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The Annual Best of the Year Thread - 2012 edition

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by Phanto, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Phanto

    Phanto Alalalalalalalala.

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    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? :D)
    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.
     
    #1 Phanto, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  2. Baroque

    Baroque Active Member

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    Yeah, this was an awesome year for metal.











    and I agree on Dethklok, they're epic. Thanks for the list, I'm going to check out a bunch of those.
     
    #2 Baroque, Dec 6, 2012
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  3. Phanto

    Phanto Alalalalalalalala.

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    Ah shit. Barren Earth released an album this year? I missed it. How does it compare to their previous one?
     
  4. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    I'll edit this to throw in my two cents after work. :)
     
  5. Baroque

    Baroque Active Member

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    I actually just got into them this year, so far I like both this album and their last one quite a bit. The song I posted is my favorite off the new album. I like Curse of the Red River off the last album but I haven't heard all of the other songs yet. I'll definitely be listening to those.

    Never miss a heavy metal release again (and discover new bands) :) Your list helps me filter out which to listen to next though, thanks!
     
  6. donKyle

    donKyle Member

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    Yes, and it's awesome. That's all I have to say about it lol
     
  7. Postulate

    Postulate Have a nice day! :)

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    Thanks for your input, guys, I'll listen to what you've recommended.

    I never really keep up with the new music of the year.

    My favorites, of what little I've gone through, have been:

    It Bites - Map of the Past



    Silhouette - Across the Rubicon



    Landmarq - Entertaining Angels



    Gazpacho - March of Ghosts

     
    #7 Postulate, Dec 6, 2012
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  8. Baroque

    Baroque Active Member

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    Listening to your clips now. Ok a lot of it is.. a lot mellower than I thought it would be. I'm in a metal mood lately, so skipping past the first 4.

    In Mourning sounds like Dream Theater, but with growls and less technical solos. I'll throw it in the maybe pile. Might grow on me more.

    That Atoma song is awesome. Feels like it's contantly building to some sci-fi movie climax, I wish there was a bigger payoff right at the end, but still awesome.

    Swallow the Sun is interesting and progressive, I need to listen to it more than once to decide if I like it, like a lot of progressive bands.

    Wintersun... 44 minutes! I'm saving this for later. Briefly scanning i hear some progressive metal bits I might enjoy.

    Wilderun made me chuckle a couple times. I feel like it could be the soundtrack to pirates of the carribean or something. It's the first viking power metal song i've listened to all the way through, so that's something. Enough progressive changes to keep it interesting.

    I'll listen to some metal selections from your text list, and Postulate's list next.
     
  9. Baroque

    Baroque Active Member

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    Holy shit. The first track on this album just kicked my ass. I love it. Thank you.

     
    #9 Baroque, Dec 7, 2012
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  10. Baroque

    Baroque Active Member

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    Postulate, listening to your music makes me understand why you don't like Symphony X's heavier, less progressive stuff.

    The first song seems sad, i'm not really in the mood to listen to it all the way through, maybe later.

    Silhoutte sounds like Ayreon, but the good Ayreon songs. I'm not crazy about the vocalist but some real nice instrumental moments.

    I like Landmarq's vocalist better, and the music is alright, it keeps a good pace, but it's kinda too happy sounding? I think I like this one the most of your list though.
     
  11. symphonyXjapan

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    While this year has seen some great releases, I find myself having a hard time choosing as nothing jumped out as particularly spectacular to me. There are usually 2 or 3 releases in a year that just blow me away so profoundly that it makes the top 2 or 3 an easy choice for me, while leaving the rest of the spots to be filled by just plain great or good releases (which is all of what this year has been). This year I will post the 5 new releases that I feel I have put the most listening into, with no particular order of favorites, and then list all my other favorites that maybe I just haven't listened to as much as the top 5.

    1. Eluveitie - Helvetios

    I can't help but love this band, even if they seem to be becoming more and more exposed. I would say this is their most focused/concise yet well-rounded album to date.



    2. Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I

    I kept a radar on these guys for over a year before they finally got this debut out. They struggled to get it finished and released, but it was all worth it as they really have something special (and a bit different) here. I won't post a video since someone a few posts up already did.

    3. Ensiferum - Unsung Heroes

    This band seemed to get a lot of flak for this album due to not being as speedy as previous albums. I went in to it with a bit less judgement due to no really listening to them until recently (even though I have always known of them). It is more mid-tempo; however, I like that they have done something a little different as a change of pace by focusing the guitar to be more about folk melodies rather than just pure metal speed.



    4. Epica - Requiem for the Indifferent



    5. Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name

    It was a REALLY hard decision to put this here as there are 2 or 3 tracks on this album I just really don't care for, especially the track "Shitload of Money". Even so, I think they sort of blend their new sound with some of their old here. Even with their sound change of late I still think of this band as one of my favorites. Even when they try something new they still have this distinct sound that I identify as being SA.




    Other good albums:

    Enslaved - Riitiir
    Great album; however, I haven't listened to it much as it is the sort of thing I have to be in a certain mood for.

    Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud
    I haven't heard a whole lot of Devin's work but picked this one up real cheap. Ends up being a pretty nice album and has more of a positive and upbeat feel to it. Very catchy stuff!

    Kamelot - Silverthorn
    I was pretty disappointed with Poetry for the Poisoned and this album is a good bit better I think. Still nothing great like The Black Halo though, as that album seems to be too great for the good of any album to come after it. Some pretty nice stuff on this; however, I think they need some inspired guitar leads instead of just playing the ole "chugga chugga" guitar all the time with the occasional solo.

    Dragonforce - The Power Within
    Yes. I just went there and I cannot believe what I am doing! For years I have been onboard with with most others in just hating on this band; however, there was once a time I actually kinda liked these guys when they released their first album. They didn't yet have other albums out that copied melodies from previous ones; also, the tracks on the first album actually had a bit of variety to them. That is why this album is here. I feel this album reminds me a bit of the debut in that there is actually some variety amongst the tracks....well, variety in a Dragonforce kind of way though :p I also am happy they have a new vocalist as it gives them another bit of fresh air. I mainly find this album a nice listen when driving and realized I had actually spun through it many many times overall.

    Arjen Luccassen - Lost in the New Real
    A nice non-Ayreon album that has an overall more psychadelic feel to it.

    Edit: (I had this on my list in front of me and somehow forgot to add it)

    Wintersun - Time I
    I agree the orchestrations are just a bit too loud, yet it doesn't bother me as much as it seems it does others. My main gripe with this album is that it is too short and feels incomplete on its own. I really think Nuclear Blast forced Jari to split the album in two because they were tired of waiting to bank in on him and didn't want to wait until summer 2013 for the full thing to be done. Not only that, but now they can bank in twice within 14 months. I am almost certain that some time after Time II comes out they will release the two as one album as it was originally intended to be done.
     
    #11 symphonyXjapan, Dec 7, 2012
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  12. intergalactic

    intergalactic Member

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    big big train ,"English electric part one",glad you mentioned Luca Turilli and Anglagard
     
  13. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    I really wanted to like Eluveitie. Their previous albums were fantastic. But the 2012 offering fell flat on its face. Kamelot? Sonata Arctica? Not even bands anymore in my books. They're dead to me, and this year Eluveitie joined their ranks.


    IN NO ORDER:

    1. Anathema - Weather Systems.
    It's been said, it's been linked, I won't repeat what everyone else already wrote. This one slays.

    2. Shook Twins - Window

    These two twins (the name of course) are fantastic musicians, picking up every sound making device in sight and playing them with skill. Melodically interesting, lyrically dark and contemplative, a surprisingly good folk act that shines above.

    3. The Imagined Village - Bending The Dark
    I've already mentioned this one and linked "Sick Old Man", perhaps my favorite from the album. Here's another one from a previous album. (They're scant on video content)


    4. Shearwater - Animal Joy
    Fantastic dark rock/pop album with a decidedly primal theme that really is executed well.
    I could link any song off this album. Here are two. Sorry they're not "top quality" youtube rips.



    5. Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I
    I don't care how stupid the album title is. This album is amazing. It veers away from the cliche and into the innovative. Very solid, very well done. The arrangement and building upon layers is really stand-out good.


    6. Belakor - Of Breath and Bone
    Just a solid DM release, the quality of which is lacking in most genre albums these days.


    7. North Atlantic Oscillation - The Fog Electric
    Surfer... prog? Maybe? Great album with a really nice sound to it.


    8. Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Ame
    I always like Alcest. Yes it's more of the same, but it feels like a continuation instead of a rehash. He always manages to keep me interested.


    9. A Liquid Landscape - Nightingale Express
    Another surprise album with interesting arrangement and lyrics. I really liked this one and pretty much played it constantly on repeat in April and May.


    10. Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made
    I won't say much here because you know that if there is a SX Forum Marillion fanclub, I'm the chairman. :)


    On to the awfuls:
    Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Eluveitie, Arjen, Devin Townsend (yes I went there - they're not ALL good), Wintersun (production fail).

    Honorable mentions:
    Enslaved, Katatonia, Swallow The Sun, Rush, Asia, Antimatter.

    I'll have to give a few of you guys' other picks a listen.
     
    #13 Kenneth R., Dec 7, 2012
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  14. Phanto

    Phanto Alalalalalalalala.

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    I agree with Ken on Townsend... Epicloud was a miss.

    I forgot about Alcest from this year. It's a good album. I think it was a ridiculously good year for music so I've probably forgotten about a lot more.

    I'll have to check out some of the stuff that's unknown to me on your lists :)
    BTW my comments about album names etc are just for fun -- I don't really give a shit about that stuff :D
     
  15. eucharist and the vacuum

    eucharist and the vacuum New Metal Member

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  16. symphonyXjapan

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    I really can't have too much of a stance on the new Townsend as I really am not that familiar with his other stuff. The only other album of his I own is Addicted and I think Epicloud is quite a bit better as I couldn't get into the whole industrial pop/rock thing of Addicted. I have heard other random bits from Ki, Deconstruction, and even Ghost and can maybe see why some are disappointed with Epicloud though...
     
  17. symphonyXjapan

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    @Ken

    I am honestly curious as to what you didn't like about Helvetios because I don't see how you could like their older stuff but not it? Or is that just the reason, that they are churning out the same thing? When Helvetios first came out I got the same feeling that they really do need to do something different with their next metal style album; however, I still love Helvetios because I feel it refines/perfects their sound.

    Your not liking the new Kamelot is a bit of a surprise because I thought I remembered you liking Poetry for the Poisoned? I was disappointed in PftP and found Silverthorn to be a bit better.

    I really need to start getting back into more underground progressive stuff again but I just haven't had the time or money to do so the last couple of years. Most stuff I buy I can just pick up at my local FYE.... lol :p
     
  18. Sauna

    Sauna Member

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    Awesome thread. I've been checking out some of the stuff you posted that I wasn't aware of or hadn't paid proper attention to, and I'm really impressed by at least Atoma, Shearwater and Gazpacho already.

    I really shouldn't go around announcing picks of my own at this point since I always seem to lag behind when it comes to getting into the newest stuff out there, but I'm going to do it anyway.

    Storm Corrosion - Storm Corrosion

    This was never going to be anything but great, but I'm still impressed with just how well the guys managed to deliver. Some moments on this album are mind-blowingly beautiful.

    OSI - Fire Make Thunder

    I was going to point to Invisible Men but couldn't find it on youtube at first glance. No matter, this is a great song as well. I've more love for OSI than I ever had for Fates Warning, or for Dream Theater since they jumped the shark. Moore's vocal delivery is awesome.

    Dr. John - Locked Down

    My brother lent me this one a few months ago, and I'm still holding on to it, despite his attempts to reclaim it. The mojo is strong with this one.

    Some other stuff I've been enjoying:

    Anathema - Weather Systems
    The lyrics often get cheesy, but somehow they still pull it off. Saw them live a while back and really enjoyed it. Inspiring stuff.

    Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud
    It might be one of the worst albums Devin has put out, but goddang it, it's still Devin.

    Jeff Loomis - Plains of Oblivion
    I enjoy my share of shred, and this man is Yngwie reborn.

    Prototype - Catalyst
    Awesome riffs, awesomer solos, scifi-concept. What's not to like? It's also got what's probably the metal song of the year on it:
     
    #18 Sauna, Dec 7, 2012
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  19. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Good, yes, should make honorable mention on my list.
    do yourself a favor and check out his back catalog, blows all of that away.
    I hated Poetry for the Poisoned. The last K album I liked was Black Halo. They went to pop metal shit after that. Might as well team up with nightwish. RE Helvetios, maybe I just had high hopes. The album cover is great, their back albums were great, and then... nothing memorable. Not bad, but not memorable. No different than their last album, which was also not memorable. Slania was great though. So great.

    PS, Pandora is my secret weapon. More countries should license with them because that website is fantastic.
     
  20. Sauna

    Sauna Member

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    I would agree, except that I don't think Ki is blown away by anything. It's right up there with Terria and Ocean Machine.

    As for Kamelot, I kept liking them as long as they had Khan, (even if the musical side had gone downhill) but Khan they no longer have.
     

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