In our 2012 Album Covers of the Year feature, we once again get our hands on everyone we can. Through interviews with designers, musicians, labels, and plenty of others, we take a close look at just how many hands are in the pot when it comes to the album artwork process. Inside this feature are 98 album covers spanning a wide array of sonic and visual styles, each selected for its own unique contribution to the world. They are not ranked; instead, they are broken down into sections based on conceptual underpinnings or artistic mediums, and then are displayed on spectrums. Get started by navigating into any of these six sections: Geometric & Pattern-Based Classically-Influenced Narrative & Symbolic Photography & Manipulations Painting & Illustration Collage, Sculpture & Mixed Media You can also see last year's at 2011 Year-End Respect For Album Cover Art
 

Aural Devastation is a regular column about heavy music. Here are some favorites from 2012, beginning with relatively structured songs and descending into the chaotic.   Baroness - "EULA" from Yellow & Green + ENTIRE RECORD STREAM As the last song on the Yellow Album, "EULA" had an interesting job, as it...

Sometimes, just to remind the ears what a lifelong habit of going to concerts will do to them, you have to drag yourself to a semi-local weeknight rock bill. After all, all bands have to get their start somewhere, and for the majority of bands with the rocking and the...