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The 12 Most Anticipated Metal and Hard Rock Albums of 2012

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2011 was a killer year for heavy metal and hard rock. New albums from the likes of Mastodon, Krallice, and Craft, among many other acts, floored us and proved that the artists we cover here are among the most stylistically diverse in music today. This should be another banner year for metal and hard rock, so Noisecreep has put together a list of the 12 albums we’re looking forward to the most in 2012.

Charles Epting

Black Sabbath
Album title: TBA
Label: TBA
Release date: fall

Although it’s not expected till late in the year, Black Sabbath’s upcoming 19th studio album is easily the most anticipated record of 2012. The classic Black Sabbath lineup of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, announced the reunion album and tour just this past November in a press conference in Hollywood, Calif. It will be the first Osbourne-fronted Sabbath album since 1978′s lackluster ‘Never Say Die’ effort. The fact that Rick Rubin (Slayer, Danzig, Johnny Cash) is producing the recording sessions has only fueled the hype.

Matt Miller

Converge
Album title: ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’
Label: Epitaph
Release date: spring

You can’t blame us for expecting Converge’s upcoming ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’ to be one of 2012′s best albums. Ever since 1998′s ‘When Forever Comes Crashing’ collection, the Massachusetts’ group’s albums have consistently landed on year-end lists and have been widely recognized as some of the most influential releases in the metal and hardcore communities.

Adrenaline PR

Lamb of God
Album title: ‘Resolution’
Label: Epic Records
Release date: Jan. 24

One of the perks of working at Noisecreep is getting to hear upcoming albums before most of the rest of the world does. We recently had the chance to check out Lamb of God’s upcoming ‘Resolution’ album, and we have zero doubt you’ll love it as much as we did. The Virginia metallers once again prove that being signed to a major label hasn’t softened their attack.

Nuclear Blast

Municipal Waste
Album title: ‘The Fatal Feast’
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release date: spring

A few months back, Municipal Waste drummer Dave Witte played Noisecreep an unmixed version of the undisputed kings of modern crossover’s fifth album and we were floored. Even in its unfinished stage, ‘The Fatal Feast’ didn’t disappoint, with one ear candy riff after the other. Also featuring appearances from John Connelly (Nuclear Assault), Steve Moore (Zombi), and Tim Barry (Avail), Municipal Waste might just have the best album of their career this time out.

Action! PR

Ghost
Album title: TBA
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: TBA

Not much is known yet about Ghost’s upcoming sophomore album. The costumed Swedish outfit took both the metal and hard rock world by storm in 2011 with their ‘Opus Eponymous’ album. Serving up an infectious mix of Blue Oyster Cult’s pop-kissed melodies and Mercyful Fate‘s anthemic arrangements, Ghost’s next album can possibly become one of 2012′s biggest underground releases.

Volcom Ent.

Torche
Album title: TBA
Label: Volcom Entertainment
Release date: April

Florida hard rockers Torche’s next full-length will be a self-produced affair and will also mark their debut on the Volcom Entertainment label. Their 2008 ‘Meanderthal’ album was a critical triumph that garnered the sludgesters major label interest and even scored a glowing review from the famously fickle indie rock bible Pitchfork.com.

Nuclear Blast

Suffocation
Album title: TBA
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release date: summer

One of the most important acts in the history of the death metal movement, Suffocation has never released a weak record in their 20-plus year career. The Long Island, N.Y. quintet has wisely stayed true to their formula of tech-heavy guitar riffs, blast beat-happy drum parts, and Frank Mullen’s trademark guttural vocals, through the course of their previous six studio albums. Let’s hope Suffocation keep that cruel tradition alive in 2012.

Relapse Records

Pig Destroyer
Album title: TBA
Label: Relapse Records
Release date: summer

It’s been over four years since Pig Destroyer released ‘Phantom Limb,’ their fourth album. Even still, the vast majority of their peers in the grindcore sweepstakes are still playing catch up. We have a feeling PxDx’s next record will be another game-changer.

Alex Morgan

Gojira
Album title: TBA
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release date: TBA

Now signed to the hallowed roster of Roadrunner Records, Gojira are shift the kinds of sales figures their catchy yet forward-thinking brand of metal has always hinted at. A spring 2012 release date is still tentative, but with vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier co-producing along with Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God), the as-yet-titled album shouldn’t let down Noisecreep’s readership.

Metal Blade

Cannibal Corpse
Album title: TBA
Label: Metal Blade
Release date: March 13

The top-selling death metal band of all time in the U.S., Cannibal Corpse will return this year with their 13th (!) album. “Making a pure death metal album with truly memorable songs isn’t easy, but it can be done. Hopefully we’ve managed to do that this time,” bassist Alex Webster told Decibel about their new material. Expect a world of hurt on March 13 when the album is scheduled to hit stores.

Nuclear Blast

Testament
Album title: ‘The Dark Roots of Earth’
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release date: spring

Testament’s 2008 ‘The Formation of Damnation’ album found the Bay Area thrash vets reuniting with original lead guitarist Alex Skolnick. The result was one of the band’s finest efforts yet and they dutifully supported the record with an extensive world tour. Now that the double-guitar team of Skolnick and Eric Peterson has had more time to gel again, Noisecreep expects their forthcoming ‘The Dark Roots of Earth’ album to be a beast.

GL Johnson

Baroness
Album title: TBA
Label: Relapse Records
Release date: summer

Their first two albums, 2007′s ‘Red Album’ and 2009′s ‘Blue Record,’ dazzled listeners with their marriage of metal muscle and wide-screened psychedelic arrangements. It’s not clear if Baroness will name their next album after a color again, but what is certain is that we’ll be the first in line to pick up a copy.

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