Napalm Death - Utilitarianyear end lists, and you'll see that two words are a fixture: "Napalm" and "Death". This may simply be because, as my buddy Jay puts it, "those are my guys," but there's no arguing that Napalm have been on a hot streak since the career (and cred) resuscitating Enemy of the Music Business over a decade ago. Utilitarian, instead of trying to top the bare-knuckled fury of previous album Time Waits for No Slave, sees Napalm indulging their experimental side. John Zorn pops up to throw some hot shrieking sax on an already wild "Everyday Pox"; elsewhere, Barney and Mitch take turns imitating Michael Gira's spooky baritone. Strange off-time riffs abound, keeping listeners on their toes; and throughout, the band that coined the term "blastbeat" show all the young'uns how it's done. A quarter century since Scum was recorded, Napalm Death are still campaigning for musical destruction. These are "my guys" for a reason.
Listen to: Errors in the Signal, The Wolf I Feed, Fall On Their Swords, Everything in Mono
Glissando - The World Without UsThe Rustle of Stars]
Listen to: The Long Lost, Of Silence, Still (II)
Listen to: Bring Out Your Dead, Invoc(h)ate, The Monolith
Kreator - Phantom Antichrist
Listen to: Phantom Antichrist, Death to the World, Victory Will Come
Narbeleth - Diabolus IncarnatusDark Primitive Cult demo, and then some. A throwback to the best of black metal's second wave, this is the coldest record I heard in 2012; and it's from a country that's never seen a spot of snow. A blaze in the Havana sky. Hail! [If you're not KVLT or hip enough to find the cassette tape, fear not: Lord Dakkar has given his consent for you to download it.]
Listen to: Walk Unholy Paths, Raw Hatred
Anathema - Weather Systems
Listen to: Untouchable Part One, Part Two, The Gathering of Clouds, The Beginning and the End
Abnormality - Contaminating The Hive Mind
Sea Bastard - Self-titled
Troglodyte - Don't Go in the Woods
Macaroni - A Gift for Corpse
Listen to: A Gift for Corpse album preview (unfortunately, my attempts to find songs from this album online proved to be fruitless; take my word, though, it's pretty awesome).
I come old friend from hell tonight2012 saw a flurry of new albums from many of my favourite bands, and I greeted each like the return of an old friend. Testament's Dark Roots of the Earth was an immensely enjoyable album that fell just short of being a classic. Terrorizer's Hordes of Zombies didn't impress many critics, but it fueled many a cab ride to my jiujitsu class. As an exercise in pure distilled rage, it couldn't be beat. Orange Goblin's Eulogy for the Damned would have been the soundtrack to all my nights of drinking with the brahs, if I drank or had brahs. Cannibal Corpse released Torture, a Cannibal Corpse album that made Cannibal Corpse fans happy, this one included. Cryptopsy redeemed themselves in the eyes of fans and critics with their self-titled album, whilst still maintaining their legacy as a band that strives to keep death metal fresh and original. Headhunter D.C. are as no-frills as Brazilian death metal gets; they may not make it to any best of lists, but they did write my favourite new anthem: Hail the metal of death!
Dreams of Consciousness was voted the best metal blog of 2012 by the editors of Dreams of Consciousness metal blog. See for yourself.