10. The Gaslight Anthem; HANDWRITTEN
Beautifully written as ever, a sparkling album of gravelly rock and roll.
9. Young Guns; BONES
A band with an uncanny knack for producing anthemic songs, their 2nd effort ticks all the boxes on the boxes on the 'British Rock Gem' application form.
8. Parkway Drive; ATLAS
Brutal, moody and deeply thoughtful, this is metalcore's finest at the top of their game.
7. Deftones; KOI NO YOKAN
Like being hit by a tidal wave in slow-mo - powerful, destructive but simultaneously sombre and beautiful.
6. Rolo Tomassi; ASTRAEA
A cracking album, full of carefully orchestrated chaos.
5. The Chariot; ONE WING
Experimetal (see what I did there) at its absolute finest; ballistic and remarkably inventive, and above all brilliant.
4. While She Sleeps; THIS IS THE SIX
A pure metal record, deep with heavy brutality, contrasting melody and raw emotion. Stonking debut.
3. Muse; THE 2ND LAW
Diverse, over-the-top, clever and emotional; the height of modern prog.
2. Baroness; YELLOW AND GREEN
Simply stunning. Intricately powerful throughout, a really special album.
1. Enter Shikari; A FLASH FLOOD OF COLOUR
The jewel in the Shikari crown; thought-provoking and well-crafted with such a wide range of sound that they deserve to be a genre in their own right.
It was nip and tuck between Baroness and Shikari for yonks. But I settled for Shikari in the end because while I could not separate the albums by merit of how good they were - both near-perfect in their own ways - I in the end judged it by how purely addicted I had been to the albums. Put it this way; I still don't pay for Spotify because I'm a tight bastard, and when AFFOC came out on January 16th, I exhausted the play count by that Monday afternoon and bought a copy in the evening (I spent the day looking for my bank card...). It's a triumph of an album, blending genres like there's no tomorrow (should've written this on December 20th) from dubstep to metalcore to beautiful pseudo-ballad (Constellations). So that's why it's theNOISE's Album of 2012.
While I'm at it, some honourable mentions to the bands that didn't make it into the Top 10/that I meant to give time to reviewing but never got round to, and that had I been more organised/better at running a blog, would have had a place in an expanded countdown:
- Gojira; L'Enfant Sauvage
- Gallows; Gallows
- The Killers; Battle Born
- Neurosis; Honor Found In Decay
- Pulled Apart By Horses; Tough Love
- Architects; Daybreaker
And many more, probably. Stay tuned for my first vlog, to bring things neatly to a close! Hopefully.