31.) Red Lamb- Red Lamb
A lot of people, including myself forgot about this album. This is Dan Spitz new project that was originally done with the help of Dave Mustaine doing production and writing lyrics (which makes a lot more sense now in hindsight). It is a very Thrashy album with a lot of Pop Rock, Alternative Metal, and other mixtures. Definitely not something you would automatically assume would be made by Spitz and Mustaine. It is absolutely an album that is easy to forget about and put on the wayside, but if you actually check it out, it's really damn good for what it is, Mid 90's clash of Anthrax and Megadeth.
32.) House Of Fools- Versus The Beast
Arguably the lightest album on the entire list *sans some post rock albums* This is a great Alternative, Pop Rock band that really knows how to write some catchy Rock that anyone in any fanbase of music can enjoy. Fabulous songwriting and musicianship on this one with a lot of different genres covered. One band that really stands out as an influence, although not really vocally, is Queen. I also hear a lot of Pink Floyd and even Maroon 5 as well. Its an amazing achievement to be able to capture the sound they have and its worth checking out if you need some non-metal music to enjoy. This takes the silver medal for my favorite Non Metal album of 2012.
33.) Amberian Dawn- Circus Black
Here is another Female Fronted Symphonic Metal band. The one advantage this band has is that there is very few operatic vocals in the style of Nightwish, which is always a major plus to me. While the music is very set in stone in the Symphonic Metal route, there is more to it, kinda like the name suggests it feel like a circus of metal. Not in a BTBAM or Devin Townsend kind of way, but more like magical and theatrical circus kind of way. I like it a lot and its definitely worth checking out!
34.) Klone- The Dreamer's Hideaway
I thank Stef Brooks of Textures for helping me discover this band. It is fantastic Alternative Progressive Metal. In a way Faith No More meets Fates Warning meets today's Alternative Rock. It is a very odd mixture in text but upon hearing it, it all makes since. This is some very cool stuff that really needs to be checked out Today's Prog fans should be gushing over this album like I am.
35.) Soulfly- Enslaved
Anyone remember the Nu Metal days of Soulfly? Yeah I have forgotten about it too. Their last 4 albums have been brutal as hell, just as Max Cavalera should be doing. Enslaved is easily the heaviest and most brutal Soulfly album to date. The songwriting is also improving with age as well. The songs all concise and precisely accurate. I really hope Max can keep up this pace for as long as he keeps Soulfly going. This really is some of his finest work!
36.) Stone Sour- House Of Gold & Bones Part 1
I went into this album with expectations that this was going to suck. I couldn't have been more wrong. I love the first album, the second had some OK moments. Audio Secrecy sucked! but this.....this is one of the finest Hard Rock Albums made in the last 20 years, I dare say since Alice In Chains' Dirt. I was not expecting this quality of music anymore but its there from start to finish, and next year when Part 2 comes out, I can only hope it's of the same quality and not a let down like most sequels, haha. But seriously. Even if you hate Stone Sour, and hate mainstream music, actually give this album a chance, I did, and I couldn't be happier. I'm still in awe.
37.) Mental Architects- Celebrations
If Hella made Post Rock.......it's the only real way I can describe it. Its nowhere near as chaotic as Hella, but it is so very much in a heavy Math Rock feel compared to most Post Rock. If you combine the two it is Mental Architects. Easily, without question, one of the best Post albums of the year Stellar all the way through and they deserve much more appreciation then they are getting. Hell, I'm the only one i know of that digs them, THAT'S NOT RIGHT! Check this out ASAP if you need something as awesome as the great mixture that is Math Rock and Post Rock.
38.) Moonspell- Omega White
Even though Alpha Noir/Omega White was released on one dis, I am reviewing them separately as they are two very different styles. Omega White just happened to come up first. Omega white is a very dark, doomy, gloomy, Gothic Rock album in the vein of Type O Negative. It really showcases the dark beauty of Goth Rock, yes there is beauty in REAL Goth Rock, not Hot topic style Radio Goth Rock. I think Peter Steele would be very proud of this album as it matches the mood of the music he always made. While it is pretty much the polar opposite of Alpha Noir, it fits together very well, and if you can dig real Goth Rock, you will love this!
39.) Liam- MMIX
A side project of Lantlos. This Post Rock/Shoegaze is a very dark, beautiful album that is really fits the mood for a night where you are really bummed out. Again nothing groundbreaking here. Just very beautiful, dark Post Rock and Shoegaze. Something that is totally up my alley and any fan of the genre will love. Put this on tonight and you will love it.
40.) Oak Pantheon- From A Whisper
Atmospheric Black Metal, very much in the vein of Alcest. Although it gets more atmospheric then anything else throughout the album. The promo copy I received isn't the best in quality (its a web rip, so cymbals sound very, very bad) but the real version of this album sounds fantastic and fits the mood for all the Atmospheric, Folk Black Metal that those who enjoy it for. Give it a spin, its very much worth it.
41.) Job For A Cowboy- Demonocracy
Say what you want about Job for A Cowboy, they get knocked every single day just for their name alone, let alone their music. But after I got to interview Jonny Davy back in August, he gave me one of the best interviews I have ever done, all about the current state of music. JFAC has gone from a Deathcore band into a very brutal Death Metal band, and I will say it because not a lot of people will. I love every damn release from JFAC, and I have since I discovered them in 2007. Demonocracy is exactly as I just said a brilliant brutal Death Metal album. And for as much crap as these guys get, they are fantastic songwriters and musicians and you really should give them an honest chance if you don't already have your opinions set in stone about them.
42.) Dirge Within- There Will Be Blood
Not entirely sure if this is based on the film or not. I never really got into these guys before. No real rhyme or reason for it, just one of those bands I always heard about but never really checked out their stuff before. I finally did with this album and I'm glad I did, its really damn good Metalcore, Thrash Metal and Groove Metal. They have some really catchy almost radio Rock friendly songs mixed in with their heavy as hell songs. Its worth checking out if this is your bag, it's definitely mine and I can see these guys making it far if they keep up this pace.
43.) Oddland- The Treachery Of Senses
If Fair To Midland really went relentless with their Metal side and kept the Prog, they would be Oddland. the vocal style is obviously very, very different than that of FTM, but music there is a lot of similarities, just more crushing Prog Metal. I can also hear a lot of Influence from Evergrey and Mastodon as well. Its a very well thought out Prog Metal album that I hope launches them into new found stardom, because given the right chance, they could be huge. I hope it happens.
44.) Fire And Ice- Not Of This Earth
Once again I must stress that it takes a lot for me to enjoy the new era of Hardcore as it is usually not my bag by any means. But Fire and Ice does it right. Its very heavy, but very catchy at the same time. There is none of the annoying Hatebreed style vocals and some very well written songs, like old school thrash and 80's Hardcore used to be. Fire and Ice hit the nail on the head for this one. If you can tolerate any kind of Hardcore, check this out because you will very much appreciate the music that is being played. Very cool stuff.
45.) Mysteriarch- Mournful Embrace of Aeons
Atmospheric Symphonic Black Metal done right. I am highly impressed with this album for everything that it captures. It's the kind of music that I can imagine Emperor being if they were still around now and added the Atmospheric Black Metal element to their sound. For Black Metal fans and those who love Atmospheric Black metal pick this one up, it is a fantastic album that deserves attention.
46.) Gaza- No Absolutes In Human Suffering
Not just one of the most brutal albums of the year. I'd dare say one of the most brutal albums of the past decade. HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY Sludge Metal and Grindcore mixtures all over. Its almost criminal that these guys aren't bigger then they are. A great way i heard this described is if The Dillinger Escape Plan and Napalm Death made an album together, and I think that is an absolute fair assessment. So very killer all the way through and never gets boring. If you love chaos, this is for you. You actually feel like you are in Gaza while they are playing.
47.) The Seer- The Prologue
Progressive Black Metal. What an oddly awesome combination. You could also say that about Emperor's last couple albums as well. Although it is not just a black Metal album, its a heavy influence. there is a lot of Prog, Math Metal and Thrash throughout as well. I can only see these guys getting bigger and better if they stick to their guns and keep making brilliant music like is showcased on The Prologue. Also their cover of Emperor's In A Wordless Chamber *My favorite Emperor song*....PERFECTION!
48.) Napalm Death- Utilitarian
WOW, Napalm Death has only gotten crazier and better. Death metal, Grindcore, and back to the Noise Metal as well. this is absolutely one of the best chaotic albums of the year. Its everything you have come to know and love *or hate* from Napalm Death with added influences like Saxophone on one of my favorite songs of the year, Everyday Pox. Imagine the Norwegian band, Shining, writing music with Napalm Death, you get Utilitarian, it is obscenely awesome!
49.) Destinos- Fireflies For Fireworks
The first real "Djent" album showcased in this list. And I really, Really, REALLY hate using the term Djent. But it has become so Synonymous that its not worth trying to explain Progressive Math metal to people who don't know what I'm talking about, so the purpose of trying to move things along, I'll be saying Djent for this and the other albums that fit this mold. This is a pretty heavy influenced by Djent album with lots of soundscapes and all instrumental. That said it is very damn good with a lot of cool songs on here. Luckily this is just an EP or it would get a bit overbearing with no vocals or just the style itself, but for how long this EP is, it's the perfect timing. For some killer instrumental Djent, check this one out.
50.) Ex Deo- Caligvla
All the way from Ancient Rome *COUGH, Canada....it's Kataklysm, COUGH* comes some very badass heavy Power Death Meta. It is cheesy, there is no denying that, with all the roman soundclips of battle, the soundtrack synths, etc. But that's what makes it so awesome. It feels like you are fighting in the Roman Coliseum. The songs are not drastically different from each other, but they are much different then you'd ever hear from Kataklysm, no blast beats what so ever. And the music is much more simple. And that is exactly what is called for here. It's a great album of Roman style Death Metal that makes you wanna stand up and fight. check it out!
Well, that's 20 albums in a row, 50 albums altogether so far. and so many more to go. I'll probably be doing more later tonight. now my mind needs to rest for a little bit. haha
Coming up next on Maury......
"I MARRIED PAUL DIANNO, AND TRIED HAVING SEX WITH TOM G. WARRIOR.....AND MY 14 YEAR OLD IS OUT OF CONTROL!!!"