Friday, January 4, 2013
Top 40 Metal Albums of 2012: 10-1
The best pure thrash metal album this year came from a very unexpected source. Rumpelstiltskin Grinder had previously been kind of an anomaly in the wave of retro thrash metal bands, a band with a strong sense of humor and some non-thrash metal elements thrown in for good measure. Their sound really came together on this release. It is a shame so few people have been willing to give them a shot because they really deserve it with this one.
Australia has mostly become known for this style of blackened thrash metal, so it came as a bit of a shock to hear a terrific blackened thrash metal album from Norway. This is an incredibly grimy and dirty sound that kicks ass and takes names. It is short and raw and a wild ride.
This release shows just how morose and despairing funeral doom metal can get. Ahab remains my favorite funeral doom metal band, but this release may be one of my favorite albums from the subgenre, joining prior Ahab material and the Catacombs album. This album is utterly hopeless with an incredible sense of despair hanging over the entire album.
The best pure doom metal album this year, Hooded Menace's lyrics mostly deal in horror themes. There is definitely a market for this style and lyrical theme. Hooded Menace craft extremely impressive traditional-styled doom metal with infectious riffs and incredibly catchy songs. The vocals may be death metal-styled but the music is pure doom.
I can always count on Goatwhore to release an album of purely chaotic and menacing black/thrash/death/extreme metal. They have not disappointed me yet. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Goatwhore though is that the band continually gets better. Each time they release a new album, it is the best album they have ever done. That continues with this release. This is the best Goatwhore album ever. Though that will only last until the next one if history is any indication.
Every year it seems like a traditional metal album comes out of nowhere to completely shock me and make it very high on my end of the year countdown. This is not the only one this year, but it is perhaps the most shocking. This one was sent to me to review from Metal on Metal Records and I have not been able to stop listening to it since.
I once said that Gojira released one of the heaviest songs of all time. Now they have released one of the heaviest albums. The French band continually puts out ridiculously heavy material. This is my favorite album that Gojira have released so far and it came damn close to taking the top album of the year. The band is almost unclassifiable, but that is not important when the music is this good.
I have said it before in this list, 2012 was a great year for death metal. Ataraxy is a Spanish death metal band that has released an utterly terrific raw and grimy album. Not bad for a debut album. I owe my knowledge of this band to Full Metal Attorney.
Almost everything I said about Ataraxy could be said about Nephelium, except that they are from the United Arab Emirates originally before relocating to Canada. This is a death metal album on par with just about any other death metal album of the last several years. There is just something about this release that grabs the listener and refuses to let go. It is an incredibly raw and brutal death metal album that is fresh and exciting. 2012 was a great year for death metal and Nephelium is the biggest reason why.
Here it is, the best metal album of 2012 and this is definitely from an unusual place. As I said with Mortalicum, every year it seems like a traditional metal album comes out of nowhere and blows me away. Christian Mistress have released the best metal album of the year. Their sound can be traced back to the NWOBHM. The vocals are simply incredible and are a large reason why this album is so impressive. And there you have it, Metallattorney's Album of the Year.