The Workhorse Walks Alone”