The Sword - Apocryphon
Not sure what it is I like so much about these guys, but they caught my attention with Warp Riders. I'm the biggest sci-fi nerd you'll meet, and they won me over with their lyrical themes and album artwork that looked like it came off a 1960's sci-fi novel. Apocryphon continues their crisp, fresh sound that I can see appealing to all fans of metal, hard rock, and classic rock.
Enslaved - RIITIIR
I don't think I like this as much as their previous album, but it's very close. Another masterpiece that can sound beautiful, haunting, and grim whenever it needs to. Enslaved presents some of my favorite clean vocals, as well as some of my favorite black metal growls.
Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity
Another 2012 album that I think is the best of a band's discography, and expect disagreement over. The whole album is punishing, but Cattle Decapitation's best feature for me is by far the vocals. Travis Ryan remains one of the best extreme metal vocalists around, and he seems to only be improving and expanding his repertoire.
Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas
The group behind one of 2011's best albums has a new gem out just a year later. I'm a bit late getting into this band but I can say they have made me a huge fan. This album seems to be a bit more organized and less chaotic than some of their previous stuff but it works on Vanitas. Every track is insanely good.
#1 Album of the year coming soon!