Sunday, 13 January 2013

2012 In Metal: Best EPs

Here's my final list of favourites from last year, this time E.P. releases. How any of these bands are unsigned is a mystery to me, but these bands are all worth checking out. Enjoy...

5. Hacktivist - Hacktivist

And here we have yet another new subgenre, Rap-Djent. I know what you're all thinking, and believe me I thought it was going to be shit as well, but this actually a very well written E.P. from some talented musicians/lyricists.  Mixing djent guitar with grime rapping should be a recipe for disaster but this just works for some unfathomable reason. If these guys can keep it up when it's time for their full length, I think 2013 might be the year of Hacktivist.

4. Aegaeon - Being

One of the few bands taking deathcore in a new and positive direction, I was quite excited for this release. And I wasn't disappointed. Off-kilter breakdowns with progressive leanings but only when needed, strong vocals without a pig-squeal in sight and synth parts providing an excellent atmosphere throughout. Very impressive and I hope these fine gentlemen keep releasing music of this nature.

3. Vext - Impermanence

When I discovered Tommy Vext had gone on to form his own band, I was overjoyed. I had been a big fan of his work on Divine Heresy's first album "Bleed The Fifth" and after his departure and a brief stint fronting Snot I was glad to see him back doing what he does best. This E.P., recorded with virtuoso guitarist Angel Vivaldi as well as members of Mutiny Within, is possibly one of the most melodic and haunting releases of last year. Tommy's voice can still growl with the best and soar in the choruses like an angel (no pun intended). "Hourglass" and "Exit Wounds" are particularly enjoyable to listen to, and you can hear the emotion in Tommy's voice as he belts out every word. Keep this shit up guys, I love it.

2. Dawn Of Dementia - Residuum

This release was my top choice until I discovered the top release in this list. This is still a mind-bogglingly impressive release though, considering the band formed only 2 years ago, in Indiana, a state not known for producing many metal bands. As I said in my review a few months ago, this band could quite happily take over the tech-death crown now the faceless have departed for more prog based territory. When a full length is eventually released, I expect big things from these guys.

1. Ascariasis - Ocean Of Colour

And here we have it. My favourite E.P. from last year, possibly the most impressive tech-death/core E.P. I've had the joy of discovering. Not only is this completely self-released with zero endorsement, they're just giving it away for free!!! Well technically it's available on their bandcamp for "name your price" so if you like this then do give them some money for it. This E.P. may have very striking cover art similar to Born Of Osiris' "The Discovery" but this is a different beast entirely. Some of the best written technical riffs and breakdowns I've heard all year are on this E.P., along with some truly blinding solos. "Eleven", "Carving The World" and "Ocean of Colour" are particularly spectacular. If anyone who works for a label is reading this, give these fuckers a deal now!!!! Sick riffs, proggy guitar solos, growls and cleans done excellently in both cases, this is what deathcore sounds like when done right.

And there you have it. These bands all deserve your attention, so go check them out and support them so they can one day dazzle us with full length albums. Stay metal \m/

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