It’s that time of year again, people are winding down, getting ready for the holiday season, and down here in Cape Town, that includes preparing for the wave of “Transvaalers” coming down.
If this year has taught me anything, it’s that at least 5 of you care about my musical opinion, so, for you here are my top 10 albums for 2012.
10. Brendon Small – Brendon Small’s Galaktikon and Dethklok – DethAlbum III
It’s been a busy year for Mr. Small he released two albums, and I can’t pick between the two, so fuck it, both make the list. HA, I just broke the rules. Favourite tracks: “Dangertits” (off Galaktikon) because it’s called “Dangertits”. And “Skyhunter” (off Dethalbum III).
9. Heidevolk – Batavi
Heidevolk only recently came onto my Radar, but their blend of pagan folk metal! The album deals with the “Batavians”, one of the Germanic tribes that stood against the Roman empire. With some great riffs, some exceptional vocal hooks and lyrics I at least can understand, they get to be on my list. Favourite track: “Een nieuw begin”.
8. Haggis and Bong – Of Myth and Legend
Bagpipes. Metal. That should be enough explanation. These Pretoria based blowers of pipe have earned the spot for producing an insanely catchy album. Also, it kinda makes you feel like you’re in Braveheart. Bonus! Favourite Track: “In the Ranks of Morrigan’s Army”.
7. Korpiklaani – Manala
Yes, More folk metal, it’s been a good year for it, Odin Damnit! Korpiklaani seem to release a new album every year, 2012 saw the release of Manala in Suomi and English, as a double disc, Suomi is superior and the song themselves have a darker tone than their previous material, all round, it’s a yoiking great album! Favourite track: “Kunnia”
6. Kamelot – Silverthorn
Just falling short of the top 5 is Kamelot’s latest opus Silverthorn. There were doubts about the new vocalist Tommy Keravik, but he delivers! The songs are masterfully written and are less flamboyant but still powerful! Hands down, the best release since Black Halo. Favourite track: “My Confession”. (Dat Riff!)
5. Juggernaught – Bring The Meat Back
I reviewed this album a few weeks ago, and to be blunt, it’s still populating my daily playlist. Southern enough to grow your beard a couple of inches and make you drink moonshine and chase your sister. Also, it’s manly as fuck. Favourite Track: “Train”
4. Eluveitie – Helvetios
This is the best Eluveitie album since 2008’s Slania: Lightning does strike twice! This album’s strong storytelling and generally awesome compositions made it stay on loop on my phone for close to month. Favourite track: “Helvetios”
3. Balyios – Homeward
The last and highest folk metal entry to my list (what can I say, it’s been a great year for folk metal). This album truly surprised me in how well it was written and produced. If you don’t own it, go find it! You’ll thank me later. Favourite Track: “Niflheim”
2. Borknagar – Urd
The dark horse of my list… I’m not a trve kvlt type, but goddamn, this album was just that good. It’s soundscape had my imagination running wild! If you want something different, get this album. It’s just… wow… you know (Yes I’m at a loss for words.) Favourite Track: “Frostrite”
1. Sabaton – Carolus Rex
As if there was any doubt, this album tops the list by a sizeable margin! Sabaton are rewriting power metal as a genre and this album is testament to that. It’s hard, it’s fast… it’s a history lesson! It’s perfect.
Favourite track: “Carolus Rex” (Honourable Mention: “Twilight of The Thunder God”. It’s almost impossible to cover Amon Amarth, but they freakin’ nailed it!)