Sort of a weak metal year, IMO, after a KILLER 2011. Still some very good releases. I’d probably have Pallbearer at #1 on the strength of “Foreigner” alone. The first 5 minutes of that one are about as perfect as you can get in metal.
I’d stick Nachtmystium and Yakuza on the list–neither were the bands’ best work, but still very, very good albums. “Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams” on the Nachtmystium album was probably one of my favorite metal tracks this year, too. Maybe the first truly “happy” sounding black metal song?