2011 was a great year for album releases, from artists new and old, and with 2012 set to be our last year on Earth (ahem, those Mayans, what are they like?), youd hope that at the very least the sound track to the end of the world would be a good one to go out on. Thankfully, judging by the list myself and fellow WhatCulture! writer Rhys Milsom have compiled, the soundtrack to our unified demise should be the least of our worries. So here is the first in two articles on some of the albums to keep a ear out for in 2012, and if some of these albums live up to their promise, they may well appear in our end of year list, if theres an end of year to be had of course...
Lamb Of God Resolution (24th January)Throughout their career, Lamb Of God have released consistently good albums that have set the benchmark for contemporary metal. Renowned for their live shows, the band also manage to bring their uncompromising and visceral style onto studio-recorded albums. One of the most influential and hard-working bands in contemporary metal, the band deserve all the respect they get. Fans will be waiting eagerly for the release of Resolution. RM
Lana Del Ray Born To Die (31st January)In many ways 2011 was the year of hype and the blogsphere buzz, with many stars rising meteorically, or suddenly erupting, on the strength of word of mouth, and not much else. One such rising star was Lana Del Ray, who by the years end had become a centrepiece of controversy and more than just the talking point of hipsters. All off the back of one song and its attached video; the admittedly brilliant Video Games. So with the release of Born To Die, Lana Del Ray has something to live up to, and rumours of being manufactured (not just her lips), to silence. MR
Bleeding Through The Great Fire (31st January)Bleeding Through have long been admired by both the metal and hardcore communities. By integrating influences of hardcore, black metal, metalcore and death metal into their sound, the band brought something new to the plate, which many bands have used as an influence within modern heavy music today. However, some fans and critics believe that Bleeding Through arent the force they have been in past years, focussing specifically on their previous two albums. The Great Fire may not only be a re-affirming of Bleeding Throughs prowess, but could also be a fuck-you to those that have quickly cast them aside. RM
Nicki Minaj Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (14th February)Love her or hate her, you cant deny that Nicki Minaj made a big name for herself with her debut album, Pink Friday, back in 2010. She became renowned for her mental hairstyles and attention-grabbing fashion sense as much as she did for her singles, Your Love, and, Check It Out. She is now known worldwide and even though you may not like her music, you cant deny shes an artist who knows how to engage her audience and also knows how to make a catchy tune. If her first album is anything to go by, with her second release, Minaj may well be as good as the hype and end up as popular as her singles suggests she should be. RM
Every Time I Die Ex Lives (6th March)Having stated in interviews last year that this, ETIDs 6th studio album, would be their heaviest yet, it looks like Keith Buckley got a lot of his softer side (if you could call it that) out in The Damned Things. Produced by Joe Barresi, who has worked with the likes of The Melvins, Queens of the Stone Age and Parkway Drive, its likely to sound, and feel just as heavy as promised, and if leadoff single Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space, and its accompanying video are anything to go by, then this is going to be ETID at their most cathartic and abrasive best. MR
Lostprophets - Weapons (April 3rd)From when they first started out, this band has gone from strength to strength and has ultimately turned into the huge band that they are today. Popular with all different music fans, Lostprophets have the knack of making simple riffs and chords into anthemic tracks that not only tap into times of sadness, but times of joy, and times of anarchy. Many might say that they have forgotten their roots, but Prophets are a band whore not afraid to change with the times and Weapons will hopefully be an album that Prophets will show the doubters that theyve got a lot more to give yet. RM
Torche Title TBC (April)Still digging their way through the surface from the underground, Torches third album could be the album that takes them over ground. After their second album Meanderthal was met with widespread critical acclaim in the alternative music press, and online, Torche have been steadily building momentum with a sound thats as heavy as it is catchy, seeing the band labelled sludge pop, amongst other non-sequiturs, which dont do them justice. Theyve a unique and multifaceted sound, that even metal heavyweights Mastodon have been taking notes from (see Blasteroid). MR
Tyler, The Creator Wolf (May)Riding in on the coattails of controversy, and courting it further with every step, 2011 could well have been Tyler, and Odd Futures year, but in spite of being the buzz words of the blogsphere and the indie press, it was ultimately a misstep. Tyler, delivered a subpar album in Goblin, other than the knock out Yonkers and a couple of otherchoicecuts it left a lot wanting, failing to live up to the promise, and the clear potential. Not the first rapper to court controversy over homophobia, misogyny and lyrical themes of rape and murder, Eminem assaulted the mainstream with this in his early days, but had the talent and humour to back it up. Wolf is the third in a series of therapy sessions with the fictional Dr TC, and could be the make or break point for Tylers career, as well as his mental stability. MR
Sigur Rós Title TBC (Spring)Nearing 20 years active, and this year marking 15 years since they released their debut album, seminal purveyors of serene sounds, Sigur Rós, are set to release their sixth studio album. Following on from an apparently indefinite hiatus, that was announced back in January 2010, during which time front man Jónsi pursued a solo career, that seemed to mark a possible end for the band, the as yet untitled album will be a grand return for the band. With the release of the live album and film Inni last year officially setting things back in motion for the band, and leaving fans and critics alike poised and ready for a new album, this year will see that realized, and with the bands consistent output over their long career, it will be sublime. MR
Converge All We Love We Leave Behind (spring/summer)Converge are a band that could easily represent the face of hardcore. Influential, respected and successful, the band changed many perceptions of what hardcore should sound like with their release, Jane Doe, back in 2001. However, the band havent solely relied on the success of that album and with everyreleasesince then theyve shown theyre a band who can consistently release quality material that ups the ante in the hardcore genre. All We Love We Leave Behind will be an album that will, once again, re-affirm Converge as one of the leading bands in the hardcore genre. RM
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