I'm sure there's one or two music releases of interest left for the year but since everybody and their grandmas are already doing "best of 2012" threads -- let's have it! And it's not just metal, folks I think we should list whatever we've been listening to. Do it however you'd like. I think this year has been fucking amazing. So, best of the year. One of the most successfully heart-hitting emotional albums I've heard. My favorite album of the millennium so far, actually... Anathema - Weather Systems It was released in April and I've listened to it at least once a week since then. I've never grown tired and I don't imagine I never will. I hope they keep this up. 2. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar. Americana + Swedish Folk + Out of this world vocal harmonies. "The bitter winds are coming in, and I'm already missing the summer. Stockholm's cold but I've been told I was born to endure this kind of weather." Too fucking true. 3. Beardfish - The Void. This at a third spot surprised even myself, but I've grown to like it a lot. They've moved away a bit from the Zappa influence and play a kind of hard progrock now. The embedded song below is very different though, but also one of the reason I love it. (lol 2 out of 3 swedish bands in top 3... bias? ) Very dynamic and melodic, the way I like it. 4. Marillion - Sounds that can't be made. It's no secret that I'm part of the SX forum Marillion fanclub. Gaza, the end of the title track and Montréal are some of the best moments in Marillion history, but I think a few of the tracks on the album are simply too weak to put it in a top 3 position. 5. In Mourning - The Weight of the Oceans. Colossus is amazing. At first I didn't like the chorus breakdown, but then all of a sudden I just think it's excellent. The album is a bit repetitive, and not as good as the previous 2 albums. But Colossus is a fucking masterpiece. 6. Atoma - Skylight. Oh shit how did this end up here? At first I thought it was just a confused mess. The first song is basically electronica ffs. But.. hell, it's just really good. Versatile like a god damn box of chocolate. Sci-fi vibe is cool, too. 7. Swallow the Sun - Emerald Forest and the Blackbird. This album has that nightwish vocalist on it, but still it makes the top 10. That's how good it is. 8. Wintersun - Time I. I had too high hopes for this one, so I was let down by what I think is clumsy mixing. Vocals and guitars are often drowned in orchestrations. But that doesn't mean it's not a really good album. Just not as good as the S/T album. 9. Wilderun - Olden Tales & Dethly Trails. "What the fuck is Wilderun?" I hear you ask. "An american scandinavian-style viking power metal band", I answer. But before you turn around and walk away, perhaps giving the the finger and calling me a faggot, I push you to the ground and force-feed you this track: 10. Änglagård - Viljans Öga. Längtans Klocka is the instrumental song of the year. This whole album is instrumental by the way. It's really fucking good. Änglagårds best as far as I'm concerned but then again I never really listened to them a lot prior to this album. Really, really good albums, that would easily have made a top 10 any other recent year: Antimatter - Fear of a Unique Identity. Antimatter's best if you ask me. I really like the vocals. Kind of poppy but then again Antimatter was always a little poppy weren't they. Be'lakor - Of breath and bone. Just very solid and tight as hell DM. Dethklok - Dethalbum III. Yes, a joke band, but that doesn't mean they don't write the best riffs of any american band since the 90s. It's almost at an immortal-level of awesome. Seriously. Ensiferum - Unsung Heroes. They're still trying and I'm glad they do because this time they released something worth listening to. Not Wintersun, but still damn good. Enslaved - RIITIIR. Really dumb album name. But the music is just as good as the album name is dumb. It usually is when it comes to Norwegians. Hail Spirit Noir. It's like a weird mix of Ghost and Darkthrone. Thrashy and cool. Katatonia - Dead End Kings - Surprised myself by not having it in the top 10. Just a little too repetitive. But like all Katatonia albums, it grows with each listen. It's like... simple, but effective. Moonspell - Alpha Noir/Omega White - Double album! Only a few stand-out songs, which is usually the case with Moonspell, but overall pretty good "gothic metal" or whatever the kids call it these days. OSI - Fire Make Thunder. I've never been a fan of sideprojects and shit, especially not when it involves former DT or FW guys. It's honestly a pretty "boring" album: the vocals are very unenthusiastic. But there's a cool vibe on the album, regardless. Sigh - In somniphobia. This year's second-weirdest album. Can't really describe it. Pretty heavy. Pretty melodic. Very versatile. Japanese I think? Orkenkjott - S/T. This year's weirdest album. Can't really describe it. Pretty heavy. Pretty melodic. Very versatile. Norwegian. The Foreshadowing - Second World. Damn good "dun-dun-dun-dun" melodic metal. Havoc is a great song. Good vocals. The Imagined Village - Bending the Dark. Thanks Ken for posting "sick old man". Great song. By far the best on the album, but it's still overall a damn fine album. Testament - Dark roots of the earth. Since when did Testament become good again? I mean this is almost on par with Souls of Black and Practice what you preach (which are far from, say, Megadeth at that time, but still good). Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I. Stupid band name and equally stupid album name. Really good "chaotic" proggy metal though. Albums I haven't made up my mind about: Rush - Clockwork Angels. Sylosis - Monoloth. Circus Maximus - Nine. All I know is that it has a really bad ballad. Bilocate - Summoning the bygones. Diablo Swing Orchestra - whatever its called I don't remember. The year's bottom list: Isahn. Seriously lay of the fucking sax. It was cool as a gimmick for a song or two but seriously it's too much now. Paradise Lost. Sounds like something from the 90s, which is actually pretty cool. Just not for me. Luca Turilli's Rhapsody. I don't expect anything from you anymore. Dawn of Victory is a fucking adrenaline rush album - make more stuff like that. Speed, motherfucker. Saturnus. 101 emo doom goth shit fuck it. The Flower Kings. What the fuck was this shit. Änglagård knocks it out of the park but Flower Kings takes a dump in the master's shoes. Kamelot. HAHAHAHA.