Rock Album of the Year – 2012 Loudwire Music Awards
As the 2012 Loudwire Music Awards continue, we turn our attention to full bodies of work -- that's right -- the Rock Album of the Year. We've got 10 stellar discs in contention for the title and need your assistance in determining the best.
We've got a mixture of major radio acts, door-busting female-led hard rock outfits, '90s mainstays enjoying a career resurrection and a handful of lesser-known acts who deserve consideration for potential breakout releases. But in the end, the final word comes down to you. Check out the nominated albums, read our cases for each, and be sure to vote in the poll below:
Baroness, 'Yellow & Green'
It's a shame that Baroness' year was cut short due to injuries sustained from a bus crash, but that doesn't lessen the fact that 'Yellow & Green,' the band's third album, was one of the year's standout efforts. With 'Take My Bones Away' and 'March to the Sea' leading the way, this double-disc offered heavy rock with a sense of subtlety.
Dead Sara, 'Dead Sara'
Every year there's the search for a new voice, and Dead Sara's Emily Armstrong, with the emotion-filled rasp of a modern-day, hard-rock Janis Joplin, made her presence known. 'Weatherman' became the breakout single, but the remainder of their self-titled debut is a stellar effort, front-to-back.
Deftones, 'Koi No Yokan'
Deftones' resurgence in recent years only continues with 'Koi No Yokan,' a magnificent disc led by the mood-shifting single 'Tempest' and the all-out aggression of 'Leathers.' The band, who's made a career about exploring dynamic, continue to click on all cylinders with the highs, lows and atmospherics we've come to love.
Halestorm, 'The Strange Case Of…'
Sophomore slump? Never! If anything, Halestorm made significant strides with their second release 'The Strange Case Of …' 'Love Bites (So Do I)' was the kind of anthemic rocker that most bands would kill for and the angsty 'I Miss the Misery' struck a chord with listeners.
Lacuna Coil, 'Dark Adrenaline'
The ever-evolving Lacuna Coil actually took a step backward into their past, much to the delight of fans of their more gothic-sounding early years. 'Dark Adrenaline' connected with the lead single 'Trip the Darkness,' while the infectious drumbeat of 'Fire' was undeniable. There's a comfort level and joy within almost every track.
Marilyn Manson, 'Born Villain'
Marilyn Manson, at least creatively, rediscovered his niche this past year. The 'Born Villain' album was reminiscent of the albums that made him a huge success in the '90s, with the lead single 'No Reflection' sitting alongside the best tracks of his career. Other highlights included 'Slo-Mo-Tion' and 'Hey Cruel World.'
Serj Tankian, 'Harakiri'
After experimenting with a variety of styles in recent years, Serj Tankian's return to rock was widely hailed. The vocalist provided a distinct point of view on a majority of his songs, with 'Harakiri' speaking to environmental concerns with aggression and 'Figure It Out' showing unrest with many of our corporate leaders.
Shinedown followed up 'The Sound of Madness' with another hits-filled set in 'Amaryllis' that's definitely connecting with audiences. The topical 'Bully' was an early-year hit that not only delivered a message, but some ear-candy hooks to rope you in. Other standouts include the earnest 'Unity' and the in-your-face rocker 'Enemies.'
Soundgarden, 'King Animal'
Soundgarden showed no rust with 'King Animal,' there first album in 16 years. 'Been Away Too Long' is the band's new battle cry, signifying their official return with a track that connects as well as some of their biggest hits. 'Non-State Actor,' 'Bones of Birds' and the recently previewed 'Rowing' also show that the group is back to cranking out quality music.
Stone Sour, 'House of Gold & Bones Part 1'
Stone Sour's 'House of Gold & Bones, Part 1' is highlighted by the double-single, 'Gone Sovereign' and 'Absolute Zero,' which provide the story of a man on a downward spiral. They're both aggression personified. However, songs like 'Taciturn' and 'Tired' deliver a more melodic, yet no less powerful, statement.
Voting for the 2012 Loudwire Music Awards closes on Jan. 15 at 11:59 PM EST. Fans can vote once per hour, so keep coming back to make sure your favorite band wins!