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Author Topic: Your Top Albums of 2012 (up to 20 max)  (Read 7073 times)
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« on: December 13, 2012, 02:33:44 pm »

2012 still has 2 weeks to go, but in my case, I don't think there will be anything to be released that I will like.

That said, here's my TOP 20 Albums of 2012. All Genres, not just Metal. And this year, there's so much to choose from.

Lets start with the (to me) very Best:

1 - Dark Princess – The World I've Lost

Among my Top 5, this is the one which i was pressing Repeat the most, and an unshakable selection on my portable mp3 player. A hot find from cold Russia!

Best Song of the Album: We Can Not Fly So High
Second best: The Way of Passion
Third Best: The Temple Of Darkness

2Lindsey Stirling

I only found this amazing Mormon California Girl last week by the recommendation of a friend, and already rocketed to 2nd place in my list. He knew i HATE electric and trance music, but insisted I checked this out. I did. Violin?! I'm still speechless. You must listen for yourselves.

Best Song of the Album (witch isn't really easy, their all so good): Song of the Caged Bird
2nd: Moon Trance
3rd: Transcendence

Check out the rest of her Youtube channel. Its worth it. And you can find stuff like this: Skyrim
Moving on.

3 - The Nearly Deads

Another fortuitous off the beaten path discovery. The debut work of a new promising band. And the vocalist (Theresa Jeanne) is just so damn cute!

Best: Fact and Friction
2nd: Never Look Back
3rd: Reasons

4Delain – We Are The Others

Not much to say that so many haven't said before. A solid work from a still growing band.

Best (For the message it portrays): We Are The Others
2nd: Mother Machine
3rd: Generation Me

5Lyriel – Leverage

Expert musicianship hailing from Germany. Pure auditory Bliss.

Best: White Lilly
2nd: Repentance
3rd: Star of the County Down

6Liv Moon – The End Of The Beginning

I have to thank Viani24 for putting me in the path of Japanese Symphonic Metal. I still don't understand what she is singing, but who cares, the music is Eargasmic! And this is actually the SECOND album released by this band this YEAR!

Best (The Intro alone gives me shivers!): Free Your Soul
2nd: Immortals
3rd: And Forever More
4th: Midsummer Eve

7Sonata Arctica – Stones Grow Her Name

Could they finality be back to their old form. I think so. With this latest release they rose to my 7th spot of the yearly ranking.

Best: I Have A Right
2nd: Losing My Insanity
3rd: The Day

8The 69 Eyes – X

Ah! The Helsinki Vampires! Sometimes they can get a little cheesy, but normally they can do no wrong by my ears!

Best: Red
2nd: If You Love Me The Morning After
3rd: Love Runs Away

9Liv Moon – Symphonic Moon

Like I said earlier. LIV MOON launched 2 album this year. And both are in my Top 20.

Best: Kiss Me Kill Me
2nd: Alchemy
3rd: 堕天使の笑み (Datenshi No Emi - Angelic Smile)

10Damnation Angels – Bringer Of Light

I think Kailef would go Hannibal Lecter on me if this wasn't in the top 20!  Cheesy But funny thing, it DESERVES to be here by its own merits!

Best (noticed the Nippon trend on top list have you):  PRIDE (The Warrior's Way)
2nd: The Longest Day of My Life
3rd: Shadow Symphony

To be continued... next.

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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 03:17:03 pm »

The rest of the Best:

11Xandria – Neverworld's End

I was sad when Lisa Middelhauve left the band, but when newcomer Manuela Kraller showed what she could do, that hole in my musical soul from when Tarja left Nightwish was filled. Yes, she is that good

Best: Forevermore
2nd: Cursed
3rd: Valentine

12Leah – Of Earth & Angels

The software of thought that, based on my library, I would like this. And it was right.

Best: Remember
2nd: Mainland
3rd: Tragedy & Magic

13Epica – Requiem for the Indifferent

They are just incapable of putting out a bad album, aren't they? Besides, Simone Simons... nuff said.

Best: Storm The Sorrow
2nd: Delirium
3rd: Twin Flames

14Sabaton – Carolus Rex

The life and times of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden turned out quite epically!
Best: A Lifetime Of War
2nd: Carolus Rex
3rd: The Carolean's Prayer

15Gregorian – Epic Chants

Damn Monks did it again!

Best: World Without End (feat. Eva Mali)
2nd: Conquest Of Paradise (cover (DUH) from Vangelis)
3rd: Sky and Sand

16Galneryus – Angel Of Salvation

How about that! Another Japanese band lands in my top 20!

Angel of Salvation

17Kobra and the Lotus

This one came out of nowhere and just blasted me senseless.

Best: 50 Shades Of Evil
2nd: Welcome to My Funeral
3rd: Forever One

18September Mourning – Melancholia

Before the Fall

19Ecliptica – Journey Saturnine

Best: Fire! Burn!
2nd: Love & Misery (Now that... is a crappy videoclip)

20Ghosthill – Flying Through Imagination

And another Russian band to end my list.

My garden of seasons

And that is it. Remember to share links of your favorites for all to enjoy!

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 12:43:16 am »

1. Ascending to Infinity - Luca Turilli's Rhapsody
(dont think anyone expected that from me Wink
2. Xandria - Neverworlds end
3. Epica

not much more I think....

Tomorrow will take us away far from home
No one will ever know our names but the bards' songs will remain
Tomorrow will take it away the fear of today
It will be gone due to our magic songs
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2012, 10:43:28 am »

Oh sheesh. I've been struggling with trying to rank my list for weeks. So far I haven't even been able to cut it down to a top 30, nevermind putting things in an order I'm happy with. I guess I'll just throw up 20 of the best in alphabetical order by artist.

Bang on a Can All-Stars – Big Beautiful Dark and Scary
The chamber quintet returns with a two-disc set of recordings from the outer limits of contemporary classical music. Includes music composed by Conlon Nancarrow, Julia Wolfe, Kate Moore, David Lang, Louis Andriessen, David Longstreth, and others.

Circus Maximus – Nine
The long-awaited third album doesn't disappoint. Great melodies, great lyrics, great performances. What more could you want?

Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud
It's epic. It's loud. It hangs together beautifully. Highlights include "Liberation," "More!," and "Grace."

Dreamscape – Everlight
This one was a surprise for me. I'll admit, I've only been keeping track of this prog-metal group loosely since their excellent debut, but this fourth album of theirs is top-notch stuff. As good as just about any other act in the genre.

Gazpacho – The March of Ghosts
One of the very many great prog-rock albums released this year. Dark, moody, and creepy.

Ihsahn – Eremita
The former Emperor frontman delivers one of the most curious and ambitious black-metal albums in the subgenre. Guest musicians provide everything from clean vocals to saxophones, but Ihsahn always keeps the atmosphere heavy and gloomy.

Kaipa – Vittjar
I consider this the band's strongest album since their 2002 reunion. In his third release with the group since replacing Roine Stolt, guitarist Per Nilsson (also of Scar Symmetry) finally sounds natural and well-suited to playing whimsical prog-rock instead of angular melodeath. The interplay between the two vocalists sounds comfortable and familiar, whether they're responding to each other antiphonally or singing in parallel harmony. The songs, as with all of those on this list, are great.

Marcus Miller – Renaissance
A fantastic selection of originals and standards from a virtuoso of the electric bass. While his own playing is the highlight, he doesn't shy away from letting the rest of the band having moments to shine. Jazz, funk, and soul with a great groove.

The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
Easily the best album of the year from the so-called "indie" genre. Catchy melodies, poignant lyrics, a variety of arrangements ranging from piano and voice to a full rock band with winds and horns.

North Atlantic Oscillation – Fog Electric
Yet another fantastic prog-rock album. This one lives up to its name with a wash of guitars, synthesizers, and vocal filters covering everything in a digital haze. However, underneath that are layers of gorgeous melodies and harmonies.

OSI – Fire Make Thunder
On their fourth album, Jim Matheos and Kevin Moore are even harder to pin down than usual. Joined again by Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) on drums, they spend 8 tracks mixing prog-rock, American folk, metal, and electronica in various combinations. Throughout, Moore brings the same lyrical brilliance that he showed in Dream Theater and Chroma Key.

Raveonettes – Observator
9 tracks of simple and effective lo-fi pop.

Rush – Clockwork Angels
Okay, guys. Last prog-rock album. I promise. Although I'd be remiss not to mention that good ones were also released this year by Arjen Anthony Lucassen, the Flower Kings, Flying Colors, Steve Hogarth and Richard Barbieri, Marillion, the Pineapple Thief, the Prog Collective, RPWL, Squackett, and Storm Corrosion. Now back to the list.

Secrets of the Moon – Seven Bells
Have you ever had the urge to turn your metal up REALLY LOUD and shout something vaguely Satanic (or explicitly Satanic) along with it? If you have, you probably noticed that there are a few good black-metal albums suited for that purpose. This is perhaps the best of those in several years.

Seven Kingdoms – The Fire is Mine
Outstandingly rifftastic power metal. Fantasy lyrics straight out of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and God of War videogames. Bonus points for getting Theocracy's Matt Smith to sing something entirely secular in "Kardia."

Sawns – The Seer
I have no idea what's going on with this double-album, but I like it. This kind of alternation between long repetitive droning sections and short intense bursts of activity isn't exactly common in rock music, and it's an interesting experience. It doesn't quite sound like anything else.

Threshold – March of Progress
It's always nice to hear Damian Wilson back with the band, even under the tragic circumstances. The lyrics on this album aren't quite as strong as I've come to expect from Threshold, but they seem to compensate with an abundance of great melodies and arrangements. Highlights for me include "The Hours," "Don't Look Down," "Colophon," and "Ashes."

Thy Majestie – ShiHuangDi
It was cool to find out Thy Majestie had reunited, cooler to find out they went back to doing concept albums, and perhaps coolest of all to learn they took their focus away from Western Europe and looked to ancient China for inspiration. The Chinese touches in the music are subtle, but they exist once in a while. I don't know where and how this band keeps finding new singers that all sound so good, but I'm not complaining. Whatever helps them keep putting out great music.

To-Mera – Exile
Mmmmm proggy, proggy metals. I love how all the more famous guest artists are used in their "lesser" capacities. Marcela Bovio from Stream of Passion shows up, and plays violin but doesn't sing. Stephan Fortι from Adagio makes an appearance with some growly vocals, but doesn't go near a guitar. Just more of that trademark To-Mera unpredictability, I guess.

Wintersun – Time I
Remember when I said the Circus Maximus album was long-awaited? That's only true if you don't compare it to this release. And after all that, um, time, it's only 5 tracks of really great folk metal. I assume Time II is forthcoming with the rest of them. I don't know when, and I haven't looked to find out. These 5 (totaling about 40 minutes of music) are plenty good enough to hold me over.

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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 06:27:43 pm »

I tend to operate behind the times a bit, waiting for others to filter out the good stuff for me  Cheesy
I have heard some good albums from 2012 though, so here are a few.

Damnation Angels - Bringer of Light: Stunning debut, best album I've heard from 2012.

Pertness - Frozen Time: Power metal from Switzerland but with a harder edge. Brilliant guitar work and drums. Vocals are a bit gruff otherwise it would be 5 stars.

Ensiferum - Unsung Heroes: I finally relented to listening to this band after reading so many positive things about this album. Again, the vocals are a bit gruff at times but the tunes are ridiculously catchy and some of the musioc is just impossibly good.

Wintersun - Time I: Need to listen to this more but it's pretty special at times.

Seven Kingdoms - The Fire is Mine: Read so many good things that I simply had to hear it. There's some quality power metal as individual tracks. As an album I was a bit underwhelmed because it is so one paced, it just all blended together.

Pathfinder - Fifth Element: I must admit to not having heard this but I've just listened to this band's debut in full and thought it was amazing. From all accounts, the follow-up is even better. I have no reason to doubt my sources so this is probably also a 5 star album for me.
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