Now that the year is winding down and we’re finding ourselves in that familiar holiday period, it’s about time to start looking back on the releases that shaped the heavy-music climate of 2012.
I can’t say I have a top 10 picked out at this point, but the first two bands that come to mind when I think of 2012 are Dying Fetus and Xibalba. While their last release Descend Into Depravity was technically proficient and solid, Dying Fetus came out swinging this year with Reign Supreme, nine brain-devouring jams that slam harder than Kobe. Brutal, pissed off and groove-centric, this is the bands best material since 2000’s Decibel magazine Hall of Fame inducted Destroy the Opposition. Read more after the jump!
With a few EP’s under their belt, Pomona, California hardcore heavyweights Xibalba have gained a reputation for being one of the burliest bands today, tuning low and playing slow. Hasta La Muerte, the band's first full-length for Southern Lord Records finds the band developing a much more metal-centric sound, fusing together a bit of Morbid Angel, a bit of Sepultura and a whole lot of Crowbar. Now that’s a heavy fucking combo.
Then, of course, we have the new full length, Sentenced To Life, by Black Breath. This is hands down my favorite local release of 2012, as it finds the band, much like Xibalba, moving in a much more metal direction, slowing things down a bit, and adding memorably evil riffs to their well-established Entombed meets Discharge formula.
Holy shit, tonight is Dethklok! As campy and corny as some might see them, the world’s favorite animated metal band is actually really fucking good. The music rages, the lyrics are hilarious and the songwriting is memorable enough to get thousands upon thousands screaming the words, “I Ejaculate Fire.” This is all thanks to Brendon Small, creator of Metalocalypse, among other genius Adult Swim cartoons (Home Movies). Along with being an overall badass in the cartoon world, Brendan writes all of the music for Dethklok, and has been doing so since day one.
Down for a pure sonic body massage? This Sunday, chances are I’ll be slouched over in a corner at the Crocodile, stoned out of my mind, allowing the sheer heaviness of Earth to envelope my body. I have a feeling I’ll need a bit of a breather after The Body, though, as the two-piece wrecking crew is nothing short of mind-numbing. With their full-stacks set to destruction mode, prepare yourself for audial devastation.