Dan & Arno’s “Best Albums Of 2012 That Were Actually Released In 2011”
…or as we like to think of it, “The best albums of 2011 that we, to our eternal shame and rare negligence, only discovered in 2012 and wish to hereby give their proper honor.” These albums all came out in late 2011 and were either later signed to a larger label and re-released in 2012, or just plain escaped our attention during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Every single one of them bowled us over after we gave them proper attention in 2012, and so we’d very much like to recognize them all.
4. Dragony – Legends
Arno: Originally known as The Dragonslayer Project, these Austrians strayed from the suffix of -force, -land and -hammer to rename themselves Dragon-y. Luckily, the music is a little bit more inspired, with some prog seeping into the symphonic power metal proceedings. If it’s all somewhat rough around the edges, it has treasure hordes of charm and delivers catchy tunes just a notch above the silliness of certain fog lords. Given the proper growth, Dragony might very well aim for the heights of their countrymen Serenity one day, but for now the soaring wings of the dragon will do.
3. Age Of Artemis – Overcoming Limits
Arno: Move over, Angra, as dawns the Age Of Artemis: a new outbreak of Brazilian progressive power metal, following in the footsteps of that landmark Rebirth album. With their singer a dead ringer for Edu Falaschi-meets-Thiago Bianchi, Age Of Artemis storms onto the scene, taking no prisoners but winning hearts. Overcoming Limits is a firecracker of a debut, perhaps the best to grace its local scene since Angels Cry itself.
2. Teodor Tuff – Soliloquy
Dan: Eternally doomed to be disregarded because of its strange name, Teodor Tuff is in fact a stunning melodic prog export of Norway. With effortlessly dreamy melodic lines that, despite being repetitious, never come off as dull and redundant, Teodor Tuff infuses their music with occasional touches of power metal and some strange imagery and whimsy that makes the complete package on Soliloquy rather unique and quite gripping.
1. Voyager – The Meaning Of I
Dan: Definitely the paramount late find of 2011 for me, I was kicking myself repeatedly for not hearing this sooner when we finally got our hands on it in February of 2012. Voyager has been quietly fantastic for some years now, it turns out, and despite not being quite as strong as the band’s 2009 outing I Am The ReVolution, Voyager still captivates with their disarmingly easy brand of melodic progressive metal on The Meaning Of I.