So we’ve already published part 1, part 2 AND Dep Ed, Hugh Platt’s Albums of the Year lists, so now it’s time for the next stage of #RaziqRaufsReignOfTerror. Here’s the eclectic and ridiculous list of Raziq Rauf.
While he’s happiest writing an introduction about himself in the Third Person, he, like Hugh, stuck to the rules. Pretty much. All 20 albums are from 2012 and there aren’t any Best Ofs. There aren’t even any EPs actually. He’s just not that DIY. He’s explained his Top 10 because he knows you care. It’s not a self-indulgent thing.
1. Baroness – Yellow & Green
Baroness released my album of the year. It took a while to fully appreciate it because it came slightly later in the year than ETID’s latest (more about that in a moment) but when I did, I really, really did. It harks back to Baroness’ older stuff but also carries new stories. It stands up as a double album. It has pretty artwork. It still sounds great.
As an aside, I reviewed the album on the BBC and as both Radio 1 Rock Show host, Daniel P Carter and BBC Music editor, Mike Diver also voted for it, Yellow & Green actually ended up in 13th place on the BBC Music Albums of the Year list. That’s pretty cool.
2. Every Time I Die – Ex Lives
I am the ultimate ETID fanboy. I played this album 100 times in the first couple of months of the year. It’s my favourite ETID album, marrying the heaviness with the melodies better than they’ve ever done in the past. Sadly, however, it was usurped by the emergence of what I think will be a classic in years to come. Baroness wins, but only just.
3. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Converge just get better and better, don’t they? How is it possible? It happened. More furious and yet more accessible than ever before, this album has seen them emerge from cult classic status into playing gigs to a LOT of people. It’s pretty cool. The best thing about AWLWLB? It leaves every Converge cover band wondering what to do next. They’re market leaders; captains of industry; fucking brilliant.
4. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Lost Songs
…Trail Of Dead have always had a special place in my heart because… they’re great. It’s good that they’ve re-emerged with some of their finest work. Conrad Keely says his music is almost just an aside to the art he creates and novel he’s written, but the truth is they all combine to excellent effect. The TOD experience is a complete and fulfilling one.
5. Primitive Weapons – The Shadow Gallery
Here’s a band I saw supporting Pentagram in 2011. They’re not a doom metal band, though. Instead they spit out fantastically jagged, tumultuous hardcore. I held out a lot of hope for this album and it really delivered. With just seven tracks in 25 minutes, it packs a swift punch and doesn’t leave any time to get bored of it. If you miss Gay For Johhny Depp, you might want to give it a play.
6. Narrows – Painted
This is an evil beast of an album. Again, it’s one that came out early in the year but it’s endured. There’s a menacing guitar tone and some of the fiercest vocals you’ll ever hear. Somehow, they’ve managed to sound even more focussed, despite leading a trans-Atlantic lifestyle – guitarist, Jodie Cox lives in the UK. Long may this excellence continue.
7. Torche – Harmonicraft
Torche got rid of Juan Montoya and made the album everyone wishes Mastodon would make. It’s heavy and tuneful and beautiful. It sounds like a big, dreamy cloud. It’s got really nice artwork as well. Fucking excellent.
8. Cancer Bats – Dead Set On Living
It’s the best Cancer Bats album so far. I pay a lot of attention to the first lyrics on an album and a contented smile appeared on my face as I heard Liam Cormier scream, “RATS!” If you like Cancer Bats, you’ll fucking love this. Simple as.
9. Rolo Tomassi – Astraea
It’s bigger and bolder than anything they’ve done before. Despite two new members, including the guitarist, Rolo Tomassi have created an album that is more progressive and more evil-sounding than anything else in their career. You may have noticed that I like it when a band I like outdoes themselves. Rolo Tomassi is a band that doesn’t sit still. I fucking love that because neither can I when I’m listening to their music.
10. Gallows – Gallows
If you wrote this band off, you’re a mug. Gallows are fucking class. Just like Converge, these guys are still showing the rest how it’s done. Hail Gallows.
11. The Mars Volta – Noctourniquet
12. Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
13. Black Breath – Sentenced To Life
14. While She Sleeps – This Is The Six
15. Architects – Daybreaker
16. Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood Of Colour
17. Neurosis – Honor Found In Decay
18. Devil Sold His Soul – Empire Of Light
19. Meshuggah – Koloss
20. Mutilation Rites – Empyrean