The Best of 2012

1

2012 is on it’s head and tomorrow is the end of the world, so before that happens I want to present my favourite albums of the year. This is in random order and if I had to present a Top 10/20 list, not all of these will be present.

Ahab – The Giant

Rating: [12/13]

Label : Napalm Records

Website: Official

Ahab - The Giant

Leading the pack without a doubt is Ahab’s latest effort “The Giant.” The album is big, no huge and just overwhelms everything else that’s come out this year. I see in the start of every winter with an Ahab marathon and with every release, the anticipation for an oncoming cold season becomes greater.

The Foreshadowing – Second World

Rating: [12/13]

Label: Cyclone Empire

Website: Official

The Foreshadowing - Second World
Running near the front surely is the latest release of The Foreshadowing called “Second World.” This album surprised me because I’ve never heard of the band before, but they crafted something that real great here. The atmospheres are dark and brooding and the themes eerily real.

Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage

Rating: [10/13]

Label: Roadrunner

Website: Official

Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
Inevitably Gojira makes the list but I have to add that their latest effort “L’Enfant Sauvage” didn’t quite meet my expectations. It’s a great album nonetheless and showcases the classic Gojira sound but with a more pensive and darker sound.

Eluveitie – Helvetios

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Nuclear Blast

Website: Official

Eluveitie - Helvetios
Eluveitie’s “Helvetios” was an early front runner and even though the album’s star has somewhat faded it’s perhaps still my favourite by the Swiss masters of Folk. They really managed to transport me into their Helvetic world and will deservedly sit somewhere near the top.

Testament – Dark Roots of Earth

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Nuclear Blast

Website: Official

Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
I think Testament surprised more than a few people with their latest album, “Dark Roots of Earth.” It’s certainly the best album since “The Gathering” and has rekindled my dying enjoyment of Thrash Metal. Bar Slayer I’ve never been a huge fan of the genre but if you’re looking for something straight-forward and lively, this is worth getting.

Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Century Media Records

Website: Official

Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol
Paradise Lost released a new album this year and “Tragic Idol” is the first album I’ve really enjoyed since the album that signaled their first change of sound, “One Second”. They’re one of the bands that got me into Metal in the first place so I’m thrilled to add them to this list.

Borknagar – Urd

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Century Media Records

Website: Official

Borknagar - Urd
Another band that got me going in Metal is Borknagar and this year they released “Urd” which is perhaps one of my favourite albums by the band. Certainly since the days of “The Olden Domain” they’ve released a lot of good stuff but this album got me back into them in a big way. On the last few albums I grew weary of Vintersorg’s vocals but for now I’m stil loving it.

Dråpsnatt – Skelepht

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Frostscald Records

Website: Official

Dråpsnatt - Skelepht
This one came out of nowhere: Dråpsnatt hail from Sweden and their latest album “Skelepht” has had me cloaked in blackness for the last few weeks. It’s a thinking man’s Black Metal and permeates a dark atmospheres but never overwhelms you with that true grit found often in. A few slight Avant-Gardistic undertones make this one of the better Black Metal albums I’ve heard in the last few years.

Alcest – Les Voyages de L’ame

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Prophecy Productions

Website: Official

Alcest - Les Voyages de L'ame
The latest Alcest album called “Les Voyages De L’Âme,” is pretty much what you’d expect from the Frenchman – typically dark and solemn but with some flair to keep you subverted for the duration of the album. A perfect companion for a dark and stormy night.

Wintersun – Time I

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Nuclear Blast

Website: Official

Wintersun - Time I
Wintersun’s debut album was i.m.o. one of the most over-hyped albums I’ve ever heard and boy, do people disagree with me. I never got what it was about and I awaited “Time I’s” release with the same skeptical anticipation I had for Diablo III. General opinions seems to indicate both were a bit of a disappointment, but personally I rather liked Time I. Actually I liked it very much, much more than the debut…

Enslaved – RIITIIR

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Nuclear Blast

Website: Official

Enslaved - RIITIIR
Enslaved delivered another solid album this year and RIITIIR once again confirms them as one of the stalwarts in the Metal scene. This album has more crunch than “Axioma Ethica Odini” but continues along the atmospheric path they chose with “Vertebrae.” Their ability to consistently release great albums has set the bar very high and unfortunately with every release I hope for something spectacular to eclipse the previous album. When that happens it will be “album of the year.”

Monolithe – Monolithe III

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Debemur Morti Productions

Website: Official

Monolithe - Monolithe III
This was one of my favourite albums of the year, really impressive 50+ minutes of French Funeral Doom. Listening the album in one go is a marathon effort, but well worth it and the only way this album can be appreciated. There are distinctive sections that you’ll recognize before they arrive but it all flows seamlessly into one monolithic track. It’s fantastic!

Panopticon – Kentucky

Rating: [–/13]

Label: Pagan Flames Productions

Website: Unknown

Panopticon - Kentucky
This album deserves mention simply because I’ve never heard anything quite like this before. I’ve heard the band being describes as “Blackgrass” but the best description I can manage is a Black Metal mix of 16 Horsepower, Appalachian folk, and Johnny Cash. The first time I heard it I played it three times in a row. It’s one of the biggest surprises of the year and I’ll be delving into the back catalogue over the next few months.

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One thought on “The Best of 2012

  1. […] Skip to content HomeAboutReviewsThe Best of 2012 ← Elvenking – Red Silent Tides August 9, 2012 · 2:46 pm […]

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