2012 has left us with a spectacular amount of great music from all over the genre spectrum with some long anticipated and some surprise releases. Personally, I am very pleased with the past year in music. Much more so than last year. That being said, here are the top albums that I have found the most noteable throughout all of 2012.
100) Bats- The Sleep of Reason
(math rock/post hardcore)
99) Constants- Pasiflora
98) Hawk Eyes- Ideas
97) Capacities- The Unexamined Life
96) Aesop Rock- Skelethon
95) We Came Out Like Tigers- Agelessness and Lack
94) The Early November- In Currents
93) Killing Joke- MMXII
92) Sleepmakeswaves- Sleepmakeswaves
91) Stumbleine- Spiderwebbed
90) The Gaslight Anthem- Handwritten
89) Torche- Harmonicraft
88) Pop. 1280- The Horror
87) Pity Sex- Dark World
86) Dyscarnate- And So It Came to Pass
85) Witch Mountain- Cauldron of the Wild
84) Baroness- Yellow and Green
83) Whirr- Pipe Dreams
82) If These Trees Could Talk- Red Forest
81) A City Sorrow Built- Songs
80) Vowel- All the Sad Songs
79) Bersarin Quartett- II
78) Cursive- I Am Gemini
77) Ape Up!- Kemosabe
76) Andy Stott- Luxury Problems
75) Birds in Row- You, Me, and the Violence
74) Old Man Gloom- NO
73) You’ll Live- Above the Weather
72) Beach House- Bloom
71) Shark Bait- Phantom Feelings
70) Sigur Ros- Valtari
69) Apart- Gray Light
68) Glocca Morra- Just Married
67) Kowloon Walled City- Container Ships
66) Dikembe- Broad Shoulders
65) Anaal Nathrakh- Vanitas
64) Unsane- Wreck
(noise rock/hardcore/post hardcore)
63) Loma Prieta- I.V.
62) Pg.Lost- Key
61) Night Verses- Out of the Sky
60) Author & Punisher- Ursus Americanus
59) Dying Fetus- Reign Supreme
58) The Men- Open Your Heart
(noise rock/post punk)
57) You Blew It!- Grow Up, Dude
56) Beau Navire- Lumens
55) Duck. Little Brother, Duck!- Don’t Take Our Filth Away
54) …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead- Lost Songs
53) The Saddest Landscape- After the Lights
52) Absvrdist- Illusory
51) Islands- Islands
50) Alcest- Les Voyages De L Ame
(black metal/post rock)
49) Tineidae- Lights
48) Black Breath- Sentenced to Life
47) Vision of Disorder- The Cursed Remain Curse
46) State Faults- Desolate Peaks
45) Ne Obliviscaris- Portal of I
(progressive/black metal/death metal)
44) Trophywife- Hold Onto Your Luck
(post hardcore/post rock)
43) Joie de Vivre- We’re All Better Than This
42) Like Rats- Like Rats
41) Crosses- EP II
40) High on Fire- De Vermis Mysteriis
39) Acres- Acres
(post hardcore/post rock)
38) Athletics- Who You Are is Not Enough
(post rock/post hardcore)
37) Old Gray- Everything I Let Go & the Things I Refuse To
36) Titus Andronicus- Local Business
35) Les Discrets- Ariettes Oubliees
34) Vales- Clarity
33) Converge- All We Love We Leave Behind
32) Burial- Kindred
31) Kendrick Lamar- good kid, m.A.A.d city
30) The Secret- Agnus Dei
29) Pig Destroyer- Book Burner
28) Leech- If We Get There One Day Would You Please Open the Gates?
27) Earth- Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
26) Deftones- Koi No Yokan
25) ÆGES- The Bridge
(post hardcore/stoner metal)
24) BADBADNOTGOOD- BBNG2
23) Afgrund- The Age of Dumb
22) Trachimbrod- A Collection of Hidden Sketches
21) Neurosis- Honor Found in Decay
20) Godspeed You! Black Emperor- ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
19) El-P- Cancer 4 Cure
18) Caspian- Walking Season
17) Om- Advaitic Songs
16) Flying Lotus- Until the Quiet Comes
15) Gypsy- Giant’s Despair
Best Jawbreaker sounding band since Jawbreaker.
14) Dads- American Radass (This is Important)
13) Fugenn & the White Elephants- Prays
just say i like this cause im dj
and fuck you
12) Servants of Silence- Weightless Thoughts
11) Enslaved- RIITIIR
10) Toundra- III
This band does not get the love that they deserve, especially here in the states. They pick up right where “II” left off with their commanding and captivating brand of heavy post-rock. Every song is very well constructed and tells its own story. This does not mean that the album as a whole does not flow together. As a single composition even, this album would still be spectacular.
9) Enabler- All Hail the Void
SO MUCH FUCKING ENERGY
Seriously though, this is a rager.
8) Gaza- No Absolutes in Human Suffering
Back in 2008 when I first heard Gaza’s “I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die”, I was immediately drawn in by their sound and message. Shortly after, when “He Is Never Coming Back” dropped, my fascination with them grew tenfold. However, when I first heard their most recent effort, I was not overcome with that same emotion. It took me a good while to realize that this was by far their best release to date. Sticking a specific genre to these guys is impossible. Progressivemathmetalsludgecrustmetallichardcore or whatever you want to call them, they continue to be the best in pushing creativity in the genre.
7) r.roo- mgnovenie
Having only been delving into electronic music for a few years, this release left me baffled. Such an intriguing release. R.roo exhibits a near perfect mixture of beats and atmosphere. Every song takes ahold of you and brings you through ups and downs and many different moods, while still keeping an overall dark/eerie feeling. This grows on me with every listen. It will interesting to see which direction this guy’s music will go in in the future.
6) Annabel- Youth in Youth
This lovely emo indie album almost did not make it into this list. My whole year end list was made up, then this came along and I had to rearrange yet again. It has caught me offguard to say the very least. The overall sound of this album is best described as the offspring of The Appleseed Cast (Mare Vitalis age) and Joie de Vivre. It is a very warm and fun album with no dull moments. The last five tracks are where the release really shines. The closer “Our Days Were Numbered” is packed with emotion and if you’re anything like me, will leave you wanting to listen to it over and over again. While it is nothing groundbreakingly amazing, it is still one of those albums worth the listen if you are in need of a pick me up.
5) Amenra- Mass V
Seems to be a lot of hype over this release, and in my opinion, it is well deserving of it. It has been 3 years since I first caught wind of the band and listened to Mass IIII. In that time I have personally grown very anxious for this release. While all in all I wish it had more originality that would separate them from the constant Neurosis comparisons, this is far from disappointing. This is without a doubt their best release to date. Any sludge/post metal/doom fan should enjoy this in some way.
4) Japandroids- Celebration Rock
Three years after their debut album, Post Nothing, the 2 person powerhouse, Japandroids, give us this amazing release. Celebration Rock picks back up where Post Nothing left off. The album is vigorous, exhilarating and full of heartfelt lyrics. Definitely the feel good album of the year.
3) Downfall of Gaia- Suffocating in the Swarm of Cranes
Downfall of Gaia are a relatively young band, having formed in 2008. In just 4 years they have already evolved their sound leaps and bounds from where they started. Think Fall of Efrafa and Alpinist meshed together with a hint of Neurosis, and you have Downfall of Gaia. Suffocating in the Swarm of Cranes is the perfect anger filled depressed album for a gloomy day.
2) Swans- The Seer
(post punk/post rock/industrial)
Swans have never really one of those bands that I find easy to get into, not making much of an impact over their 30 year history. They have however had an obvious presence, even to those who have never bothered to listen. Constantly scrounging for a sound that works out for them. The Seer is that album. The album takes the best of everything that Swans have done in the past and exemplifies it into a masterpiece.
1) Hammock- Departure Songs
Hammock keep worrying me that they are going to release something worse than their previous release, but every time a new release comes about I am left astounded. The gorgeous soundscapes in Departure Songs put most of their other work to shame. This is definitely their most progressive release to date. They have created a unique sound, evolved it to near perfection, and have captivated fans everywhere emotionally. Truely a beautiful album, well worth it’s number 1 spot on this list.
Thank you for checking this out, and here’s to (hopefully) another great musical year!