UPDATED THIS INTO A TOP TWENTY. TEN JUST WASN'T ENOUGH.
THERE'S SO MUCH GREATNESS.
Anaal Nathrakh − Vanitas
(black metal / grindcore, United Kingdom)
Mix of brutal black metal and skull crushing grindcore flavored with some catchy melodies...
..Has all the ingredients for my Album of the Year #1 spot!
FULL ALBUM STREAM:
Blut aus Nord − 777 - Cosmosophy
(atmospheric/ambient post-black metal, France)
Groundbreaking (post-)black metal waves, straight from France!
Perfect ending for the "777" trilogy, that in my books is a true masterpiece.
Black Breath − Sentenced to Life
(hardcore/crust punk / death metal - death n roll, United States)
Hardcore/crust punk with strong old school death metal influences. This album rips some fucking heads off!
The energy makes me want to moshpit with my furniture when I'm home alone, listening this record!
Gojira − L'Enfant Sauvage
(progressive death/thrash metal, France)
Overall maybe Gojira's most melodic album thus far − Which really isn't that bad thing afterall!
Horrendous − The Chills
(old school death metal, United States)
Death metal album of the year? Fucking yes! Really hard time choosing between Asphyx's "Deathhammer" and this. Amazing debut album, thats for sure! There's some moments a'la Chuck Schuldiner (from Death). Thats a first time, after Chuck passed away, RIP.
Hooded Menace − Effigies of Evil
(death-doom metal, Finland)
The raw and heavy old school sound steamrolled straight to my brain! This is Hooded Menace's third death-doom opus so far, and for some reason this is the album I want to listen, when the doom is right. Although two earlier albums are also very good!
Asphyx − Deathhammer
(old school death metal, Netherlands)
Death metal done in pure old school fashion!
One of my favorite albums featuring vocalist Martin Van Drunen.
Mgła − With Hearts Toward None
(black metal, Poland)
Rawness vs. Depression. Melodies vs. Aggression. Outstanding Polish underground black metal.
Igorrr − Hallelujah
(experimental breakcore, France)
Igorrr (aka Gautier Serre) is a French composer who mixes genres from electronic and acoustic music to death metal. His music has been truly unique and amazing in every album so far, but this is the first time the vocal work got my attention so quick. Experi-mental is this French guys ways!
Licht Erlischt... − ...and below, the retrograde disciples
(funeral doom/black metal, Germany)
This German band wanders somewhere between funeral doom-, and depressive black metal. The clean poignant vocals really give this band it's identity.
Definately something I did't look for, but am more than happy to run into!
Napalm Death − Utilitarian
(grindcore / death metal, United Kingdom)
Really diggin' the more groovy/melodic songs and even the clean vocal-parts a lot that we're not used to hear from these English grinders. Theres also some sick tempo changes through the album!
Laineen Kasperi − Pako-Laine
(underground hip-hop / rap, Finland)
Underground hip-hop with some of the best lyrics out there. 4th solo album by the Finnish MC/Producer/DJ/Composer Laineen Kasperi. Beats are fresh and lyrics are gold! I LIKE A LOT!
This and Herra Huu's two 2012 albums have been on my playlist since they came out!
Wilds Forlorn − We, the Damned
(atmospheric black metal, Netherlands)
Yuri Theuns, = the mainman behind this masterpiece. Journey through depressive vocal parts... Neo-classical (piano) interludes... Funeral doom stages... and grim spoken tales with ambient undertones.
--- Takes you away. ---
Furia − Marzannie, Krolowej Polski
(black metal, Poland)
Great (post)-black metal from Poland. Language barrier is just about the only reason this isn't even higher in my 2012 list! In love with the riffage and drumming of this album!
Pää Kii − Pää kii
Debut album for this Finnish punk 'supergroup'. There's some veterans in their lineup from bands as: Kakkahätä 77, Damn Seagulls, Anal Thunder, Sweatmaster, God Given Ass and Tehosekoitin. Punk album of the year for sure.
A Million Dead Birds Laughing − Xen
(experimental grindcore / technical death metal, Australia)
Second studio album by this Australian extreme metal group. The unique sound continues that I loved on their debut album (Force Fed Enlightenment, 2011). Fierce grindcore with dark, atmospheric melodies. Highly recommended!
Whourkr − 4247 Snare Drums
(experimental death metal/ grindcore / breakcore, France)
Igorrr's metal alter-ego with a new line-up: Igorrr + MULK. Compared to earlier albums, this is harder, faster, more guitars, more death growls. Sick stuff!
(Fun fact:“4247 Snare Drums” is the exact amount of snare drums hits on this release!)_______________________
Saltillo − Monocyte
(trip-hop/idm/neo-classical, United States)
Something different. Experimental trip-hop with all kinds of twists and influences including piano, (movie) samples, and some breakcoreish structures, àla Stunt Rock, which I love!!
Terrorizer − Hordes of Zombies
(grindcore / death metal, United States)
Terrorizer gives us a 2012 top grind albums together with the almighty Napalm Death and a Aussie newcomers: A Million Dead Birds Laughing. Vocal and drum work on this album just fuck shit up!
Catuvolcus − Gergovia
(epic folk metal / black metal, Canada)
Ready for some epic tales of Gaulish civilisations? Check this blackened folk metal band from Canada!
★ Best EPs/SPLITs of 2012 ★
Torture Killer − I Chose Death EP
(groovy/brutal death metal, Finland)
Torture Killer introducing new vocalist Pessi Haltsonen with this three track EP.
The dude does exellent job − Can't wait for the next album, to be fucking honest!
Year of No Light (France) & Altar of Plagues (Ireland) − Split
(post-metal / doom metal / post-black metal)
If it's not enough that I love both these bands, they've managed to make these songs work together very well. One of the best splits in a long time!
Agalloch − Faustian Echoes
(atmosperic black/folk/doom metal, United States)
"Faustian Echoes" is a single, two-part song based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's epic masterpiece "Faust" Reaching over twenty minutes, It's the longest song Agalloch have ever written.
Honorable mentions (in alphabetic order):
Acephalix − Deathless Master (death metal / crust punk, United States)
Old school death metal with influences from all over the extreme metal to crust punk. They definately have their own unique sound, so I'm loving this!
Burzum - Umskiptar (pagan metal / atmospheric black metal, Norway)
Varg does his own thing and usually it works - Just like this time. To me the evolution of Burzum is sounding good so far. Will surely be spinning this album many times in future.
Chelsea Wolfe − Live at Roadburn (experimental/dark folk, United States)
This should actually be on the Top 10 list , but as this is a compilation/live album, I chose to leave this out. Nevertheless, amazing album. She became my favorite female vocalist during the year 2012!
Hellbringer − Dominion of Darkness (thrash metall, Australia)
Nice Australian 3 piece thrash machine. Old schoolish speed/thrash style and riffs from Hell! My favorite thrash metal album of 2012.
Herra Huu − Ei toivottuja lastenlauluja (underground hip-hop / rap, Finland)
Finnish hip-hop producer/mc, a.k.a. Huge L. Great instrumentals and lyrics.
Herra Huu − 2012 (underground/psychedelic hip-hop / rap, Finland)
A follow up album for "Ei toivottuja lastenlauluja" (above). More psychedelic album with a lot of electronic touches mixed with these dark/gloomy beats. Impossible to choose between these two, both a very good with a bit different styles.
Lapko − ΓΟΛΕ (alternative rock, Finland)
Finnish alternative rock group with unique atmospheric sound. ΓΟΛΕ rocks!
Marduk − Serpent Sermon (black metal, Sweden)
Definately more melodic album than I expected after Iron Dawn EP, and actually that got my attention right away... Cold, melodic, black metal from Sweden. "Coram Satanae" − What a bonus track!!Mokoma − 180 Astetta (melodic/thrash/death metal / schlager, Finland)
Mokoma still making great albums. Not their best, but still this is their 9th studio album already and we want more! We want more! We want more!
My Dying Bride − A Map of All Our Failures (doom metal, United Kingdom)
British doom metal veterans MDB are back with their usual doom style, after the neo-classical compilation album. This band is simply always good!
Wolfbrigade − Damned (crust punk / hardcore, Sweden)
Very good d-beat/crust from Sweden. Kinda sounds like Motörhead gone very crusty, in a nice way. Also loving those melodic passages in few of their longer tracks. "From Beyond"!
I could continue this list forever, but it's an new year and time to look forward on 2013 releases and what greatness/crazyness this year has to offer. Kvelertak's 2nd studio album out sooooon!!
I've also been planned to do some kind of "Best album of 2012, by genre" list if I've got time and patience for it in near future. Would be cool because most of my favorite albums are metal, but I've got fairly diverse music taste in general. Well see if I manage to make this happen.
- Antti / INROK