Top Albums of 2012: 75 to 51

Here we are at the end of the world.

2012 draws to a rapid close, winter begins to show her teeth, and the holidays are around the bend, for better or worse. For many of you, hopefully, that means a stuffed stocking and a gathering of loved ones; for some of us it’s just another length of rope. But we made it through 2012, the year the idiots predicted none of us would survive, and–hey, if the simple act of surviving the year proves the idiots are in fact idiots, I can live with that. Simple pleasures.

It’s been a hell of a year. We saw brilliant releases from old-timers eclipse the brightest lights in their catalog (see: Cannibal Corpse, Grave, Swans). We saw more death/doom and funeral doom than ever before, and almost all of it was fucking gold (see: Evoken, Indesinence, Anhedonist, lots more). We saw Incantation reclaim their shit-stained throne from all the bands copping their style these past few years (fucking finally–glad to have you back, boys!). And we saw black metal take a back seat for the first time in forever–allowing doom and death metal to soak up the critical and commercial spotlight. Sure, black metal had more than it’s share of moments (see: Ash Borer, Winterfylleth, Krallice), but as the dust settles and we reflect on 2012 as a solid chunk of time–this is unquestionably the year of doom.

To compile this bitch of a list, we polled our staff on their top 20 albums of the year (note to aspiring editors: I don’t recommend taking on a staff-wide list if you value sanity or free time). Points were assigned accordingly–a number one vote equals 20 points, a number twenty vote equals 1 point–and I made a ridiculously ugly spreadsheet that channeled the arcane power of math in order to magically pick our winners. In total 178 bands received votes, some as few as a point a piece (Dethklok got 2!). Our album of the year earned a total of 117 points, exactly 10 points higher than our number 2 pick. As in years past the top 50 albums will unfold next week, 10 at a time–but many of the most interesting picks actually pop up here, just outside the list proper, in the outer reaches of #51-75. Several of these topped individual writer’s lists, including Aluk Todolo, Faustcoven, and Wrathblade, so it felt only natural to give them a post of their own.

An important distinction: this list was not curated or manipulated in any way. What you see here is an accurate representation of what our writers voted for. As such, this is not intended as the definitive “BEST ALBUMS ACCORDING TO INVISIBLE ORANGES”. Instead it merely reflects the most popular records amongst the staff. Many brilliant albums are left off or score fairly low simply because they didn’t receive enough votes. All I’m saying here: it is what it is. It ain’t definitive, even if everything on here absolutely rules hard. Let’s get on with it.

— Aaron Lariviere

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75. Down – Down IV Part 1 – The Purple EP

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Down – “The Purple EP”

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74. Huntress – Spell Eater

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Huntress – “Spell Eater”

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73. Pharaoh – Bury the Light

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Pharaoh – “Graveyard of Empires”

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72. Serpentine Path – Serpentine Path

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Serpentine Path – Album trailer

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71. The Great Old Ones – Al Azif

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The Great Old Ones – “Album trailer”

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70. Anatomy of Habit – Anatomy of Habit EP

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Anatomy of Habit – “After the Water”

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69. Aura Noir – Out to Die

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Aura Noir – “Out to Die”

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68. Ahab – The Giant

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Ahab- “The Giant”

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67. HellVetron – Death Scrolls of Seven Hells and Its Infernal Majesties

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HellVetron – Album trailer

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66. Svartidauði – Flesh Cathedral

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Svartidauði – “Flesh Cathedral”

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65. Shroud of Despondency – Pine

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Shroud of Despondency – “Sybil”

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64. Kayo Dot – Gamma Knife

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Kayo Dot – “Gamma Knife”

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63. Machinae Supremacy – Rise of a Digital Nation

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Machinae Supremacy – “Rise of a Digital Nation”

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62. Midnight – Complete and Total Fucking Hell

61. Author & Punisher – Ursus Americanus

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Author & Punisher – “Flesh Ants”

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60. My Dying Bride – A Map of All Our Failures

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My Dying Bride – “A Map of All Our Failures”

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59. 16 – Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds

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16 – “Only Photographs Remain”

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58. Anicon

57. Occultation – Three & Seven

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Occultation – “The One Who Sleeps”

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56. Graveyard – Lights Out

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Graveyard – “Endless Night”

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55. Faustcoven – Hellfire and Funeral Bells

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Faustcoven – “Hellfire and Funeral Bells”

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54. Wrathblade – Into the Netherworld’s Realm

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Wrathblade – Album trailer

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53. Haarp – Husks

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Haarp – “Bear”

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52. Anaal Nathrakh – Vanitas

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Anaal Nathrakh – “You Can’t Save Me, So Stop Fucking Trying”

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51. Aluk Todolo – Occult Rock

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Aluk Todolo – “I”

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