The music genres of heavy metal and rock are filled with talented bands, and many of them had big years in 2011. The following 10 acts are nominees in the 2011 Loudwire Music Awards category for Artist of the Year. Vote for your favorite below.

With the return of Joey Belladonna, Anthrax are back and have been rocking our ears off with the release of their new album ‘Worship Music.’ The band has also graced the stage with acts like Metallica, Testament and many more this year.

Avenged Sevenfold have proven that they are the kings of the road, with two massive tours this year. While their latest album, 'Nightmare,' came out in 2010, they've released the monster singles ‘So Far Away’ and ‘Buried Alive’ in 2011.

It would be immoral not to recognize Evanescence, as they topped charts and grabbed the attention of music fans with their latest record ‘Evanescence.’ It was an album that fans anticipated for a long time and it did not disappoint.

Foo Fighters may be a predictable contender, but it’s well deserved. Over the years, they have continued to release great music and memorable albums, their latest record ‘Wasting Light’ is no exception -- just check this year's Grammy nominations.

After an outstanding set at this year’s Mayhem Festival, Machine Head are wowing fans and critics alike with their venomous new disc ‘Unto the Locust,’ which is one of the most notable metal releases of the year.

Mastodon and their experimental metal sound have won over fans with their album ‘The Hunter.’ The band has released two singles from the disc ‘Black Tongue’ and their latest ‘Curl of the Burl.’

Dave Mustaine and the rest of Megadeth have gone through a lot this year but they are persistent as ever, especially with the release of ‘TH1RT3EN.’ After playing this year’s Big 4 Concert and Mayhem Festival, they are set to headline Gigantour next year.

‘Country Song’ and ‘Tonight’ are the type of songs that stay in your head all year long, so it’s no surprise for Seether to be on this list of nominees. Their eclectic album like ‘Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray’ was among the best rock releases of 2011.

Sixx: A.M. rocked the radio airwaves with their latest album 'This Is Gonna Hurt.' The disc features the hit singles 'Lies of the Beautiful People' and the title track, the latter which came in at No. 1 on our Top 10 Rock Songs of 2011 list.

Within Temptation made 2011 a big year with their latest album ‘The Unforgiving,’ which was accompanied by a comic book and short series of films. Lead singer Sharon Den Adel is up for Loudwire's Rock Goddess of the Year. What more could their fans ask for?

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


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