1 L’Enfant Sauvage – Gojira
(Drum rolls… the ‘Best Record of the Year’ goes to… the French metallers!) Although Gojira already possessed mountains of fans and a solid discography, the band is widely considered to be the breakout metal act of 2012. The band unveiled ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ to universal acclaim, successfully balancing the band’s key components of brutality, beauty and progression with flawless production attached. For songs like ‘The Axe,’ ‘Explosia,’ the title track and much more, we say ‘merci beaucoup’ to Gojira.
2 The Anomalies of Artificial Origin – Abominable Putridity
This album is hands-down the top slam death album of the year. The record takes off with an eerie intro, paving the way for a conceptually charged mindless assault of every orifice of the human body. Crushing bass lines lend their support to the ultimately over-the-top chugging riffs, giving the album a very immense feel, as if the music itself is a weapon of mass destruction. Topped off with some more technical riffs that appear in shorter spurts, injecting a quick dose of creativity into the songs.
3 Sorrow and Extinction – Pallbearer
Upon its release in February, the Little Rock, Ark., quartet’s debut Sorrow and Extinction immediately felt like a classic. Uplifting vintage doom fleshed out with psychedelia, prog melodies, and subtle ambient keys– are as fresh as they were on that first spin. Piloted by Brett Campbell, a singing vocalist/guitarist who straddles a sweet spot between young Ozzy and Geddy Lee, Pallbearer have a rare ability to write emotionally resonant guitar parts and epic dynamic arcs that don’t lose their ability to give goosebumps.
4 The Parallax II: Future Sequence – Between the Buried and Me
‘The Parallax II: Future Sequence is metal music’s greatest conceptual accomplishment of the year. Set in outer space, BTBAM have created the most complex music you’ll ever zone out to, performed by the strongest group of pure musicians within the realm of metal. Much like the band’s 2007 album, ‘Colors,’ the record takes unexpected twists and turns while sonic plates spin without the slightest wobble.
5 Resolution – Lamb of god
Lamb of God continued their streak of creating addictive “pure American metal” with ‘Resolution.’ The band stays the course with their latest album, with powerful consistency and flawless execution. While there is no mistaking the album’s tracks as anyone but Lamb of God, the band experiments with some doom with ‘Straight for the Sun’ and spoken word parts with ‘King Me.’ Add pummeling tracks such as ‘Desolation’ and Ghost Walking,’ and you’ve got a killer album.