Dec 112012

We’re continuing to re-publish lists of 2012’s best metal as compiled by magazines and “big platform” web sites. As we did last year, today we’re going north of the border and showing you the list revealed today by Canada’s Exclaim!

Exclaim! is a Canadian national print magazine concentrating on music, with a monthly distribution of 100,000 copies to over 2,600 locations across Canada. is the business’s web presence, with 300,000 unique visitors per month. Like the other big-platform sites whose lists we’ve re-published, Exclaim! covers a wide range of music, with metal being only one of the genres, and there’s also an emphasis on Canadian talent.

Last year, Exclaim! had a metal-only year-end list (in addition to lists from other music genres). This year they’ve created a Best Albums list that combines metal and hardcore, with 15 entries.

Last year, of all the lists we re-published, Exlaim!’s had the highest percentage of bands whose 2011 albums I hadn’t heard. This year, I’ve heard most of them, but still not all. Here are some observations before we get to the list:

Like most of the “big platform” lists, this one includes an eclectic range of styles, which again could be a reflection of the fact that Exclaim!’s readers are not primarily metalheads or even hardcore punks. The result is a list that’s not as consistently heavy or extreme as the one we re-posted yesterday, though it does include some of my own favorites from 2012.

There’s a tip of the hat to old-school death metal with another appearance by Incantation; I’m happy (and pleasantly surprised) to see Widowmaker continuing to get some love on these year-end lists; and this list provides a double-whammy of crushing bleakness with Gaza and Neurosis back-to0-back.

And of course, the list includes what I need to start calling “the usual suspects”, because they’ve showed up on virtually every list we’ve re-published so far: Converge, Pig Destroyer, and High On Fire.

Here’s the Exclaim! list — as always, I encourage you to leave your reactions in the Comments:

15.  Incantation: Vanquish In Vengeance

14.  The Chariot: One Wing

13.  Torche: Harmonicraft

12.  Kreator: Phantom Antichrist

11.  Propagandhi: Failed States

10.  High On Fire: De Vermis Mysteriis

09.  Cattle Decapitation: Monolith of Inhumanity

08.  haarp: Husks

07.  Mares of Thrace: The Pilgrimage

06.  Pallbearer: Sorrow and Extinction

05.  Gaza: No Absolutes In Human Suffering

04.  Neurosis: Honor Found In Decay

03.  Dragged Into Sunlight: Widowmaker

02.  Pig Destroyer: Book Burner

01.  Converge: All We Love We Leave Behind


  1. Lack of black metal much?


  2. Happy to see Mares of Thrace getting some love. I’m not usually a sludge fan, but they kill.

  3. O.o propagandhi ? hmm

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