Making my Top 15 Albums of 2012 list this year was a bit daunting. There were so many records I heard, and many of the excellent and well deserving of a bit of extra attention. Being as I am, I felt guilty for leaving some of them off, so here I will present, in no particular order other than random, a good handful of albums that came out during 2012 that I enjoyed and feel that you lovely readers should give a listen to. Check ’em out and enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
I know every year I say that this was one of the best years in metal, but its true, and 2012 was no different. I guess that says a lot about the state of modern heavy metal. The genre has grown into something that was unfathomable at its inception. In no other genre will you find such a diverse set of different acts all boasting such pure passion for what they do. I was also exposed much more music than usual this year since Metal State kinda took off with a spike in readers (thank you!!!) and we started receiving promos from labels and bands looking for exposure (don’t worry, we won’t tell you about the crappy stuff or skew our opinions because a label hooked us up with some free music or a t-shirt). So, when I think about 2012 in metal I can’t help but to return to reflecting on how diverse the genre has become. You will see in my toplist that no single sub-genre really dominates (well I guess you can tell I am a fan a prog metal and was big into the female fronted doom metal bands this year) and there are some amazing albums all across the board in metal this year. There were also a ton I left out which I will post about in the coming days in a quick honorable mentions post. So enough dilly dallying, let’s get it on! Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Man, there were a ton of cool videos this year and it seems like the trend of the band recording performance footage in a murky basement while looking tough is being gravitated away from. This year I saw much creativity put into the music video and on a couple of them, it led me to actually go out and buy the album (the others I was going to buy the record anyways). Like Reggie, I’m going to keep the commentary on the video to a minimum and just let the video speak for itself. I hope you enjoy these videos and share with us some of your favorite videos from 2012. Peace Love and Metal!!!!!
In case any of you may be curious as to what we enjoy outside the realm of metal we decided to do a list of non-metal things that we highly enjoyed this year, like music other than metal/hard rock, movies, video games. Me and Reggie will both be doing one, so you can get 20 great suggestions of some really neat things. Last year I allowed myself to add things that I discovered that year, but this year I’m limiting myself to stuff released in 2012, with the exception of video games because a lot of 2011 games didn’t get time to get played by me until 2012. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!
#10 Maserati VII by Maserati
I’ve known about this band for a little while now and have enjoyed their unique brand of electronic infused groovy instrumental prog rock, but this year I found myself completely entranced with their latest album simply titled Maserati VII. Each song is just overflowing with great beats (made with real drums) and Chris Farley-sized grooves (played with real bass and guitars). Great music for just chilling out, popping in at a party, or cruising at high speeds in your, ummm, Maserati.
When it comes to the archetype for prog rock no band fits the bill better than the Canadian trio Rush. For their near 40 year career they have been pioneering exactly what a prog rock band should be. Going beyond the typical bullet points of the genre such as high level of musicianship, diverse song structures, and a deeper nod in the lyrical department (usually with heavy sci-fi/fantasy and philosophical themes), they really capture what the ‘progressive’ means in prog rock. Since their start as a blues tinged heavy metal band in the early 70’s their sound has just kept growing and progressing pushing into territories they have yet to explore. Pushing the envelope is something that has defined Rush, and they have continued to do that non-stop (their 7 year hiatus between 96-02 doesn’t count, the boys needed a small break, especially Neil 🙂 ). Here we are in 2012 and Rush has hit a major landmark on their career, full length album number 20. Not many bands can boast that achievement, and those that can most likely don’t have a catalog as solid and prolific as the prog masters. Clockwork Angels sees the band still moving forward with their musical landscape and since this is such a major deal for the band they do a little fan service and make some neat little homages to their previous works along the way.