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04.11.17 rasputin 2016 12.09.15 rasputin 2015
09.23.12 Rasputin 2012 02.16.12 Chill With Rasp On A Thursday Afternoon
02.04.12 25 Years Of Death Metal 04.12.11 Australian Underground Labels/distros
10.14.10 Three Years Of Awful Albums12.15.09 Rasputin Recs Black Metal
09.30.09 Rasputin Recs Doom Metal07.15.09 Alligator
12.11.08 The Best And Worst Of 200812.06.08 Rasputin Wins

Rasputin 2012

My best of year list at the moment. Consider it a delayed mid-year list.
1 Absum/Odz Manouk

Your ReasonAbsum is not talked about anywhere near as much as most of the other BTC bands - this is probably to do with the fact that their music is a little wayward of the general black metal style their contemporaries follow, and possibly because their music takes a little time to warm up to the listener. The one track on this 7", 'The Rotting Sea', takes the bands blackened doom approach and infuses it with a menacing atmosphere. The way it builds towards the melody at the end is great, and overall the track begs multiple plays.
Odz Manouk's side is arguably their weakest material yet. Don't be mistaken though, as it's just too difficult to top their full length and the two amazing songs on the split with Tukaaria. 'The Esophagus' is a discordant and introspective black metal track, generally similar to most of Odz Manouk's work. The way in which Yagian constructs his guitar lines is immaculate, a talent apparent on every single Odz Manouk track. This 7" is worth hearing for Odz Manouk alone, and fortunately Absum make it even better.
Thousand Wounds of War

3 Axis of Light

Absolutely ferocious and unrelenting black metal. Buzzing guitars blending together into a colossal wall of sound, obscuring everything other than the vicious vocals. The hints of melody that come through are reminscent of bands like Cirrhus. This is an excellent raw bm demo that conjures a harsh and unsettling atmosphere.
4Bitch Prefect
Big Time

5Boy Friend
Egyptian Wrinkle

Egyptian Wrinkle is one of those records that I knew I would write off in a review as being dull and ineffective, but then revisit later on in the year and fall in love. Thus, I restrained my instincts and retained a sense of neutrality, and it paid off as expected. Boy Friend is a female duo from Texas, who wring out a somewhat unique take on the oversaturated dream pop/shoegaze sound. The record displays a strong ambient influence in the way the songs are constructed, but the typical dream pop elements can be heard. The singing is nothing short of fantastic, and it seems these two ladies know exactly what they're doing. If you're well into dream pop and shoegaze, Boy Friend is essential 2012 listening.
6 Bronze Age
Antiquated Futurism

7Cadaver Dog

Your ReasoStraight forward, pissed off hardcore. This and the Civilized tape come hand in hand in my eyes, and Cadaver is probably just a little more consistent. Worth hearing, but too short.
8 Cellgraft
Cellgraft LP

9 Civilized
Negative Reflection

Like with any YA release from the mid-year, this was hyped up to no end - while it delivers with 5 tracks of blown out and raging hardcore, it?s not particularly special. Regardless, I?ve been playing this quite a bit, and ?New Slave Class? fucking destroys.
10Leonard Cohen
Old Ideas

Having been a musician for half a century, and still managing to release relevant, well-written records, is somethin to be lauded. But would you expect any less from Cohen? He'll probably live until 120 and release another discography's worth of material. Old Ideas is a generally slow-paced album, at times taking on a lounge aesthetic. The darkness and negativity of earlier works has well and truly disappeared, and Cohen instills good-feeling and a sense of hope into his new work. Fans of Cohen should not miss this.
Relics of Inner War

Traditional black metal done right in 2012. The atmosphere on this is astonishing, and it literally shits all over whatever flavour of the month bm that is being worshipped on the internet. Compositionally intricate with perfectly balanced production, there is no excuse to ignore this. Essential listening.
12 Crazy Spirit
Crazy Spirit LP

13Cremation Lily

The usual story with Cremation Lily. Brooding electronics with a gloomy atmosphere. Infant is probably one CL's darker and more pensive releases, but easily fits into what is an untouchable discography.
14Cremation Lily
Leather Satchel

A harsher manifestation of CL's sound, with a static buzz rising and falling into noise and fuzzy low end in a tumultuous wave of extremity. The layers and composition are relatively distinguishable, setting Leather Satchel apart from more traditional noise and harsh noise acts, though one side falls more into noise territory than power electronics. Both sides of the tape are similarly harsh, however the other side (can't tell if it's A or B) has a stronger power electronics element, creating a sense of foreboding in the same way Prurient did on his classic History of Aids. It's good to see that CL is still experimenting with its sound, and Leather Satchel is definitely a solid follow-up to the split with Natural Assembly.
15 Cremation Lily/False Moniker
Servant's Habit/All Unbroken Remains

An exercise in power electronics on the Cremation Lily side. It's isn't much of a deviation from previous CL releases, but creates a free-flowing and malevolent atmosphere. This is my first exposure to False Moniker, who follow closely in the vein of Cremation Lily, rolling waves of static and buzz with an undertone of dread. Good split but isn't comparable to the split with Natural Assembly.
16 Deterge

Jim Haras who runs the noise label Fusty Cunt has an enormous range of diverse acts and projects, and Deterge is yet another form of his expression. Anacoluthon takes a more subdued approach in comparison to some of Haras' other works, but it is no less affecting. The A side has an atmosphere of dread and uneasiness, tension and fear being woven deeply into the composition. This uncomfort explodes into terror and degeneracy on the flip. Overall a fantastic noise release with plenty of longevity. Good artist and an amazing label (AD have yet to release a single bad, even average, release).
17 Drohtnung
Drohtnung LP

18 Drowning Horse
Drowning Horse


20Grinning Death's Head
Golden Dawn

GDH maintains the ferocious vibe of earlier releases but continues its path into black metal territory. Tracks like ?Body of Light? provide the unrelenting stomp which makes the band so good, but at the same time the tape has a level of experimentation unseen in GDH?s music - the 7 minute track ?Seven Rays?, on the B side, is a droning black metal dirge, adding layers of introspection to what is normally hate-filled aggression.
21God Harvest/Cogs and Sprockets

God Harvest?s follow up to the ripper demo tape they released last year, a split 7? with one man grind outfit Cogs and Sprockets. GH offer three tracks, a new version of ?Genetic Death? from the tape and two new bangers. Essential stuff. The band?s sound is definitely complemented by the vinyl recording. Cogs and Sprockets? contribution is raw and utterly hateful. Opening with almost pure static fuzz, Andres? sonic invasion is unrelenting and serves as a good counterpoint to GH?s bass heavy rumble. One of the best splits you'll hear this year.
22Hate Basement

23 Hoax
2nd EP

Whatever you may think of the hype, Hoax have delivered what is one of the best EPs I?ve heard in years. Their first record was fucking mean, but it sounds like a Paul Simon album compared to this. Four tracks of utter negativity, with driving tempos and depraved vocals. I blasted the mp3s for weeks until this was reissued by YA, and now this thick slab of wax barely leaves my turntable.
24 Hoax
3rd EP

We?re already up to the band?s 3rd 7? and it seems there?s no stopping them now. Four absolutely punishing tracks make up this EP, and have further cemented Hoax into the vaguely defined ?best new shit I?ve heard recently? category. My review for the 2nd 7? commented on the fact that it somehow sounded meaner than the first record, well lo and behold Hoax have managed to top themselves again. This record is simply savage - Jesse?s usual ferocious snarl is mostly unchanged, but the guitar tone and recording aesthetic have been slightly modified, resulting in a noisier and fucking crushing sound. I?m not surprised at how much I love this. Painkiller have done an excellent job with the packaging, artwork is excellent and the record comes with a 12 panel foldout poster.
25The Magnetic Fields
Love at the Bottom of the Sea

26 Daniel Menche

Well established in the noise and drone genre, Daniel Menche has released what is arguably the record of his career with Guts. Doing what is generally considered remarkably difficult to do, Menche has taken the piano as the basis for his noise and deconstructed the instrument into four tracks of ominous drones and harsh, feedback-imbued noise. The four songs on here represent four different manipulations of the piano, and also make up what is one of the best noise records in 2012.
27Mount Eerie
Clear Moon

Phil Elvrum brought into realisation the lofty ambitions of his Mount Eerie project several years ago with the release of the Wind's Poem record, which is arguably his finest work to date. Prior to its release, Mount Eerie was essentially an extension of the Microphones - releases such as Lost Wisdom and Black Wooden Ceiling Opening were undeniably excellent, but they lacked a singular compositional approach that was distinct from Elvrum's work with the Microphones. While Wind's Poem proclaimed loudly 'THIS is Mount Eerie', it is now with Clear Moon that Elvrum firmly cements into his fans' minds exactly what Mount Eerie is all about.
The evolution of style that Mount Eerie has seen over the past 4 years has been remarkably smooth, and Clear Moon fits perfectly at the end of the projects current discography. Elements of folk are entangled within the music, but at its core this record embodies the best of synth, drone and avant-garde, all with that fragile and delicate Elvrum touch. Listening to the record is like entering a dream world, thus it seems Elvrum has completely succeeded in what he set out to do. Apparently this is the first part of a two part Mount Eerie love explosion in 2012 and apparently Clear Moon is also the 'less experimental' of the two. Artists like Elvrum are a rare occurence these days.
28 Muknal

29 Natural Assembly
Fusion's Origin

30Natural Assembly/Cremation Lily
Nothing, Everything Hidden

Two relatively different artists come together and end up complementing each other on many different levels. Cremation Lily's side is almost like the soundtrack to a Terminator film or something like that, but much more layered and intense. Some of his best work too, but that's not saying much since all of his work is good. Natural Assembly's side contains three tracks of gloomy, industrial-esque synth, complete with electronic beats and a cold atmosphere. Spoken word passages add distinction to the winter-wash of synth, culminating in a wistful and introspective exploration of the self. Expect repeated plays in the winter months.
31Negative Reinforcement

Advaitic Songs

Nether Tombs of Abaddon

Raw War

Raw War is easily the most appropriate title for Redflesh?s 2nd record. While I thought their first tape was mostly mediocre, they?ve filled out their sound on this new EP, delivering punishing raw punk with a strong black metal influence. One of the best descriptions I?ve read for it was by the label itself, likening Redflesh to ?Von covering GISM and recording a demo in a cardboard box?.
House of the Beating Hell

36Sex Basement

demented youth. confrontational disquiet. lamentations of young asians. alienation, degradation. rock?n?roll for the perverse and twisted. will you ever answer the phone?
37 Stillborn Fawn

38 Reverse Baptism
Street Business

39 Streetmeat

40Sun Kil Moon
Among the Leaves

41 Tollund Men
Looking for Love/Chains of Desire

42 Tollund Men

43Torture Chain
Time is but a Doorway to the Incinerator

Torture Chain is a one-man black metal project from the States. ?Torturer?, the sole member, is also involved in the band Mind Eraser (an excellent base point for the start of any project). This is the fourth Torture Chain demo cassette, though it was actually recorded in 2010. Time is but a Doorway? consists of a single track coming in at just under 24 minutes, which can make it somewhat harder to absorb. Torturer hasn?t changed his approach to the project, still playing a form of traditional black metal with subtle punk influences. His grasp on atmosphere is just as strong as on previous releases, and this marks yet another solid addition to what is an excellent and highly sought after discography.
44 Trespassers William

45Trespassers William
New Songs & Outtakes

46 Various Artists
Port Out, Starboard Home

47 Various Artists
Rhinocerus 13

48 War
At War for Youth

49 Warthreat

A massive improvement on their demo tape from last year - Warthreat take the simple foundation of crusty d-beat and inject a dose of insanity. Their previous demo didn't quite capture the intensity of the band's live performance, but this 7" has a huge sound to it, really allowing that thick layer of fuzz to rise to prominence. On a general level, this fits in nicely with the current resurgence of d-beat, but the song 'Slaves' takes this EP to the next level.
50 Wormridden
Infesting the Grave

51Richard Youngs
Core to the Brave

The World is a House on Fire


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