Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Top 40 Metal Albums of 2012: 30-21
It has been a very long time coming for this release. The band released its first album way back in 2004 and there have long been promises of a new one coming soon. I myself have known about this for about four or five years now and anxiously awaiting it. Of course it did not quite live up to the hype, but it is still an extremely impressive release all the same. An incredible blend of a variety of metal styles into a surprisingly beautiful final product.
Everyone's favorite gothic metal nutballs, Cradle of Filth have once again released an album in October of this year. Just like clockwork. The sound is a little different this time around with more of an emphasis on aggressive riffwork than on albums past. Cradle of Filth has also focused on decreasing their song lengths making this a much tighter and punchier release than some of their more long-winded efforts to date. It is easily one of the band's best albums in years.
Enslaved has received a surprising amount of criticism on this release. I do not personally buy into all that much as this album has once again strongly impressed me. It is not as dynamic as some of their other more recent releases, which is why it is in this position instead of closer to the top, but it is impressive in its own way. Enslaved is a band that continually puts out terrific album after terrific album, and this one is no different.
Napalm Death has built one hell of a long career out of simply making eardrums bleed. Their politically charged lyrics are sometimes lost in the cacophony of noise that they make but their anger is plain and obvious. I have not always been the biggest fan of Napalm Death, but over the last couple of years they have become one of my favorite groups. This release certainly shows why it is that the band has been able to last as long as they have.
Simply put, this is the best album that Aborted has put out, likely ever. The Belgian bashers have long been attempting to add some measure of experimentation and more mainstream-influenced sounds into their brutal style. On this release, Aborted abandon all of that and simply play to their strengths. This is brutal and unrelenting grinding death metal the way that it should be.
Departed Electric Wizard bassist Tas Donazoglou wasted no time in putting together his next musical project. Fans of his former band will likely not find a whole lot to compare it to as this is a band looking towards other metal influences to guide his style. Satan's Wrath is built upon the legacy of early Slayer, Bathory, Hellhammer, Possessed and other band at the forefront of extreme metal. This is a tribute album with original material and it is one of the most impressive debuts of the year.
Nachtmystium lost me for a little while. Their last album was far too progressive without enough of their prior black metal style for my tastes. This album saw a return to their original black metal sound while also working to mix in the progressiveness that the band had been experimenting with. What resulted was one of the band's best albums in their discography. This album even saw a return of the band's black metal logo.
This will not be the only traditional metal release that will be seen on this Top 40 release. There were a number of terrific albums released this year dedicated to the early heavy metal masters. Arkham Witch utilize a variety of styles on this album from doom metal to thrash metal to hard rock. One thing stays the same throughout though, their ability to write damn catchy songs.
Sinister was once one of the most brutal death metal bands going. They emerged from the Netherlands in the late 1980's and put out a couple of terrific and powerful death metal classics early on. They faded a bit over the years but apparently never really lost their edge. This is the best album Sinister has released in a number of years. The brutality and power that once coursed through the band's veins is back with a vengeance.
There have been a lot of great death metal albums released this year from unexpected bands. Chaos Inception is a recent project of Quinta Essentia guitarist Matt Barnes. Just like his other band, Chaos Inception's biggest strength is the highly original and impressive riffwork. It is a masterful death metal release that proves that there is still a lot of life left in the genre that many have believed has grown stale.