The Ten Best Metal Albums of 2012

Categories: Metal


7. Naught, Stolen Babies
Six years after their debut album (with four of those years spent in indefinite hiatus), Los Angeles band Stolen Babies have arrived back on the scene with more of their wonderfully bizarre cabaret metal. Here's a fun riddle: what sound do you get when you take twin brothers who've played with The Dillinger Escape Plan, a reluctant theatre starlet, and an accordion and mix it with the Talking Heads and Edward Gorey-style illustration? Stolen Babies -- and Naught lives in a whimsical world of their creation.


6. Yellow & Green, Baroness
"Beautiful" is a word you don't often hear used to describe heavy metal, but in this instance, it's totally appropriate. The third studio album by the Savannah, GA, band, Yellow & Green transcends metal, venturing into folk and psychedelic spaces. While Baroness have always explored genres outside of the "sludge" moniker that's never done them justice, this record finds them pushing beyond their past efforts into musical territory that's -- gasp! -- pretty. The instrumental "Green Theme" -- with its shifts from a weeping, atmospheric guitar verse into a blossoming, harmonized guitar chorus -- is one of the most gorgeous pieces of music you will hear this year.


5. Years Past Matter, Krallice
Dense and intricately composed, Years Past Matter, by Brooklyn's Krallice, takes the listener on a journey through six songs, most of which run longer than 10 minutes each. The tracks are titled only by increasing repetitions of the letter "i", as though someone's cat applied paw to laptop key, and the results became the song names. (How does one distinguish between songs onstage when reading a setlist of tunes like "iiiiiiiiii" and "iiiiiiiii"?) The album pummels the brain with constantly changing time signatures amidst a wall of multi-layered guitars. Even if we can't pronounce the songs, we admire the craftsmanship therein.


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48 comments
logan_simar
logan_simar

After the first half of your list, I was like "YEAH". But my reaction to the bottom 5 was like "WUT?" I would've put Stolen Babies and Dethklok much closer to the 1-spot, but still it's a great list.

Carm
Carm

...and I was looking forward to seeing the Nyogthaeblisz/Goatpenis split on this list. :(

vonmadmann
vonmadmann

Thanks for such an intriguing, thought-provoking list. Any such "year's best" can only ever be a matter of opinion, and I appreciate the fact that yours is an idiosyncratic challenge to dubious received "wisdom." I'd rather have my musical borders expanded, than hardened and confirmed. This is the VOICE, after all, not some conformist tract like BILLBOARD. Looks like I have some listening to do; always a fine thing!

ChipsBandShow
ChipsBandShow

@TwittiKat My second thought is that papers like The Village Voice should not be writing about things they are clearly clueless on. Ha!

HornsUpRocks
HornsUpRocks

@lindasusername Nah, some picks yeah. But others, def not! Ours is coming this week!

locks
locks

@talios Beyond Creation not on the list‽ WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM

lindasusername
lindasusername

@GrimKim What do you think got left off the list? Always interested to hear differing opinions.

jonanamary
jonanamary

@GrimKim dear goodness what a joke of a list. :o

currincy
currincy

@mannsworld don't be such a kvlt poser karen

AsgardRoot
AsgardRoot

@GrimKim My mouth is still open. Fucking clueless.

JeffTreppel
JeffTreppel

@GrimKim Upon reviewing her other articles, this would actually appear to be a list of the 10 metal albums that she heard this year.

JeffTreppel
JeffTreppel

@GrimKim Well, it's certainly unique!

StolenBabies
StolenBabies

@lindasusername Killer! Thanks for the support Linda!

gunface1
gunface1

@GrimKim Morbid Angel remix album is on the list...cred is null.

dmdg1
dmdg1

@GrimKim Yeah right? Like maybe 4 of them, maybe I'd probably only have 2 off that list.

J_K9
J_K9

@GrimKim The Morbid Angel remixes?!? You've got to be kidding me.

bryanbeller
bryanbeller

@lindasusername nice! btw, I totally agree with their #1 pick - @GojiraMusic "L'Enfant Sauvage" is beyond brilliant.

ChardSwissnym
ChardSwissnym

@kdc That...was not accurate. Krallice is cool though. Forgot about that one.

TwittiKat
TwittiKat

@ChipsBandShow ...so... No strong feelings one way or another? Ha

talios
talios

@locks Hmm I don't think I know the Beyond Creation! TIme to correct!

GrimKim
GrimKim

@lindasusername Hey Linda! The problem I have is that the albums you chose aren't representative of what really happened in metal this year

lindasusername
lindasusername

@JeffTreppel You'd be mistaken about that. But thanks for reading!

somogibbs
somogibbs

@gunface1 Cred is null after the inclusion of Dethklok on this list. What a fucking joke.

robmcauslan
robmcauslan

@gunface1 @GrimKim What an odd list. There’s some decent stuff on there and some heinous nightmarish lunacy.

kdc
kdc

@ChardSwissnym yeah that list was really flawed.

JeffTreppel
JeffTreppel

@lindasusername Out of curiosity, so I can get an idea of your taste, do you have any credits outside of the Voice?

LegionAOD
LegionAOD

@robmcauslan It's a list that makes you Ok, fine then a WTF right near the end, not even putting Gojira at number 1 can salvage it.

lindasusername
lindasusername

@JeffTreppel That's cool. Let me know when you do. I'd be interested to read your picks.

JeffTreppel
JeffTreppel

@lindasusername This is going to sound like a dodge, but I'm still figuring out EOY stuff

lindasusername
lindasusername

@JeffTreppel Valid point, since it's written by one person. Which albums would you have included?

JeffTreppel
JeffTreppel

@lindasusername This just feels more like a personal favorites list than a major publication's official list of the year's best metal albums

JeffTreppel
JeffTreppel

@lindasusername Sorry, I realize I'm sounding mega dickish here – hard to do on the Internet, right?

lindasusername
lindasusername

@JeffTreppel Tell me what you think should have been on the list! Would love to hear your thoughts.

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