Mostly musical, a few that aren't. If you want an albums list, you can find that at Metalsucks.
10. No Gang Colors
If I wasn't some hack who merely wrote about music and gets butthurt when people use that Teddy Roosevelt quote, I'd be No Gang Colors. The alias of Fort Worth musician and producer Joseph Ohegyi, he understands that hip-hop, metal, and noise aren't so dissimilar, and actually knows how to fuse them together. Seriously, "Money Screw Dead," from 666 Mixes For Cash, mashes up Swans, Scarface, and Juicy J together and should have a been a huge club banger. And who else is insane enough to put John Fahey, Insane Clown Posse, Prurient, and DMX on a mix tape, and make it work as he did on Hellawayne IV? No Gang Colors had two releases this year -- the Warez Internet City mix, dedicated to fallen DJ Matthew Africa, and the "audio documentary" Hacking Heaven. City is darker than his other mixes, weaving through Carl Crack, The Prodigy, and early Three 6 Mafia, among others. Heaven features a variety of interviews detailing the intersection of technology and culture, woven in with bursts of noise. Most explorations of that subject do not feature a ill chopping and screwing of the breakdown from Pantera's "Suicide Note Part 2." Anything this dude puts out in 2013 should be gobbled up furiously.
9. Prurient - "I Understand You"
I fucked up majorly in my Top 10 Albums list last year. Had I focused on just "albums" instead of "metal albums," Prurient's Bermuda Drain would have easily been my #1. No disrespect to Yob, but Dominick Fernow's bizzaro-world club music was simply the best music released last year, and in some time. It's one of the 2011 releases I still jam on a regular basis. Fernow was pretty quiet on the Prurient front this year, but more than made up for it with "I Understand You," from Worship is the Cleansing of the Imagination, his split with JK Flesh and Hydra Head's last release. Frail synths get eaten alive by ravenous hisses and squeals, leaving not a trace of carcass behind. It's that whole "everything you will ever love will die" speech without words. So fucking beautiful.
8. Swans @ Austin Music Hall, 9/14/12
This was beyond music. This was a full blood-and-soul transfusion. For more thoughts, read my review for Austinist.
7. The NPR intern who said he didn't like It Takes A Nation of Millions...
If he can make it in this biz, I will too. One day, I will be the king of listicles.
6. The original Bill Nye Tho
No Twitter account has brought me such joy. And no Twitter account's demise has been so heartbreaking. There are now just lesser parody accounts. A few are still up here and here. Science fact: I'm faded as hell right now.
5. "Lock in the fade"
Kerry McCoy of Deafheaven taught me this one, shouts out to him. "Lock in the fade" technically means meeting someone to engage in physical combat with them. Of course, being a stereotypical wigger (don't let my Sadistik Exekution and Impaled Nazarene shirts fool you, I REALLY wanted Birdman Lugz in high school), I use it in many other situations. Mostly, to announce my mere arrival. Or to simply meet with a person, no fighting needed. I use slang way too much. It's kind of a problem. Then again, most metalheads don't have the swag I do.
4. "Turnt up"
If you've held an awkward conversation (that is to say, any conversation) with me at least once, you've heard me say "turnt up." For those of you who don't listen to Juicy J, "turnt up" means to be high on whatever -- booze, pills, weed, good vibes, life itself. One should aspire to get turnt up as much as possible. My friends associate me with that phrase, and I am somehow responsible for metal dudes increasingly using "turnt up." I don't know why, but I'm willing to take credit for it. Besides, we says "turned to 11" all the time. Why not say "turnt to 11?"
3. Deftones -- White Pony and Around The Fur
I still haven't gotten around to listening to the new Deftones record. For that matter, I STILL haven't listened to the new Baroness! I suck at my job. Anyhoo. 2012 has been the first year in which I am not ashamed of my nu-metal past. Were it not for Limp Bizkit playing at the Compaq Center (now the Lakewood Church) in Houston many nu moons ago, I would have never gotten into Metallica, Burzum, Public Enemy, John Coltrane, Big Black, pretty much all the cool shit I listen to. I realize that the Deftones are the “acceptable” nu band amongst music snobs, but White Pony and Around the Fur have held up a lot better than a lot of the shit that came out around that time. Deftones were thinking on a whole different level than Limp Bizkit and Korn -- they knew chunky riffs weren't the be all end all. White Pony incorporated ambient music into its framework, fer chrissakes. Compared to most of the groups they came up with, they had some semblance of an endgame.
2. Lil Ugly Mane
If I'm going by "most listened to" metrics, Lil Ugly Mane dominated my 2012. How does a dude who used to be in power electronics and black metal groups make the best rap album of the year (sorry I'm not sorry, Kendrick Lamar, El-P, et. al.)? By rapping about fucking girls in churches, bags full of guts, cups full of "beetlejuice," and being lugubrious. No, really, he has a song titled "Bitch, I'm Lugubrious." Lil Ugly Mane's production, under the alias "Shawn Kemp," weaves between ambient treatments, psychedelic guitar loops, codeine-drenched vocals, industrial beats, and classic 808 steez breathlessly. Dude straight up invented funeral rap with "End Ya Whole Shit." He doesn't save all the good beats for himself -- check Antwon's "Lap of Luxury."
"Best dudes, best band." How many times have you heard that, and how many times have you wanted to punch the people who say it? Dudes are often the worst, and subsequently, they have the worst bands. Not the four guys in Pallbearer. They fucked the game up for everybody by putting out the best record of the year in January. Sorrow and Extinction is some next-level shit: doom isn't usually this gorgeous, this full of life. 'Twas also great hanging out with them at SXSW and FFF this year. Joe was totally getting down to Nicky da B at FFF, which proves just how much these guys rule.