TeethoftheDivine.com’s Staff Picks for 2012


. Another year, another winter spent threatening physical violence upon the staff here to get their year-end picks in. Now that the dust has settled, here are the results – the definitive list of critical picks of 2012’s best and worst releases. It’s all here: top albums, top EPs, top songs, biggest letdowns and the woulda shoulda coulda’s, as hand-picked by the TOTD staff. Feel free to comment, critique and tell us your own favorites for 2012. Thanks to all you guys for reading our little site in 2012 and here’s to another epic year of metal in 2013. Salut!

by Staff

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Larry Owens

Another year, another list. 2012 was a bit of an odd year for me, musically. I think maybe I’m getting old and jaded, as many albums I should have been slobbering over, I couldn’t care less for. Instead, I seemed to have a healthy thirst for things that border on the weird or avant garde, sounds that were new to me, or at the very least, sounds that I was never into before. Like Spinal tap, I took this list to 11.

1. The FacelessAutotheism

I never much cared for what these guys did in the past, but this here is absolutely phenomenal. So much variation, yet so much cohesion. The guitar solos are mind-boggling good. I haven’t been this infatuated with a single album since 2008, with Scar Symmetry’s Holographic Universe – just astoundingly good.

2. Between the Buried and MeThe Parallax Part 2: Future Sequence

BTBAM have always been amazing, but Parallax 2 takes them to yet again a new level. As if they didn’t already employ a vast field of influences, they’ve found a way to incorporate even more without sacrificing an ounce of gel factor. It’s 72 minute run time doesn’t feel anywhere near that, as it just flows from track to track seamlessly. I still can’t get enough of this one.

3. Testament Dark Roots of Earth

As much as I pine for a return to the sound of The Gathering, I must admit that this is pretty damned good. Some of the lyrics are pretty bad (seriously, some of the worst Chuck has written), but I can overlook that aspect when musically, it just flat out crushes and kicks ass. I can also do without the ballad – they haven’t written one in years and should have kept it that way. Oh, and the cover of Iron Maiden’s Powerslave on the special edition is a friggin’ orgasm in my ear.

4. Black BreathSentenced to Life

This was my top pick for the vast majority of the year. Mostly ignorant of the style, these guys broke me in a big way with this gem of crusty, thrashy death metal. Someone hook me up with some more recommendations!

5. The SwordApocryphon

I checked this one out of sheer curiosity, and was promptly laid on my ass. The Sword never grabbed me before, but holy fuck, this is good. Riff after Sabbath worshiping monster riff. Hooks galore. Probably the only album I listened to all year that had me hooked before the first song was even over.

6. Sigh In Somniphobia

I came around to this one kind of late. I listened to it periodically throughout the year whenever I was in the mood for something kinda different, but it didn’t latch on until late in the year. When it did though, it did in a big way.

7. AcceptStalingrad

Yet another entry here in my top 10 from a band that I never really cared for in the past, Stalingrad hooked me pretty early on. I think (know) a lot of it (all) has to do with their new vocalist – this dude (his name escapes me, and I’m too lazy to look it up) can wail! Beyond the vocals, it helps that it’s also musically ripping.

8. Dreaming DeadMidnightmares
I still don’t understand why these guys (and gal) were dropped from Ibex Moon – they’re fucking awesome. Liz Schall can hold her own with any male death metal vocalist, and she’s a beast on the axe as well. Midnightmares is a solid step forward, all around. Here’s to hoping they continue to press on, despite the lack of a label, or, you know, maybe they’ll be picked up by someone else.

9. Be’lakor Of Breath and Bone

How this band remains to be unsigned by one of the big boys is still a mystery of epic fucking proportions. There are very few bands that are playing this sort of melodic death metal this well. Every bit as good as Omnium Gatherum and Insomnium, yet no recognition. Of Breath and Bone isn’t quite as good as good as it’s predecessor, but it’s still top notch, and it’s still growing on me.

10. Dying FetusReign Supreme

It’s Dying Fucking Fetus, and this is the best album they’ve done in years. Nothing more needs to be said.

11. Pig DestroyerBookburner

Confession – I don’t really like grind. However, I like this. I’m pretty ignorant of the band’s past works, other than I know I didn’t care for what I heard when I heard it. I’ll have to revisit. I dig how it alternates between total chaos and mammoth, bone crushing groove.

12. Lamb of GodResolution
13. WolfbrigadeDamned
14. GoatwhoreBlood for the Master
15. Rumpelstiltskin GrinderGhostmaker
16. HexenBeing and Nothingness
17. Municipal WasteThe Fatal Feast
18. GraveEndless Procession of Souls
19. Orange GoblinA Eulogy for the Damned
20. 3 Inches of Blood Long Live Heavy Metal
21. Fear FactoryThe Industrialist
22. Van Halen A Different Kind of Truth
23. PsycropticThe Inherited Repression
24. Vision of Disorder The Cursed Remain Cursed
25. Evocation Illusions of Grandeur


1. Down IV Part 1: The Purple

This could have easily been in my top 10 above, as it has a long enough run time to be an LP and is also damned good. Down never disappoints.

2. RevocationTeratogenesis

Just more excellent material from a band that is fast becoming “too good to fail.”

3. Arsis Leper’s Caress

The first new material from Arsis since early 2009 is good – really good. Sure as shit beats the hell out of being Forced to Rock or Starving for the Devil.

Albums that may have made the list if I had more time to listen to them:

Nonexist From My Cold Dead Hands
ParadoxTales of the Weird


1. KreatorPhantom Antichrist

What the hell is this? It sounds completely phoned in, and Mille’s lyrics are getting pretty bad.

2. OverkillElectric Age

This is by no means bad, I just had lofty expectations after the excellence of Ironbound, and this is nowhere near that good – just more solid Overkill. Oh well.

3. God ForbidEquilibrium

What happened to the band that made Gone Forever and Constitution of Treason? Way too many clean vocals (that happen to sound like shit), and not enough fire and aggression. blah

2011 albums I missed that would have easily made my list:

MidnightSatanic Royalty

I didn’t so much as miss this one as I just didn’t pay as much attention to it as I should have. I caught them live in St. Louis back in April with Ares Kingdom and was promptly blown away by their live show.


I was completely ignorant of this bands existence until I caught them live opening for High on Fire and Goatwhore in early December. Not really the greatest live show, but their music is aces. Stoner metal/rock done up right.

2012 Mixtape Playlist:

“Autotheist Movement II: Emancipate” – The Faceless
“Throne of Thorns” – Testament
“I Ejaculate Fire” – Dethklok
“Stalingrad” – Accept
“Feast of the Damned” – Black Breath
“Dying Earth” – The Sword
“The Transfiguration Fear” – Sigh
“Overlord” – Dreaming Dead
“Open Coffins” – Down
“You’re Cut Off” – Municipal Waste
“Revisionist Past” – Dying Fetus
“Red Tide Rising” – Orange Goblin
“Baltimore Strangler” – Pig Destroyer
“Look Out” – 3 Inches of Blood
“Judgment of the Bleeding Crown” – Goatwhore
“Extremophile Elite” – Between the Buried and Me

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  1. Commented by: Timmy

    Hey! Where’s Dane Prokofiev’s Top 10???!!!!!

    I like what that guy has to say even thought some people give him a hard time for no reason.

    Dane, please dial your top 10 picks in! (even if they’re a bit late….)


  2. Commented by: E. Thomas

    He is no longer on our staff as he left after 3 reviews and a few interviews- im sure hes got a list at one of his other blogs /sites

  3. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Based on some formula and calculations I did- Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction is the TOTD staff album of the year!

  4. Commented by: gabaghoul

    hm, Pallbearer was only in 2 guys’ top 10 and 2 guys’ top 15 – sounds like less of a ringing endorsement to me and more an illustration that no one’s top 10 looked remotely the same or featured the same bands.

    which is great for the growth and creative health of metal overall, that 13 different TOTD reviewers (who collectively listened to hundreds and hundreds of albums this year) had wildly different tastes and couldn’t agree on anything :)

  5. Commented by: E. Thomas

    yeah it was hard tallying wildly different lists- but with my formula- Pallbearer came out on top-cos it was on 2 top 10 and 2 top 15s- barely. Belakor was 4th by .5 of a point. Jordan- i added 3 more guys lists since the article went up guys lists – did you count those- had it on 5 lists total?

  6. Commented by: Luke_22

    Yep Pallbearer was just pipped for the number 1 spot on my list and it keeps finding its way into my listening rotation. Of course I was late to the party for Anaal Nathrakh, Haiduk and various other killer bands/albums that had I discovered earlier might have made their way onto my list.

  7. Commented by: Plasmaterial

    No one likes Sylosis? One mention of Allegaeon? Ditto Ne Obliviscaris, Swallow the Sun and Cattle Decapitation? Mors Principium Est? In Mourning?

  8. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I figured more peeps would have put Cattle Decapitation on their lists too. I liked Ne Obliviscaris but Xanthochroid won out in that battle. And I didn’t even know In Mourning had a new one, sweet!

  9. Commented by: Kevin E.

    Cattle decap was on my list. One of the few if not the only one of us that did.

  10. Commented by: Apollyon

    Mors Principium Est released so late in the year that it’s practically a 2013 release.

  11. Commented by: bast
  12. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I checked out Disfiguring the Goddess back when Stacy reviewed it and kinda dug it, despite my general disdain of death core. Since he named it his #1 I’ve gone back to it and it has taken hold like a horrible fungus in my sack. Been playing it pretty often, just ordered a copy.

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