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Best Of 2012 - 2013 (Dangerzone)

ARTICLE: Best Of 2012 (Dangerzone)
YEAR: 2013


As has been the norm for myself over the past five years I haven't always been able to devote the attention I once did to current music due to Army commitments. Indeed I was in Afghanistan until June so I had a lot of catching up to do once home. Once again selecting ten albums for this list has been a painstaking process and only nine made the cut. Some choices were logical, but some certainly not. In fact looking back it seems many of the new releases I reviewed were appalling and singled out just so I could decimate them. Others on the periphery just didn't quite have enough to be included here (Pro Pain, John Parr, Jimi Jamison). Sadly it would be easier to make a best of the worst for myself, but I did conjure up what I could regardless.

In Summary
My Best of 2012..

Wolfsbane 'Wolfsbane Save the World'- An enjoyable comeback from Blaze Bayley and co, with a romp similar in spirit to their work two decades ago. This went largely unnoticed, but it was as good as anything they've recorded, with Blaze reclaiming his old self after years of hardship.

Jackyl 'Best In Show' - I found myself listening to this one often and it's a strong return from the veteran hard rockers. Nothing fancy, just Jesse and the lads laying it down as if it was still 1992.

Cannibal Corpse 'Torture'- Another brutal release from the death metal legends, now more than 20 years into their existence. This was superior to their last two albums, with more crushing speed. The songtitles were up to par also, with 'Followed Home Then Killed' and 'Intestinal Crank' good for a laugh or two.

Paul Sabu 'Bangkok Rules'- This was one of the surprises of the year for me, Sabu delivering an album every bit as good as his older output. For 2012 this was as definitive as 80's hard rock gets.

Rick Springfield 'Songs For the End of the World' - Classy effort from the seemingly ageless Springfield, certainly his best in many years. While it can't be compared to his 80's work, it stands up as a consistent melodic rock album that stood heads above most during the year.

Accept 'Stalingrad' - In retrospect this was nowhere as good as 'Blood of the Nations', but it still surpassed dozens of other metal flops in 2012. The faster tracks like 'Flash to Bang Time' and 'The Quick and the Dead' are clearly where the bands strengths lie.

Led Zeppelin 'Celebration Day' - I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I have. This was a lively set from the legends, which showed them in fine form back in 2007. Jimmy Page steals the show for me, giving this much repeat value.

Bullet 'Full Pull' - Another year and another stunning album from the Swedish metal exponents. These dudes just get better and this was their best yet, no doubt in my mind. This is the very personification of metal, played in a manner nobody can touch.

Van Halen 'A Different Kind of Truth'- This was by a mile my most played album of 2012, one of the best hard rock albums in a long time. It proved how essential David Lee Roth is to the band, even after so many years out of the studio with VH. This was their best album since '1984' itself and for me one of the best of their career. There's a certain magic here that cannot be copied by anyone. It pissed all over albums by other aging rockers like Kiss and Aerosmith (and many others).

There were some other albums that probably deserved to be on the list but I may have overlooked them in my haste.

Not So Good..
As for the worst of 2012? Well the list below is just band names, but they were responsible for some absolute drivel that tainted my eardrums:

Dokken, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, UFO, Steve Harris, Iron Maiden (live), AC/DC (live).

I might also add that the albums by Asia, H.E.A.T. and German thrash legends Kreator were overrated and disappointing. Slightly better were the latest from Soulfly, Tygers of Pan Tang and Manowar, but realistically that isn't saying much!

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#1 | Nick C on January 02 2013 10:08:12
Rick Springfield throws out consistently great albums seemingly effortlessly.
#2 | Eric on January 02 2013 11:24:43
Cannibal Corpse album covers just kill me! Over the top.
#3 | tompa on January 02 2013 11:45:18
Found myself nodding in agreement at everything you said about the Van Halen album only I wouldn't be able to put it that way myself. Very well said! DL Roth isn't the best of singers but you don't have to be the best to make it (just look at the punkscene of the 70's) but for me DLR is the ONLY singer in Van Halen. Heard quite a few complaints about this album and some of it was down to these songs being leftovers from the 70's. Some leftovers! Although Eddie VH is just the guitarist to turn an ordinary song into something special many bands would kill to have these tracks on their album. Massive reunionalbum for me and reunionalbums are rarely this good.
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