When Colum isn’t turning up late to review gigs in his home town of Brighton you’ll generally find him hidden in the darkness of the crowd on the lower floor of the Camden Underworld. A lover of all things Japanese, his tastes in metal are as wide as his world travels, but regardless of genre it’s the impeccable pick of the crop.
Top 15 albums of 2012
15. High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis
14. Wodensthrone – Curse
13. Old Man Gloom – No
12. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
11. Wolfbrigade – Damned
Album stream here on Brooklyn Vegan.
10. Aldebaran – Embracing The Lightless Depths
9. Ahab – The Giant
8. Anhedonist – Netherwards
7. Orange Goblin – Eulogy for the Damned
6. Ereb Altor – Gastrike
5. Conan – Monnos
Conan’s first full length debut is certainly the primal barbarian riff fest that we were all hoping for. You can’t just can’t help headbanging to tracks such as Battle in the Swamp! The albums success has helped propel them to being one of the most talked about underground bands around! Slay some orcs and raise your tankards to Conan!
4. The Secret – Agnus Dei
These Italians’ 4th full length manages to surpass the excellent Solve Et Coagula with a much more angrier, darker and punishing album. The best blackened hardcore release of the year for me!
3. Neurosis – Honor Found In Decay
Neurosis’ latest was bound to be in many year end lists but I have to admit it didn’t instantly stand out and took a while for me to really get into. However the more I listened to it the more I took in and appreciated all the fine layers that goes into crafting another great Neurosis album.
2. Evoken – Atra Mors
From listening to the opening of Evoken’s latest and their first with Profound Lore (who get my vote for the record label of the year), I was blown away by their monolithic epicness. The sweeping keyboards and diverse riffs ranging from haunting melodies to crushing slabs of doom show that this is a classic funeral doom album that further defines Evoken as veterans of the genre.
1. Enslaved – RIITIIR
The 12th album from Norway’s finest viking influenced extreme metal band. I really am amazed at how Enslaved manage to better themselves after each release. While some may not be keen on the larger focus on Herbrand Larsen’s clean vocals I think it just elevates Enslaved into a new realm of epicness. You can hear references that go back to greats such as Below the Lights and Isa. Stand out tracks such as Thoughts Like Hammers, Roots of the Mountain and the epic finale Forsaken, show that Enslaved really are ahead of their peers.
Honourable mentions – Sigh – Insomniphobia, Deftones – Koi No Yokan, Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage, Grand Magus – The Hunt, Monolithe –III, Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction, Ash Borer – Cold of Ages, Maveth – Coils of the Black Earth, Lord Mantis – Pervertor, Switchblade – S/T, Eagle Twin – The Feather Tipped the Serpents Scale.
Top 5 gigs of 2012 (No festivals included, otherwise Roadburn would win every year!)
Skepticism, Pantheist – London – 19th January
Opeth – Union Chapel – London – 16th November
Nasum, Black Breath – London – 25th September
Converge, Touche Amour, A Storm of Light, The Secret – Brighton – 1st December
Boris – Brighton – 4th December
Check out Matt Hopkins’ Top 30 albums and top 5 demos of 2012 here.
Check out James Hibbert’s Top 20 albums of 2012 here.
Check out Rich Price’s Top 15 albums of 2012 here.
Check out Gary Luke’s Top 60 releases of 2012 here.