Man, it’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through this year. For the most part, 2012 has been an outstanding year for metal as far as releases go. This is definitely going to be a tough year to pick my top 10 [or whatever] at the end of the year. I say that because it was tough enough just picking my top five for this posting. Who am I kidding? It was actually pretty easy; however, my year end list will likely be broken down a bit more into sub-categories and a bit more complex. Until then, here are my top 5 favorite albums this far for 2012
5. Barren Earth – The Devil’s Resolve
Barren Earth’s second full length album was a solid follow up to Curse of The Red River. I can’t say that I enjoyed it as much so, but Barren Earth know how to write music that is not only heavy, but easy on the ears when it needs to be. The tones and atmosphere created by Barren Earth, are unique to their genre that is growing quite rapidly.
4. Kreator – Phantom Antichrist
To be honest, I have only been a Kreator fan for a few years, after seeing them live in 2009. It was one of the best and energetic thrash metal shows I have ever been to. Of course seeing Exodus with them made the night special. Phantom Antichrist was an album that I wasn’t really waiting on the edge of my seat for. I knew it was coming, but with many other Kreator albums to enjoy, I figured that this one would be at that same standard. Surprisingly, Phantom Antichrist was a step up from Hordes of Chaos and hold a certain power behind it that makes it a very enjoyable thrash album. Thirty years and Kreator still hold the torch up high.
3. Goatwhore – Blood For the Master
Blood for the Master actually was an album that I was anticipating. I got hooked on Goatwhore with Carving Out The Eyes of God and saw them play three times in support of that album. Going into Blood’ I knew it would be more of the same chaotic blackened thrash, but it still felt different, raw and empowering. If you ever have a chance to see them live, do it!
2. Grand Magus – The Hunt
After amazing albums like Iron Will and Hammer of the North, how do you follow up? Sometimes comparing a bands past albums can distract you from their current album that might now grow on you until a few hard listens. The Hunt was one of those albums. At first listen, I wasn’t all that impressed. It took me about 5 good listens between driving to work, mowing my lawn or sitting at my computer to really soak this album in and enjoy thoroughly. If you only gave this album a listen or two before giving up on it, try it on again.
1. Overkill – The Electric Age
Overkill have outdone themselves once again. Just when you think this band has written their best album, they release another one just as good or even better. As long as Overkill have been around, you would think that they would eventually lose their groove like a lot of bands do. Surprisingly, they are one of a few veteran bands from the early thrash seen that is still holding on strong and pushing the bar.
There you have it. With still 6 months to go, these album might fall down a peg or two on my year end list. What are some of your favorite albums of 2012?