Call me a metal hipster, but I’ve found pretty much every 2012 Profound Lore release to be great. Dawnbringer’s latest is certainly no exception. They play a more traditional heavy metal sound in a really sincere way that is totally awesome without falling into the trappings that make so many bands come off as really corny. Maiden and Venom influences can be found throughout the album. If the latter half of the album didn’t meander as much as it does this could have been in my top 10.
I’ve been a fan of Hooded Menace since the first time I listened to their debut full length, Fulfill the Curse
, with their excellent horror movie themed death/doom. I was kind of surprised that they were picked up by Relapse and removed the inverted cross from the logo, but their sound has remained heavy as ever. Along with the slow paced death metal tropes Effigies of Evil
contains some cinematic sounding riffs and little inclusions of horror film audio samples that bring in some great atmosphere. I know they’ve said they’re not fond of touring, but I hope Relapse can get a few more US Hooded Menace shows lined up.
In the Dead We Dwell
As one of the more divisive releases this year, Baroness has moved further into the indie/folk rock path that they only hinted at previously. It was ambitious for Baroness to make this release a double album, but they’ve written enough great songs to fill two records while staying interesting throughout. I can understand the disappointment that some people had with this album when you consider the heavier side of their sound, but I really love the melodies and memorable, emotive lyrics. After a successful US tour with Meshuggah in 2012 they were quite literally derailed by a bus crash in the UK, but from all reports I think they will come back stronger than ever with some of the songs from Yellow & Green
taking on new meaning along the way.
Board Up the House
Many have hailed this latest Neurosis album as a return to form, but to me they haven’t really strayed too far from their post-metal path they laid out on Souls at Zero
. Although they certainly have gone through some evolution along the way. The marriage of sludge and psychedelic post-metal has always given their sound a juxtaposition of the beautiful and the ugly which is showcased in epic form on Honor Found in Decay
. This might be less fierce than some of their albums but this Neurosis record sees the band as powerful as ever. The keyboards are beautiful and haunting while the gruff vocals and tribal drum patterns keep the whole thing rooted in darkness.
We All Rage in Gold
Horrendous is an American band that formed in 2009 and with their debut album, The Chills
, they’ve put out the best Swedish death metal album of 2012. There are so many new bands trying to emulate the “old school” sound, but this albums genuinely sounds like it’s from the early ‘90’s. I could sit and list comparisons to legendary bands for days, but the bottom line is if you are a fan of classic death metal this album will make you smile.
The Somber (Desolate Winds)