10. Abigail Williams –Becoming
9. 7 Horns 7 Eyes – Throes of Absolution
8. Abiotic – Symboisis
7. Sylosis – Monolith
6. The Chariot –One Wing
I had a very weird relationship with this record. Many people felt that L’Enfant Sauvage is Gojira’s best work. I’d have to respectfully disagree as I’d place that on 2005’s From Mars To Sirius. So while it isn’t their best work, it is still leaps and bounds above most other metal records this year. However, it still left me wanting more. That isn’t to say I didn’t love it – I did – but it was missing somthing for me. I can’t place my ear to it, but L’Enfant Sauvage didn’t live up to my expectations. Still, it is definitely one of the best metal recrods of the year.
What a hell of a record Between The Buried And Me released this year. Future Sequence is an exhausting whirlwind of soundscapes, complex riffs and enough atmosphere to appease even the most proggy of prog-nerds. Tommy Rodgers is at his best in this release. BTBAM continues to push their limits while providing us with their best work to date.
3. Carach Angren – Where The Corpses Sink Forever
I have to say, I had never heard of Carach Angren until a friend pointed me to their 2012 effort Where The Corpses Sink Forever. After my first listen I was hooked. Their sound resembles that of a more adult Dimmu Borgir complete with a monumental orchestra. Corpses is straight-forward WWII concept album with interesting lyrics that tend to get a bit cheesy. Regardless, Where The Corpses Sink Forever is one of the best symphonic black metal for a few years.
The Contortionist made the top of my 2010 list with their debut album Exoplanet, and they nearly did it again with their sophomore effort Intrinsic. While Exoplanet was a deathcore album progressive tendencies, Intrinsic flips the formula on its head focusing more on the prog side of things sprinkling in some breakdowns now-and-again. While it was a risky move, I felt the band made the right call. With Intrinsic, The Contortionist take their first step towards being prog-metal kings.
The wait was long, but oh boy was it worth it. The Faceless took their time between records – 4 years separated Planetary Duality and Autotheism. With age comes wisdom and the Michael Keene machine released the years best album in Autotheism. Perfectly exemplified by the “Autotheist Movement” songs, Keene and crew combine prog and death into a fantastic whirlwind of metal. Keene’s strong clean vocals provide a fantastic juxtaposition from guttural screams and crushing guitar work. In play counts alone Autotheism dominated 2012 for me.
Best Live Show: Killswitch Engage – Alive or Just Breathing tour
I can’t even put into words what this tour meant to me. Alive or Just Breathing is one of the defining albums of my life. Hearing it in its entirety was nothing short of amazing. One of the best shows of all time for me.