In a year which I have largely ignored new music (BEEN BUSY!), I have scrambled the past few weeks to catch up and have created yet another kick-ass Top 10 list. For those that don’t know, I have been compiling this list annually since 1995 (and retroactively back to 1980). As always I strive to be inclusive of differing styles, but all are Metal to be sure. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mantei’s best metal albums of 2012:

 

1. Wintersun: Time I

2. Eluvietie: Helvetios

3. Dragonforce: The Power Within

4. The Agonist: Prisoners

The Agonist

The Agonist (Photo credit: Bruno Bergamini)

5. Overkill: The Electric Age

6. Daylight Dies: A Frail Becoming

7. Shadows Fall: Fire From the Sky

8. Ensiferum: Unsung Heroes

9. Gojira: L’Enfant Sauvage

10. Lamb of God: Resolution

 

 

Those  in bold represent the “album of the year nominees”. The Wintersun is only 6 tracks long, only 4 of them are legit songs, and only 3 have lyrics; at least they are long! It has that intangible “album of the year vibe” that immerses you and takes you to a faraway land (Scandinavia). Eluvietie can do no wrong at this point with their groovy folk-thrash. The change of singers for Dragonforce was a huge win; the entire band seems re-energized and improved. The Agonist’s “math metal” gets a nice songwriting shot in the arm for a great overall effort; plus having one of the most eclectic (and hypnotically beautiful) vocalists makes everything easier. STRONG comebacks from 2 bands who should have been written off long ago, Overkill and Shadows Fall. The efforts by Ensiferum and Lamb of God could have been much better, but were still excellent metallic performances. Albums this year from Fear Factory, Testament, Therion, Cradle of Filth, Meshuggah, Moonspell, etc were subpar and did not make the cut. The 2nd Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore, RIP) album I haven’t listened to sufficiently but as it is 90% instrumental I didn’t worry too much about leaving it out. 😉

I will now post song samples from each album on my Facebook page. Enjoy!

\m/

 

PS

I hope and PRAY that 2013 will finally be the year of the new Into Eternity (greatest band on earth), and maybe even the final Saviour Machine for good measure…

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