The year 2012 has already seen its share of memorable rock and metal songs. This list celebrates the tunes that have been rocking the radio and our headphones since the dawning of 2012. To qualify for this list, the single itself had to be released in 2012, whether the album came out this year or last year. That's why you may not see some of your current radio favorites here. We'll be updating this list as the new singles are released this year, but for now check out Loudwire's Top Songs of 2012 (so far).

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    Trivium have blasted out a slew of singles for their 2011 album ‘In Waves,’ the fourth of which is the 2012 single ‘Black.’ The track is your classic heavy-hitting Trivium cut, with the lyric video taking the song to the next level in terms of intensity. The combination of sonic and visual words lunging at you gives 'Black' an apocalyptic feel - giving the lyrics even more weight.

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    The Cult

    Although this new track by the Cult is called 'Lucifer,' the song actually has nothing to do with Satan. When Loudwire asked Cult guitarist Billy Duffy about his take on the song, he told us, “'Lucifer’ to me would be like more about the bridge scene in ‘Apocalypse Now,’ – when I listen to ‘Lucifer’, that’s what I think about. It’s about excess.” Weighing in on the sonic aspects of the song that starts off pretty heavy, Duffy described it as follows: “This song lends itself to a guitar, acid trip, gun fight.”

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    'I Come Alive'

    The Used

    The Used have always understood their sound; mixing post-hardcore and ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ creepiness with a pop sensibility. The music of the Used also revolves around the voice of Bert McCracken, who has held back on the screaming in ‘I Come Alive,’ rather focusing on his large vocal range. The subject of the song is an interesting one, with the lyrics depicting the act of falling as the essence of feeling alive. The lyrics revolve around the line ‘I come alive when I’m falling down,’ with a detailed visual picture being painted by McCracken.

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    'I Like It'

    Foxy Shazam

    Foxy Shazam are an entertainingly weird effing band. Foxy bring ‘The Church of Rock and Roll’ in session with the band leading the charge. A soulful, hard rock track is delivered by Foxy Shazam with this loving tribute to the high upper-thigh area of females. Foxy Shazam seem to take on the basic concept of ‘go big or go home’ in all aspects of their music - and the video for 'I Like It' is no different.

  • Mary Ouellette,
    Mary Ouellette,

    'Love Bites (So Do I)'


    'Love Bites (So Do I)' is the lead single from Halestorm's upcoming full-length 'The Strange Case Of...' The mix of punk, thrash and pop come together in an interesting way with 'Love Bites,' with the lyrics of the track sung by frontwoman Lzzy Hale. The song paints the picture of a heroine being a viper and striking at the neck of the man she wants within the song, along with other types of metaphorical enchantment.

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    'Dry Bone Valley'


    ‘Dry Bone Valley’ is classic Mastodon. The band exhibits power and patience within their groove metal style, creating an subtly alluring track. Bassist Troy Sanders and drummer Brann Dailor split the vocal duties on ‘Dry Bone Valley,’ a combo very sporadically heard in the history of Mastodon. The band members while keeping their originality firmly in tact lace ‘Dry Bone Valley’ with great lyrics and solid performances. It’s Mastodon – and with the band’s long, consistent history, what else would we expect?

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    The track, as the title implies, combines modern day ‘ripped from the headlines’ type sentiments of kids tragically committing suicide as as result of school bullying mixed with the band’s own personal experiences of dealing with bullies when they were younger. ‘Bully’ serves as a true call to arms to anyone who’s ever been affected by bullying. While it’s not Shinedown’s heaviest song to date, it still packs a punch and delivers on impact with a loud and clear message: “All you’ll ever be is the fading memory of a bully.”

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    'I'm Alive'


    From the first moment on, ‘I’m Alive’ escalates into a strong, classic and dominantly percussive Anthrax cut, mixing thrashy riffs with Joey Belladonna’s soaring voice that never crosses into “I’m a show off, listen to me sing” territory. It’s a chunky anthem, with a killer solo plunked down in the middle. It holds fast to Anthrax tenets, but maintains a thoroughly modern energy level and style.

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    'No Reflection'

    Marilyn Manson

    'No Reflection' is the leading single from Marilyn Manson's latest album, 'Born Villain.' As the album which Manson himself referred to as his "comeback," the rock icon told us that he chose 'No Reflection' as the first single because, "If the record were a movie, that’s the song I would use for the trailer." The track undoubtedly is an accurate representation of the 'Born Villain' sound, as well as representing the various themes throughout the record.

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    Yes, we know that Pantera broke up nearly a decade ago, but to the surprise of metal fans everywhere, a lost track was released in April. 'Piss' was recorded during the recording sessions for the landmark record 'Vulgar Display of Power' and the sound of the track feels like it came straight from the album itself. Simply the crunch and riffage of Dimebag Darrell's guitar reminds you instantly of why he is so legendary. This track rules. In fact, we love it so much that we gave it a five-star review.