10 Best Metal Songs of 2012
Another year has brought us another barrage of songs to knock around your senses. After a great deal of thought, we've compiled our picks for the 10 Best Metal Songs of 2012. Along with tracks from bands such as Gojira, Testament and Between the Buried and Me, who released some of 2012's best albums, we've also included songs by Anthrax and Machine Head, which were featured on 2011 albums, but officially released as singles this year. It's all about which bands truly shaped the musical landscape of 2012, along with who brought their songwriting skills to a whole new level with their latest offerings. With that in mind, we present our choices for the 10 Best Metal Songs of 2012:
Although 'Darkness Within' is featured on Machine Head's 2011 album, 'Unto the Locust,' the song was officially released as a single in July of 2012. Accompanied by an incredible music video, 'Darkness Within' showcases the wide musical range of Machine Head, who parallel music and religion with the line, “Music my savior, save me.“
‘King of Days’
High on Fire's 'De Vermis Mysteriis' album is packed with solid tracks like 'Serums of Liao' and 'Fertile Green,' we're going with disc's meatiest track, 'King of Days.' The band showcase their doom and sludge prestige in the seven-minute track, with Matt Pike staking his claim as one of metal's most powerful vocalists. With a bit of beauty as a kicker, 'King of Days' gives the listener guitar and bass solos, along with the 'time travel' drum theme repeated throughout the album.
Lamb of God took 2012 by the throat with the release of 'Resolution,' spearheaded by the first single 'Ghost Walking' a post-apocalyptic tale of no one left to save. The voice of Randy Blythe is in the spotlight as he tightens his serpentine twist with the words, “Night blind on the shining path / Ghost walking in the aftermath / Hypnotized, 60 cycle hum / The broken cadence of a distant drum.“
‘The Wolf I Feed’
British grindcore legends Napalm Death rejuvenated their creative prowess with their 2012 album, 'Utilitarian,' taking their songwriting craft to a more solid and progressive realm. Written about the 'rat race' of the business world, guitarist Mitch Harris shares vocal duties with the booming Barney Greenway, building up to an explosive chorus and supernatural bridge.
Anthrax's 'I'm Alive' was released on Jan. 4, 2012, just making the cut for this list and landing at No. 6. Housed inside the 2011 album 'Worship Music,' the song features singer Joey Belladonna opening with an infectious “Whao-oah.” 'I'm Alive' serves as proof that a veteran band like Anthrax can bust out new and fresh music three decades into their career.
“I'm going to sing for you, a little off key perhaps, but I will sing. I will sing while you croak. I will dance over your dirty corpse.” With this classic line from Henry Miller's 'Tropic of Cancer,' Pig Destroyer launch into 'The Bug,' one of the most powerful cuts from their 2012 full-length, 'Book Burner.' The band delivers unfiltered brutality with this track. Add in dueling vocals between J.R. Hayes and Kat Katz, and you've gone through a meat grinder of a sonic battering.
A lost track from the landmark 'Vulgar Display of Power' album, Pantera's 'Piss' is like a time capsule wrapped in solid gold. The overwhelming crunch of 'Piss' still feels unmatched by modern production techniques, reminding the world why Dimebag Darrell's guitar work remains so unmistakeable. Phil Anselmo delivers a crushing vocal performance, aggressively taking apart “A self-centered procrastinator, attention seeker who's got nothing at all.”
‘True American Hate’
Testament are everything a thrash band strives to be. The 'Dark Roots of Earth' album was recorded by one of metal's most solid lineups: Chuck Billy, Alex Skolnick, Eric Peterson, Greg Christian and 'The Atomic Clock' Gene Hoglan. With that in mind, 'True American Hate' brings out the best in each performer, having crafted a classic thrash track that holds up in modern times against all possible competition.
Between the Buried and Me have stormed through 2012 with lots of touring along with a brilliant new album, 'The Parallax II: Future Sequence.' 'Telos' was the first track revealed by the band, and guitarist Paul Waggoner calls the track “the meat” of the record. BTBAM have continued into 2012 with their twisted concoctions, 'Telos' containing progressive and technical death metal with zone-out space blues and an epic crescendo containing but one word: “Rebirth.“
French metal masters Gojira are the breakout metal act of the year for 2012, even with an incredible wealth of material released throughout the last decade. The title track of their 2012 album, 'L'Enfant Sauvage' hits the listener immediately, revealing its importance the second it hits your ears. Somehow Gojira have created a unique mix of progressive brutality and massive accessibility, and for this, they stand tall with the top metal song of 2012.