Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.
Another year, another torrential downpour of albums across our desks. As always, we encountered way too much amazing music, from Meshuggah to The Mars Volta, Converge, Killer Mike, P.O.S, and many more.
After surviving more than 20 years together, Napalm Death still is going strong. Earlier this year, the English extreme-metal outfit released its latest acclaimed effort, Utilitarian — its 15th to date.
For its latest video, the band teamed up with director Tim Fox (Tesseract, Skindread) to fulfill its vision for “The Wolf I Feed.” Incorporating apocalyptic, sci-fi visuals, it explores the song’s themes about exploitation of power, propaganda, and religious dogma.
Holy smokes! ALARM’s fan-boy meter is registering off the charts, and for good reason: hardcore quartet Converge is covering Entombed’s classic “Wolverine Blues” on a new seven-inch split with pioneering grindcore outfit Napalm Death. And it gets better, because the cover includes guests in the form of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Disfear), Aaron Turner (Split Cranium, Mamiffer, ex-Isis), and members of The Hope Conspiracy and Trap Them. Calling it “epic” seems like an understatement.
Though it broke up following a serious tour robbery, Ontario-based hardcore band Cursed delivered three albums of ferocious hardcore punk, the last of which contained a particularly pointed message for the music industry.
Given the relatively straightforward demands of grindcore, any band willing to name itself Total Fucking Destruction should know what’s expected of it. Conversely, even the most casual grindcore enthusiast probably knows what to expect from a band named Total Fucking Destruction. With Hater, the Philadelphia quartet holds up its end of the bargain, but in such spastic fashion that even the most dedicated are likely to be left in a perpetual double-take.
Hater’s 27 tracks come instilled with a musical hostility equaled only by the comically abrasive song titles (“Murdernumber,” “Hate Mongering Pig Pandemonium”), all taken to absurd heights through a near-constant everything-at-once approach. Built primarily on a foundation of furious drumming, speed-metal riffing, and stream-of-consciousness anti-authoritarianism, Hater at times flexes a kind of accidental atonality not quite Zappa-esque, but more like Slayer if Slayer abandoned the concept of riffs and played at quintuple-time.
The long-rumored Faith No More reunion has been confirmed (!!!). Vocal heavyweight Mike Patton keeps busy with a feature-film soundtrack, MF Doom drops half his name and a new album, Dengue Fever provides accompaniment to The Lost World, hip-hop duo Themselves returns, and much more.