Angry Metal LisaWe’re now into July! Impressive as it is, this year has been one hell of a year: like the year 2011 was supposed to have been but really, really wasn’t. On a personal note, I can say that I wasn’t expecting 2012 to be good at all. However, there haven’t even really been any major disappointments up to this point (aside from Nile). Instead, there have been a lot of awesome surprises and I’ve really been enjoying it all. So here’s a few records that I think are the best so far this year. They are in no particular order and will get no real write up. Instead, you are encouraged to read the list and think “Yeah, Angry Metal Guy, your taste is superb. No really, kings and oligarchs have nothing on you at all. Seriously, you are the best. Here, let me wash your feet while I listen to you talk about some things.”

  • Dodecahedron // Dodecahedron — Holy shit.
  • Agalloch // Faustian Echoes  — Best 21 minute song ever.
  • Borknagar // Urd — Best record this band has put out in ages.
  • Gorod // A Perfect Absolution — Probably my tech death record o’ the year.
  • Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody // Ascending to Infinity — Movie voice aside, a fantastic record.
  • Sabaton // Carolus Rex — Men bara på svenska.
  • Sigh // In Somniphobia — Still in love with this record.
  • Vintersorg // Orkan— What can I say? “Ur stjärnstoft är vi komna” is amazing.
  • Wildernessking // Writing of Gods in the Sand — Yes, yes, yes.
  • The 11th Hour // Lacrima Mortis — Still so good.
  • Anathema // Weather Systems — I’m SO going to see these guys for the first time in September!
  • Be’lakor // Of Breath and Bone — So good, still a bit long. Maybe a long shot.
  • Diablo Swing Orchestra // Pandora’s Piñata — ZOMG.
  • Hail Spirit Noir // Pneuma — A late addition, but hard to imagine I forgot it!

And nominations for the best song of the year stand as follows (hell, here’s a Spotify playlist to check out of it):

  • Dim Mak // “Between Immensity and Eternity”
  • The 11th Hour // “Rain on Me”
  • Alcest // “Faiseurs de monde”
  • Swallow the Sun // “Hate, Lead the Way”
  • Spawn of Possession // “Apparition”
  • Hail Spirit Noir // “Against the Curse, We Dream”
  • Anathema // “The Gathering of Clouds”
  • Gorod // “Sailing into the Earth”
  • Borknagar // “Frostrite”
  • Jeff Loomis // “Surrender”
  • Diablo Swing Orchestra // “Justice for Saint Mary”
  • Sigh // “Equale”
  • Vintersorg // “Ur stjärnstoft är vi komna”
  • Rhapsody // “Tormento e Passione”
  • Nile // “Supreme Humanism of Meglomania”
  • Agalloch // “Faustian Echoes”
  • Arjen Anthony Lucassen // “Our Imperfect Race”
  • Tenacious D // “The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage”

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  • Like the list! Just wanted to add that it’s “The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage”, and not “The Tale”. That song has a fucking brilliant vocal performance by Jack Black. Some good recommendations here!

    • Argh! I’m not a fan of Tenacious D, but I fucking love that song. The song-writing is just great. 

  • Colin Stuart

    Pretty solid list! I would have definitely included Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I on there as well, however. That album is still blowing my mind.

    • Yeah, not feelin’ that record. Lots of people love it, but I didn’t think it was super impressive. I’ll give it a new listen in a few months and see how it goes. 

  • Colin Stuart

     And possibly Barren Earth – The Devil’s Resolve.

    • I am unmoved. 

      • Michael Imbornoni

        I was disappointed in it. Their debut was better.

    • Zadion

      I think I’m the only guy impressed by that record. The middle of it wanes down a bit, but the first three songs are stellar.

  • So cool to see Wildernessking on your list.  Have you checked out their new EP yet?
    Also, thumbs up to the appearance of Agalloch, Gorod, and Be’lakor.
    Also, I think you’ve finally given me the push I need to make time for Sigh and Dodecahedron.

    • I purchased their EP within hours of it being released. I’m a fan. 

      Dodecahedron can get some crap for being like Deathspell Omega, but I think that they’re actually better. They’re like Deathspell meets Ulcerate. Sigh is great, I love it. It’s not for everybody, but it’s a fun record.

  • Kalsten

    Thank you very much for the spotify list. I really appreciate it! :)

    • I’d do it more, but Spotify kinda stinks on the metal front. 

      • Kalsten

        But, from the “totally legal” ways of consuming online music, it is the best I know. I have tried Rdio this days, but its catalogue sucks big time for metal.

        I would say that the best is Grooveshark, but it is not totally legal, since everyone can upload music from their hard drives, and they don’t really pay anything to the artists as I know.

        • I’m surprised Grooveshark hasn’t been shut down, now that I think about it. 

  • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

    You seem to have missed a few. Here, let me help you out:
    Woods Of Ypres – Adora VivosNight Flight Orchestra – Transatlantic BluesC.O.C. – The DoomKreator – Death To The WorldBaroness – Eula

    You’re welcome.

  • Nice list, I have a personal liking too for Pallbearer, Witch Mountain, Ahab and Conan, and I’m not even a big Doom fan. I’m surprised to see no love for Black Breath, Paradise Lost nor Swallow the Sun though. And the great stuff I’ve found thanks to you guys must be Ne Obliviscaris, Master’s Hammer and Wodensthrone. This has been a great year indeed.

    Edit: Oi, and Pelican’s Ataraxia/Taraxis EP seems to get them back on form IMO, it’s high on my list as well.

  • Al Beckner

    Ahab – Antarctica The Polymorphess 

    deservers to be on that list, it’s simply one of the most epic songs I’ve heard all year, and I’m not a very big fan of the genre.

  • Zadion

    An amazing list that I agree with almost entirely. I’d probably pick a few different songs from those artists: “Là où Naissent les Couleurs Nouvelles” from Alcest, “Orkan” from Vintersorg, “Night Will Forgive Us” from Swallow the Sun, “Carved in the Wind” from Gorod, and – my personal song of the year – “The Transfiguration Fear” from Sigh.

    Definitely a nice call on Borknagar, Rhapsody, DSO, and Anathema, though. And hell, all of the listed songs are from almost flawless albums, anyway.Was anyone else surprised to see Tenacious D, though?

  • AMG-Its Be’lakor Of Breath and Bone…not Breath and Stone!!

    • I knew that. I was just seeing if you were on your toes, Matt. 

  • I really appreciate this list – some really great stuff on there!

    My favorite thing about it, though, is it indirectly led me to discovering Istapp (six degrees of AMG, anyone?). But yeah, amazing band that was completely off my radar before today!

  • ZacP

    Agalloch’s Faustian Echoes is the “Best 21 minute song ever.” ?

    YEah. Right. I laugh at your supposed expertise. Here’s the REAL greatest of all 21 minute songs, you lout
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQsBRSjVGfE

  • Hmmm, I wonder if I’ll find any viking/folk metal on there? Maybe some post black metal?… :)  I thought at least Gojira would make it, ‘L’Efant Sauvage’…??? Best album of 2012 so far: Dying Fetus – Reign Surpeme. 

    • Nah, I don’t like Gojira. And I’m not a big fan of post-black metal. ;)