Jan 212013

‘Sup dog!

(NCS reader and frequent commenter Old Man Windbreaker, who hails from India, helps us wrap up our Listmania series with a big-ass list of his favorite 2012 listening.)

Greetings. Over the length of this text, you shall be subject to Old Man Windbreaker’s self-indulgent eccentricities, primarily because you allow it. Here is a list of lists of One’s memorable listening experiences from 2012 (and the past couple of weeks). Furthermore, the items in the lists are provided with Bandcamp streams or Soundcloud playlists or YouTube playlists [Lists]. Note that One said “listening experiences”, and not “albums” or “music releases”. Quite a few of the entries are composed of mutiple releases. Anyway…

Feast your eyes and ears upon the list-yness!

But, in case you don’t want to read One’s commentary for some reason, here is a summarised list of Old Man Windbreaker’s favorite listening experiences of 2012, in no particular order after the top 3:

1. Portal of I by Ne Obliviscaris
2. Cognitive by Soen
3. Rengeteg by Thy Catafalque
4. Beastwars and Tower of Skulls by Beastwars
5. Griseus by Aquilus
6. Gods of Eden by Gods of Eden
7. Utilitarian by Napalm Death
8. Bloodshot Dawn by Bloodshot Dawn
9. Death Hammer by Flayed Disciple
10. 777 by Blut aus Nord
12. Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos by Skyharbor
13. A Perfect Absolution by Gorod
14. Gentle Anarchy (Promo EP) by Hevein
15. Joint Ventures by The Odious
16. Fields of Sanguine by Haemic
17. Tabula Rasa by Innerty
18. Reticence: The Musical by Art by Numbers
19. Pandora’s Piñata by Diablo Swing Orchestra
20. Pneuma by Hail Spirit Noir
21. The Bulls & The Bees and Freak Puke by Melvins
22. Tree of Tongues by Exotic Animal Petting Zoo
23. Ursus Americanus by Author & Punisher
24. Wish upon a Blackstar and Live upon a Blackstar by Celldweller
25. The Money Store and No Love Deep Web by Death Grips
26. Wandering by Yosi Horikawa

Ne Obliviscaris, and others from Australia & New Zealand


Portal of I by Ne Obliviscaris

This debut by Ne Obliviscaris is undoubtedly One’s album of the year for 2012. The Black Metal style, the Progressive Metal influence overpowering the Black Metal elements, the violin & clean vocals, the guitar interplay, the duelling vocals & lyrics, over 70 minutes long, Australia… Beautiful, quite simply.

One had pretty low expectations of this album initially, having listened to their previous release The Aurora Veil a couple of times. But, One really hadn’t paid much attention the first few times, letting it play in the background. One had to listen a little more closely to get hooked – rather, One only had to try following the lyrics. Now, One cannot listen to any single song off the album. One is compelled to play it from beginning to end without pause …Although, One would recommend listening to either “Forget Not” or “Xenoflux” if you don’t have time for the whole thing.

Portal of I :


Beastwars and Tower of Skulls by Beastwars

Yes, this counts for 2012 lists. It says “releases 11 September 2012” on the Bandcamp page for the Beastwars full-length, and the Tower of Skulls single was distributed at the band’s shows (or something) during late 2012.

Anyway… Beastwars is one of the handful of Stoner Metal/Rock albums that One truly enjoys. One was first introduced to this through their music video for “Empire”; and One noticed two things – the production isn’t “dirty”, and the vocals are impassioned and strained. This is a contrast to most of One’s experience with Stoner Metal, wherein the bands usually sound stoned for real. But, that’s just excellent as far as One’s tastes are concerned. The guitar is crisp and fuzzed-out and the riffs are groovy, while the bass provides a prominent low-end compliment. The vocals are set nicely in the mix, and the vocalist rocks his beard and sailor-in-despair voice to the max. [Just listen to “Cthulhu”. So magnificent.]

The only gripe that One has with the album is its short length. There’s a pretty easy fix for it, at least for Oneself – listen to Tower of Skulls right after the end of Beastwars. It doesn’t flow well with the ending of the album. But it fills One with anticipation for the next album, rather than leaving One with just the satisfaction that listening to Beastwars brings. [This feels somewhat like the scenes at the ends of Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger, which lead in to The Avengers.]


[bandcamp album=1709891883 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Tower of Skulls:


Griseus by Aquilus

This album was a rediscovery for One. One had first listened to it about a month after the initial digital release. But, One probably drifted off to the water closet during the first listen itself, leaving it completely ignored thereafter. This was until FistForFun compelled Islander to listen to the album (after 7 months of nagging, apparently) – who in turn compelled Old Man Windbreaker to listen as well. [Note: the physical CD release was sometime during early 2012]

As described in Islander’s review, it’s primarily a neo-classical symphony with folk & black metal parts, and endlessly interesting. Note that this album is almost 80 minutes long – just fitting onto a standard 12 cm 700 MB CD One imagines. One wonders how much longer the artist might have meant for the album to be. {Goosebumps}


[bandcamp album=1740052054 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Gods of Eden by Gods of Eden

In One’s mind, this is the death metal counterpart to Ne Obliviscaris’ Portal of I – technical death metal as opposed to progressive black metal, the synthesized orchestral elements intensifying the mood of the music as opposed to the violins turning down the mood, compact songs with quickly flowing parts as opposed to the ethereal meandering, (sadly) a shorter work, from Sydney as opposed to Melbourne. So… Yeah. Symponic Technical Death Metal from Australia. It is indeed an awesome year in Australian metal.

Gods of Eden:

[bandcamp album=4179339833 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Honorable Mentions:

Force Fed Enlightenment and Xen by A Million Dead Birds Laughing

A pair of technical grindcore albums, with clean vocals here and there, striking artwork accompanying each track, and the band performing in suits and a bowler hat. [Not exactly suits. But, whatever…]

Force Fed Enlightenment:

[bandcamp album=2940594717 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]


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A Beautiful Dystopia by Okera

One hasn’t listened to this album enough to really comment on it, but One is liking it so far.

A Beautiful Dystopia:

[bandcamp album=2281585693 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

The Big Three of Hungary, Plus Two


Rengeteg by Thy Catafalque

The first of One’s Hungarian “Big Three”, and the only one among the three One knew to have released an album in 2012. [Until a couple of week ago. (>_> )] One is counting this album for 2012 because, although it had its initial release in November 2011, it had its US release in January 2012. One is hoping that anybody reading this has already listened to this album. Seriously, it has been over a year.

Paraphrasing Professor D. Grover the XIIIth (again), One can only describe Thy Catafalque‘s music as exemplifying music as art. There is just so much going on at once in the songs. Although it feels simple upon deconstruction in One’s mind, it is much more than the sum of its parts when actually listened to. One still doesn’t understand the lyrics, but reading them along with the song just adds another immense layer to the experience.

Rengeteg would have been One’s top pick of 2012, had One liked it more than 2008’s Róka Hasa Rádió. Moreover, One doesn’t listen to any single Thy Catafalque album at a time; One listens to Gire’s Gire, then Thy Catafalque’s Tűnő Idő Tárlat, Thy Catafalque’s Róka Hasa Rádió, and only then does One listen to Rengeteg …Indeed the experience is exhausting, yet it is rewarding. So here you go, get exhausted.

Gire :

[bandcamp album=1866598548 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Tűnő Idő Tárlat :

[bandcamp album=1681669655 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Róka Hasa Rádió :

[bandcamp album=1814970088 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Rengeteg :

[bandcamp album=1759590960 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Honorable Mentions:

It feels weird and dishonest calling Thy Catafalque, Sear Bliss and Dalriada the Big Three of Hungary, and then relegating the latter two to Honorable mentions on One’s list. Oh well…

Eternal Recurrence by Sear Bliss

The second of One’s Hungarian Big Three – One didn’t know of Sear Bliss‘ album’s release until last week when one was looking over the Listmania lists. One has not yet properly soaked in the effects of the original guitarists’ and drummer’s return. But, it sounds like Sear Bliss excellence so far. . . Just how the heck do they pull off Black Metal with keyboards and trumpet so well?!

Napisten Hava by Dalriada

The third of One’s Hungarian Big Three – One didn’t know of Dalriada‘s album’s release until last week either. There are a couple of moments on the album where the guitar really sprang out. But, One hasn’t got a proper feel of the album yet. In any case, it’s Dalriada – that’s reason enough for Oneself to play the album until One hates it (which will be never).

22.Zero and Live, Love, Slay… by Meankind

This is another only-sort-of-2012. Meankind released the 6-track EP 22.Zero in 2011, and the 3-track EP Live, Love Slay… in 2012. Played together, these two tech-death EP’s have the ability to crush longer and harder they ever could seperately.

22. Zero :

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/3374426″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Live, Love, Slay… :

[bandcamp album=1214840136 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Soul Alert by Special Providence

Special Providence provide us with this (mostly) instrumental Jazzy Progressive Metal album. It’s a laid-back listen and not very metal for the most part, but the keyboard and bass keep things pretty interesting. There’s also the occassional breakdown (or whatever you want to call it), and the vocals on the last song (which is basically the second song).

Soul Alert :

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1529873″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Napalm Death & Other Stuff from the UK


Utilitarian by Napalm Death

Napalm Death. Still politically-charged. Still grinds. Still gets people wet and broken-neck-ed.

Utilitarian :


Bloodshot Dawn by Bloodshot Dawn

Not sure what genre people call this. How about Necrosed Thrash Metal?… It’s better than anything by Revocation in any case. The songs are well-written; the instrument-playing is consistently interesting and intense; the vocals are used sparingly and never annoyingly; and the occassional bursts of melody are an absolute delight. Also, they played in One’s city – bonus points!

Bloodshot Dawn :

[bandcamp album=3431215068 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Death Hammer by Flayed Disciple

More uh… Necrosed Thrash Metal. Right. Another great band who played in One’s city – alongside Bloodshot Dawn, Xerath and Gojira! Aside from One’s bias towards international bands who have played in One’s city, they are a terrific band, and this is a terrific album. It’s relentless, and has everything One likes about good Thrash Metal, without the kind of annoying vocals that some do.

Death Hammer :

[bandcamp album=984595816 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Honorable Mentions:

Invent the Universe by Sithu Aye

This Scottish bastard… It’s like discovering Cloudkicker all over again. (OwO)

Invent the Universe :

[bandcamp album=560634784 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

The Only Good Tory – A UK Grindviolence Comp

You’re on No Clean Singing. This is the first compilation put out by No Clean Singing. It’s got grind. By bands from the UK. It’s free to download. Go get it.

The Only Good Tory :

[bandcamp album=1938426129 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Blut aus Nord are French, didn’t you know?


777 by Blut aus Nord

Here’s the whole 777 trilogy by Blut aus Nord. It is a trilogy. One listened to it as a trilogy. The first one, Sect(s) (April 2011), was initially somewhat disappointing, having listened to some of Blut aus Nord’s back catalog. The second one, The Desactification (November 2011), didn’t help much with the feeling. So, One decided to put off listening to the albums until the third part was released (in September 2012). And upon hearing the last one, Cosmosophy, it made some sense in One’s mind – it’s a sort of soundtrack to the end: the beginning of the end; the frightening chaos at the end; and the calm aftermath.

Sure, each part isn’t great in itself – they’re not that good at all. But, One feels that the experience the three albums presented together is what one should consider.

777 – Sect(s) :

[bandcamp album=750437652 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

777 – The Desanctification :

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777 – Cosmosophy :

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Honorable Mentions:

L’Enfant Sauvage by Gojira

Well… It’s Gojira. Prog-y Death-y Groove Metal, more infectious than descriptions make it seem, heavier than the heaviest matter in the Universe… blah blah blah. You know ’em.

This album brings more of the melodic side of their music, and it sounds better produced. But, One likes it less than From Mars to Sirius. Nevertheless, it’s a great album that One has found Oneself listening to quite a lot over the past year. It has unexpectedly grown on One after all the listens.

L’Enfant Sauvage :


Les Voyages de L’Âme by Alcest

One has seen a few criticisms about how Alcest don’t present anything new in idea or sound in this album, unlike their previous two, both of which felt new and interesting. But, this album of theirs is One’s introduction to them. So, One doesn’t have those complaints. By itself, it’s a pretty good album, and it was an excellent uplifting start to 2012. If any complaints, it would be that there aren’t any moments in any songs that really stand out, and the songs maintain the same mood throughout the album – it can get boring at times.

Klonosphere Free Sampler MMXII

Considering how laid-back One is about checking out new music, and how obsessively One seeks full-album streams/downloads over single tracks, this compilation filled a pretty big part of the hole. It’s a compilation of music by French bands released by Klonosphere. Some of the bands featured are Trepalium, Hypno5e, Jenx, Weaksaw, Nami, Nojia, Klone, and The Brutal Deceiver.
Here’s the download link. [Yes, it still works.]

Fidgety Groovy Metal that is Not Gojira



One initially thought they’re Russian. But apparently, nobody knows who or where any of them is from, other than the vocalist Tommy Wills. Mysterious… In any case, this debut album is some of the better Progressive Groove Metal One has listened to in 2012. The first impression is more Textures-like than Periphery-like. One has been listening to it on and off every other day since its release, and loving it. One can’t seem to remember any of the riffs though, which is normal in One’s experience with this kind of music.


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Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos by Skyharbor

When One first read about this band, One only noticed that they’re from Mumbai, and that they are signed to Basick Records. While this piqued One’s interest in them, One had little expectations of them: “They’re on Basick. So, they’re probably worth the listen.” One only noticed the existence of vocals on first listen, and to One’s utter delight, that the voice in the first part, “Illusion”, is Daniel Tompkins’. One still feels disbelief about this sometimes.

Daniel Tompkins’ vocals aside, Keshav Dhar’s songwriting is spectacular, and has progressed quite a lot from his days as Hydrodjent. The vocal cotributions by Sunneith Revankar in the second part, “Chaos”, are also excellent, although overshadowed by One’s perception of Daniel Tompkins’ vocals in the first part. Marty Friedman’s and Vishal J. Singh’s contributions to the track “Celestial” are a nice bonus.

Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos :

[bandcamp album=518301796 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Honorable Mentions:

Koloss by Meshuggah

One has never been able to listen to any of Meshuggah‘s albums more that twice in a sitting, except obZen. The music just sounds so cold. Yet, One somehow likes listening to Meshuggah. But, this album, like obZen, proves to be more listenable than the rest, at least for Oneself.

Danza IIII: The Alpha – The Omega by The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza

This final album by The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza is almost too intense and groovy for One to listen to. Despite how exhausting it is to listen to, it’s an interesting listen, which One finds Oneself returning to quite often.

Soul Cycle II by Soul Cycle

The sophomore album by Soul Cycle – as should be obvious from the title. It’s a purely instrumental album, with loads of shred – sometimes to a fault. Also, the list of guest contributions reads off as a list of names from the “bedroom metal” scene. It’s a satisfying, if not particularily impressive listen.

Soul Cycle II :

[bandcamp album=1764566543 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Cloud Gatherer & Everything Else by Ovid’s Withering

This is the debut EP by Ovid’s Withering. They play a kind of Technical Death Metal / Deathcore with symphonic elements. While not as impressive for Oneself as Gods of Eden, it is fun enough. The vocalist is Shiv from 7 Horns 7 Eyes, whom I care less for. Apart from the Cloud Gatherer EP, they have a couple of other original tracks, a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, and a Legend of Zelda medley.

Cloud Gatherer :

[bandcamp album=1806792354 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Other stuff on Bandcamp: http://ovidswithering.bandcamp.com/

From Earth to Hell by Tyrant of Death

There were two albums, RE CONNECT and Cyanide, and a single inspired by the film Prometheus, From Earth to Hell, released in 2012 by Tyrant of Death. That one song offsets the usual monotony of his music, and makes it more enjoyable for Oneself. Even on days when One just lets his music play in the background, One finds Oneself snapping to attention for that one song.

From Earth to Hell :

[bandcamp track=864379863 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]



A Perfect Absolution by Gorod

There is no other Tech Death album in 2012. (-_-) Everything else is either just not groovy enough, or too thrash-y, or blackened, or symphonic-, or wanky. One is exagerrating, of course. But, there really is no other tech-death album in 2012 that comes close to being as thoroughly engaging as Gorod‘s for Oneself.

A Perfect Absolution :


More Prog


Gentle Anarchy (Promo EP) by Hevein

This album was a last-minute slap in the face of sorts – One discovered it only a couple of weeks back through Mike Yost’s list. One has no idea what their earlier music sounds like, and One doesn’t particularly care. Although a truncated form of what would have been a full-length album, this is quite substantial. Within the 25 minutes of playback time, it fills One with nostalgia for later-era Faith No More & Apocalyptica, and makes One absolutely melancholic during the last track “Nor”. And the video for “Nor” is more a short film than a music video, along the lines of Baraka and Samsara.

Gentle Anarchy :

[bandcamp album=3137957071 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]



Joint Ventures by The Odious

Listening to That Night a Forest Grew so much the previous year, and then listening to the demo for “A Sheep in Wolf’ Clothing” during much of 2012, One had very different expectations of Joint Ventures. One had imagined them going down the beaten path of djenty metalcore/deathcore with this album (for some reason). But, in the end, it turned out be an excellent prog metal album, with a few interesting moments of weirdness, constantly intense and unpredictable.

On another note, One still can’t get over how the eyes in that bush and the leaves around it make the bush look like a freaky giant owl-worm. (o_O)

Joint Ventures :

[bandcamp album=3011924875 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Fields of Sanguine by Haemic

Prog-y Blackened Death Metal… or something… by a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist from Taiwan with a vocalist. It’s a shred-metal record at its core; but the black metal vocals, the intense drums, the keyboards, the electronica sprinkled here and there, and the odd mix, make the album a compelling experience.

Fields of Sanguine :

[bandcamp album=1142322456 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Tabula Rasa by Innerty

Here’s a little overlooked gem released in January 2012. It’s a jazzy necrosed prog metal album by a bunch of French guys. The songs have jagged dynamics, the bass really stands out, and the album is excellently produced. If nothing else, One listens to it for the bass. It’s even more of a delight when listening to the instrumental versions.

Tabula Rasa :

[bandcamp album=2443634440 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Tabula Rasa [Instrumental] :

[bandcamp album=1760842743 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Honorable Mentions:

By a Thread and Epicloud by Devin Townsend Project

Yay! Another opportunity to talk about everything by the Devin Townsend Project. Last year, there was the box set Contain Us; this year, there is the live DVD set By a Thread – containing performances of all four previous Devin Townsend Project albums – and the new album Epicloud.

One can’t say One liked Epicloud much compared to the previous four albums. Sometimes, it just seems like a tribute album to Devin Townsend by himself. That isn’t such a bad thing though – it satisfies the want for more of Devin Townsend’s music.

The Omega Experiment by The Omega Experiment

Apparently, this is not by Devin Townsend… Actually, come to think of it, it doesn’t really sound all that much like Devin Townsend’s music. The Omega Experiment‘s music is insanely catchy and addictive, and excellently produced, and doesn’t step anywhere near Power Metal territory. And while the pop sensibilities are prominent, it is also compelling as a Prog Metal record.

Above the Earth by Above the Earth

Arsafes of Kartikeya and Aleksandra Radosavljevic formerly of Destiny Potato… One had a great feeling about this right from the start. One had only hoped that their debut would have been a full-length album and not just a 23-minute EP. That said, it’s a nice bouncy ride which can be ridden over and over again without tiring.

Above the Earth :

[bandcamp album=1717859125 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Selenelion by Vaura

This was another unexpectedly enjoyable album, this one by Vaura. One tends to get bored with Post-Metal-like music. But, this album is complex and nuanced enough to hold attention all the way through. It’s oddly mesmerizing.

The Treachery of Senses by Oddland

Old Man Windbreaker thanks Punman for introducing One to Oddland. One always forgets that the vocals are exclusivley clean – One just gets so engrossed in the sound of the instruments. 😛

The Treachery of Senses :


Less-Metal Prog


Cognitive by Soen

Best Tool album of 2012 not by Tool… As Professor D. Grover the XIIIth says, “Someone might as well make Tool albums, even if it’s not Tool.” – and Soen do it pretty damn well.

One had wondered what Martin Lopez would do after leaving Opeth. But, if this is the result, One shall not mind at all. One has listened to this album almost as much as Ne Obliviscaris’ Portal of I through the year.

Cognitive : http://grooveshark.com/album/Cognitive+WEB/7548291

Reticence: The Musical by Art by Numbers

More jazzy prog metal. It’s more jazzy than metal though. It’s full of well-written memorable songs – “Best Laid Plans” stands out in particular. And the vocalist’s style makes it sound like a jazzier, catchier Protest the Hero. There is something to be said about the flow of the songs though – some of the transitions feel abrupt, and the track order somehow feels non-optimal. Then again, perhaps this album is meant to be consumed a song at a time rather than as a whole.

Reticence: The Musical :

[bandcamp album=3047803459 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Honorable Mentions:

Yellow & Green by Baroness

This has been a massive improvement over Baroness‘ last two albums, in One’s opinion. This album is genuinly enjoyable, rather than just an item of intrigue. Also, being a double-album, it is a more wholesome experience.

Fade and Signal/Noise by Cloudkicker

Cloudkicker continues his experimental streak of mellow shoegaze-like prog-rock with the album Fade and returns somewhat to his usual soaring post-rock influenced prog-metal with Signal/Noise.

Fade :

[bandcamp album=3312279518 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

Signal/Noise :

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/73747545″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Leviathan full-album cover by Sam Abbott

This is a cover of Mastodon’s album Leviathan, on piano. In case you missed it the first time around, have a listen here:

Mastodon’s Leviathan on Piano:


More Metal


Pandora’s Piñata by Diablo Swing Orchestra

Diablo Swing Orchestra just keep getting better with every album. Every song is just so catchy; this whole album is pretty much ingrained in One’s memory – the saxophone intro on “Voodoo Mon Amour”, the high-pitched gang-vocals-thing on “Black Box Messiah”, the strings & vocals interlude on “Exit Strategy of a Wrecking Ball”, the sparse instrumentation accompanying the operatic vocals on “Aurora”, the ominous strings interplay with the saxophone (tuba?) on “Of Kali Ma Calibre”, and the epic dubstep-y outro on “Justice for Saint Mary” following the 8-minute-long buildup with the strings. But despite the jazz, big band, and old pop overtones, they still manage to sound… metal.

Pandora’s Piñata :


Pneuma by Hail Spirit Noir

Here’s another rediscovery – One managed to stumble upon their Encyclopaedia Metallum page in December 2012 through One’s browser bookmarks… bookmarks from April. Anyway, this oddity of Greek Black Metal has got One hooked. This album has what Ghost’s Opus Eponymous lacked – an intensity like that of second wave Black Metal albums, albeit in bursts. And that’s probably the one reason One loves Hail Spirit Noir‘s blend of Black Metal and classic rock, yet One gets sick of Ghost’s. [The novelty of Ghost’s music wore off on One after the first few listens.]

Pneuma :


The Bulls & The Bees and Freak Puke by Melvins

How the hell have neither of these shown up on anybody’s lists? It’s Melvins, dammit! [@Islander: They’re from Seattle, dammit!]

Scion A/V releasing a Melvins EP could not have possibly gone wrong. The Bulls & The Bees is an excellent addendum to the last three albums with the 4-piece lineup. It’s short and sweet, with a crisp mix, and the drums in particular shining through.

Aside from being a Melvins album, Freak Puke is also the first album with Trevor Dunn on Bass. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t take away from the music. And in comparison, Freak Puke sounds more like old-school Melvins – darker and sludgier – than the albums with Jared Warren on Bass and Coady Willis on drums(2). King Buzzo’s vocals and riffs are as Melvins-y as ever, as is Dale Crover’s drumming (and vocals). An unusual aspect, but a welcome one, of Trevor Dunn’s presence is the use of a Double Bass / Standing Bass. [He also contributes vocals to the album.] The use of the standing bass isn’t apparent upon first listen, but you can’t ignore it once you know it’s there. Melvins Lite, as this side-project / alternative lineup is called, has proven to be just as awesome as Melvins Classic or Melvins Strong.

The Bulls & The Bees :

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1741834″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Freak Puke :


Tree of Tongues by Exotic Animal Petting Zoo

One enjoys this Mathcore / Progressive Metal album of theirs without ever understanding why. Perhaps it’s the amazing clean vocals, the not-annoying harsh vocals, the lush soundscape, or the consistent intensity?

Tree of Tongues :


More Honorable Metal Mentions:

Wastelander’s Epoch by Algarothsyum

This was supposedly a instrumental blackened death metal album. One is willing to accept and endorse that description.

The Subduck Scum Shall Fall by Artists are Idiots

The Subduck Scum Shall Fall is a groovy Grindcore EP with hilarious nazi duck vocals. Old Man Windbreaker thanks Phro immensely for the laughs. [Seriously though, the holocaust is not a laughing matter. But, duck-grind is.]

Gateways by Azoic

Azoic – another discovery thanks to Phro. This is an Icelandic Blackened Death Metal band’s intense debut album, with sparse clean vocals in the form of chanting. Unfortunately, this was about as much of Icelandic music One listened to in 2012.

Brendon Small’s Galaktikon by Brendon Small and Dethalbum III by Dethklok

The Dethalbum (III) is considerably more refined than the previous two Dethalbums, while still maintaining the hilarity Metalocalypse has been known for. And Brendon Small’s Galaktikon is pretty much the same, except if Dethklok were an 80’s Metal band with space-themed lyrics (more or less).

Koi no Yokan by Deftones

One didn’t expect to like this album as much as One did. Koi no Yokan feels more focused an album than Deftones‘ previous one, and reminds One of everything One loves about Deftones – the early Nu Metal, the immense layered soundscapes, the Electronica, and the more metal of their songs in recent years.

Second Hand Wonderland by Kontrust

Kontrust almost make it to the level of Diablo Swing Orchestra’s stuff. It’s Alternative Metal with funk, reggae, pop and folk influences; they sometimes perform (or used to perform) in lederhosen; and the music video for the lead single (and opening track) “Sock ‘n’ Doll” has sock-puppet versions of the band. One thinks One should like them as much as Diablo Swing Orchestra, if not more. But, it probably reflects a little positively on One’s maturity for chosing a Swing Metal band in suits who employ orchestral elements over a Pop Metal band as sock-puppets in lederhosen who play polka. Oh well…

Muknal by Muknal

Muknal play intense Bestial Black Metal with harsh atmospherics… One really shouldn’t be able to stand this. One can’t normally stand Bestial Black Metal / War Metal at all. But, perhaps the fact that the work is so short drew One towards it. After a few listens, One even wanted more of it…

Hyperthrash (Single) by Nylithia

This is the latest single (the fourth one) from Nylithia‘s upcoming album of the same name. The album is being released one song at a time. So, One has a lot of time to get familiar with their songs. But, this song in particular got One hooked on Nylithia because of its weirdness – the acoustic intro seems unusual for a Thrash Metal band, but it is a welcome aspect of the song.

Inter- by The Sequence of Prime

The Sequence of the Prime‘s music is Thrash Metal with Industrial Metal overtones, as best as One can make out. But, it was unusual as far as One’s experience with Industrial Metal goes. It wasn’t annoying after 3 listens like much of Industrial Metal, but it wasn’t an easy listen either. The vocals are just so weird that One thinks they shouldn’t fit in. But they actually go together well with the music, because the music is just as unusual and unique. This album draws One back to it repeatedly despite One not really enjoying it initially, and One expects to enjoy it more with further listens.

Monolith by Sylosis

Like many others, One didn’t like Monolith when compared to their previous album Edge of the Earth. But, that album is inherently difficult to write a follow-up to. And considering that Sylosis released the new album only about a year and a half after their previous one, One didn’t expect them to able to produce another “masterpiece”. That said, this is an excellent album by itself, and constitutes a part of what One thinks all modern metal should aspire towards.

More Un-Metal


Ursus Americanus by Author & Punisher

One has been hooked on this album since even before it was released! Yes, actually. One had been watching the “2010-09-05 Studio Practice Shoot” video on YouTube repeatedly. It contains parts of the songs on Ursus Americanus.

As is usual with One’s music consumption, One missed the release date of that album by about a month. But, when One did finally listen to it, bricks were shat. One has listened to quite a bit of industrial, but the jarring atmosphere of this album stands above and beside them all. The only thing that freaked One out more than the album itself, was the insane gory video for “Terrorbird”. (O_O) [There is also the video for Job for a Cowboy’s “Tarnished Gluttony”. But, that’s another story…]

Ursus Americanus :

[bandcamp album=2468987004 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

Wish upon a Blackstar and Live upon a Blackstar by Celldweller

One’s anticipation for Wish Upon a Black Star over the years has been ridiculous… ridiculously subdued. One had not listened to anything from the “Chapter” releases leading up to the release of the album. One had only been listening to the first album Celldweller and an early version of “Birthright”. Even after watching the video for the “Own Little World (We Will Never Die Remix)”, it never occured to One that this album could be any different in style from “Shapeshifter”. It only hit after listening to the tracks on Live upon a Blackstar – it’s been almost a decade; there were bound to have been changes.

Still, even that could not have prepared One for the experience of Wish upon a Blackstar itself. It isn’t just rock with electronics anymore; it’s a mix of electronica, rock, and orchestral elements that is wholly Celldweller‘s own. One really can’t think of any album from recent years that’s anything like this.

Live upon a Blackstar :

Wish upon a Blackstar :


The Money Store and No Love Deep Web by Death Grips

So, here are the two albums released in 2012 by Death GripsThe Money Store and No Love Deep Web. The Money Store was a pretty good follow-up to Ex-Military. But, No Love Deep Web feels inconsistent compared to the previous two, and the lo-fi sound seems forced at times. The two albums are still immensely enjoyable for One though. “I’ve Seen Footage” is still stuck in One’s head.

The Money Store :

No Love Deep Web :


Wandering by Yosi Horikawa

One is not quite sure how One came upon this – it might have been a recommendation by Cloudkicker. In any case, it’s wonderful ambient electronic music – he uses samples of everyday sounds like footsteps, writing on paper, bouncing ping pong balls, chirping birds, and a creaking swing. The result is mesmerizing, organic, and memorable.

Wandering :

[bandcamp album=1216122943 bgcol=000000 linkcol=4285BB size=grande3]

More Honorable Un-Metal Mentions:

Lingua Franca by T.R.A.M. and Separate Realities by Trioscapes

T.R.A.M. is the jazz super group consisting of Animals as Leaders’ Tosin Abasi and Javie Reyes, with Suicidal Tendencies’ Eric Moore and The Mars Volta’s Adrian Terrazas. To listen to a jazz album without a bassist was odd yet interesting.

Trioscapes is a jazz trio consisting of Between the Buried and Me’s Dan Briggs, with Walter Fancourt and Matt Lynch. This album does have a metal influence unlike other jazz albums – it reminds One of Zu in some parts.

Childhood’s End by Ulver

An album of cover songs by Ulver. Heck, just that it’s an Ulver album got One listening. If nothing else, listening to Garm sing is as soothing as ever.

Black Mesa: Source (OST) by Joel Nielsen

You might consider this an odd pick for a Video Game Soundtrack. But, this was pretty much the only game One played at all during the year. 😛 Then again, One did listen to a couple more Video Game Soundtracks – but, none really struck a chord like this album.

Dredd (OST) by Paul Leonard-Morgan

This industrial soundtrack is possibly the best One has listened to all year – it matches the action-video-game-like mood of the film perfectly. And the music during the Slo-Mo vision parts was apparently inspired by a song by Justin Bieber. [Now, now. It was a song by Justin Bieber slowed down by 800%.]

Symphony of Science and Terra Lumina by melodysheep

This guy is a genius with autotune. He combines autotuned voice tracks with ambient electronic music. The long-running Symphony of Science series of songs has always been a delight to listen to; as is his newer work with CBS, remixing Bob Ross, Mr. Rogers, and Julia Child. His new folk rock/electronica album as a part of Terra Lumina has been a pleasant change of pace. Here is the Symphony of Science website, with links to all this music.

New Millenium Cyanide Dance by Seventh Sage

The Lady Gaga vs. Meshuggah “Bleed-a-razzi” mashup about two years ago was amusing. But, it doesn’t come close to the hilarity of this song.


  1. Holy smokes, this is one helluva a list good sir! Solid choices throughout.

  2. How awesome is that Gods of Eden cover?

  3. Unsurprisingly, you and I see eye-to-eye on a great many things. ’tis an excellent list of lists, with numerous albums that I can agree with, and of course, it is always nice to see myself quoted. It makes me feel important.

  4. One probably should have proof-read this before sending it in. There are a few parts One can think to rewrite. But, nevermind that.
    – In the list summary, it should’ve been “Old Man Windbreaker’s favorite listening experiences”, not “Old Man Windbreakers favorite listening experiences”.
    – In both cases, it should’ve been “Professor D. Grover the XIII’th”, not “Professor Grover XIII”.
    – One forgot to mention that the Dredd OST only released this month, but One included it on the list because the film itself was released in 2012.
    – One forgot to mention release dates for each album on Blut aus Nord’s 777 trilogy. Sect(s), The Desanctification & Cosmosophy were released in April 2011, November 2011 & September 2012, respectively.
    – In the Celldweller part, it should be “that this album could be any different in style from “Shapeshifter””, not “that this album could be any different from in style than “Shapeshifter””.
    – In the Melvins part, it probably should’ve been “Melvins Lite, … as Melvins Classic or Melvins Strong” rather than “Melvins Lite, … as Melvins Regular or Melvins Strong”.
    – In the Hail Spirit Noir part, it should be “yet One gets sick of Ghost’s” rather than “yet get sick of Ghost’s”.
    – In the Gorod part, it should be “as thoroughly engaging as”, not “as horoughly engaging as”.
    – In the part for the Beastwars releases, it should’ve been “The guitar is crisp, and fuzzed-out, and the rifs are groovy, while the bass provides a prominent low-end compliment.” instead of “The guitar is crisp, fuzzed-out and the riffs are groovy, with the bass providing the prominent low-end complement.” Also, it should’ve been “anticipation for the next album, rather than leaving One with”, not “anticipation for the next album, rather than leave One with”

  5. Godly! some new finds there , especially Hevein and Gods of Eden.. and Yosi Horikawa piques my interest like no other though.. *stay a while and listen* material indeed.

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