Jan 2013 19

At the end of every year, there are numerous lists that get published through various outlets detailing the best of whatever your category of choice; the best movie, the best dressed, the best restaurant, what have you. Perhaps it is part of humanity’s reflective nature to reminisce on the past year and quantify it down to a simple list that can quickly summarize what made living through it a worthwhile endeavor. Or perhaps it is indicative of the ever growing shallowness inherent to pop culture that quality is best summed up in simple ordered entries on some list. Who can say?
Certainly not ReGen Magazine, for we too have a list for you, the reader, of this publication’s Top 20 Albums of 2012. Voted on by the various members of the magazine staff, this list presents ReGen’s crème de la crème, showcasing those albums that best define the musical and creative outflow of the year from a wide variety of artists. So without further ado, we present to you ReGen Magazine’s Top 20 Albums of 2012.

 

  1. ∆AIMON: Flatliner
    Tundra Dubs / Artoffact Records
    Released 2012-11-06
    Originally released in 2010 and fleshed out for a fuller release, the debut from this electrifying duo reveals a densely atmospheric and mystically harrowing sound built on occult romanticism, drawing the fine lines between ambient industrial and witch house, topped off with somber melodies guaranteed to wrench even the coldest heart.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD (Extended Edition)
    Amazon MP3 (Standard Edition)
    Amazon Vinyl (Standard Edition)
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  3. Mind.in.a.Box: Revelations
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2012-01-24
    Darkly melodic pop flair has always been a defining element of Mind.in.a.Box, and with this album, the band has its sights set firmly on titillating every sensation creating a mesmerizing album of conceptual synthpop.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  5. Celldweller: Wish Upon a Blackstar
    FiXT Music
    Released 2012-06-12
    Alt. rock, drum & bass, dubstep, and industrial metal clash in a celestially conceptual and melodic mélange almost a decade in the making, topped off by cutting-edge production and marking Celldweller as one of the hottest acts in modern music.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
    Amazon MP3 (Standard Edition)
    Amazon MP3 (Deluxe Edition)
    CDBaby
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  7. Caustic: The Man Who Couldn’t Stop
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2012-10-09
    Never ones to shy from in-your-face, derisive humor, Caustic points the proverbial finger straight at the listener with an album that lives up to the band’s name, drenching your speakers in battery acid while leaving no stylistic stone unturned.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  9. Dream into Dust: So Beautiful and So Dangerous
    Chthonic Streams
    Released 2012-04-15
    Nearly a decade in waiting and adopting a more varied approach that meshes stark ambience and neo-folk melody with moments of upbeat yet dark electro, this album more than lives up to its title.
    Purchase at:
    Chthonic Streams Webstore http://chthonicstreams.bigcartel.com
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  11. Prometheus Burning: Kill It with Fire
    WTII Records
    Released 2012-11-13
    Prometheus Burning are as sharply and consistently venomous as ever with this album, but allow for a softer side to reveal itself with a more melodic presence that shines through the grit and the grime.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  13. Hirsute Pursuit: Tighten that Muscle Ring
    Cold Spring
    Released 2012-07-10
    Experimental minimalism merges with assertive masculinity as this “gay electronic” act unveils a sophomore album guaranteed to make you cringe and writhe in ecstasy, no matter what your carnal predilections.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  15. NON/Boyd Rice: Back to Mono
    Mute Records
    Released 2012-11-06
    Reaching back to his roots while keeping his feet grounded in the here and now, one of the progenitors of noise music unleashes an uncompromising assault on the ears that can’t be ignored.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  17. Killing Joke: MMXII
    Spinefarm Records
    Released 2012-10-30
    As urgent and as relevant as ever, one of the most influential and creative bands in music history unveils an album for the moment, touching on everything from environment to education to the end times.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  19. Worms of the Earth: Anāgāmi
    Tympanik Audio
    Released 2012-11-06
    Steadily building from humble terror EBM roots to become a veritable force in post-industrial noise and dark ambient, Worms of the Earth’s debut on the esteemed Tympanik Audio is a venomous and harrowing trip through the sonic abyss that demands to be heard.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon MP3
    CDBaby
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  21. Die Sektor: The Final Electro Solution
    COP International / Deathwatch Asia
    Released 2012-08-14
    Die Sektor knows how to hit you hard and fast with the band’s aggressive brand of danceable beats and distorted textures, making this album a fine example of pure EBM/industrial.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  23. Uberbyte: Five Year Plan
    Vendetta Music
    Released 2012-11-16
    Progressing from the standards of EBM/industrial that defined the band’s earlier work, Uberbyte has a few tricks up its sleeve, incorporating elements of synthpop, EDM, and dubstep for a varied but intensely engaging album.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  25. Ludovico Technique: Some Things are Beyond Therapy
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2012-09-25
    After making waves with a self-released debut EP and several high profile shows, these hot new upstarts present a scathing display of industrial psychosis and electronic mania.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  27. Ministry: Relapse
    13th Planet / AFM Records
    Released 2012-03-27
    As bad a habit as all of the substances that fueled the band’s history, Ministry returns from five year silence with a thrashing display of tightly programmed beats and ballistic riffs, eschewing the typical political diatribes in favor of more personal themes, making for a brutal and welcome revival.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  29. Swans: The Seer
    Young God Records
    Released 2012-08-28
    The veterans of experimental post-punk showcase a primal, majestic, and unforgiving album that is sure to repel as much as intrigue in the depth of its melodic atmosphere and beautifully epic scope.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
    Amazon CD (Special Edition)
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  31. Julien-K: We’re Here with You
    Tiefdruck-Musik
    Released 2012-01-23
    Toning down the aggression in favor of a more atmospheric and EDM-friendly sound, Julien-K aims for the dance floor with songs that tug at your heart strings while beckoning you to move.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  33. Twitch the Ripper: Colorblind
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2012-08-14
    Few bands so effectively capture a retro spirit while maintaining a modern edge, but the band’s sophomore album more than measures up to the task with a record as catchy as it is nuanced.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
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  35. Fear Factory: The Industrialist
    Candlelight Records
    Released 2012-06-05
    Ever blurring the lines between the artificial and the organic, the heroes of hybrid metal unleash what is perhaps the band’s most conceptual and most truly industrial record in over a decade.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
    Amazon CD (Limited Edition)
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  37. Assemblage 23: Bruise
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2012-04-24
    One of the key figures in modern synthpop presents a masterful and melancholy blend of pulsating electro and soothing melodies that easily stands up as one of the act’s best efforts.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
    Amazon CD (Deluxe Edition)
    Amazon MP3
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  39. Cynergy 67: SINthesize
    Sonic Angel
    Released 2012-05-22
    A hypersexual display of powerful riffs, grooving rhythms, and lush synths topped off by melodies as erotically enticing as they are aggressively engaging.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon MP3
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Naturally, there were plenty of other nominations besides these 20 that didn’t make the final list, but obviously had as profound an impact as those on the Top 20. It would be a disservice to not grant an honorable mention to them.
Most especially this honor should go to the debut album from Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters, Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free. Concocted by Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen with his musical partner, guitarist Mike Scaccia, whose untimely passing only a few days before the end of 2012 was a terrible loss for the world of music, the album deserves credit for its incendiary and rocking brand of country with a derisive and caustic edge as only Jourgsensen could deliver.
As well, the unofficial debut from Chicago electroscuzz masters GoFight, featuring Die Warzau alumni and longtime luminary of the underground music scene Jim Marcus, Music for Military Torture (pre-released as a keychain USB available at the Cold Waves tribute to Jamie Duffy) marked the return of the sociopolitical and sexual mentalities that helped to give the scene so much energy in the last generation.
Post-industrial and rhythmic ambient artists like Autoclav1.1 and ESA made their mark with albums like Embark on Departure and Themes of Carnal Empowerment Pt. 1: Lust, respectively, garnering a special entry for those who enjoy melodic atmosphere over gritty bravado and flash. Not that the latter isn’t presented in all its glory by such releases as Alter Der Ruine’s There’s Always One More Son of a Bitch or [X]-Rx’s Activate the Machinez, or even Modulate’s Robots or BlakOpz’s Blood, Sweat and Fear, while Bryan Black aimed straight for caustic electro minimalism with MOTOR’s Man Made Machine and the debut of his Black Asteroid solo outlet.
From the martial aggression of FGFC820’s Homeland Insecurity to the sultry pole dancing swagger of Bomb Gang Girlz’s A Taste 4 Trouble, 2012 proved to be a tumultuous year filled with no small amount of heartbreak (with the loss of the aforementioned Scaccia, Jamie Duffy, and Bill Kennedy to name a few), but a wide and prolific range of musical diversity, promising for 2013 to be an even better, more intriguing, and electrifying year for the goth/electro/industrial music community.

 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
ReGen Magazine Staff
Happy 2013!

1 Comment

  1. […] Noise artist Boyd Rice/NON has announced a string of North American tour dates for this June with collaborators Cold Cave, beginning in Los Angeles on June 14. This tour marks Rice’s first North American performances since a New York show earlier this year in support of Back to Mono, his first album since 2002’s Children of the Black Sun. Back to Mono was listed among ReGen’s Top 20 Albums of 2012. […]

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