Our year-end Listmania series here at NCS can be divided into two categories. First, we post a handful of metal lists created by metal print publications (though this year we only reported DECIBEL’s list) and so-called “big platform” web sites, i.e., sites who cover genres of music well beyond metal but have very large audiences. Second, we post the year-end lists of our staff writers and numerous guest contributors.
The one thing we haven’t done up to now is re-publish year-end lists that have appeared at other metal blogs and sites, mainly because if I started down that road, I wouldn’t know where to stop. I’ve seen a lot of good lists at a lot of other sites compiled by people whose opinions I respect, but I really wouldn’t know how to pick just a few without falsely implying that I think better of those writers than of others.
But I am making one exception today, primarily out of a desire to further expand the range of recommended metal for those of you who are using our Listmania series as a menu of new music to explore. This list comes from a writer (with whom I’ve had no personal contact, just to be clear) who goes by the name autothrall — a name I suspect is already familiar to many of you. He’s responsible for about 99% of all the reviews that appear at a blog called From the Dust Returned.
autothrall listened to a fuckton of metal this year — by his own estimation, 400-500 new albums, EPs, and demos — and wrote about a shitload of what he heard, reviewing several hundred releases over the course of the year. My mind boggles at those numbers. And I’m even more boggled by the fact that he writes not only so prolifically, but also so well. He also seems to have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of metal stretching back decades, and to see what I mean, check out these lists he made.
But apart from the fact that he’s one of those other bloggers whose opinion I respect (I’ve discovered a lot of great music through his reviews), the reason I’m singling out his list for re-publication here is because it delves even more deeply into the more extreme and shadowy undercurrents of metal than most (though not all) of the lists we’ve been posting, and I thought it would be a useful way to give NCS readers even more choices.
Using myself as a guinea pig, I can tell you that I’ve only heard five of the albums in his Top 20. I can also tell you that if I had more time and didn’t have to devote myself so intensely to wet-nursing our own ugly baby of a site, I’d check out the music on the other 15 for sure.
So, here’s autothrall’s list of the Top 20, which includes links to his reviews of the selected albums. To read his accompanying discussion, go to this place, and to see an even more exhaustive list of music he recommends from 2012, go here. If anyone feels like chiming in on his picks based on what you’ve heard from his list, please leave a comment.
Autothrall’s Top Metal Albums of 2012
The Top 20
01. Tiamat (Sweden) – The Scarred People
02. Putrevore (Spain) – Macabre Kingdom
03. Necrovation (Sweden) – Necrovation
04. Horrendous (USA) – The Chills *debut of the year*
05. Occultation (USA) – Three and Sevens
06. Spectral Lore (Greece) – Sentinel
07. Anhedonist (USA) – Netherwards
08. Drug Honkey (USA) – Ghost in the Fire
09. Ævangelist (USA) – De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis
10. Pharaoh (USA) – Bury the Light
11. Sigh (Japan) – In Somniphobia
12. Prong (USA) – Carved in Stone
13. Incantation (USA) – Vanquish in Vengeance
14. Corrosive Carcass (Sweden) – Composition of Flesh
15. Anthem (Japan) – Burning Oath
16. Ysengrin (France) – To Endotaton
17. Spawn of Possession (Sweden) – Incurso
18. Paradox (Germany) – Tales of the Weird
19. Cannibal Corpse (USA) – Torture
20. Soulless (USA) – In Death’s Grip