Top 20 Albums Of 2012

By Aniruddh ‘Andrew’ Bansal

It’s the month of December, which means it’s time to look back on the music that was released this year, and to attempt the unenviable task of making a list featuring the best albums. Because of my return to India, I obviously wasn’t able to attend nearly as many gigs as I did in LA, but that gave me a lot more time to listen to new music, so I’m probably in a better position to make a year-end albums list than ever before. Before the year began, I was eagerly anticipating new releases from three bands I most religiously follow, Motorhead, Death Angel and Holy Grail. Unfortunately, none of them could come up with a new album this year, but there were more than plenty of other great releases to fill the void.

This year I decided to make a list at the half-way point, in the hope that it would help me do the year-end list with a bit more ease. But I realized that quite a few of the albums released in the early part of the year faded away, while some others that didn’t make the first list really grew on me. And then there were lots of them that turned out to be disappointing. Anyway, without further ado, here’s my top 12 for the year 2012. And in case you’re unfamiliar with my list-based writing, I just want to remind you that I haven’t considered EPs, split albums, live albums, all-covers albums, compilations and re-releases for this list. Continue reading “Top 20 Albums Of 2012”

Preview: Guns N’ Roses Set For First Ever India Tour

By Aniruddh ‘Andrew’ Bansal

It’s less than a week to go until Guns N’ Roses hit Indian shores for their 3-date tour starting in Bangalore on December 7th, then on to Mumbai on December 9th, and ending in Gurgaon on December 12th. In anticipation of the Mumbai event which I will be attending, I can’t help but reminisce my first ever live Guns N’ Roses experience, last year at the Forum in Los Angeles.

It’s not hard to guess what the detractors and naysayers would say. They’d be like, “Well, this isn’t the ‘real’ Guns N’ roses lineup, so why bother?” Believe me, I had the same thought when the band’s US tour was announced last year (I was living in LA at the time). But unlike most others who are ready to dismiss the band’s credibility without giving them a chance, I decided to go to the LA show to experience it for myself, before arriving at a conclusion and before hurling any criticism in their direction. I’m extremely glad I did so, because the gig really opened my eyes and introduced me to the incredible musicianship of the current GNR lineup. Continue reading “Preview: Guns N’ Roses Set For First Ever India Tour”

Metal Shows In India: The Big Picture

By Aniruddh ‘Andrew’ Bansal

In India, there used to be a time when we felt lucky to get one or two international metal bands per year to perform in our country. Iron Maiden in 2007 was the first ever big metal show, then came Megadeth in 2008, and Iron Maiden also made repeat visits in 2008 and 2009. Gradually, things started picking up and relatively smaller bands like Opeth, Lamb Of God, Enslaved, Amon Amarth played their own headline shows. Even then, the average number of gigs per year was very small. Compare that to this year, and there is a vast difference. Opeth in February, Vreid in March, Wormrot in April, Lamb Of God in May, and Kreator in June. But still, these gigs were not too close to each other, and people didn’t really have to make any tough choices in terms of which show to attend. Enter October 2012. Below is a list of international bands that are slated to play headline shows in the country within a mere two month period between October 14 and December 16, along with the cities and original ticket prices (a couple of these shows already happened) : Continue reading “Metal Shows In India: The Big Picture”

A Look Back At The First Half Of 2012: Best Albums

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

I love reading and writing list-based articles, and it’s that time of the year again when I get to write another one. Today is the 30th of June, which marks the end of the first half of 2012, and it gives me a chance to reflect on 2012 as a year in metal releases so far. Right from the month of January itself, I knew that 2012 would beat 2011 in terms of the sheer quality of music being released. I expected quite a lot of great music to be put out by the time we reached this June 30th date, and things have turned out even better than I had imagined back in January. That’s the reason I’m doing this half-yearly list for the first time ever. Picking the best albums out of just these six months was harder than making the 2011 year-end list, to be honest.

Just to clarify, I have considered full-length albums of all sub-genres of hard rock and heavy metal, with release dates between January 1st and June 30th 2012. EPs, split releases and reissues haven’t been taken into account for making this list. The months of January and February saw a lot of good releases, but it was interesting for me to find out which of those albums stood the test of time. I really liked quite a few of the early 2012 albums when they were released, but some of them didn’t make this list, and were outdone by albums that came later. So without further ado, I’ll get into the list: Continue reading “A Look Back At The First Half Of 2012: Best Albums”