I’m not going to go on about how great 2012 was for music, because everyone of my co-writers has already done that and then some. There’s no denying it was great, so let’s just move on. I’m writing this list pretty last minute, as I’ve had my choices locked in for some time, and I thought, “Hey, I’m not confused about anything, so I can push it back as far as possible”, and that was a terrible idea, as I’m now scrambling to get this thing finished, and having a hard time really talking about why I like these albums. However, I was the one who reviewed a lot of these, so if you find what I have to say on each individual one lacking, just go read my review or the reviews of the other albums written by my fellow contributors.
Honestly though, I did not love 2012 as much as everyone else. Maybe it was the events in my personal life that caused me to have such a poor outlook on a lot of the earlier releases of the year, but it’s hard to deny the fact that I just did not connect with nearly as many metal releases this year as I did last year. It’s a shame, but not something I’ve overly thought about, because I’ve found other music to enjoy throughout the year. That being said, I did happen to find a good handful of great albums that I anticipate listening to for many years. Like I said, I’ve had my choices for my list picked out for some time, and that’s because I knew which albums I loved, and which albums I wanted to continually listen to for many years to come. I wasn’t wowed by a lot of the big name bands; I found Meshuggah and Gojira lacking a bit, which were two of my my anticipated albums of this year, but that’s okay. Sometimes you just can’t connect with certain albums. And even though metal wasn’t all that great for me this year, I still love the genre, and it’s still my favorite type of music to listen to. Anyways, that’s why I listen to metal, and that’s really all I have to say on the matter, so here’s my top ten albums of the year.
Around these parts we’re pretty big fans of the Ihsahn and we’ve all been waiting patiently to hear some new music from his forthcoming album, Eremita. Luckily for us — and of course all of you — today that option has been bestowed down by the good people at Candlelight Records by way of a free sampler available at Amazon.com. The free download is simply called Candlelight Sampler and features an assortment of new music from various bands on the Candelight lineup. I’m not too familiar with most of these bands, but it would appear that the only song that’s truly new is Ihsahn’s track — titled ‘The Paranoid’ — as the album cover list it as a world premier.
I haven’t had time to listen any thing other than the Ihsahn track, mostly because I’m a terrible person, but what I have heard (the Ihsahn track) is phenomenal. It’s pretty clear from this song that the old Norwegian has decided to move further in the realm of prog and continues to eschew his black metal roots for some pretty exciting and divisive sounds. Honestly, I think this is one of the most solid and well written songs in Ihsahn’s entire library of work. It has certainly gotten me even more pumped up for Eremita.
You can download the sampler here, but beware, Amazon makes you jump through a lot of stupid hoops to actually get the song onto your computer. Be sure to give it a listen and let us know what you think in the comments below. Ihsahn’s fourth solo album, Eremita, comes out June 19th on Candlelight Records.
Recorded and produced at Telemark’s Ivory Shoulder Studios, with additional tracking completed at Notodden’s Juke Joint Studio and Seattle’s Envisage Audio, Eremita was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth) at Fascination Street Studios in Orebo, Sweden. Alongside IHSAHN, the album features performances from drummer Tobias Ornes Andersen (Leprous), saxophonist Jorgen Munkeby (SHINING), guitarist Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore), and vocalists Devin Townsend, Einar Solberg (Leprous), and Heidi S. Tveitan (Star of Ash). The album’s packaging has been created by award-winning Spanish designer Ritxi Ostariz.
Sweet Jesus! Heavy Blog favorite Devin Townsend will be lending his vocal work on a track, which should really be something excellent. The duo’s teaming on Devin Townsend Project’s ‘Juular’ was awesome enough as it is, but it’s great to hear they’ve been working together again. Also confirmed are Tobias Andersen (drums) and Einar Solberg (vocals) of Leprous, who have been performing as his live band during shows. This album suddenly became too hot to handle. There’s no way Eremita won’t crack best-of lists this year.
Eremita is due out June 19th on Candlelight Records. Get stoked!
The new record, titled Eremita, will be released June 18th on Candlelight Records. Here’s the tracklist:
02. The Paranoid
04. The Eagle and the Snake
06. Something Out There
08. The Grave
This is shaping up to be a great record, featuring guests such as Jeff Loomis and Shining‘s Jorgen Munkeby. If it even comes close the the brilliance of After, we’re in for one of the best albums 2012 can offer.