Well that was a stonking year for metal was it not?
Plus as I type this at 11:20 on 21st December I’m pretty certain the Mayans have fucked up and we’re not facing the apocalypse or being besieged by hordes of zombies….. having said that, I work in Romford so I probably wouldn’t notice any difference.
Tons of great records were released this year and it’s hard to distil it down in to my 10 faves, however his is MY Top Ten Albums of 2012 – a pretty diverse bag but all solid as feck and each of these records deserve to be on your shelf or in your Sony Walkpod.
Have a large JD & coke, a mince pie and read on.
Yeah I’m a rampant death / thrash metal fan, yeah I’ve seen Entombed about a dozen times and yeah I have 2 Watain box sets but this album just plain ROCKS!
A brilliant return to form after 2009′s somewhat shaky ‘God & Guns’ this album has the lot. Great grooves, catchy riffs and songs easily as good as anything they’ve done before. Check out the riff on ‘Homegrown’ – pure Southern Awesome!
The title track kicks things off brilliantly with a classic blues riff and current Planet Rock fave, the beautiful ’One Day At A Time’ is up next, a great driving / riding song – this record then goes on to deliver the goods without exception – a solid mix of bangers & ballads. They also played my ‘gig of the year’ too; on my birthday.
Messrs Rossington, Medlocke, Van Zant, Matejka, Cartellone, Keys & Colt…… I salute you!
To paraphrase Henry Rollins – “If you don’t like Orange Goblin then I don’t trust you.”
Bearing in mind that, for a long while, we thought there may never be another OG record after 2007′s ‘Healing Through Fire’ this album, in a year full of belters is without doubt THE best British metal album of 2012.
No arguing, no contest, hands down. The muscular grooves and roaring vocals make every other band just tap out.
Fellow horror fanatic and all round top bloke Ben Ward’s performance is blinding (nowhere better than on ’Save Me From Myself’) as is Joe Hoare’s riffing and the pounding rhythms of bassist Martin Millard & drummer Chris Turner. The songwriting is stellar – ‘Red Tide Rising’, ‘Stand For Something’ and the best biking song EVER ‘The Filthy And The Few’ (feck you Born To Be Wild) are downright brilliant and every other British metal band should be plopping their pants at the thought of ever being on the same bill.
The ‘Goblin OWN metal in the UK and are set to finally be headlining some monster venues soon. Good work lads – all the graft has paid off.
Ed Warby is a genius & one of the most underrated musicians in metal.
His drum work with Gorefest & the mighty Hail Of Bullets is peerless. And he’s a nice guy too. Now I’m not the biggest doom fan in the world but the true brilliance of this, their second LP, is that it caters to many types of listeners, without compromising what it is or feeling the least bit forced.
If you like death, doom, or atmospheric heavy metal, there’s something for you. No one element seems to overstay its welcome. Unless you are a hardcore Nightwish or Dying Fetus fan and won’t listen to anything else, almost any metalhead should find something they like.
Ed’s clean vocals are fantastic (he also plays drums / guitars / bass / keyboards on it), and you can feel the passion in every well produced note on this record.
Heavy as hell – emotive – brilliant musicianship – get it!
Yeah I know it was originally released back in 2011 but only 1000 copies were pressed and Relapse decided to make sure that we all got a taste of this amazing shitflingingmonkeypunk in 2012.
Yep, the Atlanta based band features grind legend & real ale aficionado Kevin Sharp from Brutal Truth / Venomous Concept and Bill Kelliher from a little pub band called Mastodon but don’t expect Primate to be anything other than dirty, groovy hardcore / grind.
The band have done a few shows in the USA but we need them over here so we can all lose our crud to tracks like ‘Drinking & Driving’ & ‘Global Division’. This has been played to death in Eve-Mansions and I’m never not in the mood for it’s brutal yet filthy melodies and hook laden punky awesomeness.
From the mid nineties Testament couldn’t get arrested.
Despite pumping out consistently good albums, this hard-working band (along with Overkill & Exodus) were just ignored & given shite reviews by halfwits who all had their heads up Soundgarden’s ars* (or what ever grunge / alt. / nu metal band was flavour of the month).
However – in 2008 they released their first proper full length since 1999′s excellent ‘The Gathering’. ‘The Formation Of Damnation’ was a big spiked metal fist in the ars* of all the nay sayers, a frikkin’ excellent thrash metal album. So good and so well received a lot of us wondered if it could be equalled let alone topped, but that’s exactly what Testament did with this years ‘Dark Roots Of The Earth’.
Tracks like opener ‘Rise Up’, ‘True American Hate’ and the title track just absolutely nailed down a blue-print for modern thrash metal and elbowed all the young new wave thrash bands out of the way while bellowing “Daddy’s coming through”.
Like Testament, Kreator have also suffered in the past from the vagaries of trends and journalistic muppetry.
But us true thrash fans stayed loyal (even when they were noodling about on ’97s ‘Outcast’). Mille Petrozza’s always had the heart for savage, spite injecting, hateful thrash metal & this album is without doubt their best since 1989′s career defining ‘Extreme Aggression’.
Mille & Sami’s duelling guitars carve through your head like you’re having your ears flossed with rusty barbed wire & Ventor’s frantic yet precise drumming leaves you feeling battered & bruised; in a good way.
A great album and nice to see the Flag Of Hate waved high and proud for Teutonic thrash!
As some of you will know, I’m not the biggest black metal fan (bunch of Angry Goths titting about in a freezing cold forest - and albums that sound like they’ve been recorded on a mono walkman…. in a biscuit tin…… covered in gravel? No thanks!) but some BM outfits do tickle my fancy as they have ‘it’. These include Watain, Winterfylleth & most of all, the Swedish War Machine that is Marduk!
I’ve always had a soft spot (in my frozen black heart) for these guys – they don’t mess about singing about noncing around in the woods, no these guys like war, tanks, war, satan, vampires & war! Plus they deliver slab after slab of relentless brutality – Love them.
This year’s ‘Serpent Sermon’ is an immense record full of great riffs played at light speed and a fantastic vocal performance from Mortuus that oozes sulphurous atmosphere. The musicianship displayed is a career best and easily the best thing they’ve released since ‘Panzer Division Marduk’.
They played a killer set with Immolation at the Underworld this year and I’m genuinely excited to see what they deliver next. Horns well and truly UP!
No arsing about looking like a spastic badger with these homegrown black metal grafters – just proper sonic devastation.
This is one of those albums that just keeps getting better with every spin. The quality of song writing is fantastic and is my album of choice for the frosty walk to the train station in the morning.
This is aggressive, multi-layered & complex music for the discerning listener and the band truly have something interesting to say instead of the usual ‘Hail Satan’ pap normally associated with the more ‘we’re so evil we crud coal’ kvlt black metal bands. Their mix of anthemic black metal with the lyrics about the history, heritage and landscapes of England really does have an original vibe and one I really like.
Gone are the bullshit controversies of a couple of years ago – the music (and the message) is genuine and important!
Sometimes when a band produces an “accessible” album they run the risk of totally alienating their fan base (Oi! Morbid Angel & Cryptopsy stop messing about & sit down at the back!), but here on their 5th album, Cattle Decapitation have managed to gel their typically misanthropic, hate fuelled vege-death blasting with some really catchy hook filled songs without losing their full on, terrifying pure death metal appeal.
Stand out tracks, for me at least, are “Living Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat” which throws in some clean (ish) vocals that contrast brilliantly with Travis Ryan’s deep growl in the infectious chorus that I guarantee you’ll be humming all day, “Gristle Licker” and “Projectile Ovulation” which has a hint of the Carcass about it.
Having said that, there’s not a duff track on the album. Special mention must go to David McGraw’s drumming, complex fills and hyperblasting. The guy is phenomenal.
A fantastic album that any lover of quality death metal should own.
Fire & Damnation is the bands 3rd full length and their first album since 1987’s “Rising From The Sea”, an album I bought because A. It was German thrash & B. It had a cool cover (scary masked dude coming out of a misty sea).
25 years is a long time between albums and it’d be natural to be sceptical over the band motives / potential quality, given the current thrash revival is still going strong. However, let me tell you, it’s a belter!
This album delivers proper high energy, no frills, fist in the face thrash metal, that sounds fresh with a great production. Stand out track for me is the brilliant “Fallen Saint” with its classic thrash riff & shouty chorus. They’ve also re-recorded the punky “I Dare You” from “Rising…”.
This album is a superbly crafted labour of thrashlove from beginning to end. The band sound modern & relevant while still holding onto the classic thrash vibe. Exumer were well underrated in the 80’s and it’d be a shame if this album slips away unnoticed.
Happy New Year, readers! Here’s to a 2013 filled with even more quality music to make our ears bleed.