Staff Top Album picks of 2012 pt.1 (Matt/Harley/Daryl)

By on December 22, 2012

We at Hellhound have been sorting through our favorite albums for a while, and now that the world hasn’t ended we’ve decided to share them. Here’s part one. Keep an eye out for lists from a few more of us here in the next couple days. Cheers!

Matt Crane:

Best of 2012:

Lana Del Rey – Born To Die

This was a life changing album for me, and I’m a metal fan. I truly believe Lana is the great artist of our time, and it’s only a matter of time before she owns your souls; this album is a perfect display of her talent. The philosophical themes and how she blurs the line between insanity and normality are a big plus for the deeper thinkers out there.

Lana Del Rey – Paradise

See all reasoning above and how about: “my pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola” reason enough, eh? Paradise’s lead single “Ride” also had me by the balls from day 1. Everything Lana does is amazing.

Greeley Estates – The Narrow Road

If you couldn’t tell from my review, I am in love with this release. I’ve been a long time Greeley fan and I’m yet to be let down by this band. Being that I got into Greeley when they were more “post-hardcore” I was not on board for their more metal driven release Go West Young Man [as opposed to the masses], but with No Rain, No Rainbow and each release following it; I have been continually blow away. The Narrow road is a continuance of my respective amazement.

Mors Principium Est – …And Death Said Live

This is my favorite Melodic Death Metal release of the year; the album is pure Melodeath infused with Mors’ trademark “epic” composition.

The Used – Vulnerable

I really felt this was a comeback album for The Used. Not only did it sell just as well as their previous album [a daunting task for today’s bands] but it just flat out sounded like “The Used” again. I was not impressed with their previous two albums but with Vulnerable songs: like “Hands and Faces” and “Put Me Out” I was instantly won over.

Lostprophets – Weapons

This album sounded like a combination of my favorite Lostprophets albums Thefakesoundofprogress and Start Something. It was very refreshing to see this band go back to their roots, in a sense; this is one of the most underrated albums of the year [in America at least].

Get Scared – Built For Blame, Laced With Shame

I was a big fan of their previous release Best Kind of Mess but Built for Blame took a darker turn; a turn that I loved. With songs like “Cynical Skin” the album struck a similar cord with me as From First To Last’s Heroine.

As I lay Dying – Awakened

As a longtime fan, this is not particularly my favorite As I Lay Dying release, but is still good enough to make my top 10.

The Word Alive – Life Cycles

I’ve been a fan of this band since their first two demos went live on MySpace oh so many years ago; to see how far they have come and how much they have evolved is a true delight.

Krewella: Play Hard

It’s like Skrillex meets Ke$ha, and has been my go to party jam all year.

Daryl Hudson: 

When I first joined Hellhound it was eye opening to have access to so many different bands in so many different genres. I wanted to keep my list short and sweet for this year’s top countdown.

Best of 2012:

Place Called Home/ Southtowne Lanes – Split

Five tracks has a lot to offer listeners. Southtowne Lanes has a good distribution of screamo and progressive elements that never leave a dull moment. In “Luxury of Lies,” the talk singing builds into a powerful yell while the guitars jump from tranquil leads to harder distorted technical riffs. Place Called Home’s side of the split has a more up front and aggressive approach. In “374 Miles” Teddy, Chris and the group have a more traditional punk approach using punchy guitar chugs layered with tough yelling vocals leading into an uplifting outro.

Pierce The Veil – Collide With the Sky

It provides fast intricate guitar leads and catchy vocal melodies that separate from the rest in the pop hardcore scene. This album is has a lot of versatility ranging from classical Spanish guitar solos like in “Bull in the Bronx,” to soft piano driven alterations in “I’m Low On Gas and You Need A Jacket.”

Gumshen – Everything What We Recorded

A blend of newer alternative and modern Pink Floyd make for an experience that many viewers should take the time to listen to. The happy upbeat melodies in each song are heart warming reminding me of a simpler time when world was ripe for the picking. The song “ Jag It Up” uses heavy synth and dancy drum beats that lead into a slower whah-whah guitar solo giving of an atmospheric sound.

Verse – Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace

This has been well anticipated for some time after their 2008 release Aggression. The long wait was well worth it, and when a group of my friends went to see Verse perform their new album I was sold. The passion Sean Murphy projects in each song almost brings a tears at the heart strings. The traditional hardcore guitar with a more influenced rock sound made each song refreshing and worth listening to over and over and over again. “The Silver Spoon And The Empty Plate” starts off fast with fierce vocals and quick drumbeats that build into a melodic chorus. The combination of Sean Murphy’s( Vocalist) sad lyrics and simple uplifting guitar leads emit a feeling of absolute perseverance that hits hard.

Vowel – All the Sad Songs

This has a more true screamo sound. Behind the gritty and strained vocals an emotional melancholy feeling overwhelms me every time. The innovative musical collaboration makes this band a hidden gem. The guitars use interesting riffs that melt together with violin that create a memorable experience. One experience I wish would come to the west coast (..hint… hint). In “Eastern Blocks” the descending violin riffs and tapping guitars invoke a sad feeling that gets enhanced every time the listener leaves the song on repeat.

Harley Hughes:


Best of 2012:

Shinedown – Amaryllis

Of course I am a fan of the new Shinedown album, being a SD fan for the past 10 years, I am there to support whatever they create. Amaryllis is not what I expected from them at all, Brent came into this record sober and with a completely new outlook on life and it definitely shows through. Talks of an already completed next album have surfaced which leaves me anxious for something new!

Three Days Grace – Transit Of Venus

This new album is so catchy! From “Chalk Outline” to “High Road” you find yourself singing along to ever track. I personally am a sucker for Adam’s raspy vocals and TDG never let’s me down. Two thumbs up!

Stone Sour – House of Gold and Bones Part 1

This first part of the HoGaB project is one of my favorites to come from Stone Sour. Sounding much different from their self-titled album with singles such as “Bother,” the track “Absolute Zero” definitely is a favorite off of the record, along with “Gone Sovereign.” Corey Taylor and the SS crew never disappoints. I am highly anticipating the second part of this project coming in 2013.

Papa Roach – The Connection

It’s hard to believe that songs such as “Last Resort” and “Dead Cell” came out almost 13 years ago! It is also hard to believe how much this band has changed, as we all go through changes throughout life, Jacoby did as well and wrote some of the most heartfelt lyrics to come from this band to date for this record. The single “Still Swingin'” tells how 

they have been through it all and are still here, still swingin’. After the release of this album Jacoby was thrown a curve ball and had to undergo vocal chord surgery, he is now recovered and back to touring, look for big things from these guys!

Motionless In White – Infamous

I will be the first to admit that in the past years I was not a fan of this genre of music. When I heard about this new album coming out I was skeptical but I figured what the hell I will give it a listen, and it has not come out of my stereo ever since! Talking of issues in the world today such as murder, and our failing government, it was definitely like an in your face public service announcement, and damn, I am absolutely smitten with it!

New Medicine – Race You to the Bottom

I purchased this CD off of Jake Scherer (lead singer of the band) at a show this past summer after hearing their single on radio. I love the heart that these guys put into their music. One that really caught my attention was “Little Sister,” a song about the loss of Jake’s baby sister, grabs my heart every time it comes on. Just a couple Minnesota boys who had a dream and are making big waves! I truly believe soon enough they will be headlining major tours!

Halestorm – The Strange Case Of…

Lzzy fucking Hale everybody, how many female guitarist/vocalists do you know that can go from beautiful melodic singing to gut wrenching squeals in a snap of your fingers? Exactly. This album shows a totally different side of the vocalist that wasn’t portrayed in the first record. You get the softer side of Lzzy with tracks like “In Your Room” but you also get her mischievous side with tracks such as “I Miss The Misery” and “Freak Like Me.” The track “Ms. Hyde” explains this double personality that Hale has, a quote unquote “Jeckyll and Hyde” type persona.

Deftones – Koi No Yokan

This album though..Where do I begin! Such a sensual and romantic record this is! This is a band that sprung from the nu-metal movement of the mid-‘90s with singles such as “My Own Summer (Shove It)” played alongside singles of Limp Bizkit and Korn has definitely taken a different, more “soft” if you will, road musically with this album. I love a record that I can relate the lyrics to something in my life, having an emotional connection to the songs makes your listening a more 

memorable experience.

Marilyn Manson – Born Villain

If you know anything about me you know I couldn’t leave my darling Manson out of this lineup.  This album spawned singles such as “No Reflection” and “Slo-Mo-Tion” which are typical Manson to me with his 

whispers and ever so cryptic lyrics. Forty-three years old and still putting out great music, and still shaking his little bum on stage in his multiple costumes! If you have the chance to see this band live, definitely make it happen!

Slipknot – Antennas To Hell

As none of these songs are “new,”this greatest hits album is still fucking perfect none the less. With tracks from “Duality” to “Psychosocial” to my personal favorite “The Heretic Anthem,” this album is just perfection that’s all there is to say about that! If you’ve never listened to Slipknot before definitely check this out!

Most Anticipated:

Avenged Sevenfold
Asking Alexandria
Stone Sour – House of Gold and Bones Part 2
Pearl Jam
Rob Zombie


Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.