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Monday, June 18, 2012

Heavymetal year 2012 - Ten important albums that have been released this far + upcoming

So the year 2012 is on halfway done. How does it look on the part of heavy metal, and especially for us who like the heavy metal, or any of it's 80's sub-genres such as speed, power, thrash, doom metal, and nwobhm?

At the end of this post is listing of most ten most important 80's rooted heavy metal albums released up to this date in 2012, plus in addition much more this far released records and few upcoming ones as well! Please feel free to share any release not included here and discuss about the ones mentioned.

(Quicknote: See the actual listings at the end of the post!)

But first i'd like to talk shortly about "new old school bands" and the veterans in heavy metal that still release albums. I'd like to divide the presentation into three types of bands who these days release albums based on the roots of 80's sound.


First category: old bands reunite!

There has been tons of reunions in past years on the part of those bands originally formed in the 80's and you have probably noticed the same thing. They had a long break and now they're back in business trying their luck. Developing technology with computers and audio equipment as well as recording software have made it possible for many bands to record more independently than ever before. Bands such as Heathen, Angel Witch, Exumer, Death Mask, Hell (with their great "Human Remains"!), Bulldozer, and Oz have returned recently. The reunions have been raising in several genres, though one that I've noticed has been thrash metal resurrection by original 80's bands.


(Italian Bulldozer made a great comeback with "Unexpected Fate" in 2009)


Second category: new fresh bands basing their sound to the 80's

In addition there also has been a movement called "NWOTHM" (new wave of traditional heavy metal), what ever it's actually legit name or not, you know the drill. Bands like In Solitude, Skull Fist, RAM, White Wizzard, Enforcer, Portrait, Armour, and Helvetets Port have been raising with new young talents who honor the 80's original traditional heavy metal sound in their compositions.

You could also see several new thrash bands being formed releasing old-school type of a trash metal in veins of bay area thrash and german trash metal such as "Destruction". Bands such as Vektor, Violator, Warbringer, Lich King, or finnish minors Devastracktor who deserve a mention for sure.


(Swedish Portrait paid homage to bands like Mercyful Fate with their great self-titled debut in 2008)


Third category: old bands in the long-run

Some old bands which were formed in 80's but never had very long inactive period, or didn't have such at all, have been pushing albums out year after another. They were there in the 80's, they were there in the 90's and are still running.. some more strong, some less strong, and a few have wandered a bit away from their 80's roots also. Few bands pushing record after another out year after another include Iron Maiden, Venom, Manilla Road, Overkill, Rage (GER), Running Wild (I really cannot consider their new album "reunion" as split-up lasted so short time), Sinner, and Saxon.


(While german long-runners Rage may not be considered first tier-band, they've released solid album after another starting their career out as "Avenger" debuting in 1985. "21" is their twenty-first album up to date if counting the one under "Avenger" name.)


Presentation to the listing

Next thing is get to the point and present the lists for you about the year 2012 heavy metal releases from bands that hone the roots of the 80's, but additional styles like doom and early death may be featured in some cases. Some big releases that I do not credit for being that important for old school heavy metal fan are dropped off from top 10 list but mentioned in "additional releases" list below the top 10 (without belittling them at all, they just don't fit the topic!). Such an example could be Kreator's "Phantom Antichrist" which to my ears sound tad too modernized but the band itself has grown from the 80's so the release should be worth a mention anyway. Re-releases are not included. Only brand new full lenght releases.

The "top 10-list of so far released" include most important 80's rooted releases of 2012 since this date (18.6.2012) which are already available. In addition I'm going to also include "additional releases" which have been, or will be released within the year 2012!


Ten noteworthy albums that have already been released in the first half of 2012:



1.ANGEL WITCH (UK) - As Above, So Below (Mar 12th by Rise Above Records)

2.ACCEPT (GER) - Stalingrad (Apr 6th by Nuclear Blast)

3.CANDLEMASS (SWE) - Psalms for The Dead (Jun 8th by Napalm Records)

4.TANK (UK) - War Nation (Jun 4th by Metal Mind Productions)

5.MASTER'S HAMMER (CZE) - Vracejte Konve Na Místo (Feb 8th by "independent")

6.CRYSTAL VIPER (POL) - Crimen Excepta (Apr 24th by AFM Records)

7.OVERKILL (US) - The Electric Age (Mar 27th by Nuclear Blast)

8.TRIAL (SWE) - The Primordial Temple (Jan 12th by The Coffins Slave) *debut!

9.DEATHHAMMER (NOR) - Onward to the Pits (May 9th by Hells Headbangers Records)

10.WITCH MOUNTAIN (US) - Cauldron of The Wild (Jun 12th by Profound Lore Records)


Additional albums that have already been released in the first half of 2012:

ADRAMELCH (ITA) - Lights From Oblivion (Apr 27th by Pure Prog Records)
BURZUM (NOR) - Umskiptar (May 21st by Byelobog Productions)
EXUMER (GER) - Fire & Damnation (Apr 6th by Metal Blade)
FORTE (US) - Unholy War (Jun 12th by Tribunal Records)
GRAND MAGUS (SWE) - The Hunt (May 25th by Nuclear Blast)
HALLOWEEN (US) - Terrortory (Feb 25th by Motor City Metal Records)
HEXEN (US) - Being and Nothingness (May 28th by Pulverised Records)
HOUR OF 13 - 333 (May 29th by Earache Records)
LONEWOLF (FRA) - Army of the Damned (Mar 30th by Napalm Records)
MALICE (US) - New Breed of Gods (May 22nd by Steamhammer)
NIGHTMARE (FRA) - The Burden of God (May 18th by AFM Records)
KATANA (SWE) - Storms of War (May 12th by Listenable Records)
KREATOR (GER) - Phantom Antichrist (Jun 1st by Nuclear Blast)
MAD MAX (GER) - Another Night of Passion (Mar 26th by Steamhammer)
MANOWAR (US) - The Lord of Steel (Jun 16th by Magic Circle Music)
NECRONOMICON (GER) - Invictus (Jan 27th by Massacre Records)
PHARAOH (US) - Bury The Light (Feb 24th by Cruz Del Sur Music)
PICTURE (HOL) - Warhorse (Feb 22nd by Arist Station Records)
PRIMAL FEAR (GER) - Unbreakable (Jan 20th by Frontiers Records)
RAGE (GER) - 21 (Feb 24th by Nuclear Blast)
RAM (SWE) - Death (Jan 30th by Metal Blade)
RAVENSTHORN (US) - Horrors of the Black Mass (Feb 25th by "independent)
RUSH (CAN) - Clockwork Angels (Jun 8th by Anthem Records)
SACRED GATE (GER) - When Eternity Ends (Apr 27th by Metal On Metal Records) *debut!
SATAN'S SATYR'S (US) - Wild Beyond Belief! (May by Trash King Productions) *debut!
SAVAGE (UK) - Sons of Malice (Apr 2nd by Sanctuary Records)
WARHEAD (US) - The End is Here (Mar 16th by Dead Center Productions) *debut!
WHITE SKULL (ITA) - Under This Flag (May 14th by Dragonheart Records)
WITCHTRAP (COL) - Vengeance is Mine (May 22nd by Dirty Sound Records)
WRATHBLADE (GRE) - Into the Netherworld's Realm (Mar 1st by Eat Metal Records)

Upcoming noteworthy albums to be released in 2012:

BONDED BY BLOOD (US) - The Aftermath (Jul 2nd by Earache Records)
EMERALD (SWI) - Unleashed (Aug 24th by Pure Steel Records)
GASKIN (UK) - Edge of Madness (Aug 24th by High Roller Records)
HERMAN FRANK (GER) - Right in The Guts (Jun 22th by Metal Heaven)
OMEN (US) - Hammer Damage (Jun 29th by Karthago Records)
PARADOX (GER) - Tales of The Weird (Dec 14th by AFM Records)
STRIKER (CAN) - Armed To The Teeth (Jul 7th by Napalm Records)
TANKARD (GER) - A Girl Called Cerveza (Jul 27th by Nuclear Blast)
TESTAMENT (US) - Dark Roots of Earth (Jul 27th by Nuclear Blast)
---
SPARTAN WARRIOR (UK) - yet untitled (2012 or 2013)
AXEMASTER (US) - yet untitled (2012 or 2013)

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