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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Pit of Hell: Anthrax and Testament at Ace of Spades in Sacramento

It finally happened. I not only finally saw this tour of Testament, Anthrax and Death Angel after three legs but I finally saw Anthrax in a live setting after following their adventures and misadventures for years. Funny how things work out. Some of you may recall the awesome review I put up from a co worker and friend who attended this tour last year when I couldn’t go. The catch was she had never listened to thrash before in her life. Well when Ham from Metal Meltdown with Ham said he was coming up to Sacramento to catch this show and asked if I was going how could I say no? So Ham and his friend Rich indeed showed up at Casa Del Liz and after some awesome bbq and brews as a tailgate pregame we took off for Sacramento at the Ace of Spades.

Now my experience at Ace of Spades was a good one the last and only time I had gone before to see Amon Amarth and after talking up this place I was hoping it was still a great venue to check out a show at. I’ll get to the venue some more a bit later but let’s talk about the bands we came to see shall we? All pics and vids are courtesy of Hams friend Rich. You rock dude.
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I'm Spoiling The SetList For Myself By Posting Testament At Bloodstock.

I’m planning on seeing Testament with Anthrax next month but since that is over a month away I’m potentially spoiling what the set list is for Testament by putting this up here. Oh well I’ll get over it and not complain to management about it. And like in my review I called it with what songs off the new album Dark Roots of Earth were going to make the set list. Not that was hard to figure out. I’d also like to take a second and congratulate Testament on hitting number 12 on the Billboard charts. This by far is their most successful debut and it is well deserved. Now on to the Bloodstock performance.

I’m Spoiling The SetList For Myself By Posting Testament At Bloodstock.

I’m planning on seeing Testament with Anthrax next month but since that is over a month away I’m potentially spoiling what the set list is for Testament by putting this up here. Oh well I’ll get over it and not complain to management about it. And like in my review I called it with what songs off the new album Dark Roots of Earth were going to make the set list. Not that was hard to figure out. I’d also like to take a second and congratulate Testament on hitting number 12 on the Billboard charts. This by far is their most successful debut and it is well deserved. Now on to the Bloodstock performance.

Devil's Review: Testament Dark Roots of Earth (Scott's Version)

Admittedly, I have probably not been a Testament fan as long as Rob and Harley. I didn’t really become a big fan of them until about four years ago, before the Formation of Damnation. The only Testament album I had before 2007 was the Return To The Apocalyptic City Ep, which was more of a live album. I bought that album sometime in the mid 80’s on cassette and for whatever reason, I really didn’t make an effort to discover more from the band. In late 2007 I bought “The Very Best Of Testament”. I was hooked from there and as anticipation for The Formation of Damnation built, I started collecting Testament albums. One of my favorites is Low, simply because the production on that album feels heavier than every previous album and it feels like Testament was starting to change with the times and modernize their sound without selling out. When Formation Of Damnation came out, I was very excited and happy with that album. I caught them on Tour for that album and the place was a packed madhouse. Now, four years later, Dark Roots Of Earth is ready for release. How will it compare? Continue reading

Devil’s Review: Testament Dark Roots of Earth (Scott’s Version)

Admittedly, I have probably not been a Testament fan as long as Rob and Harley. I didn’t really become a big fan of them until about four years ago, before the Formation of Damnation. The only Testament album I had before 2007 was the Return To The Apocalyptic City Ep, which was more of a live album. I bought that album sometime in the mid 80’s on cassette and for whatever reason, I really didn’t make an effort to discover more from the band. In late 2007 I bought “The Very Best Of Testament”. I was hooked from there and as anticipation for The Formation of Damnation built, I started collecting Testament albums. One of my favorites is Low, simply because the production on that album feels heavier than every previous album and it feels like Testament was starting to change with the times and modernize their sound without selling out. When Formation Of Damnation came out, I was very excited and happy with that album. I caught them on Tour for that album and the place was a packed madhouse. Now, four years later, Dark Roots Of Earth is ready for release. How will it compare? Continue reading

Devil's Review: Testament – Dark Roots of Earth (Rob's Version)

Has it really been 4 years since Testament came back with a vengeance with their last release, Formation of Damnation? It sure doesn’t feel like it. But here we are in 2012 and the latest release, Dark Roots of Earth has been unleashed upon the world. I’d like to first say that the security on Dark Roots was unmatched from any other metal release. No promos were ever released and the usual suspects for leaks had no record of this. That says something about the anticipation of a successful record when bloggers and the public are on even keel and the label (in this case Nuclear Blast) does what it needs to do for maximum return. It drove me crazy as Testament is easily my favorite thrash band of the past twenty years and I wanted to hear this thing really bad, but we’ll have to see what the numbers are like as a result of high security. So is Dark Roots of Earth worth all that security placed upon it?
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Devil’s Review: Testament – Dark Roots of Earth (Rob’s Version)

Has it really been 4 years since Testament came back with a vengeance with their last release, Formation of Damnation? It sure doesn’t feel like it. But here we are in 2012 and the latest release, Dark Roots of Earth has been unleashed upon the world. I’d like to first say that the security on Dark Roots was unmatched from any other metal release. No promos were ever released and the usual suspects for leaks had no record of this. That says something about the anticipation of a successful record when bloggers and the public are on even keel and the label (in this case Nuclear Blast) does what it needs to do for maximum return. It drove me crazy as Testament is easily my favorite thrash band of the past twenty years and I wanted to hear this thing really bad, but we’ll have to see what the numbers are like as a result of high security. So is Dark Roots of Earth worth all that security placed upon it?
Continue reading