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Best albums of 2012

8 March 2013 No Comment

Lamb of God @ The Electric Factory Philadelphia 11-24-12

A list of Stubble’s top 20 albums of 2012. Don’t like it? Make your own list. Presented in no particular order since every single one of these releases absolutely kick-ass and deserve your immediate attention.

The Sword – Apocryphon – (Razor & Tie)
The highly anticipated fourth studio release from The Sword is kick-fucking- ass.  Apocryphon is heavy, melodic and packs more fuzz than your filthy lint trap. Perfecting their blend of Sabbath meets Thin Lizzy via a Pot filled Texas BBQ, the Sword is solidifying their throne atop the hard rock world. Standout tracks: The Veil of Isis, Cloak of Feathers, and the title track Apocryphon. Must see live!

HIGH ON FIRE – De Vermis Mysteriis – (E1 Music)
A concept album from Oakland, CA heavies involving Jesus Christ’s time traveling twin brother, Chinese black lotus serums, & all around madness. With production by Converges Kurt Ballou, this album is raw, unflinching and heavier than anything ever put on wax. One iTunes customer reviewer had the following to say about Pike & Co.- “If you don’t like High On Fire, you don’t like Heavy Metal.”

Graveyard – Lights Out – (Nuclear Blast)
Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue (cheer). These Swedes know how to write a hook with a familiar sound, without getting stale. Proudly carrying the torch to light the giant bowl Sabbath left behind, GRAVEYARD are sure to get mustaches throughout the world nodding in unison to such future classics like ‘The suits, the law, and the uniforms’. Righteous.

CONVERGE – All We Love We Leave behind – (Epitaph Records)
No signs of slowing here. Brutal double bass attacks (Trespasses) to trippy Mastodon-esque riffing (Coral Blue) Converge wears their influences on their sleeves, sewing them together seamlessly without sounding contrived and soulless. A solid album from a band that continues to grow and stay ahead of the curve.

FOXY SHAZAM – The Church of Rock ‘n’ Roll – (IRS Records)
“That’s the biggest black ass I’ve ever seen, and I like it, I like it!” so caterwauls Foxy Shazams wildly energetic front man Eric Nally on the bands single I like it. A bluesy stomp rock ode to large black derrieres. Throw this record on at a party and watch the sparks fly. Good time Rock ‘n’ Roll done right, Hallelujah. Check out our interview with Foxy Shazam at Warped.

PIG DESTROYER – Book Burner (Relapse Records)
The highly anticipated new full length from Virginia grind meisters Pig Destroyer doesn’t disappoint. Misery Index drummer Adam Jarvis joins the folds and lays waste to his kit. Play this one full fucking blast.

OM – Advaitic Songs – (Drag City)
Om doesn’t have time to write half assed 3 minute album fillers to satisfy cranky label execs stuffing their faces with cocaine and under aged prostitutes. Instead they craft opus sized hymns and psalms full of molasses thick bass lines, backed by chants, cellos and whatever else Mr. Cisneros and company deem fit. Take the trip, its worth the ride.

Lamb of God – Resolution – (Epic/Roadrunner)
If you didn’t like LOG before, then Resolution will probably make you cry more than you already do. Fourteen tracks of the pure American metal you have come to love from LOG along with a little Doom Metal (Straight to the Sun), acoustic interludes (Ghost Walking and Bararosa), and spoken word (King Me) to keep it fresh. Standout tracks Desolation, Invictus, and Grammy nominated Ghost Walking. Check out our show review and pics from of Lamb of God at the Hollywood Palladium.

Job For A Cowboy – Demonocracy – (Metal Blade)
So you think JFAC are a trendy “mall metal” band? I really don’t give a shit. I’m a grown man; I’ll listen to whatever the fuck I like. Adding two new members to the fold, JFAC have taken another step into becoming a well oiled metal machine One of the best of 2012 for damn sure. Check out our interview with Job For a Cowboy at Slim’s.

OFF – OFF! – (VICE Music)
Keith and company deliver 16 more tracks of no bullshit, blue collar punk fucking rock. These guys deserve your attention, give it to them now.

Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania – (EMI)
Oceania is spacey, guitar driven, modern rock at it’s finest & can hold it’s own against the pumpkins extensive and aging back catalog. This only made the list due to the fact they played the entire album live on the supporting tour and it was bad ass. Standout tracks: “Quasar”, “Panopticon”, and “Violet Rays”.

Neurosis – Honor Found in Decay (Neurot/Relapse)
Oakland California sludge metal pioneers made us wait five years since landmark “Give in to the Rising” blew our minds and it was worth the wait. Strap in for the first three “movements’ that clock in at just under thirty minutes. A roller coaster of sinister, gloomy, groove sludge metal deliciousness peaking with the anthem “In a shadow world, in a shadow world”. Stand out tracks – “We All Rage in Gold”, At the Well”, and “My Heart For Deliverance.”

Aborted – Global Flatline – (Century Media)
Belgium based death grinder’s ABORTED release a zombie apocalypse themed album for 2012, likely a nod to end of the world rumors. Songs like Fecal Forgery, & Of Scabs & Boils are sure to keep you moving while packing your 2012 survival kits.

Unsane – Wreck – (Alternative Tentacles)
Stripped down, heavy and in your face; in another words everything you’ve come to expect from the NYC noise trio who’ve been pounding the pavement for 20+ years. Their first album since 2007’s Visqueen, finds the boys on Jello’s Alternative Tentacles label rocking monosyllabic titles and all.

PELICAN – Ataraxia/Taraxis (Southern Lord Records)
Chicago based instrumental rockers PELICAN deliver an EP that has something to do with parallel planets. Perfect for throwing on while reading your favorite comic book, or novel.

Cancer Bats – Dead Set on Living – (Distort)
Cancer Bats walk a delicate line between metal and punk that is aggressive, dark, and fucking heavy. Shit these guys did a tour as Bat Sabbath playing an entire Black Sabbath set., what’s not to love? Check out our interview with the Cancer Bats at the Oakland Metro.

Between The Buried and Me – The Parallax II: Future Sequence – (Metal Blade Records)
BTBAM continue the idea set forth on their 2011 EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues. What is that idea you ask? Go buy the fucking albums cheap skate! The enigma that is BTBAM is on full blast here, musical candy for the ears, sometimes Danny Elfman like, and others cave in your skull between your ears crushing. Well worth the hour or so you will need to commit to these pair of gems. Check out our interview with Between the Buried and Me at Slim’s.

The Shrine – Primitive Blast – (Tee Pee Records)
The Shrine sound like Ted Nugent quit hunting, picked up skateboarding , dope smoking and listened to nothing but SST era skate rock.  Balls to the walls American rock ‘n’ fucking roll for throwing on while you’re carving up the sidewalks in your town. Crack a Pabst and grab this one for sure.

A Band of Orcs – Adding Heads to the Pile – (Itchy Metal Ent.)
They’re not misunderstood, they’re evil. The debut album from A Band of Orcs, yes they are really Orcs, hail from the planet Hirntodia, but now claim Santa Cruz as home, live to eat your brains & crush your skull with brutal death metal ala J. Double R. Tolkien style. “We’ve come to your realm to summon the apocalypse,; burn this miserable mud ball,” snorts vocalist Gogog Bloodthroat. Listen to this now or die! Check out our interview with A Band of Orcs.

A Life Once Lost – Ecstatic Trance – (Season of Mist)
Philadelphia heavy groove metal pioneers smash the mold with a very different sound than previous releases. Repeat listens will have you thrashing till your head falls off. Check out our interview with A Life Once Lost at the Kung Fu Necktie.

Written by Josh Kutras & Jeff Longo

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