Dec 252012

(byrd36 has been hanging around the site since at least September 14, 2010, which is when he taught me the origin of the name Naglfar in his first comment at NCS. In addition to being a long-time supporter of what we do here, dude also knows his metal, as he showed us while writing for Death Metal Baboon, and as you’re about to see again.)

Hello, NCS readers! Friends, brothers and sisters in Metal, I come in peace and offer gifts! I left my list of my favorite twenty metal albums in the NCS Readers’ Lists if anyone cares to get a glimpse of my overall tastes this year. Part of my reason for doing that was my intention to do this list, and with no DMB, I knew I’d probably be pushing my luck trying to sneak just one on here. You know, quality control and such.

Anyway, the idea for this came to me last year at list season and I enjoyed putting one together at DMB then, and figured it may be a good tradition to start. Sorry in advance if I come across a little short on words. Any of you who may be familiar with my previous “writings” will know I’m not a writer, just a fan saying “check this shit out!”. Β So, please bear with me as I present you with my ten favorite free and name-your-price releases of 2012.

Just to fuck with y’all, I’m going to put the top three in alphabetical order and then restart the bottom seven in alphabetical order. I refuse to order the list and separated the top three only because they are in my overall top twenty.


This one is loaded with plenty of brutal, lots of blackness, and an atmosphere that will most likely smother you where you sit. All of this with a damn fine production, if I may say so.Β This came out on the second day of this year and I acquired it very shortly afterward. It’s been in heavy rotation ever since.

Cara NeirSublimation Therapy

I became a fan of these guys after getting their Stagnant Perceptions album and was initially a little shocked that this release never let up in intensity. Not present are the post or progressive elements they do so well. What we are given this time around is a frenzy of blackened grind full of thrash and punk attitude.

Wound Upon WoundWound Upon Wound

Beautifully ugly blackened-doom. It’s like a massage that ties you in a knot. I really don’t know what more to say here. Go read Andy Synn’s review.

ArsisLepers Caress

Who doesn’t love some Arsis? Beautiful, technical, melodic death metal. I think I even read somewhere that with the recent line-up changes this an even better representation of things to come than their forthcoming album. Don’t hold me to that, I may be bat-shit nuts. Check out TheMadisraeli’s review and praise Scion A/V.!collection/1287/Arsis—Lepers-Caress


AutolatryOf the Land

This is an EP by a New England black metal band who are on the melodic/progressive side of things. I was a fan of their debut album The Hill and this is an evolution for them. Only four songs deep and packed with stylistic variety.

Corrosion of ConformityMegalodon

You most likely already know if you like C.O.C. or not. A little thrash, a little sludge, and covered in a heapin’ helpin’ of southern. This Pepperless line-up have been together on and off for the better part of thirty-one years and it shows. Praise Scion, again.—Megalodon


EschatonIsolated Intelligence

Epic (Yeah, I said it.) blackened-death. This was a hard cut from my overall top twenty. Again, words fail me. Just listen.


I’ve never been a big Revocation fan. I think they’re excellent musicians but something just misses me, usually. Not sure what it is about this set of songs that clicks with me. And one more praise for Scion.—Teratogenesis


Stob DeargNocturnal Witchcraft

A black metal and thrash mix with some traditional touches thrown in for an old-school feel. Seriously, it feels old in a way that takes me way back. This was another hard cut from my top twenty.

ZelophiliaLust, Loathing & Love

Okay, you caught me. This came out in December 2011. Deal with it. Imagine a more spastic System of a Down on some type of growth hormone and you’ll have somewhat of an idea what you’re in for. There’s a funny commercial for it, too.

I hope you found something you like. What are your favorite freebies?

  32 Responses to “BYRD’S 10 FAVORITE FREEBIES OF 2012”

  1. Great list! Lots of new free stuff for me to consume through my audio receptacles.

    Personally I’d have Sithu Aye’s Invent The Universe on here somewhere. I believe The Cloud Gatherer by Ovid’s Withering was this year, but that could have been last year (although their monstrous single The Reckoning, The Summoning, The Purge deserves note). Joint Ventures by The Odious is also quite good, making several year end lists over at Heavy Blog Is Heavy. Cloudkicker had new stuff this year, and Cloudyhead (sounds like Sithu Aye’s cousin) also released an album. There was that new Circle Takes The Square that was pretty good too, and Ascariasis’ djentcore EP “Ocean Of Colours.” The Armed also had a new album of some description, and Acres had an EP that wasn’t too bad.

    Also you’re missing out on the #1 album of the year regardless of free: Rings Of Saturn – Dingir.

    That would be my list. We’ll see how it changes when I finish listening to all of your stuff. Abyssal – Denouement is on it either way. Such a good album.

  2. I’ll throw in some new recent free goodies (and there will be some more in a post coming later today. First Napalm Records has released a free 23-track Christmas sampler. The link below takes you to a download page, which doesn’t list the tracks. But I downloaded the sampler and it includes songs from Tyr, Arkona, Alestorm, Heidevolk, AtomA, and Moonspell, among others.

    Also, New Zealand’s Beastwars has made their debut album available as a “name your price” download for a limited time. It’s a great album if you haven’t checked it out yet:

    • Hmm… One has already cashed in on the opportunity presented by Beastwars.
      Another album that’s “name your price” this Christmas is Caligula’s Horse‘s Moments from Ephemeral City. It also kinda counts as a 2012 release, since it was re-released in April with the Colossus EP tracks added as bonus tracks to the album.

      • Ah, thanks for the Caligula’s Horse. It was on my radar but managed to slip underneath before I ever managed to get a hold of it.

  3. Yeah, go read my review!

  4. This list is as awesome as One expected it to be. And that commercial for the Zelophilia album makes it even better. πŸ˜€

    One did expect The OdiousJoint Ventures, and everything released this year(!) by Ovid’s Withering to feature on the list though. But, Scion A/V has been awesome as usual. So, not much lacking really.

  5. Just came across another Christmas-Day-only freebie: the new Carthage album, “Salt the Earth”:

  6. Excellent idea for a post. I’ll need to check out a few of those releases I haven’t heard. Stob Dearg sounds very interesting. Here’s a few freebies I really liked this year:

    Kalter- Ubuntu (Progressive extreme metal)

    Ashencult- Black Flame Gnosis (Black metal)

    A Million Dead Birds Laughing- Zen (Avant-garde Grindcore?)

    Brokel- Anthems of Heresy (Death metal)

    • OOO… One had completely forgotten about having downloaded A Million Dead Bird Laughing‘s Xen. πŸ˜› Pretty cool stuff. It also features a solo by Benjamin Baret of Ne Obliviscaris on one of the songs, apparently.

      One thinks One has seen the other three as well sometime, but ignored them until now. One shall be checking them out now.

    • You’ve given me three more to check out. I have the Ashencult and it’s very good, but I got bored with it pretty quickly. Hell, I need to give it another listen.

  7. Great list! Downloading Stob Dearg, Abyssal and Eschaton as I write. I agree that the Wound Upon Wound review by Andy Synn sums it up so much better than I ever could.

    A couple of bands I found on bandcamp this year:

    Schattenbrandung I-Apophanie (black/doom metal)

    Screaming Savior- Infinity (symphonic black metal)

    Mare Cognitum: An Extraconscious Lucidity (black metal)

  8. Thanks for the promotion, we really appreciate the kind words and support of everyone at no clean singing.
    Wound Upon Wound

  9. DGR just told me that Plague Widow’s EP is free today only. It’s awesome.

  10. I just did some digging through the DMB archives and found that the first time I visited NCS was through the link in the joint NCS-DMB burger naming contest on Sept. 2nd, 2010. Oddly enough, that first NCS post I laid eyes on featured GOATWHORE!!!

  11. Thanks for mentioning us! We really appreciate the support we are getting from this blog!


  12. Burning World Records have some’..Live At Roadburn’ downloads on a ‘name your own price’ deal at Bandcamp!

    I’ve already downloaded Yob, Wino, Wolves In The Throne Room and Church of Misery, so that’s my day sorted out then!

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