by Joseph Kang
My list this year is again primarily metal (stylistically, most of it is influenced heavily by black metal). But, that isn’t to say it’s all that way. The Secret’s and Black Breath’s latest are hardcore that’s been heavily influenced by metal. And, as always, Converge is Converge. I will definitely say that two of the best live shows I saw in 2012 were Black Breath and Converge (separate bills). I saw Black Breath in a tiny DIY underground club. I finally got to see Converge as the headliner in a more "intimate" place than the larger venues I’d previously seen them in when they played in support of other artists.
Away from metal, Big K.R.I.T.’s “Live From the Underground” was definitely one of my favorite new hip-hop releases this year. Close behind it are Killer Mike’s “R.A.P. Music” and El-P’s “Cancer 4 Cure”. The Evian Christ release is UK bass music but when I listen to it, I hear a lot of chopped and screwed dirty south rap as an influence.
In alphabetical order:
Big K.R.I.T. “Live From the Underground”
Black Breath "Sentenced to Life"
Chrome Waves "Chrome Waves"
Evian Christ “Kings and Them” [download]
Godspeed You! Black Emperor “Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!”
High On Fire "De Vermis Mysteriis"
Mutilation Rites “Empyrean”
The Secret “Agnus Dei”
SpaceGhostPurrp “Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp”
Vattnet Viskar "s/t"
Other releases that I enjoyed this year:
Converge “All We Love We Leave Behind”
Dethklok “Dethalbum III”
Everything But The Girl “Idlewild” (Reissue)/”Eden” (Reissue)
Killer Mike “R.A.P. Music”
Nachtmystium “Silencing Machine”
Frank Ocean "channel Orange"
Purity Ring “Shrines”