Harley's Top 11 of '12

This is my last post for TDM and I have to say I have enjoyed blogging here.  Many thanks to Rob for taking me on and to Scott for his support through the year.  Next year I will be contributing to We Love Metal, rather than starting my own blog at this point.  “Real life” just has too much going on, from finishing up my master’s degree, a 10 week intensive military school, another 2 week National Security course, helping run a photography business, and a move next summer to who-knows-where with a new job to learn.

I have been absent lately from here due to demanding classes in school, last minute trips for work, and spending 3 weeks in October and November supporting the response to Hurricane Sandy in NY & NJ.  Plus a quick vacation in October.  It’s been a little crazy and Metal blogging has taken a back seat.

All that said, the reason for this post is to share with you my top albums for 2012, as well as my song and show of the year.  It was really a hit or miss year, with few hits I think.  It is impossible to predict if any of these will be long-term solid albums, ones I go back to years from now and stand the test of time, but there may be a handful of candidates.  My list consists entirely of veteran bands, averaging over 8 full length album releases over their careers, so no one-hit wonders here.

Some albums that were close, but didn’t quite make it to my list are Varg’s Guten Tag, Kreator’s Phantom Antichrist, Sabaton’s Carolus Rex, At Vance’s Facing Your Enemy, Rush’s Clockwork Angels, and Diablo Swing Orchestra’s Pandora’s Pinata.  Here we go…..

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Scott's Top Albums For The First Half of 2012.

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. Continue reading

Scott’s Top Albums For The First Half of 2012.

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. Continue reading

Harley’s Top Albums For The First Half of 2012

Thus far, I would say that 2012 has been a good year for Metal, but not particularly spectacular as yet.  Certainly there have been some solid releases, as well as some disappointments.  Since it is already halfway, I am pretty sure that a few of the albums here will make the year end list.  Does my list look like I would have predicted?  Nope – not even close.  I definitely expected Manowar to be here, probably another Power Metal album or two (Firewind perhaps), maybe long-time favorite Prong, as well as possibly Eluveitie’s Helvetios.  As I have it, though, with 5 albums, there is Power, Progressive, Thrash, Folk and Death-ish.

Honorable Mention: Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Pinata.  A great improvement over their previous work, Pandora’s Pinata brings back some of the freshness of the band’s debut.

5. Overkill – The Electric Age.  I am a looooong time fan of Blitz, DD and the Wrecking Crew.  The Electric Age is simply a great thrash album.

4. Lanfear – This Harmonic Consonance.  This is a fresh (yet familiar) take on Progressive Metal.  The band has been around a while, but are new to me.  I am still finding this one rewarding and can’t wait to see them at ProgPower in a couple of months.

3. Moonspell – Alpha NoirAlthough I appreciated Moonspell’s previous album, Night Eternal, when Rob asked me if I wanted to review this one, I certainly didn’t think it was going to be one of my favorites.  Their Dark Metal suits me.

2. Pharaoh – Bury the Light.  I was absolutely looking forward to this album, and it did not disappoint.  Complex, powerful, well-written and executed, it almost could swap places with #1 depending on my mood.  I continue to hope for a Pharaoh tour.

1. Vintersorg – Orkan.  This is the biggest surprise on my list.  I definitely did not see it coming and offered to do a review on a whim.  Turns out to be my top album of this half.  Vintersorg have impressed.

So what does the 2nd half of 2012 have in store?  A few albums I am looking forward to are Testament’s Dark Roots of  Earth, Ensiferum’s Unsung Heroes, Wintersun’s Time I, Devin Townsend’s Epicloud, Grave Digger’s Clash of the Gods, Korpiklaani’s Manala, and Threshold’s March of Progress.  I am sure there will be others, and I hope at least one of them becomes that “spectacular” album of the year.

I hear the sound in a METAL way.

-Harley

Rob's Mid Year Choices For 2012 End of Year List, So Far

I think this is the first time I’ve done a mid year list. It was necessary though in order to get my head straight for the end of year lists that will inevitably take up my time. And so far 2012 has been a fantastic and solid year in music. So here we go with my top 10 of the year so far in alphabetical order because this is just a warm up list and who knows, by the end of the year there might be some releases that supplant them.

 1. Accept – Stalingrad

2. Allegaeon – Formshifter

 
Continue reading

Rob’s Mid Year Choices For 2012 End of Year List, So Far

I think this is the first time I’ve done a mid year list. It was necessary though in order to get my head straight for the end of year lists that will inevitably take up my time. And so far 2012 has been a fantastic and solid year in music. So here we go with my top 10 of the year so far in alphabetical order because this is just a warm up list and who knows, by the end of the year there might be some releases that supplant them.

 1. Accept – Stalingrad

2. Allegaeon – Formshifter

 
Continue reading

Devil's Review: Overkill – The Electric Age

Overkill is just amazing. I don’t know too many bands that have been around for over 30 years and pumped out over 15 albums and have every one of them have some enjoyment factor(yes even W.F.O). Usually after 5 albums bands start getting stale and recycling themselves. But not Overkill. I don’t know how they do it but I find myself with every new release expecting to finally say “Wow,that was kind of boring” and instead enjoying the shit out of it. That’s not to say there aren’t detractors out there that piss and moan about the days of Horrorscope or The Years of Decay or the people who take issue with Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s vocal style. But I think the 2010 release of Ironbound garnered some new found respect and fans thanks to it’s return to ass kicking thrash from the more groove oriented metal that the band mired itself into the past two decades. And because of this any followups would come under the most scrutiny this band probably has had in years due to that success. So now it’s two years later and the latest album ‘The Electric Age’ is about to be unleashed on the general public and once again my expectations of disappointment are met with futility.
Continue reading

Devil’s Review: Overkill – The Electric Age

Overkill is just amazing. I don’t know too many bands that have been around for over 30 years and pumped out over 15 albums and have every one of them have some enjoyment factor(yes even W.F.O). Usually after 5 albums bands start getting stale and recycling themselves. But not Overkill. I don’t know how they do it but I find myself with every new release expecting to finally say “Wow,that was kind of boring” and instead enjoying the shit out of it. That’s not to say there aren’t detractors out there that piss and moan about the days of Horrorscope or The Years of Decay or the people who take issue with Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s vocal style. But I think the 2010 release of Ironbound garnered some new found respect and fans thanks to it’s return to ass kicking thrash from the more groove oriented metal that the band mired itself into the past two decades. And because of this any followups would come under the most scrutiny this band probably has had in years due to that success. So now it’s two years later and the latest album ‘The Electric Age’ is about to be unleashed on the general public and once again my expectations of disappointment are met with futility.
Continue reading

Please Enjoy Another New Overkill Track 'Electric Rattlesnake'

Today has been relatively slow on news that I care about plus I’ve been busy as hell on other things. So while I go take care of bizness, check out another released track from Overkill’s ‘The Electric Age’. I guess you can say this is the title track and it’s both filled with thrash and groove goodness and really is a tribute in a way to Overkill’s own heroes like Motorhead and others. Here ya go.

Please Enjoy Another New Overkill Track ‘Electric Rattlesnake’

Today has been relatively slow on news that I care about plus I’ve been busy as hell on other things. So while I go take care of bizness, check out another released track from Overkill’s ‘The Electric Age’. I guess you can say this is the title track and it’s both filled with thrash and groove goodness and really is a tribute in a way to Overkill’s own heroes like Motorhead and others. Here ya go.