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Johnny's 2012

I didn't hear enough to make a proper list (I missed out on btbam, swans, rconverge etc), but here's some stuff that ruled. Not ranked
Weather Systems

There hasn't been anything from 2012 that struck me as an outright best album,
but these first three have left the biggest impression on me. Anathema's most
recent offering is far from perfect - the songs sound formulaic and lack the
variation that We're Here Because We're Here used so masterfully - but when it
succeeds, it is a dream of an album, as beautiful and captivating as anything else
from their discog. Internal Landscapes is without a doubt the best song of 2012
and other highlights - the Untouchables and The Storm Before the Calm - are guaranteed to make an impression on the
2The Gathering

Aoty#2, Disclosure is - in a word - dreamy. Everything about it feels both calm and
powerful, and it moves at its own pace, creating peace and tranquility effortlessly.
Heroes for Ghosts is one of 2012's greatest songs, but the album is so consistent
that it's hard to notice when listening to it as a whole
Clockwork Angels

The final part of my aoty trilogy, there's not much to say about Rush's latest
masterpiece that hasn't already; it's slick, badass and sounds like they're having a
load of fun and really, that's all anyone could have asked of it
4Coheed and Cambria
The Afterman: Ascension

A return to form from scifi rockers that contains some of their best tracks to date
and a great deal of variety, distinguishing itself through the ferocious Vic the
Butcher, the grandoise Domino the Destitute, the hook-laden Goodnight, Fairlady
and relaxing Subtraction, whilst proving that the band's catchy, accessible edge is
as strong as ever

Possibly his weakest output yet, which says a lot; Fade is more upbeat and full of
positive vibes. An excellent climax remains one Ben Sharp's many fortes, as shown
by Seattle and Our Crazy Night
6 Godspeed You! Black Emperor
'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

GY!BE's fourth album was possible 2012's biggest surprise, and although it had been
inevitably overrated and praised in excess, it is easily powerful enough to fit
comfortably in their legendary discography.
Gray Light

A passionate screamo release with hooks and effectively contrasting dynamics
8Circle Takes the Square
Decompositions: Volume Number One

Hyperbolic claims return!! This should have been my album of the year, but it lost
the raw passion and chaotic awesomeness of As the Roots Undo, in favour of a
slicker, more refined sound, which - whilst being very impressive - didn't do as
much for me as their debut. Still an excellent album and highly recommended, Spirit
Narrative, North Star Inverted and Prefaced By the Signal Fires being highlights of
their discog
9 Direwolves
Me From Myself to Banish

The French hardcore crew put themselves very firmly on the map with this frantic
chunk of energy, and I look forward to any future output
Subliminal Colors

Wanky prog metal that actually bloody works!! This somehow manages to blend
self-indulgence with serious quality, and almost succeeds enough to mask the fact
that it's about half an hour too long

I gave the new Neurosis a miss, since I'm listening through their discog
chronologically and am still a few albums away, and Amenra somehow passed me
by, so this is really my post-metal album of the year. Crushing, well-paced and
atmospheric, give D?convenue a listen to be convinced
12The Used

The Used have never been a particularly good band; their songs are nothing
original, most of their lyrics are a load of rubbish and their decisively mainstream
edge can be more hindrance than help. However, what has always marked them out
to me is that no matter how trashy the music might be, it is pretty damn fun to
listen to. This album exemplifies this more than ever; songs like Shine incorporate
electronics that might have failed awkwardly with other bands but here add extra
bounce and flair
Soul, Earth, Sun

Without a doubt the coolest album of 2012, from the beautifully chilled acoustic
tracks to the crushingly cool hard rock moments to the all-out party songs
The Debutantes (pt. III)

A blend of post-hardcore and metal, with some synths and some electronica
moments thrown in. Highly addictive, very fun and definitely something fresh
15Where Mountains Meet
Journey Well

A really great orchestral sound that is executed concisely and cohesively, easy to
listen to and still enjoyable after hearing several times
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