Monday, December 24, 2012

Best Metal Albums of 2012: Chosen By Musicians (Pt. 2)

Mitochondrion - Shawn Hache (In no particular order)

Degial - Death's Striking Wings
Mgla - With Hearts Towards None
Weapon - Embers and Revelations
LuxCaelis - Mysteria Mystica Maxima XXIII
Vomitor - The Escalation
Antediluvian/Adversarial - Initiated In Impiety as Mysteries (split)
Nile - At The Gates of Sethu
Svartidauði - Flesh Cathedral
Wrathprayer - The Sun of Moloch: The Sublimation of Sulphur's Essence Which Spawned Death and Life
Auroch - From Forgotten Worlds

TrollfesT - Mr. Seidel

01. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
02. Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
03. Wintersun - Time 1
04. Meshuggah - Koloss
05. Korpiklaani - Manala
06. Borknagar - Urd
07. Nidingr - Greatest Of Deceivers
08. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
09. Aura Noir - Out to Die
10. Overthrow - Adjust To Darkness

Dragged Into Sunlight - 'T'

01. Pig Destroyer - Book Burner 
Who doesn't like pig destroyer and who didn't want to see a new pig destroyer album.

02. Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
This record had mixed reviews.... because it wasn't fast. Does anyone care? It's Tragedy, masters of crust. Darker Days Ahead is relentlessly crusty effort.

03. Inverloch - Dusk/Subside
50% Disembowelment, 50% carnage. This pulverizes all hope for mankind.

04. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind 
This record is the best effort from Converge since Petitioning the Empty Sky. Bannon sounds like he's coughing up blood.

05. Lazarus Blackstar - Hymns for the Cursed
Everyone loves an underdog and Lazarus Blackstar are one of those bands consistently punching above their weight without anywhere near enough recognition. Former members of Doom and Acrimony stir doom, death, punk, crust into a cauldron of misery.

06. Swans - The Seer
The most intelligent interviews are always either Michael Gira.... or Sodom's Tom Angelripper. For the purposes of a 2012 top 10, Swans forever, the Seer is a genuinely great construct. Check it out.

07. Bossk - Pick Up Artist
This wasn't an album, but it was a release and it is welcome news to have Bossk ploughing the riff once more.

08. Slabdragger/Meadows - S/T (split)
Vinyl nerds will love this. Solid consistent riff. Slabdragger's side really stood out. It's not quite Sleep and it's not quite Iron Monkey, given that the combination of the latter form two of man's greatest creations, Slabdragger have good formula.

09. Be'Lakor - Of Breath and Bone
Australians outdoing Sweden at its own game. Well played. This record is a new flesh for Be'Lakor and really brings something new to the table. New listeners will get into the band and old listeners will probably like them more.

10. Vision of Disorder - The Cursed Remain Cursed 
This record didn't seem to get anywhere near enough recommendation in the end of year lists. It's VOD and it's good to have a band that we grew up listening to return from the grave and on top of their game.

Aldebaran / The Howling Wind - Tim Call (In no particular order)

Evoken - Atra Mors
Menace Ruine - Alight In The Ashes
Profetus - To Open The Passages In Dusk
Witchrist - Grand Tormentor
Vassafor - Obsidian Codex
Anhedonist - Netherwards
Godspeed! You Black Emperor - 'Allelujah. Don't bend! Ascend!
Mgla - With Heart Towards None
Horrendous - The Chills
Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication.

Shai Hulud - Matt Fox

01. Propagandhi - Failed States
02. Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth
03. Accept - Stalingrad04. NOFX - Self Entitlement
05. Classics Of Love - Classics Of Love
06. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth
07. Goatwhore - Blood For The Master
08. Napalm Death - Utilitarian

09. Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
10. Further Seems Forever - Penny Black

Vattnet Viskar - Matt St. Jean

10. Narrows - Painted
With Painted, Narrows figured out how to take everything you liked about their other/prior bands while maintaining their artistic integrity and creating a wholly new and original sound for themselves. Not to knock New Distances, but this is the record that should have come after the S/T 7”

09. Sigur Rós - Valtari
While definitely nowhere near being metal, and in absolutely no way groundbreaking or progressive, this record was very nostalgic for me, hence its inclusion on this list. It hearkens to the “golden age” of Sigur Rós, namely Takk... and (), with dense string orchestration, ambiance, and their trademark snail’s pace, which the band has been getting away from in their last few efforts. Basically, I like laying down and listening to this record until I fall asleep, but what can you expect from a dude with Icelandic folk art tattooed on his body? (Yeah, it’s pretty hipster, fucking shoot me)

08. Yellow Eyes/Monument - (Split Cassette)
Technically, this isn't an album. Technically, this is two bands. Technically, who fucking cares. Yellow Eyes are what shine on this release. They’re some really amazing dudes, and I’m honored to have been on a label with them, but regardless, there's something to be said when you pop a cassette into the van(yeah, we have a cassette deck) and everyone stops what they’re doing to listen. The same can be said about the Monument side of this release. This is the most solid tape I’ve owned since, well, I don’t own any tapes. Regardless, listen to both of these bands, you wont regret it.

07. Meek is Murder - Into The Sun Where It Falls Off The Sky
The dudes in Meek is Murder know how to make you hate them for only releasing 7 minutes of music. I actually created a playlist with this EP 3-4 repeated and listen to it while I’m driving. Dense yet fun, thrashy yet technical, and pretty damn musical, I can’t wait to see them play this shit live.

06. Birds in Row - You, Me and the Violence
I really don’t listen to a lot of hardcore these days, and this record wasnt going to be an exception, until I heard the first single, Pilori. I figured I would give the rest a shot, and was subsequently treated to an incredible onslaught of raw emotion, dense arrangement, and the best non-breakdown breakdowns I’ve heard in years(if that makes any sense). This record is honest, and openly shows it.

05. Krallice - Years Past Matter
This is my go to black metal album of the year. It’s a runaway freight train, but the conductor is actually in complete control. Everything on this record feels deliberate yet natural, with subtle changes in texture and form that come at exactly the right junctures. It may only have six tracks, clocking in at nearly an hour, but this seemingly daunting record is cover to cover listenable in ways that even the greats of the genre have difficulty creating consistently.

04. Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships
Barely weeks old relative to its release, once I picked this one up, I have not been able to stop listening to it. As grimy as it is crisp, this is how I would want to ride out the apocalypse that never was.

03. Old Man Gloom - No
Equal parts driving sludge and gouge your eyes out noise, this record became an instant classic the second it reached my ears. The fact that these dudes can come together and create No, which is fresh, original, and familiar all at the same time, is amazing. Hopefully we wont have to wait another 8+ years for more.

02. Bosse-de-Nage - lll
If one had to describe this record in a single word, it would have to be dynamics. On lll, Bosse de Nage have created one of the most cohesive and thoughtful records of the year. All too often, black metal bands, and great ones at that, rest on the laurels of the blast beats and tremolo picking that have made the genre since its inception, but this record breathes, has purpose, and evokes something form the listener. Listening to this record, I feel like I known them, and have known them for years, its that intimate. Also, this is hands down my favorite drumming of the year, just plain tasteful

01. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
Instead of rehashing the same things that you’ve probably already read a million times since the record came out, all I will say is this-YES, THIS RECORD IS THAT FUCKING GOOD AND IF YOU HAVEN'T LISTENED TO IT YOU'RE PROBABLY MISSING OUT.

Moloch - Henry (In no particular order)

Swans - The Seer
Raime - Quarter Turns Over A Living Line
Gog - In Our Architecture This Resounds
Wölfbait - S/T
Column of Heaven - Mission From God/Soldiers Field
Lanverraad - No Love For A Nation (demo)
Lich/Man Hands - (split 10”)
Moat - (demo)

Moloch - Chris (In no particular order)

Unsane - Wreck
Chris Spencer has more conviction than most. I believe this band.

Sex Prisoner - Sleep Eradication (7")
Absolutely ripping, no nonsense.

Seven Sisters of Sleep - S/T (EP 7")
Heavy as shit. Rocking without being JD drinking stoner bros, doomy without being uber kvlt grimmm. Can't wait to release their split 10" with Shaman's Owl early next year.

Horders - Fimbulvetr
Beautiful and bleak, amazing artwork, a pleasure to be involved with.

Lich / Man Hands - (split 10")
Lich hit the spot. Brutal mosh violence. This split should have been released in the late 90s. Good peoples. (Lich / Moloch split out early 2013.)

Meth Drinker - S/T Reissue (reissue was 2012)
Absolute filth. Proper sludge. Genuinely horrible. (Meth Drinker / Moloch split out early 2013.)

Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships
Great songs. Underrated band.

Thou / Hell - Resurrection Bay (7")
Amazing, heavy split with great packaging.

Column of Heaven - Mission from God
Continuing where the Endless Blockade left off and going further. (COH / Radioactive Vomit 7" out early 2013.)

Rot in Hell - Termini Terrae (7")
New singer, still savage!

The Great Old Ones - Jeff Grimal

01. Enslaved- RIITIIR
02. Deathspell Omega - Drought (EP)
03. Ulver - Childhood's End
04. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
05. Dodecahedron - S/T
06. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
07. Blut Aus Nord - 777 Cosmosophy
08. Evoken - Atra Mors
09. Wodensthrone - Curse
10. Incantation - Vanquish In Vengeance

Rise And Fall - Björn Dossche (In no particular order)

Amenra - Mass V
Dinosaur Jr - I Bet On Sky
Hot Water Music - Exister
The Secret - Agnus Dei
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
The XX - Coexist
Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
Cat Power - Sun
The Men - Open Your Heart
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Dawnbringer - Scott Hoffman
01. Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol
02. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
03. OSI - Fire Make Thunder
04. Witchcraft - Legend
05. Borknagar - Urd
06. Enslaved - RITTIR
07. Pharaoh - Bury the Light
08. Graveyard - Lights Out
09. Zuul - To the Frontlines
10. Mars Volta - Noctourniquet

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