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As the year draws to a close, I reflect upon the vast amount of music released this year.  While 2012 won’t go down as a landmark year by anyone’s standards, it did see a number of incredibly solid releases.  We saw heartbreaking hiatuses and joy inducing reunions.  Not much truly left an incredible impact on me, but the sheer volume of interesting and worthwhile releases was wonderful, to say the least.  Given only 25 albums to play with, choosing selections for this list was difficult.  Describing them was an even greater endeavor (chore).  So I decided to forgo the use of words, and project my feelings through an internet-folk’s most fluent language: cats.

25. Father John Misty-Fear Fun

Psychedelic folk:

24. Evening Hymns-Spectral Dusk


23. Lost in the Trees-A Church That Fits Our Needs


22. Dweller on the Threshold-Dweller on the Threshold


21. Gaza-No Absolutes In Human Suffering


20. Abyssal-Denouenment

Death/Black Metal:

19. State Faults-Desolate Peaks


18. Narrows- Painted

For the average, carefree Sputniker (age averaging as low as 14, the beginnings of facial hair sprouting on their pasty chins, a copy of F#A# (infinity) tucked securely under their arms, and the cover of Converge’s Jane Doe plastered somewhere on their body) the forums have always appeared as something of a mystery; a completely separate side of the site, populated by unfamiliar names and avatars, a strange yet very deep sense of community, and also home to the avant-garde masterpiece that is/was Grumblecunt.

But in all honesty the inverse is also true, and these two distinctly different aspects of the site have lived and evolved separately, begrudgingly aware of each others existence, but with both sides only sporadically encountering the border-jumping antics of immigrants looking to defect to the other side. While both sides are certainly guilty for this rift, this article, primarily directed at the review site userbase, has been designed to not simply try and coax you away from the familiarity of such distinct luminaries like SonicthePlumber and the Hemingway-like prose of a reviewer like SkeletorisSatan (last known photo of the two below), but to simply sell you on the idea of the forums.

What do the forums offer for you? Well, essentially the freedom to talk about anything. For example, feeling a little lonely and in need of a little visual stimulation? Then join Respecs in the attractive girls thread. Video games and movies? They got that as well. Sports, Politics? Sorted. For years…


25. Mount Eerie – Clear Moon

24. Field Music – Plumb

23. Deftones – Koi No Yokan

22. The Gathering – Disclosure

21. Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s – Rot Gut, Domestic

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Listen: Deftones – “Rosemary”


20. Coheed & Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension

19. Astra – The Black Chord

18. Ghost Mice – All We Got Is Each Other

17. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city

16. Racing Heart – To Walk Beside That Ghost

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Listen: Ghost Mice – “John and Jodie”


15. Submotion Orchestra – Fragments

14. Papercranes – Three

13. Beach House – Bloom

12. Killing Joke – MMXII

11. Farewell Republic – Burn the Boats

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Listen: Papercranes – “Save Us”


10. The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

9. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

8. Tigers on Trains – Foundry

7. Anberlin – Vital

6. Yellowcard – Southern Air

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Listen: Tigers on Trains – “Mont Ventoux”

Album of the Year

The Nominees

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Godspeed You! Black Emperor are no strangers to post-rock success. They found their calling early, with 1997s F#A#∞, an apocalyptic journey that painted the end of times as both a thing of beauty and an unspeakable calamity. Over time, their name has almost become synonymous with post-rock, and “Allelujah! Don’t…

I won’t begin to say that I listened to all that 2012 had to offer in the metal department. Given the genre’s ever-increasing popularity, listening to every demo, split, EP, LP, or live album would have taken more time than the year itself had to offer us. It’s tough to say I would even want to listen to it all, especially since I honestly thought that 2012 could have used a few heavy-hitters that never materialized. Expectations can be a bitch, so when I go into a year with high hopes I set myself up for failure. It’s good, then, that I entered 2012 with a bit of trepidation, not sure what was going to be a success or what was going to flop.

I’m sure that if I had made a comprehensive list of all of the albums I was going to listen to this year and wrote what I thought each would turn out like, the answers would be almost the polar opposite of how it all ended up being. Who, honestly, would have thought that Katatonia would release their best album since Brave Murder Day? Why did Time I not suck immensely? Did I really just put a Mount Eerie album on my top of 2012 list? These are strange questions for strange times, especially in the veritable cage I lock myself in by being a metal fan.

In an effort to coalesce the reviews site with our sister site’s forums, feel free to drop in and introduce yourselves here! Your password for the reviews site will be the same as it is for the forums. Hat-tip to Black Ink for being the catalyst to try things out… until we continue to segregate ourselves, that is!

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of December 11, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

A reminder to all that voting submissions are still being accepted for the Users’ end of year feature. If you wish to have your say, head on over to the submission thread, and submit your entries. The votes will close at midnight on December the 14th.

Big Awesome – Birdfeeder (Baby Moon Records)
Big Boi – Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (Def Jam)
Boys Like Girls – Crazy World (Columbia)
Breach – You Won’t Find Love Again: Remixes (Naked Lunch)
Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox (Atlantic)
Catacombs – Exodus (Innamind Recordings)
Circle Of Contempt – Entwine The Threads (Sumerian Records)
Dusky – Calling Me (School Records)
The Game – Jesus Piece (Geffen Records)
Green Day – Tre! (Reprise)
Jamestown Story – Show Me Tomorrow (Jamestown Story)
Lento – Anxiety Despair Languish (Denovali Records)
Loving The Lie – Someone Wants You (Dead) (Loving The Lie)
Masta Killa – Selling My Soul (Ingrooves)
Maztek & Masheen –…

It’s been a wonderful year and I don’t know how to even talk about it in a way that isn’t neurotically structured around lists. Here are my informal reasons behind my favourite things. Merry Christmas!




Another wonderful tongue-in-cheek cut and paste job by the wonderful Books craftsman.  Zammuto is jollily demented, electronic music never short of fun and never over-stretching its ideas. Nick Zammuto has always had a knack for modulating the outreaches into something we can all get down to, and from this outing that almost feels like the point of his new project.


The Welcome Wagon

Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

Direct songs from Christian to God, but it’s not like the word can’t translate.


Bill Fay

Life Is People

What’s so satisfying about listening to Fay’s album is how it doesn’t dispel the mythic rock history surrounding it. His first solo record in forty years, after being chewed out by an industry that took its liberty to take up every musician and then dump them, is a spectacle of sorts, something of a comeback overwrought with the emotion of being able to make music again.…

Suppose you were knocked unconscious on December 31st, 2011, knowing that this would be the last time you’d see Dick Clark ring in a New Year with you:

RIP, old friend.

… and you went through all of 2012 in a 320+ day Rip Van Winkle-like coma, missing out on all that 2012 would bring with pop music, for good and for ill:

But then you miraculously wake up just to spite the Mayans or something, and decide that you need an eight-minute crash-course on 2012 Pop Music (for whatever reason).

Vancouver-based artist Daniel Kim (Facebook) strives to create such mash-ups every year.  The process is supremely labor-intensive, and he provides a brief, engaging overview of his process on his blog, The Gift of OCPD.

The mash-up is available below:

His alphabetical list of inclusions:

1. Adele – “Set Fire To The Rain”
2. Adele – “Skyfall”
3. Alex Clare – “Too Close”
4. Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo – “Let’s Go”
5. Carly Rae Jepson – “Call Me Maybe”
6. Cher Lloyd – “Want U Back”
7. Chris Brown – “Don’t Wake Me Up”
8. Chris Brown – “Turn Up The Music”
9. Christina Aguilera – “Your Body”
10. David Guetta feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne – “I Can Only Imagine”
11. David Guetta…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of December 4, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

A reminder to all that we are now accepting votes for the upcoming Users’ best of 2012 feature. Head on over to the submission thread and brush up on the rules before posting your submissions.

Affiance – The Campaign (Bullet Tooth)
After Me, The Flood – Still Searching (Famined Records)
Anex – Phobic (Dubstep For Deep Heads)
Brandon Michael Williams and Seth Andrew Hecox – All Folked Up (Brandon Michael Williams and Seth Andrew Hecox)
Demon & DCult – Frostbite/Sliver (Macabre Unit)
Dream Boat – Eclipsing (Cloud Recordings)
El Perro Del Mar – Pale Fire (The Control Group)
Hinder – Welcome To The Freakshow
Jacob Morris – Moths (Cloud Recordings)
Jimmy Edgar – Majenta (Hotflush Recordings)
Kahn – Dread/Late Night Blues (Deep Medi Muzik)
Ke$ha – Warrior (RCA)
Look, I’m Burning – Angels With Filthy Souls (Look, I’m Burning)
LX One – Losing Control/On My Own (Wheel & Deal Records)
Memory Tapes – Grace/Confusion (Carpark Records)
Olly Murs – Right Place, Right Time (Columbia)
Paloma Faith – Fall To Grace (Epic)
Raime – Quarter Turns Over A Living Line (Blackest Ever Black)
Reaching Every Mountain – Small Step For Man (Reaching Every Mountain)
Scott Walker – Bish, Bosch (4AD Records)
Shackleton – Music For The Quiet Hour/The Drawbar Organ EPs (Woe To Septic

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of November 27, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Also, a note to all: the voting for the Users’ end of year feature will be opening up on the 1st of December. The majority of the userbase will already be familiar with the rules of voting and what  is expected of them, but for all the newly-minted additions to the site there will be a news post on the day to remind you all, so keep this in the back of your minds.

Adler – Back From The Dead (New Ocean Media)
Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire (RCA)
American Heritage – Sedentary (Translation Loss)
Artifas – Enemy Inside (Artifas)
Bears Among Men – Restored (Bears Among Men)
Big Dipper – Big Dipper Crashes On The Platinum Planet (Almost Ready Records)
Biome – Shaman (On The Edge)
Breathless – Green To Blue (Shellshock)
Calibre – Rennaisance (Footprints Music)
Caramel Carmela – Skinny Jeans, Fat Bass (Caramel Carmela)
Destruction – Spiritual Genocide (Nuclear Blast International)
Dro Carey – N.R. (Templar Sound)
Enei – Machines (Critical Recordings)
Example – The Evolution Of Man (Ministry Of Sound UK)
Fairbanks – Eat This Record (Urban Scandal Records)
Guy Andrews & Untold – Resistivity/Under (Hemlock Recordings)
Hanzel und Gretyl – Born To Be Heiled (Metropolis Recordings)
Hotel Of The Laughing Tree – Mammoth Skin – Part 1 (Hotel Of The

Here’s a list of major new releases for the weeks of November 13 and November 20 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Also, a quick notice to all the Contributing Reviewers: the resurrected Contributors Thread is once again open for business. For all the recently  promoted, feel free to browse the first post and get familiar with the idea of the thread. A reminder to all though – the thread is designed for the contribs only; any user wishing to make a review request should still post here.


Aaron Lewis – The Road (Blaster Records)
Access Denied – Touch Of Evil (Pitch Black Records)
Army Of Freshmen – Happy To Be Alive (Arkive Records)
The Babies – Our House On The Hill (Woodsist)
Bambi Lee Savage – Darkness Overshadowed (Bambi Lee Savage)
Brian Eno – Lux (Warp Records)
Christina Aguilera – Lotus (RCA)
Clinic – Free Reign (Domino)
Coldplay – Live 2012 [CD/DVD] (Parlophone)
Deftones – Koi No Yokan (Reprise) – Eli Kleman
Donny & Current Value – The Reading (Barcode Recordings)
Fake Blood – Cells ([PIAS] America)
Front Line Assembly – Airmech (Metropolis Records)
Green Day – iDos! (Reprise) – Joseph Viney
Guided By Voices – The Bears For Lunch (Guided By Voices)
Holly Herndon – Movement (Rvng Intl)
How To Destroy Angels – An Omen (Columbia)
Inertia – Universal Blood (Metropolis Records)
Issues – Black Diamonds (Rise

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of November 06, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension (Columbia)
All That Remains – A War You Cannot Win (Razor & Tie Recordings)
Anaal Nathrakh – Vanitas (Candlelight/Lumberjack)
Andy Stott – Luxury Problems (Modern Love)
Anstam – Stones And Woods (Monkeytown Records)
ASC – Lost Sync – Part 2 (Samurai Red Seal)
Autumn Owls – Between Buildings, Toward The Sea (Epitonic)
DaVinci – The MOEna Lisa (SWTBRDS)
Dionne Warwick – Now (Blue Horizon Venture)
Doro – Raise Your Fist (Nuclear Blast US)
The Epilogues – Cinematics (Red General)
Geoff Tate – Kings & Thieves (Inside Out US)
Graveyard – Lights Out (Nuclear Blast US)
Isis – Temporal (Ipecac Recordings)
Kylie Minogue – The Abbey Road Sessions (Parlophone)
Lindstrom – Smalhans (Smalltown Supersound)
Ne-Yo – R.E.D. (Motown/PGD)
Pangaea – Release (Hessle Audio)
Paragon – Force of Destruction (Napalm Records)
Prince Rama – Top Ten Hits Of The End Of The World (Paw Tracks)
Public Enemy – Most Of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear On No Stamp (Eastlink)
Public Enemy – The Evil Empire Of Everything (King Midas)
Rage Nucleaire – Unrelenting Fucking Hatred (Season Of Mist)
Saigon – The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses (Suburban Noize Recordings)
The Seeking – Yours Forever (Provident)
Sigha – Scene Couple/Brood (Hotflush Recordings)
Skalmold – Born Loka (Napalm Records)
Slingshot Dakota – Dark…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of October 23, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Alexa Borden – Rule The World (Borden Records)
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Lost SongsRudy Klapper (Superball Music)
Andy Burrows – Company (Play It Again, Sam)
Anita Baker – Only Forever (Blue Note Records/EMI)
Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man (Capitol)
Bayside – Covers (Vol. 1) (Gumshoe Records)
Behold The Arctopus – Horrorscension (Red General Catalog)
Being As An Ocean – Dear G-d (Invogue Records)
Billy Ray Cyrus – Change My Mind (Blue Cadillac Music)
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Cobra Juicy (Rad Cult)
Breach & Midland – 101/Somewhere (Naked Naked)
Bridgit Mendler – Hello My Name Is.. (Hollywood Records)
Clan Of Xymox – Kindred Spirits (Metropolis Records)
Colbie Caillat – Christmas In The Sand (Universal Republic)
Current Value – Quantum Physics (Barcode Recordings)
Current Value & Bryan Fury – Posthuman/Get Blood (Smackdown Recordings)
Darling Farah – Body: Remixed (Civil)
Diamond Rings – Free Dimensional (Astralwerks)
Dom & Roland – Strobe/Goliath (Dom & Roland Productions)
Fontanelle – Vitamin F (Southern Lord)
Further Seems Forever – Penny Black (Rise Records)
Gary Clark Jr. – Blak And Blu (Warner Bros.)
Germ – Loss (AIS)
A Life Once Lost – Ecstatic Trance (Season Of Mist)
Main Attrakionz – Bossalinis & Fooliyones (Red General Catalog)
Man In A Crowd – Don’t Paint…

Sputnik Music is dedicated to bringing you the best new music. Part of our endeavor includes this very blog, our “Infinite Playlist” – a user-submitted database consisting of quarterly, up-to-date tracks from your favorite artists (and hopefully a few ones you’ve never heard of before). Below you will find a list of songs from the third quarter of 2012. Each song is (if possible) accompanied by a download link, access to the artist’s home page, and a review of his/her latest album.

Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist is, as the title suggests, an ongoing project. You can contribute to future publications of Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist by submitting a song title, artist name, release date, and 5-10 sentence blurb to sowingsputnik@gmail.com.

All prior sections of the Infinite Playlist can be found below:


Q1 / Q2 / Q3 / Q4


If you have any additional questions, drop me a message in my shoutbox. Q4 submissions will range from October to December, so feel free to send something in at your leisure. Not a user? No problem. You can register with the site here.

And as always, I would like to take a moment to recognize this issue’s contributors for their time and effort. Please give a round of applause for this quarter’s writers:

greg84 / AliW1993 / klap4music / hesperus / clercqie / PaperbackWriter / OmahaStylee94 / SowingSeason / TheSpirit / ChuckyTruant / Captain North /…

Amia Venera Landscape’s 2010 release, The Long Procession, was one of the surprise releases of that year. It probably could have even been near the top of our year-end lists if not for its mid-December release date. Its mixture of post metal, post hardcore, math metal, and ambience was expertly done (with some room for improvement, of course) and still generates discussion nearly two years later. The song that hit most people the hardest was the opening track, ‘Empire’, and this is the video for that song. Prepare to have your face melted… or something ;)



NOTE: In other news, the band has just announced through their Facebook page that they’re going to be releasing more music this winter:

Hi everyone, after several months of almost silence, it’s time to see where we stand!

During this period we’ve been working on a lot of brand new music. The composition process took different directions, in terms of sounds and respective approaches, and it led us to create something around eighty songs of very different genres.
All this material will be recorded along the next three years, and the first of these releases is supposed to be out this Winter. According to this we won’t be going to play any live show for a while.

In the meanwhile, check out our previously unreleased video for the song ‘Empire’, taken from our first album ‘The Long Procession’.


Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of October 16, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Anberlin – Vital (Universal Republic) – SowingSeason
BATS – The Sleep Of Reason (Richter Collective)
Ben Gibbard – Former Lives (Barsuk)
Biome – The Prayer (Dubstep For Deep Heads)
Boys Noize – Out Of The Black (Ingrooves)
Brandy – Two Eleven (RCA)
Connor Maynard – Contrast (Capitol)
Consequence & ASC – Noisy Spirits In This Soul/Snow Wolf (Samurai Red Seal)
Creative Adult – Dead Air (Broke Hater)
Daphni – JIAOLONG (Merge Records)
DaVinci – The MOEna Lisa (SWTBRDS)
Dethklok – Metalocalypse: Dethklok Dethalbum III (William Street)
Donald Fagen – Sunken Condos (Reprise)
Dynfari – Sem Skugginn (Code 666)
Earlimart – System Preferences (The Shipp Records)
A Fine Frenzy – Pines (Virgin Records)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation) – Eli Kleman
The HAARP Machine – Disclosure (100% Womon)
The Herbaliser – There Were Seven (Redeye)
The Infamous String Dusters – Sky-High (High Country Recordings)
In Fear And Faith – In Fear And Faith (Rise Records)
Jamey Johnson – Livin’ For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran (Mercury Nashville)
Jason Aldean – Night Train (Broken Bow)
Jason Lytle – Dept. Of Disappearance (Anti Records)
Kem – What Christmas Means (Xenon)
Kendrick Lemar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city (Aftermath)
K’Naan – Country, God Or The Girl (Octone)
Martha Wainwright – Come…


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