Monday, December 31, 2012
The Top 15 Metal Albums of 2012
Perhaps it's the aggressive nature of the music or athletic prowess of the musicianship,but no other genre of music is held under such competitive scrutiny as the looking glass metal fans place on this infernal art form. I figured since that cats over at Metalsucks thought so much of their tastes to have a top fifteen i would go ahead and tack on five more to the top ten article i wrote for Hiplanta, hey its New Years and i'm fighting off chemical depression so i dont have the inertia to write a whole new blog so take what you can get becuase this is keeping me from blogging out a suicide note and posting on face book that im giving away all my things. In the event i do this ill post a list of cds up for grabs along with my brothers email and he can spread the metal in my memory, but if i make into 2013, then hopefully i can find a loop hole in the federally funded mental health and get on meds.
The criteria I used was we're they still standing on my iPod , how many listens had they acquired on my last fm and the magnitude of their artistic achievement ( this elmininated a lot stuff from bands who churn out the same old same old). With each entry I have included a little salve to soothe the ache caused by not seeing your favorite but inferior band listed. So lets count them down.
15- "Thaumiel" by Ofermod, This is raw nasty black metal with a twist of death to give it enough grunt that they are growling about succubi giving them blow jobs, o.k to be fair they are just tasting their semen, so these guys might have had to do all the work and just needed a demon to dump it on. It's pretty mean barrage they hit you with and their are these weird sections of almost folk metal like clean singing that actually work, one of those hear it to believe its, and they handled those parts even better than the lame Eluvietie that came out earlier this year, the lack of hurdy Gurdy helped.
14-"the Giant" Ahab, Like another funeral doom band on here it's a late entry, but there's some top notch shredding on this one, I mean how many doom bands of this ilk can pull out a solo that sounds like it was lifted from mid period Frank Zappa. The vocals are relatively versatile and pretty interesting , the only reason it didn't rank higher is some of the slugger moments I have to be in the mood for and when you are talking about auicide to strangers in Sweden reading you blog well you need a gloomier soundtrack or medication. Which considering the hoops you have to jump through these days a noose might be preferred, but I can still joke about it so if you are feeling uncomfortable reading this it's metal get grim and get over, take my advice I'm not using it.
13-"With Hearts Toward None"-Mgla, This Polish blackened death outfit won me over with their admiration for Dissection...yeah Watain didn't have an album out this year and Mgla has much more of their own identity than Thulcandria. This spot could have been occupied by the new Anhedonist but I had iPod problems and haven't been able to give that one a solid listen and this one rips pretty hard so it earned its place on its own accord.
12-"Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric light" by Wooda of Ypres- This one often just squeaks in under what I consider metal, the lyrics add to its heaviness particularly considering their timely nature with main man David Gold's death. For goth infused metal this one hit the mark missed by My Dying Bride and Tiamat, though it offered a simpler take on being a stand in for Type O Negative. This album needed to be revisited as I enter the winter steel cage match with depression.
11-"In Somniphobia" by Sigh , I'll go ahead and stop all of you kids hanging out at the Mall of Georgia right now and say the Faceless will not be on this list, the guitar tone was limped than a nursing home and the clean vocals belonged on a Cw teen romance show. Do yourself a favor if you think you are into progressive metal and check out Sighs new one as it progresses in ways Frank Zappa would have been proud of and still has blast beats. Not the only album with sax on this list either, but it has some of the best guitar work.
10- "Wisdom of Centuries" by Khors, While the new Enslaved isn't awful they have stepped so far into Opeth territory to make it on here. So I choose a darker shade of pagan metal in Khor's new album which has more teeth to it than any thing Enslaved has done since "Vertabrae " pretty epic so have your twenty side dice ready before you give it a listen.
9 "Al Alzif" by the Great Old Ones" o.k the new Alcest isn't heavy enough to make it and the new Deathspell Omega is just an e.p. so representing the French this year is a band who bases their lyrics on the works of H.P Lovecraft which immediatly mutes any argument against them. They still have enough ambiance and adventure to satisfy fans of the other French bands.
8-"Longing" by Bell Witch - This doom duo contains the bassist of Samothrace and I think this is a much more compelling listen than the Samothrace which is on a lot of people's lists. Look for the review of this to be posted tomorrow, it kinda feels like a soundtrack to this moment it my life for better or worse I guess when you are talking about drone heavy funeral doom.
7-" Dragged From our Restless Trance" by Bastard Sapling, if Krallice's new one didn't bring home the bacon for you this Virginia band summons Norway better than other American black metal bands, be prepared for ten minute skull fucking sagas of songs.
6-"All We Love We Leave Behind" by Converge, While metal core becomes a thing of the past and the sludge band wagon runs out of gas Converge continues to do what they do, is it Jane doe? No is it even You Fail Me ? Not really but them pissing on the singer of Suicide Silence's set to record would still sound better than most band's on a good day.
5- "Eremita" by Ihshan Yep , you are reading it right no Meshuggah. Rather an album with great production value than one where all the life is mixed out of them. You want guitar heroes Emperor's main man not only has a meaner growl than the Swedes have put to album he is also an under rated guitarist which beats out an overrated one any day of the week.
4-"Atra Mors" by Evoken the past two years funeral doom has really gotten new life, some of the trailblazers for this are Evoken who can send chills up your bong in ways Neurosis can no longer since they have decided to become a Pink Floyd tribute band.
3-"Silencing Machine" by Nachtmystium It's back to black metal, while High on Fire is busy ripping off Venom and Motörhead I've been much more content listening to Blake Judd strip things down for some raw darkness and misery on this one and he still remembers the value of songwriting to top it off.
2- "Sorrow and Extinction" by Pallbearer . I saw someone post that is sounded like slowed down eighties dungeons and dragons metal to them....and the problem with that is? Last time I checked some of the greatest metal ever came out in the eighties and the litmus test for good metal is how does it sound when I'm killing orcs . If you do not agree with this you don't know shit about metal so you have no voice in the matter. These guys are killing lich lords big time like Ronnie James Dio.
1- "Ritual of Passing" by Atriarch You mean to tell me you mixed death rock with my black metal and smoked it with some doom? Well thank you very much I now have the perfect soundtrack to burn my family alive in their sleep before I slit my wrists on acid. In all seriousness folks this is not just chords and growling, but some real spiritual shit going down, chances are you might not get and then your probably weren't supposed to , must be heard to be felt, nothing else that came out this year was this dark and depraved.