1: Deathspell Omega - Drought

2012-12-24 05:36:01 by johan



If there was little to say about the previous album on the list, what is there to say about DsO that hasn't already been said? With each release they continue to impress and innovate as few others can; this, short by DsO standards, EP leaves little to be desired, other than perhaps that it was longer. We get both hints of their raging best as well as more nuanced songs all of which fit in with their previous releases. As has been said many times this feels a bit like an epilogue to the long trilogy they concluded a few years back, which only means that what comes next - the first post trilogy full length - will be even more highly anticipated than ever. In a few years we'll know, but until then this will suffice.


Deathspell Omega

2: Merrimack - The Acausal Mass

2012-12-23 06:59:35 by johan

The Acausal Mass


The black metal that Merrimack plays can in no ways be considered modern och innovative, it's traditional, mostly mid-paced but furious black metal. However they do it exceedingly well, the compositions are tight and performed well, so there is nothing to complain about here. This has been my second most listened to album of the year for those very reasons, and well it's furious black metal so why not? There is little else to say about this album other than it being a great one which fans of the genere should have no problems devouring.



3: Blut Aus Nord - 777 - Cosmosophy

2012-12-22 15:19:51 by johan

777 - Cosmosophy Of the 777 trilogy, this might rank as my least favorite one, however it's a very good ending album, it's mostly slow and gives you that winding down feeling. My complaints are mainly that BaN's will to experiment sometimes takes them in directions I find brings little to the table. There is ample clean(ish) singing as well as quite a bit of electronica. None of this really accents the music much, it's mainly an annoyance and a track you quickly skip. As a whole the 777 trilogy is very well made, I have minor quibbles as stated above but they shouldn't detract from the whole.


Blut Aus Nord

4: Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas

2012-12-21 06:19:38 by johan

Vanitas As has been customary for the past few releases Anaal Nathrakh comes out with a somewhat more accessible album followed be one that is less so. The albums that fall into the latter category tend to be more interesting, and Vanitas fits there. While it's not quite as furious as 2009's In the Constellation of the Black Widow, it's got enough parts that keep you interested. My sole wish was that they had more songs like Of Fire And Fucking Pigs, when they truly turn the grindometer to eleven, here's hoping to more of that in the future.


Anaal Nathrakh

5: Ash Pool - Cremation is Irreversible

2012-12-20 05:54:27 by johan

Cremation is Irreversible Without a doubt Ash Pool takes the prize for best album title of 2012, and the music is equally superb, this is caustic black metal, gone are all the things I disliked about 2010's For Which He Plies The Lash, this is a much more a throw-back to 2007's World Turns on Its Hinge, and it's great. This EP has been a mainstay in my playlist this year and I expect to be spinning it many a times in the future


Ash Pool

6: Aldebaran - Embracing the Lightless Depths

2012-12-19 05:09:47 by johan

Embracing the Lightless Depths Excruciatingly slow and heavy, this is my favorite funeral doom album of the year, it's not quite as astounding as last year's favorite (Mournful Congregation's Book of Kings) but it's damned good. Two songs clocking in at just under the 30 minute mark the remaining three barely making up ten and you know which are the real songs here. This isn't an album for the impatient or anybody who wants to get this done (but if that were you, would you be listening to funeral doom?), no this is an album that demands your time, and it's a worthwhile endeavor.



7: Mgła - With Hearts Towards None

2012-12-18 06:49:34 by johan

With Hearts Towards None Four long years since the stunning Groza came out this was one of the year's most anticipated albums. While not quite living up to it, it's so close that categorically ruling it inferior is unfair. My only real complaint with this album is the title, it just feels wrong somehow. Perhaps it's just a poor translation and it makes more sense in Polish or perhaps it has some deeper meaning that I'm unaware of, regardless it's a minor complaint on an otherwise amazing album.



8: Behexen - Nightside Emanations

2012-12-17 08:19:48 by johan

Nightside Emanations Behexen return with more punk fueled black metal, my initial impression was slightly disappointed as this wasn't quite on par with 2008's great My Soul For His Glory, however it has grown significantly on me, there are several tracks that are quite catchy and hard to get out of your head once you hear them. All in all a solid album that should leave most previous fans satisfied.



9: Ashencult - Black Flame Gnosis

2012-12-16 06:47:18 by johan

Ashencult Logo Ashencult like Blodhemn previously comes as breath of stale 90's air, there is ample Scandinavian black metal worship here to go around, however at times it breaks with this and we get a whiff of contemporary American black metal. Hence there is more here than just nostalgia, the album is fairly strong with quite a few memorable riffs and songs, and as such it's graced my playlist many a times this year since it was released. Looking forward to see what develops next.



10: Blodhemn - Holmengraa

2012-12-15 08:00:56 by johan

Holmengraa In many ways Holmengraa is a nostalgic album, it sounds and feels just like the early to mid 90's. It is absolute and non-apologetic Dissection worship (they even include a Dissection cover for good measure). There is nothing new here, but for someone who enjoyed the music of that era this certainly brings it back to life.