With the year in music just about over, Metal Insider‘s staff are taking a look back and naming their top ten albums of 2012. We’ll be naming ours over the next few days, starting with today’s list, Metal Insider contributor Zach Shaw. 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.
I’ve always been a fan of Stone Sour, but I was very disappointed with 2010’s Audio Secrecy. So my expectations for House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 (the first part of Stone Sour’s concept albums) were pretty low. That’s why it was a pleasant surprise to hear “Gone Sovereign,” “Absolute Zero” and my personal favorite from the album “Tired.” In fact, songs like “Last Of The Real” and “RU486” find Corey Taylor channeling his voice and rage in Slipknot. Even more rock friendly songs like “Absolute Zero” and “Tired” contain strong hooks and impressive riffs. While might not win over those who criticized Stone Sour’s radio-friendly elements, House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 will certainly please anyone who enjoys Taylor’s work as a vocalist.
Losing a member that was heavily involved in writing material is hard for any band (even more so when said bandmate was also a sibling). That’s the scenario God Forbid found themselves in when Dallas Coyle left shortly after releasing 2009’s Earthsblood. Three years later, the NJ metal group overcame such an obstacle with the release of Equilibrium. Songs like “My Rebirth,” “Cornered” and “This Is Who We Are” contain memorable riffs and powerful vocals that every metal album should have. In short, God Forbid has left another lasting impression on the metal community with yet another stellar album.
I felt that Shadows Fall did a stellar job further incorporating thrash and classic metal elements with their metalcore roots on 2009’s Retribution. And with their latest offering, Fire From The Sky, the group continue to do just that (perhaps with even more focus than before). Songs like “Weight Of The World,” “Blind Faith” and “Save Your Soul” highlight how Shadows Fall has always had a knack for writing memorable and shred-tastic riffs/solos, while songs like the title track show the group channeling an even heavier, brutal sound. In short, Shadows Fall (with help from producer/Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam D.) succeeds in creating an album that will appear to both new and old-school fans.