Dec 16, 2012

TrueMetalhead's Top 10 of 2012

Get ready for the most messed up (read: diverse) Top 10 of 2012 list you've ever witnessed.

10. Overkill - Age of Electric

Overkill ages better than the finest wine. I'm surprised how many musical references to Kill'Em All I found here. While some bands of the same vintage, which I won't mention, (opps, I technically just did) have managed to cut their ties to real fans and roots, Overkill chugs along producing one amazing album after another, while certainly earning the spot in the REAL Big 4. The Electric Age is a fantastically produced thrash that will mosh your face off.


9. Fear Factory - The Industrialist

I was expecting more from "The Industrialist", after a promising return of Dino in "Mechanize". While highly mechanical, the new album has some killer vintage FF riffs, but it runs out of steam after only three songs. Absence of real drums wasn't a big deal, but the inclusion of half-baked songs and some throw away instrumentals was rather disappointing. Still, the amazing vintage machine managed to squeeze out a few classics and managed to become the last mp3 album I ever bought before the switch to streaming music.

8. Nile - At the Gate of Sethu

Another epic scorcher from the Egyptian tomb raiders. Aside from some very unusual and sometimes odd vocal parts, the latest Nile album does not disappoint. In typical fashion, the trio destroys everything in it's path. At the Gate of Sethu" delivers typical dose of epicness while giving an extensive tech death lesson with undeniable skills. As long as George, Dallas and Karl continue to roll out the papyrus and write new shit, they'll likely continue to stay as my friends.

7. Accept - Stalingrad

Not of the same caliber as "Blood of the Nation", but certainly made from the same high strength steel, "Stalingrad" continues in vain of it's predecessor, clearly demonstrating that Wolf Hoffman called it quits prematurely back in late 90s. He still writes great riffs and has a lot to offer and I have a feeling that despite what he says, the band’s success does not sit well with Udo Dirschneider, especially that the album was released on Udo's 60th birthday. Ouch!

6. Gojira - L’Enfant Sauvage

Easily the most versatile metal album in my line up. Few bands are able to not only combine tech and prog so well, but to seemingly make that connection so natural. Album lives up to the predecessors and was worth the wait. This is for people with finer tastes in music and Gojira’s groove death with a pinch of finesse metal, which is French for "fantastic" is a recipe for success. 

5. Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud

One of the most prolific songwriters on earth, Devin Townsend delivers his 15th studio album, and as with any of his countless incarnations, pretty much anything goes, since he has a shelf for any of his endeavours. This time we get experimental, new age prog. From the first gospel choir through every pop beat to the last double bass kick, this album is the ultimate in Epicness (thus the name - duh)! This album defies logic; how is it possible that it made so many Top Lists of 2012? You'll just have to listen to it. Look in a dictionary under 'epic' - you'll probably find entire library of Devin's creations. 

4. Cannibal Corpse - Torture

Some bands mature, some bloom and wither away, some reach a certain level and are afraid to make a slight string bend, as to not encourage mass exodus of fans. Seems like Cannibal Corpse has yet to reach a peak. "Torture" is as savagely brutal as ever, but it also occasionally offers technical flair in some spots (The Strangulation Chair). Erik Rutan did a much better job producing "Torture" that "Evisceration Plaque". I can never get tired of Cannibal Corpse. 

3. In Mourning - The Weight of Oceans

The third album by In Mourning is a slight departure stylistically. This band never shied away from experimenting, which is why they are so highly thought of around here. "The Weight of the Oceans" is cleaner, slower and a bit more approachable, but the beast stays in the dark none the less. Open minded fans of Opeth will find plenty to feast on here, but In Mourning doesn't want to draw parallels to the Swedish giants. They certainly have embraced their own approach to progressive death metal. 

2. Enslaved - RIITIIR

No two Enslaved albums are alike, and yet there has never been a bad release from these Norwegian innovators. Incredible combination of guttural sickness and melodic, mesmerizing vocals intensifies overall feeling of a masterpiece here, especially with the amount of creative experimentation that went into the making of this unique and atmospheric album. Wish it never ended. It is a prog metal paradise. It's good to know there is an open and understanding audience for such artistry these day. This music would have been lost on most people decades ago. 

1. Kreator - Phantom Antichrist

I seriously doubt this was technically the best album of 2012. I have no doubt most of my top 10 had been better efforts creatively, but I simply fell in love with the new Kreator from the very first time I heard it. Not only is this their Lucky 13th studio album, but perhaps the finest in their discography. Easily matching Enemy of God and their ambitious early classic Pleasure to Kill. Can't remember the last time I was so impressed with a thrash album and this year was a banner year, as thrash metal acts released some killer music, including the new Testament and Overkill. Mille Petrozza is not the best guitar player out there, but like a fine wife, he gets better with age and his compositions outclass all of The Big 4's efforts by a long stretch. 


Maikel Sommandas said...

1. Kreator - Phantom Antichrist
2. Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
3. Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth
4. Sabaton - Carolus Rex
5. Enslaved - RIITIIR
6. Rush - Clockwork Angels
7. My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures
8. Anathema - Weather Systems
9. Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol
10. Epica - Requiem For The Indifferent

Maikel Sommandas said...

Those are the winners on

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