O hay, it’s The King Of Procrastination! I’ve been letting the world of music pass me by the past couple of months as I’m creating my website and writing my horror novel and almost let the top of the year list slip by me. Luckily, Riddick the Cat called me up yesterday and told me to get the hell to work with this because I’m a “better interest to him than the human he lives with.” So there’s that. But, why shall we be bound to doing a list in a multiple of five? “Nay,” says Deadite, “Let’s beat the system and do eleven top albums of the year!” So dark, edgy, and kvlt.
11. Devin Townsend – Epicloud
Anyone that knows me would know that I have only recently became a huge fan of the Devmonster’s Town Cleanup Project ever since I saw him the first time at The Troubadour in L.A. in 2011 with The Ocean. Being rated as one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, he has made an everlasting impact into how I listen to music and what to look for. Epicloud is, like any album that precedes this one, contains similar continuing song writing elements while infusing a fresh new stylistic approach. The new style being his newfound embrace of the instantly catchy pop-metal side of the fence while still bringing the hevydevy to the table .
Standout tracks: ‘Grace,’ ‘More!’
10. Pathology – The Time Of Great Purification
It is without a doubt that slam metal is more of an acquired taste. I was on the other side of the fence when Pathology first got signed to Victory Records a while ago, but this new album snuffs out any doubt. The first thing that must be said is that ‘Tyrannical Decay’ has, by FAR, one of the most satisfying slam riffs you will ever hear. They don’t just do bare bones slam, Huber lays it all out with his majestic gutturals while the guitarists bring the barbed wire and smack you across the face with groove and sweet solos. Thirteen songs of brutality with no filler compromises this landmark slam metal album.
Standout tracks: ‘Tyrannical Decay,’ ‘A Bleak Future.’
9. God Seed – I, Begin
Finally, the long overdue album by this amalgamation of some of the most talented black metal musicians has finally come to a head with their first proper debut I, Begin. God Seed is not your run of the mill black metal band. Aside from the vast expertise of the members (who were all part of bands such as Gorgoroth, Dimmu Borgir, Sahg, Ov Hell, and I), God Seed reaches all across the black metal spectrum, such as dissonant tremolo picking, electronic heavy droning, and lots of blast beats. This is one of the greatest black metal releases of all time. Even if you are not typically a fan of black metal, I implore you to reconsider those harbored feelings.
Standout tracks: ‘Alt Liv,’ ‘The Wound.’
8. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
This is one of those weird moments where you can give Adult Swim all the credit of introducing you to new music. Killer Mike was given a show intro commercial where they played small three second samples of his brand new album. That’s all it took for me, as soon I heard the infectious beat and the consistent flow that graces this album, I bought it online and slapped it on my iPod. With songs like ‘Untitled’ and ‘Don’t Die,’ this album can do no wrong in the hip-hop community.
Standout tracks: ‘Untitled,’ ‘Go’
7. The Secret – Agnus Dei
When I rated The Rotted’s newest album as AOTY for last year, I’ve been on the constant look for something ultra aggressive and violent this year to take the hardcore/black metal crown. Look no further, The Secret have not only filled that spot in my heart, but have reworked it into their own fancy. Agnus Dei is a true masterpiece, complete with in your face distortion and screeching vocals that puts hair on your chest. The few moments of groove that’s tossed in the album solidifies their inventive song writing ability.
Standout tracks: ‘Violent infection,’ ‘Vermin Of Dust’
6. Glass Cloud – The Royal Thousand
Being one of the most anticipated albums of 2012 by a long shot (seriously, my news feed on Facebook was rampant with this), Glass Cloud have met and exceeded all expectations I had of the band. There is so much insane technical yet melodic moments here, it makes you want to slap your bi-polar self. Josh Travis gets his Warhead eating face on and just goes to town on that guitar. Very few post-hardcore bands will ever even get on the same boat as this band’s perfect musical marriage
Standout tracks: ‘Falling In Style,’ ‘Memorandum’
5. Circa Survive – Violent Waves
It has Anthony Green, do I really need to explain this any more? Sadly, that is what most people will say when describing this band. They will fail to observe that their sound really plays off of each other, to the point that even if playing live and a technical difficulty situation arises, they will not miss a beat and will keep the momentum moving forward. Real winners on this album included Anthony and Geoff Rickley’s duet on ‘Birth of an Economic Hitman’ that instantly caused widespread recognition and decent radio play.
Standout tracks: ‘Birth Of An Economic Hitman,’ ‘The Lottery’
4. The Acacia Strain – Death Is The Only Mortal
It’s albums like this that really give me the drive to get up out of bed every morning. As quoted in my previous review, Death Is The Only Mortal is best summed up as “Pure. Unbarred. Hatred.” While it lacks some of the momentum that Wormwood had, they make it up by turning up the heavy to thirteen and delivering a beautiful doom/deathcore hybrid of epic proportions. Also, lacking some momentum doesn’t make this album any less enjoyable or energetic. This is what I was listening to all day by the way, just in case the world did actually end.
Standout track: ‘Doomblade,’ ‘The Chambered Nautilus’
3. 7 Horns 7 Eyes – Throes Of Absolution
When 7 Horns 7 Eyes Convalescence EP came out last year, I have been jonesing for the album to come out, which seemed like it took forever. As soon as Throes Of Absolution was brought into my immediate existence, I couldn’t help but fall into a dormant state of mind as the immense grumbles were met with ethereal instrumentals that, combined, was enough to stop Kony and his entire army. Joking aside, these guys are destined to become one of Rolling Stone’s top 50 new bands of the decade. Bands these days cannot match the sheer atmospheric quality that is evident on tracks like ‘The Hill Difficulty’ or the pummeling brick wall that bears resemblance to ‘A Finite Grasp Of Infinite Disillusion.’ They have changed the way metal should be made. Think about it this way: Metal these days is usually fast and in your face. If it’s not that, then it usually deviates from the true metal core and delves into whatever type of crossover genre the band brought into the songwriting fray. JJ and company keep it true and deliver one of the original and quality metal releases of all time. Here’s to an awesome future that is sure to come.
Standout tracks: ‘Cycle Of Self,’ ‘A Finite Grasp Of Infinite Disillusion’
2. Coheed & Cambria – Afterman: The Ascension
Simply put, this is Coheed & Cambria’s strongest and most tightly knit release to date. Exquisite musicianship that treads that fine line between delicate, intricate riffs and sheer crushing power explodes amongst mood setting atmospheric soundscapes. Sublime sound just oozes out of the speakers with such landmark tracks as, well, the entire album. There are much more diverse compositions than previously exhibited before. Upbeat and poppy mold perfectly with complex progression on “Vic The Butcher,” while they turn the page and go with a relaxing and Latin-infused sound on “Evagria The Faithful.” Truly a landmark album in the history of heavy metal.
Standout tracks: ‘Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute,’ ‘Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood The Cracked’
1. Between The Buried And Me – The Parallax II: Future Sequence
This is the absolute epitome of Between The Buried And Me’s entire career. Despite the fact that they brought in elements from The Parallax I, The Parallax II: Future Sequence is a breathtaking view into a sonic cataclysm of technical, virtuosic precision and fusion of genres including the kitchen sink. The absolute beauty of this record is it covers so much emotional depth that it nestles the listener into a sonic abyss of pleasurable damnation. The sheer amount of musical quality on all aspects is unrivaled and non-comparable to any musical artist or band that I know of. I mean, you can hate about how this seems to be the biased site that worships this album, but consider this: I was NOT a fan of this band AT ALL until I heard this album. I had exactly 0 songs of them on my iPod. Now, I freaking idolize them for this masterpiece.
Standout tracks: ‘The entire fucking album’