The Scandinavian kings of progressive black metal have once again reinvented themselves. With another true to their spirit album, it is an even more accomplished album than their latest acclaimed Axioma Ethica Odini.
2. Propagandhi – Failed States
These Canadian Prairies punk rockers/thrashers have done one of their best albums. For those who say that their wave of punk rock is dead must have a listen to this very solid album. By the way, Propagandhi has been one of my favourite bands since high school.
3. Neurosis – Honor Found in Decay
One of the most respected band in underground music has came back with another near-masterpiece. Legends never die and Neurosis is pretty freakin alive!
4. Sigur Rós – Valtari
This Icelandic simplistic band has been one of my discoveries of the year. Sang entirely in their mother tongue, Valtari is subtle and epic at the same time. A beautiful album to listen.
5. Metric – Synthetica
Canadian Dream pop success story has came back with an even more impressive offering than their previous Fantasies. Try to catch them live : they rock!
6. The Shins – Port of Morrow
Another discovery for me, The Shins’ latest album rotated more than most of the titles of this list this year in my ears.
7. Nile – At the Gate of Sethu
Extreme Metal has never been so well served than with Nile this year. Getting back to a more organic sound and more old-school sonorities, Fans won’t be disappointed and Metal enthusiast might easily be convinced by this more true to the roots sound.
8. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Cult Montréal based band GYBE was back after a decade of absence. And we are well served with this behemoth offering. Maybe not as great as Lift Your Skinny Fist Like Antennas to Heaven, yes this is the real title of this album, but so great to have them back with new stuff.
9. Muse – The 2nd Law
After being completely disappointed by The Resistance, I jumped like a fan that rediscovered one of his favourtie bands with full excesses à la Queen and cheesy, ultra cheesy, hooks and effects.
10. Mount Eerie – Clear Moon
Another discovery and a revelation, having only heard Clear Moon, one of the two records by Mount Eerie this year, I will have to complete my discovery with their other album. Subtle and very Black Metal influenced accoustic minimalist band that diserves way more praise than their actually getting.
11. The XX - Coexist
12. Cryptopsy – Cryptopsy
13. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
14. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
15. Kreator – Phantom Antichrist
16. Santigold – Master of My Make Believe
17. John K. Samson – Provincial
18. Animal Collective – Centipede Hz
19. Natchmystium – Silencing Machines
20. The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
21. Katatonia – Dead End Kings
22. Ihsahn – Eremita
23. Blut Aus Nord – 777 – Cosmosophy
24. Alt+J – An Awesome Wave
25. Marduk – Serpent Sermon
Runners-up : Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion, Vintersorg – Orkan, Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme, The Killers – Battle Born, Testament – Dark Roots of the Earth
What are your picks for 2012? Anything I've missed? Recommandations are much appreciated!