Year In Review: Simon Opie's Top Albums Of 2012

on Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Words: Simon Opie

It might be the second month of 2013 but yes, our FADED GLAMOUR 2012 retrospective still rumbles on. This time it's my top ten albums of 2012 featuring a double appearance of Ben Chasny, and several appearances of great music.

10. Rangda – 'Formerly Extinct'

Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance in the company of guitarist Sir Richard Bishop and drummer Chris Corsano in a power trio named after a Javanese demon queen. She’s obviously immune to sophomore blues.

Try: 'Goodbye Mr. Gentry', 'Tres Hambres', 'Idol’s Eye'

9. Converge – 'All We Love We Leave Behind'

Veterans who never put a foot wrong and have confounded expectation by following 2009’s 'Axe To Fall' with something even better. Intensity is what they do and there’s nobody does it better.

Try: 'A Glacial Pace', 'Trespasses', 'Vicious Muse'

8. Six Organs of Admittance – 'Ascent'

The aforementioned Ben Chasny is clearly super busy but here makes time to rock out with his bandmates from Comets on Fire to devastating effect. I realised how much I miss them, and they prove they remain the tightest unit imaginable.

Try: 'Waswasa', 'Even If You Knew', 'Your Ghost'

7. Torche – 'Harmonicraft'

Revitalised by new guitarist Andrew Elstner, Torche recovered their mojo and made a great album that seems even better than when we reviewed it.

Try: 'Reverse Inverted', 'Snakes Are Charmed', 'Harmonicraft'

6. Neurosis – 'Honour Found In Decay'

The titans of post rock unleash a welcome new album. They’ve been a massive influence on the genre since before it was post anything, and they still have energy and enthusiasm in spades. Recent live show proves that.

Try: 'We All Rage In Gold', 'Bleeding The Pigs', 'Raise The Dawn'.

5. Devil Sold His Soul – 'Empire Of Light'

London band stick to their guns and get better and better. New vocal style wasn’t to everyone’s taste but this is as accomplished an album as you could wish for.

Try: 'No Remorse, No Regrets', 'End Of Days', 'Sorrow Plagues'

4. Deftones – 'Koi No Yokan'

Peerless heavy metal meets uneasy dreamscape. Outstanding album from a band that has experienced a mighty rebirth through misfortune. Powerful stuff.

Try: 'Swerve City', 'Leathers', 'Graphic Nature'.

3. Feed The Rhino – 'The Burning Sons'

Chatham band with a simply massive presence and a magnificent sound. This is more invigorating than a day on Camber Sands. Music for life.

Try: 'The Burning Sons', 'Fountains', 'Nothing Lost', 'Razor'

2. Waves of Fury – 'Thirst'

From out of nowhere this record crept up on me and knocked me out. It’s utterly unique and laced with enough evil hooks to scare the devil. Northern Soul meets The Clash in a mighty mashup.

Try: 'Businessman’s Guide to Witchcraft', 'Killer Inside Me', 'These Things I Leave You'

1. Restlesslist – 'Coral Island Girl'

This may not be the obvious choice but no album has given me more pleasure this year. The tale of a stowaway, shipwrecked mariner ending up on a mythic coral island and encountering a misleadingly beautiful siren and a hat-wearing dog before the whole place is obliterated in a volcanic eruption is quite simply in a class of its own. Utterly British and impeccably eccentric. Hooray!

Try: 'Mr. Winchester I Presume', 'Hunter Gatherer', 'Moon Over Coral Island', 'Magma' (But since, in the words of Neil Young, it's all one song you should really listen to the album in its splendid entirety)

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