Jul 072017


(NCS contributor Wil Cifer has compiled this list of his 10 favorite releases from the first half of 2017.)

Where has 2017 gone? It seems like the year has passed us by in a cloud of internet hatred and bickering. So with that comes the need for heavy music. Now that we are over halfway through 2017 here’s a look at which albums have stuck with me thus far this year.

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that it doesn’t matter how much hype an album gets if the music doesn’t inspire me to listen to it more than once. Black Metal, Doom, Death Metal, and Thrash are all represented to some extent in this list. The Number One slot was determined by what Last Fm said I listened to the most. So far, only the top five still maintain their spots in my Ipod, though that is not to say I won’t go back and give the others more listens. You should give all of these albums a listen if you have yet to check them out.

Jul 042017


Today is Independence Day here in the United States, a day on which many Americans celebrate the beginning of the country’s great (and occasionally bizarre) experiment in democracy with vast quantities of cold beer, cookouts, and ardent efforts to blow off their own digits with equally vast quantities of illegally deployed explosives. Here in the metallic realms of NCS, however, it’s just another day (partly in consideration of the fact that more than half our readers are located outside the U.S.).

We have a couple of good song premieres coming your way, and maybe the second part of a SHADES OF BLACK post I began on Sunday, and who knows what else.

But to begin the day I want to talk about hot dogs, and then I want to ask our readers for your opinions about the best metal releases of 2017 so far.

Jan 022016

Hellthrasher digital sampler


Our LISTMANIA 2015 series isn’t over yet. In fact, we have more year-end lists coming your way over the next two weeks from our own staff, from old friends, and from invited musicians. And I’ll also continue rolling out my list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. All of that will resume on Monday. But having said that, we’re also looking ahead to what 2016 will bring us.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday assembling a list of 2016 releases (by band name) that I’m interested in, most of which are expected during the first quarter of the year. This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means — I have no doubt I’ve forgotten or overlooked a lot of things — but it’s a massive list nonetheless.

Dec 172015

Akhenaten - Incantations Through the Gates of Irkalla


(Here’s the last of KevinP’s monthly selections for 2015, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released or scheduled for release during December.)

Since I’ve had plenty of time with this month’s releases to formulate my list, along with the fact that things start to get slow once Xmas week arrives, you’re getting this a little earlier than normal.  Also, my Top 25 Albums and Top 5 EP’s of the Year will be posted the first week of January.  Nothing else profound to say, so let’s get on with it.

Nov 042015



In the near term, the forecast for our site is cloudy. Early this morning I left Seattle for Alaska again, where I’ll be spending the next 10 days on a project for my fucking day job. Like most of these out-of-town adventures, I’ll be working day and night and unable to spend much time on NCS.

I do expect I’ll have enough time to post what our other writers send me, and maybe time to write a few things myself (such as one post I’ve planned for tomorrow). Things should get back to normal during the week of November 16, but until then the volume of our daily posts will probably decline.

But the forecast gets brighter after the next 10 days.

Oct 292015

Goatwhore 2014


(If you read your humble editor’s earlier post today, you’ll know that I wasn’t expect to post anything by any of our other writers today… and then Andy Synn stepped up with this installment of favorite things that come in fives.)

Here he comes to save the day…

Ahem. Anyway, after Our Great And Most Glorious Leader’s post earlier today about having nothing to hand for the site for once, I took it upon myself to quickly bash something together in order to help uphold our nigh-unimpeachable record of journalistic quality and integrity.

Or, something like that.

Either way, it’s a good enough excuse to jam out some fat and filthy blackened riffs whilst picking and choosing five of my favourite songs by everyone’s favourite cloven-hoofed courtesans of Satan.

Deep breath…

Altogether now…


Oct 282015



(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the month that’s about to end.)

It’s been 10 months now that I’ve worked on this column and I always wondered how others kept track of what was released each month.  I simply take a notebook, write down a month on each page, and then when I get a promo, I download it and hand-write it in the release month.  That’s as low-tech as you can be (and sometimes semi-dangerous if the baby gets her hands on it and goes to town).  So does anyone have any better suggestions?  What do you do?

Anyways, we are fast approaching the end of the year and October has been quite the eclectic month, probably the most so far, as you’ll see from my selections.  Let us know what else wet your whistle in the comments below.

Sep 282015

My Dying Bride-Feel the Misery


(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)

I screwed up last month.  And not just a minor oversight, but in a fairly big way.  It wasn’t until after August’s column was posted that fellow contributor/friend Dan Barkasi messaged me that he was surprised I didn’t have Wolfheart on my list.  My response was, “the album comes out in September”.  Then I checked and realized I was wrong.  URGH.  I’m gonna assign partial blame to Mr. Saukkonen though, since he sent me a copy of the album many months in advance and mentioned September as the release date.  Assuming his infallibility (based on his musical pedigree), I never bothered to double-check and learn that the label would change it.

So how do I address this grave misdeed?  I was going to include it as part of this month’s Top 5, but that really wouldn’t make sense or be fair to the other releases.  I’ll simply say this:  Shadow World eclipses the debut.  It’s another masterstroke in the arsenal of Tuomas the Finnish Freeballer who simply seems to be able to mine the same well and keep extracting new and exciting sounds from it.  Would it have been the Number 1 album last month?  It certainly would have been a toss-up between that and Majestic Downfall.

Aug 312015

Majestic Downfall--When Dead


(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)

August was been absolutely stacked with quality releases, which caused me to make a few hard choices (i.e., cuts).  A few albums worth your time that didn’t make the list were from:  Krisiun, Ogotay, and Sources of I.   Also, I went back and forth on the ranking between numbers 2-5, and really, depending on my mood, I could change them up, that’s how much I enjoyed all of them.  This month’s numero uno though was head and shoulders above the rest, and released by a perennial NCS favorite.


5.  CreepingRevenant

This is the third full-length by this New Zealand trio and the first one I’ve heard by them.  Why exactly are these kiwis not more well known?  That kinda baffles me.  Black doom with a healthy dose of death metal goodness thrown into the mixture.  It’s grimy, it’s dark, and it’s just a visciously good album.

Jul 292015



(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….

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