Best of 2012
2012 was an interesting year in music, a lot of really great albums, but not a lot of truly memorable albums. As usual, I keep track of all the albums that impressed me over the year and then I picked the ones that were consistently listened to throughout the year. The following are the ten albums that rarely were out of rotation.
10 Bosse-de-Nage – III
Album # 3 from these Bay Area recluses, it continues their exploration of the dark and disturbing sonic aspects of black metal.
9 Indesinence – Vessels of Light & Decay
Dark and depressive death & doom…not necessarily groundbreaking, but played to perfection…and the artwork is amazing, can’t wait to get this thing on vinyl.
8 Agalloch – Faustian Echoes
When a band like Agalloch release something, you know it’s going to end up on many best of lists…and “Faustian Echoes” is no exception. Another beautifully atmospheric set of songs, crafted around the tale of Faust.
7 Kicker – Not You
There’s really nothing special about this album, it’s not that original and the music is nothing groundbreaking, but there is just something refreshing about it. It’s just simple, old school, early eighties British punk, played by old school, belligerent punks. Full of that punk rock attitude, not caring about what anyone thinks, talking plenty of trash and just have a good time doing it. It may have that old school sound, but it’s actually refreshing, especially considering what people call punk these days.
6 Wax Tailor – Dusty Rainbow From The Dark
Wax Tailor is one of my favorite producers out there, his work has so much soul; unlike many producers who have gone away from sampling, Wax Tailor has continued to make music that, while not dated, could easily fit in with the best of hip-hops golden era. This album also tugs at my heart strings with is narrative about a record collecting obsessed main character.
5 Brother Ali – Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color
Brother Ali is probably the best emcee in the game these days, few rappers …”Mourning in America…” is a bit different than his previous albums, most notably the make Ant on production. For this outing, Ali brought in Jake One, who has never really impressed me, yet on this album, his beats match work perfectly with Ali’s sing/song delivery. This may not be the best of Ali’s career, buts it’s head and shoulders above any other hip-hop release this year.
4 Om – Advaitic Songs
The music Om makes is hypnotic and trance inducing, the type that pulls you in and never lets you go. Full of strings and Middle Eastern rhythms, “Advaitic Songs” is arguably the best Om album
3 Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction
Another wonderful contribution from our friends at Profound Lore. With their debut full length, Pallbearer has given us an amazing album. As their names suggest, this is a dark and heavy slab of funeral doom, but while full of darkness, it’s surprisingly not a depressing album. Superb songwriting, along with excellent musicianship, “Sorrow and Extinction” breaks free of the typical trappings of doom and rises to perfection.
2 Panopticon – Kentucky
A black metal/blue grass album? Who would ever have thought these two genres would collide??? Will they did on the latest from one man black metal project, Panoticon and, amazingly, it works. With such diverse musical styles, it takes a strong concept to unite them and with its message about the damage that coal mining has done to the environment, particularly in Kentucky, this album comes together perfectly.
1 Vijay Iyer Trio – Accelerando
Jazz is and probably always be my favorite genre of music, but I have to admit that I rarely find any moderns albums that affect me the way the classics do, so when one does, it’s a wonderful feeling. Like many of his previous albums, Vijay Iyer’s latest, “Accelerando”, is one of those rare modern masterpieces. This album is as powerful as is it subtle, and full of rhythm. It’s this type of album that reminds of why I love Jazz so much, just simply beautiful music.