I’m going to be sad when it’s like, 2041 and lists with titles like this will no longer make sense. In the meantime…
Ensiferum took their time with this one, and it shows. 2012 didn’t see a whole lot of folk metal releases, but the few I got to hear were pretty great.
Grave Digger have proven that they are still relevant after 32 years in the scene. Clash Of The Gods sounds like it was ripped straight out of the ’80s, and brand new all at the same time.
I was more excited than anyone I knew for Christian Mistress’s sophomore album, and it did not disappoint. Possession is fantastic from start to finish, and losing it in a hard drive crash was a low point in this otherwise great year.
You knew it was coming. The Chinese Democracy of Finnish melodeath, Time I was hyped to the extreme and mostly delivered on its awesomeness. Forget about how the album was supposedly so complex that there are hundreds of track sper song and crashed Jari’s computer — it is an enjoyable album to listen to, and that’s all that mattered.
2012 was the year that I fully explored my stoner side (I discovered Red Fang and Dozer in late 2011). Dismal Hollow came along in January, which couldn’t have been a better time. If I had gotten it on tape, the magnetic strip would have been WAY worn out by now.
Hearing Now And Forever made me extra excited about the upcoming Doro/Sister Sin North American tour! I only discovered the band this year, but I fell in love immediately.
Thrash will never die, not as long as Overkill are still holding down the fort. The Electric Age is proof that Overkill haven’t lost a bit of their edge, and when I saw them live in May, it’s clear that they can still command a crowd too.
I’m going to catch so much shit for putting Helvetios over The Electric Age, I almost don’t want to say anything. I loved the album as a folk metal fan, and I loved the concept as a history nerd.
Metal Underground’s review of Stalingrad calls it an “instant classic” and “just the breath of fresh air required to jump start the band’s career,” and I wholeheartedly agree. As a bonus, I saw Accept in September and, while I loved Swallow The Sun and Kreator as well, they stole the show.
Silverthorn is power metal at its finest. New singer Tommy Karevik sounds a lot like Khan, but by the end of the album, you can see his own style shine through. Silverthorn fits right in with their older albums, and shows that Kamelot haven’t missed a beat.
I pretty much ran out of good things to say about Red Horse when I reviewed the album in October. Holy shit, this album is so great. Consistent, brutal awesomeness was hard to come by this year, but Early Graves delivered it in spades.
It’s rare to find a band with absolutely no lulls (and I do not count their ’90s troubles as a “lull,” per se) over a decades-long career, yet here we have Testament. How can one band put out so many amazing albums? Dark Roots Of Earth was not only wildly successful with fans and critics, it also charted higher than any other Testament album (but is #1 in our hearts) and for good reason — it is everything a thrash album should be. Thank you, Testament, for staying inspired, brutal, and brilliant over all these years!
Carol and I worked together to generate what we believe to be a fairly uncontroversial and HIGHLY accurate list. Feel free to prove us wrong in the comments section below!