Saturday, November 24, 2012

Best of 2012 (The Super Biased Edition)

It's that time of year again, when pretty much every music writer with a functioning cerebral cortex (and, seemingly, a few without) hunkers down in their undoubtedly stuffy, dirty sock- and empty juice container-strewn lairs and bash away at their respective keyboards, frantically arranging and rearranging and evaluating and worrying and eventually allowing themselves to experience that sweet, sweet second of release when they think, "Aw, fuck it" and hit the Send button. Yep, it's year-end best-of list time, the most wonderful(ly arbitrary) time of every music journo's year!

I actually really like making lists, but tend to get overwhelmed and contrary after filing the fourth one in a row. It is a frustrating, silly process, and oftentimes makes me feel like I'm choosing sides in one massive, ugly are-you-my-friend-or-hers middle school battle, especially since so many of my mates insist on making super awesome records every year. My day job as a publicist also makes things difficult, because there are always at least a few records that I desperately want to include, because I genuinely think that they deserve the nod (I choose with whom to work and I only work with bands that I think are fucking rad!), but am unable to because, duh. There's a grey area for sure, and I end up skirting it once in awhile, but I do try my best to avoid conflicts of interest. That's why I'm putting this little list up on here, my personal blog, and making it very, very clear that I am openly biased about these albums for various business/personal reasons (it doesn't help when your boyfriend plays in a band, or you spend weeks on tour with bands, or your former clients release side projects!).

They're still fucking awesome, though, and if you haven't heard them yet, you really should!

So here's my totally, utterly, absolutely, 100% biased top whatever list of some of the best records of 2012 that I cannot include on any of my published lists for one reason or another.

Panopticon - Kentucky (Handmade Birds/Pagan Flames)

Bastard Sapling - Dragged From Our Restless Trance (Forcefield Records)

Dragged Into Sunlight - Widowmaker (Prosthetic)

Saint Vitus - Lillie: F-65 (Season of Mist)

Aelter - III (Eternal Warfare)

Don Seantalamh a Chuid Féin (Into the Void Records)

Obolus - Lament (The Flenser)

Greed & Rapacity - Loki Bound

Ecocide - When Will It End (Tofu Carnage)

Appalachian Terror Unit - Black Sands (Profane Existence)

Sutekh Hexen - Larvae (Handmade Birds)

A Story of Rats - Vastness & The Inverse (Translinguistic Other)

Windhand - S/T (Forcefield Records)

Author & Punisher - Ursus Americanus (Seventh Rule)

Inperial Triumphant - Abominamentvm (self-released)

Pinkish Black - S/T (Handmade Birds).

BONG - Mana Yood Sushai (Ritual Productions)

I also really liked the Kaevum's 'Natur' record, but they're pretty blatantly NS and I just do not feel like dealing with all that noise. Great music, though.

So there you have it. I'll post my various other published lists as they go up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hallo, Deutschland

Al and I went to Berlin for this year's Nuclear War Now! fest - or "live ritual," if you prefer - and it ruled. We did a bunch of sightseeing, bought an old Soviet gasmask from a man on a bridge (you sort of have to, don't you), ate our combined weight in falafel and chips, drank far too much whiskey, hugged up on a bunch of buddies from all over the world, met some rad people, and, of course, watched some AMAZING bands. I've got a proper live review of all that coming out in the next Terrorizer Magazine, but suffice it to say, Revenge, Knelt Rote, Wrathprayer, and Dead Congregation alone made all the madness worthwhile.