I’m not a fan of Candlemass and I’ve never been, and the reason is
that I wasn’t lucky enough to come across their work at the right time
for myself. Having said that, I must acknowledge I respect this band
grandly. Plus, if you read GD on a regular basis, it’s not secret for
you how much I dig this kind of metal. “Psalms for the dead” is a
vintage work that excels at sounding fresh, authentic and old-school at
the same time. To my knowledge, it is consistent with other Candlemass’
works, so I don’t think it dissapointed any of their fans. One of the
reasons that I fell in love with this work was the fact that it really
revived the experience of listening to another Dio-Sabbath album. It’s
as though they had picked up the baton that had been dropped after “Mob
Rules” and worked it out. With some dignity that is.
If you think my commentary was too brief, you can always re-read the review I wrote on this jewel.
2: Burzum: Umskiptar
Majestically raw, thick and atmospheric black metal from one of the
living legends who hasn’t fucked things up… Musically. The best one man
project if you ask me, and probably the one that defined that very
concept. “Umskiptar” is amazing. Read my review on this beast.
3: Sigh: In somniphobia
This is an album that has it all. I mean ALL. Sigh is the only band I know that can take influences from almost every single metal genre, 70’s AND
space rock, blues, swing, jazz, folk, tribal, progressive and classical
music, and deliver a fine milkshake that tastes like melodic black
metal. The way these guys made power metal type melodies go anime score
was awesome. “In somniphobia” is a masterpiece.
4: Diablo Swing Orchestra: Pandora’s Piñata
DSO and Sigh are not that different from
one another if you ask me. How? Well, both are pioneers of avantgarde
metal in their sub-genres, and both master what they do. Of course, DSO have a more gothic-friendly approach to metal and for the taste of many – include me there – they’re a bit more all over the place
than their black metaller counterparts. “Pandora’s piñata” is a killer
conceptual title, and the music it stands for is exquisite and fun at
the same time.
5: Baroness: Yellow & Green
This double album finally answered the question that had intrigued humanity for centuries: How would sweet progressive rock work if you add some hints of sludgy intensity? Great and elegant, that’s how. A very nice work displaying beautiful artwork.
Major disappointment of 2012:
Kill Devil Hill’s self titled debut trully broke my heart if you
know what I mean. I was expecting great things from these fucks and I got this!?
Also, the Sabbies announcing a new album and a world tour this year,
and then cancelling was seriously demotivating. May Tommy Iommi recover
soon and let us see them alive one last time. Or for the first time for
many of us.
Pretty awesome too. No tequila shot for them, though:
Gojira: L’Efant Sauvage
A new mutation by one of the greatest death metal bands.
Woods of Ypres: Woods 5 – Grey Skies and Electric Light
No, it doesn’t match “IV”. Still great.
Acrania: An uncertain collision
Death metal + latin jazz + bossa nova = GROOVE.
One of the most avantgarde outfits out there released one of the most bizarre albums I’ve listened to. Challenging and great.
Doomy sludgy hardcore with some tribal hints by a bunch of Chicanos is good.
True Spanish black metal. A couple fuck ups of mine made it to the final review. No, that doesn’t make me any less awesome.
Not as impressive as their previous work, yet these guys have a very high quality standard.
Steve Harris: British Lion
Apparently, it’s politically incorrect to like this album. I certainly enjoyed it.
Luca Turillis Rhapsody: Ascending to Infinity
Good old Luca is an amazing guitar player and composer. I was
expecting a new Rhapsody-like release, and I was surprised how this man
reinvented himself as a composer.
Be’lakor: Of breath and bone
Perhaps, the one and only relevant pure melodeath release of the year. Their semi-technical sound is pretty impressive.
In Mourning: The weight of oceans
Progressive metal at its best.
Kreator: Phantom antichrist
These guys recorded their most melodic album ever. They sound better than ever.
I’ve heard great things about some other albums released this year.
Unfortunately for me, I haven’t had the time to listen to them
thoroughly to all that there is available. No bullshit, I still have
around 200 albums in queue to be checked out. This is hard work, you