Welcome to 2012, the last year of mankind. If the misinterpretations of the Mayan calendar are correct and 2012 really is the year of the apocalypse, it's hard to think of a genre more appropriate than metal to celebrate the end of the world. Do you want to be bobbing your head politely to some surfer fuzzrock when the sun explodes, or do you want to meet the fury of the cosmos head on with the unbridled power of ten bajillion electric guitars coming out of your speakers?
That's what I thought.
Fortunately, your dedicated Duke of Distortion (that's me) is here to guide you through the last year, ever, with some killer tunes.
There's a new release from the Phoenix symphonic black metal band Abigail Williams titled Becoming that's grandiose and shoegazey, similar to the French bands Amesoeurs and Alcest. My favorite track is the first, an eleven-minute single called "Ascension Sickness," but the second track is a much more reasonable five-minute excursion that's also really good. It's called "Radiance," and you can hear it here.
Speaking of symphonies, Nightwish fulfills all of your power metal desires with Imaginaerum, which focuses on female operatic vocals (no growling here), choral and orchestral arrangements, and undeniably catchy headbanging riffage. Check out the recommended tracks on the database, starting with "Last Ride Of The Day."
We don't usually do singles in the metal department, but sometimes you gotta make exceptions for popular bands. Lamb Of God's single, titled "Ghost Walking", gives you another solid track from the well-established groove metal titans. Look for the full album in the next few weeks.
Want to spend some time reminiscing about how good life before the end of the world was? Check out the new greatest hits collection from German industrial metallers Rammstein, or the rerelease of the short-but-spectacular debut of LA-based Abysmal Dawn's From Ashes.