Jul 292015

gatefold

 

(Another month is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.)

As I prepared to write this month’s column, my initial thought was:  the lack of releases in July as compared to the rest of the year.  I quickly realized that I had listened to 30 albums, and what a ridculous notion that was.  If I “only” listened to 30 per month (normally it’s somewhere in the 40+ range), that would equate to 340 per year, which is borderline insane.  Ok, on with the festivities….

Jul 202015

Abyssal-Antikatastaseis

 

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

June is long gone, but alas, there’s music that needs some light shed upon it!

Apologies for the delay on this one. Life finds a way – to get in the way of my getting this done faster. Thanks, Dr. Malcolm, for the line!

How good was June? It was loaded like a politician’s rhetoric, but not vomit-inducing. In other words, lots of audible goodies! A lot of styles represented, too, possibly being the month with the most diversity thus far.

Let it begin!

AbyssalAntikatastaseis

Chaotic as they are potent, Abyssal’s third album displays a band who continue to hone their craft to devastating effect. This sublime combination of black, death, and doom metal is so crushing that it gives a dinosaur a run for its money. There’s also a little bit more melody than the previous two discs, which is used to great effect.

Jul 152015

Okazaki Fragments-Abandoned

 

(In this multi-part post, Austin Weber brings us his recommendations for some of the best albums released during the first half of the year.)

We are gathered here today, to become willing devotees to the aural alchemism presented below in various forms. While the words per band write-up may be sparse due to a lack of time, the music speaks volumes in terms of creativity; and in terms of literal volume as well!

I figured now would be a good time to post about a bunch of killer releases I’ve failed to find time to write about.  And not just because I found them to be decent or somewhat enjoyable, but because these are some of the best of this year that you within our beloved metal community need to know about. They range across such genres as tech-meth, R&B-infused grindcore, Nu-core wave of heavy 2 the core metal, Classical punk-bop,  Blackened post-folk, SludgEDM, Southern Acoustic DJENT, and Rollercoaster deathpolka (a curious after-writing search led me to  find out that someone has a band named deathpolka, bitching!).

Expect several more installments of this 2015 “best of” feature coming soon.  I hope. Maybe?

Okazaki Fragments

First on today’s list of recommendations is Abandoned, the headspinning debut by the Canadian death machine known as Okazaki Fragments. This Calgary-based group’s moniker, in a nutshell, can be boiled down to the growth process of new DNA. As an analogy for what their music has in store, it’s a damn fitting name for the unique music they’ve created.

Jul 012015

 

(Another month is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.)

Half the year has come and gone.  Yeah, it’s beyond cliche to say “that was fast”, so I won’t.  But what got me thinking was how people like to compare different years and judge which ones were better for metal releases.  Since 2012 I’ve been doing Best Of lists here at NCS and I’ve been very happy each year with the plethora of releases I’ve been fortunate to hear.  I can’t really say any one year has been “off” or “poor” for metal.   Nor can I say one year was better than the next.  So on that token, here’s 5 more great albums of 2015.

Jun 162015

 

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Here we go again! With May long behind us, there was a lot of material to sift through, along with a hell of a time at Maryland Deathfest to remember. All good things!

Overall, May wasn’t the best month this year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some gems to uncover. Quite a good amount, actually, with the selections coming from a broad spectrum. Hey, that’s why I’m here – to give you the goods from all over! I try to deliver. Maybe not as exciting as the pizza delivery guy bringing carb-loaded goodies, but I do what I can!

Onward!

Jun 012015

 

(Another months is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.) 

May has been the most ecletic month of the year so far.  Interesting and all over the map (as you’ll see below).  I guess that’s why it took me more time than usual to decide on the final pecking order.   I went back and forth a few times, even shuffled albums in and out.  Damn you metal for making me THINK 😉

Anyways, here we go…

Apr 282015

 

(We’re nearing the end of the month, and that means it’s time for KevinP to name the releases this month that most impressed him.) 

We’re a quarter of the way through 2015 already.  This month was stacked to the gills with quality releases, the best yet.  Even though they didn’t make my Top 5, I feel obliged to mention Infernal War, Macabre Omen, Tribulation, Haar, and Kommandant, which are all worthy of your time.  But now, on to the creme de la creme.

5.  Abjvration – The Unquenchable Pyre

This was a last-minute entry and pushed one of the bands mentioned above off this list.  Think Portal, if they transformed into a Finnish doomy death metal band.  Sure, that makes no sense.  But does this band being absolutely terrifying and hailing from France make sense?  They are so kvlt, they’re not even listed on Metal Archives and have only a few hundred Facebook likes.

Feb 262015

 

(In a continuation of his recently inaugurated NCS series, KevinP runs down his list of the best releases from the month that’s about to end.)

Last month I had what seemed to be a reasonable amount of music to wade through, 24 releases.  This month, I was at 40, so naturally there were some tough cuts I had to make.  Nice problem to have, no complaints really.  Like last month (and every month), please feel free to share your comments, thoughts, and favorite releases in the Comments section below.

5.  Devouring StarThrough Lung & Heart

Very little is known about this Finnish band, who came onto the scene in 2014 with a two-song demo, and they now release their full-length album through Daemon Worship Productions.  While you will see them listed as a black metal band, it’s quite another story. 

Feb 202015

 

(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli completes his list of thrash metal’s Top 10 albums of all time. The first five picks, along with an introduction, appear in this post.)

VI: Sepultura – Arise

It takes a lot of restraint for me not to declare this the greatest thrash album ever created.  Sepultura’s Arise is THE epitome of everything I love, need, and want in thrash metal and it’s so immaculate in its execution that attempting to quantify it is nearly impossible.  It’s brutal, it’s fast (so fucking fast), it has dynamics in the songwriting. Andreas Kisser knew how to write some of the most unique solos in the entirety of thrash metal, and Max and Andreas wrote some of the most intense, drama-filled riffage while keeping things savage and merciless.  Whenever Sepultura breaks into frantic, demon-slaying speed from a mid-paced stomp, as in “Desperate Cry”, provides me an adrenaline rush that knows no equal.  It would be fair to say I’ve listened to Arise more than 10,000 times and I’m still not sick of it.

Seriously, this album is the very definition of savagery.

Feb 192015

Agostino Arrivabene – “Vanitas In Refraction”

 

(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli presents his list of thrash metal’s Top 10 albums of all time. The first five picks appear in this post, and the remaining five will appear in Part 2 tomorrow [here].)

This particular list is something that’s going to piss some people off and perhaps spark some sarcastic comments.  It would probably do that regardless of the contents. When you don’t include anything by The Big Four, of course you don’t understand the roots of the genre and are dissing genre-defining classics.  But if you do pick anything from The Big Four, you’re unoriginal, have no underground cred, etc., etc.

Thrash is a style of metal that gets taken pretty fucking seriously, as opposed to others where there definitely seems to be a more “you like what you like” mentality.  In my observation, It’s also the sub-genre of metal where the recognition and respect of the eldership are most likely to make or break your credibility as a fan of the music.  The thrash community is almost zealot-like in the way it can ostracize you because you don’t think Metallica and Megadeth were the pinnacles of the style.

I’m gonna be one of those guys who has nothing from The Big Four on his list, so I’ll be expecting the hipster comments for sure.  My list, as per usual, is not numbered in any kind of order that denotes anything.

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