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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5405
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:30 pm 
 

Binah did nothing for me, but Desecresy was very good. Anatomia was interesting thanks to the inclusion of the eerie keys, good to see them doing someting more than just be murky.
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dystopia4
Thumbman

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 3568
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:59 pm 
 

Here's my metal list for 2012:
20. Hail Spirit Noir - Hail Spirit Noir
Don't even know how to describe this, just extremely weird black metal. Lots of clean singing and weird strange keyboard parts.
19. Demon Lung - Pareidolia
Great female-fronted doom. The riffs often sound like slowed down thrash/early death metal.
18. Mares of Thrace - The Pilgramage
Much better than their debut. Their sound is greatly expanded upon here. They get a lot of attention for being pretty young women, but their music stands on it's own. Unfortunately the drummer has left after this was released to pursue a higher education.
17. Anhedonist - Netherwards
Filthy death/doom with great atmospheric sensibilities. Really enjoyable.
16. Candlemass - Psalms for the Dead
Not their best, but still fucking great. It's good to know their last studio album still had the flame alive.
15. Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis
Murky black/death stuff. Completely grimy and unrelenting.
14. Snail - Terminus
A worthy comeback. This is almost like stoner metal meats indie rock. As horrible as that sounds, they do it in the least lame way possible.
13. Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity
Not quite as good as Harvesting Floor, but still pretty damn monolithic. They keep experimenting and this is certainly a triumph.
12. High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis - Not their best, but still damn good. The drums are killer.
11. Leeches of Lore - Frenzy, Ecstasy
I like their first album better, but like all Leeches albums, this is amazing. Great riffs, great acoustic stuff and the western influence on this is killer.
10. Diskord - Dystopics
Still as bizarre as ever, they avoid the sophomore slump. Not quite as good as the first one, but still damn worthy. Weird riffs abound as strange song structures play out.
9. Napalm Death - Utilitarian
While they aren't exactly reinventing anything here, this is their best in a long time.
8. Castle - Blacklands
Damn catchy doom metal with a faster pace. The dual female and male vocals have lots of chemistry and these songs and the songwriting is killer.
7.Verdunkeln - Weder Licht Noch Schatten
Nothing they will ever do will beat the demo for me, but this is some great stuff; certainly better than their first album. Having a fuller sound, they continue with their amazing mix of black metal and dark psychedelia.6.
5. Panopticon - Kentucky
Austin has done it again. I'd say this is his second best release; it would be a bit much to expect him to outdo Collapse. Like collapse, this is "blackgrass" (bluegrass meets black metal), but sounds completely different. This has more room to breathe, is somewhat less dark and includes a few singer/songwriter songs. The album is a protest against mining companies and deals with the history of unions and worker's strife in the state of Kentucky. This certainly doesn't sound like the work of a single man.
4. Inverloch - Dusk/Subside
Featuring members of Disembowelment, this lives up to expectation. Hell, this is not that far away from being as good as their former band. This has a lot of great stuff; crushing riff, a powerful atmosphere, haunting dark ambient sections, good melodies - even some killer solos.
3. Neurosis - Honour Found in Decay
While I'm not even sure I'd put this in their top 5 albums, it is still great. It's a mellower album, but is completely different from The Eye of Every Storm. It just has a completely different vibe. Both band leaders also do singer/songwriter stuff, and that definitely creeps in here. It's still heavy, but doesn't have as much tension as other albums. Noah Landis adds a hell of a lot to this album with his keyboard work (those aren't bagpipes or violins you're hearing). I'm glad they're using samples again.
2.Desecravity - Implicit Obedience
One hell of a death metal album. Mixing brutality with technicality, this falls into neither pitfalls of those respective genres. They have killer riffs, great chops as musicians and the songs always go somewhere.
1. Om - Advaitic Songs
Hell, these guys aren't even really metal any more. The only metal song on this album is State of Non-Return, which turns out to be my least favourite song on the album (although it is still amazing). With lots of weird instrumentation, these guys have the whole Eastern-medative thing down. All songs are great, and are one of those things that can transport the mind to another world.

I'd like to give an honourable mention to Svartidauði. Enslaved and Sigh would almost undoubtedly be on my list, but I still need to listen to those albums. As a whole, this wasn't a great year for metal, I'd take 2009 over 2012 ten times over.

And just for the hell of it, here's my top 5 non-metal:
5.Jess and the Ancient Ones - Jess and the Ancient Ones
Man, it's crazy that the guitarist for this used to be in Demilich. This is some of the best female fronted occult rock stuff I've heard. Truly killer songwriting.
4.Horseback - Halfblood
Some great psychedelic stuff with black metal vocals. Makes me thing of tripping in the desert.
3. Scott Kelly/ Steve Von Till/ Wino - Songs of Townes Van Zdant
Both Neurosis and Townes Van Zdant make some of my favourite music of all time, so I'm obviously happy about this ones. They do some great takes on classic Townes songs. I'd say Steve does the best job. My only complaint is that Wino screwed up Rake, which is one of the best songs ever written (in my humble opinion, of course).
2. Morning Glory - Poets Were My Heroes
This album is about the main dude overcoming his heroin addiction. He's in Leftover Crack as well, and I remember the head of Fat Wreck Canada telling me she wasn't happy with the drug addiction in Leftover Crack. Anyway, the production is much better than one would usually expect from Morning Glory and the songs on here are catchy as hell without being nauseatingly poppy. The added orchestral instruments also are quite the bonus.
1.Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
Some of the best crust punk I've ever heard. The vocals still sound like hardcore, there's lots of atmosphere, the riffs kill, the drumming kills, same goes for the bass. There's lots of adventurous song structures and this whole thing comes off as pretty epic. There is lots of metal influence here, and a decent amount of metal riffs. There are also some truly great melodies.
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MazeofTorment
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:06 pm
Posts: 2039
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:17 pm 
 

Yeah, while I have yet to compile a list of my own, Binah's debut most likely has a spot in my top 10. Definitely seems to be an album under the radar. In fact, it blew me away the first time I heard it. Really well produced old school DM with a good sense of variety and outstanding musicianship. Glad I bought it.
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chaos_orb
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:30 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Bavaria, Germany
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:21 pm 
 

I'm mostly buying old stuff, so i'm not going to make a list, but instead note a few outstanding things for me in 2012:

- sadly, Running Wild, one of my alltime favorites, made the most unnecessary comeback of the year with a really weak album :ugh:
- Rush released their best album since ~15 years
- everyone blamed Ensiferums "Unsung Heroes", but i thought it was a fine album
- Burzum released the first album not in digipack form but as a digiBOOK, which doesn't fit to my other Burzum albums in the CD rack and therefore looks awful :(

In 2013, i'm mostly looking forward for a new Summoning and a new Falkenbach !

Stay heavy guys!
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Koji_Sunioj
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:46 pm
Posts: 8
Location: In the borders of every country
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:28 pm 
 

Misfit74 wrote:
Koji_Sunioj wrote:
In no order..

Unfathomable Ruination - Misshapen Congenital Entropy

This is a debut album from UK brutal death metal. I'm quite picky, but for some reason this seemed to be the most solid to me in most of the bands I heard from the same genre this year. I don't know anyone else that knows this album, but give it a listen. It's fantastic, everything you'd expect in good brutal DM. Not much else I can really say here besides that.


This one seems to be getting overlooked quite a bit and I'm glad someone else is noticing. This will easily make my top-10 list, as well. Fantastic is a great way to describe it. More on that later when I post my list. :)


Yes! I'm definitely trying to bring as much attention to them as possible, as well as the other bands on my list that have debuted. Per my own research and spending hours, if not days scouring for music I'd say its a good year for DM. I haven't heard any black metal I liked tbh.

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henkkjelle
Veteran

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:54 pm
Posts: 3223
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:46 am 
 

In no particular order:

Abraham – The Serpent, The Propeth & The Whore Dark, gloomy, and heavy. This is a new band for me, and I stumbled upon this album by good luck. They remind me of a darker and more troubled version of Cult of Luna. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6k35s8YZlU Not my favorite song, but it's the best one I could find. Listen to that amazing acceleration at the end...

Barren Earth – The Devil's Resolve This one is a no brainer for me. An amazing mix of progressive death/doom metal with beautiful hints of 70's progressive rock. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4SH52WTMv8

Baroness – Yellow and Green Yes it's commercial, yes it's not metal anymore, yes most of the songs have a simple pop structure.... but damn, I just can't seem to stop listening to it. It's interesting, it's fresh, and it just makes me happy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsWki9gwaQ0

Black Breath – Sentenced To Life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7wgq7n-gSk

Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud Another amazing album by my favorite musician Devin Townsend. Filled to the brim with positive energy and power. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StSalE00cAA Please excuse the super cheesy video collage.

Enslaved - RIITIIR It's enslaved, what can I say? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG74aEFy2CU

Gojira - L'enfant Sauvage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PNz5YJnNfY

Ides of Gemini - Constantinople This is a weird one, and I'm quite suprised it ended up in my top 10. I dunno, the simple guitar lines and basic drums work very well with those amazing female vocals. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVKaTPpRTsE

Sigh – In Somniphobia Everytime I listen to a new Sigh record, I feel like I'm in a fantasy world. Every Sigh record represents a different area of this fantasy world creatd by these geniuses, and this record makes me think of a giant medival city, powered by arcane magic, so old that no one really knows how it operates... occupied by all kind of mischievous people and creatures.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dqKbzRqc5g

Swallow the Sun - Emerald Forest and the Blackbird http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqvaDIl9zt4

Other albums that deserve mention are:

Spoiler: show
Ahab – The giant
Be'lakor – Of Breath And Bone
Cannibal Corpse – Torture
Carach Angren – Where The Corpses Sink Forever
Enabler – All Hail The Void
Formloff – Spyhorelandet
In Mourning – The Weight Of Oceans
Viikate – Petäjäveräjät
High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
Ihsahn – Eremita
Neurosis – Honor Found In Decay
Acrimonious - Sunyata
The Levitation Hex - The Levitation Hex
Anathema - Weather Systems
Horn Of The Rhino - Grengus
Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion


EDIT
Soundgarden - King Animal should be in this list, but I have only listened to it once.

EDIT The second. Holy shit, I completely forgot about Katatonia - Dead End Kings. Consider it to be in my top 10 anway.
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Last edited by henkkjelle on Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:59 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Weerwolf
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:19 am
Posts: 975
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:49 am 
 

Ofermod - Thaumiel


Hands down. This is a real grower though.

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GTog
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:35 pm
Posts: 411
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:14 pm 
 

Ok, I've finally gotten around to it. If it's already been mentioned I'll give my take but won't include another link.

Gorod - A Perfect Absolution I believe has already been mentioned. This release tops even Process of a New Decline, and that was a pretty high bar. My top rated full length album of 2012, and a must for fans of technical death metal.

Beneath the Massacre - These guys get a lot of shit for being over produced, or too -core, or something. I myself sort of doubt they could play some of this stuff live, but don't care. I've enjoyed every one of their releases, and 2012's Incongruous is no exception. Anyone who might have written them off after Dystopia needs to hear Incongruous. An example: Left Hand

Sphere - Straight up death metal from the Polish scene. Homo Hereticus is 12 short-ish tracks with little filler. Give Godless Profanity a listen.

Dark End - Grand Guignol - Book I is majestic, symphonic black metal that I just can't get enough of. It suffers a bit from it's own ambition, but just shut up for a minute and listen to Spiritism: The Transmigration Passage lure you from a simple waltz, angle towards the sinister, and climax with a fusion of the two. This album is brilliant.

Naglfar - Where did they go for 5 years? Wherever it was Teras is a worthy return.

Black Shadow - Kind of an obscure Russian black metal duo, but prolific. I won't claim to be a connoisseur of black metal, but …Through the Black Flame of Moloch… is as fierce and relentless as any I've ever heard in the genre. This is the first track Меч Асмодея.

Also, thumbs up to Spawn of Possession's Incurso and Aeon's Aeons Black.

Some honorable mentions:

A Canorous Quintet - Linus Nirbant remastered a couple of old tracks I guess he had laying around and called it Reflections of the Mirror. It's amazing how well both still sound contemporary despite being 8-9 years old. They could've been recorded by any modern melodeath band today. The impact ACQ had on melodic death metal is really understated: Reflections of the Mirror

This Ending - Basically the same band as A Canorous Quintet, reformed years later. After a couple of stellar full lengths, in 2012 they released three download only tracks grouped under the moniker Systematic Worship: Army of (N)one

Midnight Realm - This kind of came out of nowhere. Newcomers I guess, with their first EP Polarissima seeing release in 2012. You can get it from the band directly via Facebook or their website. Really solid melodic death metal that can be grouped easily with ACQ or This Ending, were you to have all three on shuffle on your iPod. Here's Requiem.

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conquer__all
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:49 pm
Posts: 258
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:38 pm 
 

Here is my Top 5.

5. Ensiferum-Unsung Heroes: Honestly, this really has been growing on me the last few months. I was disapointed at first (like many) but I knew the album had potential. I kept with it, listening to it about twice a week and I must say it's a damn good album overall, not just for metal but for Folk as well.

4. Ahab-The Giant: This was the soundtrack to my Summer. This album grew on me rather fast. It is so different from their first two albums but it works in so many ways. I finally think they have found their own sound on this album and hopefully will follow this formula for the next album.

3. Skolmold-Born Loka: Those unfamilar Skolmold is a Viking metal band from Iceland; they have one other album out Baldur. These guys add a bit of folk but it's pretty much metal throughout. This album is a concept album. Great riffs and mix of different styles of vocals make this a must for anyone who likes 90's viking metal, and 00's folk metal. I expect a lot from these guys in the future!

2. Tiamat-The scarred People: Been a fan of these guys since Wildhoney came out. I have liked all their albums over the years and have always found a special place for them in my listening rotation. What makes the Scarred People great is simply the songs just rock!--plan and simple!!! There is a beautiful flow and vibe to this album not like anything else they have done.

My Number 1 pick is a tie!

1. Paradise Lost-Tragic Idol: I love PL, their one of my favs and this album is just fucking amazing from start to finish! Every song flows so well and the solos are amazing and Nick's voice is top notch! I hope they continue making heavy goth-doom albums like this for many years to come!

1. Godseed-I begin: Never was a fan of Gorgoroth but knew that their was talent within the band when I heard this project was finally coming out I was pretty stoked in hearing it. On my first listen I really decided that this was the future of Extreme metal right here!!! Great songwriting, awesome lyrics, songs that have a groove but are still dark and serve the song. I see a great future for this band.

My Honorable mentions are : Moonspell-Alpha Noir/Omega White, Enslaved-Riitiir, Korpiklaani-Manala, Kings of Asgard-To North, My Dying Bride-A map of all our Failures, Burzum-Umskiptar.

My biggest disapointment of 2012 is: Eluveitie-Helvetios Had Potential but none of the songs were really stand out, and most of the disc was just boring. I still love this band and would take any chance to see them live again since they are so wonderful as a live unit. Hopefully they will get the engry back on their next album.
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Calusari
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:36 am
Posts: 708
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:01 am 
 

After all the discussion on the previous page of this thread about Illdisposed's 'Sense the Darkness', I finally listened to it - and am happy to report that you guys were right; it really is fantastic: a return to their roots that demonstrates that the previous, awful record truly was just an experimental outlier. Awesome. Glad to see that a favourite of mine finally got back to what made them so good this year; add that one to my list of this year's best releases. :)

I also got around to checking out Ataraxy and Shroud of the Heretic's 2012 releases, after seeing them praised here; I've gotta say that they do rock. I won't go back to editing my list - I couldn't find anything to demote in order to make room for my new discoveries - but I've added these and all the other ones I forgot to my 'Honourable Mentions'.

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shouvince
Veteran

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2831
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:21 am 
 

Out of all the albums released last year, I could come up with only a handful worthy of being mentioned.

In no order,

A Forest of Stars - A Shadowplay for Yesterdays
I've been a fan of them for quite sometime. I love the psychedelic atmosphere created by these guys. It's a very easy listening album.

Nephelium - Coils of Entropy
Filthy straight up death metal.

Weapon - Embers and Revelations
I got into them only last month and their songs blew me away. For fans of the occult blackend/death metal scene.

Absvrdist - Illusory
A very modern grind act and they're not as furious as some of the other current grind bands, but they struck a chord in me.

Ataraxy - Revelations of the Ethereal
OSDM at it's best. Great band to check out and they've been mentioned countless times on this board.

Horrendous - The Chills
Again, another OSDM band that caught my attention. In some of the songs, they however lean towards the doom-ier side of things.

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5476
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:48 pm 
 

It's in my sig but I'm linking it here anyway. There you'll find my Top 13, Bottom 10, and some assorted honorable mentions and disappointments.
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SleepingStar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:44 pm
Posts: 154
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:05 pm 
 

my top 10 in detail here
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Smalley
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:06 am
Posts: 699
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:23 pm 
 

My top 10 of the year write-ups are here, and a Spotify playlist of my top 15 or so, minus those records that aren't on Spotify yet, is here; just organize the records on the playlist by their added-to date to either listen from worst to best (where you'd see Swallow The Sun first), or best to worst (In Mourning first).

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5405
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:25 pm 
 

With all your likability and entertaining stories, I keep forgetting how drastically different our tastes are BH. Although I'm totally checking out the Back to the Future song when I get home.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 19342
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:27 pm 
 

I've heard a few songs from ReinXeed and none of them ever impressed me much, sounded really generic and kinda average songwriting-wise. Maybe I'll give that album a shot and see if I can get into them via a whole album rather than just individual samples...
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Calusari
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:36 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:09 am 
 

BastardHead wrote:
It's in my sig but I'm linking it here anyway. There you'll find my Top 13, Bottom 10, and some assorted honorable mentions and disappointments.


You might be interested to know that Sectu are very excited about this, on Facebook at least. It was so strange to see 'BastardHead' pop up in my newsfeed. I'm glad someone else knows/likes them - they didn't quite make my own list, but 'Gerra' was a very good, underrated album.

I hated Spawn of Possession, though; well, not quite - I really liked it for about an hour before and after purchasing the album... and then really started to dislike it.

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shouvince
Veteran

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2831
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:45 am 
 

BH has got quite a varied list. Good stuff. On the topic of Sectu, I loved the title - "You want to modernize OSDM? This is your bible". :metal: Musically, I however preferred Inundate to Gerra. Still a really good band.

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5476
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:29 am 
 

Calusari wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
It's in my sig but I'm linking it here anyway. There you'll find my Top 13, Bottom 10, and some assorted honorable mentions and disappointments.


You might be interested to know that Sectu are very excited about this, on Facebook at least. It was so strange to see 'BastardHead' pop up in my newsfeed. I'm glad someone else knows/likes them - they didn't quite make my own list, but 'Gerra' was a very good, underrated album.


Wow, I somehow didn't have them "liked" and completely missed that, thanks for the heads up! I'm actually super excited about this, as it's the first time a band has posted a page from my blog to my knowledge, so that's extra awesome for me ego, haha. Glad that particular quote seems to be making the rounds, I hope it shows up on an album sticker in the future :thumbsup:
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Calusari
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:36 am
Posts: 708
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:33 am 
 

That would be really cool - I agree with shouvince there, I think it is great quote. You, good sir, are on the route to fame. Congrats! :headbang:

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The Animator
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:41 am
Posts: 299
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:32 am 
 

Ok here is my top 10 taken from my blog. Just know that if they have the same score then my opinion could shift on which I like better depending on how I feel.

They are listed:
0. "Album title" Band (Genre) [score out of 10]
description. Recommended tracks: (If any particularly stand out.)

1. "The Last Prayer" Pandaemonium (Power Metal) [10]
Overall a very strong release, and the music works better as a whole then their previous album “Return to Reality”. The one letdown was that the vocalist is not as good as he used to be. Nevertheless the album is incredibly solid and has a good number of memorable songs that stay with me even days after listening to them. Recommended tracks: I like them all but a few that stand out are: “Alone In The Dark”, “Through The Wind”, “The White Voice”, and “Today”.

2. "Dar De Duh" Dordeduh (Atmospheric Black Metal, Folk) [10]
This one surprised me, as I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It has really great atmosphere but doesn’t get dull or to repetitious the way a lot of atmospheric bands do. Recommended tracks: "Jind de tronuri” and “Dojana”

3. "Kentucky" Panopticon (Atmospheric Black Metal, Folk) [10]
This one was very difficult to score mainly because I haven’t been able to listen to it much as it has only been released on vinyl. Still out of everything I’ve heard this year my favorite song has been “Bodies Under The Falls” and sitting in my kitchen with a big pot of Ramen noodles, listening to this album for the first time was probably the highlight of my year. So I guess that deserves a 10. Recommended tracks: “Bodies Under the Falls”, “Come All Ye Coal Miners” and “Killing the Giants as They Sleep”.

4. "Bury The Light" Pharaoh (Power Metal) [9]
Solid power metal with some impressively well written lyrics, the one real flaw is the vocalist who sounds like he is really struggling to hit the high notes and hold the long ones.

5. "Stargazer" Black Majesty (Power Metal) [9]
Decent power metal though mostly I just listened to the song “Holy Killers” then would skip to something else in my collection.Recommended tracks: “Holy Killers”

6. "Armed To The Teeth" Striker (Speed Metal) [9]
Lyrically carves out the image of hoodlums partying and causing trouble. Still doesn’t change the fact that this is some fun music. Recommended tracks: “Fight For Your Life” and “Wolf Gang”.

7. "Sorrow And Extinction" Pallbearer (Doom Metal) [9]
Decent album though only the first track really stood out for me.Recommended tracks: "Foreigner".

8. "Dream Dragon" Ice Dragon (Blues, Psychedelic Rock, Doom Metal) [8]
Sounds like some lost relic from the 60’s. Its Lo-fi production to create a strange nostalgic feeling.Recommended tracks: “Stumble On To Magic”, “Beard Of Thieves” and “Dream Dragon”.

9. "Frenzy, Ecstasy" Leeches of Lore (Western, Speed/Doom Metal, Psychedelic Rock) [8]
Has a very unique sound, blends several familiar styles but they make it into its own thing. Recommended tracks: "That Old Brain Rapin' Highway" and "L'evoluzione dei Microbi".

10. "Netherwards" Anhedonist (Doom Metal) [8]
Another 1 hit doom album for me. The only track that really stood out was “Estrangement” beyond that the rest was just ok. Recommended tracks: "Estrangement".

Here is the full list of albums I got from 2012:
http://bensketchingblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/favorite-albums-of-2012.html

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Tod_Im_Juni
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:00 am
Posts: 127
Location: Greece
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:44 am 
 

1. Propergol - Paradise Land (industrial/dark ambient/noise)
2. Desiderii Marginis - Procession (dark ambient)
3. Rome - Hell Money (neofolk)
4. Von Thronstahl - Corona Imperialis (martial neofolk)
5. C-Lekktor - X-Tension In Progress (dark electro) the only good dark electro album, that I heard in 2012
6. Ten - Heresy And Creed (AOR) guilty pleasure!
7. Elysian Blaze (black/funeral doom metal)
8. Sigh - In Somniphobia (black/avant garde metal)
9. Evoken - Atra Mors (funeral doom metal)
10. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! (Post Rock)
Honorary mentions:
Cannibal Corpse - Torture (brutal death metal) After a series of not so special albums the cannibals release one of the best albums of their career
Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas (black metal) Another kickass album from these psychopaths
Mentallo & The Fixer (industrial electro)
Burzum - Umskiptar (black metal)
Very good albums in 2012 were released by Testament (thrash metal), Marduk (black metal), Candlemass (epic doom metal), Anathema (atmospheric rock), Paradise Lost (doom/death), Therion (symphonic metal), My Dying Bride (doom/death), Leger Des Heils (martial neofolk)

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5405
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:07 am 
 

Reinxeed seemed pretty mediocre for me, but was less offensive than literally every other symphonic PM album I've heard. Themes still rule though, I was more attracted to the concept of a Jurassic Park song myself.

Edit: The title track has me grinning like a moron. "This is No Country for Aliens with Vertigo" Genius.

Edit 2: Sectu don't seem so great to me, kinda weak riffs, or more accurately weak riff fragments delivered kinda jerkily, but not in a harsh manner. Embrional is my pick for smoothed over Immolation-y stuff this year.
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TheIbexMoon666
Metalhead

Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 12:44 am
Posts: 1712
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:41 pm 
 

Heres a quick run down of my top favorite releases of 2012.

1. Napalm Death - Utilitarian
At this point in their career you would think they have nothing new and exciting to offer. Napalm Death may very well be better than ever and Utilitarian is definitely their best release of their modern sound. That is not to knock on what they have been doing either. Memorable riffs with catchy lyrics. Every song has its own identity. The intensity of this album makes me want to just bounce off the walls, screaming a long.

2. Cannibal Corpse - Torture
Torture may possibly be the best Cannibal Corpse album of all time. It is with out a doubt their best since Bloodthirst. No filler on this album at all. Torture manages to bring a catchy sing a long approach with out sacrificing any of its heaviness. Simply Cannibal Corpse at their best.

3. Cattle Decapitation - Monolith Of Inhumanity
Definitely the best Cattle Decapitation release yet. I also said that when they put out The Harvest Floor. I thought they would not be able to top that and they did. The evolution of this band is beautiful.

4. Aborted - Global Flatline
Aborted return with their most brutal, varied, and thoroughly enjoyable album since Goremageddon. No filler. Every song is relentless. Every song brings its own identity.

5. Pig Destroyer - Book Burner
Another wonderful return to the spot light. Returning in a rawer, grind'ier fashion than their previous release. Energy and Power just blare out of your speakers. Again, another relentless album with no filler.

6. Abnormality - Contaminating The Hive Mind
Quite an impressive debut full length. Taking Technical/Brutal Death Metal and bringing in more old school esthetics. In the vein of Cryptopsy but with some meatier lower register riffs like say later era Deicide. I am very fond of the structure to their lyrics. I wish more bands would put this much time and effort into them. This album is my most recent 2012 discovery so it is still fresh in my mind. Maybe I am jumping the gun by putting it so high on here but it is a very impressive release either way. Definitely would of made my best of 2012 list no matter what.

7. Desecravity - Implicit Obedience
Without a doubt another impressive debut album. Bringing in different guitar tones, guitar riffs, and just all around experimenting in ways you would of never imagined within the confines of the Technical/Brutal Death Metal sub genre. The experimental ideas never hold back any of the frantic fast pace energy.

8. Six Feet Under - Undead
Chris Barnes has been coming ever closer to nailing it on the head with the last few releases. However this one did it. After a few line up changes, a rejuvenated line up rises to put out one of the most memorable releases this year.

9. Sinister - The Carnage Ending
Even though they may not be the same Sinister from back in '92 they are still firing on all cylinders. They may have become more groove oriented with their riffs but they are still blasting out Death Metal the way most of these new bands should be.

10. Job For A Cowboy - Demonocracy
Quite an achievement for Job For A Cowboy. After so many line up changes I thought they would take a turn for the worst. Instead they surprised me by putting out their best release yet. Top notch riffing, solos, bass lines, drumming, and obviously a vicious attack in the vocal department. I hope this line up is permanent. You can not deny the talent in this band even if they are not your cup of tea.

11. Asphyx - Deathhammer
Death The Brutal Way was an excellent return. It showed Asphyx slightly adapting to the times. However with Deathhammer they shifted backward a bit. A few tracks mirror back to their early days with song lengths reaching close to or surpassing 7 minutes. Asphyx's fuzzed out doom driven guitar tone just sounds less contained on Deathhammer. Raw and affective.

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5476
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:38 pm 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
Reinxeed seemed pretty mediocre for me, but was less offensive than literally every other symphonic PM album I've heard. Themes still rule though, I was more attracted to the concept of a Jurassic Park song myself.

Edit: The title track has me grinning like a moron. "This is No Country for Aliens with Vertigo" Genius.


I describe Reinxeed as "Disney Metal", as it's literally the sugariest and least offensive power metal on the planet, but I have a ton of fun with it. And yeah, it was the Back to the Future and Jurassic Park songs that got me the most excited, though the Terminator one also helped.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 19342
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:12 pm 
 

Yeah, listened to part of Welcome to the Theater earlier and dug it, pretty fun stuff. More personality than most symphonic bands and a hell of a lot more fun than, say, Rhapsody. ;)
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Hastein45
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:56 pm
Posts: 199
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:51 pm 
 

I have to edit mine. Far too many good albums I missed.


Last edited by Hastein45 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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joncheetham88
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:41 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:00 am 
 

The full list of 50+ albums and a bunch of EPs, splits, compilations, even non-metal stuff is at our blog: http://baileysmmcreamy.blogspot.sg/2013 ... -year.html

Plus m'colleague F.G.R.X. did a top 25 dominated by black metal so it is basically essential reading if you're a black metal type: http://baileysmmcreamy.blogspot.sg/2012 ... hosen.html

For the purposes of this thread my top ten is as follows:

[1] Dawnbringer: Into The Lair Of The Sun God
Still a really easy pick for number one, despite the onslaught of great metal in 2012. Not only equals but surpasses the brilliant Nucleus. An epic, timeless, irresistible concept album. I will be listening to this in 20 years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYgGu8u0eWE

[2] The Project Hate MCMXCIX: The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda
Their best album yet. Check out the interview with K at our blog and then buy this monster. It is an absolute triumph of high-concept, very Satanic industrial death metal and epic songwriting. It got released on 12/12/12 and shot up to number 3 of the year almost immediately, and after ceaseless listens finally pipped With Hearts Toward None for the number 2 position.

http://www.theprojecthate.net/wp-conten ... PH-pic.jpg
(no leaks, free copies or previews are or will be available to anyone; the instructions given at this link are the only way to hear the album)

[3] Mgła: With Hearts Toward None
Along with the fan-fucken'-tastic Ascension, these guys are my best black metal discovery of the year. A very fine back catalogue of EPs and splits has finally culminated in one of the most perfect black metal albums in recent years; always grim, always emotional, this is mandatory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWPPC2mvydc

[4] Candlemass: Psalms For The Dead
Fucken' hell of a way to go out, this one. The third record with the now excommunicated Rob Lowe and easily the best he's done with the band, Candlemass stretch every creative muscle they have with some retro stuff, some epic stuff, plenty of amazing doom riffs, and just the best damn metal they've written since the '80s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imKN-fidYnI

[5] Wintersun: Time I
I wasn't even expecting to like this, but as you'll see from my review, I've dug the everliving shit out of this huge, huge sound that Jari Maenpaa has crafted with his long-awaited sophomore. Just a very, very exciting listening experience. Some day they'll make the movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLERG8A-FSo

[6] Impiety: Ravage & Conquer
Good old Impiety. Their output of late has been not only prolific, but has provided two unquestionable high-points of their career with this neck-snapping sleeper monstrosity and last year's Worshippers Of The Seventh Tyranny. They're now signed with Hell's Headbangers and have an LP and MCD already scheduled for early next year. Let the carnage continue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXV5mjzHCFE

[7] Blut Aus Nord: 777: Cosmosophy
I didn't even get much time to really get to grips with this until lately, but my goodness is it good. I'm hard pressed to choose a favourite of the 777 albums now I tell you. This is like the magnificent, experimental '90s metal album that never happened; its vibe and strength places the record alongside envelope-pushing giants like Wildhoney, Eternity and Passage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3krELtQpSw

[8] Ignivomous: Contragenesis
Just can't get enough of this. Ignivomous are easily among the creme-de-la-cum of this old school death metal craze sweeping the globe. They do it legit, they do it with respect for and loyalty to the forefathers, but have no doubt that they make their sound unmistakeably their own. Cadaverous, unmitigated, doomed brutality that no death metal head should be without.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SENFGqOb6wk

[9] Unleashed: Odalheim
And I certainly didn't expect this. The last few Unleashed records been solid and pulled the band out of their late '90s weak patch, but this beast is one of the finest things they have ever recorded. Awesome, grooving death metal with lashings of blasted sections. If you forgot about Unleashed, then you better start remembering. By reading the review.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F509kGgGSh8

[10] Sigh: Insomniphobia
I'm usually pretty opposed to the idea of stuffing in whatever funky instruments you can think of, but Sigh do this shit with fucken' panache. There is more going on here than you can possibly keep tabs on and appreciate in any given listen, and the pace, instrumentation and sound changes constantly - remarkably, it all works incredibly well and offers nary a dull moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dqKbzRqc5g
(NB, please don't expect to really have much of an idea of what the Sigh album sounds like from one song. You need the album, on a good sound system or headphones. Several times.)
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Acidgobblin
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:56 pm
Posts: 2235
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:28 am 
 

New Shining album, Redefiining Darkness is fantastic...Didn't hear until recently and its blowing me away. Great atmosphere, clean simple production, great use of saxophone, acoustic guitar and piano, and I think that Kvarforth's harsh vocals have really progressed into a way higher quality then before. The clean vocals aren't great; he sings a bit uncomfortably (if that makes sense) but they definitely work. Beautiful melodies, especially on 'For the God Below', really creating a haunting, wistful atmosphere. My only real criticism would be directed at the lyrics (at least the English ones). They seem almost juevenile at times, sorta mindless in trotting out the typical black metal tropes ("There is a darkness blacker, Than anything ever seen by man, So violent, so cruel and pernicious")...But even so, probably my favorite album by this band....

edit: blah, a typo.
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Last edited by Acidgobblin on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BasqueStorm
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:21 pm
Posts: 2038
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:29 am 
 

joncheetham88 wrote:
[7] Blut Aus Nord: 777: Cosmosophy
I didn't even get much time to really get to grips with this until lately, but my goodness is it good. I'm hard pressed to choose a favourite of the 777 albums now I tell you. This is like the magnificent, experimental '90s metal album that never happened; its vibe and strength places the record alongside envelope-pushing giants like Wildhoney, Eternity and Passage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3krELtQpSw

I agree. This will probably be my best album of the year.

Acidgobblin wrote:
New Shining album, Redefiining Darkness is fantastic...Didn't hear until recently and its blowing me away. Great atmosphere, clean simple production, great use of saxophone, acoustic guitar and piano, and I think that Kvarforth's harsh vocals have really progressed into a way higher quality then before. The clean vocals aren't great; he sings a bit uncomfortably (if that makes sense) but they definitely work. Beautiful melodies, especially on 'For the God Below', really creating a haunting, wistful melodies. My only real criticism would be directed at the lyrics (at least the English ones). They seem almost juevenile at times, sorta mindless in trotting out the typical black metal tropes ("There is a darkness blacker, Than anything ever seen by man, So violent, so cruel and pernicious")...But even so, probably my favorite album by this band....

I agree too. This will be my second one.
P.S: Anyway, best Shining album?!? I don't think so.

P.S.2: Not so much people following the guidelines:
viewtopic.php?p=2186812#p2186812

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BasqueStorm
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:21 pm
Posts: 2038
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:00 pm 
 

Check this out too:
http://www.teethofthedivine.com/feature ... -for-2012/

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Acidgobblin
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:56 pm
Posts: 2235
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:59 pm 
 

BasqueStorm wrote:
I agree too. This will be my second one.
P.S: Anyway, best Shining album?!? I don't think so.


Subjectivity. I said 'my favorite', not 'best'.

BasqueStorm wrote:
P.S.2: Not so much people following the guidelines:
viewtopic.php?p=2186812#p2186812


Fair enough, but the guidelines are semi-redundant; most people here will know what style most bands play and they can easily find sample tracks by them. To be honest, I would tend to skip long lists of ten albums with youtube clips, stylistic descriptions and brief band history.

That said, I don;t have 10 favorite albums for this year as I didn't listen to much at all....
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BasqueStorm
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:21 pm
Posts: 2038
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:34 pm 
 

Acidgobblin wrote:
Subjectivity. I said 'my favorite', not 'best'.

You're right! My fault.

Acidgobblin wrote:
Fair enough, but the guidelines are semi-redundant; most people here will know what style most bands play and they can easily find sample tracks by them. To be honest, I would tend to skip long lists of ten albums with youtube clips, stylistic descriptions and brief band history.
That said, I don't have 10 favorite albums for this year as I didn't listen to much at all....

When we talked about this thread, we tried to make it interesting using the "surprisingly not in your list" and "why"s (why in your list of bests and why not).
Even if I agree about genre description and Youtube sample being somewhat redundant, they were added because of people asking for them.
Anyway, people can use (and is using) any format they want but PLEASE try to make an interesting post (as stated in the guidelines) so we can have some debates here. That's all.
Thanks!

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ClaymanOnFire
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:13 pm
Posts: 465
Location: Nice try, Big Brother
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:32 am 
 

I completely forgot about Dammerfarben's Herbstpfad. I'll update my list once I'm awake enough to formulate my thoughts.
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Corpus_Chain
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:34 pm
Posts: 120
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:30 am 
 

Hastein45 wrote:
Enslaved-RIITIIR(Progressive/Black metal): http://youtu.be/_O0lROvDY9Q Track 2: 'Death In The Eyes Of Dawn'
Again, another great band with yet another great release. I personally adore their fusion of Prog and Black, as well as admiring their consistency, which I believe is a true testament to their talent. I would go into a lengthy review but I do feel like many know their material, therefore needing no introduction. This album is similar to their recent releases.


You forgot to mention that unbelievably crushing doom riff in the opening track! Riff of the year!


I think the best album of the year was Dark Roots of the Earth by Testament. Very heavy and fast, not a single bad song, much improved vocals from Chuck, thought-provoking (if simplistic at times) lyrics, and song of the year in 'Native Blood'. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpNMyoO37vo.

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vulcan plutarchy
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:36 am
Posts: 109
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:48 am 
 

My Favorite albums of 2012! As also listed here

1) Sabaton - Carolus Rex
I spent quite some time on Amazon.com, playing samples and mentally debating whether or not to order this album. The samples seemed okay, but I just couldn't get a good feel for it. After having done so and listening to it many, many times, I am very glad as a result. I was originally fascinated by the alternative cover art (Sweden-only edition, featuring a version a second disc with all the lyrics in Swedish), and the fact that the album's concept was Swedish history. Every song on this album is catchier than all heck, just great Swedish power metal. You can hear some of the album and have a little strategic fun playing the Swedish Empire Game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZMY-YXL ... r_embedded

2) Nocturnal Poisoning - Other Worlds of the Mind
A one-man, acoustic-only guitar album with scarcely any other instruments, Other Worlds of the Mind is tough to describe. This is the kind of stuff where you just need to close your eyes and let the album take you places. I bought this one blind and it was certainly worth my while. The artist rejects genre labels, but uses a flatpicking and fingerpicking guitar techniques. Facebook.

(No online sample available.)

3) Orden Ogan - To the End
Someone on Metal Archives said this was better than anything that Blind Guardian has done in the last 20 years. It's not, because Blind Guardian is infallible, but this an awesome album. Great, poppy power metal you can sing along with. Orden Ogan hails from Deutschland, and this particular album circulates around the themes of winter, ice kings and the like. Very appropriate for a late 2012 release.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir_BVxBz ... r_embedded

4) Mgla - With Hearts Towards None
Mgla is a black metal band from Poland. The album has a gritty feel and steers clear of the realm of unlistenable, repetitive blasting. The tracks march forward at a somewhat slower pace for extreme metal and are filled out with soaring, melodic guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbSpg0q1 ... r_embedded

5) Ryan Williams - My New Hat
Some really nice acoustic numbers from a local Pittsburgh singer/songwriter, downloadable at "name your own price" here. I'm still waiting to get an opportunity to catch a show and buy a physical copy of this one. I saw Mr. Williams perform some original songs with MJ Doe and the No Name band at this year's R.A.N.T. Songs like "How'd You Get Here" are not only very memorable, but also very honest and touching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnTLQBIH ... r_embedded

6) Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
The Crazy Horse formula has never seemed overly complicated and has earned the group scorn in this particular case from a reviewer claiming the title track uses the same chords as "Cinnamon Girl." It certainly seems to, and this is no sin in my eyes as "Cinnamon Girl" is a favorite of mine. The real sin is the guitar phaser effect used on this track to skew the sound. Though the same track is available on disc 2 in pure form, I'd personally prefer not to have to burn my own version to correct this, or -- more appropriately in Neil's eyes -- rearrange the files in a lossless playlist on my PONO. Aside from this gripe, a solid Horse effort. "Driftin' Back" and "Walk Like a Giant" are the kind of long-ass psychedelic jams I have grown to love from this group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkSUSf_C ... r_embedded

7) Desecresy - The Doom Skeptron
Sometimes my ears perk up when I hear a band is from Finland because I feel like there's a chance it won't be a carbon copy of something else. That being said, it's hard to call Desecresy's sound innovative. The band has a very basics-ish approach to death metal. It's not that fast, doesn't have any of that Egyptian bullshit. These songs just lumber along like some indiscernible mass just spreading out and sucking everything under.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv_oPw3j ... r_embedded
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primitivevoid
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:28 pm
Posts: 350
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:48 am 
 

here is my top 15 plus honorable mentions and other assorted stuffs:

1. Elysian Blaze: Blood Geometry
beautiful sonic misery, blackened funeral perfection

2. Anaal Nathrakh: vanitas
unhinged epic black grind, one of there carear highlights in my opinion

3. Pseudogod: deathwomb catechesis
raw and dirty death metal done right

4. AEvangelist: De masticatione....
Disgusting and disfigured portal esk death metal controlled chaos

5. Ataraxy: Revelations of the ethereal
doomy osdm goodness. crushingly memerable

6. Mgla: with hearts towards none
solid memerable post 2000 black metal with some inspiring riffs

7. Mutilation Rites: empyrean
great black metal with crusty head banging riffs

8.Evoken: atra mors
masterful funeral doom done right

9. Undergang: til doden os skiller
filthy rotten osdm

10. Serpentine Path: self titled
crushing deathy doom

11. Demoncy: enthroned is the night
a coal black inferno of black metal hate

12. Horrendous: the chills
great old school death metal ala 1989

13. Lunar Aurora: hoagascht
atmospheric black metal at its finest a bitter sweet final chapter

14. Cyanic: litanies of lust unholy
killer blackened death grindcore

15. Binah: hallucinating in ressurrecture
cavernous promising debut of osdm with unique flavour

Honorable Mentions: Cannibal Corpse, Pathology, Bell Witch, Howling Wind, Baptism, Sonne Adam, Ofermod

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Riffs
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:48 am
Posts: 920
Location: Montréal, Québec
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:18 pm 
 

My top 10 favorites this year:

10) Taranis - Kingdom

I don't even know what the fuck this is as far as style is concerned. I guess heavy-black-ambient? Don't really give a fuck. Discovered this through a friend and really liked the atmosphere and music. It's an album made of only four songs averaging around 10 minutes each. It's at times introspective and dramatic, with gothic-like keyboard atmospheres and vocals that vary between melodic and blackened. Some of the basic riffs are deceptively old school heavy metal while others are really more extreme. The whole thing is pretty disjointed and it definitely works better in the background as something you get used to.

9) Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage

This is usually not my kind of cold, technical metal but shit, these guys really own! Although this hits you in the face, it's the subtleties in each song that really make them standout and the use of melodies is sparse but strong. This is an album where you appreciate the little details in certain songs the more you listen to them and so, has a surprising replay value for something that first appears very in-your-face. I still think it's the harsh vocals that hold them back and I hope they will eventually change that aspect and add more melody to their formula. That's probably going to be an unpopular opinion, though.

8) Testament - Dark Roots of Earth

Lots of older bands like Anthrax, Kreator, etc... have done interesting things lately but none have grabbed me as much as Testament. I think it's the sheer energy more than anything else. This is an album you can headbang to profusely. It's got a crisp, powerful production that helps the song hit you hard, plenty of crunching riffs and Chuck Billy has never sounded better IMO. That dude can bark like no one else and carry powerful melodies as well. Gene Hoglan is of course more than adequate on drums but, being responsible for some of the greatest drumming performances ever in metal (particularly on Symbolic) I can't help but think it could have been even better if he put some more creativity into this. If there's one thing that lowered my rating, it's that I don't find the songs themselves are anywhere near being metal classics. In that sense, it is one of those rare albums I like despite being more style than substance.

7) Earthen Grave - Earthen Grave

I didn't feel like it was a great year for doom, with bands like Candlemass continuing the decline and releasing stale material. Earthen Grave gave me my fix with a doomy but energetic album. There's nothing earth-shattering here but there is a lot of variety and each song caught my attention instead of the slew of formulaic doom metal I heard this year. Great production job, very good mix with drums kicking you in the face, guitars and bass in your face and a great singer. Very catchy and fun. There's violin throughout the album which is probably the novelty aspect that first catches people's attention but Earthen Grave really thrives because of quality songs first and foremost. I get the feeling this band could grow in the next few years and really leave its mark.

6) Hellwell - Beyond the Boundaries of Sin

This was a total surprise for me and a bit of an acquired taste. This is old school metal that's driven by excellent riffs and melodies but really comes into its own thanks to the use of keyboards. A lot of folks have likened the keys to Deep Purple but the first thing that comes to mind for me are those old progressive horror italian bands The song eaters of the dead probably contains my favorite riff of the year. That song gets downright infectious just past the 3:30 mark with a remarkable simplicity. Unfortunately, the production is appalling and really hurts what could have been an even better album.

5) Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Âme

I had heard of this band but never heard what they were doing. I'm a fan of post-rock music when it is done well, which is not very often IMO. These guys definitely blend their black metal with post-rock but they do it right. It is easy when you explore this kind of sound to focus too much on style over substance but Alcest's music feels very genuine to me, with an emphasis on creating real songs that grow on you. It's a really cool trip listening to this. I love the different layers to the music, the cool melodies and rhythmically, the choices are judicious as well. It's very easy to fuck those things up when doing this style of music. I'm gonna check out the rest of their catalog eventually.

4) Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol

This band has fallen from grace for a lot of people but I like their recent output and Tragic Idol was no exception. It's all about really haunting melodies wrapped in a lot of heaviness. The production is sharp, powerful and compliments everyone here. Nick Holmes may not be the best live singer but in the studio, displays an impressive arsenal of styles which really helps Paradise Lost explore the different moods from melancholy to anger. For the last two records, I feel PL have been on a bit of a nostalgic trip. Certain songs are reminder of previous songs of various era, as if they were revisiting their different styles over the year. This bugged me a little but I did feel it was done well. I'm just hoping for the next album they look forward instead of back.

3) Pharaoh - Bury the Light

Cool album that takes a little while to get into. Once again, this is a band that is unfairly labelled power metal when they're really doing their own brand of progressive heavy metal, IMO. It's inconsistent with some fillers but the great stuff is really great! I used to have problems with Tim Aymar in Control Denied but he really makes it work in Pharaoh. He's got a cool, totally unique voice and utilizes it well. The rest of the musicians are amazing but the star of the show is probably Matt Johnsen, whose riffs can be really catchy who and has a style of his own. Sometimes, I feel like the songs are a bit disjointed but I give him point for trying lots of stuff. This is an album that would definitely have benefitted from a better production job.

2) Threshhold - March of Progress

Now THIS is what I call a great progressive metal album. None of the ridiculous emoting and masturbating of Dream Theater but rather really interesting music, smart arrangements and good use of the soundscape. For the most part these are long songs and they sometimes border on rock rather than metal but that's what real progressive is to me and there is thankfully no cheese! Just really polished melodies! Plus a great singer that figured out you don't need to squeeze your balls and wail like a siren to be powerful and effective. This album shits on the entire discography of Dream Theater and all those wanker bands and I am happy stuff like this exists. My favorites on the album keep on changing, which is a good sign that this will keep on growing on me. If more albums were like this, I might be into prog metal.

1) Nightmare - The Burden of God

I thought this would be standard power metal (which I strongly dislike for the most part) but it turns out it's really just fucking great modern heavy metal. This is an old band that still adheres to traditional heavy metal but not wrapped in needless nostalgia, so you get more bite in the guitars. It's very incisive at times without delving into wankery like Nevermore. There are some keys and lots of back vocals, a little bit more than I would have liked but it's well done. It's got hints of old school prog metal but think more Queensryche than Dream Theater. Every musician on this is spot on, although nobody is overly technical, they're just serving the songs. Speaking of which, this was the only album this year for me that didn't have a single weak song (except the bonus track). It's all amazing, memorable and it flows really well. The highlight is definitely Jo Amore's singing. That guy is owning these songs, each and every one of his vocal melody is right on target and he's got a powerful, expressive voice. My favorite album of the year by far, actually. I feel lonely not seeing this on others' lists.

Honorable mentions

Dawnbringer - Into the Lair of the Sun God
God Seed - I Begin
Kreator - Phantom Antichrist
_________________
mjollnir wrote:
Noble Beast's debut album is way beyond MOST of what Priest did in the 80s.

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t1337Dude
Metalhead

Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 5:20 am
Posts: 694
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:43 pm 
 

- Waning : The Human Condition
A very fresh take on the black metal genre, featuring an extremely polished and layered sound and intricately woven melodies. Reminds me of progressive black metal I've heard in the past, except with tastefully condensed song length. The riffing I can only describe as a mix between post-rock and depressive black metal (sans the overused repetition). The songs are paced in a way that there isn't a dul or wasted moment. Melodies develop through-out in an original manner and will recur with different sections of the melody emphasized by the backing guitar.

Continuum - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpypnDmYlQ8

- 7 H. Target - Fast-Slow Demolition
Holy fucking shit, this album demolishes. You could probably level out a small town if you played this album on big enough speakers. It just could be contender for the heaviest death metal album ever. You'll find top-tiered musicianship, catchy slams (that you haven't heard a thousand times already), tons of appropriately utilized samples, and it features the most metal album concept ever conceived (if you've never seen or heard of Tetsuo, you're in for a treat). The drum sound combined with the bass-boosted production blows my mind. They didn't hold back on that snare. Listening to the album produces images of an apocalyptic world taken over by machinery and rusted for decades.

Full album - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxgz8V45SAY

- Panopticon - Kentucky

What's there to say about this album that hasn't been said already? Unlike most black metal, this is an album that is really driven by its lyrical content and the ideas behind this album are absolutely impossible to ignore. Panopticon keeps getting better every release. If you haven't heard this one-man black metal band before, then it's about time you start. You'll likely be hearing about Panopticon for a long time. What to expect - lengthy black metal songs interwoven with American folk melodies and use of clean instrumentation (and vocals). The black metal songs are crammed with layered melodic riffs, aggressive drumming, and very tralented black metal vocals. I could probably write a section on Panopticon's vocals alone. But to keep it short, they're deep, yet shrieked and raspy. Great clean voice too. This release is clearly personal to its composer, and doesn't necessarily fit the mold of most black metal.


Honorable mentions:

Blut Aus Nord - 777 - Cosmosophy : One hell of a curveball. The sound on this album is interesting, but also awkward. I don't even think I can describe this release. The song composition reminded me a little too much of the last Blut Aus Nord (high on repetition, low on progression).

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Evangelion2014
Metalhead

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 2:59 am
Posts: 438
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:06 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
I hate picking lists, because there's always a ton of stuff I didn't get to hear, but here we go...

Best of the Year

Kamelot - Silverthorn
Simply the most complete and evocative album of the year. With new singer Tommy Karevik, I wasn't expecting much, but Kamelot blew me away with striking poignancy and emotional power, plus their best songs in years.

Trail of Murder - Shades of Art
Full of hooky songs, heavy riffs and the inimitable vocals of Urban breed, this is an iconoclastic return for one of metal's long-absent sons. The best true metal album of the year.

Pharaoh - Bury the Light
Pharaoh's songwriting ability is unmatched, and with Bury the Light they continue to show why they are one of the best bands around today. Complex, intricate and beautifully melodic.

Elysian Blaze - Blood Geometry
A massive work that is near impossible to understand with only a few listens, but this belongs on a Best Of list anyway - huge, epochal and orchestral work that stuns and amazes with its scope and vision.

Hellwell - Beyond the Boundaries of Sin
With a masterful, single-minded stroke Mark Shelton produces another great album in a long line of them. This is full of creepy keys and otherworldly Lovecraftian lyrics that set one of the best pulpy horror atmospheres all year.

Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name
Sonata Arctica's journey is not one of pleasing fans but of experimenting and exploring, and here they have written their catchiest album in years. Every song on here is memorable after just one listen and the band sounds inspired and excited to be playing music.

Threshold - March of Progress
After the death of singer Mac McDermott I wasn't sure what a new Threshold album would bring, and it turns out we get a massive, sprawling album of serene, super-catchy prog with some of the most insightful lyrics all year and some of the best songs, too.

Desolate Shrine - The Sanctum of Human Darkness
Epic, doomy death metal that submerges you in an ocean of torment and pain. This is a sweeping album full of long songs with killer riffs, monstrous vocals and a deep-rooted atmosphere.

Kreator - Phantom Antichrist
After a weak album in 2009's Hordes of Chaos, Kreator come roaring back with this sledgehammer of an album. This is Thrash infused with a heavy dose of epic, warlike melody and it makes the songs more forceful, more memorable and more urgent.

Degial - Death's Striking Wings
Old school death metal of the highest order, Degial invoke Morbid Angel, Dismember and even classic extreme thrash bands with their debut of furious, ripping Swedeath. Killer.

Paragon - Force of Destruction
I didn't even think Paragon would put out another album, but here they are with a killer album of riff after riff after riff, with a ton of energy and great gruff vocals too. Almost every song on here flat out kills.

Disappointments

Blaze Bayley - King of Metal
There are a few flashes of Blaze's usual high quality on here, but mostly these songs are poorly produced and poorly written, and the album as a whole feels really lazy.

Bloodbound - In the Name of Metal
Like Blaze's album (which also has an ode to metal in the album title), Bloodbound put out a weak, poorly produced and mostly dull album of what sounds like B-sides from previous efforts.

Running Wild - Shadowmaker
There are really no words to describe how lame this is, so I'm not going to bother aside from: don't listen to it.


Me and the boiz, we love that noiz! Ahem. Definitely agree with paragon, their newest album single handedly got me hooked on them, they kind of get pushed to the wayside among all the other big german speed/power bands. Seconding abnormality, asphyx (the song deathammer alone slays) Drought, kamelot (poetry for the poisoned had me worried) and especially Sigh. Thanks for queuing me in Elysian Blaze and Desolate Shrine.

Throwing out a mention for Beheaded - Never to Dawn; Their new vocalist is more of a more gutteral traditional DM vocalist rather than the gurgly brutal type that the last one was, but the album mixes crushing slams and breakdowns, militant marching grooves and furious semi-technical tremolo parts.

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