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 intern/contributor Matt Brown. We’re also including Spotify playlists with a song from each album. 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) Eluveitie, Helvetios (Nuclear Blast)
Eluveitie has put out some of the most enjoyable folk metal there is from the past several years, but Helvetios is, in my opinion, the best of their career so far and an absolute gem among this year’s releases. There are many instruments at work here from the fiddle to the hurdy gurdy to the bagpipes, which all meld together for a folksy sound fused with melodic death metal. The album tells the story of the ancient Helvetians, and while you can enjoy each track on its own, you feel like you’re being told an ancient Celtic tale as you listen. I keep coming back to “A Rose For Epona”, which allows Anna Murphy time to shine on vocals and is the crown jewel of the album. Helvetios is without a doubt a beautiful piece of music.
9) The Sword, Apocryphon (Razor & Tie)
I’ve loved The Sword ever since their debut came out back in 2006. With album number four, the band continues to put out solid material. The songs are relatively straightforward this time around, but they kick a substantial amount of ass. The band’s signature catchy and crunchy guitar tone is as prominent as ever, and newcomer Santiago Vela is solid on the drums. The title track that closes out the album is one of The Sword’s best, starting with a trippy synthesizer intro before launching into a barrage of riffs that sound like straight up Sabbath, which is always a good thing.
8) Dethklok, Dethalbum III (Williams Street)
One of the best things about Dethklok apart from the show Metalocalypse is that their music makes you forget that they’re a virtual band. Series creator Brendon Small has demonstrated before that he can actually shred and write, but Dethalbum III is the best he’s come up with yet. The humor associated with the show is present on awesome tracks like “I Ejaculate Fire”, which is even funnier when you realize there are death metal bands that write songs exactly like it. The riffs are badass and you can’t ignore the work of master drummer Gene Hoglan or the bass playing of Bryan Beller. The fact that this album can stand alone as a true musical effort makes the difference between seeing Dethklok as a comedic novelty or as a legitimate metal act.