Monday, 31 December 2012


It's arrived! The award I give the most importance to, because album reviews have been, are, and are to be, the backbone of theNOISE as it continues to exist. And the top spot was even harder to choose than Best Band; so much so that for the last couple of weeks since I began considering the top 10, the top 3 have changed around at least 8 times. And, even up to the point of writing this I changed the top 2 a fair few times. But I'm happy with my final choice. Well, obviously, as I've decided to take it to press finally. But anyway, please keep your arms inside the car at all times, the rollercoaster of excitement that is my album chart of 2012 is about to start...

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.

Simply stunning. Intricately powerful throughout, a really special album. 

 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.

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