As every new year starts, there’s always a glut of rumors that kick around. So-and-so is going to have a new record, this or that band is going to reunite, someone just got signed, etc. However, when I look to my left at the post-it note on my wall of threatened 2012 releases, the prospect is actually daunting. Could we as a species actually live to see a year that boasts releases from Clutch, Kyuss, Neurosis and Saint Vitus?
It’s the kind of thing that, centuries from now, some puffy-haired weirdo (not the good kind) will get on tv and say must have been the work of ancient aliens. These things have a habit of not working out as planned, but even the thought is staggering.
These releases have all been announced one way or another, so like I said last year, I’m not breaking any news, and unlike yesterday, I haven’t actually heard any of them yet. Basically I just wanted to nerd out for a bit on cool stuff that’s supposed to be coming out in 2012.
So here goes:
Ufomammut, Oro: Their 2010 effort, Eve, was a defining moment, both for them as a trio and pivotal act within their genre, and for the genre itself. With Eve (review here), Italian three-piece Ufomammut took cosmic doom to new reaches of psychedelic complexity, and though I know I’ve said it a few times, it’s worth repeating that it was a true work of mastery. It’s only grown richer with time, and Ufomammut‘s two-part follow-up, Oro — which will be divided into Opus Primum and Opus Alter, both of which are set for issue on Neurot in 2012 — is set to expand on the form, if such a thing is possible. We’ll find out.
Saint Vitus, Lillie: F-65: I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up under a different name, and likewise if it didn’t show up in time for its currently-slated March 27 Season of Mist issue, but whenever and however it arrives, the first Saint Vitus album since 1995 and the first with Scott “Wino” Weinrich on vocals since 1990 is easily the most anticipated doom release of the year. Put to tape by Tony Reed — with whom I was fortunate enough to recently speak about making the album — most of the record was recorded live, and since that’s where Vitus has shined since coming back in 2009, I’m definitely looking forward to hearing how they translate their momentum into a new studio outing.
Colour Haze, She Said: I can’t imagine how frustrated the German heavy psych progenitors must be by now. Seriously — She Said was on my list last year. The trio, led by guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek, who also helms the Elektrohasch label, spent all of 2011 hindered by technical problems, and though we did a track premiere back in October for the song “Transformation,” the album has yet to materialize around it. It’s a heartbreaker every time Koglek sends an update, and we can only hope at this point that they continue to stick with it, because if there’s ever been a worthy cause, it’s a new Colour Haze record.
Greenleaf: According to reports, the Swedish trad-rock supergroup with members of Dozer, Truckfighters and Demon Cleaner started recording the follow-up to 2007′s fucking incredible Agents of Ahriman in November, and the latest is that Oskar Cedarmalm was set to start vocals on Dec. 26. I’ll tell you flat out that when this record arrives, I’m gonna be such a dork for it that you’re going to be tired of hearing about it. You’re going to load up this page and be like, “Ah Jeebus, not another post about how much ass Greenleaf kicks.” They’re the reason I’m going to London Desertfest in April and the prospect of a new album kept me from jumping in front of a train on several occasions throughout the recent holiday season. No shit.
High on Fire: The prospect of a new High on Fire album in 2012, on the other hand, wasn’t all that exciting to me initially, but when it was announced that Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou was manning the production at his GodCity studio, that was more than enough to change my mind. My whole complaint with High on Fire‘s last album, 2010′s Snakes for the Divine, was that it sounded too watered-down and there wasn’t enough grit in the production. If anyone’s going to fix that, it could be Ballou, who recently brought Black Cobra‘s massive thrash intensity to bear on the excellent Invernal. Either way, will be interesting.
Neurosis: I don’t even remember where I saw it at this point, whether it was Thee Facebooks or the forum or what, but the news that Neurosis had started preliminary recordings with Steve Albini for their next album filled me with enough dorkish glee that I chose to include them as the sixth in a five-band feature, despite having zero confirmation either that such has actually happened or that the album will be out by the close of this year. And really, it doesn’t matter. If Neurosis are possibly making a new record, then I’m definitely looking forward to it, and that’s just the way the universe works. Hard to believe it will have been half a decade since Given to the Rising was released, since I feel like I still haven’t digested that record, but if it takes the rest of my life to catch up (and it probably will), then I know my time won’t have been misspent.
Ditto the Pt. 1 post: there’s more. Full-lengths to (possibly) come from Kyuss, Ancestors, Conan, Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Night, Samothrace, Crippled Black Phoenix, Earth, Wight, Curse the Son, Cathedral, Wino/Conny Ochs, Shrinebuilder, Om and I don’t even know how many others set up 2012 as an incredible year yet to unfold, and tired as I am even just thinking about all the adjectival phrases it’s going to take me to get through it, I can’t fucking wait.
Because, really, it’s the music. If we don’t have anything else, we’ve got that, and it’s comforting to know that on the hardest days this year will bring — and I don’t doubt that for many of us it will bring no shortage of hard days — we’ll still have music. I look forward more than I can say to hearing these creative works, and hopefully sharing them with you as much as this weird internet portal makes me able to do so.
If I’ve missed anything, I hope you’ll leave a comment to remind. The only thing better than a bunch of records to look forward to is even more records to look forward to, so have at it.
Tags: Colour Haze, Greenleaf, High on Fire, Neurosis, Saint Vitus, Ufomammut