You can't bring up forward thinking death metal without mentioning the likes of Portal (who are expected to unleash their latest album "Vexovoid" this February, 2013), whom will likely continue to breathe fresh air into the genre with their horrific and abstract dirge.
BUT who this year has been among the ranks in further developing death metal? A question that demands a lengthy answer I'm glad to say, and not one I'll fully cover in this post – But let's delve into a few of the bands who positively contributed to death metal this year:
Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication
Oh Canada, are home and untamed land! True putrid death in all thy scum command. With feral hearts we see thee fall… Canada is no stranger to abyssal death metal, conjuring up the likes of Mitochondrion, Auroch, Antediluvian, Blood Revolt, Weapon, Begrime Exemious, Blasphemy and of course Revenge! Besides all playing a similar blend of chasmal black/death metal and living in the same country, there is one other thing that unifies them – They all come out of the west region of Canada! How can that be? Why the West? A good question, and one I'd like to further pontificate upon, but not here nor now. Fucking Revenge though, they are one of the foulest of them all, sounding akin to a pack of ravenous wolves snarling over a fresh kill. Nay, feasting on a fresh kill, raw and fetid.
Bestial Holocaust - Into The Goat Vulva
Call it blackened thrash, call it barbaric blackened death, call it bestial and filthy, whatever. Just don't throw around the words tame or "familiar ground", because it isn't. By now we're all pretty accustomed to hearing females in all forms of extreme music, we get it, chicks can belch out some growls too. Though Sonia really does help add a welcomed dynamic to this, her gurgles and shrieks carry on a higher note, sounding possessed and putrid. Like with Teitanblood, the Spanish lyrics give it a rather hoary quality parallel to babbling incantations .
Ignivomous - Contragenesis
Aptly named after the archaic meaning for "vomiting fire", Ignivomous spew a cavernous blend of death metal with its hands dipped deep in the old-school. New grounds aren't being paved here on Contragenesis, rather it delivers exactly what you would expect in the form of stalwart tenacity crusted in sewer scum.
Putrevore - Macabre Kingdom
Besides the vocals sounding like they are being fleshed out by a hulking lich overlord, Macabre Kingdom down to the instrumentation and production sound stout and primordial. It is straight forward in its approach but not to the extent of lulling into familiarity, it crawls through murky waters and treads on familiar soils but it does so very well.
Part II will find its way out soon, until then, please do throw in suggestions for the next one in the comments. Bonus points to those that show me something I have yet to discover, that would be rad!