Preface: I hate top ten lists. I hate them because they force me to rank one album above another, despite the fact that I love everything in my library equally. If I didn't like the artist, I wouldn't have the album. Therefore, the contents of this list will not be ranked in any particular order. They will appear here as equals. That being said, let's dive in!
Leading the charge from the Pacific Northwest, Cold of Ages was yet another punishing release from veteran black metallers, Ash Borer. Despite containing only 4 tracks, this album packed quite a punch. The overall listening experience was very enjoyable; one that I repeated many times upon discovering the album.
Stoner metal has a reputation for it's psychedelic qualities rather than it's heavy qualities. Windhand flipped that table with the release of their self titled album this year. With a focus primarily on powerful, punishing riffs with an equal sound to match, this album keeps the intensity high until the final seconds of the final track. Quite a treat!
The Giant is no Divinity of Oceans, but it stands on solid ground; another solid release from oceanic doom giants, Ahab. Great production, excellent music ideas, and captivating lyrics. Another music experience I repeated multiple times upon receiving the album.
This negative side of being unemployed helped this album become a staple in my listening rotation. Straight ahead, hatred laced, pounding blackened death metal was the medicine Revenge provided me and on more than one occasion, it helped me through some down days. A must for those days when hating the world requires a soundtrack.
This much anticipated release from Colorado-based metallers, Velnias, held it's ground (and then some). A stellar web of complex melodies, varied vocal styles (my favorite was the use of throat singing in the opening track), and a punishing, unrelenting musical attack throughout kept this album on repeat for countless days. A must for any fan of black metal, folk metal, and doom metal!
German black metal band, Secrets of the Moon, held their ground this year with Seven Bells. Despite a lineup featuring none of the original members, this release kept true to the bands past style of complex, produced, and thought provoking black metal.
Chicago based powerviolence band, Consent, provided a pleasurable orgasm this year with their release of Conception. I use the word orgasm for obvious reasons, immensely enjoyable, brief, and hard hitting. Plus, Nick (of Bongripper) plays guitar in this band. What's not to like?
Pallbearer's blend of traditional doom metal and psychedelic rock earned them a spot on the world stage, as well as permanent place in my listening rotation. Great riffage, mournful vocals, and deep, depressing subject matter lend the listener an escape from any depressing situation they happen to be facing. Great medicine, great album!
German blackened thrashers, Ketzer, kept on the assault with their release of Endzeit Metropolis. Taking a much more melodic approach on this record, the band still manages to retain their crushing riffs that dominated their first full length release. Captivating melodies with appropriate head banging characteristics; a must for any fan of black metal and thrash metal.
Also hailing from Germany, blackened thrash metallers, Desaster, continued their assault with their release of The Art of Destruction. Keeping true to their blend of metal, Desaster delivers another excellent release filled with groovy riffiage, a power sound, and all the hatred necessary to drive the album home. Again, if you like blackened thrash metal, you'll dig this band (as well as this album).
Everything else released in 2012 that I happened to listen to and enjoy. Boom!