And so another year comes to a close. 2012, just like any other year, you had your gems and you had your flops when it came to album releases. For this article, I’d like to give you my Top 10 albums of 2012 as well as several honorable mentions that didn’t exactly make the cut but were too good to leave unmentioned. So, read on to see my Top 10 Albums Of 2012!
Make sure to check out my worst 5 albums here.
JONNY’S TOP 10 OF 2012
10. Lamb Of God – Resolution (Jan. 24th, Epic Records)
Clocking in at #10 is Lamb Of God‘s Resolution, one of the earliest releases this year. What you have here is one incredibly catchy, groovy album with blistering metal riffs every which way you turn. The possibility that this might also be the last LoG album unintentionally makes it that much more fierce and immediate.
9. Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage (June 26th, Roadrunner Records)
The French extreme metal masters proved once again that they very well might be the future of metal. L’Enfant Sauvage is a punishing wall of intensity that walks that fine line between noise and beauty.
8. Petter Carlsen – Clocks Don’t Count (June 12th, Function Records)
This album would’ve slipped completely under my radar had I not seen Anathema make a post about how singer Vincent Cavanagh did guest vocals on one of the tracks. Listening to it, I found a gorgeous, rich album that shines as one of the best melancholic rock albums I’ve ever heard. If nothing else, the song “Even Dead Things Feel Your Love” would’ve landed Clocks Don’t Count on this list.
7. Carina Round – Tigermending (May 8th, Dehisce Records)
Another sonically diverse album that blends infectious rhythms with some heartbreaking moments of beauty, Tigermending is a journey that is wonderfully narrated by Carina Round and her stunning vocals.
6. Meshuggah – Koloss (Mar. 27th, Nuclear Blast Records)
If it’s sheer blistering, melt-your-face-off metal, there was no better album released this year than Koloss. The Swedish tech metal founders have once again proven their status as titans.
5. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man (Oct. 22nd, Capitol Records)
One of the late releases of the year, The Huanted Man is nothing short of stunning. Bat For Lashes Natasha Kahn knows exactly when to fill the landscape with a wealth of instruments and when to dial everything back to the bare necessities. This is one of those albums that you put on and don’t touch a thing. Just sit back and enjoy.
4. The Gathering – Disclosure (Oct. 2nd, Dismanic Distribution)
This album slipped past me, only recently landing in my hands. But once I started listening to it, I couldn’t stop. It’s mixture of rock, pop, and electronic, all sprinkled with a sense of nostalgia and sadness. Oh, and I have to say how much I love that horns are used on this album. The first time I heard them, I was taken completely aback. It was so unexpected and yet fit so well. Now, I kinda want more horns on everything I hear.
3. Deftones – Koi No Yokan (Nov. 13th, Reprise Rcords)
The most recent release of the year is also one of the best. Koi No Yokan is Deftones at their strongest, mixing rich melodies with crushing distortion, all held together by singer Chino Moreno’s commanding voice. This release only proved how unstoppable Deftones really are.
2. Katatonia – Dead End Kings (Aug. 28th, Peaceville Records)
Much like Koi No Yokan, Dead End Kings is an album that mixes incredible melodies over fierce, vicious distortion. However, there is something about Katatonia that draws me in that little bit more. This album simply resonates with me on a deeper level.
1. Anathema – Weather Systems (Apr. 24th, The End Records)
Something about Weather Systems grabbed me more fiercely than any other album this year and hasn’t let go since. From the opening acoustic notes of “Untouchable Pt. 1″ to the ethereal fade out of “Internal Landscapes”, Anathema crafted an album that is a celebration of life. In my eyes, this album has already earned the status of “timeless”.
Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion (May 8th, Roadrunner Records)
This prog masterpiece from Porcupine Tree‘s Steven Wilson and Opeth‘s Mikael Akerfeldt is a throwback to the glorious 70’s era progressive rock. Sinister and daunting, it’s a difficult album to “get” on the first try. But subsequent listens prove how intense and thrilling this album can be.
Stolen Babies – Naught (Sept. 18th, No Comment Records)
This album is insane, twisted, nightmarish, and unbelievable amounts of fun.
The Birthday Massacre – Hide And Seek (Oct. 9th, Metropolis Records)
I love this band and this album only added to that feeling. Infectious electronic rock with innocently sweet vocals, it’s well worth owning.
Twitch The Ripper – Colorblind (Aug. 14th, Metropolis Records)
Like I’ve said before, I have an unabashed love of the 80’s and the electronic pop that filled that decade. Colorblind hit that era and gave it a modern feel that simply made the music all that much more glorious.
Baroness – Yellow & Green (July 17th, Relapse Records)
While not what many Baroness fans were expecting to hear, Yellow & Green is still a fantastic piece of melodic hard rock. Songs like “March To The Sea” and “Little Things” get my blood pumping while “Eula” is one of the most arresting “ballads” (their words) I’ve heard in years.
Garbage – Not Your Kind Of People (May 22nd, Stunvolume Records)
I don’t think anybody was expecting Garbage‘s return to music to be as strong as it was. This album blew me off my feet and I still shake my head in disbelief when I think of how the band still has “it” after all these years.
Daniel Licht – Silent Hill: Downpour OST (March 13th, Milan Records)
Daniel Licht blew me away with this soundtrack. While the game had it’s flaws (that freakin’ combat!!!), one thing that it had plenty of was atmosphere. This was largely in part thanks to Licht’s phenomenal original score that breathed new life into what I felt was a dying series. I still listen to this soundtrack any time I’m driving in the rain or the rare foggy day rolls in.