As 2012 is coming to an end, I have been thinking about everything that has happened musically this year. There were so many metal/rock albums released and I had the opportunity to attend to a lot of gigs around so I can say that I was kind of lucky and ‘on fire’ when it came to live shows. πŸ˜€ I hope 2013 will be the same for me, some shows of my favorite bands are already confirmed soΒ  I hope I can attend to those shows. Plus, there are so many great festivals including Tuska (FI) and Wacken (GER) and I feel like I have to go to every festival and enjoy the madness that is the power of metal music!

To be honest, this year was proof that I have been obsessed with finnish/folk metal for a while so when I made a list of my favorite albums this year, I was not so objective since I did not really listen to all the metal/rock albums that were released due to my thesis and work. Nevertheless, I still think that the albums I will write about below truly reflect how beautiful 2012 was musically.

Here are my favorite albums that were released this year. I tried so hard to sort them out but I have to say they are not listed in an order, I love each of them differently πŸ˜€

  • WINTERSUN – Time I

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Do I have to say how much I love this album? Wintersun’s Time I is probably the biggest ‘thing’ in metal music in 2012. The fans have been waiting for this album for 8 years and in my opinion, the Finnish metallers did not disappoint anyone at all (OK.. maybe some fans but I am sure there are always exceptions :D).

  • ELUVEITIEΒ  – Helvetios

I have to admit that I was not into Eluveitie until the release of Helvetios. After that, I just became addicted to the Swiss metallers and Helvetios was proof that they are stronger than ever!

  • KORPIKLAANI – Manala

As a huge fan of Finnish folk metal, I was really excited for this release. Surely, Manala was not like the previous releases of the band; it was a bit heavier. Nevertheless, it was great to feel the ‘folk’ vibe throughout the album. Korpiklaani always rocks!

  • THE 69 EYES – X

After the disappointment that is Back in Blood, X was so refreshing! It made me ‘believe in’ the Helsinki vampires again. It was also proof that the Finnish rockers are turning back to their old roots slowly. X was so great to listen to and I still get the joy and the excitement when I listen to it. Great work, Helsinki vampires! πŸ˜€

  • MOONSPELL – Alpha Noir / Omega White

Just like Eluveitie’s Helvetios, this album made me become addicted to the Portuguese metallers. The fact that the album has a heavy ( Alpha Noir) and a soft side (Omega White) made me fall in love with it. It is full of anger and violence as well as melancholy and sadness.

  • JACK WHITE – Blunderbuss

I think that Blunderbuss is the only non-metal album in my list this year. It is impossible NOT to love Jack White; I have always adored his work in The White Stripes and his debut solo album did not change anything. Blunderbuss is surely different from his works with his other bands but it is perfection.

  • KREATOR – Phantom Antichrist

It was great to listen to this release from the German thrash metallers. I was not so familiar with Kreator before but when I had the chance to review the album, I was blown away. πŸ˜€

  • ENSIFERUM – Unsung Heroes

Ensiferum’s Unsung Heroes was one of the anticipated albums in 2012 for me. It is a different album and the Ensiferum fans might not like it the first time they listen to this album; at least that’s what I experienced. However, as I listened to the album more and more, I became addicted to it. Finnish folk metallers did it again! πŸ˜€

  • TIAMAT – The Scarred People

Listening to The Scarred People made me realize how much I missed ‘real gothic music’ with deep vocals like Johan Edlund’s and the darkness in the songs. This album is a must for any gothic metal fan and I hope Tiamat goes on tour in 2013 πŸ˜€

  • HEIDEVOLK – Batavi

Batavi was the first album that I reviewed so I was really excited when I listened to this piece. Although Batavi is kind of ‘weak’ compared to Heidevolk’s older releases (a lot of people will say that Batavi‘s sound is really different from other Heidevolk albums), it is still a great folk metal album.

  • FINSTERFORST – Rastlos

The German pagan metallers were my discovery this year and I am glad I did not discover this band too late. Their latest release Rastlos is a great pagan metal album; it is as if Moonsorrow and Falkenbach composed an album together. The vibe, the atmosphere and the melodies get you hooked in this album from the beginning. This is a must for any pagan metal fan πŸ˜€

So these are my picks for 2012. Moreover, so many great releases are awaiting us in 2013. Some of these releases are from bands like TURISAS , FINNTROLL , POISONBLACK , HIM, WINTERSUN and AMORPHIS.

I can’t wait for a new year full of gigs and great albums. For now, enjoy the holidays and happy new year everyone! πŸ˜€