Best of 2012 – Brat
1. Bejelit – Emerge
The melodies, the songs, the vocals – this combination had this CD dominate my players this year.
2. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Ascending to Infinity
The split into two separate Rhapsody bands hasn’t adversely affected this half.
3. Secret Sphere – Portrait of a Dying Heart
Mr Luppi, how angelic your vocals do herald.
4. Sabaton – Carolus Rex
Battle history has never been so interesting.
5. Mob Rules – Cannibal Nation
6. Xandria – Neverworld’s End
7. Kissin’ Dynamite – Money, Sex & Power
8. ReinXeed – Welcome to the Theater
9. Sonata Arctica – Stones Grow Her Name
10. Vision Divine – Destination Set to Nowhere
11. Orden Ogan – To the End
12. Kamelot – Silverthorn
13. Evenoire – Vitriol
14. Pathfinder – Fifth Element
15. Holy Knights – Between Daylight and Pain
16. DragonForce – The Power Within
17. Magica – Center of the Great Unknown
18. Freedom Call – Land of the Crimson Dawn
19. Seven Kingdoms – The Fire is Mine
20. Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol
Best Live Album
Vicious Rumors – LIVE You to Death
Holyhell – Darkness Visible (The Warning)
I’ve got two I can’t separate:
Stratovarius, Under Winter Skies – Live in Tampere Blu-ray
Every time I watch Stratovarius live on television or at a concert, I’m reminded just how much I enjoy this band; singing along and dancing around the house to their biggest hits and few choice covers wearing my Strato moose T-shirt.
Pain, We Come in Peace Blu-ray/2CD
Pain’s live Blu-ray is well-packaged with the concert in Debasser Medis in Stockholm collaged with behind the scenes footage, usually left in a lump as an extra on these types of releases.
The second concert is Pain’s performance in the huge Czech Republic festival, Masters of Rock. The quality of this concert footage is the crispest HD metal concert footage I’ve ever seen. Brilliant! With two different sets, the live CDs keep me happy on the move.
Best Concert – Apocalyptica at The Forum, Sydney Australia
No-one could surpass Apocalyptica this year, but the Paul di Anno/Blaze Bayley tour is also worthy of a mention.
Does Duran Duran at Sydney Entertainment Centre count? No? Ok then it will have to be Def Leppard and Heart at Sydney Entertainment Centre.
Soundwave 2012 was the only festival I attended this year with an average line-up, but I went just the same to see Turisas and finally see a band on my bucket list – Paradise Lost.
Local metal band of 2012 (Sydney, Australia)
In the interest of full disclosure, my boyfriend’s in the band, but even Blaze Bayley acknowledges the talent in this band by providing guest vocals on the debut album, Prophecy.
Best new band
Unisonic – Kiske is back. That is all.
Best Discovery – Bejelit
In my search for new music, copycat sounds usually turn me off instantly, but as if Tony Kakko and the rest of Sonata Arctica have swapped salmiyaki for pasta. This Italian band has been around since 2001 so I’m surprised I haven’t heard of them until this year.
Major events in the Metal world
The news of Anette Olzen’s departure from Nightwish was one 4 am wake up call I didn’t mind.
Best pop metal album
Delain – We Are the Others
Greatest metal hopes
2013 is already looking like a HUGE year of tours in Australia starting with NIGHTWISH in the first 2 weeks of January with replacement singer Floor Jansen. Is it too much to hope that Floor’s appointment is made official?
Greatest metal disappointments
My greatest disappointment for 2012 is ME! 2012 has been very thin on metal and I’ve missed a lot of tours this year for one reason or another.
Mortal Sin calling it quits was sad news for Australian metalheads as well as some devoted overseas fans.
CD-wise there were some duds…
Yngwie J Malmsteen – Spellbound: how the mighty can fall. Is this release the result that no decent singer is willing to work with the maestro? This album is an odd mix of all the Malmsteen styles which doesn’t sit easily on the ears.
Axel Rudi Pell – Circle of the Earth: not even the heavenly tones of Johnny Gioeli could save this rehashed release.
Geoff Tate – Kings & Thieves: what a waste of resources and talent, sounded like Tate just couldn’t be bothered singing properly on this one.