Rock And Metal Releases in 2012 – The Best Of The Rest (Part 3)

Today sees the last instalment of a series of blogs looking at albums that did not make my Top 20 rock and metal albums of 2012 for one reason or another.

The final two albums that I have chosen offer very different listening experiences but are both excellent in their own right. Something here for doom fans and power metal fans I think.

ahab1 Ahab
‘The Giant’
Napalm Records

This is one of those albums that took time to sink into my psyche and become a favourite. Doom metal performed at the same speed of a comotose sloth, stretched out over an hour-long six tracks is what you’re confronted with on ‘The Giant’. As such, it can be a bit of a daunting prospect. However, give it the time and attention that it fully deserves and it becomes less daunting. In fact, it becomes a very enjoyable listening experience indeed.

ahab2

The length of the compositions suddenly becomes inconsequential as Ahab draw you in with some brilliantly-written doom metal. There is a hypnotic quality to much of the material but in addition, there is variety. The deep bass rumble of the vocals occasionally gives way to a clean approach and there are enough melodies to entice you into repeated listens.

It takes time, but stick with it, because boy are the rewards there to reap!

And the second album…

dragonforce1Dragonforce
‘The Power Within’
Essential Music/Roadrunner

With ‘The Power Within’, not only did Dragonforce introduce a new singer into the fold in Marc Hudson, but they also introduced a slightly new approach to their music.

In the past, as popular and as talented as Dragonforce undeniably were (and still are of course), many saw the band as a bit of a novelty act – long songs littered with odd sound effects, over-the-top soloing, silly lyrics and a care-free attitude that was perhaps wrongly mistaken for a ‘don’t care’ attitude. With ‘The Power Within’ it is very much a case of less is more. The essence of Dragonforce thankfully remains but importantly, the compositions are more focussed, shorter and punchier.

dragonforce2

The big choruses remain, as do the solos both on keyboards and guitars. However, these have been dialled down just a little to allow the songs themselves to take centre stage. Existing fans may bemoan the lack of a ‘Through The Fire And The Flames’-type anthem but I believe the album is stronger throughout as a result, with barely a filler in sight. Oh and if you are worried about the departure of vocalist ZP Theart, worry no longer. Just take a listen to the track below as a demonstration of mechanic-turned-vocalist Marc Hudson’s powerful pipes.

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