Most Underrated Albums of 2012
Check out their picks below and let us know on Facebook and Twitter which album you think flew under the radar this year.
A Eulogy for the Damned, Orange Goblin (Picked by Alan Robert of Life of Agony)
"I've been diggin' Orange Goblin since their Coupe de Grace record, back in 2002. I caught their live set when it came out and they completely blew me away. The group's seventh album, A Eulogy for the Damned, is the band at their tightest and the production is friggin' great. Martyn Millard's bass work is absolutely inspiring and is a definite standout for me. My favorite track is probably "The Fog" with its big, mid-tempo, Sabbathy groove. Singer Ben Ward sounds like he gargled with the pieces of a broken Jack Daniels bottle right before recording the album, which fits in perfectly with the vibe of the record."
Epicloud, Devin Townsend Project (Picked by Lawrence Gowan of Styx)
"My son Dylan introduced me to this artist a while ago. It's musically on a grand scale with a nice blend of vocals and soundscape moments interwoven with great metal underpinnings. The female vocals that enter from time to time add another flavor that takes the record into a vulnerable emotional area that gives it a nice counterbalance to the heavy-ocity of the overall album. All songs flow as one continuous statement that seamlessly blend. Epicloud is an adventurous piece of music particularly for the metal world. Very enjoyable."
Age of Ignorance, Our Last Night (Picked by Taylor Green of The Seeking)
"I think a great album that deserved more attention this year was Age of Ignorance by Our Last Night. A great refreshing sound to the scene. They again wrote great catchy choruses and kept their heavy elements. Solid album."
Ex Lives, Every Time I Die (Picked by Mat Welsh of While She Sleeps)
"It's a tough statement picking an album you feel is overlooked. Every Time I Die released their new album this year and I feel it didn't receive enough attention. The record is a masterpiece: great songwriting, production and artwork. ETID are a band I feel do very little wrong and to not hear much about the record and not meet many people having the record is a shame. But it's also an opportunity, Ex Lives is a solid track for track album and if you have ever seen them live you know they are more than capable of doing the albums justice on the stage. Pick up the album and get on board."
The Swing House Session, Pearl (Picked by Scott Ian of Anthrax)
"The Swing House Session by Pearl. Yeah I'm biased, but not because she's my wife...because it's dirty, hooky and it's fucking rock & roll stripped down to it's core and I'm always on the side of rock. Pick up a copy here!"
Beneath the Scars, 12 Stones (Picked by Jenny Mann of Blameshift)
"I would definitely have to say Beneath the Scars by 12 Stones. Not only is the song writing on this album amazing but the songs are raw, emotional and inspiring. This is by far their best album to date. It's rock 'n' roll at its finest!"
Koi No Yokan, Deftones (Picked by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October)
"My pick would definitely be the Deftones' new album, Koi No Yokan. Guitar tones are sick. Rhythm guitar sounds like chainsaws with a loose chain smashing into metal. Drums are so solid with fills that empty into exploding deep sea thunder. And above all vocals and lyrics are hauntingly beautiful desperate and by far depicts the definition of madness meets power."
Hallelujah! I'm a Bum, Local H (Picked by Adam Arling of The Last Vegas)
"Scott Lucas has been Chicago's most prolific 'rock' artist the past 15 years. Local H makes true 'albums': diverse, cohesive, dynamic. He has always got something up his sleeve."
Sentenced to Life, Black Breath (Picked by Josh Middleton of Sylosis)
"One of my favourite album's of 2012 and the most underrated in my book is Sentenced to Life by Black Breath. They are one of the very few bands to emerge in recent times that I really love. It's a mixture of really raw, Entombed-sounding death/thrash metal with even more or a punk or hardcore energy. All the riffs are absolutely huge and Kurt Ballou's production fits the music perfectly. I literally didn't take this CD out of my car for months."
colourmeinkindness, Basement (Picked by Matthew Davies of Funeral for A Friend)
"If there's one record that I feel will be overlooked this year then it would be Basement's swan song record, colourmeinkindness. I know the bands fans are loving it and rightly so, it's an amazing record that deserves so much wider attention, the fact that they're splitting just makes this record feel even more bitter sweet. Better than probably 90% of the stuff that's come out in 2012 hands down."
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal, Periphery (Picked by Aaron Buchanan of Heaven's Basement)
"This album is so underrated! The vocals are huge, and the music is a fantastic jam from start to finish. Although niche to what is now described as the 'Djent' scene, it's clear that this band are capable of more and more as time moves forward, and I hope we get to hear it."
Monolith, Sylosis (Picked by Cameron Grant of Psycroptic)
"The musicianship on this album is second to none and Josh just has this amazing ability when it comes to writing catchy riffs and structuring them in such a manner that for me is so aurilly pleasing. If you havent already heard it, do yourself a favour and grab a copy ASAP. You won't be dissapointed."
Silver Age, Bob Mould (Picked by Piggy D. of Rob Zombie)
"This is pure rock fury at its most honest. Who should you trust more than the founder of Husker Du? Insightful and thoughtful lyrics with crunchy power chords that fill your ears like a Thanksgiving dinner. I only wish he was my uncle. Uncle Bob, we can always rely on you! Check out 'The Descent' and tell me I'm wrong."
De Vermis Mysteriis, High on Fire (Picked by Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis)
"I don´t know how is the situation worldwide, but here in Finland High on Fire's De Vermis Mysteriis didn't get that much attention. Maybe the album it´s too muddy for metalheads and too slow for extreme metal kids. But for me this album is just perfect. It´s a great combination of powerfull riffs, groowing drumwork and uncompromising attitude. My favourite tracks from the album are 'Bloody Knuckles' and 'King of Days.'"
Outer Isolation, Vektor (Picked by Anders Schultz of Unleashed)
"This album actually came out last year. However, I'm gonna use a loophole and see if it works haha...the limited vinyl release is out this year! It's a brilliant album and even though 'underrated' is not the right word, because everybody I know that heard it think it's great, I would say it's very overlooked. Maybe it's because they're on a small label, I'm not sure. But it seems they are getting more attention these days and hopefully that will grow. It's great thrash, mixed with all kinds of proggy moments and a large dose of old Voivod. First time I heard em, my first thought, or comparison was: It sounds like a futuristic hybrid of early Destruction and early Voivod. Ripping thrash, great songwriting, crazy vocals and at times totally prog-like song structures. It's a must is all I can say."
No, Old Man Gloom (Picked by Keats of Swarm of Arrows)
"Oh man there's probably tons... I'll say Old Man Gloom's No. There's just so many great sounds on that album. It's both pummeling and beautiful. The New England pedigree of heavy musicians is so deep and this album is just another great example of that."
Impact, Eye Empire (Picked by Clint Lowery of Sevendust)
"This was a solid rock record. Great singing, killer guitars, drums. Just the elements I look for. My brother just happens to play for the band and I have always loved his style of writing and I'm huge fan of guitar player Brad Kochmit."
Epicloud, Devin Townsend Project (Picked by Dylan Gowan of Hallows Die)
"Devin has a very unique way of writing metal and it really stands out apart from all the metal bands today. He puts a lot of his quirky personality in his music which makes it not only heavy but it makes it very catchy. "Lucky Animals" is a great example. 'Grace' and 'More' are great heavy tracks and 'Divine' and 'Lessons' give a nice lighter balance. Plus in the track 'More' theres a line were he says 'criminal minds' which I thought was awesome. He has a great vocal range and great group of musicians behind him. Devin writes great catchy riffs but shows he is more than just metal chops. Very creative, very heavy very devy."
All Hail the Yeti, All Hail the Yeti (Picked by Sean Beavan of 8MM)
"A heavy band that may have missed your radar this year is All Hail the Yeti. They released their eponymous titled album on AFM this August. The backstory here is I walked into the Viper Room after seeing a heavy band on the Sunset Strip that wanted me to work with them. I was considering it until All Hail the Yeti took the stage. The ferocity of their performance on that tiny stage reminded me what the real deal is all about. Seeing them live is a cathartic and primal voodoo."
Blues Funeral, Mark Lanegan (Picked by Rob Van Der Loo of Epica)
"Does this album belong to the heavy metal/hard rock genre? Not exactly. But with Mark Lanegan's incredible contributions to bands like the Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age we can't deny that he deserves his place in the hall of fame of heavy rock. It has been a while since he made his last solo album but this year the raw voiced singer/songwriter returned with the beautifully balanced Blues Funeral. From pumping raw rock songs to dark romantic ballads Lanegan definitely struck me in the heart with this little diamond. Are you a fan of the heavier work of Tom Waits, Nick Cave/Grinderman or the groundbreaking album Song for the Deaf by QOTSA? Then please don't overlook this album."
Albatross, Big Wreck (Picked by Stix Zadinia of Steel Panther)
"This album definitely got overlooked in 2012. It is a fucking killer rock record. The songs are great, and the vocals are ridiculously awesome. Riffs for days and killer lyrics. If you don't buy it, you're a dick. But if you can only buy one record this year, go get a Steel Panther record. It'll up your chances of getting laid."
Eremita, Ihsahn (Picked by Evan Hensley of Nightfall)
"I'm going with Eremita. I certainly felt like it did not get the attention it deserved. The album sports a clean production, features great playing (including some cool guest performers), and conjures a dark, introspective mood that I find rather unique."
Age of Ignorance, Our Last Night (Picked by Brayden Kane of The Seeking)
"My favorite metal album of 2012 would have to be Age of Ignorance. Touring with Our Last Night was awesome and I loved watching their set every night. We listen to that album in the van nearly every day. I don't think they're getting the recognition they deserve for it either, it's a great work from great musicians. Watching those guys live every night is a treat, they're always on point! This album is extremely catchy, good lyrics, great melodies and powerful heavy parts. Check it out, I promise you'll love it."
La Armada, La Armada (Picked by Jordan Burns of Strung Out)
"La Armada are a band from the Dominican Republic and their latest self titled LP is so good. They are quickly making a name for themselves and their live show is full of so much energy. Its refreshing to see a band so hungry, and so into what they are doing. It really reflects in their entire sound. If you like heavy hardcore progressive music like say Converge, you'll want to check these guys out. Check them out just for the fact that they are from the Dominican Republic.. How cool is that?"
Darker Days Ahead, Tragedy (Picked by Leif Jensen of Dew-Scented)
"I would probably pick the newest Tragedy album, Darker Days Ahead, for this one! I know many people dig this band, so I don't think they are really an underrated act, in the classic sense of the term. It rather seems that Tragedy are (successfully) trying to stay self-contained in their moves and obscure to the world.That's cool with me obviously, but I still think more people should get into albums as intense as Darker Days Ahead."
Testament, Lamb of God, Gojira (Picked by Mark Hunter of Chimaira)
"I am from the school of thought that the majority of hard rock metal albums are underrated. While a few bands crack the charts, they are only there for an instant quickly fading back to the underground. Metal used to fill arenas, now it's lucky to fill a gas tank. Testament, Lamb of God, and Gojira are only a few acts that should have went gold this year. While they had successful albums, it's only a fraction of what the hip-hop world sees.
What the hell happened?"