Mike Sloan Best-of 2012
By: Mike Sloan
The venerable Napalm Death...
The meat of any album is, obviously, the songs within it. Without great songs, an album cannot be great. Sometimes an album is much better consumed in one sitting; albums such as these typically don’t have a stand alone track because the sum is greater than its parts.
On the flip side, there are times when an album is punctuated by a song or two and its these moments in time where the repeat button is pressed, uh, repeatedly. Below is the quintessential list of the ten best songs of 2012, most of which have been listened to at least 38 times apiece.
Mike Sloan Top 10 Songs of 2012
*Click on each song title to listen*
1. Antietam 1862 – “Death is Mine” (from Life, Death Entwined)
Wowsers this is one hell of a crusher! It’s brutally heavy, unbelievably catchy, and as nasty as pooping out broken glass (we assume).
2. Napalm Death – “Orders of Magnitude” (from Utilitarian)
The gemstone from the best album of 2012. Too bad these blokes passed on Las Vegas on their last tour.
3. Antietam 1862 – “Christ Storm” (from Life, Death Entwined)
If Life, Death Entwined had a few more songs, it probably would have booted Utilitarian from the top spot. This song closes it the album perfectly.
4. Goatwhore – “Embodiment of this Bitter Chaos” (from Blood for the Master)
Damn, can these cats do any wrong? With a catalogue of killer songs overflowing with hooks, this one slides right in with the best of ‘em.
5. Nile – The Gods Who Light Up the Sky at the Gate of Sethu (from At the Gate of Sethu)
The title track (sort of) and one of Nile’s grooviest, thrashiest songs ever with such a smooth transition back to the initial riff at the song’s conclusion. Nifty.
6. Winterfylleth – “A Thousand Winters” (from Threnody of Triumph)
It’s kind of a bummer that Winterfylleth opened their album with this track because the album goes downhill from there. Considering it’s one of the year’s ten best albums, that speaks volumes for this lone passage.
7. Unleashed – “Germania” (from Odalheim)
I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with a better song from Unleashed’s entire discography. Yeah, this one might actually be their best ever, but it’s a close call.
8. Cryptopsy – “Amputated Enigma” (from Cryptopsy)
When Flo & Co. are on point, this is what the result is. What an awesome band, what and awesome album, what an awesome band, eh?
9. Terrorizer – “Flesh to Dust” (from Hordes of Zombies)
Trey and David are thinking, “Yeah… We dropped the ball big time last year, didn’t we?”
10. Enthroned – “Horns Aflame” (from Obsidium)
Nine full-lengths into their career and it took ‘em this long to create a song this badass. If that a positive or a negative?
Biggest surprise of 2012: Sylvan Realm. The biggest surprise has to be the relatively “new” American blackish metal band Sylvan Realm. We got our grubby mitts on debut album The Lodge of Transcendence mid-year because it was nearly impossible to track down; it unofficially came out in late 2011 but almost nobody got a copy so it became available again in mid-2012. The album was so fantastic that it barely – just barely – missed out on the coveted top ten. And I thought it was going to be another lousy Wolves in the Throne Room clone…
Best newcomer of 2012: Absvrdist. For having released only an EP a few months back, this San Antonio, Texas group made quite an impact on these ears. Absvrdist crushed everything in their path with their take on blackened death metal and they did it with such tenacity and savagery that it was hard not to look elsewhere. Is it the best debut EP/album ever? Oh, not even close. But considering how strong Illusory is and how few great new bands popped into the scene in 2012, it was hard not to give this award to them. Can’t wait to hear what’s next.
Biggest disappointment of 2012: Rage Nucleaire. Man oh man there were many disappointments in 2012. For starters, my adopted hometown of Las Vegas continued to get the shaft from virtually every metal band on the planet by – per the norm – skipping over Sin City in favor of the burgeoning metropolises of Salt Lake City, Utah; Lawrence, Kansas; and fucking Sparks/Reno, Nevada. Hell, I’ve even seen Boise, Idaho getting metal concerts! However, since that was what took home the prize last year and it’s become expected every single time a tour is announced, I’ll switch gears and label the debut album from Rage Nucleaire. Yeah, this was supposed to be an insanely brutal blackish metal album featuring Lord Worm and others, but the album stunk. Bad. Thanks, guys.
Most anticipated album of 2013: Atheist. 2013 is expected to be a tremendous year. There is scheduled to be new albums from the aforementioned Sylvan Realm, the mighty Deceased (I hear an autobiography of King Fowley is being written), Amorphis (a band hovering around my personal top five ever), a new Ghost, and possibly a new Slayer (my all-time favorite band). However, absolutely nothing comes close to the anticipatory build-up for the new Atheist album, which is being created as you read this. Unquestionable Presence is among the two greatest albums ever recorded and their comeback album Jupiter was easily the best of 2010. To say I anxiously await a new Atheist album would be the biggest understatement of the year.
Don’t forget to follow Mike Sloan at www.twitter.com/@mikesloan19 and www.facebook.com/mikesloan19. If you dig the fight game, check out his new fight blog www.theprizewriter.com!
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