What can I say, it was a big project and I lost track of some things. Also, I discovered a number of albums in the last couple weeks that I felt were definitely worthy of inclusion. Each of these entries will be added to the relevant monthly year in review posts for future generations to see ...
March 21 - WINDHAND (ST) - Richmond, Virginia based doom quintet Windhand's five song debut was one of the best releases of the year. It has made many year end lists and has netted them a deal with Burning World records. Their Electric Wizard meets Uncle Acid style of doom is supremely addictive. Find it here and be blown away by one of the best albums of the year. Highlights include "Black Candles" and "Winter Sun". Rating 5/5
March 27 - Pale Divine (Painted Windows Black)
June 14 - NIGHTOSAUR (Spaceaxers) - Minneapolis based power trio Nightosaur play a raw brand of 'fossil rock' with elements of punk, thrash and sludge. Their sophomore effort is a high energy, eptempo outing and loud above all else. Get it here. Highlights include "Too Far South For Mutiny" and "There May Be Dragons". Rating 4/5
September 12 - THE BRIMSTONE DAYS (On A Monday Too Early To Tell) - Malmo, Sweden based three-piece The Brimstone Days are a high energy, no-nonsense, back-to-basics rock & roll band. On their second album they bang off 14 killer songs in 48 satisfying minutes with hardly a detour into ballad country. These guys get straight to the point and stay on track. Find it here. Highlights include "Same Old Story" and "I Need Soul". Rating 4.5/5
September 23 - BLUE ASIDE (The Moles of a Dying Race) - Boston proggers Blue Aside released maybe my favorite prog album of 2012. It's an album that I like more and more with each subsequent listen. Cold landscapes and an ever-present feeling of paranoia pervade this album. Read my review. Get it here. Highlights include "The Ice Mammoth" and "The Moles of a Dying Race, Part I". Rating 4.5/5
October 5 - CHAINS (Of Death) - Clearly, you will notice, ambient drone doom is not a major area of focus around Paranoid Hitsophrenic but with Chad Davis involved I was more than happy to make an exception. This is magic ritual music, more meditative and darker than Saturnalia Temple or Spectral Haze and more of a mood setter. Find it here. Highlights include "Anticosmic Void" and "Necromantic Force". Rating 4.5/5
October 31 - MAGE (Black Sands) - Leicester, England quintet Mage play a burly style of mossy stoner doom. This is their first full length album, full of big riffs and some very memorable songs. Aside from those listed below "Danse Macabre", "Degenerate" and "Witch of the Black Desert" are standout tracks. Good mix of stoner and doom by way of the desert. Read my review. Find it here. Highlights include "Cosmic Cruiser X" and "Drowning Doom". Rating 4/5
November 9 - ARKHAM WITCH (Legions of the Deep) - Old School metal quartet with elements of doom from Keighley, England, featuring two thirds of Lamp of Thoth. So much of this album is standout material, there's hooks and riffs galore and this album is littered with reference to the work of Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, etc. Come upon it here. Highlights include "The Cloven Sea" and "David Lund". Rating 4/5
November 12 - Hound (Spirits Are Appearing)
November 14 - THREE SEASONS (Understand The World) - A standout entry in the field of prog from Uppsala, Sweden, this would have been a standout in the original prog era of the early 70s, of which this album really sounds like. There's some top flight material on this album and this band is at the forefront of this Golden Age of Swedish Rock. Read my review. Find it here. Highlights include "Searching" and "Set In Stone". Rating 4/5
November 14 - WHEELFALL (Interzone) - Epic stoner rock with great riffs and a hypnotic attitude, this French foursome's much lauded debut full length is a downtuned wet fuzz dream come true. It's not often you hear a stoner rock band attempt a 20+ minute song, but Wheelfall does it. Lot of great French releases in 2012, 'Interzone' is near the top. Get it here. Highlights include "It Comes From The Mist" and "Holy Sky". Rating 4.5/5
November 22 - BLACK SPACE RIDERS (Light is the New Black) - This is a very interesting release from a German space / stoner rock quartet. A lot of the song titles have bracketed subtitles which creates the impression that the band has so many ideas they don't know what to do with them all, this abundance of ideas comes across in the music. Check it out. Highlights include "Digging Down" and "Startrooper". Rating 4/5
There you have it. 2012 was an amazing year for music and I didn't even get the chance to pick up or listen to half of everything I wanted to. I'd like to think that I supported only the best of the absolute best, but there were just too many albums that I didn't get around to. And with upcoming releases from none other than Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Cathedral and Clutch as well as Serpent Venom, Windhand, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and High Priest of Saturn, among so many other highly anticipated releases (Egypt, Moss, Set (Mass.), Sonic Titan, Witchcoven, I could go on and on) that my bank account groans miserably in anticipation, 2013 threatens to be an even better year. See you on the other side of the fence ...