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|Nagrarok's Top 25 Albums Of 2012|
In summation: plenty of great stuff, not enough that amazed me.
Beardfish are among the many bands that have found their inspiration in the golden days of progressive rock. Yet where most are great copycats at best, this Swedish quartet has now successfully marked its own ground. Following up on 2011?s Mammoth after taking some evolutionary steps, this group has created something that stands as one of 2012?s most memorable records. The Void retains the particular quirks that defined its predecessor, but moved into a substantially heavier direction. Of course it has become somewhat of a trend to opt for a harder-hitting sound on new albums, one which has often led to the conclusion that heavier is certainly not always better, but no such thing can be said here. Beardfish came up with more than an hour?s worth of highly energetic compositions, striking a perfect balance between their newfound metallic edge and their characteristic playfulness. Simply put, The Void should be a delight for any prog rock/metal enthusiast.
Amazing symphonic prog album; considering that they?d been broken up for years before getting back together and recording this makes it an even greater accomplishment. Came across this fairly late last year but oh my what a treat it was.
Although The West Pole was a great album, it was inescapably marked by Anneke van Giersbergen?s departure, making it no easy to task for The Gathering to find the right chemistry with their new vocalist Silje Wergeland. Now she seems to have settled in completely; her distinctive tone and voice are without doubt the lead component on Disclosure, which sees the band repurposing their atmospheric nature to excellent results.
It?s been called their best album in years, and for once that statement is actually true. Getting rid of loud production doesn?t seem to be on Rush?s priority list, but with the quality that?s on display here, that?s a relatively minor complaint. As consistent as they?ve somehow managed to be throughout a good 40 years of working their trade, Clockwork Angels? return to older form earned it a deservedly warm welcome.
|5||The Tallest Man on Earth|
There's No Leaving Now
The day that The Tallest Man releases a bad album seems very far off. Kristian Matsson continues to make some wonderful music with little more than a guitar and his voice.
A beast of a record indeed. The Seer?s massive length is befitting of its nature, and though I can agree it is one of 2012?s best, I don?t hear a masterpiece.
In Dreams and Time
Admittedly it tends to drag and repeat itself during some moments, but the powerful atmosphere makes up for it. A sludgy/psychedelic kind of prog that became an early favourite last year.
The ominous vibe that constantly drives MMXII is the work of experienced craftsmen. As post-punk veterans, Killing Joke make it clear that they?re still the best at what they do.
Stoner rock of a particularly catchy, energetic variety.
|10||High on Fire|
De Vermis Mysteriis
Unwavering in its heaviness, which is what makes it great.
Cauldron of the Wild
Witch Mountain are firmly rooted in the traditional, bluesy form of doom metal. Though clearly Sabbath-esque, the band?s sound is their own, with the female lead vocals being a very positive standout.
A Eulogy for the Damned
Damn solid stoner metal album that?s highly enjoyable throughout.
Wasn?t sure how much I would like this, but it kicked in eventually.
Morse?s lyrics and vocals may not be to everyone?s liking, but the man knows how to make a prog album.
Dark Roots of Earth
Testament are still in fine form, making a modern thrash album that?s as great as any modern thrash album will get. Unless you?re still expecting another The New Order at some point, Dark Roots is anything but a disappointment.
Post-rock at its best, though it?s stretched just a little too far.
Dead End Kings
This definitely stuck with me more than Night is the New Day, although it still didn?t draw me in quite as much as I would have liked it to.
The Weight of Oceans
Progressive melodic death metal done the right way.
As has been noted, Anathema seem too focused on refining things here. Since Weather Systems has been so carefully put together, it lacks the same edge that made We?re Here Because We?re Here compelling in the first place.
The Electric Age
Overkill?s newest release probably received slightly less attention than Testament?s, but their work is quality all the same. As opposed to most of their peers, they?ve never seen much sense in straying from their known formula. The Electric Age is another fine barrage of riffs and screeching vocals.
Comparable to Witch Mountain in that both bands have an old-fashioned metal sound, as well as a female lead singer. This much more of a ?classic? heavy metal affair, and a fun one at that.
Revealed itself to be a positively moody and well-executed debut after a few listens.
A Different Kind of Truth
Did exactly what it needed to do, namely sounding like a real Van Halen album. A great surprise it was.
Of Breath and Bone
Even though they?re not doing anything revolutionary, this band continues to put out a relatively fresh brand of melodic death metal.
March of Ghosts
This is good, but fails to produce enough distinguishable tracks.
|Question marks be damned, I will not edit and mess up the artwork. This took me way too long to make, but here we go.|
|1 is really good but i always forget about it|
|Great list man. Props for 4,6,7,12 and 16. |
1 is really good but i always forget about it 
|Ludwig and Sverker is a fantastic prog song.|
|Good stuff |
|Nagrarok is back holy........... You need to meet menawati, lot of new progheads man.|
|I've never really been gone, but yeah, my activity has been pretty low for some time now. Thanks guys.|
|1 and 2 were my 2 and 1 for this year, really good stuff. great list|
|need to check out 1 and 2 i like ur list|
|The Void is good but Mammoth was much better. The heavier direction of the last produced a lack of diverse sounds....anyway good list.|
|awesome list Nag, 19 is my fav of last year. Please come back and finish the Genesis reviews :]|
|Great list Nag, 1 is my album of the year too. 2, 4, 7, 9 and 12 all made my list as well. I also quite enjoyed 23 and 25.|
|By far the best list of the most consistent work of 2012|
|fuckkk yes nag|
|Very impressive list. Bringing back some titles I would normally forget about.|
|this is a great list dude. your top 3 are all in my list (3 is my aoty btw).|
|@Detritivore: I guess we'll have to agree to disagree there.|
@YoYoMancuso: I will, just as soon as I get in the mood for writing again.
@WhiteNoise: Sure, why not?
|23 is great, way better than I was expecting.|
|Well you see van Halen are old, and of you like van Halen that means you're not hip and cool.|
Fuck WhiteNoise, I agree with 4,8,13,15,19,20,23
|No Deftones, that's social suicide on sputnikmusic|
|excellent list. |
|Great list, good to see you around Nag.|
|Something about the van Halen record rubbed me the wrong way... I couldn't put my finger on it though :S|
|some really good picks on there, great list|
|excepted anything but 15 here really|
|Some nice '12 music here. Sweet list.|
|that killing joke album is too average though|
|4, 10, 13, and 17 are all awesome.|
|1 has almost topped my list. Great picks all around except 2 or 3 albums which I'm not really fond of.|
|Sweet list, Nag.|
1, 2, 4, 11 and 14 were all into my end-of-the-year list.
I'm interested in 3, 7, 9 and 17.
I like Gazpacho, but 25 is pale in comparison with both Night and Tick Tock.
|Oops, regarding Gazpacho, I mingled Missa Antropos with March of Ghosts. I still have to listen to the latter.|
|Thanks guys. Obviously those are all worth checking out Jethro; 3 is another Dutch band for me to be proud of for that album. And I think that you might end up with the same conclusion for March of Ghosts, even though I haven't heard Missa Antropos.|
|I take good note of it, Nag. Also, have you considered Crippled Black Phoenix?|
|Crippled Black Phoenix almost made it in. I had quite some 3.5s to consider but their album was definitely a contender.|
|Great list nag, thanks for the effort. |