Dec 042015

NCS Best of 2015 graphic


I thought I would provide a little update about our year-end LISTMANIA extravaganza — partly as a reminder to those who haven’t yet joined in the fun, and partly as a preview of what’s headed your way in the coming weeks.

First, we’ve had a hell of a response to our request for suggestions for our annual list of the year’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs”. Based on the songs that have been recommended by readers to date, coupled with my own list of candidates that I haphazardly compiled as the year went on, the line-up of candidates now includes over 400 songs (!). And that doesn’t yet include all the suggestions by the rest of our staff, most of whom haven’t weighed in yet.

Granted, that list does include some duplicates — individual songs that have been suggested by more than one of our readers (or by me) — but not as many as you might think.

I thought I would also mention that 23 bands have appeared most often in this compilation of suggestions (three or more times): Akhlys, Alkaloid, Barren Earth, Byzantine, Cattle Decapitation, Crypt Sermon, Enslaved, Ereb Altor, Fear Factory, Ghost Bath, InAeona, Keep of Kalessin, Lamb of God, Mgla, Panopticon, Paradise Lost, Rivers of Nihil, Sangus, Sarpanitum, Slugdge, Sulphur Aeon, Tau Cross, and Tribulation.

In past years I’ve done my best to listen or re-listen to every suggested song in the course of compiling our final list. That’s going to be a tall order this year. I may have to break out the adult diapers again in order to get extra time. (If you haven’t yet thrown your own song suggestions into the hopper, you still can… HERE.)


Second, we’ve also had an amazing response to our request for reader lists of the year’s best releases. Not only have the lists been diverse and non-repetitive, there’s been a good discussion in the Comments about the lists posted so far.

From my perspective, the best thing about those lists (apart from being a reminder of albums that you may have heard but might not be front-of-mind here in December) is that they make great trail maps for exploring new music. If you haven’t contributed your own lists yet or taken a look at what has been posted so far, I encourage you to do that… HERE.


Third, we’re going to have another very interesting series of year-end list posts beginning later this month, not only from our own long-time cadre of regular writers but also from a group of invited guests and semi-regular contributors (18 people in all have committed so far). A lot of these names will be familiar if you have indulged in our LISTMANIA series in previous years — I’m pretty damned curious myself to see what they’ve come up with for 2015.

Fourth, and finally, as in years past we’re still going to post year-end lists from “big platform” web sites, just to see what the great unwashed masses out there are being told are the best metal releases of the year.

And that concludes my update. We’ll be bringing more new music your way this weekend. Enjoy the rest of your fucking day.

  28 Responses to “LISTMANIA 2015 UPDATE”

  1. Thanks for doing all the work to pull this stuff together – it’s my favorite part of this site (and no other site does it better)

  2. Seems like a daunting task to say the least. However, your efforts are much appreciated. Thanks!

  3. Invariably… although my favorite time of year musically speaking… I always read these lists and end up all bunged up wondering how I am going to futz with my list to add the stuff i missed that is blowing my mind.

    First world problems!!

    Once again.. thanks for all you do with this site. All of you folks. You’re a really great bunch of people, commenters and all.

    • Many thanks. One of the reasons I also look forward to this time of year is finding out what I missed, even though it also leaves me mind-boggled. I always think I do such a good job keeping up with things, and then… nope, not really.

      • I thought I was doing really well this year, until I didn’t recognize about half of the things that’ve been suggested in the Listmania comments thus far. Granted, that’s up from not recognizing 70-90%, so I guess I am improving.

        • I tel ya though…it was a hell of a lot easier picking a year end list when I didnt have so many goddamn options

  4. Just make sure every list from now on includes Gorguts…

  5. I get all choked up when I see that art at the end of each year. I drink too much blood.

  6. Like this part “Fourth, and finally, as in years past we’re still going to post year-end lists from “big platform” web sites, just to see what the great unwashed masses out there are being told are the best metal releases of the year.”
    and Thank You

  7. Thanks for these lists. Great way to discover new music.

  8. Im glad to see both Paradise Lost and Tribulation were mentioned on those lists. Sometimes I feel as if this community tries to be a little more “underground than thou” just for the sake of it. But lets be honest, that Paradise Lost album was killer, no matter how bad some of their previous albums were.

  9. these lists are awesome, as long as you don’t take them too seriously, for finding new music and seeing how many times a particular artist across different lists 😀

    • I’ve been trying to think of the ubiquitous metal records of the last few years. Sunbather was big all over in 2014. Clutch’s Earth Rocker in 2013, maybe? What might be this years?

      • Deafheaven was 2013….last year seemed to go back and forth between either YOB or Pallbearer. This year seems to be Tribulation or Horrendous

        • I’m just here to have a good time. Those two seem to be good picks for albums that have already been (and probably will continue to be) ubiquitous and highly ranked. We’ll probably see a lot of frequent and high spots for Paradise Lost too. And in more extreme circles, Mgla.

          • SPOILER ALERT: That Mgla album was a contender for my “Critical Top 10” this year, but ultimately didn’t make the final cut. Because I try to make the “Critical” list a bit more rounded and more of an overview of the year in its totality it ended up getting booted off in favour of another, similarly underground-but-deserves-more-attention, Black Metal album by the name of [REDACTED].

        • YOB’s a good shout for last year. There’s enough Baroness fans out there to get behind Purple once that drops this year. Surgical Steel made waves in 2013 too.

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