There was a lot that was great on the metal scene in 2011, from The Big Four's show in April to Prosthetic Records picking up U.S. distribution for Norway's Indie Recordings. (Dear Prosthetic, please get Shining over here for a tour next year.) Sure, the closing of The Blvd. Cafe in Boyle Heights was kind of a buzzkill and the debate over L.A. metal labels dropping out of Spotify was distracting. Through it all, however, there was plenty of killer music put out by L.A. metal bands in 2011, and it was a very strong year for diversity, as evidenced by the releases below.
10. Winds of Plague
Against The World
Winds of Plague continues to refine their mosh-pit friendly mix of hardcore, death metal, and nu-metal. Big, massive, and over the top, there's not much in the way of introspection here, but the energy level is fucking awesome.
Chasing The Light
Ambitious instrumental group Polarization is not yet on the same level as genre frontrunners Animals As Leaders, but their combination of strong musicianship and capable songwriting displayed on Chasing The Light proves they have all the tools to find the sweet spot soon.
Ghostlimb is composed of members of grindcore masters Graf Orlock. They toned down their satirical approach to mayhem here and took a more straight-up serious hardcore approach. Fans of Graf Orlock shouldn't worry, though; Infrastructure retains their intensity and caustic production.
7. The Fucking Wrath
Valley Of The Serpent's Soul
Not many bands on this list are equally at home on brutal metal tours and energetic punk-rock tours. The Fucking Wrath, however, is welcome damn near anywhere they go, thanks to their never-tiring amalgam of stoner rock and thrash, doom, and hardcore sounds.