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04.04.23 This is still a thing?09.19.19 Mass Destruction Metal Fest 3
01.09.13 2012: What Everyone Slept On 12.07.12 Sputnik State Of The U/nion
10.10.12 Cartoon Network Ranked09.24.12 Touched By An Angel
06.20.12 The Greatest Guitarists Of The Last Fif 06.08.12 Noiz
06.01.12 Hello, Friends04.25.12 Demo-lition
04.05.12 Angel's Running Tab03.10.12 #blackmetalswag
03.01.12 Band Tees02.14.12 Hardest Games Ever
02.07.12 Turning The Lights Off01.19.12 Which Fictional Character(s) Are You Mo
01.18.12 Roses Are Red01.15.12 Dare 2 Compare
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2012: What Everyone Slept On

My initial plan for my year-end list was to just list my favorite albums like everyone else and go on at length about how albums like The Seer, 'Allelujah, and Honor Found in Decay were markedly good, but far from the highest points of each group's respective career, but I decided that was selfish and that it would be much more responsible to specifically highlight the great releases that didn't get circle-jerked like the aforementioned. So without further ado...
1Asobi Seksu/ Boris

Dream pop, experimental - Much like their tour last year, this split just makes a lot of sense.
It may only two tracks, each band covering one of the other's songs, but both tracks are
really quality. Boris take on Asobi Seksu's "New Years," wonderfully and noisily contorting it to
their own will, while Asobi Seksu steal the show by revisiting the shoegaze-y opener on Boris'
Pink, "Farewell," and giving it the pulsing, ethereal sheen of a glowing nighttime Tokyo.
2Boris / Joe Volk

Experimental, folk - Unlike the above, this split makes absolutely no sense. But again, both
sides are truly excellent. Boris try their hand at ambient for the first time, beautifully
sandwiching the split's definite highlight in the magnificent "Cosmos Pt. 2," a trippy and
roaring epic, barely comparable to anything else the trio has done. On the flip side, Joe Volk
of Crippled Black Phoenix goes For Emma on us with two beautiful folk reveries, earnest and
glistening with just the right amount of intertwining accompaniment. The two sides don't fit
together at all, but it's hard to care, given how strong each group's contribution is.
3Vampillia and Nadja
The Primitive World

Drone, experimental - I had never even heard of the eclectic Japanese outfit Vampillia
before getting this release, but they seem to have been just what Nadja needed to creep
out of a rut of forgettable albums. The Canadian duo's signature crashing waves of guitar
are injected with thoughtful touches of ambient and post-rock, elevating The Primitive World
into a unique, standout release, highlighting the best attributes of both bands.
The End of Greatness

Dark ambient - Expertly brooding and subtle, Mulm deliver one of the only great dark ambient
albums in some time. The End of Greatness creeps along with an understated eeriness and a
sincere atmosphere to truly get lost in.
Grote Mandrenke

Drone, dark ambient - Troum rule. That's about all there is to say. Different elements push
and pull against the overall direction of this album, but the surface tension is never broken,
the body as a whole, steadfast in its course with no catharsis ever really achieved.
6Sutekh Hexen

Noise, black metal - A lot of people didn't get into this as much as me, but I still think it's
one of the year's best releases, especially pertaining to black metal. Recorded sounds and
tape loops are spliced and manipulated into eerie ambience before emulating Corrupted's
"Gekkou no Daichi" with the texture of added sounds and then going full on noisy black metal.
The album boasts unique sound and atmosphere and is certainly worth a listen if you're
looking for something a bit different.
7Grinning Death's Head
Golden Dawn

Black metal - I used to think no good black metal would ever come from my home state,
but Grinning Death's head have convinced me otherwise with their very raw and very
heavily Bone Awl-influenced brand of krieg. GDH continue to keep things nasty and
aggressive before trying on something a bit more creeping and drone-y, and it suits them

Hardcore - Snarling and gritty, this band continues to deliver hardcore the way it should
be. This and their 3rd EP are both must-gets if you're a fan of the genre.
9Muknal / The Haunting Presence

Blackened death metal - This split just rules face from beginning to end. Muknal improve
upon what they offered on their debut full-length, delivering a supremely evil and
bludgeoningly heavy vortex of blackened death metal. On the flipside, The Haunting
Presence opts to go the more traditional route, gratifyingly mimicking the great forefathers
of the genre with riff after tasty riff. Hard to beat.

Blackened death metal - Much like the abovementioned, this side of Rhinocervs brings forth
a dark, pummeling, and unique slice of blackened death metal. One of the best and most
consistent offerings from the mysterious demo-peddling label and up there with the best
metal releases of 2012.
11 Hell
Hell III

Sludge - Hands down one of my favorite releases of the year. This one-man project out of
Portland continues to improve upon its own dark, gloomy, and atmospheric brand of sludge.
Elements are plucked from funeral doom, black metal, and elsewhere to wonderfully accent
one of the genre's most unique and satisfying entries from one of its most consistent
12Drowning Horse
Drowning Horse

Sludge - The very definition of crushing. The self-titled debut from this Perth outfit is about
as an impressive rookie outing as one can hope to have. Their approach is simple,
straightforward, and un-fucked-around with -- they start punching you in the eardrums
immediately and don't let up for over an hour. And it couldn't be better.
Terranean Wake

Funeral doom - I was actually anticipating this release and it still almost slipped by me.
Five years after Dooom, Worship return with all the sorrow and despair that they always
bring with them, even without the presence of Mad Max. Terranean Wake is gripping,
unsettling, and wholly melancholy -- equal parts elegy and eulogy, showing that funeral
doom's premiere act hasn't lost a step.
Attic Noise

Death rock - This 7" and the group's demo from this year are both really good bits of
revivalist death rock. Anasazi succeed in changing around tempos and moods from high
energy to more melancholic and introspective.
15Infinite Void
Infinite Void

Post-punk - Energetic, unique, and fun, Infinite Void's self-titled debut is just about
everything I want from a modern post-punk release. Great female vocals and tight
musicianship help this Melbourne crew stand out from the pack.
16Cult of Youth
Love Will Prevail

Neofolk, post-punk - A somewhat eclectic album, Love Will Prevail mixes a good number of
elements, with the primary blend being neofolk and post-punk. Cult of Youth do a stellar job
of culling influences from past decades while offering an overall sound that feels more than
welcome in the modern era. The group's third full-length is a dreamy stroll through time and
style that comes as a welcome change of pace from many of their contemporaries.
17Lust for Youth
Growing Seeds

Minimal synth - Minimal synth/wave done right. The sometimes noisy (but appropriately so)
tracks give nice texture to pulsing and driving synth lines that are as relaxing as they are
dark and mysterious. A perfect listen for a desolate drive at night.
18 Vatican Shadow
Ghosts of Chechnya

Ambient techno - Chill, haunting ambient techno from the mastermind behind Prurient.
Ghosts of Chechnya foregoes some of the throwback industrial usually seen showcased
through this project, but manages to convey a lot of similar atmosphere. Pretty much
everything released under the Vatican Shadow name is great, so it's worth checking out
some his other releases from this year, as well. Between VS, Prurient, and Christian
Cosmos, it seems like he was very busy.

Experimental - Keiji Haino, Stephen O'Malley, and Oren Ambarchi get together to make weird
music. Surprising? No, not really. But it's probably one of the best releases any of the three
contributing parties have been associated with for some time. Any fan of Les Rallizes
Denudes, Fushitsusha, etc. will want to have this.

Psyche - This little L.A. trio serves up dreamy psychedelic rock that far outplays its peers.
Lush, beautiful, and varied, post-rock and shoegaze come together in a unique and
interesting way on Kitsune, making Marriages not only a band to watch out for in the future,
but one to go and check out immediately.
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