ALARM's 50 Favorite Songs of 2012

ALARM’s 50 (+5) Favorite Songs of 2012

Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

ALARM’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

Another year, another torrential downpour of albums across our desks. As always, we encountered way too much amazing music, from Meshuggah to The Mars Volta, Converge, Killer Mike, P.O.S, and many more.

Fear Factory

Review: Fear Factory’s The Industrialist

Fear Factory: The Industrialist (Candlelight, 6/5/12)


[audio:|titles=Fear Factory: “Recharger”]

Fear Factory’s eighth full-length studio album, The Industrialist, is the next chapter in the band’s sci-fi narrative that has spanned the past two decades. The futuristic storyline, however, is a mere backdrop for the blistering noise of its soundtrack.

Fear Factory

Video: Fear Factory’s The Industrialist album teaser

Fear Factory: The IndustrialistFear Factory: The Industrialist (Candlelight, 6/5/12)

LA-based industrial-metal quartet Fear Factory is releasing its aptly titled new album, The Industrialist, June 5 via Candlelight Records.

For you impatient metal-heads out there, below is an official trailer for the album, followed by a taste of its first single, “Recharger.” Enjoy.

This Month In Metal: Decrepit Birth, Aeon, Cardiac Arrest

Hail! This being my first column for ALARM Press, I thought I’d dip into some overlooked summer releases to get the blood flowing.

Decrepit Birth: Polarity (Nuclear Blast)

First up is the third album from California’s Decrepit Birth, Polarity. This album is a great example of the band’s name and the album’s title bringing to mind two completely different things. “Decrepit birth” sounds like a schlock-y gore-grind band, while “polarity” suggests spaced-out, progressive rock. Truth be told, it’s a bit of both.

Like Necrophagist before it, Decrepit Birth sticks to the old-school, growled, and slightly raspy styles of vocals in addition to its very complex, other-worldly music. This tactic is employed as a foundation: it doesn’t matter what Bill Robinson is growling about; it just matters that he does it consistently and with enough force to keep the album grounded throughout. With that being said, Robinson chooses his phrasing and placement of vocals well, allowing plenty of time for the rest of the band to do its thing, which really begins a minute and a half into Polarity, when there’s a Spanish-influenced guitar break out of nowhere.