2012 is a few days in the dust now so it seems about time we published our favorite albums of that very good year. The debate has been raging for months now amongst our writers, but now the votes are in, collated and my Editor’s Special Scoring Algorithmtm has been applied. This year 20 writers (the most ever) submitted 225 albums (also the most ever) in to the pot. We think that shows what a truly great year 2012 was for new music.

Without further ado, I’ll let you get on to the list….

The Echoes And Dust Writers Poll Album of 2012 – Harbour Of Devils by What The Blood Revealed.

To be fair, the vote was so close this year that a vote either way could have meant top spot for any of the MONO, Godspeed or Trail of Dead albums but the very fact that this debut album from Scottish four piece What The Blood Revealed is being mentioned in such lofty company tells you all you need to know really.

#2 – MONO – For My Parents

I’ll confess now, I have long considered Mono to be pretty much as damn near the top of the Post Rock tree as it’s possible to get. They sit comfortably alongside such luminaries of the genre like Godspeed and Mogwai, and live they are an utterly sublime proposition;... read more

#5 – Neurosis – Honor Found in Decay

When the updated list with new releases to review was sent out, I was lucky enough to be the first one to reply and pick this much-anticipated release by American experimental doom/sludge metal band Neurosis. In retrospect I quickly realized the daunting exercise I... read more

#6 – Rumour Cubes – The Narrow State

I was no Oliver Twist when I found an instant appeal to Rumour Cubes‘ music on first hearing them last year. Happily it’s been only a few short months to wait to hear their first full length album and, in late February, everyone gets their turn. What... read more

#7 – Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster – Exegesis

‘for people with love for heavy guitar atmospheres and rhythm sections showing up how it’s done. The pace is slow but never boring. The energy is cranked up and the atmosphere, just like the album cover, is an expansive, vast ocean of sounds that is never too... read more

#8 – Swans – The Seer

‘In my opinion, this album serves as a real Swans fans wet dream. Anything at fault with it? Yeah, its two fucking hours long, which is stretching it by anyone’s terms. Having said that, I believe that within this imposing tome lies probably Giras best... read more

#9 – The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know

I have to confess that I am a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Scottish musicians and bands. My fascination with all things Scottish began with Fish and Marillion (and Fish solo) in my teens, then bands like Teenage Fanclub in my early adult years, and now, deep in... read more

#10 – Conan – Monnos

Angry embers rupture through this seemingly unholy script, it meets the mood of solitude and unbalanced emotion. Incredibly heavy and thought provoking, making you crumble from inside leaving you with an impressive after thought which embeds itself in the listeners... read more

#11 – Golden Fable – Star Map

After months of waiting and listening repeatedly to Golden Fable’s earlier EP it is with great delight and excitement that I took hold of this debut album for reviewing. Rapidly becoming one of the most interesting bands I have heard for a long time, it seems that the... read more

#12 – The Narrows – Eve of Invasion

There is a moment during this album that is so jaw droppingly stunning that you will be forgiven for thinking that you were in the presence of seasoned professionals who know a trick or two to tug on your heartstrings. It is a moment which belies the youthfulness and... read more

#13 – Sleep Lady – So Long Lonely Ghost

There’s a great many of us extended Echoes and Dust family, who like nothing better than recommending each other new musical discoveries. It’s a sense of sharing and community I relate to that extends to various other sites. Sometimes, and I apply this to... read more

#14 – Shearwater – Animal Joy

This review was difficult to write for one main reason, and that is because ‘Animal Joy’ is such an amazing record. How could I fill out a review with words like ‘WOW’ and ‘Record of the Year’, which was all I could utter on my... read more

#15 – Ty Segall – Slaughterhouse

‘The sound is that of a bandleader revelling in the freedom of a live set-up and it’s louder and more abrasive than anything he’s done before. Indeed, its title gives you a decent idea of what’s on offer across its 11 pummeling tracks;... read more

#16 – Amenra – Mass V

I have been waiting a long time for this release since Amenra signed for Neurot Recordings in July 2011 and finally I am able to listen to the first result of this new partnership. Neurot are best known as the label that releases Neurosis and Ufomammut and Amenra fits... read more

#17 – Goat – World Music

• Fuzz? Check, • Polyrhythms? Check • Funky basslines? Check • Soul grinding organs? Check • Sultry female vocals? Check • A Whiff of the occult? Check • A time machine that takes me back to a place where semi naked people dance in fields in a swirly arm flailing... read more

#19 – Baroness – Yellow & Green

‘The whole album comes across as an art student’s portfolio, with different works constructed from different media and materials, ultimately though everything gels together as one consistently themed piece. The band’s decision to make this a double offering now... read more

#20 – Torche – Harmonicraft

Torche have always been quite an anomaly in the rock scene, managing to throw fuzz-laden stoner grooves, off-tempo time changes and soaring melodies into the mix and come out with music that rides the perfect cusp between accessibility and mayhem. Their latest effort,... read more

#21 – Clock Opera – Ways To Forget

‘Ways To Forget’, the debut album from Clock Opera, has been so hotly anticipated for so long that when it was finally announced, almost every single Echoes and Dust writer wanted to review it. However, there are perks to dating the editor and so the pleasure is all... read more

#22 – Marriages – Kitsune

When this album came through by a new band containing members of Red Sparowes and The Nocturnes (Greg Burns & Emma Ruth Rundle) I knew there was a fair chance I was going to like it, after all with that kind of pedigree it’s hard to imagine what they could have... read more

#23 – Gallops – Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore

Leftfield music has seen a bit of a turn around in fortunes over the recent years with the current strain of what some people call “math rock” even denting the charts. Battles and Foals spring to mind and now we can add another name to that list…Gallops. Read more.... read more

#24 – Ufomammut – Oro: Opus Primum

‘Since their inception nearly fifteen years ago, they have noticeably developed an ever-increasing respect and knack for the art of songwriting. Unlike many, the band do not suffocate their own songs with a lumbering mass of atonal distortion, but instead let... read more

#26 – Beak – >>

‘BEAK> created their debut album out of 12 days of improvised sessions, with the resulting jams edited into song form. No overdubs. These recording methods were utilised again on >>, the only real difference being the bringing of the synthesizers to the fore in... read more

#30 – Deftones – Koi No Yokan

‘the awesomeness and advancements of Koi seem more miraculous with the knowledge that it’s an album that might’ve never happened, and a sequel to an album that itself hurdled over adversity to enter the material world’ – Metal... read more

#31 – El-P – Cancer 4 Cure

‘leaves most of his contemporaries in the dust; his rapid-fire delivery, complex rhyme schemes, and savage charisma feel mercifully out of a place in a rap market dominated by Auto-Tuned nothings’ –... read more

#33 – MAKE – Trephine

‘Trephine is a concept album about a fantasy world a hospitalised man encounters after a psychological breakdown. Inspired tragically in part by the death of Guitarist/singer Scott Endres’s close friend, they have created a dark, psychedelic bruising... read more

#37 – inFictions – Maps Of Revenge And Forgiveness

I tend to rant a lot about genre classification (see: anything I’ve ever written) and how needless it is most of the time. Thus, when I saw that Sheffield’s inFictions classified themselves as ‘post-progressive’ I got a little worried about the content of their debut... read more

#39 – MINIONTV – The Last Projectionist

Well they’ve done it again. MINIONTV‘s third record in just over two years continues the quality of the others with their wonderful looping drums, powerful layers of guitar and synth, the prominent dancing bass lines, and that ability to get you out of... read more

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