Top Albums Of The Past 12 Months (July '11 - July'12)

Thumbs up: +3
Well so far this year has been quite a let-down when it comes to quality metal. Many of you will probably disagree, but to each his own.

So in order for me to even make a list containing 10 entries I had to fetch them from a year ago which had some really fantastic post-July releases!

Created by: Valaskjalf | 31.07.2012

1. Vale of Pnath - The Prodigal Empire (The best, most solid Tech Death album Ive heard in years. Heavy, severely groovy and songwriting that blows my mind. Absolutely monster of an album. Fantastic change-ups, ebs and flows and all stitched together fiercely well. There is nothing about this album that is not incredibly epic - The shifts between obliteration and poignancy is masterful. Deserves its spot on this list for me, simply because I never get tired of it and it gets better all the time.)
2. Vildhjarta - Måsstaden (I almost died when I heard the new Meshuggah this year, because it is so exactly the way I wanted them to sound. A few weeks after that release I happened upon "Masstaden" and from the first moment I heard it I thought "Meshuggah wishes they could sound this good, fresh and energetic".)
3. Circus Maximus - Nine (Been a long couple of years waiting for this album but it was worth it. Slow starter and much softer on the ear than their former albums. But the songwriting is more mature and they settle into their old familiar groove from the bat. Not a single "ok" song on here - and they still retain their trademark sound despite slowing down slightly. Best of the year so far.)
4. Meshuggah - Koloss (As mentioned above, Im really impressed by what Meshuggah has done with this album. They have their aggression back. Apart from "Bleed" on the previous record the last time Meshuggah really kicked my ass was with the magnificent "Chaosphere", which to this day remains their best album by yards in my opinion. "Koloss" however brings glimpses of that deep rooted aggression and atmosphere back and it even manages to stray from the super slow-mo songs which have unfortunately become somewhat of a trademark for them on earlier album. "The Demon's Name is Surveillance" is about as good as song theyve written since "Future Breed Machine".)
5. Zonaria - Arrival Of The Red Sun (Very impressive. Didnt impress me on "The Cander Empire" so I didnt even really anticipate much for this album. Then I heard it an I was somewhat blown away. They sound HUGE. I dont know what the vocalist did ( form what Ive read its still the same guy) but whatever he's doing he shouldnt change it. Flourishes of Hypocrisy are still present but in a much more subtle way ( I love Hypocrisy so I dont care at all), and an eerie / doomy overall feel, reminiscent of Dark Fortress, all combining into a very authentic album. They sound like a more grown up band for sure and way more authentic compared to the somewhat blatant Hypocrisy-worship form the first album. Very good album.)
6. Gorod - A Perfect Absolution (A little disappointed. Its still a good album, dont get me wrong, but Gorod is one of those bands who I keep up on a high pedestal. EVen their worst efforts trump most other bands who even try - but I still expected more from the band. Not as groovy as I would have liked. And the hardcore vocals completely destroy what could have been a seriously enjoyable album. The times when the death vocals of old make an appearance it immediately lifts the album. Cant complain about their effort/musicianship or anything really. I just expected to be blown away they way I always do when it comes to this band.)
7. Fair To Midland - Arrows & Anchors (I love this and I dont know why. Its not really metal, its sort of rock but with a bit of an edge. Just one of those albums I like and theres no logical explination for it.)
8. Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pandora's Piñata (Weaker than their previous albums, still more impressive and daring than pretty much anything else released this year)
9. Borknagar - Urd (Finally a Borknagar with balls. The last one I liked was "Empiricism" and thats ages ago. This album is actually pretty darn beautiful and fetching.)
10. Theocracy - As The World Bleeds (2012)

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Valaskjalf ]

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