(Today NCS writer BadWolf begins a multi-part series of posts about 2012’s top albums. For newcomers, The Rule to which BadWolf is recognizing exceptions is embodied in the name of our site.)
Normally, I split my end of the year list into the catchiest albums I’ve heard and the most artistic. I’m abandoning that format this year, having lost faith in the dichotomy—I’ve spent too much time writing the same thing about the same band twice, and not enough time respecting you, the reader. Catchiness and artistic value, these are things for you to decide, not me. In addition, I really needed to alter and shift my routines. This will be part of a continued process extending into 2013.
I am changing, my habits are changing, as are my tastes. In particular, comrades, you will note a plethora of doom records below. 2012 was a banner year for doom, but that ignores a thick thread of this particular post’s plot. To be confessional: 2012 was a horrid year for me, personally. I won’t get into details, but due to a series of personal and professional events, I spent most of the year suffering from a serious depression. (This is one contributing factor to my reduced blog output. I apologize.) I have a history of major depressive episodes, but normally they come and go more-or-less unrelated to any external stimuli, but recently, to make a poker metaphor, I was both drawing dead AND playing like shit.
Perhaps that’s a lot of deadweight to place on a simple album list, and if these sorts of confessions upset you, comrade, feel free to stop reading. The fact is, our personal psychic landscapes have a stranglehold on our perceptions of the worlds around us, of arts, of music in particular. In the grips of these dark, restless moods, most of 2012’s more energetic and colorful releases slid off me. What remained was often beautiful, horrifically depressing music. Normally with… gasp… clean singing. I can’t think of a better year in my writing career for clean singing than 2012. Here’s my list of ten records featuring more than a few exceptions to our rule. Continue reading »