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.
15. The Odious – Joint Ventures
This album came out almost too late for it to be included, but here it is. Weird, wacky and brilliant, Joint Ventures is a refreshing change of pace in a world of stale metal.
14. Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud
It’s Devy. It’s Epic. It’s loud. It’s Epicloud. Seriously though, Devin returns to the ultra-catchy pop metal he perfected on Addicted! With great results. This is the feel good album of the year.
13. Car Bomb – w^w^^w^w
Ah, Car Bomb. I love and hate your music in equal measure. Love because it’s absolutely pants on head insane, and hate, in a good way, because of how unrelentingly bleak it is. w^w^^w^w is no exception.
12. Between The Buried and Me – The Parallax II: Future Sequence
Why am I even writing anything about this album? Everyone and their brother’s roomate’s dog has heard it, and they know it’s amazing.
11. Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
This is, in my opinion, Gojira’s masterwork, combining elements from their past albums into one that’s as transcendent as it is crushing.
10. The Omega Experiment – The Omega Experiment
Another album that’s been a long time coming, and another that was worth the wait and more. Think Devin Townsend meets Styx and you’d be halfway there. Just go listen, it’s worth your time.
9. Enslaved – Riitiir
Enslaved continue to refine their progressive black metal sound, and Riitiir is another step forwards into prog metal territory, with fantastic results. These guys know how to write long songs that capture your attention from start to finish.
8. WithYouAtHome – Our Lives Are All Very Forgettable Events In The Universe
The post-rock brainchild of Cyclamen’s Hayato Imanishi, this album has been in the works for a while now. As it turns out, the wait was more than worth it. Our Lives is a masterpiece of introspective art.
7. The Acacia Strain – Death Is The Only Mortal
After the stripped down sound of Wormwood, TAS decided to return to the thick, bludgeoning sound of Continent on their latest slice of nihilistic deathcore. A hell of an album, and more a grower than a shower.
6. Sylosis – Monolith
Sylosis are what thrash metal should be in the year 2012. Lean, vicious and razor tight, with a grasp of dynamics that many of their peers lack. Monolith is a hell of a ride.
5. Anathema – Weather Systems
Weather Systems is Anathema’s finest hour. This album is transcendental in its beauty and grandeur, and presents a suite of songs more moving and cathartic than almost any I’ve heard before. To say this album saved my life would not be hyperbole.
4. Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension
After the lackluster Year of the Black Rainbow, Coheed return to form in a big way with this, the first of a two disc album outlining the prequel to the Amory Wars story.
3. Aesop Rock – Skelethon
Aes is my favorite hip-hop artist, and has been for some time. His wordplay and flow are simply astounding. Skelethon is darker than his previous albums, but this isn’t to its detriment.
2. Carthage – Salt The Earth
Salt The Earth is, in my mind, the best deathcore album ever. Innovative, brutal, beautiful and worthy of all the hype that preceded it.
1. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Converge have been my favorite band since I first heard Axe To Fall, and All We Love meets the bar set by it, and possibly exceeds it in some areas. This is a dark, vicious album, and a true masterpiece.