2012 was a shitty year overall (it was an election year!) but oh was it great for music.
Colosso - Abrasive Peace
A killer debut for these prog-death metalers, and they put it on the Pirate Bay too to promote it! But I do want a physical copy, it's goooooood.
Asphyx - Deathammer
These guys have been around for a while now! And original vocalist and generally amazing guy (he was also in Pestilence and is the frontman of Hail of Bullets) van Drunen is back!
Dodecahedron - Dodecahedron
Another excellent debut for 2012, a progressive black metal band in the vein of Blut Aus Nord.
Meshuggah - Koloss</b>
These guys are on a roll. After the disappointing Catch-33 they made what was probably the best metal album of 2008, obZen. Dense and filled to the brim with wonderfully strange time signatures.
Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth
Metallica and Megadeth get all the credit as the harbingers of thrash metal, but Testament was there with them too. And unlike those two and more like their other peers Slayer, these guys haven't gone stupid and turned into massive cunts. They still know how to thrash with the best of them, but they've picked up a few tricks from experimenting with death metal too.
Afgrund - The Age Of Dumb
Heavy and angry as hell, just the way grindcore was meant to be. But there's still an underlying groove especially in the songs Bullets Are Forever and Genocide To Glorify to keep it from being a pointless mess of noise. This group is definitely one to watch.
Hour Of Penance - Sedition
Another group on a roll, this makes three awesome releases for these anti-religious death metalers. They remind me of my all-time favorite Suffocation.
Secrets Of The Moon - Seven Bells
A nice surprise for me courtesy of Amazon recommendations, more progressive-minded black metal. While most progressive black metal bands go for a wall of sound and dissodence a-la-Deathspell Omega, Secrects takes a minimalist approach for a uniquely eerie sound.
Wolvhammer - The Obsidian Plains
Another hard to classify one, they play what can be best described as black crust. Another band with a sound all their own.
Napalm Death - Utilitarian
There's a few misses on here, but overall Utilitarian is something ND should be proud of. Over 25 years and they're just as angry and unafraid of experimenting. They helped start grindcore and now they're helping redefine it.