[Best & Worst '12] Jonny Picks His Top 10 Albums Of 2012

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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 GodResolution (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. GojiraL’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 CarlsenClocks 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 RoundTigermending (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. MeshuggahKoloss (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 LashesThe 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 GatheringDisclosure (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. DeftonesKoi 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. KatatoniaDead 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. AnathemaWeather 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”.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Storm CorrosionStorm 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 BabiesNaught (Sept. 18th, No Comment Records)

This album is insane, twisted, nightmarish, and unbelievable amounts of fun.

The Birthday MassacreHide 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 RipperColorblind (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.

BaronessYellow & 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.

GarbageNot 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 LichtSilent 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.

Got any thoughts/questions/concerns for Jonathan Barkan? Shoot him a message on Twitter or on Bloody-Disgusting!

 
  • violentdope

    Love the new DEFTONES,GOJIRA,MESHUGGAH AND LOG.Other really good albums this year that arent rock that are amazing MAYDAY TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER,KRIZZ KALIKO KICKIN N SCREAMIN AND TWIZTID ABOMINATIONZ

  • violentdope

    Why would it be the possibility of lamb of Gods last album?Because of Randy facing jail time?I doubt they would stop making music they are at the top of the metal scene

    • JonathanBarkan

      Because replacing such a memorable and unique voice that fits the music so perfectly is, in my opinion, pretty much impossible. His words, attitude, and ferocity are a huge part of what makes that band so memorable.

  • kholden622

    You forgot ‘MDNA’ Madonna!!

    • JonathanBarkan

      That’s not the album of the year, that’s the album of the century. Gotta wait until 2100 to post it.

  • ThusSpakeJohn

    Interesting, here’s mine.

    10. Pig Destroyer – Book Burner
    9. Make Do and Mend – Everything You Ever Loved
    8. The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania
    7. Deftones – Koi No Yokan
    6. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid M.A.A.D City
    5. Elysian Blaze – Blood Geometry
    4. Neurosis – Honour Found In Decay
    3. The Menzingers – On the Impossible Past
    2. Swans – The Seer
    1. Converge – All We love We leave Behind

    Honorable Mentions:
    Between the Buried and Me – The Parallax II
    Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
    El-P – Cancer For Cure
    Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
    Code Orange Kids – Love is Dust // Return to Dust

    • JonathanBarkan

      I have a feeling that you and @SuperRadMike would hang out and be bros.

  • porcupinetheater

    Weather Systems is incredible, and the list is just fantastic overall. On a personal list, I’d also add:

    Woods of Ypres – Woods V: Grey Skies and Electric Light
    My Dying Bride – A Map of All Our Failures
    Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I
    Alcest – Les Voyages de L’Ame
    Enslaved – Riitiir
    & Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Pinata

    • JonathanBarkan

      While I haven’t listened to a lot of those albums, those are some great bands!

  • viking1983

    katatonia and anathema definitely my top 2, esepcially after seeing katatonia live and realising that they are better live than on cd