Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Best Crap from 2012

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! It's time for another episode of NASH•VILE! Tonight's episode is the tardiest episode yet!
Audience: "HOW LATE IS IT?!?!"
I was supposed to be released a whole YEAR ago! BAZINGA!
*Audience dies laughing, chuckling and chortling without stop. In fact, it is so funny that they cannot stop. Comedic asphyxia soon results. Audience literally dies laughing.*

Anyway, this article is [mostly] geared towards local artists' favorite albums of this past year, and was gathered entirely with the help of Blake from Brother Ares. So without further ado, here's the list, complete with links to full album streams when available:

Erik (Black Tar Prophet, ex-Archdruid)
The Christpunchers - Music Make Me Murder
Wolfbrigade - Damned
Black Breath - Sentenced to Life
Neurosis - Honor Found in Decay
High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II

Zack (Act of Impalement)
1. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
2. High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
3. Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, m.A.A.d city
4. Pilgrim - Misery Wizard
5. Off - Off!

Bobby (NeuroticFox, Kit Fistu)-
1 Meshuggah - Koloss
2 Down - Purple ep
3 Baroness - Green & yellow
4 Om - Advaitic songs
5 Soliam - S/t ep
6 Axis - Echo
7 Act of Impalement - demo
8 Yautja/Enabler - split
9 Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction
10 Contortionist - Intrinsic

Blake (Brother Ares)
Horseback - Halfblood: Jenks Miller delivers music that on paper makes no sense. Combining hex era earth w/ some nice droney borderline krautrock and then add straight up black metal vocals on top, but in execution creates an album that is both hypnotic and unnerving.

disappears - pre language: disappears gain Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth for this release (and then subsequently lose him after the touring cycle). his influence moves the band into a less claustrophobic, more almost danceable direction. all the key disappears elements are there-fuzzy, delayed and tremoloed guitars, echoed vox, and propulsive bass but a new spaciousness is added creating an album that breathes where previous albums smothered (both preferable directions).

trophy wife - sing what scares you: trophy wife (the Philadelphia trophy wife) are one of my favourite discoveries of the past couple of years. They combine riot girl passion w/ heavy sonic toneage...the results are similar to maybe hum meets Sleater Kinney. This album has a lot more vocal interplay between both members and the energy and strength they put behind their music is nothing short of inspiring.

Earth-Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II: Earth return with the other half of their angels of darkness sessions. This part of the session is a lot looser, more improvised and its a moving experience.  the instruments (guitar, cello, bass and drums) stretch out and embrace each other in a beautiful slow waltz.

Billy Castro - make love like war: I've already said a lot about billy castro in my prior interview w/ them, needless to say, this is a unique and powerful listen.

Om - Adviadic songs: om return this year w/ an album even more indebted to new member Emil Amos. Om take the sounds that were always sort of implied in their music and then choose to execute them, utilizing guest musicians on exotic instruments (special nod goes to Rob A. A. Lowe who also tours with them and provides invaluable and incredible assistance in reproducing the extra noise live) the band transcends from a drone metal band to a psychedelic world music band.

Locrian - the clearing/final epoch, bless them that curse you (collaboration w/ mamiffer), new dominions (collaboration w/ horseback): Locrian make blackened horror dronescapes that are both compelling and absolutely terrifying. and they are apparently incredible collaborators as their releases with Mamiffer and Horseback were equally epic and disorienting as the cd issue (released on vinyl last year ) of their latest album 'the clearing' which was combined w/ various outtakes on 'final epoch'.

Swans - The Seer: two discs, 2 hours of the most exhausting powerful band out there. it's better to experience this album than to try to describe it.

Death Grips - no love deep web (nsfw album cover), the money store: death grips make some empowering scary music, minimalist synth beats along w/ one of the angriest mc's ive ever heard, death grips unleashed 2 releases this year-the more accessible 'the money store' and the middle finger to their label 'no love deep web' both essential listening for yr 2012.

Sun Araw/Congos/M. Geddes Gengras - Frkwys 9: psychedelic dub artist sun araw and his pal M. Geddes travel to jamaica to record w/ legendary reggae vocal group and unleash a heady washed out spiritual album full of spacey textures and moving vocals.

Black Bananas - rad times xpress IV: party album of the year. royal trux/rtx's jennifer herrema renames her band and turns out a bizarre album combining 'one nation under a groove' era funkadelic with trashy 80s textures and hair metal guitar solos for a groove filled trash compactor jam album.

Black Table - sentinel: black table from nyc create a powerhouse mix of black metal, post hardcore and even some powerfully technical moments. and nice guys to boot.

Assembly of Light Choir - s/t: the choir best known for creating some incredibly moving moments w/ one of my favourite bands, the body, release their debut.  layers of beautiful harmonies envelop you and guest appearance from members of daughters and the body show how easy their sound can work from straight up gospel into soundtrack of the apocalypse.

Metz - s/t: metz provide a heavy fuzzed out dose of powerful 90s rock. Echoed out jazzmaster through a rat pedal, thick up front bass, pouring drums and echoed out drums provide one exhilerating listen!

Deftones - Koi no Yokan: the deftones return combining the renewed vigor of diamond etes w/ some of the more experimental indie rock textures exhibited on saturday night wrist.

Evens - the odds: the evens also return after a 6 year hiatus to deliver more driving baritone and drum songs that are both catchy, political and passionate.

honourable mentions: pallbearer- Sorrow and Extinction; bosse de nagge- III, vattnet viskar - s/t, saint vitus - lillie f-65, mountain goats - transcendental youth

Ethan (Act of Impalement)
5. Profane Commando: Vandor EP
4. Nak'ay split with Chronic Demise
3. Skeletonwitch, Havok, Early Graves, Black Tusk @ the End
2. Hour of 13: 333
1. Napalm Death, Exhumed, Municipal Waste, Speedwolf @ Exit/In

Eric (Crawl (GA))
Alunah – “White Hoarhound
September 3, 2012
[PsycheDOOMelic Records]
Now THIS, is how you do an album! Every little moment of White Hoarhound is excellent, from tone to structure, vocals to production. I was really impressed when I first heard it and had to listen to them again and again to just take it in.

Neurosis – “Honor Found in Decay
October 30, 2012
[Neurot Recordings]
There are not enough words to describe this album, or band for that matter. There tends to be more of the Von Till side seeping in here, but that’s fine by me. Truly and honestly an amazing album.

Sons of Tonatiuh – “Parade of Sorrows
June 11, 2012
This is some super-charged anger laden doom! From beginning to end this release is amazing, and it’s great to hear them branching out with some singing thrown in there at times. Doom with crusty punk aspects and great riffs!

Iron Witch – “Post Vegas Blues” 7
May 27, 2012
[Thirty Days of Night Records]
Crusty bluesy and flat out ballsy! These UK lads know how to play some NOLA styled sludge. Loved this release cause it really shows how they are growing as a band and as musicians. Slow and sludge covered, with well executed breaks of blues based riffs. These thick and grainy guitars, solid drumming and gut wrenching vocals mix together for an amazing 7” slab.

Saint Vitus – “lillie f-65
May 22, 2012
[Season of Mist]
I loved being able to hear something new from these longtime doomsters. Loved the production and thought the songs were well written from beginning to end.

Tree of Sores – “A Cry of Despair
May 3. 2012
[Witch Hunter Records]
This album, for me, was a great journey into Blackened Atmosphere. Everything about this epic 27+ minute track just fell into place. The slow building veil of ambience is torn away into a blackened cold place most fear to tread. Very well structured and the diversity of moments to be heavy and when to kick it back really make this a great!

Greg (Black Tar Prophet)
"Well i can't give a top ten of anything. I can say Green Crack was the best pot i smoked this year. The worst was some shit from a cook at a kitchen. I'd say my favorite movie I watched this year was "Monkey Shines" which is not from 2012. Music, I have no clue. I listened to alot of Barn Owl, Bongripper, OM, Ufommamut, Omega Massiff, Dirge, Battle Of Mice, and Minsk. I don't know what albums but they kicked ass."

Tanner (Across Tundras)
Ty Segall Band "Slaughterhouse"
Graveyard live @ Exit/In
Hellbender live @ everywhere
Poor Faulkner @ everywhere
Chris Colson live @ Rozz Tox
Beach House "Bloom"
Soundgarden "King Animal"
Harry Taussig "Fate Is Only Twice"
Hexvessel "No Holier Temple"
Swans "The Seer"
Mark Lanegan Band "Blues Funeral"

As for me, it's been a hard decision, but here's a few good ones:
Light Bearer/Northless - Split
Sleep - Dopesmoker [re-release]
High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
Om - Advaitic songs
Old Man Gloom - NO
Heccra - White Eagle
Eagle Twin - The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale
Panopticon - Kentucky
Menace Ruine - Alight in Ashes
Pig Destroyer - Book Burner
Cerce - 7"
Chrome Waves - s/t EP
Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine
A Forest of Stars - A Shadowplay for Yesterdays
Wreck and Reference - No Youth
Black Table - Sentinel

RUNNER UP: Horseback/ Pyramids - A Throne Without a King /Pyramids and Mamiffer - split: There's some confusion over whether or not the release date of the former is actually in 2012 or not, so I've just gone ahead and lumped these two together. Both Horseback's and Mamiffer's contributions are some of the best, if not the very best releases I've heard from either artist. Beyond each them however, Pyramids' individual tracks and also their collaboration with Horseback are some of the most innovative and enigmatic pieces of music I've heard to date. The use of interesting instruments (I've never heard rolling/spinning glass bottles sound so musical) deftly woven into more traditional metal instrumentation impresses me at every turn. I anticipate each new Pyramids release with bated breath.

WINRAR: Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind. At the time I saw Converge play live, they hadn't pressed AWLWLB onto vinyl yet, and at the time I'm writing this, it still hasn't been released yet. Amazon has March 5th set as the vinyl release date. And you know what? This record is worth the wait. I've been listening to the full youtube stream linked above so many times that it should have worn out long ago. With their latest release, Converge has managed to put out a record that is heavy, aggressive, technical, but at the same time extremely varied and emotive, even to the point of melancholy at some points. The title track is especially moving, which is incredible considering that it's still a badass hardcore track. From start to finish, this album keeps you on your toes, but involves you in a way that very, very few similar albums can. Until Converge comes out with something that puts it to shame, I'm going to consider this album a masterpiece, and definitely worthy of the title of best album of 2012.

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