James’s end of year awards 2012

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Album of the year

Sylosis – Monolith

A hulking beast of brooding progressive atmospherics mixed with some devastatingly fast thrash, Monolith simply crushes.

Booklet 12 Seiten.qxp

Honourable Mentions

Lamb of God – Resolution.

Its Lamb of God back to doing what they do best after a (very) slight dip in form with ‘Wrath.’

Kreator – Phantom Antichrist

Best Kreator record in YEARS. Phantom Antichrist continues Kreator’s momentous return to form that started with ‘Violent Revolution.’

Gallows – Gallows

Proving without a doubt there is life after Frank. Gallows characteristic punk riffage is further augmented by Wade’s hardcore bark. Half an hour of pure mayhem.

Axewound – Vultures

What makes Vultures such a joy to listen to is how instinctive the music feels. Written in a space of days by Matt Tuck and Jason Bowld there’s no time for finely constructed guitar and vocal harmonies, just crushing riffs with Cormier’s raw scream sounding absolutely fantastic over much heavier music than we’ve experienced before during his work with Cancer Bats.

Song of the year

Axewound – Collide

Delicate piano and string intro opens up into crushing riffs and a delicious vocal contrast between Matt Tuck and Liam Cormier.

Video of the year

Cancer Bats – Bricks and Mortar

[youtube id=”F8M4L8VnlkA” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Most disappointing album of the year

While She Sleeps – This Is the Six

This is an odd one, it wasn’t disappointing as such but it was hyped up to such a ridiculous extent by pretty much every area of the rock press that, when it did finally drop it just felt insignificant compared to the grandiose claims of certain magazines that it was “reinventing metalcore.”

Gig of the year

Rammstein – 02 Arena

Fire. A bridge that descended across the audience. More fire. Till Lindemann firing what I hope was fake jizz all over the audience. A bit more fire. Everything you could ever want from a Rammstein show… and some fire as well

Honourable mentions to Warbringer and Trivium who were both fantastic when I saw them. Warbringer  would have been gig of the year if it weren’t for Rammstein.

Best festival set of the year

Meshuggah at Hevy Fest was one of the heaviest, most hypnotically brutal sets I’ve ever witnessed. They made Andrew WK just look like an out of date gimmi- oh, wait…

Artist of the year

British rock and metal!

From While She Sleeps debut full-length album and Lower Than Atlantis’s ever-growing popularity to Gallows reinvention into something just as, if not more potent and explosive than their original form British rock and metal has continued to do fantastically this year… and it looks like it will continue to next year with While She Sleeps supporting fellow brits Asking Alexandria on their UK tour culminating in a London show at Brixton academy and a new album from The Defiled, next year looks just as exciting for young, up and coming British bands as this year was.

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