In no particular order whatsoever... and probably off the top of my head....
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
I'm a bit of a Converge junkie (and I prefer You Fail Me over Jane Doe), so pretty much anything this band puts its hands on is gold to me. After the split with Dropdead gave us "Runaway" – which was a legit banger – it can only be seen where this LP will take us into the minds of metal's modern masters.
Every Time I Die - Ex Lives
It would take something drastic for me to not be excited over a new Every Time I Die record, but "Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space" is already high on the list of favorite jams from the Buffalo natives. Throw in the fact that we'll be seeing them on Warped Tour in support of this record, and it is easy to see what kind of year 2012 is already shaping up to be.
Native - TBA
After falling in love with this band and their last record Wrestling Moves after what seems to be half a dozen times of seeing them, word of a new record has rekindled the appeal of this four-piece for me. Definitely interested to see what this band has in store for us this time around.
Childish Gambino - TBA
It's just a mixtape, but my obsession with Camp and Gambino's EP is on such an unnecessary level that finding out about another release from him was a shoo-in for my list. The question is whether or not he can keep riding this wave of success – both on stage and on record – into what looks to be a successful headlining U.S. tour in the coming months.
Xerxes - Our Home is a Deathbed
No Sleep Records
First impressions go a long way. One of the new bands I took away from last year's Bledfest, one of the newest additions to No Sleep certainly has a great deal of buzz for their bombastic live sets. The first cuts from this record say that this one is gonna be a haymaker to the chin.
The Early November - TBA
The departure of this band was a bit anti-climatic for me. Though I only got a chance to see them twice, the reunion of sorts has re-kindled my enjoyment for their work, including the album that got me into this band – The Room's Too Cold. So many people are excited for this band to be back around, that fact alone is making this one of the more anticipated releases of the year.
letlive - TBA
After a buzz-building record in Fake History and a ridiculous live show, this is a band that seemingly is on the cusp of exploding this year. No pressure guys, but we're all watching you.
The Acacia Strain - TBA
Word on the internet, of all places, is that The Acacia Strain have started putting the pieces together to record a new album this year. After 2010's Wormwood, which I felt was their strongest effort to date, this next record could be a tough follow-up for some. In any case, I expect to have plenty of blunt-force brutality in my ears once again.
Whitechapel - TBA
Tucked away in their home studio for part of the winter, Whitechapel will emerge in the spring with a new record that will apparently forge new ground while molding everything musically about the band's past into one record. While I'm not sure what that will sound like exactly, I do know I am interested to hear the next chapter in this band's discography.