Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shady's Mega Epic Top 10 Metal EP's of 2012!

Recently in years, EP's have been coming out more and more; right there with the amounts of Full Lengths released, sometimes even more.
It's an easy to way put music out, it's cheaper and get your name out there faster.

It's a growing trend, but not a bad kind of trend because it really works, or at least it seems like it's working (at least for a decent amount of bands it is). Anyhoo, here are my favorite ones of this year.

#10. The Day Of Remission - Charity Dies
Genre: Technical Deathcore / Melodic

The amount of shred this has is obscene. This thing just oozes talent right from the get-go. Everyone is on point with their instruments with some slight symphonics for good measure. It's kinda Black Dahlia Murder sounding at times, except it's much better.

#9. Issachar - The Tide
Genre: Progressive Metalcore
Preview: "Storm" 

Again, everyone is on point with their instruments. Very BTBAM-like (especially from the Silent Circus/Alaska era) and kinda Post-Rockish. Another one of those albums that just didn't get enough attention.

#8. The Last Ten Seconds Of Life - WARPATH
Genre: Deathcore
Preview: "Warpath"

Basically 2 original songs (one of those could very well be an intro, since it's short) and a Limp Bizkit cover. But these 2 original songs are probably my most listened songs from this year and Warpath is possibly my favorite Deathcore song of all year. Chugfest at it's finest.

#7. The Afterimage - Formless
Genre: Technical Metalcore
Preview: "The Void"

Basically it's like this. Take ERRA, take out the cleans, give it bombastic breakdowns, add a bit more of technicality and make it less repetitive. Yeah, this is more to my liking mmmm.

#6. Circle Of Contempt - Entwine The Threads
Genre: Progressive Deathcore

Possibly my biggest surprise of the year, since I hate their debut album (seriously what's the rage about that album? more djeneric stuff). But this is a welcome change with synths added and some bits of Electronic here and there. And hey, it's not a chugfest like their debut, there's some nice shredding here and it's faster-paced.

#5. Point Below Zero - Self-Titled
Genre: Deathcore

Superbly well-done Deathcore from of course, Australia. Can Australia do anything wrong, in terms of anything related to Deathcore? Well there's new Signal The Firing Squad... but that's more the exception than the rule. Anyways, it has enough Tech to keep you guessing at times with of course, heavy-as-balls breakdowns; very Hester Prynne on that respect.

#4. Xehanort - Birth
Genre: Experimental Deathcore
Preview: "Struggle"

Heavy, synths, soaring leads, John Galloway's voice and Kingdom Hearts references - do I have to give more reasons to explain why this is here and why you gotta check this out right now?

#3. I Magnified - Gayatri Mantra
Genre: Progressive Deathcore

Born Of Osiris having sex with The Contortionist? Something like that, but these guys have their own flavor. The amazing melodic leads, the tasteful synths reminiscent of BoO's The Discovery, the superb drumming - the amazing atmospheres all of those things combine make for a tasty recipe. Check the Preview and agree with me.

#2. Numbers - Self-Titled
Genre: Progressive Metalcore / Electronic

Tasteful use of Electronics, superb range by the vocalist, great instrumentation, odd jazzy interludes and of course, awesome synths that sound kinda 8-Bitish - of course this would be an instant favorite of mine.

#1.Chimp Spanner - All Roads Lead Here
Genre: Progressive Metal / Instrumental / Djent
Preview: "Mӧbius Pt I"

One of the most under-appreciated bands in the modern Prog Metal era. This EP is basically a "How To..." for the hundreds of Polyrhythmic bands popping out every day; mixing tons of genres and adding a certain sci-fi vibe to the music with the leads and synths creating the atmosphere. At times, it reminds me of some Final Fantasy battle themes - which means this shit is BAWZ.


Shady's Mega Epic Top 14 Metal Full-Lengths of 2012!

Well, it's about that time of the year; where basically every blog related to music, posts a list of their favorite albums. I did it last year (links of the lists are right on the front page), and of course I'm gonna do it again -- it's an unofficial music blog rule thing.
I'm gonna do things a bit different than last year though -- I'm gonna make separate lists for my favorite Metal albums and another one for my (everything) 8-Bit albums. I shall do Metal first... and without further ado, here we go! 

#14. Cartoon Theory - Cartoon 1.0 Theory
Genre: Progressive Metal / Djent / Experimental
Preview"Hypnotic Nova Dance"
Spectacular synths, shred, groove and a Japanese-vibe -- that's all you need. So beautiful, but it got forgotten by many, since it was released way early in 2012. But I didn't, because I'm cool like that. Djent non-believers need to check this out, right now.

#13. Don't Worry I'm A Doctor - Create. Divide. Consume
Genre: Deathcore / Grind
Another one that just didn't get enough love, but this time it was possibly due to their stupid name. Ultra chuggy, with tons of groove and breakdowns, but still fast-paced with a plethora of blast beats to last you for a while. Great length too -- doesn't overstay its welcome; fans of heavy, fast-paced Deathcore need to check this out.

#12. Carthage - Salt The Earth
Genre: Deathcore
Preview: "Years & Darkness"
A surprise favorite for me, came out way late into the year and I was expecting just another Polyrhythmic Deathcore band - and it is. Sometimes it's not about originality though, sometimes it's about how well-done the job gets done and this just happens to be nicely done Deathcore with groove, soloes and... cleans? Clean singing in my Deathcore and I like it? How did this happen? WHAT THE HELL, MAN!?

#11. Clocks - The Dividing Line
Genre: Progressive Deathcore
This one flew VERY under the radar, which completely surprised me. Sure it's a bit rough-sounding and vocals are very one-dimensional, but the talent oozing from these guys is pretty damn easy to hear. Nice tasteful shredding, well-put breakdowns and... whoa... ACTUAL PROGRESSIVENESS?! Love it when bands call themselves Proggy and it's not just an over-abundance of Polyrhythms/Meshuggahcore.

#10. Black Sheep Wall - No Matter Where It Ends
Genre: Downtempo Hardcore / Sludge
Preview: "Torrential"
Ultra heavy stuff here, possibly the heaviest album on my list. Angry, dirty, down-tuned sludgy hardcore that makes Infant Annihilator seem like the new A Day To Remember. Could get boring to some, but the drummer manages to keep things fresh with his unpredictable drum fills. Sooooooooooooo heavy.

#9. Gaza - No Absolutes In Human Suffering
Genre: Chaotic Hardcore / Grindcore / Sludge
Preview: "Not With All The Hope In The World"
Possibly their most Technical release, up to date. Chaotic as ever and muddy as the waters on the Black Marsh -- this band has clearly perfected their "Sludgecore" style that they're so known for. Not saying everything else was bad, just saying this feels like it's their most complete album, so far.

#8. IDYLLS - Farewell All Joy
Genre: Mathgrind
Preview: "Swine / Virgins / Utopiates"
I listened to this last month (and it came out on May), and I deeply regret not checking these guys sooner. Pure insanity and chaos and super technical (like you expect on any Math band). My only qualm with this album is the length - barely pass the 20-minutes mark.

#7. Behold The Arctopus - Horrorscension
Genre: Technical Metal / Instrumental/ Progressive
Preview: "Horrorsentience"

Oh God, the amount of chaos and technicality displayed here makes Necrophagist seem like a chugfest ripoff of The Acacia Strain. Just wish it had 1-2 more songs but this type of stuff usually tires you out after a bit, so the length is perfect for this.

#6. Dysphoria - To The Perfect Form of Modern Species
Genre: Technical Deathcore / Mathcore
Preview: "Aftereffect" 
This is basically a winning formula for me, right from the get-go. Mix 2 of my favorite genres and what I get is crushing pulverizing heaviness with enough noodlies to make old Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza proud. Instant favorite, seriously.

#5. Between The Buried And Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence
Genre: Progressive Metal / Experimental
Preview: "Lay Your Ghosts To Rest"
Uhhh yeah... one of my favorite albums this year has been featured in about 80% AOTY lists I've seen -- this album is that good. I don't even know what to label this as, so well, let's call it Psychedelic Progressive Death Jazzy Space Metal '70score. How do they manage to keep putting out Quality albums is beyond me. Their EP was kinda meh for me but this regained my faith on the band and ultimately putting them on my Top 5 Fave bands AGAIN.

#4. The Contornionist - Intrinsic
Genre: Progressive Deathcore / Experimental / Space
Preview: "Sequential Vision"
This album got hate due to this album not being Exoplanet 2.0. They could've easily made another Exoplanet and garner critical acclaim once again, but nope, they basically said: "Remember when we got Spacey on Exoplanet? Yeah we're gonna do that a lot more now and we're gonna listen to a lot of Cynic too". And it worked, the cleans are perfect and fit just right with the Spacey landscapes these guys create. One of my super unexpected favorites, since before this I wasn't a big fan of these dudes.

#3. Bermuda - The Wandering
Genre: Deathcore / Polyrhythmic
Preview: "Sachael" 
How did something this djeneric end up as Top 3? How did I end up liking it so much is a thing of wonder really. The distorted vocals, awkward chugs, the obnoxious leads and the breakdowns... my God, these breakdowns are pulverizing. Something about the vibe of this album though... I can't explain it, I just know I seriously love this album WAYYYYY more than I expected to.

#2. Cattle Decapitation - Monolith Of Inhumanity
Genre: Technical Death Metal / Grindcore
Preview: "Dead Set On Suicide"
What a beast of an album. Unrelenting all the way through and arguably their best work to date, and their most technical too. The soaring highs used melodically, the *INSANE* drumming, the bombastic slams, the soloes - everything about this album is a winning formula, that has tons of metal fans raving. Seriously, this album has been getting a ton of love and for good reason too.

#1. 7 Horns 7 Eyes - Throes Of Absolution
Genre: Progressive Death Metal / Sludge
Preview: "Delusions"
How the hell can these guys manage to be so sludgy and heavy, yet so GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL!? Man, I don't even care if the lyrics are Christian and preachy, I seriously couldn't care less about that. The vocalist is a *BEAST*, his lows are thundering and the occasional highs he does sound demonic. The crushing guitars and pounding drums, the amazing Autumn-vibe atmospheres and the soloes -- all of these and many other reasons make this my TOP favorite album of 2012.

Well, hopefully at least someone found this list enjoyable. STILL TO COME: Top 10 EP's (Metal), Honorable Mentions and Disappointments (Metal), Top 10 Full Lengths (8-Bit), Top 10 EP's (8-Bit).