Jump in the heavy metal time machine and buckle up — we’re looking back at the Top 25 Metal Albums of 2011!

First, let’s look back at some significant moments of the year — Barack Obama was President of the United States; Donald Trump was still hosting the reality competition show The Apprentice; Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had died; Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis due to a spider bite; an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan; triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster and Rebecca Black’s god awful “Friday” song was released.

As usual, new music was there to help us all through the ups and downs of daily life. We finally got a new album from Anthrax, which the band had been talking about for what felt like an eternity. That album solidified the Big 4’s presence early on in the new decade.

Dream Theater had a big shakeup after drummer Mike Portnoy left and the prog legends made their recording debut with new kinsman, Mike Mangini, after an intense and publicized search for Portnoy’s successor. Elsewhere in prog, Opeth revamped their sound completely and Devin Townsend continued to somehow get even weirder, all to our benefit, of course.

Metalcore’s sound was evolving, classic heavy metal was starting to be embraced by a new crop of bands while some of the 21st century’s biggest names continued to reinforce their reign.

Scroll through our picks for the Top 25 Metal Albums of 2011 below. And see the Top 25 Rock Albums of 2011 here.

The 25 Best Metal Albums of 2011

More From I-Rock 93.5