2012 was a great year for metal and I definitely had a hard time deciding what to put on my top 10. Pig Destroyer and Deftones were fighting for 10th before I saw that I’d forgotten Shining…but Behexen, Enthroned, Ragnarok, Naglfar, Drudkh, Ihsahn and a lot of other amazing artists released fantastic albums this year. I’m glad it was narrowed down to just metal, though, cos if it was a top 10 IN GENERAL it would have been even harder (rap happens to come second to metal, yes, I know, that makes me a horrible person~). Anyways, here is my top 10 METAL albums of 2012:
10. Mgła – With Hearts Towards None
Mgła isn’t one of those bands I listen to a lot, but this album definitely got my attention. It’s incredibly catchy, the vocals are great and some of the riffs are just awesome. With Hearts Towards None is true black metal and if you’re a BM fan, haven’t already listened or have never listened to Mgła, I suggest you give this record a try!
Favorite track(s): With Hearts Towards None IV, With Hearts Towards None VI
9. Shining – Redefining Darkness
Shining is an interestingly enjoyable band for me, but I find myself struggling to find words to explain why I like Redefining Darkness…I just have to say I love their style and Niklas’ vocals. I’ve never heard anything like his voice and, to me, you either love them or hate them. Even if I wasn’t a fan of Shining’s music, I’d still adore Niklas because of his personality…but yes, I’m going to have to put this in the ‘you have to listen to understand’ category with Blut Aus Nord.
Favorite track(s): The Ghastly Silence, For The God Below
8. Cattle Decapitation – Monolith Of Humanity
I’ve never really been big on Goregrind/Deathgrind, whatever you wanna call it…but I absolutely adore Cattle Decapitation, I actually just got into them this year. I had the pleasure of seeing them earlier this year with Soulfly (and meeting them after the show, ridiculously nice guys) and not only did I enjoy the music, but I LOVED Travis’ stage presence. Anyways, I can’t give you one bad song off of Monolith Of Humanity…but in all honesty, the video for “Forced Gender Reassignment” wasn’t as bad as people said it was. The only part that really made me cringe was the whole…I don’t even know, was it a drill going up the guy’s ass? I DON’T KNOW, but the scenes of the organs getting tangled in the drill was like…just bad, hahaha…definitely give the album a listen and if you’re not easily disturbed, check out the video!
Favorite track(s): Seriously, the whole album…but my all-time favorite would have to be “Gristle Licker”.
7. Forgotten Tomb – …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil
Forgotten Tomb, like Mgła, is one of those bands where I listened to them here and there and would occasionally be in that ‘Forgotten Tomb mood’. …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil definitely made me a big fan, it’s not ‘TRVE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL’ but it’s really, really impressive doom-ish black metal. There isn’t one song that I don’t like, it has great rhythm, great production, great everything…and some of the riffs are seriously able to stay stuck in my head for days. Listen to this shit.
Favorite track(s): …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil, Nulifying Tomorrow
6. Marduk – Serpent Sermon
Marduk, Marduk, Marduk…I love you guys. This album is fantastic. Mortuus, you are one of my favorite vocalists. Morgan, Magnus and Lars, you are all some talented motherfuckers. I must add in that back in June, Cassidy and I drove to California to see Marduk with 1349 and it was totally worth it! They put on an amazing show and sound great live, it was definitely an amazing privilege to be able to shoot that show. I absolutely cannot wait for their stop in Arizona!
Favorite track(s): The whole album, but my favorites would have to be “Serpent Sermon”, “Into Second Death”, and “M.A.M.M.O.N.”.
5. Meshuggah – Koloss
I’ve been a big Meshuggah fan for a couple of years now and they’ve only gotten better, especially with the release of Koloss! A lot of people complain about all of their shit sounding the same or that they’re ‘too technical’, etc., but I believe this album gives you that ‘classic Meshuggah’ sound without being redundant (as does every album, I guess you really have to enjoy the band to tell the difference). Oh, my Lord…and lemme tell you, their last tour with Decapitated was my first time seeing them, I about broke my neck (surprised I didn’t have a stroke from their lights)…and when I got their setlist, I fangirled so hard. Just had to add that in, a childhood dream fulfilled x10, but I’m looking forward to another release hopefully in 2013! Favorite track(s): Behind The Sun, Demiurge
4. Alcest – Les Voyages de L’âme
To people who know me, Alcest being on my top 10 would just be a given…to those of you who don’t know me, I absolutely adore anything Neige puts out. That being said, I was very excited for this album and it definitely didn’t disappoint, (like I’d ever expect anything bad from him). As always, everything is beautifully written/composed by extremely talented musicians (Neige AND Winterhalter). P.S. next time you guys stop in Arizona, please don’t make the show 21+! Favorite track(s): Autre Temps, Faiseurs De Mondes
3. Blut Aus Nord – 777 – Cosmosophy
Blut Aus Nord has failed to disappoint me. Anything they do, like Enslaved, is just fantastic, but I’ve seriously always wondered how their music is able to send me through such a trance. How does someone even gain the abilities to write such beautiful music? Yeah, I wish I knew, but 777 – Cosmosophy is a perfect end to the 777 trilogy (although I wish it were never-ending). I have a lot to say, but I don’t know how to say it…it’s one of those albums you have to listen to in order to understand how great it really is. Vindsval, W.D. Feld and GhÖst, I adore you. Favorite track(s): Epitome XVII, Epitome XVIII
2. Enslaved – RIITIIR
Let me start by saying this…I LOVE ENSLAVED. I just cannot get enough of them, everything they do is fantastic; especially this album. When listening to it, I can just feel the passion they have for their music, the power in the vocals/instruments and it’s amazing how the lyrics are suited to the actual sound. The guys from Enslaved are definitely beyond talented, all of them…if you’ve kept up with the reviews here on TAOM, my friend and I reviewed this beautiful piece of art earlier in the year and it was the longest one we’ve ever written. That wasn’t by choice, either! I found myself struggling to find words at first, but once I got started…it turned into, like, 7 paragraphs (or something like that). RIITIIR is one of my most-listened to albums on my Last.fm, Enslaved being my third most-played artist! Keep up the good work, guys, you are all amazing. Favorite track(s): Roots Of The Mountain, Storm Of Memories, Forsaken
1. Les Discrets – Ariettes oubliées…
This should also come as no surprise, of course Les Discrets has made it to my top 10! I really can’t find words to describe my love for this album, let alone the band. I was beyond excited for this to come out. The flow Ariettes oubliées… has is like no other; it is just flawless. I can’t give you a song I don’t like from Les Discrets. I keep jumping around from subject to subject in this paragraph, I supposed it’s because I can’t exactly put the emotion I get from listening to it into words…it’s almost trance-like. Just take it from me, a huge post-rock fan, this album is absolutely amazing. Favorite track(s): La Traversée, Le Mouvement perpétuel