Friday, January 18, 2013

Last Month's Poll Results & This Month's Poll!

It's the 18th of the month, so as expected, it's time to end our last poll of 2012 and launch our first poll of 2013! Of course, we're still in the thick of our "Favourite _____s of 2012" polls, and with that in mind, last month's poll posed this question to you guys: What is your favourite NEW local metal/hard rock band of 2012? We had a very nice turnout with 62 total votes, so thanks to everyone for voting, but what were the final results? They lie below!

Haggith (25 votes, 40%)
Pillory (15 votes, 24%)
The Suicide Kings (10 votes, 16%)
Skeyes of Seven (6 votes, 10%)
Other (6 votes, 10%)
Lucky 13 (0 votes)
With Blood Builds Character (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, while I'm somewhat surprised that no one voted for Lucky 13 or With Blood Builds Character, I can understand how they might have fallen through the cracks, being that each debuted at multi-band concerts with no follow-up dates in 2012, but hopefully Lucky 13 surge this year, and fingers crossed that the members of W.B.B.C. turn up again at some point! I can't speak for the "Other" voters (maybe they had slightly older or non-metal bands in mind?), but it's good to see Skeyes of Seven score 6 votes for 4th place despite their late-2012 quietness! Their lineup and Anvil debut alone give a good vibe, and I hope 2013 sees a lot more activity! The Suicide Kings' 3rd place finish with 10 votes is a good sign, following their busy start to their run in the fall, and hopefully their growth this year continues once they play some shows that don't get cancelled! Pillory's second place finish was great to see, especially after noticing that their vote totals surged after Andres Duchesne's passing in December, so let's hope they continue to get their thrash on this year and keep Andres in their hearts!

But the winners, with 25 votes and 40% of the total, was local grunge quartet Haggith, and I can definitely see why they won! They played a bunch of shows in mid-late 2012, released two albums last year with plenty of originals, are different from the norm, and they already have a growing devoted fanbase! The other bands (The Suicide Kings aside) only played one public show each in 2012, so they weren't as visible, but I have faith that most of them will amend that this year! Congratulations to Haggith for their win, and thanks to everyone for voting!

With that said, what's this month's poll? Keeping with a similar theme relating to 2012, I'm posing this question to you guys: What was your favourite new local metal album of 2012? This year's poll of this type is both bigger & smaller than 2011's, as while that year's featured 10 albums by 6 bands, this year's features 9 albums by 8 bands, so I'd call it at a wash for quantity, but how about quality? The year saw a lot of notable releases from Sault Ontario to Sault Michigan, from debuting to posthumous bands, and from the unexpected to the long awaited, but which hard rock/metal CD from 2012 was your favourite? Remember, for inclusion in this poll, the album must have saw it's initial paid release in 2012 (i.e. no reissues unless there's new content), it must have proper packaging (no handwritten demos in paper sleeves), and it can't have been freely posted/distributed without a pay element, as anyone can throw a bunch of original songs together and call it an album (hence why Sykotyk Rampage's second "Genius Mushrooms" album & Mike Matthews' original material aren't included.) That said, here are your choices as you decide your favourite new local metal albums of the past year!

Destroilet - Destroilet: After months of minimal and quiet activity, and almost two years removed from their most recent show, Sault Ontario old school hardcore/punk quartet Destroilet quickly surged back into full view with the release of their first full length album and second CD overall last month! Half a reissue of their 2011 debut EP and half new content, including some interesting covers, Destroilet have set themselves up well for a big 2013, but did their self-titled album pique your interest the most last year?

End of Existence - End of Existence: The first new metal release of 2012 from across the river, the Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids quintet featuring I.S.O.M. alumni released their self-titled debut album at the end of February, just days after original frontman Bob Helsten parted ways with the band. Despite pending plans to change their sound & name, End of Existence's long gestating debut album impressed with a lot of technical and epic death metal, but was it your favourite new album of 2012?

Either of Haggith's new albums: Only months after their live debut, last month's poll winners Haggith released no less than two new albums in the fall, including their debut "Dragon Joy Ride" in October and their sophomore concept album "Apocalypse" the following month, and that's far from it in the immediate horizon! With a lot of widely varied grunge/alternative material, their fanbase ate up their early releases, but were you among them? (Both albums have their own choice in the poll, in case you have a favourite)

Insipid Brutality - Insipid Brutality: Possibly the most surprising album release of 2012, Sault Michigan death metal band Insipid Brutality saw a posthumous return in the spring of 2012 with a new digital album compiled from restored recordings from their 2006-2008 heyday, which definitely attracted some good notices! Though a full fledged return did not occur to go along with it, and the recording quality was mixed at best, it was great to hear these songs again, but was this your top album of the year?

Late & Loud - Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal: After a very short breakup last fall, classic metal quartet Late & Loud were surprisingly announced as Garden of Bedlam's replacements at The Saigon Hookers' local show in November, and for the occasion, Late & Loud finally released their long awaited debut EP! Featuring two bonus tracks, the EP was enjoyed by those who could buy a copy, though we've heard little from the Sault Humane Society Battle winners since. Was L&L's EP your favourite local CD of 2012?

Mike Haggith - Neighbourhood Watch: In between releases for his band Haggith, singer/drummer Mike Haggith put out his 45th solo album "Neighbourhood Watch" in October, after over a year's worth of recording sessions and numerous name and track changes. Though maybe not as prominent as the Haggith band's albums, Mike's latest release impressed with it's dark and varied take on alternative/hard rock, but was it your favourite new album of the previous year?

Theatre of Night - The Dawn's Early Light: Four months after End of Existence's debut album came out, the Giles brothers & Craig Harrison kept up their hot streak by releasing their second album with their Theatre of Night project, entirely based around American patriotic songs and covers! Likely their last all-instrumental CD, this served as a fitting soundtrack to the Fourth of July, with partial proceeds going to The Folds of Honour Foundation, but did you take to "The Dawn's Early Light" the most?

Woods of Ypres - "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light": Arguably the biggest local album release of 2012, "W5" only saw it's initial release in February less than two months after frontman David Gold's sudden passing in December 2011. In it's wake, "Woods V" received some of the best reviews of Woods of Ypres' career (albeit posthumously), and it was quite a dark & depressing, but very heavy & lyrically strong album that fittingly closed the band's career. Was it your favourite local metal album of the past year?

Other: Did we miss your favourite? Were you more preferential to a non-metal local album, one that hasn't been released yet, or one that's only available in a loose demo/free streaming format as of right now? Maybe your favourite new album is one from 2011 that you only first heard in 2012, or maybe I missed a local metal album release entirely? If your preferred choice isn't above, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until February 18th to cast your votes, and I hope to see another solid voter turnout this month! We'll of course have three more "Favourite _____s of 2012" polls after this month, but for now, focus on your favourite albums, and we'll have the results next month! That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and notes shortly! Thanks everyone!

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