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Dec 29

Top 10 Albums of 2012

Unlike previous years, 2012 was quite a lull, with numerous (high profile) releases that were disappointing, many that were mediocre and extremely few that created a lasting impression. That said though, below I have attempted to list down 10 albums that have stood out from the sea of average releases this year. In no particular order:

Kreator – Phantom Antichrist [Nuclear Blast]

Kreator - Phantom Antichrist

Phantom Antichrist managed to capture my attention like no other recent Kreator releases, with albums like Enemy of God being rather monotonous. This album saw the band taking a more melodic approach, and while there are some inconsistencies on the album, this has been one album that has been particularly memorable, helping me tide through some challenges that I have faced over the year. [Full review here]

Galneryus – Angel of Salvation [VAP]

Galneryus - Angel of Salvation

Galneryus was one of the first neoclassical power metal bands out of Japan that I encountered years ago, and with their new singer Masatoshi they faded into obscurity on my playlist. But Angel of Salvation was a nice surprise, and the things that made me fall in love with Japanese neoclassical power metal in the first place are still present, what with the big melodic hooks of band mastermind Syu, and Masatoshi’s tight fit with the band. [Full review here]

Pseudogod – Deathwomb Catechesis [Kvlt/Hells Headbangers]

Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis

Pseudogod‘s debut full length release Deathwomb Catechesis has already made it to quite a number of 2012 top 10 lists, and it is not difficult to see why. 8 years after their formation the band finally drops this album, and they have indeed left quite a deep impact with their atmospheric yet crushing form of death metal, drawing influences from the old school death metal of Incantation to the the bestial black metal pioneered by bands like Blasphemy.

Albatross/Vestal Claret – The Kissing Flies/Black Priest [Roadcrew Records]

Albatross is easily one of my current favourite band out of India, and this split features American doom metal band Vestal Claret on the other side. While Albatross presents a more mature sound compared to their debut EP and all the energy on the split, Vestal Claret balances things out with an epic, 17 minute doom track. [Full review here]

Impiety – Ravage & Conquer [Pulverised Records]

Impiety - Ravage & Conquer

After the rather progressive effort Worshippers of the Seventh TyrannyImpiety goes back to their usual blasting style of black metal with their eighth full length album, Ravage & Conquer. But rather than that thrashy attack that the band is known for on classics like Skullfucking ArmageddonImpiety has a more death metal touch this time, with the aggressive riff work of guitarist Nizam and the relentless drumming of Dizazter (also of Mhorgl and The Furor fame). Certainly an easier album to get into than Worshippers… [Full review here]

Binah – Hallucinating in Resurrecture [Dark Descent Records]

Binah - Halllucinating in Resurrecture

This is probably the third or fourth time I’m mentioning this release this year, but Binah‘s debut Hallucinating in Resurrecture definitely lives up to the hype. Influences from a whole range of old school death metal bands can be heard over here, from Dutch legends such as Asphyx to Autopsy to Incantation, and is sure to please old school death metal heads. [Full review here]

Witchrist – The Grand Tormentor [Osmose Productions]

Witchrist - The Grand Tormentor

Witchrist perfects their craft with their sophomore full length album The Grand Tormentor. The dark, crushing atmosphere that they are known for is now more suffocating than ever, and the huge riffs that are unleashed makes the music sound fucking majestic. Add to that the Eastern occultism-inspired themes and concepts, The Grand Tormentor is one hell of a ritualistic journey, pleasing fans of bands such as DiocletianAntediluvian and the likes.

Endezzma – Erotik Nekrosis [Agonia Records]

Endezzma - Erotik Nekrosis

5 years in the making, Norwegians Endezzma finally release their debut full length album, which probably happens to be one of the last works of late Urgehal/Beastcraft guitarist Trondr. Erotik Nekrosis is an extremely satisfying listen, ranging from straightforward black metal with a tinge of thrash and punk influences to bordering upon depressive black metal. Trondr’s guitar works here are stellar as he masterfully steers the mood of the listener throughout. [Full review here]

Father Befouled – Revulsion of Seraphic Grace [Dark Descent Records]

Father Befouled - Revulsion of Serpahic Grace

Before Incantation released their long-awaited follow up to 2006′s Primordial DominationFather Befouled some release for all the built up tension from the waiting. The suffocating atmosphere and crushing riffs, along with that doomish mood that lingers throughout the album all point towards Onward to Golgotha, causing Revulsion of Seraphic Grace to be a classic in the making. [Full review here]

Ignivomous – Contragenesis [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

CD layout booklet.indd

Ignivomous‘ debut Death Transmutation showed the world what the band was capable of, with their Incantation-brand of death metal crushing the masses. Contragenesis sees the band polishing up the style that they have presented thus far, making for a record that is even more impressive, with a more well-defined sound, making them one of the contenders for best old school death metal band along with bands such as Father Befouled and Dead Congregation.

Needs more listens:

And there are the releases that come in/discovered too late for 2012 for proper dissection…

Weregoat/Diocletian – Disciples of War
Destruction – Spiritual Genocide
Acrimonious – Sunyata
Incantation – Vanquish in Vengeance
The Secret – Agnus Dei
Nominon – The Cleansing
God Seed – I Begin
Anaal Nathrakh – Vanitas
The Royal Arch Blaspheme – II
The Sword – Apocryphon
Vassafor – Obsidian Codex

2 comments

  1. Curt

    I would have to disagree that there were mainly dissapointing releases this past year. I personally felt 2012 was one of the best for metal with high quality albums by Scythe, Witchtrap, Paradise Lost, Ahab, Demon Lung, Enslaved, Mortalicum, Saint Vitus, Enthroned, Christian Mistress and Cattle Decapitation just some of the excellent releases from last year. The albums I’ve heard on your list (Impiety, Binah, Father Befould, Pseudogod, Vestel Claret) were also good too, but really there was far better albums this year than last in my opinion.

    Which high profile albums were you let down by?

  2. hongrui

    Like all top-of lists, all lists are subject to the individual’s tastes. The albums that you listed – in particular Enslaved, Saint Vitus and Enthroned – while admittedly pretty good on first listens, didn’t see me going back to them after that, they just weren’t the style of music that I was looking for, hence the lack of presence of these releases on my list.

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