The Ten Best Metal Albums of 2012

Categories: Metal

Stolen Babies
It's that time of year again. Time to cozy up 'round the fireplace, crack open a brewsky, and duke it out over who had the Best Metal Album of the Year. Without further ado, here they are.

10. CVI, Royal Thunder
The music of Royal Thunder, from Atlanta, GA, is almost not metal -- and that's not a bad thing. It's a welcome reminder that music can be emotionally resonant without being sonically violent or lyrically graphic. The songs on CVI aren't any of the things metal fans usually revere: they're not "complicated" or "fast" or "brutal." In that sense, this might be the most "challenging" album on this list. It's more classic psychedelic rock than modern metal, and singer MLNY Parsons is like a dark siren from the '60s reincarnate. She's the crown jewel in a band that's unafraid simply to be themselves. Trends be damned.

9. Resolution, Lamb of God
For over a decade, Lamb of God have been the "it" band in American heavy metal. Resolution is their seventh studio album, and it debuted at number three. At this point in their career, LOG are only competing against the bar they've set for themselves. Their groove metal is as powerful as ever, and they are terrifyingly strong live. Much has been said this year about singer Randy Blythe's manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic; after seeing his astonishing command over the NYC audience at the Roseland Ballroom last month (where there were no fans onstage), we can only say: maybe unstable governments should be afraid.

8. Dethalbum III, Dethklok
Here's the thing about Dethklok: the lyrics are ludicrous, but the music is no joke. Renaissance man Brendon Small takes on songwriting, guitar, and vocal duties -- as though masterminding an animated series on Adult Swim wasn't enough work already. Add Gene Hoglan (Death, Testament) on drums and Bryan Beller (Steve Vai) on bass, and it doesn't matter that you're singing about ejaculating fire: you're going to sound badass. It's likely no one in human history has or ever will again compose lyrics containing the phrase "epididymal retention" -- except Dethklok.

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