There were loads of heavy hitting metal albums this year, making it tough to narrow them down to five nominees in the Metal Album of the Year category for the for the 2011 Loudwire Music Awards.

Anthrax fans have much to celebrate. With Joey Belladonna’s triumphant return, Anthrax came back in a big way in 2011. Their album ‘Worship Music,’ is a metal tour de force that came in at No. 1 on our list of the Top 10 Metal Albums of 2011.

‘Relentless, Reckless Forever’ is the seventh album by Children of Bodom, their first in three years since the release of ‘Blooddrunk.’ These Finnish melodic metallers have created an album filled with memorable melodies and guitar riffs that please old and new Bodom fans.

Frontman Robb Flynn shows off his vocal layers in Machine Head’s new album ‘Unto the Locust.’ Flynn spits venom one minute and adds melody to heavy riffs the next. The seven track disc is one of the most forceful metal albums of 2011.

Mastodon may have one of the coolest and psychedelic album covers for their new disc ‘The Hunter.’ The group’s experimental sound and style is is evident with their two catchy singles ‘Black Tongue’ and ‘Curl of the Burl.'

Dave Mustaine and the gang are going strong with Megadeth's 13th studio album, aptly titled 'TH1RT3EN.’ The band will continue to support of the album when they headline Gigantour in 2012.

Cast your vote for Metal Album of the Year below. Voting ends Jan. 1, 2012, at 11:59PM ET.

 

 

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