Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best of 2012

Last year I decided that instead of posting a typical "Best Off" list (since you could spend all of New Year's Day reading lists that had a lot of the same albums listed over and over again) that I would make my yearly list based solely on my own album reviews. Whether that was looked at as being egotistically in nature or not never really dawned on me (not that I would have cared) as I simply wished to present something different. The same thing applies with this year's list. These are album's I personally reviewed for Heavy Metal Time Machine. If there is some fantastic album missing then chances are good that I didn't personally review it or that I didn't think it was so fantastic myself. As with last year these are in no particular order and it's also very likely that, with all of the grey hairs that I got this past year, I simply forgot some great albums I reviewed myself. Either way I'd love to read your best of lists for 2012 so make your voices heard!

PS-Some may have notes while others do not. It's just a random thing....

1) Graveyard-"Lights Out"
 I have not checked out any best of lists myself, but chances are this album has to have made a few. Graveyard's "Lights Out" is simply a wicked mixture of retro-rock, hard rock and doom metal. I bought this album myself just so I could review it!

2) Killing Joke-"MMXII"
A)It's Killing Joke and B)It's awesome
Seriously though, this is another album that I'm going to wager made more then a few lists this year as it's insanely good. How it is these guys can still put out music this good after over 30 years together is a mystery to me.

3) Afterlife-"In The Shadows"
Afterlife is a band made up of two former Razorblade members in bassist Fredrik Gunnarsson and guitarist Jompa Gustafsson. Razorblade were a cult heavy metal band that released "Run For Your Life/Ready To Fight" in 1985. A little over 27 years after that release Fredrik Gunnarsson and Jompa Gustafsson came together and with a little help from drummer Pether Svedjewik released "In The Shadows". Afterlife actually cover "Run For Your Life" on the album as as well as the classic Demon track "Don't Break the Circle". NWOBHM fans would do ell to check into this album if they haven't already as this is one band that deserves more attention then they got!

4) Mongrel-"Reclamation"
Punk metal with female lead vocals!

5) Danger Zone-"Undying"
Yes, the same band that released the excellent EP, "Victim of Time" back in 1984 would release a new album in 2012 and yes, it was a great LP.

6) Dr. Living Dead-"Radioactive Intervention"
Crossover? Punk thrash?

7) Adrenechrome-"Hideous Appetites"
Again, is this crossover? Is it punk thrash? Not quite sure, but like Dr. Living Dead its fast, furious and fun!

8) Ouijbeard-"Die And Let Live"
This one actually features Dr. Living Dead's guitarist Dr. Toxic. Is it crossover? No. What is it? Well, it's B.O.C., Iron Maiden, Merciful Fate, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Black Sabbath and The Doors. It's all of those together and yet it's none of those specifically. It's simply an album that needs to be heard to be appreciated.

9) Tygers Of Pan Tang-"Ambush"
Another band that still sounds good after all these years. I wish the same could be said of Demon.

10) Vanderbuyst-"The Flying Dutchmean"

11) Uhrijuhla-"Uhrijuhla"
This s/t release from Uhrijuhla has very little in the way of "heavy metal". Instead its progressive rock meets 70's pop. Absolutely blissful...

12) Diagonal-"The Second Mechanism"

13) Accept- "Stalingrad"
Proving there is life after Udo!

14) Red Hot Rebellion- "Red Hot Rebellion"
Ohio act Red Hot Rebellion are a little Social Distortion, a little Motorhead, a little AC/DC and a lot of fun!

This technically might be a 2011 demo/album that was just 'touched up" by High Roller Records. Even so this French act is another young band to keep an eye on.

16) Arkham Witch-"Legions Of The Deep"

17) Mammoth Mammoth-"Vol. III Hell´s Likely"
Man alive this group rocks. They flat out ROCK!

18) Reverence- "When Darkness Calls"

19) Heavy Cross-"Street Wolf" (7" EP)
In case you have not noticed that there are more then a few traditional heavy metal/NWOBHM bands on my yearly list the reason why is simple-I love all things traditional heavy metal/NWOBHM/eighties metal. Heavy Cross offered up two tracks of heavy metal that sounded like a long lost gem and it was a wonderful listen!

20) A Sound Of Thunder-"Out Of The Darkness"
Very cool female fronted traditional heavy metal/power metal act!

OK, so there you have it. I am now certain that I missed one or two really great albums, but still these are some great releases from both well-known acts and not so-well known acts. As I went over the releases I noticed that there were also tons of great re-releases so sometime, if time ever allows, I might do the same thing ("Best Of" reviews) only with re-released or re-issued albums. Again, please share some of what you consider to be the best of 2012 and let's hope that 2013 is as good a year as this past one was for heavy metal!



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