Best Band has to be TESTAMENT. 2012 has seen the thrash behemoths stamp their authority on the globe putting in sparkling live performances and releasing a worthy successor to 'Formation Of Damnation' in the epic and magnificent 'Dark Roots Of Earth'.
Replacing a drummer is never easy but Testaments revolving door is filled by familiar face Gene Hoglan. Having interviewed Eric and seen the rest of the band deal with public and press, I can confirm these heroes are as genuine as you could hope anyone to be.
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Best Album of 2012 was a close run thing but in the end it has to be Lamb Of God's 'Resolution'. While Testament's 'Dark Roots Of Earth' was not far behind, after nearly 12 months of living with 'Resolution' it still excites me.
Like a long lost Pantera album it has all the swing of 'Redneck' without compromising any of their math-Metal musical integrity. It's not often you come across an album with this level of uncompromising ferocity that retains enough musicality to keep a listener engaged.
Best festival is shared between Download and Bloodstock. Bloodstock for the experience and Download for the line-up.
If you've missed Bloodstock, get yourself along as it's a modern festival with an old school friendly atmosphere. Download this year had the best mud I've ever seen. The place dried up for Lamb Of God who put on the best performance of 2012.
The world is awash with three day festivals and they are becoming a much-of-muchness, for this reason, Bloodstock deserves high praise for standing out from the crowd as a shining example of how to stage a real Metal spectacular.
The most annoying moment of 2012? Well for me it has to be the moment I thought I'd failed to record my interview with Testament's Eric Peterson. MetalTalk's Tina Saul witnessed the moment and said she thought I was going to cry, which I nearly did.
The most annoying moment for Metal in 2012 is the on-going saga of Randy Blythe's prosecution following the death of a fan. I am crossing everything in the hope that Randy is acquitted.
Bring on 2013. I can't wait for more Metal madness.