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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.

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Man, I just love Arjen Lucassen’s latest offering, Lost in the New Real. It’s a near perfect album with some of the strongest personality you will ever hear on a disc. One of the strongest tracks on the record is ‘Pink Beatles in a Purple Zeppelin,’ a richly layered and poppy rock song that draws influences from, well, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. It’s right there in the title.

As anyone who has already heard the song could expect, the video is a psychedelic trip through lots of cheesy and seemingly drug influenced landscapes. It’s a cheesy video no doubt, more of an throw back to videos of old than anything else, really. You can check out the video below. Cheers!

– EC

I’ve already touched briefly on Arjen Lucassen’s (Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine, Ambeon) upcoming solo release, but it seems like some real news is finally trickling down the pipeline – and boy is it something! Just the other day Mr. L himself posted a video via his official Facebook page that outlined several ideas behind the new album, giving the fans a better mental image of what to expect when this thing drops in April.

Lucassen says the album is suppose to be reminiscent of old science fiction B-movies, as is the art — which was done by Claudio Bergamin. I gotta say, if they were truly going for cheesy, as he said he was, this certainly fits and it’s wonderful!

Along with this announcement, the fans were recently made aware of the album’s narrator, Rutger Hauer. Before announcing who the narrator was, Lucassen teased his fans with the Facebook message:

“OH YEAH! One of my favorite actors of one of my favorite (sci-fi) movies ever has agreed to do the voice-over for my solo album! I’m so honored…this is a dream come true. Sorry for the secrecy, more later. Oh…and of course an amazing 2012 for you all!”

The identity of the narrator was eventually made known via a fan contest. Mr. Hauer is notable for his several high profile roles, but he was asked to contribute to Lucassen’s album because of his infatuation with the classic science fiction movie Blade Runner; a movie from which Lucassen has drawn inspiration in the past.

Arjen Lucassen’s Lost in the New Real is out April 23rd(Eur), and May 8th(USA) on Century Media Records. I am unbelievably stoked!

– EC

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