Every year has its shit. This is not to revel in it all, and think that the past year has been so - far from it. But it is worth paying attention to.
Near tragedy struck Atlanta's Baroness, who were involved in a bus crash while on tour in the UK. However, as recently as this week Baroness' John Baizley released a statement of his and the band's intent to get back on the horse, after months of recovery and continuing physical therapy - I wish them the best in their ongoing improvement, and hope they're back soon.
The UK's, nay Europe's, festival scene took a blow in 2012 with the surprise and widespread cancellation of Sonisphere Festival, due to 'a weak economy and some bad luck'. A promising lineup with a classic rock flavour then never saw the light of day, with Kiss, Faith No More and a Queen reunion, with Adam Lambert on vocal duties, sadly biting the dust (sorry, had to). Fingers crossed that it gets back up on its feet soon, as it is often blessed with a killer bill (though were it actually running in '13 it would have much to do to surpass Download). I would also love to go back to the place that took my festival virginity (lol) in 2011.
The rock world was shocked this last week when it surfaced that lead singer of Lostprophets, Ian Watkins, had been arrested on allegations of child sex offences. Opinions on the band aside, we can only hope these are untrue claims - he will face the court on Wednesday 26th December.
We have also lost a few bands this past year, among them Japanese Voyeurs and Francesqa (others did but I've forgotten them - comment below if there are any more worth mentioning), while legends Alexisonfire also began their final tour, which will end in Hamilton, Ontario on December 30th. Farewell y'all, good luck, you'll be missed.
Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe has been officially indicted on a charge of manslaughter by the Czech State Attorney's Office in Prague. This follows the death of a fan at a LoG show a couple of years back, in which said fan was reportedly knocked off the stage by Blythe having stormed the stage. It's such an unfortunate thing to have occurred, and I hope the case is resolved cleanly.
And finally, ending on a sombre note (for which I apologise), the biggest tragedy to hit the world of metal this past year, if you hadn't heard about it, was the tragic untimely passing of Suicide Silence vocalist and frontman Mitch Lucker. I've only ever listened to a small handful of their songs, so I can't count myself as a real fan, but I do believe that metal fans in general are a community and a family that I do count myself as part of. So I extend my deepest condolences to his wife, daughter and the rest of his family of bandmates, friends and fans - I know their music meant so much to so many and helped them through difficult times in their lives.
And so I dedicate a specific award to Mitch Lucker, the Fallen Hero of 2012, for fronting a band whose work helped countless people through difficult parts of their lives. May you rest in peace and may your inspiration forever live on.