Articles : Anwar Rizk’s best of 2012 list
Before the world ends I may as well do the noble thing and let everyone know my favorite releases of the past year. Lets face it, music is a lot more important than some outdated, superstitious belief system which turns us all into judgmental pricks. Oh wait! Music does that to us as well.
As I sit in front of my computer
masturbating procrastinating over what bands I shall put on my list, I can’t help but think what an amazing year it has been for both Australian and international heavy metal. From a touring perspective it has been a pretty hectic year for our necks and wallets.
At the start of the year we were given a heroic dose of metal at the umpteenth installment of the Soundwave Festival. Featuring the likes of SLIPKNOT, WATAIN, DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, MASTODON, STEEL PANTHER and many more. While the festival doesn’t always appeal to the elitists of metal. It still gives us an excuse to leave the house for an entire day and get sun burnt, pay out the ass for watered down beer and potentially be molested by complete strangers.
Then there were the left of field tours which people thought would never happen. NASUM, AT THE GATES, ANIMALS AS LEADERS, APOCALYPTICA, WARBRINGER and to many others to mention in one sitting. I don’t think Australia will have a shortage of tours next year with the likes of NIGHTWISH, SABATON, ENSIFERUM and many more to be announced. However, there will definitely be a shortage of money if trends continue.
I’m really proud of what some of these Aussie bands have accomplished (no homo). I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t heard every single release this year, but I’m pretty confident that my list will contain a favorite or two which you may enjoy. If not, then I suggest you go on the internet, start a Facebook profile and complain just like everyone else.
The Australian List
While this album holds a lot of familiarity, there’s still a certain freshness to the album which makes you come back for more.
Listen to “Carriers of the Plague”
Doing away with the typical upbeat, feel good power metal vibes. Black Majesty return with a more melodic and personal release with just the right amount of studio polish.
Listen to “Stargazer”
The title of the album is a perfect description of Okera’s death/doom laden sound scape. A beautiful piece of art.
Listen to “I Hope”
The disgustingly, hilariously titled ‘Showering In Shit’ is a prime example of good Aussie grindcore done right. Many a times has my neck been brought to near destruction after seeing these lads live.
Listen to “Pee On Me Amputee”
Yes, I understand that Dead Can Dance are not a metal band, but they’re Australian. Great ambient/doom laden trip that everyone needs to take, regardless of musical taste.
Listen to “Opium”
What do you get when you mix members of Alarum, Alchemist and Aeon of Horus? You get The Levitation Hex. An extreme progressive psychedelic experience that will leaving you gasping for more.
Listen to “The Longest Path Possible”
What can be said about AMDBL which hasn’t been said before? This album packs a punch with its short and brutal approach. I’m definitely interested to see where this band heads with their new vocalist.
Listen to “Xen”
A solid mix of dirty pub thrash, grindcore and hardcore punk. Not for the faint of heart. Pass the bonox, lads!
Listen to “Shit On The Liver”
Be’lakor are a band that never disappoint their fans. ‘Of Breath and Bone’ is a true death metal masterpiece that incorporates elements of Opeth, Katatonia and everything in between. Definite contenders for one of the hardest working bands in Australia right now.
Listen to “Remnants”
After listening to the first single, ‘Legions’. I was instantly sold on the idea that this would be the album that would break Eyefear into a more diverse market. The album is a pinnacle which can only be reached by a chosen few. Dark, melodic and a wall of sound 10 inches thick. ‘The Inception of Darkness’ is truly a masterpiece.
Listen to “Redemption”
The International List
10. Accept – Stalingard
A solid return to form for the German metal outfit. Offering simple riffs, and fast tempos from start to finish. Mark Tornillo’s mimicking of previous Accept vocalist, Udo Dirkschneider and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson is quite uncanny.
Listen to “Hung, Drawn and Quartered”
9. Sigh – In Somniphobia
A crazy concoction of jazz, funk, doom and black metal. A must for the lovers of the obscene.
Listen to “The Transfiguration Fear”
8. Grave Digger – Clash Of The Gods
‘Clash Of The Gods’ is a perfect blend of traditional heavy metal and power metal. Simple riffs, upbeat tempos and a heavy lyrical influence of the Trojan war.
Listen to “Home At Last”
7. Rush – Clockwork Angels
After years of patiently waiting for a new studio album, only to receive live album upon live album, year after year. It was with great rejoice to see Rush release a solid studio album this year. Satisfyingly entertaining with a respectable return to form.
Listen to “Clockwork Angels”
6. Nile – At the Gate of Sethu
Undoubtedly one of the best death metal releases of 2012. Pure chaos from start to finish.
Listen to “The Fiends Who Come to Steal the Magick of the Deceased”
5. Devin Townsend – Epicloud
Epicloud is a perfect blend of infectious grooves and upbeat tempos. A must have album for one suffering with depression, or who simply needs a good pick me up.
Listen to “Save Our Now”
4. Orden Ogan – To The End
Orden Ogan’s 4th studio album is a solid mix of power, progressive, folk and industrial heavy metal. I was instantly sold after watching the single, ‘The Things We Believe In’, two months prior to the album’s release.
Listen to “The Things We Believe In”
3. Sabaton – Carlous Rex
Sabaton are a unique musical gem. Doing away with typical power metal anthems about dragons and swords. Sabaton’s influence relies heavily on great wars and military history. ‘Carolus Rex’ tells the tale of Charles XII of Sweden who ruled during the 17th century.
Listen to “Gott Min Uns”
2. Arjen Lucassen – Lost In The New Real
Based in the Netherlands, Arjen Lucassen is more than a musician. He’s a musical institution transcending genres with the likes of Ayreon, Star One and many others. He returns with his solo magnum opus, ‘Lost In The New Real’. A look into the not to distant future where technology is abused. Featuring famed Blade Runner bad guy, Rutger Hauer as the story’s narrator.
Listen to “E-Police”
1. Wintersun – Time I
Words cannot describe how amazing this album is! I had to hold back the tears of joy when I first listened to the album. After waiting what seemed like an eternity, Wintersun fans are treated to a true majestic masterpiece.
Listen to “Sons Of Winter and Stars”