got-djent.com's favourite releases of 2012: number 1
Yesterday, we announced number 2 in the got-djent.com top 20 releases of 2012. Today, we're announcing who took the 1st place. Most people will already have figured this out by now, so to keep it interesting, we're also announcing the top 20 of freely downloadable releases of 2012. Once again, we want to thank everyone who participated and shared their favourites with us, as well as all the bands who put out tons of awesome music for us to enjoy!
'Periphery II: This Time It's Personal' has a sense of regal ascension about it. In the space of two years, the heirs apparent have been busy maturing, furiously working, writing and waiting. Periphery The Second is brash, confident and assured of itself; a king who has gone through his rites of rulership, ready to take the reins of a dynasty.
It's hard not to be hyperbolic, overblown even, about Periphery II. The entire album just oozes theater, drama and passion. The opening track Muramasa leaves a listener in no doubt of what is to come; something expansive, energetic and that dare I say epic. From there on, the album never ever lets up. Every second is absolutely jammed with so much pure music it makes for extremely compulsive listening, if not perhaps, casual listening. From the Nobuo Uematsu tribute in Have A Blast, the pounding Ragnarok or the unabashed prog ballad in Erised each track does its very best to be a story in itself.
Spencer Sotelo knocks it completely out of the park with some absolutely stunning performances on the aforementioned tracks, but the entire band is on fire throughout. Matt Halpern's infectious, hyperactive grooving is ever more apparent with the inclusion of live drums on this album. Mark Holcomb's sliding, shimmering virtuosity rings out all over and Jake Bowen's fluency in electronics has grown enormously since the debut, adding much spice to fill in the already bursting layers and tying the entire album together. Oh and of course Misha kinda wrote a lot of the material on this 72 minute monster. No big deal.
The album tries perhaps, to achieve too much, sharing that same problem that its older brother faced, that of being overlong. By the sheer nature of the band's writing style, all go, all the time, it can be a tiring listen and hard to digest in one sitting. Songs can blend into one another quite easily towards the end, but the challenge of creating 72 minutes of utterly unique, compelling music is one that is not often met.
This is the album that has cemented Periphery's place as top dogs in the scene and with its more overt prog flavourings will undoubtedly set them up to get even bigger. Mixing the catchy, well written choruses with tight, technical riffing, solid production, an extremely versatile frontman and well integrated electronics, Periphery II is a dauntless expansion of the band's sound. The king is definitely wearing clothes. - Klonere
Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal: Periphery cement their position at the zenith of modern prog with an astoundingly slick and polished yet ambitious and inventive album.
As promised, we also have a top 20 of freely downloadable releases for you! Check it out below. You can download each release for free (legally!) by clicking the green download button to the right. Releases that are available for streaming can also be listened to by clicking the red headphone silhouette .
If there's any releases on this list that you haven't heard yet, do yourself a favour and grab them now, it won't cost you anything! Enjoy! If you're looking for more free music to download, check out our extensive free downloads section.
There were quite a few ex aequos in the free downloads list this year, which is why some numbers occur multiple times.
Check out Tuesday's post to see positions 10 through 6.
Check out Wednesday's post to see who took the 5th place.
Check out Thursday's post to see who took the 4th place.
Check out Friday's post to see who took the 3rd place.
Check out yesterday's post to see who took the 2nd place.
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- Neil Melville