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Mötley Crüe vocalist Vince Neil turns 52 today. It would be easy to make fun of his struggles with the law, the bottle, and the city of Las Vegas. Too easy. Plus, we’re sure he’ll do something else dumb again that we’ll be talking about shortly. So instead, we’re going to look at the legacy of Mötley Crüe and rank their nine studio albums from worst to best. Also, keep in mind we’re not ranking Neil’s solo albums or any of the Crüe’s many greatest hits albums.
9. New Tattoo (2000)
No offense to Randy Castillo or Hole’s Samantha Maloney, but a Mötley Crüe album without Tommy Lee isn’t a Mötley Crüe album. Granted, he had a good excuse (he was in jail), but this 2000 album is pretty forgettable on all counts. “Hell on High Heels” is about as close as this album came to having a hit, and considering it debuted at #41 and quickly faded into obscurity, everyone else seemed to think so as well.
8. Generation Swine (1997)
The Crüe’s last album for Elektra, it was also the first one in eight years to feature birthday boy Neil. While it was a modest success at the time, no one’s clamoring to hear “Afraid” these days. And the less said about “Shout at the Devil ’97,” the better. This album was mostly written with John Corabi, who was replaced with Neil in a commercial move that ultimately paid off.
7. Theatre of Pain (1985)
Fresh off the quadruple platinum success of Shout at the Devil, the band let fame go to their heads. Nikki Sixx writes in The Dirt about barely remembering recording the album, and with the exception of the mega huge ballad “Home Sweet Home,” the main hit was their cover of “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.” Pretty forgettable, and doesn’t stand the test of time.
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We’re big fans of WSOU/South Orange here. First of all, they’re all metal all the time. Secondly, they’re in our listening area, and have served as a launching pad for countless metal bands since they switched to the format in the late ’80s, and more than a handful of its DJs and programmers have gone on to further success in the music industry. And while the radio station of Seton Hall University does have some rules about what they can and can’t play, they consistently feature more extreme music than anything else you’ll hear on the radio full time outside of satellite, and it’s free. But since it’s a Catholic university, they have to watch what they say about anything that portrays Catholicism or Christianity in a negative light.
So when this mostly tongue-in-cheek list of bands not to play on the station popped up on Reddit today, it wasn’t anything we didn’t know about. And WSOU is able to play some bands like Hellyeah, for example, by announcing “Vinnie Paul and Chad Gray’s new band” instead of calling them by their band name. And bands like Morbid Angel and God Dethroned that admittedly sing about Satan weren’t about to get played on the station in the first place. And then there’s Anal Cunt. So basically, check out this list of ridiculous band names. And also, give them credit for their list of bands that will get you terminated!
With 2012 nearing its end, we had Metal Insider contributors Bram Teitelman, Zach Shaw, Kodi McKinney, Matt Brown, Chris Colgan, Chip McCabe, and Daniel Cordova list their top ten favorite albums of the year. And as we predicted, there were plenty of crossover picks amongst the seven lists. With that in mind, we thought it was only appropriate to compile one complete list naming the overall top ten albums of 2012.
First, let’s go over how we actually made this combined list. We took a look at each album that made it onto our seven lists, and recognized the album’s weight on a descending scale. For example, an album that was named #1 on one list received 10 points, while an album named #10 received 1 point (while “honorable mentions” counted as half a point). We then added up all the points each album received from each list, and voila!
So without further ado, click on the page numbers below to see what made it onto Metal Insider’s top 10 albums of 2012.
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You’ve likely got a chance to look over the list Metal Insider contributors’ top ten albums of the year. We’ll be posting a composite list with our actual top ten shortly, but as we work on that, even some non-metal outlets are getting in on the fun. Spin Magazine have listed their top 20 Metal albums of the year, as chosen by Christopher Weingarten, and it’s not a bad list. They even have a link to download a free 101-minute mixtape with all of the bands on it.
20) Marduk, Serpent Sermon (Century Media)
19) Horseback, Half Blood (Relapse)
18) Killing Joke, MMXII (Spinefarm)
17) Astra, The Black Chord (Metal Blade)
16) Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Damned (Candlelight)
15) Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay (Neurot)
14) Enabler, All Hail the Void (Southern Lord)
13) Napalm Death, Utilitarian (Century Media)
12) Eagle Twin, The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale (Southern Lord)
11) Lamb of God, Resolution (Epic)
10) Meshuggah, Koloss (Nuclear Blast)
9) Gojira, L’enfent Sauvage (Roadrunner)
8) High on Fire, De Vermis Mysteriis (eOne)
7) Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph)
6) Royal Thunder, CVI (Relapse)
5) Deftones, Koi No Yokan (Reprise)
4) Goat, World Music (Rocket)
3) Torche, Harmonicraft (Volcom)
2) Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction (Profound Lore)
1) Baroness, Yellow and Green (Relapse)
With the year in music just about over, Metal Insider‘s staff and contributors are taking a look back and naming their top ten albums of 2012. This next list comes courtesy of Metal Insider contributor Chip McCabe. We’re also including a Spotify playlists with a song from each album, if available. We’ll also be sprinkling in other lists from artists over the next few days as well. What are your top ten? Weigh in in the comments section.
10. Ferocious Fucking Teeth – s/t (Safety Meeting Records)
Most people reading this are going to immediately go, ‘Who?’ Fair enough question. Hailing from New London, CT (not exactly a metal Mecca) and signed to tiny Safety Meeting Records (not a metal label per se) means that most metalheads will probably not have heard this album yet. However, this album was recorded with the legendary Steve Albini and features some of the heaviest stoner jams you will encounter from this past year’s offerings. Equal parts noise and stoner rock, FFT deliver a chaotic barrage of sound. You can listen to the entire album for free on their Bandcamp page.
9. Satan’s Wrath – Galloping Blasphemy (Metal Blade)
I’m a huge fan of Possessed and a lot of the early proto-death metal bands (you know, when death metal and thrash were still pretty much the same thing). So it’s no surprise that a band that freely borrows from that era and those bands (especially Possessed) would make my list. Bullet belts, goat masks, gauntlets, severed goat heads…that’s just the promo photo. I don’t care how tongue-in-cheek the overtly Satanic references are (or aren’t) because these guys have the chops to back it up. This is what retro thrash should sound like (you know…good). I made comment about this album on another site that they totally remind me of all the bands from the “Satanic Panic” era that your parents and religious leaders warned you not to listen to. Well, I’ll see you all in Hell because this album has been on constant repeat for me since its release date.
8. Christian Mistress – Possession (Relapse)
2012 was great year for bands successfully revisiting past metal glories. It was also a great year for females in our usually male-dominated genre. One band that embodies both of those statements is Washington’s Christian Mistress. Their Relapse debut, Possession, hit the streets way back in February and I knew upon first listen that this was probably going to be one of my top albums of the year. From the distinct traditional/NWOBHM songwriting to the prowess of front woman Christine Davis, to the killer twin guitar solos this band absolutely made their mark on the scene in 2012. The unpretentious way this band goes about their business is refreshing. Their ability write really fantastic, guitar-driven, metal anthems hearken back to the days of bands of bands like Rainbow, Angel Witch, and the first two Maiden records.
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With the year in music just about over, Metal Insider‘s staff and contributors are taking a look back and naming their top ten albums of 2012. This next list comes courtesy of Metal Insider editor Bram Teitelman. We’re also including a Spotify playlists with a song from each album, if available. We’ll also be sprinkling in other lists from artists over the next few days as well. What are your top ten? Weigh in in the comments section.
10) Van Halen, A Different Kind of Truth (Interscope)
This is kind of cheating for a few reasons. First of all, many of the songs were written years ago, before they were even signed. And I don’t think anyone would really consider Van Halen “metal.” But for anyone that grew up listening to rock radio in the ‘80s can attest, they were intertwined with the beginning of hair metal. Their first album with David Lee Roth on it since Reagan was in office is pretty much better than just about any album with Sammy Hagar in it. Aside from Diamond Dave showing his age a bit and Wolfgang Van Halen’s involvement, this album is still one of the more fun albums to come out this year.
9) Deftones, Koi No Yokan (Reprise)
In 2010, Deftones took everyone by surprise with Diamond Eyes, their most vital album in years. Its follow-up is nearly as good, with songs both heavier (“Swerve City,” “Leathers”) and more melodic (“Tempest,” “Gauze”) than their last album. As much of an identity that the band had with Chi Cheng, they’re batting 1000 with Sergio Vega on bass.
8) Baroness, Yellow and Green (Relapse)
Like fellow Georgians Mastodon, Baroness signed to Relapse and put out a debut album that merely hinted at what was to come. When Yellow and Green was announced, it had the deck stacked against it – not only was it a double album, but word was the band was taking a stab at being more commercial. Despite those odds, they managed to pull it off nearly effortlessly. Not every song is perfect, but the two albums complement each other without getting too long. And songs like “Take my Bones Away,” “Cocanium” and “Board up the House” are instant classics that will hopefully be live staples once the band is recovered from their horrific bus crash.
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With the year in music just about over, Metal Insider‘s staff and contributors are taking a look back and naming their top ten albums of 2012. This next list comes courtesy of Metal Insider contributor Chris Colgan. We’re also including a Spotify playlists with a song from each album, if available. We’ll also be sprinkling in other lists from artists over the next few days as well. What are your top ten? Weigh in in the comments section.
WOW! I knew during the year that picking my Top 10 list would be challenging, but I had no idea it would be as tough as it was. For those that keep up with New & Noteworthy, you know that this year was jam-packed with great new albums, including a plethora of highly-anticipated and long-awaited albums, many coming from artists that have kept us waiting for years for their new music. Now that it’s all said and done, though, we have to make the tough choices. So here you have it – these are my picks for the best albums of 2012!
10. Soulfly, Enslaved (Roadrunner)
There were two other thrash albums that could have taken this space, and you’ll see both of them in my Honorable Mentions. However, Soulfly takes the final spot in my Top 10 because of the statement that this album makes. After 15 years of making music under this banner, Max Cavalera has never managed to avoid having Soulfly be compared to Sepultura in some fashion. Enslaved is Max’s rebuttal statement, where he finally comes right out and says through his music that he doesn’t care about such comparisons, because he knows they are going to occur and he doesn’t need to even hear them anymore to know what they say. Additionally, in a metal world that demands consistency from so many artists, Soulfly’s consistency is constantly degraded as being stale and unnecessary, and I cry foul at that. Enslaved is an absolutely titanic album, featuring some of the best material that Max has ever composed. If it had been released by any other band, fans would have been all over it, but because it’s a Soulfly album, Enslaved has not earned nearly as much credit as it deserves. I do not agree with this, which is why I’ve elevated Enslaved to the final spot on my list. This is an album that you need to listen to, understand, and endorse, based solely on its merits. Downplaying an album simply because the artist isn’t who you want them to be does a disservice to everyone, and I think that tendency ought to end now.
9. Wintersun, Time I (Nuclear Blast)
It has been eight years since Wintersun’s self-titled album was released. Fans have waited with varying degrees of patience during that time for the release of Time. Now that the first part is released, was the wait worth it? I say that it was, even though many others are saying it was not. The reason why I say it was worth the wait, and why I also have given Time I a spot in the top 10, is that I see the intent of this album and the underlying message it conveys about the mastermind of Wintersun, Jari Mäenpää. 2004′s Wintersun was all about flash and appeal, using guitar wizardry and impossibly difficult compositions to stun listeners into a state of respect, shock, and awe. Time I has stripped away a great deal of that, even though it paradoxically had even more complex compositions and required a great deal of technical assistance to complete. No longer is Mäenpää trying to grab attention in an effort to escape the shadow of his former band, Ensiferum. Instead, he is taking the time to craft his music in the same way that a symphony is composed, finding a way to make each part serve a purpose and contribute to the whole. For those with short attention spans that are only listening to Wintersun for the next epic guitar solo, this album will likely not interest you, and I say that it’s your loss. But those that can appreciate the tenacity of composing such ambitious music, as well as those that can enjoy the precision craftsmanship involved in bringing folk metal together with melodic death metal, will absolutely love Time I in the same way that I do.
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With the year in music just about over, Metal Insider‘s staff and contributors are taking a look back and naming their top ten albums of 2012. Today’s first list comes courtesy of Metal Insider contributor Kodi McKinney. We’re also including a Spotify playlists with a song from each album, if available. We’ll also be sprinkling in other lists from artists over the next few days as well. What are your top ten? Weigh in in the comments section.
10. Royal Thunder – CVI (Relapse)
I never thought I’d see the day where my favorite Relapse release of the year featured a traditional “clean” vocalist prominently, but Mlny Parsonz sings like she’s tearing a hole in the sky. Royal Thunder is stoner enough to share a stage with Corrosion of Conformity or Monster Magnet, but doom enough to stand up next to Candlemass, and its combination of tree-splitting guitar riffs and that voice makes it clear that this is a full-band effort instead of just a vehicle for pending metal stardom. Tracks like “Parsonz Curse,” “Sleeping Witch” and the decimating single “Whispering World” cut to the bone. It’s almost like Ghost had a kid with Janis Joplin and Soundgarden delivered the child, with a powerful end result that’s as much a snapshot of a band on the rise as it is a document of serious potential.
9. The Sword – Apocryphon (Razor & Tie)
As The Sword’s high-profile major-label debut, this record had a lot riding on it. But it’s been hugely successful, and that’s probably because Apocryphon has a way of getting under your skin. From the first listen, it was accessible and catchy as hell, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t quite as gut-punchingly epic as Warp Riders had been. And then I realized I was humming “Cloak of Feathers” to myself in public, noticing how hard “Dying Earth” throws down the gauntlet for the second half of the record to follow, and thinking that “Execrator” was the best Mastodon song Mastodon didn’t release this year. To top it all off, the clear-as-a-bell production from J. Robbins almost masks just how crushing these songs are; seeing most of this played live on their most recent tour drove that point home, as the low end detonated. Orange Goblin and Torche both set the bar amazingly high for elephant-heavy rock n’ roll records this year, but if there’s any justice in this world, The Sword’s latest will be the one that ditches the “hipster metal” tag and finds them recognized among stoner metal’s greatest artists.
8. Ihsahn – Eremita (Candlelight)
Ihsahn’s latest blackened prog excursion shows why he’s a cult hero among metal fans of many stripes, from the people who came to black metal through his old band Emperor (i.e.: me) to guitar nerds who jumped on board for his solo debut, The Adversary. Eremita continues his high-concept work with the aid of Shining saxophonist Jorgen Munkeby, along with some surprisingly low-key guest spots from Devin Townsend (on “Introspection”) and Jeff Loomis (on “The Eagle and the Snake”). Extremity, technicality and the sinister blend seamlessly, as has been Ihsahn’s trademark; it’s not as apocalyptic or as world-destroying as 2010′s titanic After, but it’s still a worthy installment from a metal guru of the highest order.
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Richard Christy wears many hats (and one diaper). While his day job on the Howard Stern Show consists of making hysterical phone calls among other things, most metalheads know him as one of the best metal drummers out there. His band Charred Walls of the Damned have released two albums on Metal Blade, while he’s also spent time behind the kit in Death and Iced Earth, among others. Here’s Richard’s top five albums of the year, with an honorable mention.
5) Demon Hunter, True Defiance (Solid State)
Demon Hunter writes some of the catchiest metal songs ever and I’ve been a fan of theirs for many years now. They achieve something that I always think is one of the most important aspects of songwriting – their songs stick in your head. I love catchy metal and this band writes some super catchy songs.
4) Death, Vivus (Relapse)
I’m a little biased because I play on this album, but I’m SOOOO happy with the reissues that Relapse are doing with the classic Death albums. When I listen to this album it brings back so many great memories for me, I’m so lucky that I was a member of Death, my favorite band in the world. I miss Chuck every day and I’m so happy that Relapse and Chuck’s family and friends are helping to make sure that his music is never forgotten.
3) Lamb of God, Resolution (Epic)
I LOVE these guys personally and I love their music! I traveled with them on tour in 2004 and they’re the most awesome guys ever, I had such a blast. It was a tough year for the band and I’m so happy that Randy is finally free and the guys are back out on tour kicking ass!
2) Testament, Dark Roots of Earth (Nuclear Blast)
One of the most reliable bands in metal, when they put out a new album you know it’s going to sound like Testament and you know it’s going to be awesome!
1) Coheed and Cambria, The Afterman: Ascension (Hundred Handed, Inc.)
An absolute masterpiece, I listen to this album every day since it came out and I’m counting down the days until I see Coheed at Radio City Music Hall in NYC next year! Plus I’m super psyched to hear part 2 of this double album next year, I’ve already heard one song that they’ve played live called Iron Fist and it is freakin’ epic!
Honorable Mention: Paranorman and Frankenweenie Soundtracks – Two amazing movies with equally amazing music! I’m a HUGE fan of horror soundtracks and these two are right up there with the best of them!
With the year in music just about over, Metal Insider‘s staff and contributors are taking a look back and naming their top ten albums of 2012.Today’s list comes courtesy of Metal Insider contributor and college station KSSU/Sacramento CA metal director Daniel Cordova. We’re also including a Spotify playlists with a song from each album, if available. We’ll also be sprinkling in other lists from artists over the next few days as well. What are your top ten? Weigh in in the comments section.
10) Cloudkicker, Fade (self)
Ben Sharp is a genius. He is a genius that apparently cannot sit still. Nine months after last year’s calmer, but still amazing, effort Let Yourself Be Huge, Sharp hit the distortion pedals again and returned with a hypnotizing ambient instrumental metal record. What I adore about Cloudkicker is that he is able to create instrumental guitar-driven music that doesn’t require guitar wanking. Sharp knows how to craft a song and keep your attention without a word. Cloudkicker’s entire catalog is flawless, and Fade is the icing on the great cake he has been making.
Recommended tracks: “Seattle” & “The Focus”
9) Sigh, In Somniphobia (Candlelight)
My last words before playing any album by Sigh have always been, “And now for something completely different,” and the band really does something completely different on In Somniphobia, even different for Sigh. They’ve done the avant-garde black metal with a saxaphone thing for quite sometime now. So the band likely figured, why not add every instrument you can imagine and more metal subgenres than you can recall into the mix? Bongos? Check. Jaw harp? Check. Surf guitar? Check. Glockenspiel? Check. Recorder? Check. Kitchen sink? Probably!
Recommended tracks: “L’excommunication a Minuit” & “Far Beneath the In-Between”
8) Royal Thunder, CVI (Relapse)
Royal Thunder are a stand out in what seems to be the growing metal subgenre of female-fronted stoner/doom bands. Mlny Parsonz has a great voice for the music. She has a classic sound, without sounding dated. The music itself brings some other bands like Clutch or The Sword to mind, but it does so by sounding like an equal, rather than a copycat.
Recommended tracks: “Whispering World” & “Parsonz Curse”
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