HarmonicraftWith the Mayan calendar portending the end of civilization on December 22, one would assume that that world's metal elite would supply the ensuing end times with an appropriately apocalyptic soundtrack. Thankfully, bands both seasoned (Converge, Neurosis, Overkill) and freshly baked (Mares of Thrace, Horseback, Burning Love) rose to the occasion, offering up a veritable Last Supper of carnage/Yule Log of eternal suffering that catered to the genre's myriad styles, while maintaining its subversive essence. Besides, nothing says Christmas quite like cueing up Goatwhore's "Death to the Architects of Heaven" or Eagle Twin's "Snake Hymn" at your company holiday party. They may not end up saving the world, but rest assured, these 20 standout acts will make damn sure you drink your Ovaltine while awaiting its annihilation.

Alcest - Voyages de l'Âme
Baroness - Yellow & Green
Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence
Blut Aus Nord - 777: Cosmosophy
Burning Love - Rotten Thing to Say
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
Deftones - Koi No Yokan
Eagle Twin - The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale
Goatwhore - Blood for the Master
Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
Horseback - Half Blood
Katatonia - Dead End Kings
Mares of Thrace - The Pilgrimage
Meshuggah - Koloss
Neurosis - Honor Found in Decay
Overkill - The Electric Age
Pig Destroyer - Book Burner
3 Inches of Blood - Long Live Heavy Metal
Torche - Harmonicraft

Listen to the best tracks from our favorite Metal albums of 2012 in this playlist: