e.V's Underground is hosted every Tuesday night from 2 - 7 AM by the Queen of Doom herself! Here are her lucky 13 releases of 2011, in no particular order.
From Toronto, kickass goth metal act Syrynx and their self titled EP feature the astonishing vocals of 17 year old Mikki Straatsmaa, who is well on her way to kicking Amy Lee and Tarja's butts - strong songwriting. And she has already fronted her own project, Viveyenne, since she was 13.
Hailing from Sault Ste. Marie, Woods of Ypres's blackened doom metal masterpiece The Green Album clocks on at a gruelling time length but is worth the pain.
SIXX AM is the only band to have written 2 albums based around a book. It's the side project of Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba of Guns and Roses, and producer James Michael - and features a soaring guitar solo from Ashba that continues to give me goosebumps. Featuring dark carnival photography from Sixx, based on his photography book "This Is Gonna Hurt" and with a strong message of empowerment for souls on the margins of society - that it's OK to be different.
Seven Thorns - Return to the Past. Delicious Danish power metal - non-fattening, so bears repeat listening. My favorite pick is Forest Majesty but this is all I could find on Youtube.
Canadian folk metal mavens Scythia and their sophomore offering "...Of Exile" features epic lyrics, epic playing and plus the "oboe of death".
Stand out track is the rousing of exceedingly Hobarth's Inn, featiring a goat at the very end.
Local hard rockers Down In Ashes smoke up the place with their sophomore self-titled EP. Standout track: The World Is Ending. A soundtrack like this could make the apocalypse more palatable!
Sounding like a cross between Bruce Cockburn, Lou Reed, Stan Rogers, Brad Roberts with some Jyrkki Linnankivi (The 69 Eyes) thrown in Finnish singer-songwriter, Hannu Lepistö's 5 track solo debut EP ranges from Americana to dark rock, strong effort that bears repeat listening and got the producer so hooked she made him some videos.
Raising industry hackles by releasing their latest album on The Pirate Bay, Italy's Dope Stars Inc.'s Ultrawired points the way to the digital future with a rock solid melodic industrial metal album that only grows better with repeated listening.
Impossibly infectious punked out track from Ottawa's horror-balladeers Patron Saint of Plagues; is this why they call their fans the Infected?
With vocals and vibe comparable to a combo of Michael Gira (Swans) and the late great Peter Steele (Type O Negative) and Carl McCoy (Fields of the Nephilim), Chris Compton has produced Frostbite: Valentine and Other Stories of Hope,a dark gothic masterpiece likely to be enjoyable by the non-gothic. Listen here: http://soundcloud.com/frostbitevalentine/03-valentine.
Wonderfully written and played dark, And Death Will Follow Me is heavy rock project by Sal Abrusco under the name A Pale Horse Named Death. He also used to drum for type O Negative.
Turisas, the Finnish folk metal outfit named for a sea monster and famous for their folk metal cover of Boney M's Rasputin, released an oddly (for them) orchestral 3rd album. Stand Up And Fight features Matthias "Warlord" Nygard's voice in glorious powerful form and wonderful playing.
Another top pick is UK rock outfit The Union and their sophomore sizzler, Siren's Song. Here's the title cut.
Canada's All Else Fails debut features strongly written orchestral-inflected metal with prog elements, for the thinking metalhead. Stream it on their Bandcamp page here: http://allelsefails.bandcamp.com/.
And lastly - the kick ass cover of the year. Chicago industrial monsters Marazene Machine cover Motley Crue's Live Wire. I like it better than the orginal. With Crue approval: Tommy and Nikki liked it so much they tweeted links to the band's video for the tune to their followers.