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OpEd

Best Metal Newcomers Of 2012 Explored

There are a slew of new heavy metal bands popping up across the globe covering just about every imaginable sound, and plenty more appearing on the horizon. Thanks to easy access to digital tools and online methods of music distribution the metal scene as a whole has an exploding population, and every year we try to keep up with the best new talent in our year-end “best of” awards.

To help get you acquainted with the best new metal out there, we’ll be briefly covering the bands nominated by our contributors for the “Best Newcomer” category of Metalunderground.com’s recent 2012 awards.

Content manager xFiruath nominated the following acts for best newcomer of 2012: Nothnegal, Dodecahedron, Ne Obliviscaris, Kuolemanlaakso, and Abiotic.

Nothnegal

Unless we’re talking about a newly created band consisting of already-established members of the scene or some form of supergroup, it isn’t often that a completely new act launches an absolutely stellar debut album. On its first full-length expedition, the Maldives act Nothnegal twisted together melodic death metal, industrial, and symphonic elements into something unique and refreshing. Even when throwing in a few tracks with clean singing the heaviness never lets up, and the story of man vs. machine works very well with the musical style.

Recognizing these rising stars of the metal scene, the members of the band were even given an award by their nation’s president. Luckily Nothnegal isn’t taking any down time and is already working on a new album, which will reportedly include traditional instruments from the Maldives. It’ll be interesting to see where the band goes with that sort of sound, as the “Decadence” album didn’t have even a trace of a folk metal vibe. There’s no doubt about it – this is a group to look out for in the coming year and beyond.

Dodecahedron

Remember when metal used to scare the shit out of your parents and all the religious authorities? Well that time is back, as Dodecahedron doesn’t play any games with its intense black metal assault. The band produces some truly disturbing sounds, and is an absolute must-hear act if you like your black metal more along the lines of Deathspell Omega and far away from the Dimmu Borgir style.

Ne Obliviscaris

These Australian progressive death metallers have actually been on the radar of underground enthusiasts for some time, but it wasn’t until 2012 that a proper full-length debut album dropped. If you want your metal to go all over the map and back again, or if you dig the harsh/clean and heavy/soft dichotomy, this band deserves you as a fan. Frankly metal could use a lot more of this sort of eclectic adventuring in place of the horde of utterly interchangeable melodic hardcore or djent bands that hit the scene in 2012.

Kuolemanlaakso

Those Finns know how to properly metal it up, and they aren’t shy about appearing in each other’s bands or starting new ones altogether to try new things. While perhaps not creating quite as much buzz as Barren Earth did upon its creation, this group of tried and true metal vets (including a member of Barren Earth to boot!) shakes things up by taking the death/doom sound and running with it in a series of unexpected directions.

Abiotic

A young band to unexpectedly strike it big early on, Florida’s Abiotic is one of the few major label acts to break into the scene in 2012 that really grabbed my attention. Metal Blade found a teach-death wonder in these lads that know how to both play the unrelenting brutality and angle and work in the melody and atmosphere. If you want to a ride that’s utterly crushing for the entire duration, look no further than the band’s freshman full-length “Symbiosis.”

The next batch of nominated "best newcomers of 2012" from our contributors can now be read at this location.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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20 Comments on "Best Newcomers Of 2012 Explored"

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americanpatriot1's avatar

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1. americanpatriot1 writes:

Kuolemanlaakso: what would you describe them as?

Agreed about Ne Obliviscaris. Terrific album. Might I also suggest the new album from Be'lakor, also from Australia. Of Breath and Bone is the name of their newest, and it's great as well.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 10:11 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Content Manager

2. xFiruath writes:

Kuolemanlaakso is kind of like a seriously blackened version of Swallow the Sun or any of those Finnish doom/death bands, but each song is pretty different from every other song, so it can be hard to categorize as a whole.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 11:36 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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3. Blindgreed1 writes:

LOVE Ne Obliviscaris.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 12:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

4. hellrat writes:

I like the Finns...dudes got some slightly tom warrior-esqe guitar tone...vocals are good, some interesting sh!t going on in there

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 12:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
americanpatriot1's avatar

Member

5. americanpatriot1 writes:

I want to add another to this. The band is called Skyharbor. It's mainly one guy from India with Daniel Tomkins from Tesseract on vocals. Unbelievable album. The Tesseract album is amazing as well.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 1:04 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

6. BrianMN writes:

Nothnegal……not bad just not my thing.
Clean vocals are pretty nondescript.

Dodecahedron…….lol….scary?
Production wise, yes.


Ne Obliviscaris….reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Aaaaarrrrrrrrgh.
The song be too long matey.

Kuolemanlaakso…I think I liked this one the best.
Nice and doomy with that burnt Swedish sound from long ago.
Hi pitched vox suck though….sounds like my cat when she’s pi$$ed.
I do like the ambience though.

Abiotic….been there, done that.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 1:08 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

7. hellrat writes:

^heh, no kidding...the Pirates are just a bit too jolly for my preferences. To be honest, a lot of the song reminded me of frikken Yanni

No love for the screeching gato, eh bro? ;)

NP---Killin Time---Clint Black

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 1:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

8. BrianMN writes:

There's a lot of good screechers out there just not this guy.
I did like the spoken word though.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 1:23 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

9. hellrat writes:

certainly not the best by any means, but decent enough, and not too redundant

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 1:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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10. Blindgreed1 writes:

You guys should check out the whole album. Fvcking amazing stuff.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 2:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

11. BrianMN writes:

@BG...I'll listen on Tube if it's on there.
The one new band I'm really psyched for is Dead Silence Hides My Cries.
They might be a little too "core" for some folks but I really dig what I've heard so far....

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 3:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

12. hellrat writes:

whole album of the screeching Finn cat? I'll definitely be checking them guys out a bit more, i like that sh!t....love the guitar and the trippy passages

don't know brother if I could get through a whole record of the good Pirate Ship Yanni :)

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 4:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

13. BrianMN writes:

On the good ship lolligreed.
It’s a sweet trip to the Greedy shop
Where bon-bons play
On the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay.
Good thing I’m not within hitting distance…
:)

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 5:04 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

14. Blindgreed1 writes:

LMFAO, yeah the whole album is up on YT, it's all good Brian. There's some pretty sweet time signatures on it. I was impressed and that doesn't happen very often.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 5:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
DeathInEye's avatar

Member

15. DeathInEye writes:

Brian, the Nothnegal album has three tracks of eight with clean vocals (one of which is simply brief spoken-word). Otherwise it's straight death/industrial.

# Jan 8, 2013 @ 8:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
kshanholtzer's avatar

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16. kshanholtzer writes:

I liked Dodecahedron and Abiotic

# Jan 19, 2013 @ 12:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Overlord's avatar

Member

17. Overlord writes:

I have expressed my undying love for Ne Obliviscaris on this site too many times, but I guess once more isn't crossing any lines. Portal Of I is hands down my favourite album of 2012, and honestly I'm finding it quite difficult to listen to anything else...

# Jan 19, 2013 @ 4:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
EsotericSurgery's avatar

Member

18. EsotericSurgery writes:

I'm right there with ya on Ne Obliviscaris BG... seriously mind blown right now. Amazing album. Some really good bands uncovered this year thanks to all for some awesome new tunes :D

# Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:59 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
EsotericSurgery's avatar

Member

19. EsotericSurgery writes:

I would LOVE Nothnegal too if it weren't for the vocals. Didn't care for the vocals at all...ruined the really the rest of it for me.

# Jan 21, 2013 @ 2:15 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
EsotericSurgery's avatar

Member

20. EsotericSurgery writes:

^^smoked a bit too much of the good stuff I think...not sure how I managed to write that the way I did but it's supposed to read "really ruined the rest of it for me." :p

# Jan 21, 2013 @ 2:17 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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