People say music is dead. Well, I actually haven't heard anyone say that, but fuck it, let's move on.
2012 delivered an almost unbearable amount of great music that would've provided an amazing soundtrack for the apocalypse, were it to actually have occurred. Below, in no order, are the best of 2012:
Advaitic Songs - OM
Anyone who thinks OM is not loud enough or energetic enough needs to see them live. Only then can they truly admire how intoxicating and emotional their recordings can be. This was the case when Advaitic Songs burrowed its way into my local record store. Before, it was just another great record; now, it's just another great experience.
Years Past Matter - Krallice
Say what you want about modern guitarists like Slash, Jack White, and Ty Segall, I'll bet none of them can produce a chaotic hailstorm on a record like Mick Barr, founding member of Krallice. From 2008 onward, his guitar wizardry seamlessly translated to quality songwriting on all of his albums, and Years Past Matter is no different. Like a violent undertow, it drags you under, whips you against rock and corral, and tears you to pieces. Only this time, you enjoy every second.
An Omen - How to Destroy Angels
I'll put it out there right now; I love everything Trent Reznor has ever done. Yes, even his comeback album, WITH_TEETH. So it'd be no surprise thathis side project would find its place here. However, fanatical devotion is not the reason why. It's his ability to weave similar sounds, textures, and moods almost flawlessly to deliver a grand product. An Omen is no exception.
Apocryphon - The Sword
I hated the Sword. Loved the sound, but the vocals ruined the experience for me. So why the fuck did I listen to Apocryphon? General stupidity? Closeted masochism? Whatever the reason, I owe that part of my brain a pat on the back. This album has a tongue that can cut your heart out. It's visciously heavy, rib-shatteringly loud, and rocks like a motherfucker. Just ask my neighbors.
ALLELUJAH!DON'TBENDASCEND - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Who the fuck saw this coming? 10 years after Yanqui U.X.O., they drop this clusterbomb of an albmvum out of nowhere. But it's a hell of a wake-up call. After dusting off their violins and sampling machines, God's Pee returns from the black ether to offer a slab of revelatory doom in the form of a plastic disc. And we respond back by asking, "What took you so long?".
Honor Found In Decay - Neurosis
What an apt name for a group hellbent on shattering the ears and psyche of many an audiophile. And yet we still come back for more. "Honor..." is another block of viscious, brain-erodding melodies prescribing a heavy dose of daymares and night terrors. It's the first time I've ever wanted to O.D.
Cancer4Cure - El-P
The best rapper no one is paying attention to, preferring instead to listen to a bunch of illiterate, untalented shock artists ranting about rape, and overrated "prodigies" that pay webzines and music mags money to suck their fingers. El-P not only brings devastating beats and dense production to the table, but he has the lyrical wit and flow to back it up. Cancer4Music? Hell no. Cure4AilingRap? Hell yes.
Rotten Thing to Say - Burning Love
Real punk is dead. It died long ago in the cesspool of the 80's. But Burning Love gives us a glimpse of that era where punk wasn't a fashion statement, it was what made you. It made you take your hate and anger out on instruments, not on people.....for the most part. That, and it also reminded you how good "authentic" punk was back then. Yeah, I sound like an old man shaking a cane, but I do it with a Crass look on my face.
Failed States - Propagandhi
Joyful, accessible fun for all ages. Perfect for bar mitzvahs, baptisms, charity events, you name it. Kick back in your Sharper Image chair wit a cup of bankers blood and drift to sleep.
L'Enfant Sauvage - Gojira
Yet another apt title for a band, Gojira is a colossal mass of shrieks, bass, and shreds, but most of all, these supports are laid upon a foundation of visceral emotion and lyrical substance. It's a brooding, atmospheric masterpiece of metal that is rarely matched by few in this day and age.
Half-Blood - Horseback
III - Bosse-De-Nage
Lillie: F-65 - Saint Vitus
Sorrow and Extinction - Pallbearer
Vessels of Light and Decay - Indesinence
Results - Murder Construct
NO - Old Man Gloom
Don't Hear It...Fear It! - Admiral Sir Cloudlesy Shovell
Cold of Ages - Ash Borer
All We Love - Converge
Atra Mors - Evoken
Ataraxia/Taraxis - Pelican
The Feather - Eagle Twin
De Vermiis Mysteriis - High On Fire
Damned - Wolfbrigade