For those more inclined towards heavier musical aspects, here's my metal top ten of UK bands to look out for in 2013.
Spires: Ok, I've been banging on about Manchester's Spires for ages, the only way that will stop, go out, buy their brilliantly constructed, meandering Progressive Metal symphonies, make them one of the biggest extreme acts in the U.K, I can then complain they've sold out, ignoring them in a fit of pique. Album number two, accompanying the amazing 'Spiral of Ascension' on the New Year horizon. It's in your hands now.
Incassum: Staying in Manchester with a band formed in 2004, debut album 'Rite of Passage' released just a month ago. Not an over night success certainly, but Incassum a name destined to appear on a regular basis in 2013 metal circles.
Talanas: The profile of Talanas surely raised by a recent European tour with the legendary My Dying Bride and follow up to debut album The Waspkeeper currently in the making, leaves the ferociously dark and atmospheric quartet firmly at the top of the New Year metal wish list. .
Collibus: The sad and untimely demise of Wolfcrusher has at least, seen a part influence in the resurrection of two Manchester outfits. Guitarist Dan Mucs appearing in Collibus who define the description, surround sound epic metal. Catch the band live at Manchester Academy on January 18th and Scruffy Murphys in Birmingham on March 22nd.
Bisonhammer: And Wolfcrusher vocalist Gary Harkin, back in the front man role with Bisonhammer, bludgeoning us aurally to within an inch of our lives, extreme music of cranium crushing brutality. Latest EP, Bisonhammer III available now.
Agonyst: In and amongst the Norfolk tomfoolery and surreal sense of humour, beats the heart of an amazingly technical metal band. Outstanding live, both musically and comedically, don't miss em at the Brick Top Half Dayer in Norwich on January 19th and supporting Chimp Spanner at The Judge and Jury in Colchester on January 23rd . Top quality entertainment assured with yet another sophomore album due in 2013.
Dragged into Sunlight: Widowmaker one of the the great metal albums of 2012, appearing in numerous top ten lists of the year. A perilous journey through the murkiest of metallic recesses. A disturbing and thought provoking voyage of puetrid discovery.
Huron: Another outfit to reach a wider audience in 2012 via a high profile support slot. In this instance accompanying Skindred around the U.K, further assisted by festival appearances at Download, Bloodstock and Bulldog Bash. Huron flying the flag high and proud for West Country metal with much more to come from the Plymouth five piece. Go grab the fantastic 'War Party' EP now.
Sanguine: Staying in the West Country with the intense pleasures of Sanguine, who teeter brilliantly on the edge of musical insanity. While we await album number two, grab yourself a free copy of the latest live EP.
Kamikaze Test Pilots: A metal / world music soundclash sounds a dreadful idea, but in the hands of Kamikaze Test Pilots, works incredibly well. Their debut album melds African rhythms and chats with shredding guitars, huge riffs and staccato vocals. One of the most original records of the year.
Hopefully something here to satiate the thirst of all metal fans, the UK home to some of the finest extreme music on the planet. Here's to a monstrously metal 2013, wishing you all a very Happy New Year. - Andy Barnes