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Old 01-09-2013, 08:27 PM
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The Year In Smear - 2012 Edition

With 2012 now on the books I clocked in over 70 shows and probably over 100 albums listened to. (the perk of working at a computer all day) There were a lot of excellent releases this year. I am going to run down top shows and some other things later, but since the album of the year voting stuff is due soon I will start with top albums. So, here we goÖ.


\\\\\\\\\\ Top 50 Albums \\\\\\\\\\

50. Kreator - Phantom Antichrist
Phantom Antichrist

49. Cannibal Corpse - Torture
Scourge of Iron

48. Weapon - Embers & Revelations
Crepuscular Swamp

47. Behexen - Nightside Emanations
Circle Me

46. Liberteer - Better to Die on Your Feet than Live on Your Knees
That Which Not Is Given But Taken

45. Ignivomous - Contragenesis
Contragenesis

44. Dragged Into Sunlight - Widowmaker
Part II

43. Bong - Mana-Yood-Sushai
The Dreams of Mana-Yood-Sushai

42. Drudkh - Eternal Turn of the Wheel
Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey Haired Stars

41. Venomous Maximus - Beg Upon the Light
Battle for the Cross

40. Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication
Retaliation (Fallout Prayer)
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:43 PM
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39. Gojira - LíEnfant Sauvage
Liquid Fire

38. Noisear - Turbulent Resurgence
Born Alone, Die Alone

37. Graveyard - Lights Out
Endless Night

36. Overkill - The Electric Age
Drop the Hammer Down

35. Satanís Satyrs - Wild Beyond Belief!
Strange Robes

34. Enslaved - RIITIIR
Death in the Eyes of Dawn

33. Royal Thunder - CVI
Blue

32. Gaza - No Absolutes In Human Suffering
Not with All the Hope in the World

31. Worm Ouroborus - Come The Thaw
Further Out

30. Deftones - Koi No Yokan
Romantic Dreams
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:00 PM
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29. The Sword - Apocryphon
Veil of Isis

28. Evoken - Atra Mors
An Extrinsic Divide

27. Psuedogod - Deathwomb Catechesis
The Antichrist Victory

26. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
Native Blood

25. Master - The New Elite
New Reforms

24. Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas
Feeding the Beast

23. Aura Noir - Out To Die
Trenches

22. Grave - Endless Procession of Souls
Disembodied Steps

21. Ash Borer - Cold of Ages
Phantoms
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:51 PM
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Call me a metal hipster, but Iíve found pretty much every 2012 Profound Lore release to be great. Dawnbringerís 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 didnít meander as much as it does this could have been in my top 10.
III




Iíve 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 theyíve said theyíre 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 theyíve 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 havenít 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, theyíve put out the best Swedish death metal album of 2012. There are so many new bands trying to emulate the ďold schoolĒ sound, but this albums genuinely sounds like itís from the early Ď90ís. 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)
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:56 PM
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Someone is showing their web design skills in this thread!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:13 PM
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Someone is showing their web design skills in this thread!
Looks good!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:19 PM
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Great job so far man. Can't wait for the rest of the list!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:19 PM
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Quite a few awesome records on the list! Also the last post looks real good!
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:32 PM
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Gee thanks guys...


Out of all the great extreme metal bands to release albums in 2012, who would’ve thought the mighty Pig Destroyer would be the ones to show the more accessible side of their sound? That’s not to say that this isn’t a grindcore record. Scott Hull’s maniacal genius is still ever present in the guitar work throughout the record. I found this to be an album that I needed to digest a few times before I “got it”. Katherine Katz, of Agoraphobic Nosebleed fame, delivers the standout guest performance of the record on ‘Eve’ and ‘The Bug’. Book Burner might not be the best in their discography but it’s an excellent grind record that more than holds it’s own in the genre.
Eve




This is the 19th full length album from Canadian prog rock legends Rush. After a great album in 2007’s Snakes and Arrows I think they top it with Clockwork Angels. As usual, all three musicians shine on this record. This is not a band looking into their past and trying to recapture glory, it’s a modern incarnation of the band’s sound that comprises another chapter in the book of progressive rock that Rush has written. Some of the older rock bands eventually run out of lyrical content over a long career and themes get stale over time, but somehow Rush is able to come off as fresh and inspired on each record. If you consider yourself a Rush fan I would venture to say that there really isn’t a bad song on the album.
Caravan




Black Breath’s killer combination of crossover thrash with Swedish death metal continues to deliver great songs on their sophomore full length, another knockout on Southern Lord. The pummeling riffs rocket these songs along from thrash grooves to hardcore breakdowns into death metal blasts. The shredded throat hardcore vocals fit perfectly with the frenetic pace. Black Breath is only two albums in to what is shaping up to be an excellent career. The songs from this record sound great in concert and the record really captures their furious energy. Seeing a drunken Brett of Pallbearer knock hardcore ninjas to the ground in the Black Breath pit at SXSW was one of the best memories at concerts in 2012.
Feast of the Damned




Harmonicraft is basically a pop-rock album as viewed through the lens of sludge metal. If these catchy songs and memorable riffs don’t make you headbang with a smile on your face then you probably don’t like Torche to begin with. This is a short record and at under 39 minutes it flys by but that’s fine by me because I would find myself letting it loop without getting bored. Torche just might be defining their own sub-sub-genre of metal and having a unique sound in this age of so many copycats is an accomplishment.
Reverse Inverted




Martin van Drunen is a legend in the history of death metal and his return as the frontman and vocalist for Asphyx in 2007 marked another excellent chapter for this already prolific band. Asphyx is mainly a death/doom band, but there are hints of thrash and black tossed into their blender of classic death metal quickening and slowing the pace at will. Deathhammer is a masterpiece of fun, headbanging, old school death metal. Between Asphyx, Hail of Bullets and Grand Supreme Blood Court Martin van Drunen is a very busy man, fronting the best death metal coming out of the Netherlands.
We Doom You to Death
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:06 PM
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Hailing from the Portland area and playing some great doom; itís Uta Plotkinís vocals that take Witch Mountainís music to another level. I realize that female vocals in doom arenít a new thing, but the tone of her voice and emotive delivery are excellent. This record is filled with great doom riffs that are just as memorable as the lyrics. Each song is memorable and I personally donít think there is a weak track to be found. I was really impress that Uta was able to deliver the vocals live and sound just like the performance on the record.
Shelter




You could call this album the comeback of the year; Derketa has been a band since Ď88 but this is actually their first LP and the death/doom that they deliver was well worth the wait. Sharon Bascovsky and Mary Bielich, the remaining founding members and guitarists of Derketa, prove that the ladies can bring riffs heavier than most men in the game. Iím a sucker for doom paced death metal and this is one of the gems of the genre this year. The production on this one makes it sound like itís straight out of Ď91. The band also self-financed this release, so if you like it I recommend you buy it straight from them.
Goddess of Death




So, if you hadnít noticed already, I really like death/doom and with a major emphasis on the death Incantation are among the grandfathers of the genre. Jon McEntee is the only remaining original member in Incantation at this point, but the brutal riffs heís created on Vanquish in Vengeance instantly skyrockets this album to the upper echelon of their discography. This album has the cleanest production of any Incantation record, but it doesnít detract from the overall feel and the excellent musicianship shines. There are so many Incantation-style bands in the underground death metal scene but itís awesome that Incantation themselves are hammering out evil metal that is relevant as ever. Much more than we can say about the current output of Morbid Angel.
Transcend into Absolute Dissolution




Ever since 2001ís Jane Doe Converge has been creating hands down the best metalcore out there. And I use the term metalcore in the purest sense, a combination of hardcore and metal; but they do so without evoking tough guy bullshit or angsty screamo. The extreme talent found in the duo of Jacob Bannon and Kurt Ballou put Converge a step ahead of their peers. Bannon brings the emotive lyrics, scathing delivery and now iconic album art while Ballouís creative guitar work and excellent production combine in a brutally beautiful way. This release has achieved widespread acclaim and with good reason, itís the culmination of everything Converge has been building towards on their last few albums. Memorable melodies and brutal hooks fill the record and are performed in a way that captures the energy of their live performance.
All We Love We Leave Behind




2012 has been a year of ups and downs for Matt Pike. High on Fire made an excellent showing at SXSW this year and some would say a return to form in sound with their new record. They were then slotted to hit Mayhem fest, which would have exposed them to a new audience, however Mattís trademark beer gut finally caught up with him and he went to rehab for alcohol. The fall 2012 High on Fire headlining tourís highlight was a revitalized Matt Pike, who sounded as good as ever on both guitar and vocals. You canít keep a good man and his band down. For me De Vermis Mysteriis surpasses itís predecessor in every way and is a great addition to their catalog.
Fertile Green




Wino, Chandler and co. return with an album that everyone knew they were capable of crafting, but unsure they would actually deliver. Looking over their discography and history, one could basically consider these guys the kings of the metal underground. Every single track on Lillie F:650 is powerful and the stories of loss, depression and addiction told within are visceral and real. This is classic Vitus through and through and is one of the best albums of their 30 plus year career. As proven on tour, these songs fit right in with their back catalog and are as memorable as the classics.
Let Them Fall




In a year of great releases in the grind and death metal I would previously not have pinned Cattle Decapitation to land this high on my list. However, Monolith of Inhumanity is a high water point for both their career and modern death metal. This album marks just one of two stellar vocal performances delivered by the dominant Travis Ryan. (The other being the sophomore Murder Construct disc, Results) This album has a cleaner production than Cattle has had in the past and this record is the better for it. The instruments are distinguishable from one another and musicianship is killer. If America finally collapses into an insane nightmarish apocalypse this album will be both the soundtrack to the end times and an auditory weapon to fend off the flesh eating hordes.
Lifestalker




Epic black metal full of second wave atmosphere but without pretension. Polandís two man black metal assault force delivers an album comprised of nothing but killer, memorable riffs and songs that are distinguishable from each other. (Which is not always the case with this style of black metal) There are melodies in this album that stand out in a deliberate way. With so many black metal bands around now, creating something that sounds unique while retaining a familiar form is a true feat. Mesmerizing and brutal, uncompromising and precise, all of the things that good black metal needs. Fans of Watain take note; Mgla just might be crowned the new princes of modern black metal darkness; seated at the left hand ov Satan.
VII




Who wouldíve thought that the yearís best doom release would come out of Arkansas? They absolutely blew me away playing their debut EP in itís entirety in December 2011 at their post-Rites of Darkness 3 show at the Mohawk in Austin and Sorrow and Extinction did the same. After seeing them 5 more times in 2012, every track from Sorrow and Extinction has wormed itís way into the deep recesses of my brain. You can read a billion write-ups around the web on this one, as it seems to have made it onto a ton of year end lists, for good reason. Brettís haunting vocals complement the music and never sound forced. If you are interested in doom at all Iím sure youíve already heard this one but if not, do so now.
Devoid of Redemption




The kings of grind return with another scathing release. Utilitarian takes the modern Napalm Death sound and combines their more traditional grind sensibilities with some avant-garde moments (see John Zornís saxophone solo on ĎEveryday Poxí) without compromising one bit. Even with age Napalm doesnít seem to be slowing down and are a band that is sticking to their story in the best way possible. Itís still the band that many extreme metal fans have come to know and love or hate, meaning they are as inaccessible to the uninitiated as ever, but isnít that what Napalm Death should be? The punk ferocity, hardcore attitude and metal brutality that comprise Napalm and grind in general are alive and well in Utilitarian and itís the record of 2012 that I keep coming back to over and over again without a scrap of boredom.
Errors in the Signals
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