1. Sigh: In somniphobia
Sigh unfurl a heady opus that combines the best elements of their
last four albums with a bizarre blend of bold sounds and moods.
Anthemic guitar harmonies, analog keyboards, galloping riffs, twisted
sampling, jazzy saxophone solos, twisted world music and more than I
could put into words all fit into a larger picture of nightmarish
dementia and psychedelic dreamscapes. A sonic odyssey if ever there was
Album cover of the year as well, the vinyl release of this is the
most beautiful 12 inch object in my home that’s not attached to me.
2: Dark End: Grand guignol – Book I
A fairly obscure blip on the metal radar, but the sterling reviews
the band keeps receiving are creating a beacon for those on the lookout
for quality symphonic black metal. With such attention to detail (that
bleeds over into the general packaging and conceptual elements of this
release) Dark End is able to craft a dark, epic album that shows a
masterful grasp of the style.
Gigantic booklet with tons and tons of text and art all housed in a
slipcase. The album also came with a fragment of handwritten lyrics
inside a wax-sealed envelope, a magic certificate (hey I didn’t ask) and
ceremonial incense. Here’s where I make a joke about having a great
3: Anaal Nathrakh: Vanitas
The album that Anaal has been threatening to make all along.
Pushing outward in every direction like a fiery explosion and blazing
new ground along the way. Disgusting inhuman shrieks, chilling riffs,
death metal grooves, soaring cleans and industrial elements all find
their way into Anaal’s cauldron.
4: Cannibal Corpse: Torture
Well the old bastards still have some life in them. While
“Evisceration plague” was mostly disappointing, “Torture” shows a much
more (re) animated Corpse, bursting at the seams with demented
I’m including a link to a live performance on this one partly
because it’s how I first heard the song this year but mostly because
Metal Blade must patrol Youtube like sharks.
5: Borknagar: Urd
The return of ICS Vortex was a welcome
addition to the band and Borknagar get perfect marks across the board on
the vocal front of this album. However, the music is a step up as
well, better crafted, more epic and more dramatic. Somehow, keyboardist
Lazare ends up singing more as well.
So much beautiful man voice.
Chaos Inception: Collision with oblivion
Dudes from Alabama doing Krisiun better than Krisiun.
_This will be at the top of all of the beard metallers’ lists. Unlike something like Baroness, it will actually deserve it.)
Puturaeon: Cult Cthulu
_Great year for retro-Swe-death, these guys come out on top. Cthulu speed, gentlemen!
Exactly what I expected, give me ten more albums like this from Van Drunen and crew. Ya bastahds!
I really can’t believe how well Accept does without Udo. I doubt he can either.
This is so goddamn dark. That’s the extent of any review of Emptiness.
Worst shit Lord K made me listen to for Audio Autopsy:
Halestorm: The strange case of
Even Jem and the Holograms are an edgier girl rock band than Halestorm.
In This Moment: Blood
(Otep + Hatebreed + Something Even Worse) x Fake Boobs = Profit?
POD: Murdered Love
Linkin Park: Living things
Even when I was young, misguided and loved nu-metal I didn’t like these bands.
Major disappointment of 2012:
Nile: At the gates of Sethu
Though Nile doesn’t seem capable of putting out an out and out “bad”
album I easily see this as the weakest in their discography. The best
songs on here don’t even touch what the band did on “Annihilation of the
wicked” or even their last album.
Major surprise of 2012:
Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody: Ascending to infinity
I’ve been making fun of Rhapsody for years and years (and probably
still will) but this album really grabbed me. I suppose the common
complaint is that the band is cheesy but at this point listening to a
Rhapsody album and being upset about the presence of dairy is like
getting pissed off that pot smoke is ruining the Pink Floyd laser light
show you’re trying to enjoy.