Saturday, 12 January 2013

2012 In Metal: Best Debut Albums

After a week or so of downtime, procrastination and doing coursework I decided I would finish my second list for y'all, this is a list of the 10 début albums that made the greatest impression on me this year...

10.  After Oblivion - Stamina

For any of you hardcore Death fans that wish Chuck was still with us today, look no further than After Oblivion. Bosnia's answer to the continuation of the almighty lord Schuldiner's legacy came out of nowhere this year with this stunning début. Thrash and tech-death merge seamlessly but unlike fellow death-thrash purveyors Revocation this has a much darker tone overall. Vocalist Adnan punctuates the music with high pitched shireks reminiscent of Chuck, especially Death's later era. A very enjoyable first album, I'm eager to see what comes next...

9. Beneath - Enslaved By Fear

Iceland has definitely given us some interesting music over the last year. After discovering Ophidian I and their album "Solvet Saeclum" (One of my top albums of 2012) I discovered Beneath, a side project of several members from Ophidian I. Beneath peddle death metal that while still being remarkably technical, has groove and brutality in spades, plus of course some cool artwork. This is an excellent album full of great moments. Unique Leader Records really have struck gold with these guys. Hopefully they can keep things up.

8. Carthage - Salt The Earth

 By know most of you that frequent internet forums and the like should've heard of Carthage, the brainchild of Baltimore based guitarist/producer Tre Watson, and arguably the first band to use 9-string guitars. This album is spectacularly technical and well-written, with deathcore flourishes here but nothing to take away from the fact that is progressive through and through. This band is going to breakthrough onto the scene in a big way and how they're still unsigned is a mystery to me.

7. Effloresce - Coma Ghosts

Female fronted progressive metal from Germany with a few, this is definitely an interesting release but one that can be very satisfying if you devote some time to it. Vocalist Nicki contributes some wonderful singing as well as raw death growls in equal measures, she's also the bands resident flautist, adding tones to the music reminiscent of Opeth and Jethro Tull. A worthy debut album that any prog fan should check out.

6. Indesinence - Vessels Of Light & Decay

The best death/doom debut you will hear from 2012 bar none. A journey of crushing melancholy and soaring melodies. This album will take you to the darkest depths of your soul and back. Heavy as fuck, this may not be innovative but let's be honest, sometimes it's best to just say "fuck innovation", some bands are good at doing what they do. These guys are definitely good at what they do. So do yourself a favour and check it out.

5. Flayed Disciple - Death Hammer

These guys make me proud to be English. I received this album (not to be confused with Asphyx's Deathammer) for absolutely free in a copy of terrorizer, and was overjoyed at how brilliant the music was. Brutal, thrashy, gore based death metal, just like Exhumed if they were from Somerset. This album is a really enjoyable listen all the way through, especially tracks like "Ejaculate While Killing" and "Torsofucked". I can also confirm that these guys are fantastic live after witnessing them at Bloodstock Open Air last year. They fucking slayed. I have high hopes for these guys and expect something great from them in the next year or two.

4. Bloodshot Dawn - Bloodshot Dawn

I also received this cd free via Terrorizer magazine. And I'm extremely glad that I heard about this band, otherwise I might still not know they exist. This band of gentleman from deepest darkest Portsmouth have released an absolute belter of an album. Melodic and technical death metal coming together to create a wonderful album from start to finish. "Godless", "Vision" and "The Quantum Apocalypse" are essential listens. If you like death metal you need this in your life.

3. The HAARP Machine - Disclosure

Ever since seeing them support Decapitated + Aborted in a London basement, I've had a lot of love and respect for this band. This album for me is an excellent example of how modern progressive metal and tech-death can fit together in perfect harmony. Guitarist/sitarist/band mastermind Al Mu'min is a fantastic new talent and the Indian/Middle eastern influences are incorporated fantastically. Sumerian records made a fantastic call signing these guys and I can't wait to see what they have in store for the future. Another good English band showing that we can still produce quality metal.

2. Reign Of Fury - World Detonation

One of the best thrash bands going nowadays in my opinion. Reign of Fury take the technical thrash template of Megadeth or Exodus and spice it up with NWOBHM style melody. Grooves? Check. Excellent vocals? Check. Soaring, over the top solos? Check. If you like thrash then get a hold of this asap, you'll be glad you did.

1. Sophicide - Perdition Of The Sublime

Conceived a few years ago as a project of then 19 year old German Adam Laszlo, this one man tech-death onslaught is an astounding release. Adam clearly has instrumental and songwriting ability beyond his years, and his merging of brutal vocals with Death/The Faceless/Decrepit Birth style melodic tech death has made this release astonishing to listen to over and over. A nod to his heroes while at the same time being completely inventive and original. I hope this project becomes more than a one time occurrence. I for one would love to see this in a live setting. Check it out.

And there you have it, my favourite début albums from last year, stay tuned for tomorrow when I'll have a new album review and my favourite EPs. Stay metal \m/

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