I originally had numerous ideas for this week’s column, but while at work (I think about metal a LOT at work) it occurred to me to check which albums I had listened to most in 2012. The list was completely dominated by technical death metal (naturally) as well as the latest Paradise Lost and Cannibal Corpse offerings. Then, I thought to myself, “Man, metalheads LOVE (and HATE) lists! This is a great idea!”
This list is based entirely on number of plays. Hence, an album like Detrimentum’s Inhuman Disgrace, released in January, has a major edge on something like Nile’s At the Gates of Sethu, released months later. Gojira, also a recent release, simply didn’t have enough plays to make the top 15, along with other major players that will most certainly see better representation in a year-end list based on my opinion of the albums.
15. Natron – Grindermeister
I bought this completely on whim, knowing nothing about the band. Its a great release, and I wish I have listened to it more.
14. Nile – At the Gates of Sethu
Mixed feelings on this one. We will see if my opinion changes in time, eh? In general I am a huge Nile fan, so I would imagine this will move up in the list.
13. Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme
I know, I know, this is a mockery. I just got the album 2 weeks ago! This will make a quick ascent, I promise. Hence, an obvious flaw in my current ranking system. I expect this to reign in my year end list, since its a supremely excellent album. (See what I did there?! See it!?)
12. Beneath the Massacre – Incongruous
No matter how much my fellow technicians at the TDM labs bash these guys, Beneath the Massacre releases some great technical, heavy, and chunky deathcore.
11. Allegaeon – Formshifter
The biggest disappointment of the year so far. I had to listen to it a lot to confirm my opinion, hence a higher spot than some more deserving albums.
10. In Mourning – The Weight of Oceans
Not really sure if this guy belongs here, but its progressive melodic death metal, with some post metal. This sounds like a disaster, but its a great, if somewhat long album. For fans of mid-era Opeth and the like.
I am a major Meshuggah fanboy, and really enjoy this album. But its just not the organic puzzle that Nothing was.
8. Xenocide – Galactic Oppression
Chunky but melodic, I see big things in the future for these cosmic death metallers. I stumbled across this release completely by accident.
7. Pyscroptic – The Inherited Repression
I didn’t know what to think about this album initially. I faulted it for its focus on the midrange, but now I realize it enables the band to be more complex, intricate, and unpredictable. This will no doubt move up the list.
6. Hour of Penance – Sedition
5. Spawn of Possession – Incurso
Spawn + Christian Munzer = absurd levels of technicality. I really dig on the whole spectral vibe, as well as the subtle keys.
4. Desecravity – Implicit Obedience
I listened to this album yesterday and remembered just how savage and technical it is, plus it reminds me of None So Vile.
3. Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity
This veggie-powered misanthropy machine is wretchedly delicious.
I am a major Gorod fanboy – their most recent avant-garde slice at progressive/technical death metal is intriguing, challenging, and memorable; and a concept album!
And the most played is …
1. Detrimentum – Inhuman Disgrace
Yes, it was released in January, which of course has an effect on the number of plays, but its still a great album of progressive brutal death metal. Will it be my number one pick for the year? That I cannot say for sure.
So there we go. The flaws are obvious (the low ranking of Dying Fetus, the higher spot of the Allegaeon album which I don’t really like, etc.) but the list still gives a testament to what I have been listening to. Here is my question – what have YOU been listening to?! Let me know what I missed, and what you think is criminally underrepresented here.