Jul 042012

To all of you red-blooded, blackhearted Americans out there, Happy Fucking Fourth of July. I will be very disappointed if you actually plan to join in that great gorging of gullets with grilled food and cold beer that passes for patriotic observance. Instead, I expect that, like all trve metalheads, you will kill your neighbor’s dog and try to eat it raw, like this dude.

Haha!  Just kidding. LOL. I’m an animal lover, so I don’t really want you to kill and eat your neighbor’s dog. You should kill and eat your neighbor instead. And send me pics.

Well, now that we have the gratuitous tip of the hat to the Grand Old Fourth out of the way, let’s get to the real point of this post . . . which is to take stock of the first six months of metal in this glorious year of 2012. I nagged our regular (and formerly sort of regular) writers to give me lists of their favorite albums of the year so far, with mixed success. Some complied, some couldn’t be bothered — which doesn’t bother me, because I’m not putting together such a list myself. Instead, I want to learn about albums I should be hearing by perusing other people’s lists, which is a lot more fun and a lot less work. I may not be smart, but I’m not stupid!

And if you think I’m going to be content just nagging our own writers for their lists, you would be wrong. Because I WANT YOUR LISTS, TOO! Yes, I would like you to stop eating your neighbor’s liver long enough to add a Comment to this post and tell us which albums this year have really caught your fancy — the ones you’ve been listening to the most and think are the best ones among those you’ve heard in 2012. And while you ponder that, let’s have a look at the Best Album lists of BadWolf, the Professor formerly known as groverXIII, DemiGodRaven, Phro, and TheMadIsraeli. Feel free to comment on their lists, too, but please don’t eat them.

NOTE: I asked these guys for their lists in early June, and some responded quickly, so new albums that have come out over the last 2 or 3 weeks may have been missed. Also, as I hope everyone knows by now, groverXIII (now known as Professor D. Grover the XIIIth) started his latest blog project — Oculus Infernus — since answering my request for his list, and if you still haven’t yet checked it out, you should. Also, let me also toss in a plug for Phro’s site, Phro Metal, where every week he publishes short sci-fi stories that will make your head spin (or, in the case of most of you, spin faster).


Dear readers, 2012 only just passed the halfway mark but already has gone down in my ledger as a great year with a bumper-crop of great albums. Just how good? A comprehensive list of albums that I felt were solid front-to-back would just collapse into senseless mush. As such, I’ve compiled a shortlist of records that I’ve simply listened to more than the rest (Sorry Napalm Death, Unleashed, Nile, and Cattle Decap–I think you will get more as the year goes on!), and as such, it is over-populated with old favorites. I expect the strong debuts to crop up more later in the year.

I have identified a few salient trends defining 2012, so far. Nearly every album on my list falls into this category.

1) strong albums by returning classics

2) amazing sophomore releases by bands with great debuts in 2010

2) melodic doom knocking shit out of the park

3) clear, riff-based Death Metal taking the power back from sludgy wind-tunnel Incantation worship.

4) not-quite-metal music made by metal musicians, usually instrumental, or ambient.

5) and this may be the most important: 2012 is the year of female-driven clean-singing classic rock worship wearing a metal aesthetic. This style is going to spawn so many imitators in the next three years that you’d all better get your fill right fucking now. Thank god almost everyone indulging in this right at the moment is fantastic.

Without Further Ado: Badwolf’s best albums of Q1+2, 2012:

Black Breath – Sentenced to Life

King Giant – Dismal Hollow

Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol

Meshuggah – Koloss

Horseback – Half-Blood

Witch Mountain – Cauldron of the Wild

Royal Thunder – CVI

Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage

Ihsahn – Emerita

Cannibal Corpse – Torture



Favorites? Hmmm… tough call. I’ll try to keep this list relatively short for you.

Gorod – “A Perfect Absolution”
Tetrafusion – “Horizons”
Xenocide – “Galactic Oppression”
Bloodshot Dawn – “Bloodshot Dawn”
Aura Noir – “Out To Die”
Sigh -“In Somnium”
Be’lakor – “Of Breath And Bone”
Hour Of 13 – “333”
Mendel – “Subliminal Colors”
Bob Wayne – “Till The Wheels Fall Off”
Royal Thunder – “CVI”
Celldweller – “Wish Upon A Blackstar”
John 5 – “God Told Me To”
Keith Merrow – “Retrospecial”
Huntress – “Spell Eater”
The Sequence Of Prime – “Inter-“
Pennywise – “All Or Nothing”
Tenacious D – “Rize Of The Fenix”
Desaster – “The Arts Of Destruction”
Diablo Swing Orchestra – “Pandora’s Pinata”
Soul Cycle – “Soul Cycle II”
Death Grips – “The Money Store”
Horisont – “Second Assault”
Prong – “Carved Into Stone”
High On Fire – “De Vermis Mysteriis”
Spawn Of Possession – “Incurso”
3 Inches Of Blood – “Long Live Heavy Metal”
Hour Of Penance – “Sedition”
Soen – “Cognitive”
Gory Blister – “Earth-Sick”
Eschaton – “Isolated Intelligence”
Goatwhore – “Blood For The Master”
Brent A Petrie – “The Void”
Lascaille’s Shroud – “Restless”
Koffin Kats – “Our Way & The Highway”
The Omega Experiment – “The Omega Experiment”
Innerty – “Tabula Rasa”
XII Boar – “Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof

OK, so much for keeping the list short.



Hour Of Penance – Sedition
In Mourning – The Weight Of Oceans
Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol
Wretched – Son of Perdition
Whitechapel – Whitechapel
Carach Angren – Where The Corpses Sink Forever
Barren Earth – The Devil’s Resolve
Swallow The Sun – Emerald Forest And The Blackbird
Aborted – Global Flatline
Cattle Decapitation – Monolith Of Inhumanity
Anathema – Weather Systems
Soma Ras – Demo
Plague Widow – Plague Widow EP



I am so fucking behind this year. I’m struggling to barely keep up with the major releases, let alone all the underground releases. Hell, I just found out someone’s in jail. Still not sure who, though, maybe I’ll figure that out next year. My point is: this is my list of the best albums that I personally have gotten my dirty little tentacles around and shoved in my ear holes. Your mileage may (should?) vary.

In no particular order at all…

TortureCannibal Corpse

I’m not a Cannibal Corpse scholar (I’m not sure if such a thing exists, but if it doesn’t, let’s make it happen), so maybe this album is just old hat to you. But I enjoyed it. It made me feel like chopping people up into small pieces, freezing the pieces, and then making them into shuriken to harangue children with. What more can you want from death metal?

Favorite Track: “Encased in Concrete” (Mostly for the sing-a-long value at the end of the song)

UtilitarianNapalm Death

Right. Like this isn’t already pretty much album of the year for everyone and their headbanging grandmother. Whatever, it’s Napalm Death destroying shit with chainsaws and flaming saxophones.

Favorite Track: Don’t really have one here…sorry, you’ll have to form your own opinion on this one without my divine guidance.

Reign SupremeDying Fetus

I pretty much agree with TheMadIsraeli’s review on this one. I will say that I really liked the vocals on this album. Dude sounds like a snarling demon dog. Or maybe just a regular dog who smokes too much…

Favorite Track: “From Womb to Waste” (Mostly because of the audio sample. Makes me giggle.)

PromoChemical Tomb

Yeah, I’m kind of in love with these guys. You know what? I’m not sorry, and fuck you if you have a problem with it. Every time I listen to this promo, I feel like chopping my dick off, replacing it with a ten inch long piece of very sharp cutlery, and then going around to summer festival slicing watermelons in half with it.

Favorite Track: It’s only 7 and a half minutes long. The whole thing is my favorite track.

Long Live Heavy Metal3 Inches of Blood

When I first started listening to metal, 3 Inches of Blood was one of my favorite bands. I still think their early albums (Advance and Vanquish and Fire up the Blades) are a great way to transition from traditional or power metal to more extreme metal. Still, this album is much more in the traditional metal vein, with fewer growlies or howlies or angries. It’s just good, old fashioned rocking out. I skipped the previous album (Here Waits Thy Doom), so I can’t tell you how it compares. Sorry.

Favorite Track: “Leather Lord” (Cam Pipes might be better at the “Painkiller” voice than Halford.)

Global FlatlineAborted

It’s Aborted being Aborted all over your goddamn carcass. I loved the shit out of this album, as I do with pretty much every Aborted album. I am going to go on record here and say that I think Sven de Caluwé has one of the most distinctive death metal voices I’ve heard. Fuck you in the eye with a straw if you disagree.

Favorite Track: “Our Father, Who Art of Feces” (I just like the name.)

Death HammerFlayed Disciple

This album just makes me want to run around screaming in people’s faces. Also, I don’t know what a death hammer is, but I want one.

Favorite Track: “The Westboro Massacre” (While I do like the name, this song grabs you by the throat and tickles your toes until you pee. Awesome.)

Speak in CodeEve 6

This is more nostalgia for me than anything. If you know who Eve 6 is (i.e., if you were in junior high school/high school in the late 90’s/early 00’s), you already know if you like this album. I’ve always enjoyed Eve 6, and I thought this album was a solid return for the band. No, it’s not metal, but neither is your mother and I still enjoyed fucking her stupid last night. You’ll get over both of those things.

Favorite Track: “Downtown” (Mostly because of the lyrics, but also the song always gets stuck in my head.)

I know I missed a lot of albums, so if your favorite album isn’t on this list, it’s probably because I thought it came out last year. Or next year. I’m really bad with dates.



There have been so many good albums out this year so far. In the end, I think for metal this has been a far better year than 2011 was. My favorites of 2012 to date are pretty easy to figure out, though. Some albums have just been so far and above the rest to me, and here they are:

1: Outcast – “Awaken the Reason”

Outcast proved to me, once again, that they are one of the most underappreciated and overlooked bands out there right now. Their combination of thrash metal, death metal, djent, and Gojira-esque megaton crushing groove created an album that left me destroyed.

2: Cattle Decapitation – “Monolith of Inhumanity”

This album is just off the fuckin’ chang SON. Cattle Decap have never been this tight, this fast, and this obscenely brutalizing until now. Let’s not forget those melodic vocals that sound like a gang of vomiting zombie pirate cows waiting to devour you.

3: 7 Horns 7 Eyes – “Throes of Absolution”

Progressive melodic death doom always wins with me, but this album? Just utterly otherworldly. It’s masterfully executed and filled with compelling song writing, along with enough grimness and sorrow to force you to contemplate the worth of your own life.

4: In Mourning – “The Weight of Oceans”

Once again, progressive melodic death doom. In Mourning are on a roll, three killer albums in a row. I’ve always loved this band’s music, it’s so full of power, majesty, and sadness. The only thing that could compete with this will be the new Daylight Dies when it comes out.

5: Dying Fetus – “Reign Supreme”

See my review.

6: Gojira – “L’Enfant Sauvage”

More of the trademark Gojira sound, although slightly stripped to the bone for simplicity and precision’s sake. The groove of “Liquid Fire” or the titanic sinking opening blitzkrieg of “Explosia” are enough to get any sane man committed to an asylum.


Alrighty then, there you have lists from some of our current and former writers, just to get your mental gears turning. What 2012 albums/EPs have been hitting your sweet spot this year?

  95 Responses to “THE BEST OF 2012 TO DATE”

  1. I wouldn’t really call myself “former”

  2. Thanks for the plug!

    But you’re still a lazy bastard.

  3. You didnt ask me you asshole…you just feared my list would be too awesome for your website to contain 🙂

    So whether you want it or not:

    Wrathprayer – The Sun of Moloch: The Sublimation of Sulphur’s Essence, Which Spawned Death and Life
    Witchrist – The Grand Tormentor
    Pseudogod – Deathwomb Catechesis
    Ashencult – Black Flame Gnosis
    Desaster – The Arts of Destruction
    Muknal – S/T demo
    Unleashed – Odalheim
    Funeral Whore – Step Into Damnation
    Chapel Of Disease – Death Evoked demo
    Charon – Sulpher Seraph (The Archon Principle)
    Mgla – With Hearts Toward None
    Binah – Hallucinating in Resurrecture
    Necrovation – Necrovation
    Black Breath – Sentenced to Life
    Tenchgrinder – S/T demo

  4. First time I have found the time to read NCS for far too long, I missed this place, I must try harder to return more.

    Most bases seem to have been covered here for great releases so far this year, might I throw a couple of suggestions in? Oh good.

    Kreator – Phantom Antichrist.

    KRÅKE (Kraake) – Conquering Death.

    A quick search on NCS has suggested that KRÅKE have never been in the news here, this is a sin, their new album is absolutely amazing, I will tell you nothing, just go and check them out, Youtube, Facebook, where ever, just do it, your ears will thank you……twice.

    That is all.

    • Interesting coincidence — because over the last week TheMadIsraeli has been bugging me to listen to KRÅKE. I will definitely do that today.

  5. Just updated this post to include TheMadIsraeli’s list . . .

  6. Here’s a list, in no particular order:

    3 Inches Of Blood – Long Live Heavy Metal
    Accept – Stalingrad
    Allegaeon – Formshifter
    Cannibal Corpse – Torture
    Pharoah – Bury The Light
    Desaster – The Arts Of Destruction
    Kreator – Phantom Antichrist
    Lamb Of God – Resolution
    Goatwhore – Blood For The Master
    Overkill – The Electric Age
    Unleashed – Odalheim

  7. Here’s my list:

    Aborted – “Global Flatline”

    I can’t recall picking anything else up because I’m poor and don’t get out much.

    • Well… picking anything up that came out this year, that is.

      • This must have made it easy to compile your list. 🙂 But seriously, if you were going to pick up only one album, that’s a damned good pick.

        • Yeah, it’s a great album! I don’t know if you saw my FB status a while ago, but I also got Sven de Caulwe to sign it.

          • Caluwe*

            I guess I’ll give you guys a list of the albums I want from this year which might give you an idea as to what could be on my “Best of”.

            ~Cattle Decapitation (if you didn’t see this coming you obviously haven’t been visiting this site very long)
            ~Lamb of God
            ~Dying Fetus
            ~Pathology (not out until October, but let’s be honest, slam isn’t very progressive and I like them)
            ~Deathspell Omega (the first song I heard is a definite grower, but I’m confident I’ll get into it)

            I also plan on looking (more) into a bajillion other albums made by the likes of Sigh, Napalm Death, Whitechapel, Job For A Cowboy, Hour of Penance, Goatwhore, Abigail Williams (maybe), Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Mares of Thrace (maybe), and probably a bunch of others I’m forgetting and/or don’t feel like typing out.

  8. This is another reason I love this site!!!! In the lists I could see easily my top 10 so far 2012

  9. In no particular order:
    GOATWHORE(!!!) – Blood for the Master
    Lamb of God – Resolution
    Abyssal – Denoument
    Cannibal Corpse – Torture
    Whitechapel – Whitechapel
    Charon – Sulphur Seraph
    Okera – A Beautiful Dystopia
    Burzum – Umskiptar
    Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I
    Stob Dearg – Nocturnal Witchcraft (demo)

  10. There’s not nearly enough love for Sigh’s “In Somniphobium” or Allegaeon’s “Formshifter” around these parts.

  11. This is roughly in order.

    10. Marduk – Serpent Sermon
    9. Sabaton – Carolus Rex
    8. Mares of Thrace – The Pilgrimage
    7. Ashencult – Black Flame Gnosis
    6. Rage – 21
    5. Astra – The Black Chord
    4. Master’s Hammer – Vracetje Konve Na Misto
    3. Arjen Lucassen – Lost in the New Real
    2. Rush – Clockwork Angels
    1. Anathema – Weather Systems

    The lack of Master’s Hammer love on this website is appalling!

  12. This is the first year where I’ve really made an effort to stay up on new stuff, but still there are a few albums I have high hopes for that I haven’t heard yet. My list so far, in semi-specific order:

    13. Unleashed – Odalheim
    12. Outcast – Awaken the Reason
    11. Greenleaf – Nest of Vipers
    10. High on Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis
    9. Dawnbringer – Into the Lair of the Sun God
    8. De Profundis – The Emptiness Within
    7. Woods of Ypres – Woods 5
    6. Mondstille – Seelenwund
    5. Lord Mantis – Pervertor
    4. Christian Mistress – Possession
    3. Lunar Aurora – Hoagascht
    2. Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity
    1. Sigh – In Somniphobia

    • How did I forget In Somniphobia?! I really enjoyed that one!
      And how did I miss that Lunar Aurora had a new one? I also must remember to listen to the new Dawnbringer.

      • Lunar Aurora really surprised me. It was the first time I’d heard of them and they’re definitely on my radar now.

    • I’ve been meaning to review that Lord Mantis album, which is great. But I’ll probably never get to it . . . just like I never got around to reviewing Odalheim, which is also great. Fuck me.

  13. Oh, nice to see DGR put Plague Widow on his list. Everybody should go check them out. I’m guessing if you like reading this site, you like awesome blackened deathgrind.

  14. I haven’t caught up yet to all of the releases I was looking forward to in June, but here is my list so far –

    Candlemass – Psalms for the Dead
    Coffins – March of Despair
    Deathspell Omega – Drought
    Desaster – The Arts of Destruction
    Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Pinata
    Faustcoven – Hellfire and Funeral Bells
    Nocturnal Torment – They Come at Night
    Occulation – Three and Seven
    Pseudogod – Deathwomb Catechesis
    Secrets of the Moon – Seven Bells

    Noteworthy albums –
    Asphyx – Deathhammer
    Black Breath – Sentenced to Life
    Horrendous – The Chills
    Hail Spirit Noir – Pneuma
    High on Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis
    Ignivomous – Contragenesis
    Nekromantheon – Rise, Vulcan Spectre
    Overkill – The Electric Age
    Pact – Dragon Lineage of Satan
    Sigh – In Somniphobia
    Wrathblade – Into the Netherworld’s Realm

    More that I expect to be at least noteworthy for me, but I haven’t heard in full yet –
    Ahab – The Giant
    Avenger – Bohemian Dark Metal
    Besatt – Tempus Apocalypsis
    Binah – Hallucinating in Resurrecture
    Blodhemn – Helmengraa
    Degial – Death’s Striking Wings
    Hades Archer – The Curse over Mankind
    Marduk – Serpent Sermons
    Necrovation – Necrovation
    Nile – At the Gate of Sethu
    Nordor – Erga Omnes
    Royal Arch Blaspheme – II
    Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65
    Witchrist – The Grand Tormentor
    Wodensthrone – Curse

    • Dammit..completely forgot about the Faustcoven. Thats a great album.

      I love Asphyx..but honestly didnt think much of Deathhammer. Its not bad…its just dosnt stand out at all

      • Yeah, I kind of agree with you about Asphyx, but I love them too much not to mention it.

        • Same here..definitely one of my favorite bands. Even bland Asphyx is still better than 90% of other bands

  15. Anathema – Weather Systems

    Arjen Anothony Lucassen – Lost in the New Real

    Baroness – Yellow & Green

    Ihsahn – Eremita

    Lapko – Love

    Linkin Park – Living Things

    Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage

    Old Man Gloom – NO

    The Omega Experiment – The Omega Experiment

    Pallbearer – Sorrow & Extinction

    Swallow the Sun – Emerald Forest & the Blackbird

    Woods of Ypres – Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

    • So this is now the second mention of Arjen Lucassen – Lost in the New Real in these Comments. Apparently, this is a name I need to know more about.

      Also, I have to ask, is the new Linkin Park really different and better than what they did in the last 2 albums? I used to really like them.

      • @Islander you should check out arjen Lucassen for sure!!! great prog metal right there in his various projects!! His main one is Ayreon. And Linkin Park are dead to me

    • I have to thank HBIH for turning me on to Lapko. I don’t listen to that many rock albums anymore but that one is pretty damn good. Also I like the sadness trilogy that closes your list. I really enjoyed all three of those.

  16. I am in the poor position of being unemployed yet still acquiring albums at such a rate that I’m barely listening to any of them. This is bad I know.

    Anyway, my list looks like this at the moment. The only ones I’m absolutely confident about are Be’lakor and Paradise Lost. I remain unconvinced about the new Gojira but then The Way of All Flesh took about a year to sink in so I’m going to give it more time.

    Be’lakor – Of Breath and Bone
    Colosso – Abrasive Peace
    Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
    Gorod – A Perfect Absolution
    High on Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis
    Karybdis – From the Depths
    Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol
    The Omega Experiment – The Omega Experiment
    Unleashed – Odalheim

  17. Man, I’m completely out of tune with a lot of these lists lol here’s mine…

    Anhedonist – Netherwards
    Anguish – Through The Archdemon’s Head
    B.C. – Manifest
    Charon – Sulphur Seraph
    Ectovoid – Fractured In The Timeless Abyss
    Faustcoven – Hellfire and Funeral Bells
    Ignivomous – Contragenesis
    Jess and The Ancient Ones – S/T
    Lord Mantis – Pervertor
    Muknal – S/T
    Mutilation Rites – Empyrean
    Nekromantheon – Rise, Vulcan Spectre
    Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction
    Shroud of Despondency – Pine
    Tardigrada – Widrstand
    Wodensthrone – Curse

    • Intriguing list. I’ve only heard about a third of these albums, but based on those I sure wish I had the time to check out the rest. Faustcoven in particular seems to be getting a lot of love in these Comments.

      • Which have you heard and enjoyed?

        • Anhedonist, Lord Mantis, Muknal, Mutilation Rites, Pallbearer, and Wodensthrone.

          • Well for a description of the bands you dont know…

            Anguish is basically Candlemass with harsh vocals. Probably in my top 3 at the moment along with Lord Mantis and Faustcoven.

            B.C. is basically just old school mid-paced black metal. Think Mortuary Drape. Not even sure it’s officially out yet.

            Charon would be my death metal album of the year so far.

            Ectovoid is Autopsy with Black Metal elements.

            Faustcoven is…Black Doom? Idk.

            Ignivomous – OSDM

            Jess and The Ancient Ones is Occult tinged female fronted hard rock. But it’s leagues better than all the rest doing it at the moment.

            Nekromantheon is thrash without soundling like shitty thrash revival.

            Shroud of Despondency and Tardigrada are both Atmospheric BM. Tardigrada is actually a demo.

            • Thank you for that. I REALLY need to learn how to go without sleep altogether because based on these descriptions, I’d like to hear all of it — even Jess and the Ancient Ones.

    • Nice list man….the ones I know, I definitely agree did some good stuff this year

      • Yours is good too, probably more in line with my taste than any other on here. I have a feeling that Ashencult will be on my list by years end.

    • Wow – lots of good stuff here too. I’ll have to chase down the ones I haven’t heard yet.

      I really wanted to love Anguish, but I think some of the vocals really didn’t work (the delivery changed in a strange way, or there were just too many words for the line) – only for two or three songs, but it really detracted from the album for me.

      • I really loved Ectovoid and Jess and the Ancient Ones (what I’ve heard of them so far) – I’ll buy them for sure – thanks!

  18. There’s been so many interesting lists in these here comments, it shows the strength and diversity of the readers and reveals the kind of in-depth activities NCS’s audience participates in when acquiring the new releases.

    It’s cool.

    Here’s my unabridged list of this year so far, in no particular order:

    Ahab – The Giant
    Yama – Seaquake EP
    Sons of Otis – Seismic
    Pallbearer – Sorrow & Extinction
    Ancestors – In Dreams and Time
    Om – Advaitic Songs
    Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
    Scott Kelly, Steve Von Till, Wino – Songs of Townes Van Zandt
    Ulver – Childhood’s End
    Snail – Terminus
    Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity
    The Machine – Calmer Than You Are
    Caltrop – Ten Millions Miles and Eight Minutes
    Black Sleep of Kali / Union of Sleep – Split
    Ufomammut – Oro: Opus Primum
    Meshuggah – Koloss
    Stubb – Stubb
    Worm Ouroboros – Come The Thaw
    Conan – Monnos
    Greenleaf – Nest of Vipers
    Crippled Black Phoenix – (Mankind) The Crafty Ape

    I think that’s everything. An especial recommendation goes to that Black Sleep of Kali Split. It’s phenomenal.

    On another note, I am frustrated by High on Fire’s record, I can’t hear a damn riff on that record, the production is too muddy.

    • Ah I’ve missed Stoner Sunday this year, but I’ve been checking in on the The Obelisk and Soda Shop once in awhile, so I’ve heard most of these. I’ll have to check out that split, along with Sons of Otis, The Machine and Crippled Black Phoenix.

      • Thanks man, although The Obelisk really is the pinnacle and does such a far better job than I ever did. I do occasionally drop some reviews on The Soda Shop, but infrequent at best and under my name, Sean Thomas. Anyway, do check out that Crippled Black Phoenix, it’s incredible.

    • As a fan of Townes Van Zandt, I listened to that Scott Kelly, Steve Von Till, Wino tribute album. I thought they did a good job, but man, is it bleak. I’m not sure when I will ever be in the mood to make my way through the whole thing a second time.

      • I sometimes think we all have the wrong definition for something that is ‘heavy’, because to me that record is crushing in it’s austerity. It’s cool to hear how much of an effect the record had on you, that’s probably what they’d want.

  19. I haven’t published mine, as you all know I like to do my big series of lists at the end of the year.

    That being said, I will say that there has been a real glut of “Disappointing” records for me this year.

    But – also some absolutely definitive pieces of work.

  20. Greetings! Old Man Windbreaker returns from a 2 week long trip into an urban desert.
    Dammit… Missed so much. Anyway, here’s a list:

    Portal of I by Ne Obliviscaris
    Pandora’s Pinata by Diablo Swing Orchestra
    A Perfect Absolution by Gorod
    The Money Store by Death Grips
    Soul Cycle II by Soul Cycle
    L’Enfant Sauvage by Gojira
    Muknal by Muknal
    The Omega Experiment by The Omega Experiment
    Cognitive by Soen
    Koloss by Meshuggah
    Tabula Rasa by Innerty
    Horizons by Tetrafusion
    Gods of Eden by Gods of Eden
    Fields of Sanguine by Haemic
    The Bulls & The Bees by Melvins
    Ursus Americanus by Author & Punisher
    Wish Upon a Blackstar by Celldweller
    Tr0jans by The Algorithm
    In Somniphobia by Sigh
    Gateways by Azoic
    No by Old Man Gloom
    Valtari by Sigur Ros
    Blinding white Noise: Illusion & Chaos by Skyharbor
    The Symphony of Science Bundle 1.5 by Symphony of Science (although it’s dated as 2011 Sep 06 corresponding to the first version’s release)
    Separate Realities by Trioscapes

    Although this doesn’t really count, one shall mention the live recording of Mitochondrion at Rites of Darkness III.
    Of the albums that one does want to listen to soon and which one anticipates to be enjoyable; one is yet to listen to Periphery‘s Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal, Ihsahn‘s Eremita, BaronessYellow & Green [this one doesn’t really count as first half of 2012, does it?], and Ulver‘s Childhood’s End.

  21. First of all what is that art above? Awesome.

    I’d second that call for ‘Portal of I’ by Ne Obliviscaris, such a phenomenal album. I’ve also been thrashing:

    Mencea – Pyrophoric. Spooky yet groovy. ‘Invocation’ has to be the greatest 1:26 tune I’ve heard. Makes me want to summon the dead or something.

    Acyl – Algebra. French band, but with Arabic roots. Think world music meets metal ala Soulfly or some Sepultura but with more arabic influence. Think I came across them on this site actually.

    In Dread Response – Embers In the Spiritless Void. actually last year release. New Zealand band. Finally some good NZ metal.

    Gojira just arrived in the post yesterday so haven’t had a chance to digest that yet.

    Looking forward to checking out upcoming or yet to fall into my hands releases:

    Sylosis – I didn’t even know they were expecting this year!
    Fear Factory

    • I agree about the artwork — I really love it. But unfortunately I don’t know who created it. I found it on another web site that had no attribution to the artist. Mencea and Acyl are new names for me. Thanks for the tips.

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