01. Nuchal Cord
02. Ancestal Perplexities
03. The Gynecic Curse
06. A Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing
08. Fail Science!
09. Charlie Guiteau
10. Joint Ventures
11. Houses of Stone
The Odious are, it seems, the latest darling of the digital age. While not an ‘online band’ per se like Slice the Cake, their rise to relative recognition in the scene has been somewhat catalyzed by the metal blogosphere. It’s certainly well deserved, though, as the band released an absolute ripper of an EP in 2011′s That Night a Forest Grew, which fused elements of The Faceless and Between the Buried and Me together with hefty doses of jazz and psychedelia as well as clean vocals a la Alice in Chains. The uniqueness and talent showcased on this release garnered them quite the hype for their debut album, but now that it’s here, is it really the swansong 2012 deserves, or just the one it needs?
As you may have noticed, The Omega Experiment‘s fantastic self-titled debut album ended up on a few of our year-end lists. Their powerful blend of prog metal and soaring hooks — sounding like a crossbreed of Styx and Devin Townsend Project — is both thought provoking and incredibly catchy. We acclaimed the record, and we weren’t the only one who took notice of their excellence either; Listenable Records (home to fellow Heavy Blog favorites Gorod, Betraying The Martyrs, and Sybreed) just signed TOE and are re-releasing their debut album in 2013. We asked frontman and songwriter Dan Wieten to give us a recap of his favorite albums from the year, which you can read below!
If I had my say, there would be a top one hundred list, because I enjoyed so many different albums this year. I’ve changed this list fifty seven times over the past week, so this list is me finally making a decision. It’s honestly been harder choosing this list than it has been choosing classes for next semester. I must say that 2012 has shown that music has not totally gone down the drain, because there are still so many amazing bands I’m just now hearing about, and so many great albums to listen to. So, without further ado, here are the twenty best albums to come out in 2012, and the six best albums that would be twenty one through twenty six that just didn’t make the cut.
The Deadstation are good friends of the site. Ever since Gunnar gave them high marks, we’ve invited them to contribute to Heavy Blog and we’ve been running an ad on the site for their debut EP since October. When considering who to ask to contribute to our year end retrospectives, it only made sense to extend a guest countdown to these purveyors of prog. Below, TDS guitarists Shjon Thomas and Ryan Mattheu outline their picks for 2012, offering a touch of contrast from our otherwise collective overlapping selections!
Some of you may be aware of who I am. AlucardXIX on youtube, amongst other websites. The guy who does all the Veil of Maya covers, the mind behind Encircle, and another writer on this here great ol’ blog. 2012 was both an interesting and disappointing year to me, musically. Some absolutely astounding albums came out this year, and some serious let downs as well (The Faceless, The Contortionist). Originally it was hard for me to pick a top ten; I thought about all the albums I’ve heard that I abandoned after a few listens, albums I loved at first listen and then wondered how I even thought that to begin with. I thought I could barely muster together 10 albums to begin with, but remembering back to the beginning of the year, I managed this humble fifteen:
I have sinned: I waited until the last minute to do a lot of my music-listening this year. This is partly because I spent the months of July through October trying to smash together my own full-length album, Xians, with no success whatsoever; look for it on approximately zero best of 2013 lists! Nonetheless, I dutifully managed to get an earful of everything I wanted to hear in time to write a year-end best-of list. Below are my top ten favorite albums of 2012. Click the links for some of my favorite tracks/videos!
I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but 2012 was fucking phenomenal. It had everything a music fan could ask for in terms of new releases, and then some. Personally, this year saw me furthering my tastes into more progressive and extreme stuff (with a heavy dose of jazz on the sides), and I think I couldn’t have chosen a better time to pick up on these styles, as genres like death metal and prog enjoyed a fantastic collective output. My list reflects this to a great extent, as pretty much half of the bands found below can be dubbed as death metal in one of its many forms, and even more exhibit progressive elements to at least some extent. Anyway, since most of you are here for the goods, I won’t keep you waiting.
2012 has been an amazing year for music, and I find myself hard pressed to pick fifteen releases that I would consider to be the best and cover everything I want to cover. Nevertheless, here are the fifteen best albums of the year, in my humble opinion.
The first thing I want to say, as the newest addition to the Heavy Blog team, is what a privilege it has been to write with these guys over the past few months and to have the opportunity to perhaps expose more great Australian progressive rock and metal to the world.
Gushing aside, though, two things have struck me about 2012, the first of which has been the breadth and the quality of the releases by Australian bands, some of which appear on my list below. Of those releases that didn’t quite make the cut, I was particularly impressed with, amongst others, Elysian‘s Wires of Creation, Okera‘s A Beautiful Dystopia, and Avadante by Kettlespider. Promising EPs were also released by Gods of Eden and In Trenches, all of which bodes well for the future of music in this country.
The other thing that stands out to me, as I look down the list of albums that really captured my interest this year, is that 2012 has been a year dominated by mood, atmosphere and emotion. Now, to be fair, I am generally drawn to vibe heavy music, but never before have I listened to so many doom influenced bands!
At the end of the day, however, I was in no doubt as to which three albums would vie for top spot, each one stylistically, technically and structurally progressive, yet still emotionally accessible, and I am sure that all three will remain stalwarts of my collection for many years to come.
The Schoenberg Automaton is one of Australia’s shining lights of extreme metal, having shared the stage with the likes of Between the Buried and Me, Veil of Maya, and Sybreed. The Schoenberg Automaton’s Gojira-meets-Dillinger-esque trudging mathematics takes the band’s name in a more literal sense, painting them as a wild and mechanical force of forward-thinking metal. The band’s new song ‘Ghost of Mirach‘ has been made available, and it bodes well for their impending debut album. Stream the track below:
The Schoenberg Automaton’s forthcoming album Vela will be out January 21st on Myriad Records.