Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Favourite death metal albums of 2012

53 - A Million Dead Birds Laughing - Xen
Semi technical deathgrind with slightly avant garde songs with slow passages and croaking vocals. When they crank up the riffs you can even hear a touch of Necrophagist in them and then they slow it down and go all weird to spoil things a touch. Its a bit mixed up but the production is excellent so its never really a chore to listen to and the interesting and odd structures keeps you guessing what's coming next.

52 - Ravenface - Divided Kingdom
Not really death metal and in fact 100% metalcore lol but my token inclusion for that genre. Anyway its top quality stuff with great melodic vocals and nice riffs and limited breakdowns thankfully.

51 - Frosttide - Our Journey (EP)
One of my fave EPs of the year. These guys need a new album. This is a great melodic death/folk album with charging melodic riffs and very cool structures.

50 - Antropomorphia  - Evangelivm NekromantiaN
Pretty groovy and clinical death metal with tight playing and sound.

49 - Devolved - Reprisal
Imagine if Fear Factory went super fast and more technical with no clean vocals and then you'd get Devolved. The production is crisp and very Fear Factory-esque like a metronomic pneumatic drill or something hammering away like there's no tomorrow. The album is very hard and bleak but when in the right mood (read angry lol) can be enjoyed immensely. 

48 - Galgamex - Cult Ov Death
Semi tech screaming death with dual vocals and interesting breakneck riffage and time changes all round but only 6 songs so very short. Top class playing though.

47 - Coffin Texts - The Tomb Of Infinite Ritual
Old school Morbid Angel worship. Some great slithering riffage and nice and evil, echoey sound.

46 - NonExist - From My Cold Dead Hands
Slightly proggy shred death with wonderfully fluid lead work and great heavy vocals. Riffs are a bit standard but I enjoy it anyway. 

45 - Brute - Sophisticated_Atrocity
As the band name suggests a pretty brutal release but with good technical skills and solid all round. 

44 - Before The Dawn - Rise Of The Phoenix
Top quality melodic death for me. Not always fast but just a nice mix between speed, melody and atmosphere.

43 - Zombified - Carnage, Slaughter And Death
Aptly titled band name and album title for this modern version of old school death metal with constant heavy double kicks. Playing more brutal and heavier than other old schoolers makes this band a touch more aggressive and vicious with very heavy vocals too. Pretty damn solid in the end with in your face and clasutrophobic with the thick and classic buzzy guitar sound. Win all round for old schoolers.

42 - Black Breath - Sentenced to Life
Dirty death n' roll with nice filthy sound and hardcore-y vokills.

41 - Sinate - To The Death
Really solid heavy death metal with engaging riffs and heavy vocals and a clinical sound. Great stuff for an unknown Aussie death metal band. 

40 - Revolting - Hymns Of Ghastly Horror 
Old school death with modern sound from Mr Death Metal aka Rogga Johannsson. I enjoy most of his bands although some are better than others. Revolting has very nice changeable riffing and heavy growls.

39 - Offending - Age of Perversion
Very tight and slick death metal here with solid drums and sound in general. Good stuff from an unknown band and must be respected.

38 - Scenery - Mental Confusion
Weakly produced Death worship but in a year with limited activity in that sphere we have to accept this tiny morsel that us Death fans are given!

37 - Kälter - Ubuntu
Adventurous and epic melopowerdeath with keys, riffs and atmospheres galore. A touch long winded but worth the effort to sit back and be blown away by the cool riffs and epic soundscapes.

36 - Rise To Fall- Defying The Gods
Quite a soft and very melodic death metal release but one I enjoy a great deal cause it's hard to resist those ear caressing melodies whilst they come hurtling along out of the speakers.

35 - Sylosis - Monolith
Pretty technical death/thrash from UK deathcore mob. The guitarwork is completely amazing and hence making the list with ease. The vocals get on my nerves and are basically the only reason that this is not in the top 15 easy.

34 - Sympuls-E - Разрушая преграды
Russian melodeath album with hyper melodic riffage and cheesy keys galore. Very modern sound but still very enjoyable for what it is.

33 - Chton - The Devil Builds
Well played death metal with varying tempos and a good solid production. Gets the job done with enough groovy, hammering riffs, brutality and decent song writing to make the songs memorable and mean sounding. 

32 - Ad Patres - Scorn Aesthetics
Heavy and top class whirling death metal from France with monstrous sound. Heavy and evil!

31 - Revocation - Teratogenesis (EP)
Such is the class of this band that a short little ep like this makes the list with ease. Masterful thrashy riffs here and then some!

30 - Abnormality - Contaminating The Hive Mind
Maybe the most brutal album in my list. Mammoth sound and murderous riffs and super heavy growls from a chick would you believe. Very savage beating was delivered to my poor ears by this one!

29 - Revel In Flesh - Deathevokation
Chunky and evil old school death with souped up modern sound but with a little bit of crust so you get that Entombed feeling. A must for old schoolers.

28 - Divulgence - Future Seed
Pretty technical death metal with some stellar riffage to sink your teeth into here and there. Nice stuff for any regular death metal fan.

27 - Lahmia - Into the Abyss
Another melodeath album for 2012 that made my list with ease. Lahmia just have a knack for those infectious grooves and everything just sounds so listenable and melodic, so you don't have to work hard in order to get into the album.

26 - The Forsaken - Beyond Redemption
Chunky and catchy riffs abound with a fat production so what's not to like here. Just regular solid enjoyable song based death metal.

25 - Words Of Farewell - Immersion
Amore epic kind of melodeath on this album but with pristine production and ambitious song structures. A very enjoyable listen for fans of epic melodeath.

24 - Replacire - The Human Burden
Slightly avant garde tech death with plenty of twisted sections and also the rather odd and strange parts to counter act the techiness. Clean vocals are used throughout interspersed with the growls bu it somehow fits quite well. Rather a departure for your standard tech death but variety is the spice of life so worth a go for any tech death fan with an adventurous mind.

23 - Inanimate Existence - Liberation Through Hearing
Superbly played brutal death metal with plenty of tech leanings making it one for those who enjoy more involved riffs and precision level musicianship.

22 - Sophicide - Perdition Of The Sublime
Another addition to the semi-tech death list of high precision level death metal that I look for. Sophicide score well but not brilliant on all the levels I look for in great death metal.

21 - Obscenity - Atrophied in Anguish
Punchy and blistering classic death with the high level of quality that I expect in my death metal listening.

20 - After Oblivion - Stamina
A reasonable and even great attempt at aping Mr Schuldiner. Nothing can beat the master but to try than not try at all.

19 - Spawn of Possesion - Incurso
A savagely OTT release technically speaking but for me they have no real sense of song writing ability to make the songs more catchy but nevertheless if you seek riffs with infinite level tech brilliance then this release will please you immensely. I like it don't get me wrong but maybe I am looking for a little more than just technical fretboard wizardry.

18 - Barra Xul - In Darkness We Wait.
A blisteringly fast and somewhat artificial sounding mix of tech death metal with some evil blackened screams and heavy growls mixed. The vocals are a bit annoying which stops this being higher in the list. The mental riffing is sometimes melodic but always excellent and tricky sounding. The drums sound like I said sound artificial but not in a really bad annoying way. The riffing whirls away like there's no tomorrow and you're left with an enjoyable blastathon.

17 - Hideous Divinity - Obeisance Rising
Brutal and well played semi-tech death with quality sound all round. Not a mind blowing release but solid as all hell as far as ass kicking brutal death metal goes.

16 - Shores of Elysium - The Arbiter's Clockwork
Like a more technical and fast Black Dahlia Murder basically. These unknowns delivered a very palatable album of melodic death metal with riffs galore.

15 - Derelict - Perpetuation
Well played semi tech melodic death metal with fluid solos and tight musicianship. Can't ask for too much more in a death metal album I think.

14 - Sectu - Gerra
This album is a sideways step for the band after the monumental debut but it still kicks a lot of ass anyway. Its heavy and slightly tech but mainly just bludgeoningly heavy and groovy death metal mastery.

13 - Infinitum - The Sixth Extinction
Very catchy riffed up tech death here with countless cool riffs galloping headlong into the abyss. Very tight and enjoyable overall.
12 - Over Your Threshold - Facticity
A good Necrophagist copy tech death album with pristine production and reasonably memorable song writing skills that make the album enjoyable to listen to all the way through.
11 - Psycroptic - The Inherited Repression
A very good comeback from the Aussie masters indeed, after the rather disappointing previous album. Upping the technical aspects somewhat and writing a more focused and tightly executed album to please the legions of tech heads out there. (Ok all 20 of us!)
10 - Mors Principium Est - ...And Death Said Live 
The best melodeath album released this year by a mile and there's been some good ones but MPE are just the pioneers and champions of the style and with this wonderful release they cement that status with ease.
09 - Resurgency - False Enlightenment
This album surprised the hell out of me. It's so massive and crushing and oozes savagery from every pore. It's undoubtedly and old school death metal release and is unashamed in it's delivery. Sounds like a perfect mix between Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower and Benediction with a touch of Leprosy era Death as well. I love the sound on this one as well cause even though it's old school in feel it has a modern shine which gives greater power. Very enjoyable and catchy indeed. 
08 - Capracide - Theodicy
Fairly midpaced but very catchy and groovy tech death here with unobtrusive vocals. It's all about the catchy riffs on this one which will get your air guitar out and your head bobbing like a maniac.
07 - Aeon - Aeons Black
Brutal catchy death metal from the Jesus baiting Swedes. Pumping brutal riffage everywhere but with a catchiness and nous for memorable songwriting that most death metal bands can only dream about.
06 - Beheaded - Never to Dawn
A surprise from these Maltese death metal titans with a very savage and heavy release for those who like it heavy and uncompromising. Production is super heavy and the riffs are tight and groovy and beat you over the head with a big stick. One word - savage!   
05 - Deadborn - Mayhem Maniac Machine
I was a bit lukewarm to this release but it grew on me immensely and I couldn't stop playing it for a while but I've put it aside now and having come back for another listen it sounded even tighter and better than I remembered it. If tightness and technical prowess is your thing then Deadborn is the band for you and on this album they deliver in spades.
04 - Napalm Death - Utilitarian
As savage and catchy as ever! ND are the kings of deathgrind and Utilitarian further proves the point, that when it comes to this particular brand of extremity, other bands are just pretenders to Napalm's crown. What sets ND apart from other grindcore bands is their ability to pen memorable tunes whilst maintaining extremity at the maximum.

03 - Arkaik - Metamorphignition
The early promo single release for this album didn't seem to do a lot for me somehow but boy did the album surprise. This is some seriously wickedly technical riffed up shit. The sound is super clean and sharp making for a very cool listening experience and the staccato nature of the riffage keeps you on your toes. A brilliant and epic tech death release no doubt.

02 - Cannibal Corpse - Torture
A couple of the songs are a bit boring but overall this is some hellishly catchy shit from da 'Corpse. Ok some people don't like them but I think the Corpsegrinder years have been their best by far and every CC album you know what you're gonna get. Blistering and frenetic shredders are mixed with midpaced grooving neckbreakers and Torture is no different on that count. There is not a lot to choose between Kill and this album but maybe Kill is slightly better but Torture is awesome anyway. I think CC is one of those bands that will never let their fans down with a weak or core infested release like some death metal bands tend to do. Sure every album sounds the same but if the songs are catchy thats all that matters in the end and Torture delivers on that score with ease.

01 - Gorod - A Perfect Absolution
I listened to this album again just to make sure and I finally came to the conclusion it was just about the year's best death metal release. Awesome riffs flooded song after song with frenetic speed and fluid solos rampaging here, there and everywhere. A good sense of dynamics and feel invaded each song and catchiness was not forgotten in a blur of speed either. I 'm still not sure that the album is as good as Leading Vision but its not far behind at all and is worthy of it's year's best status just about.

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