So this year I have been doing a ton of flip flopping with my list, adding a few here and there, changing my mind where some of these fell, looking at my request logs, and spins, but really getting an overall feel of the band who turned in the best music of 2012. Some are no brainers, others you may not have really listened to before, or just heard once or twice on NO CONTROL Radio. I am going with my gut here, so feel free to troll and voice your opinion...
Upon further analysis, I think this really made it into my top 20 for the stellar performances they did at SXSW back in march of this year. A Dying Fetus album guarantees to slay no matter what, that is kinda what they do regardless, and tend to stick with pretty formula death metal (other than their lyrics), but live they are one of the best three piece bands I have ever seen, and if I didn't put them on the list I would be afraid John Gallagher would show up and stare at me like a piece of rotting meat...
19. Nachtmystium – Silencing Machine
Seriously one of the most interesting bands of the decade. Their ability to juxtapose avant sounding nebulous interludes with extreme black metal have broken them into the neo hipster realms with the shoe gazing faux Nihilists, but they can really deliver the goods with every note. Not once have I been disappointed with a Nachtmystium record and Silencing Machine focuses more on the aggressive side of the band, but does not compromise what they are known to be capable of creating.
18. Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity
If the cover art for Monolith of Inhumanity doesn't capture the spirit of the album, nothing will, well wait. Maybe the video for 'Forced Gender Reassignment.' That might do it also. A well put together commentary about the destruction of your human species ranks high on my list, but really it is about one of the most disturbing videos in the history of film that wins the prize from me...and maybe an extra one for taking a punch from Chris Barnes too, Bravo Travis Ryan.
17. Testament – Dark Roots of the Earth
If you didn't think readmitting Alex Skolnick was the best idea Testament ever had, then I am not sure if you should even be reading this list. Destined for metal obscurity in the late '90s, many would have predicted that this band finished any greatness and should move on, but after 2008's The Formation of Damnation, it was clear the spark had reignited the flame and Dark Roots of the Earth extends their legend even farther. They do what they do best, Thrash. Great riffs and amazing hooks, definitely a must have for metalheads worldwide.
16. Municipal Waste – The Fatal Feast
Do not be fooled by their sense of humor. Municipal Waste sometimes feels like a joke, but they seriously destroy. If you would like to call them Party Metal, go ahead, it does not serve but to make you look obsolete. Their sense of levity in the DNA of their hardcore thrash sound delivers a death blow on The Fatal Feast. It blows away what every pseudo thrash revival band thinks they sound like by actually playing the music and writing some tongue in cheek lyrics that fit perfectly in the short song attacks.
15. Meshuggah – Koloss
My neck still hurts from this live show. I dropped this one lower on the list mainly since I thought it didn't bring as much variety as ObZen, but still one of my favorite bands of all time. Whiplash built into every album.
14. Gaza – No Absolutes In Human Suffering
Probably a record that slipped under your radar, No Absolutes In Human Suffering was released to little fanfare. A short four week tour that kicked off in November, little to no promotion about the album, and they had not really made a huge name in metal...yet. I have been a fan for years, and the new record solidifies what I have always known about Gaza, they destroy everything in their path. Hope you pick this one up soon.
13. Grave – Endless Procession of Souls
Solidified by over two decades of death metal under their belt, this Swedish band proves that time does not always make you wither and die, they have aged well. The latest installment from the legendary Grave sticks to the formula that has made them famous fro so many years. You know exactly what you are going to get from one of their albums, they don't cover new territory, but I never wanted them to go a different route. A closet favorite from 2012, could have easily been in my top 10.
12. Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud
I express my feelings about Devin Townsend on a regular basis, since I always seem to name one or more of his projects as a beacon of creativity and ingenuity in metal. Everything released with his moniker over the past decade skews toward the psychotic, and feels like a carnival inside your brain as you listen (apart from that acoustic CD). Epicloud continues that tradition, with epic opuses of furious beauty. I know know for a fact not everyone understands his music, and admittedly, I am not sure I truly do either, but It makes me feels something in my bones.
11. Orange Goblin – A Eulogy For the Damned
Don't try and tell me you like stoner doom metal and not name Orange Goblin as one of your favorites. While Sleep, Fu Manchu and Kyuss were forging a sound in the genre at home, the UK bore Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin. Formed in the UK almost 20 years ago this year saw the re-release of some of their classic albums, but A Eulogy for the Damned prolongs the legacy of this pioneering band. I had not seen this being a great record so many years on, but with it coming out early in 2012, I am still rocking it out in December.
Look for the Top 10 next week, and be sure to leave some snarky comments about how bad my taste in metal sucks and I have no idea what I am talking about.