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!

2012 was a year of reflection for me. I rediscovered some of my favorite classics, and also caught up with a few albums and bands I’ve overlooked throughout the years. I wasn’t terribly excited over any releases this year. This might be due to being incredibly busy with school and my own ventures in The Omega Experiment, but it could also just be me being a jaded old fuck. Either way, I don’t feel like I can fairly make a numbered list, so here are the releases that stood out to me:

Steve VaiThe Story of Light
Car Bombw^w^^w^w
Man Without Country Foe
Chimp Spanner All Roads Lead Here
Jeff Loomis Plains of Oblivion
Stealing Axion Moments
Devin Townsend ProjectEpicloud
GojiraLe Elephant Sausage
WintersunTime I
Cattle DecapitationMonolith of Inhumanity
PeripheryPeriphery II – This Time It’s Personal

Then there were a few I really enjoyed but either haven’t spent enough time with, or just don’t feel comfortable saying they were “the best”:

Fear FactoryThe Industrialist
The Faceless Autotheism
DeftonesKoi No Yokan
ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind
Between the Buried and MeThe Parallax II: Future Sequence

My path to discovery and rediscovery this year has been the most enlightening to me. Wolves in the Throne Room is a band I have been overlooking since 2004, but this past fall in my unexplainable black metal zeal I think I found another top ten band for me. Continuing on my grim and frostbitten journey, I rediscovered the whole Dark Funeral back catalog, Immortal, Burzum, Darkthrone, Emperor, Xasthur, Judas Iscariot and many others. I was also turned onto some bands I hadn’t heard before like Sargeist, Carach Angren (!!!), and Taake. Misery Signals is another one I always heard about and didn’t really get into until I saw them live this year. “Of Malice and the Magnum Heart” is nothing short of metalcore genius.

The rest of the year was spent jamming 80s pop, classic rock like Styx and REO Speedwagon, power metal ala Blind Guardian and Rhapsody, Queensryche, and so many more.

As for the future, so far I am excited for Shai Hulud’s new album, but we’ll have to see who else is slated for new releases. TesseracT? I hope so. From the looks of it, 2013 will be much the same for me as far as school, so you can probably look for another jaded old fuck rant from me next year, permitted I am allowed to do so.

– DW


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