Since I won’t put the obvious winner
this year (though it’s actually more of a 2013 release) in here I’m as
surprised as you are – a fucken heavy metal album, fronted by one of the
strongest voices ever from a woman in the metal community, as number 1
for me in 2012? Yeah, never thought that’d happen. Thing is, KATL’s
such a catchy fucken band you gotta hear it to believe it, and with
that voice (a female version of Bruce Dickinson is a decent comparison)
they’re destined for success. Another thing is, I would hate these Kobra
fuckers hadn’t she sung on it, becoz I usually hate this new era of
heavy metal, you know. But when a band like this put the catchiness
together with some incredibly well-written tunes, I can do nothing but
applaud it. I very much look forward to see if they can follow this
incredibly strong debut up with another one of the same caliber or if
they will vanish into obscurity. I wish them all the luck in the world.
More on this piece in the September 2012 edition of Audio Autopsy.
Recommended song: Welcome to my funeral
2: Naglfar: Téras
One of my fave bands return with “Téras”. Swedish, melodic black
metal won’t get better than this. Though I still think “Harvest” is a better album
(as in “more direct and easier to get hooked on”), “Téras” feels like
its darker sibling where more focus is spent on the essence of evil
instead of being easy to digest. It’s definitely a grower, people. If
you’re not a fan of Naglfar, you are not my friend. And you don’t like
metal. And you suck. That’s not a good way to lead your miserable life,
fucko. Redeem yourself! We also dissected this one in the May 2012 edition of Audio Autopsy.
Recommended song: An Extension of his arm and will
3: The Agonist: Prisoners
I have said this so many times before… First I kinda couldn’t give a shit about The Agonist. Their debut had its moments but it didn’t do much for me as a whole. Then “Lullabies for the dormant mind” came around and it didn’t do much for me either – at first.
For some unknown reason I ended up giving it multiple spins (I blame
Alyssa’s clean vocals for this) and voilá – I started to love The Agonist. “Prisoners” is a real good fucken album without being particularly awesome like “Lullabies” is. But real good it is. Actually it’s good enough to land a spot at number 3 on my list.
Recommended song: Dead ocean
4: Meshuggah: Koloss
Obviously Meshuggah’s to blame for alof today’s metal bands. Most of
them suck, some of them are ok. But the originators stand in a league
of their own. There’s not a single band in this world who pull off the
Meshuggah sound like Meshuggah themselves. They invented this, they
perfected this. And “Koloss” is one of the 3 best albums they have ever
shat out. Naturally, you can find this disc in the May 2012 edition of Audio Autopsy as well as in this regular review.
Recommended song: The demon’s name is surveillance
5: Aeon: Aeons black
I was actually having Korn’s “The path to totality” here until
staffer Smalley did something useful for once and informed me it was
released in December 2011. I am getting fucken old, obviously. I
also had a hard time deciding whether Thy Art Is Murder’s “Hate” album
should take the 5th spot or not… Well, Aeon should be happy they got it
since this new album of theirs entertains me a little bit more than the
just-mentioned one. As always, I have but one question – will this
album be the one that finally gives Aeon the attention they deserve?
With the best production of their career (no motorboat kicks to be found
anywhere!) and the “easiest” songs to get into of their entire catalog
(save for a few ones off “Bleeding the false”, of course) – it’s their
Recommended song: Aeons black
Close but no cigar:
“The unspoken king” is groovier, but this is some fine fucken brutality.
The Gathering: Disclosure
If you think the old The Gathering was better you are a fucken tool.
Katatonia: Dead end kings
In the short-run Katatonia are a magnificent bunch of
melancholic bastards. In the long-run their emotional and
semi-depressive music can become a bit boring.
Napalm Death: Utilitarian
One of the most consistent bands ever?
Thy Art Is Murder: Hate
Their “Reign of darkness” tune is a candidate for best song of 2012. Just so you know. Hear for yourself.
Major disappointment of 2012:
Testament: Dark roots of the earth
Uninspired, tired and irrelevant. Testament had their peak tons
and tons of years ago, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect them a
fuckload, coz I do (thanx to their first 2 albums), but ‘Dark roots of the earth’ is a huge muthafucken disappointment. And those blastbeats… Seriously?