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    • TOP 10 Disappointments of 2012
    • Before going into the 10 albums that disappointed me the most in 2012, let me tell you one thing: some of these albums are actually quite good, but just didn't live up to my expectations, for some reason. My advice? Give this a read and then go out and check the albums for yourself, they might work just fine for you!



      Kamelot - Silverthorn

      Kamelot's latest album is a great album, by all means. Roy Khan's replacement, Tommy Karevik, has done a great job, as all the other band members, and production is flawless, as usual with these guys. Damn, Silverthorn was even in my tentative Best Of list for some time. So, how the hell did it end up here? Well, it's their own fault, actually! You see, all of their latest album always kept spinning for several weeks upon each album's release, some songs became forever attached in my mind, or at least some riffs or passages did. And that failed to happen with Silverthorn. I listened to it, I enjoyed some parts of it, disliked a few others, checked out the video for their first single, Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)... and that was it! There was not that urge to keep listening to it. I gave it a few more spins, of course, but that was that. I'm still eager to check them out live, of course, and I'm sure their upcoming albums will be as great as always, but this one didn't do it for me!



      Europe - Bag Of Bones

      I've been listening to these guys since 1988's Out Of This World, saw their gradual fall from grace, their long hiatus and their triumphant return with 2004's brilliant Start From The Dark. Since then, they've been releasing some high-quality modern hard-rock tunes, not living under the shade of their previous success. So, I was quite surprised when I played Bag of Bones and heard something unexpected: instead of modern hard-rock, we got a mix of hard-rock and blues from the 70's. Sure, they sound great, there are a few great riffs here, memorable songs and choruses... but I was expecting something else after the previous good-but-not-so-great Last Look At Eden. I can't shake the feeling that Europe are once again moving into Prisoners in Paradise territory, if you know what I mean. Luckily, their live shows have been simply amazing and they really seem to be enjoying themselves, so lets keep our eyes and ears on these guys, shall we?



      Ensiferum - Unsung Heroes

      Here's another great album that I also kept, for a moment, in my Best Of 2012 list. But then, I reminded myself of one thing: this is Ensiferum we're talking about! Where's all that power their previous albums used to have and why does this one sounds so pretty and nice? I just saw them live this year, and they didn't sound preety and nice, they were powerful and epic! So, sorry guys, this would be a great album by any other band, but for an Ensiferum album, it's just too polished, it's just not you!



      Gotthard - Firebirth

      Another album featuring the replacement of a charismatic singer on the list, although it's not Nic Maeder's fault this album's listed here, since he's done a terrific job replacing ill-fated and dearly missed Steve Lee, taken away from us way before his time in 2010, in a freak accident. Although Firebirth is still a pretty decent rock album, it lacks great memorable songs, making it the 3rd album in a row that fails to surpass Lipservice, their latest great album, at least in my book



      Freedom Call - Land of the Crimson Dawn

      I have a confession to make: I have a soft spot for these guys! Call them what you will, they do know how to make a memorable refrain! Even if it's too happy or too cheesy for your taste, you've got to admire them for that ability! And, since their previous album's closing song, A Perfect Day, has become one of my favorite cheering-up songs ever, I was waiting to see what these guys would do next. Unfortunately, their new album failed to deliver not only another perfect song but even sufficient average ones. It looks like they were running short on inspiration, but I'm pretty sure they'll be back again soon and Carry On.



      Vintersorg - Orkan

      I know there'll be a lot of people out there disagreeing, but for me Orkan was a few steps behind the magnificent Jordpuls. For me, that album managed to present us some of their best compositions to date, whilst the new one always felt like a bunch of leftover songs from Jordpuls. Sure, there's a few great songs, it's Vintersorg we're talking about - album opener Istid is a great song and looked like a very promising start, but as the songs moved on the album looked less strong and interesting. But, fear not! These two guys never let us down and this is only the second album of a set of four they plan to release dedicated to the four classical elements, so we'll be getting lots of more Vintersorg in the near future.



      Epica - Requiem For The Indifferent

      Sorry, guys and gal! This one actually left me quite indifferent upon listening to it. Epica's compositions used to be to quite interesting and showed a lot of effort from the band, but I hardly found that feeling on this one! It's less agressive and it sounds accomodated, like they're not trying to break new boundaries, not trying to be outstanding, as opposed to their previous releases. If you've been living in a faraway island and only now discovered this band, this will be your album of the year, probably, but if you've listened to them from their very beginning, you know that there's something missing here. Hope they find it for their next albums!



      Therion - Les Fleurs Du Mal

      I'm almost losing my hope on Therion's studio releases! It's been a long time since I last really enjoyed a new album from these guys, that being Sirius B / Lemuria double opus. Since then, their music style changed, the band changed and their album's sound changed. I'm not even complaining about Christofer Johnsson's choise to adapt and record a few (a lot of) french tunes in Therion's style, that was a very boldly move, actually! It's just that this album sounds even more artificial than the previous one! I can't quite explain it... the songs sound like they were made of plastic, they don't have a soul, they don't breathe! I hope Mr. Johnsson finds a better use for all his creativity and dedication. We can see it from their past great albums and from Therion's amazing live shows, the man is dedicated, has guts and loves what he does, so it's really sad for us fans that he's trying so hard and still failing to reach us.



      Running Wild - Shadowmaker

      Only 2 years after deciding to retire, Running Wild returns with a new album that's got "lazy" written all over it. It sounds like the songs were written all in a row in an afternoon, and so looks the cover design. This is ages away from the brilliant albums they've brought us in the past. Don't waste your time on this album, it looks like no one else did.



      Manowar - The Lord of Steel

      Like with most of you guys, I believe, it's been several years since I last went crazy with a new Manowar album. Their latest albums were average, and like most people, we've eventually given up on them. So, I was far from expecting a brilliant masterpiece when I took The Lord of Steel for a spin. Unfortunatelly, things were a lot worse than I expected. A joke within a joke, this album features a full set of really basic and unremarkable riffs, compositions and lyrics, even by Manowar's standards, presenting us a mockery of the band that they once were. I'd say this is their Spinal Tap moment, but I actually find Spinal Tap quite amusing, so that description wouldn't be fit. It's bad and it's lazy, don't give it a try and go pick something else from a more deserving band, there'll be lots of great albums to choose from when you check our upcoming Best Of 2012 List, coming soon.






























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