Dan & Arno’s 2011 In Recap: Best Album Closers

January 6, 2012 in Top Lists by Arno Callens

How better to follow up a list of openers than with a list of closers? Perhaps a list of middle sections, but that seems a little too abstract. An album ending should either remind you one last time that you’ve been listening to something amazing or wake you up from slumber with the first good song in quite some time. Either way, we picked ten memorable swan songs.

Because it’s hard to pick favorites among these songs and we’re not judging them on how good they are but on how well they open their respective albums, the list is  in order of release date, as indicated by the Metal Archives, rather than any ranking.

Bloodbound – “Unholy Cross”, from the album Unholy Cross

Arno: For an album that got fairly monotonous towards the end this was a refreshing change of pace. Simple but effective build to one of the more memorable choruses on the album. More of this, less “Moria” next time please.

Solar Fragment  – “Once Again”, from the album In Our Hands

Dan: One of my favorite albums from the year that specializes in mixing influences and sounds, and the closer is no exception to the rule.  In a way, this is a perfect finishing touch to a well-drawn circle that’s begun on the beginning title track. It’s definitely not my favorite track on the album, but it’s a great closer.

Dreamtale – “March To Glory“, from the album Epsilon

Arno: An entry on both the opener and closer list and not too shabby in the middle, Epsilon is a power metal album for the ages. “March To Glory” may very well be the best illustration of this with its beautifully soaring chorus that you’ll want to sing over and over again until people throw bricks at you. “And hear the voice…” *thud*

Borealis – “Forgotten Forever”, from the album Fall From Grace

Dan: An absolutely mesmerizing intro and main theme repeats itself throughout the song. It may be one of Borealis’ less remarkable tunes in terms of styling, but the sheer memorability and polish make it my favorite on the whole album, not to mention a great wrap-up.

Stonelake – “Enter The Temple”, from the album Marching On Timeless Tales

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Arno: These Swedes had covered much in between hard rock and power metal on their solid fourth offering and they topped it off with a Nocturnal Rites-tinged melancholic end note.

Morton – “Weeping Bell”, from the album Come Read The Words Forbidden

Arno: It is a testament to Morton’s knack for writing diverse material within roughly the same genre that they can deliver both a great closer and opener while the two sound almost nothing alike. “Weeping Bell” is a slowly moving dirge with an excellent atmosphere and haunting refrain. Weep, you shall.

Myrath – “Time To Grow”, from the album Tales Of The Sands

Arno: Of course Tales Of The Sands is a progressive metal record, but closer “Time To Grow” is a more straightforward power metal song about growing up. Moving and delicate with great musicianship, Myrath might want to look into their power metal side just a little bit more.

Dragonland – “Ivory Shores”, from the album Under The Grey Banner

Dan: Probably not what you would expect to see on this list, but despite not really being a metal tune, the shimmering serenity of this track is an incredible finishing to what is undoubtedly one of the best albums of the year. Grace such as this is quite rare in power metal, and the ambiance is really incredible after the chaos of the previous title track.

Theocracy – “As The World Bleeds”, from the album As The World Bleeds

Dan: Maybe the only song on this album that you might think would come across as preachy, isn’t. A punishing, introspective, and humbling look at humanity’s accomplishments, this is really almost as lyrically striking and dark as so much extreme metal. A remarkably dark closer, especially for Theocracy, but a powerful song nonetheless.

Lorenguard – “Hands Of Chaos”, from the album Eve Of Corruption

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Arno: “The burning one shall rise from the fire!” This vocal line sold me on the first go and “Hands Of Chaos” has become my favorite song on an album filled with standouts. It brings the story to its preliminary conclusion with the formation of the titular Lorenguard. I can’t wait to see, hear or read what’s next.