Rob's Picks of 2012 to Send TDM Off With

Another year closes and That Devil Music soon will be fading away as well. Though I’ve lost the time and desire to continue on here with TDM I’d be remiss if I didn’t send out one final push for bands and albums that stood out for me this year. I toyed with ranking them but that takes way too much effort especially since half of them aren’t even in the same genre. Therefore here is my list in no particular order of what I thought the best albums of 2012 were. Enjoy and don’t forget that this site will be archived here after the 1st of the year if you miss us.

7 Horns 7 Eyes – Throes of Absolution: I’m by no means Christian and 99.5 percent of the time am more apt to listen to blasphemous death metal then the other side. But I can be moderate in my tastes and it is funny to me how of all the death metal I listened to this year, a Christian band from Seattle ended up topping everyone. From the excellent and brutal vocals to the almost neo classical shredding to the pummeling riffs 7H7E brought a fresh take to death metal that is sorely needed. This is the bar that needed to be set for all bands regardless of their message.

Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Pinata: Veterans of this band already knew what to expect but since was my first exposure it was even fresher to my ears. I love uniqueness to an extent and DSO brought it. Mixing jazz and swing with metal was done well and completely fun. Sweden has yet another band in their arsenal I dig.

Xandria – Neverworld’s End: Gothic symphonic metal is on life support these days but out of nowhere this German group found a new singer and launched an album that brings back everything good about the genre in one sitting. Do you still miss Tarja era Nightwish? Then check this album out. You may even like it more then Century Child. Maybe.

Dublin Death Patrol – Death Sentence: This was a great year in thrash and I would have probably surprisingly picked a German band as my top thrash album if DDP hadn’t released their overlooked and virtually unknown album Death Sentence this year. This album has the Chuck Billy vocals I’ve missed since the Gathering counter balanced with Steve ‘Zetro’ Sousa’s now increasingly almost black metal screech among songs that are catchy and fun. How these guys put together such great music considering Testament and Hatriot are the primary bands is beyond me.

Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme: I’m by no means a slam fan. The riffs and the incomprehensible vocals are usually a turn off. But this was the first year I checked out Dying Fetus mostly because of their live show and this has to be the catchiest death metal plus album I’ve heard in a long time. Even the vocal cadence has memorable hooks. Heavy and fun even if the band’s name is serious bizness.

Be’lakor – Of Breath and Bone: In a year where Swallow the Sun released an album a long with Barren Earth, Australia’s Be’lakor surpassed their peers from the frozen north in the realm of progressive death/doom. By far my favorite metal band to come out of Australia.

Woods of Ypres – Woods 5 Grey Skies and Electric Lightning:
If David Gold had not perished in an automobile accident almost a year ago this album would still have been on my top list. No other band put out a collection of songs like these. Channeling the late Peter Steele in vocal delivery with dark lyrics that questioned the afterlife this was a solid and unique album. Add on David’s passing and this album takes on a whole new level of eeriness as if he predicted his early demise and was speaking from beyond the grave. R.I.P David Gold.

Katatonia – Dead End Kings: Katatonia after a handful of albums that cemented their unique`delivery of dark alternative metal, Dead End Kings tried some new tricks with this offering. While I liked previous offerings better this album still stood on it’s own throughout the latter half of the year.

Goatwhore – Blood for the Master: Filthy and blasphemous death/thrash. Having become new to this band this year it was a great respite from the tedium of other genres.

Before the Dawn – Rise of the Phoenix: Melodic death metal from Finland never sounded so good. These guys made up for my disappointment by putting out a great album full of cool hooks and atmospheric sounds unmatched throughout the year.

Now it’s time for the honorable mentions.

Overkill – The Electric Age: Believe me I wanted to put this higher but there were too many other albums that were fresher then this one.
Testament – Dark Roots of the Earth: My favorite thrash band put out a good album, I just didn’t like it as much as formation after repeat listens.
Kreator: Initially I was amazed at how good this album was compared to past discs but then after repeat listens it sort of started sounding like past efforts. Still very good thrash.
Swallow the Sun/Barren Earth: Both of Mikko Kotamakki’s projects released this year and both were so far away from what drew me in on past albums that it was hard for me to “love ” these albums, just merely appreciate the music.
Accept – Stalingrad: Great followup to Blood for Nations just not enough to hit my top list.
3 Inches of Blood – Long Live Heavy Metal: I agree with the album title 100 percent and the music was a nice return to traditional roots but too cliched to make a top list.
Kamelot – Silverthorn: New singer, same Kamelot. Good album all things considering but nothing I hadn’t already heard before from this band.

I’m leaving out others but this should be good enough to send off the year and the website. I hope everyone enjoyed reading what us old guys thought of hard rock and metal and have a great 2013.

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