Goshuggist’s Top 10 in 2012!

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2012 was one hell of a year for Metal music. So much so that even listing off every amazing/top notch/legendary Death Metal album from last year is practically impossible, especially in a Top 10 list.  These 10 albums were chosen after much deliberation and part of that process was listening to so many phenomenal LPs that choosing 10 almost felt wrong. In the end though, these 10 albums have towered over everything else in technical death metal all year. These are the albums that redefined bands and bent genres and only one can be the very best. Let’s get to it…

**As a quick disclaimer, Gojira’s ‘L’Efant Sauvage’ and Meshuggah’s ‘Koloss’ will not be a part of this Top 10. Including those two albums would cheat deserving bands out of  first and second place. I think my username is indication enough of how much I love both albums.** 

#10. Aborted – Global Flatline:

Global Flatline

Aborted gave the Death Metal community at large quite a scare with ‘Strychnine.213’ That is of course until ‘Global Flatline’ kicked every naysayer in the ass, as if to say ‘Let’s see if anyone ever dares to doubts us again’. It’s easily the band’s best since 2003’s ‘Goremageddon’. Much like ‘Goremageddon’, the intensity of ‘Global Flatline’ can be compared to being trapped in the middle of a razor blade tornado. If ‘Global Flatline’ had been released in 2011, it would have broken in to my Top Five, easily. If you haven’t bought this album yet, there’s something wrong with you.

 #9. Aegaeon – Being:

Being

I’ve been anticipating ‘Being’ since ‘Dissension’ completely blew me away and like the geniuses I knew they were, Aegaeon managed to completely annihilate my expectations. ‘Being’ features a double dose of the progressiveness and brutality that made ‘Dissension’ the revelation it was. You have never heard Deathcore this simultaneously majestic and uncompromising. ‘Being’ is easily some of the most tightly performed and phenomenally written metal music of 2012. Even at six songs, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring melodies, riffs, fills, blasts and yes, breakdowns. Even the most hardened of Deathcore skeptics have no excuse to not listen to this release.

 #8. Omnihility – Biogenesis:

Goshuggist's Top 5 Albums You Might Have (Tragically) Overlooked In 2012

If there’s one thing Omnihility’s proven with ‘Biogenesis’, it’s that they have the balls to look a band like Origin in the eyes and say ‘Oh yeah? Beat this, motherfuckers.’ ‘Biogenesis’ is easily the best (ultra) technical death metal album since both ‘Antithesis’ and ‘Apocalyptic Feasting’ but beyond that, it secures Omnihility a spot in the technical death metal hall of fame. Remember how fast ‘Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas’ was? Multiply it by 10. Remember how intense ‘Echoes Of Decimation’ was? Not anymore. There’s a new force to be reckoned with in tech-death. Prepare yourselves or get out of the way.

#7. Abiotic – Symbiosis:

Goshuggist's Top 5 Albums You Might Have (Tragically) Overlooked In 2012

In my ‘Top 5 Albums You May Have (Tragically) Overlooked In 2012’, I described Abiotic’s ‘Symbiosis’ as Deathcore’s ‘Effigy Of The Forgotten’. That assessment has not changed one bit. ‘Symbiosis’ makes short work of just about every other effort in Deathcore history with its expert mixture of technicality, brutality, memorability and downright talent. I knew Abiotic would reap the rewards of their hard work and Metal Blade Records had better treat them with the respect/admiration they deserve. The metal world is theirs for the taking and Abiotic are never ones to disappoint. Here’s to the future; it’s gonna be great.

#6. Pencil Lead Syringe – Pencil Lead Syringe:

Review: Pencil Lead Syringe - Pencil Lead Syringe

If ‘Pencil Lead Syringe’ wasn’t an EP, there’s a good chance it would be in my Top 3 albums of the year. As it stands, ‘Pencil Lead Syringe’ is just about the greatest follow up to ‘Suffocated And Embalmed’ I could have asked for. Between the untouchable gutturals of Ramon Mercado, the unbelievable stringed prowess of Chris Phillipsen and the drumming wizardry of Gerry Flores, this Inland Empire trio can do no wrong. If you haven’t already experienced ‘Pencil Lead Syringe’, stop stalling. This EP’s free on SoundCloud, so there’s no excuse not to love this material, short of deafness.

#5. Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme:

Dying Fetus - Reign Supreme

How can anyone not love Dying Fetus? They’re one of the most dependable Death Metal bands this side of Bolt Thrower and ‘Reign Supreme’ sees the release of the band’s best material in years. It is the best culmination of the band’s successes imaginable. It features the rage of ‘Purification Through Violence’/’Killing On Adrenaline’ with the tightness of ‘Destroy The Opposition’ fed through the technicality of ‘Descend Into Depravity’. Best of all, even with its inspiration from past Dying Fetus LP’s, ‘Reign Supreme’ never feels derivative. Overall, ‘Reign Supreme’ sees Dying Fetus as tough and ready to rumble as ever.

#4. Inanimate Existence – Liberation Through Hearing:

Inanimate Existence

‘What the hell is ‘Liberation Through Hearing’ is the question I’m sure the majority of you are asking yourselves. Breaks down like this; ‘Liberation Through Hearing’ is a combination of 90’s technical death metal ingenuity/vision (as displayed by bands like Demilich, Liers In Wait & Oppressor) and modern tech-death production values/aesthetics. It’s clear from the get go that Inanimate Existence has no use for any other tech-death sound beyond one that they’ll build from scratch. Beautiful, shocking & magnificent…As a work of sheer originality, there’s nothing like it from 2012. You owe it to yourself to pick this one up.

#3. Cattle Decapitation – Monolith Of Inhumanity:

Cattle Decapitation: That Band Ain't Right, I Tell You What...

Never before did I think a Cattle Decapitation release could breach my Top 3 Albums Of The Year. Then again, ‘Monolith Of Inhumanity’ did a great many things I never expected; breaking new ground for intensity and progressiveness in deathgrind, the inclusion of well-done clean vocals compliments of Travis Ryan and above all else, a sense of cohesiveness and structure that Cattle Decapitation has never achieved. By all accounts, ‘Monolith Of Inhumanity’ is a triumph. It’s made fans out of virulent haters, and proven once and for all that Cattle Decapitation had the power to release a masterpiece like this.

#2. Spawn Of Possession – Incurso:

Spawn Of Possession (iTunes)

In many ways, ‘Incurso’ is more than just a technical death metal album. It’s a full-fledged rebirth of classical music, particularly in the vein of Rachmaninoff. There is no other neo-classical death metal band that can ever achieve what Spawn Of Possession have here. With Christian Muenzer as a band member, their dominance is unquestionable. This is not only some of the most technical music ever made, it’s also some of the most haunting, beautiful and downright game changing of all time too. How Spawn Of Possession can ever top this, I have no idea.

 And the best technical death metal album of the year is…

Malignancy (iTunes)

#1. Malignancy – Eugenics:

There’s no two ways about it; ‘Eugenics’ is a perfect record. From the flawless guitar riffs to the impeccable drumming, from the monstrous growls & shrieks to the otherworldly bass lines, there isn’t a single second on this record that doesn’t resonate with the Death Metal nirvana some bands spend their whole careers trying to reach five seconds of. No other band can match what Malignancy has done this year, new or old. Years from now, this record will still be a shining example of everything right and true in Death Metal and music…a true magnum opus.

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3 thoughts on “Goshuggist’s Top 10 in 2012!”

  1. I think you’ll really enjoy the Pencil Lead Syringe EP. They also have a couple of songs from ‘Suffocated And Embalmed’ plus a new track from their forthcoming full length ‘Lost In A Decaying Structure’ on SoundCloud that you oughta check out.

    The only downside of the Aegaeon release is it’s Jim Martin’s last outing as their vocalist. They have some massive shoes to fill in that department.

    ‘Symbiosis’ is just further proof of how lazy the vast majority of Deathcore bands are. Screw ’em; to the victor go the spoils.

    Inanimate Existence came right the hell out of nowhere in the best possible way. I had a completely different pick for #4 before I heard ‘Liberation Through Hearing’.

    You don’t need to have an epiphany about ‘Eugenics’ being #1. It’s my #1 because no other tech-death album from 2012 sounded as perfect…according to my taste in Death Metal. I love a lot of bands people hate (Enmity, Neoandertals, Epicardiectomy, Brodequin & Liturgy since they’re practically the same band) and hate bands a lot of people love. (In Flames, Children Of Bodom, At The Gates et. al)

    I wouldn’t say that I put Omnihility OVER Origin (since I’m a major Origin fanboy too) but they are Origin’s new direct competition as I see it. Honestly with Jason Keyser on vocals, I’m not worried about Origin’s future at all. Hell, I’ll always love Origin but the fact that Omnihility can pose an actual threat is beyond impressive.

    I don’t really hear any Nile at all in their music though. To be fair though, Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka is the Nile album I listen to the least. When I’m in the mood for Nile I’ll put on ‘Black Seeds Of Vengeance’, ‘In Their Darkened Shrines’ or ‘Annihilation Of The Wicked’.

    1. Man, Pencil Lead Syringe was a great find. I would have totally missed this band otherwise. Good call.

      I will have to start listening to more Aegaeon. I am not familiar enough with them, unfortunately.

      I am going to spin ‘Eugenics’ right now. I feel like I am really missing something here! I similarly do not worship Children of Bodom or In Flames, and I really don’t understand the fervor for them. I really enjoy some old In Flames material, but the newer stuff really put me off.

      “…. the fact that Omnihility can pose an actual threat is beyond impressive.” Agreed. This is the first release for Omnihility, and they are going toe-to-toe with titans. And doing SPLENDIDLY. That says something for sure. Man, I love ‘Amongst the Catacombs…,’ however, I admit that I usually reach for ‘Annihilation…’ first nowadays.

      See, I woulda figured your first choice would be ‘At the Gate of Sethu,’ I know how much you love that album.

  2. I was a huge fan “Global Flatline” as well, and I agree that it was a big move in the right direction after “Strychnine.213.” I was thinking of including it in my top 10, but I thought it maybe wasn’t technical enough for the best of the year lists. My mistake indeed.

    I haven’t heard Aegaeon, and I feel like I am majorly missing out on something, so I am going to get on top of that right away. Similarly, good call on the Pencil Lead Syringe EP – I didn’t realize it was for free, and now I really have no excuse not to have heard it. I downloaded it from Soundcloud and I will listen to it tomorrow.

    I heard of “Symbiosis” from your list of ‘Top 5 Albums You May Have (Tragically) Overlooked In 2012′ and I was blown away. It was, in fact, tragic that I had overlooked the album prior to then. I had heard their EP before, but the full-length was even better. I wish I had heard “Symbiosis” sooner, as the only thing that kept it our of my top 10 was that I heard it so late in the year. It is just so relentlessly and crushingly heavy!

    I am glad you saw “Reign Supreme” as a synthesis of different Dying Fetus material as well. That was exactly what I thought too, that it was a combination of different records, in a good way, as well as putting in some new material. I thought the execution was perfect on it.

    After finishing typing this comment I plan to type my review for Inanimate Existence, which contains similar praise. I am completely hooked on the instrumental tracks, which I have never said before.

    I also saw “Incurso” as very classical. Of course the neo-classical influence is evident, but the guitar playing sounds to me (not that I have any musical training) more like a classical composition than a death metal riff. I also enjoyed how haunting it was, especially the occasional and subtle keyboards.

    Unfortunately, “Eugenics” still hasn’t clicked for me. I think its great techdeath, some of the best of 2012, but I just can’t seem to put it on the pedestal of number 1. I think eventually I will have an epiphany and realize the album is amazing, but it hasn’t happened yet – I will start working on it immediately!

    Similarly, although I really like “Biogenesis,” I can’t put them over Origin. To be honest though, I am a major Origin fanboy, so my bias is pretty evident even to me. “Biogenesis” is an excellent release though (and do you also see a strong Nile influence? Especially “Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka?”)

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