Thumbs up: +13
While I'm slightly disappointed the world didn't end this year, I thought I'd share my musical tastes from throughout the year by arbitrarily ranking other people's art. When the year began I was really into sludge and stoner but as the year has worn on, it's been the black metal releases which by and large have won my attention and appreciation.

Created by: Neachy | 28.05.2012



1. Desolate Shrine - The Sanctum of Human Darkness
(9.5) (Death) I'm adding this album retroactively, two years late, because I can. A fucking claustrophobia inducing monster of an album.
2. Igorrr - Hallelujah
(9) (Cybergrind/Breakcore/Classical) God damn it. Just when I thought I had a grasp on what is considered bizarre these days, this thing comes around and mindfucks me.
3. Royal Thunder - CVI
(9) (Doomy Southern Psychedelic Blues) I can't stop coming back to this album. A little bit of Stoner Metal, a little bit of blues rock and whole lot of the soulful bellowing of singer/bassist Mlny (pronounced Melanie) Parsonz. The vocal tracking/layering on this album is fantastic. This is an all-around masterpiece.
4. Indesinence - Vessels of Light and Decay
(9) (Death/Doom) Rated this thing a 6.5 in 2012. Relistened to it in 2014 and my opinion seems to have changed drastically. Doom is still a genre in which I'm trying to find my footing. But make no mistake: this is a fantastic album.
5. Hidden Orchestra - Archipelago
(9) (Nu-Jazz/Acid Jazz/Trip-Hop) This is in no way metal but it's so damn good I couldn't leave it off this list.
6. Seirom - 1973
(9) (Ambient/Blackgaze/Drone) Another gem I overlooked until 2014. I'm starting to like this Mories guy.
7. Reverence - The Asthenic Ascension
(9) (Industrial Black) What? You thought BaN had cornered the market on psychotic industrial black metal? Nope. These fellow Frenchmen have pulled no punches in creating a truly evil sounding album.
8. Evoken - Atra Mors
(9) Funeral Doom/Death
9. The Sword - Apocryphon
(8.5) Stoner/Heavy
10. Ancestors - In Dreams and Time
(8.5) (Stoner Prog) This album perfectly blends many of the sounds I have been into recently. Sludge, Doom and Prog elements come together harmoniously on one of the best releases I've heard in a long time. Fans of 70s style prog and stoner metal shouldn't miss this.
11. Hail Spirit Noir - Pneuma
(8.5) (Blackened Horror Folk) A short album at 37 min and change. This is black metal only in the loosest sense of the term. Tremolo picking and blast beats are rare, being replaced by folksy psychedelic riffs and keyboards. Also alternates harsh black metal vocals with Mikael Akerfeldt-esque clean vocals. I didn't really care for this album at first but most of these tracks have proved to be quite infectiously memorable and unique. Fantastic little album.
12. Bosse-De-Nage - III
(8.5) (Experimental Black) Think 90s post-rock band Slint meets WITTR. This album really came out of nowhere and caught me by surprise. The spoken word lyrics are haunting and surreal as if spoken from a dream-like trance.
13. Spectral Lore - Sentinel
(8.5) Ambient Black
14. Svartidauði - Flesh Cathedral
(8.5) Black/Doom
15. The Great Old Ones - Al Azif
(8.5) Atmospheric Black
16. Ævangelist - De Masticatione Mortuorum In Tumulis
(8.5) Blackened Death
17. Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas
(8) (Black/Grindcore) Intense. Relentless. Amazing.
18. Gnaw Their Tongues - Eschatological Scatology
(8) (Black, Noise) I feel dirty after listening to this. As in, in need of a shower. Fuzzy, disgusting and well done.
19. Wodensthrone - Curse
(8) Atmospheric Pagan Black
20. Agruss - Morok
(8) (Atmospheric Blackened Death) Awesome band out of Ukraine. Terrific album.
21. Whales and Aurora - The Shipwreck
(8) (Post-Sludge) Builds a wonderful atmosphere and just elegant as hell.
22. Deathspell Omega - Drought
(8) Black
23. Obsidian Kingdom - Mantiis
(8) Experimental Black/Death
24. Merrimack - The Acausal Mass
(8) Black
25. Enslaved - RIITIIR
(8) Progressive Black
26. Wilderun - Olden Tales & Deathly Trails
(8) Epic Symphonic Folk
27. Blut Aus Nord - What Once Was... Liber II
(8) Black
28. Wildernessking - The Writing of Gods In The Sand
(8) (Progressive Black) Black metal from South Africa?? Yes. And it kicks ass.
29. Addaura - Burning For The Ancient
(8) (Atmospheric Black) Great pagan/nature oriented black metal in the vein of WITTR.
30. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
(8) (Doom) Haunting traditionalist doom metal right here. Saw praise for this thing all over the web and was quite skeptical. Give this album a shot and you may very well be surprised at how great it sounds. This is one of my favorite vocal performances on a doom record.
31. ASTRA (USA) - The Black Chord
(8) (Psychedelic Space Metal/Neo-Prog) Straighforward reinterpretation of 70s style prog. Balances catchiness with depth and intricate songwriting. A more focused album than 2009s The Weirding while still finding space to meander. The guitar work is fantastic, the vocals are catchy without being irritating and the album pacing is top notch.
32. Agalloch - Faustian Echoes
(8) (Atmospheric Black, Neofolk) Great track. I feel kind of bad rating a single song higher than some of these other full albums. But not really. It's streaming on their bandcamp if you haven't heard. Check it out.
33. Verdunkeln - Weder Licht Noch Schatten
(8) (Psychedelic Black) Very interesting for the first few listens. The shine wears off quickly though. Still consider this to be a very good album.
34. Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine
(8) (Black) A little melody, a little dissonance, strong atmosphere and slight psychedelic leanings.
35. Ash Borer - Cold of Ages
(8) (Black) Not sure if this would be considered 'Cascadian black metal' or not. But this band is continuing a trend of my favorite black metal releases coming from the west coast of the US.
36. Bend The Sky - Origins
(8) (Instrumental Progressive Symphonic Djent) The lack of vocals and the inclusion of symphonic backing makes this djent not only listenable but enjoyable.
37. Woods of Ypres - Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light
(8) (Blackened Gothic Doom) This thing listens like a suicide note. The lyrics are so hauntingly, brutally honest. The songs cross from gothic doom to full on black metal at will and generally without leaving the listener feeling too disjointed.
38. Behold! The Monolith - Defender, Redeemist
(8) (Stoner Doom) CVLT Nation says "If a bong-ripping demon rose from the fiery underworld to impregnate Motörhead, their resulting hellish lovechild would undoubtedly be Behold! The Monoloth." Well put.
39. Hooded Menace - Effigies of Evil
(8) (Doom/Death)
40. Cloak of Altering - Ancient Paths Through Timeless Voids
(7.5) Avant-Garde Black
41. Der Weg Einer Freiheit - Unstille
(7.5) Melodic Black
42. Ørkenkjøtt - Ønskediktet
(7.5) (Experimetal/Progressive) Blackwater Park-era Opeth worship is evident on this album. That being said, these Norwegians show a ton of promise as this album seems to barely touch on what they might be capable of.
43. Napalm Death - Utilitarian
(7.5) (Deathgrind) Believe it or not this is the first and only album I have heard by Napalm Death. The album started off a bit slow but picked up on the fourth track and proceeded to blow me away the rest of the way. These guys have been on the scene for 30 plus years and still put their contemporaries to shame with their creativity and energy.
44. Faustcoven - Hellfire and Funeral Bells
(7.5) Black/Doom
45. Witch Mountain - Cauldron of the Wild
(7.5) Doom/Heavy Metal
46. Downfall of Gaia - Suffocating In The Swarm of Cranes
(7.5) (Atmospheric Black/Doom/Post-Metal) Very good, interesting sound but too many boring, drawn out passages to be great.
47. Maeth - Horse Funeral
(7.5) (Instrumental Psychedelic Stoner) As I listened to this 25 minute ep - which is free on their bandcamp page - I couldn't help but draw comparisons to Pelican. Albeit with a psychedelic and fuzzed out stoner approach.
48. Soen - Cognitive
(7.5) (Progressive) The vocalist sounds so much like Maynard from Tool it's uncanny. Martin Lopez on drums is a definite bonus as well.
49. Sunpocrisy - Samaroid Dioramas
(7.5) (Atmospheric Sludge) Decent Cult of Luna clones.
50. The Faceless - Autotheism
(7.5) (Progressive Tech Death) This is way more interesting than your standard tech death album. The guitars are able to convey emotion when necessary which is a rarity in tech death. The clean vocals get old pretty quickly though.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Neachy ]



Comments

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R'Vannith - 30.05.2012 at 17:34  
Consider me intrigued by that Ancestors album, been getting into the Stoner genre a lot more recently.
IronAngel - 30.05.2012 at 22:58  
I didn't know there was a new Witch Mountain. That's cool, I enjoyed South of Salem quite a bit. Gotta check it out.
Neachy - 31.05.2012 at 02:30  
Written by R'Vannith on 30.05.2012 at 17:34

Consider me intrigued by that Ancestors album, been getting into the Stoner genre a lot more recently.

Since you seem to have liked Astra's new album I really don't have any doubt that you'll like Ancestors' as well.
R'Vannith - 31.05.2012 at 11:42  
Written by Neachy on 31.05.2012 at 02:30

Written by R'Vannith on 30.05.2012 at 17:34

Consider me intrigued by that Ancestors album, been getting into the Stoner genre a lot more recently.

Since you seem to have liked Astra's new album I really don't have any doubt that you'll like Ancestors' as well.

Ah so it has a fair bit of 70's retro sound about then? If they do it as well as Astra did then I think you'd definitely be right.
Neachy - 31.05.2012 at 22:17  
Written by R'Vannith on 31.05.2012 at 11:42

Ah so it has a fair bit of 70's retro sound about then? If they do it as well as Astra did then I think you'd definitely be right.

It does. I'd be interested to see what you think of it. Apparently I'm the only person on MS who has heard this album and I personally think that's a terrible shame.
Neachy - 31.05.2012 at 22:21  
Written by IronAngel on 30.05.2012 at 22:58

I didn't know there was a new Witch Mountain. That's cool, I enjoyed South of Salem quite a bit. Gotta check it out.

It doesn't officially drop until June 12th.
R'Vannith - 29.06.2012 at 18:21  
Finally giving that Ancestors album a listen and to say its unique would be an understatement I think, I've never heard anything like it. Its a lot to take in at the moment, at times the subgenre blending doesn't come together seamlessly but perhaps that will even out given a few more listens. My favourite at the moment is probably the piano driven "On The Wind", and those vocals on "The Last Return" are mesmerizing!
Milena - 29.06.2012 at 19:04  
Nice list dude, I like it when people put little descriptions in their lists
Neachy - 29.06.2012 at 23:45  
Written by R'Vannith on 29.06.2012 at 18:21

Finally giving that Ancestors album a listen and to say its unique would be an understatement I think, I've never heard anything like it. Its a lot to take in at the moment, at times the subgenre blending doesn't come together seamlessly but perhaps that will even out given a few more listens. My favourite at the moment is probably the piano driven "On The Wind", and those vocals on "The Last Return" are mesmerizing!


Glad to hear it man. "On the Wind" is certainly the one that hooked me as well. That guitar solo with the organ in the background is jaw-droppingly beautiful. I've been enjoying Conan and Behold! The Monolith which I found on your list. Stoner Doom ftw.
Neachy - 29.06.2012 at 23:48  
Written by Milena on 29.06.2012 at 19:04

Nice list dude, I like it when people put little descriptions in their lists


Thank you. I've been lazy with some of my more recent additions to the list though. But it's a work in progress.
Alex Fenger - 03.08.2012 at 11:14  
I'm almost done listening to that Ancestors album. I can already say that it's one of the best (if not THE best) album of 2012
Neachy - 03.08.2012 at 11:19  
Written by Alex Fenger on 03.08.2012 at 11:14

I'm almost done listening to that Ancestors album. I can already say that it's one of the best (if not THE best) album of 2012


I'm glad to hear you like it. I definitely don't think this album has gotten enough attention.
Oaken - 29.08.2012 at 21:41  
One of the best 2012 lists on the whole site. Kudos.
IronAngel - 31.08.2012 at 02:05  
Nice list, I like the descriptions you put there. Made me finally check out Soen. And looked into this Step in Fluid business, but turns out it's actually a 2011 album that's listed wrong on MS.

But seriously, would you really call Monolithe's Interlude Second generic? I've never heard anything like it. It's a pretty unique album both in their discography and in metal in general, I'd say. (I can see why it would be boring or unimpressive, though I liked it a lot.)
Marcel Hubregtse - 31.08.2012 at 04:39  
Concerning you The Machine entry, since when have SOundgarden been on heroin? And tbh this The Machine has a lot more to do witht he stoner by Kyusss than any of the grunge Soundgarden ever played
Neachy - 31.08.2012 at 09:04  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 31.08.2012 at 04:39

Concerning you The Machine entry, since when have SOundgarden been on heroin? And tbh this The Machine has a lot more to do witht he stoner by Kyusss than any of the grunge Soundgarden ever played


I don't know if the members of Soundgarden ever did heroin or not. I just associate the grunge sound with heroin. It seemed clever at the time but I was trying to say that I thought they sound like Soundgarden playing stoner/psychedelic style. It's a pretty terrible description, I know. But they can't all be winners, right?
Neachy - 31.08.2012 at 09:05  
Written by Oaken on 29.08.2012 at 21:41

One of the best 2012 lists on the whole site. Kudos.


I really appreciate that. Thank you.
Neachy - 31.08.2012 at 09:12  
Written by IronAngel on 31.08.2012 at 02:05

Nice list, I like the descriptions you put there. Made me finally check out Soen. And looked into this Step in Fluid business, but turns out it's actually a 2011 album that's listed wrong on MS.

But seriously, would you really call Monolithe's Interlude Second generic? I've never heard anything like it. It's a pretty unique album both in their discography and in metal in general, I'd say. (I can see why it would be boring or unimpressive, though I liked it a lot.)


Oh thanks for pointing that out. Step In Fluid has been removed. And regarding the Monolithe EP I listened to that album while I was at a baseball game so it did not receive my undivided attention. I kept thinking I was listening to Cult of Luna or Ixion. It didn't impress me much but I'm interested to hear their next full length nonetheless.
1Yossarian1 - 13.09.2012 at 22:46  
Love the addition of Wildernessking! Amazing album and a really spectacular South African band! Great list overall.
peggazuzz - 30.10.2012 at 10:45  
Exciting list, and obviously good taste;-) I will certainly check out several of the bands I haven't heard here
Alex Fenger - 14.11.2012 at 18:32  
AH! You listened to Bosse De Nage's latest album. That one was absolutely fantastic and easily my favorite BM full length of the year.
Neachy - 14.11.2012 at 22:14  
Written by Alex Fenger on 14.11.2012 at 18:32

AH! You listened to Bosse De Nage's latest album. That one was absolutely fantastic and easily my favorite BM full length of the year.


Yeah I loved the drumming. Have you heard the album Spiderland by Slint? It was definitely an influence on III.

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