It’s that time of the year again where the staff at Rocksins pick out the great, the good and the not so good for our individual end of year awards. Our newest member James went first, and you can read his picks right here. But now it’s my turn for what was hot and not in 2012, so here we go:
Album Of The Year
Halestorm – The Strange Case Of
Anyone who’s read my full top 10 on my personal site will know that I picked Halestorm’s The Strange Case Of as my album of the year. Having first heard this back in February, It’s the one album that’s rarely left my ears all year, being spun up at least a couple of times a week, every week without fail. The album has no filler and is fantastic hard rock songs with some great vocal performances and catchy riffs from start to finish. They’re also extremely handy at the art of the “hard rock ballad”, with songs like Break In. I won’t repeat myself too much, so for more details about The Strange Case Of, please read my review from earlier in the year.
There’s also a link here to my full top 10 albums of the year plus honourable mentions, for my full list.
Song Of The Year
Kingdom – The Devin Townsend Project
In a year when there have been dozens and dozens of top quality rock and metal songs it’s been very hard to pick just one, but in the end one stood out as being rather unique. Kingdom is a song that effortlessly combines heavy music with a feeling of joy. All the listener needs to do is imagine Devin playing the song with a huge grin on his face (much as he did during the DTP’s Retinal Circus warmup show in Cambridge) to encapsulate the mood of this song. Its one of Devins heaviest tracks outside of the Strapping Young Lad days but none are quite like this. There have been so many fantastic rock & metal songs during 2012 but this is the pick of the bunch for me. Have a listen below:
[youtube id=”NraG_UFkkFY” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Honourable mentions – Too Many.
Gig Of The Year
Rammstein – Nottingham Capital FM Arena – March 2012
In a year where so many bands were at the top of their game in the live environment, one still managed to blow all the rest of the water. A band world renown for putting on some of the best concerts (never mind metal concerts) anywhere ever, Rammstein outdid even themselves on their Made In Germany tour in the early part of 2012. A setlist containing every possible favourite a Rammstein fan could hope for combined with a stage show you couldn’t take your eyes off for a second made it the clear winner of this category. We should all be very, very excited at what they may have in store for us at Download 2013. For more details of Rammstein’s Nottingham show you can read a review here.
Trivium – Shepherds Bush Empire, October 2012
The Devin Townsend Project – Cambridge Junction, October 2012
Young Guns – Shepherds Bush Empire, October 2012
Boysetsfire – Islington Academy, August 2012
Megadeth – Electric Ballroom, June 2012
Festival Performance Of The Year
Metallica – Download Festival 2012
Black Sabbath would run them mightily close, but for a die hard Metallica fan, seeing them play one of their seminal albums in its entirety, albeit from back to front wasn’t likely to be topped by anything and so it proved for me. It was the highlight of a fantastic tenth anniversary Download Festival, which was my only festival for 2012 with the demise of Sonisphere. I won’t go into too much detail as I’ve already done so on the Download 2012 Saturday review which is linked to here but it was something that will stay with me for a long time. Plus, who can forget the now infamous “Metallica Fammmmillleeehhh” sing song during Enter Sandman? Magic.
Honourable mentions – Black Sabbath, Shadows Fall, Devin Townsend (all Download 2012)
Video Of The Year
Fleshgod Apocalypse – The Forsaking
Beautiful yet so heavy it could knock your head off from 100 meters would be an apt description of the song The Forsaking by extreme metal masters Fleshgod Apocalypse. The video for the song is similarly juxtaposed, with a combination of beauty and horror executed in tremendous fashion. It has a very “Black Swan” feel to it. See the glory and the gore for yourselves. Not suitable for the squeamish.
[youtube id=”sRXbEt0otHg” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Devin Townsend – Lucky Animals (original video of Devin dancing)
Lamb of God – Ghost Walking
Storm Corrosion – Drag Ropes
Most Disappointing Album Of The Year
Kamelot – Silverthorn
Let me preface this by saying I love Kamelot, and they’re my favourite power metal band by some distance. Once they finally got a new singer on board in the shape of Tommy Karevik (also of Seventh Wonder) I was tremendously excited for their first album with Tommy, entitled Silverthorn, particularly after their final album with previous vocalist Roy Khan, The Poetry & The Poisoned, really wasn’t very good. The first single, Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife) was an absolute cracker, which unfairly raised expectations for this album considerably.
Then it arrived and….it wasn’t very good. It was a definite improvement on Poetry For The Poisoned but the single aside, there is none of the tremendously catchy, memorable power metal songs that Kamelot have made their hallmark on album suchs as Ghost Opera and The Black Halo. The album feels just too safe, which is a criticism I would also level at the previous effort. It can be understood to some degree with a new singer on board but it was still tremendously disappointing. They must raise their game and freshen it up on the next effort or they’ll be in serious trouble, and it really pains me to say that.
Dishonourable mentions: Linkin Park – Living Things, Lamb of God – Resolution
Band Of The Year
There were many contenders for this, but ultimately I couldn’t look past the French metal maestros. After releasing a true modern metal masterpiece in the shape of L’enfant Sauvage, which gained them accolades from all corners of the metal world from the press to their peers to the listening public, their fanbase has grown considerably. The prime example of this was Gojira’s 2012 culminating in a sold out UK tour including selling out London’s Koko, which at capacity of approximately 1,400 was roughly twice the size of any of their previous London headline shows. They’ve put French metal on the map in a big way and thoroughly deserve all the praise they have received. On top of that, they’re even big supporters of charitable causes, with big ties to Sea Shepperd (a charity that are very active in the marine conservation world).
2013 is already shaping up to be their best year to date with a huge US tour with no less than Devin Townsend himself supporting the French four piece, and then they return to the UK on the 2013 Jagermeister Music (£5 subsidised) tour as main support to headliners Ghost. in 2013 we will see if Gojira can continue to ride the wave they’ve created for themselves in 2012, but 2012 has given them a tremendous chance.
Honourable mentions: Halestorm, Devin Townsend, While She Sleeps, Young Guns
So there we have it, another year, another set of awards wrapped up. 2013 looks like it’s shaping up to be another cracker with new music from bands ranging from Avenged Sevenfold and Bring Me The Horizon to Slayer and dare we say even Metallica? It’s going to be very interesting times, once again. Happy 2013!