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The Staff's Top Picks of 2012

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*** Please CLICK HERE to vote for YOUR favorite album of the year !***

(Click on each writer's name below to go directly to his list.)

Pete Pardo
Mike Popke
Duncan Glenday
Jon Neudorf
Murat Batmaz
Butch Jones
Denis Brunelle
Dean Pedley
Mark Davies
Steven Reid
Gert Hulshof
Jeff Ballew
John O'Boyle
Jordan Blum
Mark Johnson
Simon Bray
Carl Sederholm
Jason Guest
Kim Jensen
Scott Jessup
Bartek Paszylk
Brice Ezell
Curtis Dewar
Geoff Glenister

Summarized List Of The Top 50 CDs, From All Of The SoT Staff


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Rush : Clockwork Angels (Their best album since the early '80s, and one that I played to death this year.)
2 Black Country Communion : Afterglow (Just missed out on my #1. Hope it's not their last.)
3 Enslaved : RIITIIR (Once again, astounding progressive black metal.)
4 Witchcraft : Legend (The Swedes have created a masterpiece of doom & '70s hard rock.)
5 Nile : At the Gate of Sethu (Technical death metal doesn't get much better than this!)
6 Between the Buried and Me : The Parallax II (Future Sequence so off the charts good!)
7 Spawn of Possession : Incurso (If death metal could be 'artsy' , this would be it!)
8 Graveyard : Lights Out (The '70s renaissance continues on their latest.)
9 Captain Crimson : Dancing Madly Backwards (Another great new Swedish retro hard rock band.)
10 Kamelot : Silverthorn (New singer, excellent results!)
11 Borknagar : Urd (More melodic, progressive black metal bliss!)
12 Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell : Don't Hear It... Fear It! (Crushing doom, stoner, and '70s hard rock!)
13 Glass Hammer : Perilous (Another epic statement from the prog veterans.)
14 Accept : Stalingrad (Total kick ass classic metal from the German legends.)
15 Gin Lady : Gin Lady (Goodbye Black Bonzo, hello Gin Lady! Great '70s styled hard rock.)
16 Heart : Fanatic (Loving this latest from the Wilson sisters. Hard rock, pop, folk…classic!)
17 Primal Fear : Unbreakable (The power metal veterans unleash another winner!)
18 UFO : Seven Deadly (The very solid Vinnie Moore era continues.)
19 Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson : Thick as a Brick 2 (A very strong, enjoyable sequel!)
20 Jorn : Bring Heavy Rock to the Land (I for one am glad this fabulous singer continues to do so!)
21 Horisont : Second Assault (More wonderful retro '70s heavy rock from Sweden.)
22 Grand Magus : The Hunt (Just good old fashioned classic metal!)
23 Van Halen : A Different Kind of Truth (Yeah, pretty kick ass classic VH like it's 1980 again.)
24 Gojira : L'Enfant Sauvage (Pummeling, savage riffs…a band on the verge of greatness.)
25 Meshuggah : Koloss (The Swedish tech monsters return again with another platter of mayhem.)
26 KISS : Monster (So much better than I thought it would be. Classic KISS!)
27 ZZ Top : La Futura (Another one that just knocked me off my feet. Vintage ZZ Top!)
28 Circus Maximus : Nine (Little less proggy perhaps, but still awesome.)
29 Helcaraxe : Red Dragon (One of my favorite epic, melodic death metal releases of the year!)
30 Suspyre : Suspyre (Consistency is the key here with these guys. Killer progressive metal!)
31 Lana Lane : El Dorado Hotel (Great songs make great albums, and this one is filled with them.)
32 Conquest : The Harvest (One of the year's big surprises. Very cool Finnish hard rock/metal.)
33 Fozzy : Sin and Bones (Could be their breakout album. One of the real 'fun' metal albums of 2012!)
34 Testament : Dark Roots of Earth (Their thrash renaissance continues!)
35 Cannibal Corpse : Torture (Another gory technical death metal winner.)
36 Adrenaline Mob : Omerta (Russell Allen, Mike Portnoy & Co. pump out a groovy metal gem.)
37 Epica : Requiem For the Indifferent (Symphonic metal veterans once again deliver.)
38 Orange Gobin : A Eulogy for the Damned (Groovy, doomy, and heavy!)
39 Psychroptic : The Inherited Repression (More technical death metal brilliance.)
40 Nightwish : Imaginarium (Last one with Annette sparkles.)
41 Angel Witch : As Above So Below (The triumphant return of the NWOBHM legends.)
42 Presto Ballet : Relic of the Modern World (Kurdt Vanderhoof & Co. deliver another prog gem.)
43 Kreator : Phantom Antichrist (Teutonic thrash legends crush once again!)
44 Tribal Tech : X (Jazz fusion comeback of the year.)
45 Devin Townsend Project : Epicloud (Similar to Addicted, but still a lot of fun.)
46 Lynyrd Skynyrd : Last of a Dying Breed (Southern Rock legends keep the fires burning.)
47 Gypsyhawk : Revelry & Resilience (Loving this Thin Lizzy inspired set!)
48 Mob Rules : Cannibal Nation (Melodic progressive/power/melodic metal feast!)
49 Magnum : On the Thirteenth Day (Cagey melodic rock veterans once again do no disappoint.)
50 Threshold : March of Progress (Another solid display of melodic progressive metal.)

Top Live Albums Of 2012:
Black Country Communion-Live Over Europe
Deep Purple-Total Abandon Australia '99
Return to Forever-The Mothership Returns
Joe Bonamassa-Beacon Theater Live from New York
Renaissance-Turn of the Cards & Sheherazade and Other Stories Live in Concert
Bachman & Turner-Live at Roseland Ballroom, NYC
Triumph-Live at Sweden Rock Festival
Curved Air-Live Atmosphere
Gary Moore-Blues For Jimi-Live in London
Stratovarius-Under Flaming Winter Skies
Nik Bartsch's Ronin-Live
Foreigner-Alive & Rockin'
Spock's Beard- The X Tour Live
Steve Smith & Vital Information-Live! One Great Night
Keith Jarrett-Sleeper
Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats-Live Meat and Potatoes
Rick Wakeman-In the Nick of Time-Live in 2003
VDGG-Live in Concert at Metropolis Studios, London
Erik Norlander-The Galactic Collective-Live at Gettysburg
Magico-Carta de Amor
Vicious Rumors-Live You to Death


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Presto Ballet : Relic of the Modern World
2 Neal Morse : Momentum
3 Devin Townsend Project : Epicloud
4 North Atlantic Oscillation : Fog Electric
5 Nightwish : Imaginaerum
6 Steve Hackett : Genesis Revisited II
7 Mob Rules : Cannibal Nation
8 Spheric Universe Experience : The New Eve
9 Threshold : March of Progress
10 Flying Colors : Flying Colors
11 Kamelot : Silverthorn
12 Affector : Harmagedon
13 Delain : We Are the Others
14 Sonata Arctica : Stones Call Her Name
15 Rush : Clockwork Angels
16 The Flower Kings : Banks of Eden
17 Mystery : The World Is a Game
18 Cryptic Vision : Of Infinite Possibilities
19 The Gathering : Disclosure
20 Circus Maximus : Nine

Honorable Mention
1. Cloudscape: New Era
2. Ligro: Dictionary 2
3. Randy George: Action Reaction
4. Eclipse: Bleed & Scream
5. Asia: XXX
6. Janel & Anthony: Where Is Home
7. KingBathmat: Truth Button
8. District 97: Trouble With Machines
9. Gazpacho: March of Ghosts
10. Glass Hammer: Perilous
11. The Pineapple Thief: All the Wars
12. Magnum: On the 13th Day
13. Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson: Thick As a Brick 2
14. It Bites: Map of the Past
15. Squackett: A Life Within a Day

Top Five Non-Prog/Metal
1. Rhett Walker Band: Come to the River – A Christian version of Lynyrd Skynyrd
2. Rocket Club: North Country – Good ol' country rock that's the best thing to come out of Minnesota since ... well, ever
3. Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball – Belongs up there with the Boss' best
4. Walter Trout: Blues for the Modern Daze – America's most overlooked/underrated bluesman
5. Ben Folds Five: The Sound of the Life of the Mind – Magnificent offbeat melodies and scathing lyrics

1. Heart: Strange Euphoria
2. Devin Townsend Project: By A Thread
3. Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day
4. Circle II Circle: Full Circle
5. Tiles: Off the Floor
6. Moon Safari: The Gettysburg Address
7. Blackmore's Night: A Knight in York
8. Stratovarius: Under Flaming Winter Skies-Live in Tampere
9. Porcupine Tree: Octane Twisted
10. Rage Against the Machine: XX

1. Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball, by R.A. Dickey
2. The Last Policeman: A Novel, by Ben H. Winters
3. Bruce, by Peter Ames Carlin
4. Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of KISS, by Peter Criss
5. Bloodman, by Robert Pobi
6. Paterno, by Joe Posnanski
7. Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son, by Buzz Bissinger
8. The Devil of Echo Lake, by Douglas Wynne
9. When I Life Home: My Story, by Buddy Guy
10. Power Chord: One Man's Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes, by Thomas Scott McKenzie


Best Albums Of 2012:

I've heard fewer albums than ever this year. I've actually bought several of the albums voted by my colleagues, but haven't had the time to spin them yet. So these are the best of the few that I know:

1 Swans : The Seer
2 Änglagård : Viljans Öga
3 Beardfish : The Void
4 Magma : Félicité Thösz
5 Mike Keneally : Wing Beat Fantastic
6 District 97 : Trouble With Machines
7 Pepe Deluxe : Queen of the Wave
8 Morglbl : Brütal Römance
9 Thinking Plague : Decline and Fall
10 The Enid : Invicta
11 Anathema : Weather Systems
12 Deerhoof : Breakup Song
13 Big Big Train : English Electric Part One
14 Flying Colors : Flying Colors
15 Marillion : Sounds That Can't Be Made
16 Between the Buried and Me : The Parallax II
17 Echolyn : Echolyn


Best Albums Of 2012:

This past year has been a smorgasbord of great music from both new and veteran artists alike. As usual, as in the past few years, there were many releases I have not yet heard. That said, the following albums were my favourites of 2012. Enjoy...

1 Arjen Anthony Lucassen's : Lost in the New Real (No other album spent more time in my CD player this year. I love it!)
2 Circus Maximus : Nine (In my book these guys can do no wrong. Excellent progressive metal!)
3 Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson : TAAB2 (This is perhaps the year's biggest surprise, at least for me. An outstanding album from one of rock's greatest icons!)
4 Threshold : March of Progress (Threshold came back with a vengeance. Mac is sorely missed but I can think of no better replacement than Damian Wilson.)
5 Astra : The Black Chord (Oh, the spaciness of it all! A very pleasant surprise this year as I had not heard their music before.)
6 Anathema : Weather Systems (Maybe their best yet although every release seems to exude quality.)
7 The Tea Club : Quickly, Quickly, Quickly (Hands down my favourite Tea Club thus far. A riveting sonic experience to behold!)
8 Utravox : Brilliant (The album title says it all. A fantastic return to form and a nice companion to "Lament"!)
9 Rush : Clockwork Angels (Another winner in the Rush cannon and the concert tour brought these tunes to life!)
10 Headspace : I Am Anonymous (Another nice find this year. Adventurous progressive metal with Damian Wilson at the helm.)
11 Peter Matuchniak : Uncover Me (Listened to this one a lot this summer. The songs are strong and the melodies have that head sticking quality that I am always searching for.)
12 Neal Morse : Momentum (Neal keeps on delivering timeless progressive rock time and time again while remaining true to who he is. Great stuff!)
13 Gekko Projekt : Electric Forest (Melodic progressive rock at its finest.)
14 Mike Keneally : Wing Beat Fantastic (An album of exquisite beauty and the XTC influence can be heard throughout!)
15 Alias Eye : In Between (This one should have tremendous crossover appeal. Melodic rock fans should lap this up.)
16 Distorted Harmony : Utopia (A memorable progressive metal debut from this fine Israeli band.)
17 Marillion : Sounds That Can't Be Made (A subdued effort that I find totally absorbing. Very well done.)
18 The Prog Collective : The Prog Collective (Sherwood has assembled some great players for this one. I really like it and the melodies are awesome.)
19 Katatonia : Dead End Kings (A very nice follow up to "Night Is The New Day".)
20 The Winter Tree : Guardians (A fine second effort of symphonic inspired art rock.)


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Suspyre : Suspyre
2 Headspace : I Am Anonymous
3 Evoken : Atra Mors
4 Ne Obliviscaris : The Portal of I
5 Deathspell Omega : Drought
6 Heaven's Cry : Wheels of Impermanence
7 Gojira : L'Enfant Sauvage
8 Threshold : March of Progress
9 Katatonia : Dead End Kings
10 Testament : Dark Roots of Earth
11 Ihsahn : Eremita
12 Nile : At the Gate of Sethu
13 Bad Salad : Uncivilized
14 Affector : Harmagedon
15 Circus Maximus - Nine :

Haven't heard: Haji's Kitchen – Twenty Ten, Speaking to Stones – Elements, Flying Colors – s-t, Kamelot – Silverthorn, Oddland – Treachery of Senses, Enslaved – Riitiir, Vangough – Acoustic Scars, and many others.


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Gojira : L'Enfant Sauvage
2 Periphery : Periphery II
3 Lamb of God : Resolution
4 Accept : Stalingrad
5 God Forbid : Equilibrium
6 Meshuggah : Koloss
7 Mnemic : Mnemesis
8 Van Halen : A Different Kind of Truth
9 Orange Goblin : A Eulogy For The Damned
10 Testament : Dark Roots of the Earth
11 Fear Factory : The Industrialist
12 Big Wreak : Albatross


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Scott Kelly, Wino & Steve Vontill : Songs of Townes Van Zandt
2 Wino & Conny Ochs : Heavy Kingdom
3 Auburn : Indian Summer
4 Toulouse Engelhardt : Toulousology
5 Incredible String Band : The Lost Broadcasts
6 Katrin : Frail to Fearless
7 Sauce Boss : Live at the Green Parrot
8 Kevin Davin Fine : Memphis Rising


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Rival Sons : Head Down
2 Rush : Clockwork Angels
3 Bruce Springsteen : Wrecking Ball
4 Ian Hunter : When I'm President
5 Swanee River : Smoking Jacket
6 Delain : We Are The Others
7 Absolva : Flames Of Justice
8 Ugly Kid Joe : Stairway To Hell (EP)
9 Marillion : Sounds That Can't Be Made
10 Tremonti : All I Was
11 Europe : Bag Of Bones
12 Tygers Of Pan Tang : Ambush
13 Asia : XXX
14 Steve Vai : The Story Of Light
15 DeeExpus : King Of Number 33
16 Kobra And The Lotus : S/T
17 Eclipse : Bleed And Scream
18 Fozzy : Sin And Bones
19 Magnum : On The 13th Day
20 Ian Anderson : Thick As A Brick 2
21 Bonafide : Ultimate Rebel
22 Kid Rock : Rebel Soul
23 Winter In Eden : Echoes Of Betrayal
24 Freedom Call : Land Of The Crimson Dawn
25 KISS : Monster


1 Black Sabbath @ Birmingham O2 Academy
2 Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band @ Manchester Etihad Stadium
3 Ugly Kid Joe @ Hard Rock Hell VI
4 Ugly Kid Joe @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall
5 Chris Cornell @ Birmingham Symphony Hall
6 Rival Sons @ Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
7 Quireboys @ Hard Rock Hell VI
8 Delain @ Birmingham HMV Institute
9 Black Stone Cherry @ Birmingham 02 Academy
10 Michael Schenker @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall
11 Steve Vai @ Orlando House Of Blues
12 Fozzy @ Hard Rock Hell VI
13 Ian Hunter @ Birmingham Town Hall
14 Nightwish @ Birmingham 02 Academy
15 Alice Cooper @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall
16 10CC @ Birmingham Symphony Hall
17 Guns N Roses @ Birmingham LG Arena
18 Thin Lizzy @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall
19 Bonafide @ Hard Rock Hell VI
20 Trillium @ Birmingham HMV Institute


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Kreator : Phantom Antichrist
2 The Devin Townsend Project : Epicloud
3 Tremonti : All I Was
4 Eclipse : Bleed & Scream
5 Orange Goblin : Eulogy For The Damned
6 Rush : Clockwork Angels
7 Rival Sons : Head Down
8 Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovel : Don't Hear It..Fear It
9 Testament : Dark Roots Of Earth
10 Down IV Part I : The Purple E.P
11 Grand Magus : The Hunt
12 All Hail The Yeti : All Hail The Yeti
13 The Sword : Apocryphon
14 Knock Out Kaine : House Of Sins
15 Absolva : Flames Of Justice
16 Hurt : The Crux
17 Paradise Lost : Tragic Idol
18 Anathema : Weather Systems
19 Witchcraft : Legend
20 3 Inches Of Blood : Long Live Heavy Metal


Again some miles have been clocked up on the 'Metal Mobile' to witness some outstanding performances in 2012; here goes…

1. King Diamond @ Hellfest, France - June
2. Ten Ton Hammer (Machine Head) @ Kings College, London - June
3. The Devin Townsend Project, Retinal Circus @ The Roundhouse, London - October
4. Twisted Sister @ Graspop Metal Meeting, Belgium - June
5. Orange Goblin @ Morrowfest, Rock City, Nottingham - May
6. Down @ The Academy, Manchester - October
7. Marshall 50 Years Of Loud @ Wembley Arena, London – October
8. Ghost @ Download Festival, Donington Park – June
9. Lynyrd Skynyrd @ Hellfest, France – June
10. Adrenaline Mob @ Graspop Metal Meeting, Belgium – June
11. Sepultura @ Bloodstock Festival, Catton Hall –August
12. Anthrax @ Hammerfest, Prestatyn – March
13. Rammstein @ Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham – March
14. Metallica @ Download Festival, Donington Park – June
15. Hell @ Hammerfest, Prestatyn – March
16. Lifer @ The Gasworks, Bradford –April
17. Rival Sons @ Hellfest, France –June
18. Paradise Lost @ The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham – April
19. Evile @ Bloodstock Festival, Catton Hall – August
20. Shinedown @ Download Festival, Donington Park- June


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 DeeExpus : King Of Number 33 (A gloriously melodic burst of prog that delights and intrigues from start to finish)
2 Galahad : Battle Scars (Galahad take their mix of keyboard heavy themes with a twist of many things to come up with heavy, challenging, sweet, loving, neo, dance prog!)
3 Ginger Wildheart : 5.55 (Not quite my album of the year, but the Pledge campaign that made this album possible was event of the year. Three CDs confirm that fun and frolics made great music)
4 Hogarth|Barbieri : Not The Weapon But The Hand (Some of the best music either Steve Hogarth or Richard Barbieri have come up with - and vastly different from Marillion or Porcupine Tree)
5 Threshold : March Of Progress (A stunning return from the band and singer Damian Wilson - the best prog metal album of the year)
6 Accept : Stalingrad (Blood Of Nations was an awesome comeback. Stalingrad ranks as one of Accept's best ever)
7 Rob Cottingham : Captain Blue (A wonderful concept album that works on many levels, best of all musically, where the mix of commercial and introverted prog combines superbly)
8 It Bites : Map Of The Past (Less old It Bites than ever, MotP maps out a stunning new course for the band, with an eye still on the past!)
9 Galahad : Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria (One great album in a year is impressive, two is showing off. Galahad are showing off and I'm delighted they are!)
10 Jackdaw4 : Dissecticide (More eclecto-pop from Willie Dowling and the gang, results in hard hitting lyrics and sublime pop hooks. Love it, love it, love it!)
11 Soleil Moon : On The Way To Everything (AOR as it once was and as Soleil Moon have proved, as it can be again)
12 Black Country Communion : Afterglow (If this is the Hughes/Bonamassa/Sherinian/Bonham swansong, it's a hell of a way to go out)
13 Marillion : Sounds That Can't Be Made (Marillion dare to be different while being true to their latter day sound. When it is done this well, who is gonna complain?)
14 Circus Maximus : Nine (A stunning mix of power, precision, melody and attitude. Job done!)
15 The Pineapple Thief : All The Wars (Maybe too mainstream for some, but the bonus acoustic disc is a stunning album and both discs together make for stunning counterpoints)
16 The Room : Open Fire (An unexpectedly poised and restrained debut in the style of Saga from the UK's next big thing)
17 Shinedown : Amaryllis (The prime exponents of modern melodic US rock hit the heights with their latest offering)
18 Beardfish : The Void (Heavier than expected, angular as ever, Beardfish prove they can evolve and delight in equal measure)
19 RPWL : Beyond Man And Time (An ambitious concept delivered with a huge dash of quirky RPWL style. Possibly their best yet)
20 Arjen Lucassen : Lost In The New Real (Arjen goes ape for a solo effort that combines elements from all his projects, and wraps them up in a little sparkling madness and a retro cool - nice)
21 T&N : Slave To The Empire (three quarters of Dokken reinterpret songs from their past with an all star vocal cast. Although a set of superb new tracks is what makes for a killer album)
22 Kamelot : Silverthorn (A change of vocalist should be the hardest thing a band ever has to do. Kamelot have laughed at that premise and produced the goods big style. Refined power metal at its best)
23 Echolyn : Echolyn (An album that simply oozes class, Echolyn have arrived big time (again) with their second self-titled effort)
24 Spiral : Mind Trip In A Minor (Doom, space rock, drone, prog, electronic. You name it Spiral do it and they do it spectacularly well!)
25 3rdegree : The Long Division (A cutting, political prog lesson from 3rdegree finds them really stepping into the big leagues in fine fashion)
26 Devin Townsend : Epicloud (OK, I'll quote Devy. It's Epic and it's Loud, so it's Epicloud! This is Devin madness as only he can. Maybe not to quite to his usual standards, but impressive nonetheless)
27 Rush : Clockwork Angels (What's more to say? This is Rush, at least 100 times harder hitting than we believed possible at this stage of their career)
28 Kiss : Monster (Never saw this one coming either. Monster is aptly named and far better than Simmons and Stanley have any right to be in 2012)
29 Reverence : When Darkness Calls (In a year that has seen a real resurgence in US melodic metal, this debut from Reverence is a great example of how to do it fantastically well)
30 Prong : Carved Into Stone (Another cracking comeback from a band that have been written off far too soon. Unexpected surprise of the year!)
31 Bruce Springsteen : Wrecking Ball (A harder nut to crack than recent Springsteen offerings, Wrecking Ball finds The Boss angry and in your face. It's where and how he should always be)
32 Fatal Force : Unholy Rites (A collision of burning guitars, howling vocals and bristling beats makes for a power metal album that screams with melody)
33 Absolva : Flames Of Justice (In a year of stunning debuts, Absolva arrive on the scene with a brand of traditional UK metal that sounds as fresh today as it did thirty or so years ago. Mighty!)
34 Headspace : I Am Anonymous (An all star cast led by Damian Wilson and Adam Wakeman makes for a debut that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Challenging themes and bullish music makes for a modern prog album with vintage cool)
35 Magnum : On The Thirteenth Day (A veteran band yes, Magnum just keep getting stronger and stronger. OT13thD is Magnum at their best)
36 Just Like Vinyl : Black Mass (Heavy, shouty, yet progressive, Black Mass is neither immediate, or an easy ride, instead revealing itself with time and attention, allowing extremity and focus to meet in the middle and create an album that satisfies your mind as it fries your brain)
37 Dec Burke : Paradigms & Storylines (Dec provides prog with genuine crossover appeal. In a right minded world, his music would be as well known as that of Muse)
38 Trixter : New Audio Machine (a throwaway melodic rock band in their heyday, New Audio Machine is as shocking as it is satisfying - look out for them at Firefest X - I know I will)
39 Adrenaline Mob : Omerta (Modern prog elite come across all modern metal. It should be a car wreck, but ends up as a mighty smack of riffing madness!)
40 Chalcedony : Chapter II (Intentionally hard to categorise, Chapter II is a personal journey through the mad mind of Chalcedony. However if you are willing to give yourself over to an album that never even considers compromise or dilution to be an option, then it will be a harrowing, yet seductive journey you'll struggle to resist)
41 Lillian Axe : XI: The Days Before Tomorrow (Always one of the more intelligent bands to come from the much maligned metal scene of the late 80s and early 90s, Lillian Axe serve up their best album in many a moon. Searing guitars, biting vocals and memorable songs. It's what makes great albums great isn't it?)
42 Walking With Kings : Walking With Kings (A Christian Rock band delivering a sermon of punchy guitars, confident melodies and glistening hooks. One of the brightest melodic rock bands to hit the scene in a long time)
43 Slash : Apocalyptic Love (The onetime G&R axe slinger finally hits the home run on his own terms. The voice of Myles Kennedy is the perfect accompaniment to the dancing, swirling riffs. I want more, more, more!)
44 Lee Small : Jamaica Inn (What a wonderful albums this is. Deep, rocking, soulful and from the heart, the huge vocal talent that is Lee Small should be a household name)
45 Mystery : The World Is A Game (Benoit David gets the perfect opportunity to put the Yes debacle behind him. The World Is A Game is the perfect antidote)
46 Babylon Fire : Dark Horizons (Another muscular grooving metal album that suggests even greater things to come from these UK newcomers)
47 Taylor's Universe : Kind Of Red (Jazz that isn't afraid to think out of the box. Kind Of Red is an album that satisfies on so many levels)
48 Shadow Circus : On A Dark & Stormy Night (Some want their prog to nod to the past, others crave a dash for the future. Shadow Circus deliver both)
49 Unisonic : Unisonic (Kiske and Hansen come back together many moons after they both departed Helloween for a guitar blazing debut that hints at past glories)
50 HEAT : Address The Nation (A melodic burst of metal that just edges out Eclipse for the best effort from the new breed of 2012)

Live Album/DVD
1. Orphaned Land - The Road To Or-Shalem
2. Saxon - Live Eagles Over Wacken
3. Y&T - Live At The Mystic
4. Steve Wilson - Catalog/Preserve/Amass
5. Arild Anderssen - Celebration
6. Black Country Communion - Live Over Europe
7. Michael Schenker - Temple Of Rock - Live In Europe
8. Porcupine Tree - Octane Twisted
9. Steven Wilson - Get All You Deserve
10. The Brew UK - Live In Europe


1. Various Artists - Voices From Valhalla - A Tribute To Bathory
2. Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited II
3. Midnight - Complete And Total Hell
4. Moebius Cat - End Of Time
5. Markus Reuter - Kopfmensch
6. Echo Us - Tomorrow Will Tell The Story
7. Kane Roberts - Saints & Sinners
8. Fatal Force - Fatal Force
9. Dare - Calm Before The Storm 2
10. Galahad - Year Zero - The 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition

Best Live Band 2012

1. Adrenaline Mob
2. Pain Of Salvation
3. Little Angels
4. Marillion
5. The Union
6. Absolva
7. Ginger Wildheart
8. Muse
9. DeeExpus
10. Skin
11. The Pineapple Thief
12. Voodoo Six
13. Karnataka
14. Eluveitie
15. Black Stone Cherry
16. Clutch
17. F.M.
18. Europe
19. The Answer
20. Sabaton


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Beardfish : The Void
2 Echolyn : Echolyn
3 Flower Kings : Banks of Eden
4 Kotebel : Concerto for Electric Ensemble and Piano
5 The Enid : Invicta
6 Frequency Drift : Laid to Rest
7 Big Big Train : English Electric part 1
8 Anglagard : Viljan Oga
9 My sleeping Karma : Soma
10 Gazpacho : March of Ghosts
11 Galahad : Beyond the Realms of Euphoria
12 Dean Watson : Imposing Elements
13 Paul Cusick : P'dice
14 Effloresce : Coma Gosts
15 Kaipa : Vittjar
16 The Pineapple Thief : All The Wars
17 Frames : In Via
18 Silhouette : Across the Rubicon
19 Affector : Harmageddon
20 Threshold : March of Progress
21 Rush : Clockwork Angels
22 Citizen Cain : Skies Darken
23 Astra : The Black Vhord
24 Anathema : Weather Systems
25 Incidence : Incarcerated
26 Flying Colors : Flying Colors
27 Hemina : Synthetic
28 Neograss : Atlantis


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Distorted Harmony : Utopia (In addition to being one of the best debuts I've heard in a long time, this stunning progressive metal effort is my favorite album of 2012. Original, inspired, and heavy as hell, this one delivers on all fronts!)
2 Wintersun : Time I (After a horrendously long wait, Wintersun's sophomore outing satisfies with some of most daring and entertaining metal music from this year.)
3 Echolyn : Echolyn (The American prog band's transition into a melodic and symphonic prog act is completed here, and the result is quite possibly their magnum opus. Beautiful.)
4 Marillion : Sounds That Can't Be Made (Marillion has returned with their strongest effort since Brave; a masterpiece of melancholic and laid back neo prog!)
5 Enslaved : RIITIIR (This is Enslaved's most progressive and ambitious work to date, and it's also my favorite; a flawless mix of black metal and seventies' prog!)
6 The Flower Kings : Banks of Eden (The latest from these Swedish prog veterans is just as excellent as we've come to expect from them, and maybe even a bit more!)
7 Steve Hogarth and Richard Barbieri : Not the Weapon But the Hand (This collaboration effort between two great musicians is one of the most creative albums I've heard this year, and its mix of ambient textures and progressive ideas makes for a perfect 'chill out' record!)
8 Obsidian Kingdom : Mantiis (An album that is both wildly eclectic and frighteningly melancholic, Mantiis is one of the year's most bone chilling listens for sure!)
9 Spawn of Possession : Incurso (Absolutely killer technical death metal in the vein of Obscura, Death, and Cryptopsy!)
10 RPWL : Beyond Man and Time (RPWL's latest offering of Floydian neo prog is possibly the best that they've come up with to date!)
11 Hemina : Synthetic (The first album from this Australian prog metal act is as creative as it is masterful in its execution, and the result is a stunner on all fronts!)
12 Napalm Death : Utilitarian (Napalm Death's latest deathgrind opus sounds just as filthy, angry, and energetic as ever!)
13 Profusion : Rewotower (A fresh and eclectic progressive rock album that is one of the most enjoyable I've heard all year!)
14 Primal Fear : Unbreakable (The latest from Primal Fear may not break any boundaries, but this killer release proves that they are at the absolute top of the modern traditional metal scene.)
15 Hail Spirit Noir : Pneuma (This strange mix of black metal and seventies' psych is ambitious in scope and superb in its execution!)
16 L'Ombra Della Sera : L'Ombra Della Sera (Italian prog legend Fabio Zuffanti's latest project is a great little album for fans of instrumental prog and fusion!)
17 Ian Anderson : Thick As a Brick 2 (The follow up release to one of progressive rock's most iconic albums does not disappoint; Ian Anderson shows that his artistic vision is still there after all these years!)
18 Winterfylleth : The Threnody of Triumph (A bleak and atmospheric black metal observation that stands as one of the genre's best from this year.)
19 Neal Morse : Momentum (Neal Morse's most recent effort doesn't blow me away quite like last year's Testimony 2 did, but there's still more than enough great material here to make for a very entertaining listen!)
20 Kotebel : Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble (This quirky instrumental prog album is a great example of fine musicianship and compositional prowess.)
21 Your Tomorrow Alone : Ordinary Lives (A dark, gothic, and atmospheric doom metal album, the debut from this Italian act is one that certainly appeals to the darker side of human emotion!)
22 Sigh : In Somniphobia (Japan's Sigh has always been known for their weird and zany take on avant black metal, and this one is possibly their best to date!)
23 SoulenginE : Mind Colours (A great little prog album featuring ex-members of The Watch!)
24 Shroud of Despondency : Pine (This bleak expression of folk infused black metal delivers on all fronts!)
25 So Much For Nothing : Livsgnist (Much like their fellow Scandinavians in Shining, the polished and depressive black metal on Livsgnist may not be for everybody, but it is an example of that genre at its best.)


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Flower Kings : Banks of Eden
2 Manning : Akoustik
3 IO Earth : Moments
4 District 97 : Trouble With Machines
5 Kiss : Monster
6 Van Halen : A different Kind of Truth
7 Rodrigo San Martin : Eyes
8 Karcius : The First Day
9 Nichelodeon : NO
10 Neal Morse : Momentum
11 Devin Townsend Project : Epicloud
12 Flying Colors : Flying Colors
13 Rush : Clockwork Angels
14 Royal Southern Brotherhood : Royal Southern Brotherhood
15 Govt Mule : The Georgia Bootleg Box
16 Phish : Chicago 94
17 Grateful Dead : Spring 1980 : So Glad You Made it
18 Soleil Moon : On The Way To Everything
19 Black Country Community : Afterglow
20 Chickenfoot : LV
21 Led Zeppelin : Celebration Day
22 Panic Room : Skin
23 Quasar : Live 2011
24 Profusion : Rewotower
25 Effloresce : Coma Ghost


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Anathema : Weather Systems
2 Between the Buried and Me : The Parallax I: Future SequenceI
3 Gazpacho : March of Ghosts
4 The Autumn Chorus : The Village to the Vale
5 Devin Townsend : Epicloud/Epiclouder
6 Echoyln : Echolyn
7 Big Big Train : English Electric Part One
8 Ian Anderson : Thick as a Brick 2
9 Beardfish : The Void
10 Arjen Lucassen : Lost in the New Real
11 The Pineapple Thief : All the Wars
12 Neal Morse : Momentum
13 Storm Corrosion : Storm Corrosion
14 Coheed & Cambria : The Afterman: Ascension
15 The Flower Kings : Banks of Eden
16 The Gathering : Disclosure
17 Flying Colors : Flying Colors


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Anthony Arjen Lucassen : Lost in the New Real (Arjen, "The Maestro" finally releases his first solo album and it is fantastic! It's a double album to boot! Nothing came close. Good vocals as well. Zep, BOC, and Pink Floyd covers were outta this world! Still remember those girls singing the refrain from "Pink Beatles…" over in Hood River, and their comment, "Who is Anthony Arjen Lucassen?" I think they know now. ;^))
2 Unitopia : Covered Mirror (This was the album this band had to make. Unitopia truly captured the spirit and sound of these tracks well. They breathed new life into songs like "Calling Occupants…" and "Easter".)
3 Xandria : Neverworld's End (Commanded most of the first half of the year. Spectacular from beginning to end. Manuela second only to Sabine from Edenbridge after this album. Can't wait for the next one!)
4 Atoma - Skylight : Wow! Surprise of the year. This band is definitely on my watch list now. In a year that Arjen brought back the spirit of "Blade Runner", Ehsan may have re-wrote a new soundtrack for the sci-fi thriller. ()
5 Kaipa : Vittjar (Another perfect album with no flaws. A new folk force for fall.)
6 Majestic : V.O.Z. (Two years in the making and Jeff delivered.)
7 Smashing Pumpkins : Oceania (Billy and the band are back. I just could not stop playing every song on this album. That is when you know you're listening to one of the best of the year.)
8 Chris Robinson Brotherhood : Big Moon Ritual/The Magic Door - This was a summer favorite. It echoed loud all over the Olympic Peninsula! The Crowes may be back in 2013, so we'll see what happens next. ()
9 Steve Hackett : Genesis Revisited II (Was hoping for so much more, especially on "Supper's", for this one. But it's Steve Hackett, and he can do no wrong.)
10 Sylvan : Sceneries (Good music, but no fantastic standouts. Still it is a personal album the band had to make. Hope they go back to some of their magnificence on the next one.)

Best Album Project:

Jay Tausig – Trip Around the Sun – Twelve albums in one year. Very ambitious…indeed. Well, he didn't make it yet, so the trip goes on. Unbelievable in scope and presence. The new definition of prolific! More music than anyone has a right to make in a year. ;^)

Best Album Artwork – Ed Unitsky – Jay Tausig's Trip Around the Sun – A man possessed with unlimited creativity. Imagine trying to keep up with Jay's inspiration and creating 12 album art concepts in a year. He also created a full album booklet of art for Unitopia's Covered Mirror. Yep…no one else came close.

Best Composer – Arjen Lucassen – So many years…so many great albums! In the Milky Way he is one of the few constants.

Best Male Vocals – Mark Trueack – On "Covered Mirror" he even pushed the "Daltry" level.

Best Female Vocals – Manuela Kraller – Only Lauren Larsen came close, but she did not make a new album this year.

Best Lead Guitar – Billy Corgan/Jay Tausig/Jeff Hamel/Matt Williams – Amazing new sounds just when it seemed the pallet was empty.

Best Bass – Nicole Florentino – Smashing Pumpkins. Just listen to "Oceania" for proof.

Best Drums – Ed Warby and Rob Snijders – Just listen to "Welcome to the Machine", "The Space Hotel", and "Veteran of the Psychic Wars"…'nuff said.

Best Keyboards – Ehsan Kalantarpour – Magnificent on "Skylight".

Best New Artists – Henta Ellis, Atoma, Eowyn and Cry for Eden.

Other albums I listened to and found from the past this year:

1. Ume – Phantoms and Sunshower – Can't wait for their new album next year. Lauren Larson's vocals are some of the best in rock. Next year I hope to see her slash that guitar live.
2. 27 – Brittle Divinity – Another great discovery from 2011, along with Ume. Finally bought the full LP on iTunes and was truly rewarded. Definitely on my "watch list".
3. Midlake – The Courage of Man – Finally gave this album a second chance. Bought it last year and was depressed by it. A year later it has turned into one of my favorites. Don't be afraid to give music a second chance. Very rewarding.
4. Nemesea – The Quiet Resistence – Manda has a great voice. I look forward to their next.
5. Henta Ellis – Butterfly Song – A gift from a friend. I will cherish it.
6. Cry for Eden – The 11th Hour – Finally a Portland – based, female vocals, Christian metal band!
7. Barrett Elmore – Woodlands – Wonderful in every way. Behind Atoma and Henta one of the year's best surprises.
8. Danielle Bloom – Meet Me in the Middle – This lady is determined to rock America.
9. No Sound – At the Pier - EP – A nice surprise and look into next year's full studio release.
10. CSN – 2012 – Great to hear these guys back together again.
11. Black Country Communion – Live Over Europe – Great summation of the past.
12. Sandi Thom – Flesh and Blood – Another welcomed surprise.
13. Elf Project –The Great Divide
14. Balloon Astronomy
15. Tirill – Tales from Tranquil August Gardens/Nine and Fifty Swans
16. The Winter Tree – Guardians – Very good follow up.
17. Eowyn – Beautiful Ashes – This album was a very nice surprise. Eowyn has an excellent voice. Looking forward to their next. Added them to my "watch list".


1. Rush – Clockwork Angels – Sad…I'm ready to move on.
2. Dave Matthews – Away from the World – Such high expectations after "Big Whiskey…". But I'm confident this guy will be back.


12/12/12 Concert for Hurricane Sandy Relief – Seeing what's left of the Who, Rolling Stones, Springsteen, Paul Mc Cartney and Nirvana, and Eddie Vedder with Roger Waters from the comfort of my living room was quiet a treat.

Looking Forward to Next Year – Gonna be a big one already!

1. Edenbridge - The Bonding – Was really hoping they'd make it into 2012. But now the road is clear. With an accompanying orchestra I have "Album of the Year" hopes already. Looking forward to something as special as My Earth Dream.
2. Syzygy - A Glorious Disturbance – DVD and new music. Gonna be great.
3. Kingcrow – In Crescendo – The "Crows of Italy" are back after their trip to Prog Power in the USA…watch out!
4. Black Crowes – Unknown
5. Ume – Unknown – Another potential album of the year contender…without hearing a note.
6. Arjen Lucassen – Prog/Metal album – Can he win two years in a row? Facing an Edenbridge epic. Let's see. ;^)
7. Gary Louris/Chris Robinson – Unknown…but crossing my fingers that this will happen.
8. Anima Mundi – Untitled – Hopefully 2013 is the year of their follow up. It would make the top ten unbelievably competitive.
9. The Watch – Untitled – Ready for more, as this year I have dived deep into this band's music. Genesis is gone. Ready to move on…or back as it goes. They will also challenge for number one if they release new material.
10. Visions of Atlantis – Unknown – Wow…gonna be another great year for Napalm Records if Nemesea, Atoma and Stream of Passion join the hunt with new material.
11. No Sound – At the Pier – EP is a good indicator of how great this album will be.

Best DVD/Blue Ray – Music

1. Live Strawberry Fields – Great video. Hope there will soon be more music from Robin and Satellite soon.
2. Strange Fruit: The Beatles' Apple Records – DVD – Man that was a fun trip back.
3. Bad Company – Live at Wembley – Great to hear and see all of these classics performed again.

Best Movies of 2012
1. Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey – No competition. Jackson does it again! The Dolby Atmos sound and new filming techniques make this one another epic trilogy. Re-ignited my interest in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Going back to see it again soon.
2. Prometheus – Incredible opening and ride into space. The filming is simply fantastic. Can't wait for the follow up.
3. The Dark Knight Returns – Great way to complete the trilogy. Not coming back for Robin though.
4. Cloud Atlas – Overall great movie, but no emotional conection.
5. Hunger Games – Excellent! Going back for part II.
6. Lincoln – Very good…but not epic. Too concentrated on one subject. Lincoln did so much during his lifetime.

Disappointments – Star Wars – Phantom Menace 3D – In theater – Wish I had saved my money. Wait for the sequel trilogy.

Looking forward to these movies in 2013:

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2. Star Trek – Into Darkness
3. Riddick – (September)
4. The Hunger Games – Catching Fire
5. Thor – The Dark Worlds
6. Oblivion
7. The Great Gatsby
8. Oz The Great and Powerful
9. Lone Ranger


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Romeo's Daughter : Rapture
2 Pride of Lions : Immortal
3 Jimi Jamison : Never Too Late
4 Ensiferum : Unsung Heroes
5 Focus : X
6 OutLaws : It's About Pride
7 Lynyrd Skynyrd : Last of a Dyin' Breed
8 The Stranglers : Giants.
9 Magnum : On the 13th Day
10 Anathema : Weather Systems
11 Billy Crain : Creole Shoes
12 Sabaton : Carolus Rex
13 Eclipse : Bleed and Scream
14 ReinXeed : Welcome to the Theater
15 Chris Robinson Brotherhood : Big Moon Ritual
16 Human Temple : Halfway to Heartache
17 TeN : Heresy and Creed
18 Die Toten Hosen : Ballast der Republik
19 Rhapsody & Luca Turilli : Ascending to Infinity
20 Tony Banks : Six Pieces for Orchestra
21 Bruce Springsteen. Wrecking Ball :
22 Ian McNabb : Little Episodes
23 It Bites : Map of the Past
24 Unisonic : Unisonic
25 Departure : Hitch a Ride.
26 Dragonforce : The Power Within
27 Tyketto : Dig in Deep
28 John Parr : The Mission
29 KISS : Monster
30 Freedom Call : Land Of The Crimson Dawn
31 Doro : Raise Your Fist
32 Chris Robinson Brotherhood : The Magic Door
33 Delain : We are the Others
34 Dare : Calm Before the Storm 2
35 Running Wild : Shadowmaker
36 Dee Snider : Dee Does Broadway
37 Skinny Molly : Haywire Riot
38 Primal Fear : Unbreakable
39 Fullforce : Next Level
40 House of Shakira : HoS
41 Xandria : Neverworld's End
42 Coheed and Cambria : Aftermath : the Ascension
43 Kamelot : Silverthorn
44 Lita Ford : Living like a Runaway
45 Joe Walsh : Analog Man
46 Wild Frontier : 2012
47 Finsterforst : Rastlos
48 Jeff Scott Soto : Damage Control
49 Walking With Kings : Walking With Kings
50 Neko Nine : Summer is You
51 Mantric Muse : Mantric Muse
52 Trixter : New Audio Machine
53 Polution : Beyond Control
54 Lonewolf : Army of the Damned
55 Iron Fire : Voyage of the Damned
56 Love Under Cover : Set the Night on Fire
57 Donnie Vie : Wrapped Around My Middle Finger
58 Lana Lane : El Darado Hotel
59 Hydrogyn : Private Sessions
60 Great White : Elation
61 Scythia : for the Bear
62 Shadowside : Inner Monster Out
63 Moonspell : Alpha Noir
64 Nothnegal : Decadence
65 Crucified Barbara : The Midnight Chase
66 Gargle : Glow in the Gloom
67 Uhrijuhla : Uhrijuhla
68 Humbucker : R.O.C.K.S.
69 In Alcatraz 1962 : The Drive
70 Grave Digger : Clash of the Gods
71 Mpire of Evil : Hell to the Holy
72 Northumbria : Northumbria
73 Geoff Tate : Kings and Queens
74 Ex Deo : Caligula
75 Kells : Anachromie
76 Ektomorf : Black Flag
77 Nachtblut : Dogma
78 Varg : Guten Tag
79 Vintersorg : Orkan
80 Neal Schon : The Calling

Best EPs

FM: Only Foolin'
Grave Digger: Home at Last
Best Live Albums
HammerFall: Gates of Dalhalla
Tedeschi Trucks Band: Everybody's Talkin'
Gamma Ray: Skeletons and Majesties
Twisted Sister: A Twisted Xmas - Live In Las Vegas
U.D.O.: Live in Sofia


Romeo's Daughter/Serpentine at Bolton
TeN at Bolton
Edguy at Manchester Club Academy
Rob Zombie at Manchester Arena
Michael Nesmith at RNCM in Manchester
Wheatus at Clitheroe Grand


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Testament : Dark Roots of the Earth (Testament seems to be renewed in so many ways. I was so excited for this release that I was one of the first at my local record shop to buy it. I also got a free patch with the album cover on it! They are also one of the best live acts around.)
2 Om : Advaitic Songs (I've probably listened to this album more than any other this year. Om doesn't get a lot of press, but they did receive a nice write-up this year from The Atlantic. Who knew that metal could be so meditative? I listen to this while stretching and doing Yoga. I even turned a Yoga studio on to it.)
3 The Sword : Apocryphon (I fell in love with The Sword because of Warp Riders, easily my favorite release by them. Apocryphon was no slouch, either. Also a killer live act.)
4 Monarch : Omens (One of the best drone albums of the year and the one that finally convinced me of the musical qualities of this style. I recommend this album to everyone.)
5 Orange Goblin : A Eulogy for the Damned (With the Cthulhu-inspired "Red Tide Rising" and the horror-movie inspired "The Fog," these guys continue to show off both their metal and their geek chops.)
6 High on Fire : De Vermis Mysteriis (I've always liked older High on Fire, but this was a blistering new release that could not be ignored. Besides, they take their Lovecraft to the next level by adding the great Robert Bloch into the mix.)
7 Municipal Waste : The Fatal Feast (When this came out, it was one of my albums of the year. I love their humor-soaked thrash!)
8 Pilgrim : Misery Wizard (The best road trip album of the year. Seriously.)
9 Epica : Requiem for the Indifferent (Epica has never disappointed me. Darker and slightly heavier, this album demonstrated that these guys are still a frontrunner in the symphonic metal scene. I love Epica.)
10 Stealing Axion : Moments (This album has some breathtaking moments, teaching me that metalcore (a genre I don't love) can deliver the goods when played by hungry young musicians. Keep your eye on these guys.)
11 Xibalba : Hasta La Muerte (Their merchandise uses the slogan "none heavier." They are probably right.)
12 Eagle Twin : The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale (Salt Lake City's own Eagle Twin delivered the goods from start to finish.)
13 The Agonist : Prisoners (I'm not sure this album got much attention outside of The Agonist's native Quebec, but it is well worth a listen.)
14 Kells : Anachromie (Another very strong female-fronted metal band to keep an eye on.)
15 Rush : Clockwork Angels (I've been a fan of Rush since I can remember and this is one of the best albums of their latter career.)
16 Nile : At the Gate of Sethus (Another strong release by Nile)
17 Baroness : Yellow and Green (This album generated a lot of buzz. I was always late to the Baroness party, but they do write some terrific music.)
18 El Caco : Hatred, Love and Diagrams (Not everyone agreed with me that this was a good release, but I was pretty keen on it.)
19 General Lee : Raiders of the Evil Eye (a strong end-of-year release with a hint of Mastodon in the sound.)
20 Katabatic : Heavy Water (probably the best post-metal album of the year.)


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Baroness : Yellow & Green
2 Les Discrets - Ariettes Oubliées... :
3 Hexvessel : No Holier Temple
4 Hail Spirit Noir : Pneuma
5 Melencolia Estatica : Hel
6 Ihsahn : Eremita
7 Enslaved : RIITIIR
8 Alcest : Les Voyages De L'Âme
9 Aluk Todolo : Occult Rock
10 A Forest Of Stars : A Shadowplay For Yesterdays


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Testament : Dark Roots of Earth (While I am interested in a wide range of music styles, I have always had a weak spot for old school thrash metal, and these two thrashers, each in its own way, totally blew me away the first time I heard them. And because of this, they share the top spot of my favorite releases of 2012.)
1 Overkill : The Electric Age (Shared first position)
2 Bedemon : Symphony of Shadows (A long time in the making, facing tragedy underway, the proper debut from one of the most mythical doom metal bands ever was finally released. Featuring crunchy old school doom metal riffs and more darkness than you could ever imaging, this is an album that the band's late guitarist Randy Palmer would be proud of.)
3 Deus Otiosus : Godless (Deus Otiosus takes their starting point in the old school death metal of the early 90s, erasing everything that came after, and takes traditional death metal in a new direction.)
4 Nekromantheon : Rise, Vulcan Spectre (Raw and aggressive riff-driven thrash metal which nearly beats Slayer in their own back yard, this album represents the grittier side of thrash metal this year.)
5 The Spittin' Cobras : Year of the Cobra (High energy, straight-up punk-infused hard rock! What more do you want?)
6 RAM : Death (The Swedish metal band RAM honors the glory of the 80s by releasing an album that draws on the very best that the true and essential metal of the 80s had to offer, but, still, it does not at any point sound dates.)
7 Carach Angren : Wher the Corpses Sink Forever (Symphonic black metal was dominated by Dimmu Borgir, but now Carach Angren ascend to the throne with their 2012 masterpiece.)
8 The Secret : Agnus Dei (Crust punk meets black metal. It sounds like a match made in hell... which it is.)
9 Prototype : Catalyst (Progressiv emetal is one of my favorite metal genres, but many of the progressive metal releases that came out this year never really impressed me. One exception is Prototype's third album, which is best described as melodic thrash metal with many progressive passages. The album features sophisticated metal music and evolves around a high brow lyrical sci-fi concept. In short, Prototype succeed where many progressive metal acts have failed this year.)
10 Chowder : Passion Rift (Another progressive act who came, saw, and conquered 2012 is the doom metal band Chowder, who combines the heaviness of old school doom metal with the quirks of progressive rock. You have to hear it to believe it.)
11 Saint Vitus : Lillie F (65The ancient masters strike back, delivering tortured and bleak old school doom metal, taking the listener back in time to the bad trips and pot-induced depressions of 1974.)
12 Speaking to Stones : Elements (Here is another example of one of the few progressive metal albums that delivered the good this year. Asounding musicianship and truly progressive song structures characterize this album.)
13 A Sound of Thunder : Out of the Darkness (Bone-crushing traditional metal with one of the best female vocalist you'll ever hear.)
14 Hibag?n : Hibag?n VS Monsters Spewed from Time's Stomach to Clutch the Universe in a Mortal Slime (An album with a crazy title, Hibag?n's debut is a wholly original collection of strangely progressive, yet mostly straightforward, instrumental hard rock tunes.)
15 Demona : Metal Through the Time (Pure, unadulterated speed metal and a totaly joy, in all its raw charm, to listen to.)


Best Albums Of 2012:

2012 hasn't had quite the number of outstanding hits of recent years but there still have been some really good albums. I have narrowed my list down to the top 20 picks, other releases of mention that come to mind were from Neil Morse, The Flower Kings, Devin Townsend, Ayreon, Obsession, Dragonforce, Primal Fear, Firewind, Overkill, Tarja, Osi, Rage, Scelerata, Helstar, Warnot and Eversin.

1 To Mera : Exile (My sole five star release for 2012 so an easy choice.)
2 Kreator : Phantom Antichrist (Was such a close call especially as Testament have always been my favourite Thrash band but Kreator just edged them out this time.)
3 Testament : Dark Roots Of The Earth (Top Thrasher the old school still lead the way.)
4 Circus Maximus : Nine (Very impressed once again by this band.)
5 Flying Colors : Flying Colors (Great album hope to hear more in the future.)
6 Epica : Requiem For The Indifferent (Not as good as their last couple but they were just so outstanding and hard to beat, this is still very good though.)
7 Mob Rules : Cannibal Nation (Great band with another great album.)
8 Black Country Communion : Afterglow (More fine songs from a fantastic group.)
9 Psycroptic : The Inherited Repression (Technical, aggressive and somewhat catchy album.)
10 Threshold : March Of Progress (Very happy to see Threshold back with another winner.)
11 Vision Divine : Destination Set To Nowhere
12 Soulfly : Enslaved
13 Luca Turilli's Rhapsody : Ascending To Infinity
14 Kamelot : Silverthorn
15 Jeff Loomis : Plains Of Oblivion
16 Thy Majestie : ShiHuangDi
17 Secret Sphere : Portrait Of The Dying Heart
18 Eyefear : The Inception Of Darkness
19 Nile : At The Gate Of Sethu
20 Van Halen : A Different Kind Of Truth


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Unisonic : Unisonic
2 Will Wallner & Vivien Vain : Rising
3 Flying Colors : Flying Colors
4 Witchcraft : Legend
5 Demon : Unbroken
6 Testament : Dark Roots of Earth
7 Primal Rock Rebellion : Awoken Broken
8 Black Country Communion : Afterglow
9 Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell : Don't Hear It... Fear It!
10 Angel Witch : As Above, So Below
11 Imperial State Electric : Pop War
12 Sigh : In Somniphobia
13 Anathema : Weather Systems
14 Rage : 21
15 Tank : War Nation
16 Tygers of Pan Tang : Ambush
17 Jorn : Bring Heavy Rock to the Land
18 The Cult : Choice of Weapon
19 Adrenaline Mob : Omerta
20 Hardline : Danger Zone
21 Flapjack : Keep Your Heads Down
22 Beggars & Thieves : We Are the Brokenhearted
23 The Flower Kings : Banks of Eden
24 Rush : Clockwork Angels
25 Magnum : On the 13th Day
26 Marillion : Sounds That Can't Be Made
27 Running Wild : Shadowmaker
28 Rebellion : Arminius: Furor Teutonicus
29 Grand Magus : The Hunt
30 NoNe : Six


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Baroness : Yellow & Green (No band showed greater maturation and mastery of songwriting in 2012 better than Baroness did. Red Album and Blue Record were each fantastic in their own right, but Baroness are at their best in this sprawling and accessible double album. Yellow & Green already feels like a classic, probably due to the fact that it spans numerous sub-genres of rock: southern sludge, indie rock, prog, and folk balladry all rest comfortably alongside each other, a testament to the skill of this still-young Georgia outfit.)
2 Author and Punisher : Ursus Americanus (Metal has undergone all sorts of sonic variations in past years, but few moves are as radical as what Tristan Shone, the man behind the Author & Punisher moniker, did on Ursus Americanus. Shone, an accomplished engineer, designed all the instruments used on this album, the result of which is terrifying, intensely rhythmic industrial metal unlike anything you've ever heard before. This is metal and electronic music at the edge of the form; wholly innovative, and nearly impossible to not be shaken by.)
3 The Devin Townsend Project : Epicloud (Canadian prog mastermind Devin Townsend has had one hell of a career, spanning from a short stint with Steve Vai to ambient music to demented progressive metal. The latter refers to Deconstruction, the cheeseburger-centric 2011 album that serves as a lead-in to Epicloud, his best work in a very prolific discography. What's surprising is how Townsend successful is with straightforward, short songs that emphasize the hook, which Epicloud is full of. There's no metal album in 2012 more exuberant and joyous as this one.)
4 Pepe Deluxe : Queen of the Wave (Pepe Deluxe have never been a part of the prog scene; they've long been associated with big beat, trip-hop, and other genres under the electronic classification. But there's always been a progressive edge to the band, a trait seen distinctly on their excellent 2008 LP Spare Time Machine. With Queen of the Wave, Pepe Deluxe have put forth their best work yet, a rich and ornate "esoteric pop opera in three acts" (read: concept album) that finds the Swedish/Finnish duo at their most appealing. Incredible songwriting, and though this will likely fall off the radar of many prog fans, you can't afford to miss this one.)
5 Ihsahn : Eremita (The post-Emperor evolution of Ihsahn has been fascinating to watch, and with Eremita he's hit his peak. Though he has (understandably) tried to distance himself from being labeled as a prog artist in the past, the type of music he's come to create is undeniably progressive. What's refreshing about Ihsahn's style of songwriting relative to most popular prog bands is how his epics flow organically, and often take surprising twists and turns. Instead of the compositional suites of Dream Theater and Neal, distinctly segmented into composite parts, Ihsahn creates mini-epics that go their own direction as the music dictates. As if this weren't good enough by itself, Ihsahn enlisted the help of several guest musicians, including Shining's Jorgen Munkeby, whose squally saxophone is used liberally throughout.)
6 Diablo Swing Orchestra : Pandora's Pinata (A ridiculous, absolutely over-the-top mix of metal, swing revival, and classical, Pandora's Pinata is easily the most fun metal album of 2012. Its silliness is off-putting for some; a colleague of mine at PopMatters derided it as "Liza Minnelli metal," but for anyone who likes metal on the eccentric side, this one is pretty hard to beat.)
7 Dawnbringer : Into the Lair of the Sun God (With the increasing diversification of metal continuing to go many directions, traditional metal bands are pretty hard to come by. This means that when someone really gets the old-school style down, it's hard not to take notice, which is exactly what happened with Dawnbringer's fifth studio LP, Into the Lair of the Sun God. The NWOBHM riffage here is stupendous.)
8 The Mars Volta : Noctourniquet (Despite its protractors, I loved TMV's 2009 record Octahedron. It reversed the problematic trend of bloated epics in their music, and it retained their essence without sacrificing complexity. And while Noctourniquet is longer, it retains the more concise song lengths that were so successful on Octahedron, improving the songwriting all the while. Easily the best record in TMV's oeuvre to date.)
9 A Forest of Stars : A Shadowplay for Yesterdays (Easily the most underrated black metal record of the year, A Shadowplay for Yesterdays is a sumptuous mix of black metal, prog, and Victorian music. Even better is the theatricality with which the songs are performed, a brilliant complement to the Victorian mood and themes. A Forest of Stars are one to keep your eye on.)
10 Converge : All We Love We Leave Behind (Converge and quality are basically synonymous at this point, a fact cemented by All We Love We Leave Behind. The southern barnstormer "Sadness Comes Home" is one of the best songs the band has ever written)
11 Alcest : Les Voyages de L'Ame (It's hard to rank the works of Alcest, as each are brilliant in their own right, but this one has been the one I've come the most back to. "Autre Temps" and "Being of Light" are as beautiful as anything Neige has ever written, and the powerful conclusion "Summer's Glory" is my favorite Alcest song, ever.)
12 Maybeshewill : I Was Here for a Moment, Then I Was Gone (In taking the outplayed genre of post-rock and distilling its formula into powerful, concise trcks, Maybeshewill revitalize the genre. There are even some moments of metallic fury: see the symphonic metal finale "To the Skies from a Hillside.")
13 Anathema : Weather Systems (Though slightly dragged down by a middling second half, the first four songs of Weather Systems are the most beautiful things Anathema has ever put to tape. "Untouchable Pt. 2" will have you sobbing.)
14 Ahab : The Giant (Ahab occupies a genre of one (nautical funeral doom), but that doesn't mean they're pigeonholed into one sonic. In incorporating melodic post-rock into their lugubrious dirges, they've made their best record to date in The Giant, topping even their landmark debut The Call of the Wretched Sea.)
15 Choir of Young Believers : Rhine Gold (When I first heard Rhine Gold, I knew it'd be a grower, and boy was I right. This Danish group fits comfortably in the indie crowd, but there's a tasteful prog streak in their music, especially seen on the ten-minute Krautrock epic "Paralyse.")
16 Pig Destroyer : Book Burner (This isn't going to likely win anyone to grindcore who already doesn't like it, but Pig Destroyer remain consistently intense on Book Burner, a 32-minute nonstop thrill ride of a metal LP.)
17 Meshuggah : Koloss (Djent is one of those groan-worthy topics in the current metal scene, but Meshuggah rise above their joke word-turned-into-a-genre and produce their most accessible work to date, as demonstrated in the excellent "Do Not Look Down.")
18 Rush : Clockwork Angels (The late-career comeback is hard to pull off, but Rush defied all expectations with the thrilling concept album Clockwork Angels, a steampunk-themed adventure for meaning in the face of an elusive divinity.)
19 OM : Advaitic Songs (OM has been one of those bands content to ride under the radar even when their music warrants larger attention, which is very much the case with Advaitic Songs, the strongest thing they've done yet. Much like Ahab, they play in a genre of one (religious doom metal), and they are very much willing to expand their sonic when it is called for.)
20 Panopticon : Kentucky (Bluegrass and black metal probably don't strike most as ideal bedfellows, but Panopticon have crafted an unforgettable masterpiece in Kentucky, which mixes the two aforementioned genres together.)
21 Dumbsaint : Something that You Feel Will Find its Own Form (There's plenty of Isis worship going along in the music of Australian post-metallers Dumbsaint, but they rise above it to create something truly cinematic and powerful in its own right.)
22 Akphaeyza : Anthology IV (Here's another sleeper record for you; though French proggers Akphaeyza may have a weird name, Anthology IV is as gonzo a prog album put out in 2012, and it's an absolute blast.)
23 Sigh : In Somniphobia (Sigh are another one of those electic metal bands that often put off your basic metal fan, and considering the collage of sonics that makes up In Somniphobia, they aren't out to play things safe. Still, for an avant-garde mixture of black metal and all things prog, Sigh are hard to beat.)
24 Gojira : L'Enfant Sauvage (Death metal is hard to do really well, which makes Gojira all the more special. Their sound might be harsh to those prog metal fans turned off by death growls, but L'Enfant Suavage isn't one to let go by.)
25 Storm Corrosion : Storm Corrosion (This is more of an honorable mention, as I found this record on the whole disappointing. Three songs on here are excellent and get at what I imagine Steven Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt envisioned ("Drag Ropes," the title track, "Lock Howl"), but the rest meanders weakly in an attempt at creating dark sonic landscapes. There's enough really good material here that Storm Corrosion won't go down as a failure, but it's maddening that two talents as great as Wilson and Akerfeldt let half of the project drift aimlessly.)


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Paradise Lost : Tragic Idol
2 Demon Lung : Pareidolia
3 Enslaved : Rittiir
4 Royal Thunder : CVI
5 Baroness : Yellow & Green
6 Devin Townsend Project : Epicloud
7 Cattle Decapitation : Monolith of Inhumanity
8 Mortalicum : The Endtime Prophecy
9 Christian Mistress : Posession
10 Witch Mountain : Cauldron of the Wild
11 Testament : Dark Roots of Earth
12 Saint Vitus : Lillie F: 65
13 Eternal Helcaraxe : Against All Odds
14 Katana : Storms of War
15 Enthroned : Obsidium
16 Lacuna Coil : Dark Adrenaline
17 Beware the Scythe : Scythe
18 Bereft : Leichenhaus
19 Grand Magus : The Hunt
20 Anaal Nathrakh : Vanitas
21 Castle : Blacklands
22 Hollywood Burnouts : Excess All Areas
23 Ulver : Childhoods End
24 Pictured : The Strand of Time
25 Scythia : For the Bear
26 Woods of Ypres : Woods V
27 Rumplestiltskin Grinder : Ghostmaker
28 Epitimia : Faces of Insanity
29 Ahab : The Giant
30 Heldin : Profungalactic.


Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Headspace : I Am Anonymous (Prog-Metal perfection. Each time I listened to this album, I found myself hearing things I hadn't noticed previously, as the album is filled with subtle complexities. And after every listen, I found my rating was a little higher, until I got to a point where I decided that this album was my #1 album of the year. This album has everything a Prog-Metal fanatic such as myself could desire: great vocals, amazing guitar riffs, out of this world keyboards, clever bass lines, thundering drums, and nice, dark, deep epic-length compositions.)
2 Beyond the Bridge : The Old Man And The Spirit (There is a special place in my heart for concept albums. I love a good story, and I love music, especially proggy music. So of course, concept albums just hit the nail on the head for me. And this album does an excellent job of weaving a tale with the music complementing the plot points. I especially appreciate the juxtaposition of the styles of the two vocalists – the gruff, manly, classic metal style of Herbie Langhans and the jazzy, airy style of Dilenya Mar. )
3 Distorted Harmony : Utopia (A brand new band with a very unique style! Their music is symphonic, I might even say cinematic, sometimes heavy and complex in the Progressive Metal vein, mixed with a Classic Symphonic Prog sound, and often sounds very influenced by American alternative rock.)
4 Circus Maximus : Nine (Circus Maximus have shown growth and development with this album – a very balanced album in many aspects. The sound is lush and full, and the various tracks on the album showcase a variety of styles that ought to have broad appeal to many different listeners. With this album, Circus Maximus builds off of the foundation they've built in the first two albums and explores new territory, and it is a very exciting thing to hear.)
5 Oddland : The Treachery of Senses (Another amazing debut album for 2012! What really makes Oddland fascinating to me is how they at times employs a technique of combining the vocalist's soothing tones with a chaotic, crashing, dissonant texture with the guitars and drums. But they show a maturity in their songwriting in that multiple musical textures are employed, trading off between softer, more soothing tones and heavy hitting dissonances.)
6 Epica : Requiem for the Indifferent (I believe that Epica have stepped it up a notch with this album, and gotten a bit, dare I say, more Progressive – not only in their compositional style, but they have also begun to throw in some fancier guitar solos. Previously, when asked what my favorite Epica album was, I would have immediately said "The Divine Conspiracy". But now, I find it hard to pick just one....)
7 Suspyre : Suspyre (What an incredibly interesting, incredibly diverse album! Do you want to really hear the potential of Progressive Metal? Listen to this album! I will say that I believe one reason I can be certain that this album is a masterpiece is due to the fact that I have previously not been a huge fan of Suspyre, but this album changed things for me.)
8 Kamelot : Silverthorn (Another great concept album - there is a strong sense of story throughout the album, and not just in the lyrics but there is a journey-like feeling to the music as well. And what an incredible difference Tommy Karevik's vocals make! I will say that personally, I felt this may be Kamelot's most progressive album yet, though there is still a strong Power Metal presence and a sense of accessibility, resulting in a blend that I think will appeal strongly to fans of multiple sub-genres.)
9 Teramaze : Anhedonia (This band has a classic metal feel to it. They remind me of older Metallica, and Disturbed, and their music can be very intellectual in addition to the dark and aggressive elements.)
10 To-Mera : Exile (To-Mera have a very unique way of blending together what are almost opposing musical textures. This usage of multiple musical textures and atmospheres is, I believe, what earns them the description of being "genre busters", a phrase I have seen used to describe them in various places on the web.)
11 Diablo Swing Orchestra : Pandora's Piñata (Do you like metal, but want something unique? Then this is a must-listen! DSO create a unique blend of Operatic Progressive Metal / Swing Fusion, and I think this is their best album yet!)
12 The Flower Kings : Banks of Eden (In my opinion, these veterans of the Progressive Rock genre are one of the top 5 bands on the lighter side of the Progressive genre, and they have returned with a bang on this album – the sound is so full, so lush!)
13 Beardfish : The Void (Some of the best albums have to grow on you, and this is one of those albums, for me. At first I wasn't too impressed, but upon repeated listens I started to "get it." As I realized the presence of Classic Prog, Progressive Metal, Sludge, Math-Rock, Jazz, Classic Rock, Blues, and Classical influences (and possibly many more) that were present in this release, and thought about the statement made in the intro track, I began to realize how beautifully and profoundly they were presenting the idea of the future merely repeating the past, and the spiritual and philosophical quandary that we are faced with as we ponder this and what it means for our lives. And as I began to understand this statement, I began to truly enjoy this album as it touched me and affected my perspective. And that is what this album is all about, I believe: the mystery of life in which there is nothing new and that as we deal with loss, love, life and death and struggle to heal from emotional wounds, the illusion of change, and how the only thing which truly changes in time is our own perspective.)
14 Änglagård : Viljans öga (The album consists of only 4 tracks, with the shortest track clocking in at 12 minutes long. Being instrumental, the music is a little difficult to describe, but I will attempt to give it the best description I can by saying it is like a musical journey through Alice's Wonderland.)
15 Syrek : Machine Elves (This band has a unique style, blending Djenty rhythms and an angst-y singing style with Progressive Metal - I thought it had a unique style, interesting rhythms and riffs, and good vocal harmonies. One highlight, for me, was the band's unique take on Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar".)
16 Sabaton : Carolus Rex (This is the kind of Power Metal album you'd want to listen to before going off to battle – it will get your heart pounding and your adrenaline flowing!)
17 Sonata Arctica : Stones Grow Her Name (This band holds a special place in my heart as one of the crossover bands that gave this Progressive Metal lover an appreciation for Power Metal. From the masterful instrumental playing to the voice of Tony Kakko, one of the few male voices I would actually call "beautiful" (though extremely versatile, employing growly angry vocals at times as well), this band rocks my world. Over the last couple of albums, Unia and Days of Grays, they have really experimented, to the thrill of some and the sorrow of others. I believe this album shows some of the results of that experimentation - I believe they take some of the lessons learned from this experimenting and apply them to the old, comfortable groove.)
18 Still Alive : Kyo (Imagine that Angra made the album they SHOULD'VE made after "Temple of Shadows", but with another vocalist who sounded like Halford and you'd be close to what this album sounds like. A great Progressive/Power Metal blend!)
19 Presto Ballet : Relic of the Modern World (This is a very nice keyboard-based Prog Rock album, with depth in composition and style.)
20 Wintersun : Time I (I must preface this by telling the reader that I don't normally like music where growling is the primary vocal style, so when you see a band like this so high on my list you've got to know that there is something special about them. This is a head-banger! Another rousing album that will get your heart pounding!)
21 Warnot : His Blood Is Yours (This is a very nice Progressive Metal album with multiple singers, and great work from the Cloudscape guitarist!)
22 Affector : Harmagedon (This is a unique Progressive Metal concept album that deals with the end-times (appropriate for the year 2012), and features a "super-group" lineup.)
23 Secret Sphere : Portrait of a Dying Heart (I have not been to enthusiastic for this group's previous albums, but this one was different. The vocal harmonies are well-layered and lush, and there are some great beats and riffs throughout this album.)
24 Dol Ammad : Cosmic Gods: Episode I - Hyperspeed (This is such a fun mix of Metal, Symphonic, Electronica, and Operatic Choral music!)
25 Vision Divine : Destination Set to Nowhere (This is great Progressive-influenced Power Metal, featuring Fabio Lione, the voice of Rhapsody.)

Summarized List Of The Top 50 CDs, From All Of The SoT Staff

Best Albums Of 2012:

1 Rush : Clockwork Angels
2 Testament : Testament
3 Anathema : Weather Systems
4 Devin Townsend Project : Epicloud
5 Flying Colors : Flying Colors
6 Threshold : March Of Progress
7 The Flower Kings : Banks of Eden
8 Circus Maximus : Nine
9 Marillion : Sounds That Can't Be Made
10 Black Country Community : Afterglow
11 Echolyn : Echolyn
12 Neal Morse : Momentum
13 Ian Anderson : Thick As A Brick 2
14 Enslaved : RIITIIR
15 Kamelot : Silverthorn
16 Baroness : Yellow and Green
17 Beardfish : The Void
18 Anthony Arjen Lucassen : Lost in the New Real
19 Kiss : Monster
20 Nile : At the Gate of Sethu
21 Gojira : L'Enfant Sauvage
22 Magnum : On The 13th Day
23 Orange Goblin : A Eulogy for the Damned
24 Van Halen : Van Halen
25 Primal Rock Rebellion : Awoken Broken
26 Grand Magus : The Hunt
27 Galahad : Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria
28 Ihsahn : Eremita
29 Accept : Stalingrad
30 Between the Buried and Me : The Parallax II
31 Big Big Train : English Electric Part One
32 Witchcraft : Legend
33 Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovel : Don't Hear It... Fear It!
34 Eclipse : Bleed And Scream
35 The Pineapple Thief : All the Wars
36 Affector : Harmagedon
37 Headspace : I Am Anonymous
38 Kreator : Phantom Antichrist
39 Meshuggah : Koloss
40 Delain : We are the Others
41 Epica : Requiem For the Indifferent
42 Absolva : Flames Of Justice
43 Bruce Springsteen : Wrecking Ball
44 Chris Robinson Brotherhood : The Magic Door
45 Sigh : In Somniphobia
46 Mob Rules : Cannibal Nation
47 Unisonic : Unisonic
48 Rival Sons : Head Down
49 District 97 : Trouble With Machines
50 Hogarth|Barbieri : Not The Weapon But The Hand
51 Pepe Deluxe : Queen of the Wave
52 Adrenaline Mob : Omerta
53 Gazpacho : March of Ghosts
54 Tremonti : All I Was
55 Steve Hackett : Genesis Revisited II
56 The Enid : Invicta
57 DeeExpus : King Of Number 33
58 Spawn of Possession : Incurso
59 The Sword : Apocryphon
60 Distorted Harmony : Utopia
61 Paradise Lost : Tragic Idol
62 A Forest of Stars : A Shadowplay for Yesterdays
63 Alcest : Les Voyages De L'Âme
64 Hail Spirit Noir : Pneuma
65 Mike Keneally : Wing Beat Fantastic
66 Kaipa : Vittjar
67 OM : Advaitic Songs
68 Saint Vitus : Lillie F: 65
69 Kotebel : Concerto for Electric Ensemble and Piano
70 Astra : The Black Chord
71 Katatonia : Dead End Kings
72 Tygers of Pan Tang : Ambush
73 RPWL : Beyond Man and Time
74 Soleil Moon : On The Way To Everything
75 It Bites : Map of the Past
76 Suspyre : Suspyre
77 The Gathering : Disclosure
78 Jorn : Bring Heavy Rock to the Land
79 Profusion : Rewotower
80 Hemina : Synthetic
81 Storm Corrosion : Storm Corrosion
82 Effloresce : Coma Gosts
83 Ahab : The Giant
84 Presto Ballet : Relic of the Modern World
85 Xandria : Neverworld's End
86 Nightwish : Imaginarium
87 Angel Witch : As Above, So Below
88 Fozzy : Sin And Bones
89 Lynyrd Skynyrd : Last of a Dying Breed
90 Freedom Call : Land Of The Crimson Dawn
91 Coheed & Cambria : The Afterman: Ascension
92 Mystery : The World Is a Game
93 Running Wild : Shadowmaker
94 Overkill : The Electric Age
95 Romeo's Daughter : Rapture
96 Scott Kelly, Wino & Steve Vontill : Songs of Townes Van Zandt
97 Swans : The Seer
98 To Mera : Exile
99 Änglagård : Viljans Öga
100 Author and Punisher : Ursus Americanus


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