We have survived another year, and yes, I still count mere survival as a kind of triumph in the precarious realms of metal blogdom. We are a whopping eight years old today — we made our first post on November 21, 2009.
Measured according to other time scales, eight years seems like the blink of an eye. But measured by the lifespan of your average metal blog (or even by some large commercial metal sites), we’re… kind of mature. Not in our behavior, of course.
I continue to be amazed and thankful that we’re still here, that so many good friends are still devoting themselves to writing for NCS on a purely volunteer basis, and that so many readers haven’t yet gotten fed up and purged us from their lives.
As we celebrate stubbornly hanging on for another year, I again want to give special thanks to some friends who have been here the longest and most consistently in sharing this strange obsession with me:
Andy Synn’s first post was a review of Dimmu Borgir’s Abrahadabra on September 23, 2010. And DGR’s first post was a series of year-end lists on December 28, 2011. They are good dudes, and their fortitude is still to be admired for manning the ramparts of our rough-hewn and ramshackle fortress for so many years.
Another old-timer, TheMadIsraeli, still surfaces when the spirit moves him, and as I look back over the last year thanks are also in order for the contributions of many other fine folks — among them Austin Weber, Comrade Aleks, Gorger, Wil Cifer, Craig Hayes, Karina Noctum, Todd Manning, and everyone else who has thrown stuff my way for publication.
Of course, we are also grateful to those of you who visit NCS and to all the metal bands and visual artists whose creativity is the reason for our existence
And now for the annual round-up of boring statistics. Since we launched NCS eight years ago, we’ve published 9,215 posts, including this one — and 1,280 of them appeared in the 12 months since our last birthday, which is almost exactly the number of posts we made in our seventh year and averages out to 3.5 posts a day, including weekends, which I guess means that on average one out of every four of our posts is half-assed.
And yes, we’ve continued to post something on almost every day, including weekends and holidays, with just a few misses on Saturdays when I was too hungover to think or type without pain.
At this writing, we’ve received 75,325 comments since the beginning, exclusive of spam and not counting the very, very few I’ve deleted because their toxicity exceeded even my pretty hands-off attitude about comments.
According to Google Analytics, as of yesterday we’ve had 432,060 unique visitors over the last 12 months from all over the world, and since this time last year we’ve had 2,013,949 page views, which is 81,415 more than we had the year before.
As another measure of our support, the “likes” for our Facebook page have grown from 26,022 at this time last year to 36,148 as I write this today. Sadly, despite this significant growth we have fallen further behind the likes for the Cheese Whiz FB page than we were last year (286,484 v. 201,838), which is of course the “gold standard” to which we aspire, and an even tinier percentage of our FB followers see what we post as our Facebook overlords continue their relentless efforts to squeeze us for money, not having figured out that it’s like trying to get blood from a stone.
In keeping with data from past years, over the last 12 months less than half the visits to our U.S.-based site (42.48%) have come from people in the U.S., with 6.25% coming from the UK, 5.79% from Canada, and the balance from more than 100 other countries around the world, with Germany, Australia, France, Poland, Italy, Russia, and Sweden, rounding out the top 10, in that order.
A lot of things have changed in eight years, but the fundamentals haven’t: We still only write about music we enjoy and honestly want to recommend; we still don’t take money from anyone; we still don’t take ourselves too seriously; and we still have a knowledgable, respectful, and almost completely troll-free community of readers and commenters. Like Blanche DuBois, we still depend on the kindness of strangers.
To once again paraphrase Blade Runner (which now has a sequel that I somehow still haven’t seen), I don’t know how long we’ll have together… Who does? I hope we’ll still be here at this time next year and I hope you’ll still be here with us.
P.S. Put on your thinking caps, because tomorrow I’ll invite our readers to share their suggestions for 2017’s most infectious extreme metal songs.
Happy birthday No Clean Singing, I’m glad that you are alive and well and I’m glad about the music you share. I like your reviews, always written with care and passion. I’m a reader and a listener since 2010 but I had to change my “Disqus” several times because of some problems, so, my name could be new to this site, well, just to let you know how I appreciate what you do, keep it up and thank you!
My posting on the site has slowed down in recent years, but I still check several times a week just to see whats going on here. I’m still amazed over how much this site has changed in regards to the music it covers. I’ve gone from recommending bands here to constantly finding bands on here…brings a tear to my eye 🙂
Well, as I’ve told you before, I give you a lot of credit for leading me down the path to darker and more inhospitable underground caverns, from which there is no turning back. 🙂
Same here. Commenting has gone down because of life getting to me at times. But never ever do I not stop to look at the site, at least twice or thrice a week and get a hold of what’s happening in the metalsphere, in terms of releases and that paparazzi drivel. Some of the best bands I’ve found over those years have been from around here.
P.S. The first comment I ever did was way back in 2012. Damn. That is quite a long time.
Ever in your debt, Islander and co!
Great to see your name again… and I do remember how long you’ve been around. I think it’s something like 110 in dog years.
Doggamn! (had to share this song)
Ditto, I haven’t managed to make an appearance in the comments as much this year, but I still try and read/listen to as many of the posts as possible. I’m not sure when I stumbled upon this unreasonable good little corner of the interhole, but I’m glad it’s still here. Thanks Islander!
Happy Birthday and Congrats! This is the BEST Metal Blog Site on the Interwebs HANDS DOWN! I will continue to support this site above all others!!
Thank you so much!
This place is and has been my primary source for several years now. Many, many thanks to all the people who contribute here. My music collection is larger and more interesting because of NCS!
We appreciate your very kind words and will do our best to continue enlarging your music collection. 🙂
Congrats, and keep hanging in there. Now you’re twice as old as me. I’m gaining on you by percentage, though, and one day I’ll be old enough to kick your ass. Till than… Happy fucking birthday, motherfucker.
Thanks motherfucker. Just remember that if you kick our ass you’ll be kicking part of your own ass, too. 🙂
Either, I enjoy a good self-injury, or I’m no good at thinking things through. Either way, it would rid of some pent-up aggression 😛
Best metal blog on the web! I sincerely hope these numbers keep growing.
Happy birthday and thanks for all your hard work to make this happen day after day! If I had a chalice and a hat, I would raise and doff them to you, respectively. Cheers!
Times like this I do miss the chalices and the hats. A beer stein and a ballcap somehow just aren’t the same.
Happy late birthday! I was too busy vomiting to check in yesterday!
Hopefully you’re all heaved-out by now and on the road to a full stomach again. Thanks for the birthday wishes.
Happy Birthday No Clean Singing! 😀
Thank you Derek! Looking forward to new Godless Angel-ic sounds.
Congratulations No Clean Singing.
And thank you for my daily dose of heavy fucking metal.
Especially the Shade of Black posts.
You’re welcome — and thank you for taking the time to give us those encouraging words.
Congratulations, it’s good to see that one of my favorite blogs for extreme metal is still alive and passed another year. I stumbled upon your side in June 2014 and always came back for the album of the year lists, and while I was trying to catch up with all your recommendations I gave up on halfway, although I must admit I found very good bands / artists from those shades of black or The Synn Report articles. The quantity of recommendations is overwhelming, so I usually only come back at the end of the year when the listmania gets started.
I’m sure you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. I wrestle with myself a lot about whether we post too much stuff every day (I know of at least one of our writers who feels that way). Maybe it would be better to be less voluminous and more selective. But that probably won’t happen. 🙂
Cheers to the anniversary of the best putrid spring of great yet undiscovered metal music!
While sadly my participation has taken a heavy hit (with sometimes weeks passing between visits…) I certainly still know where to look when I have a few moments to spare for finding aural awesomeness. Keep going strong!
Thank you very much m’lord. Good to see your name in the comments again.
I usually don’t have the time/energy to post during the year (busy work life), but I do read as often as I can, and I still look forward to the year end list mania – though I see my post from last year’s readers list has gone missing (I vaguely remember Andy saying he wanted to steal something from it, but didn’t imagine he would take the whole post! lol)
I’m often surprised if I find something good that you haven’t posted about here, but usually it’s because you posted it and I missed it.
So, good job! I hope you have another 9 years at least in you. 😉
um, “…another 8 years…”
But I hope you keep going well beyond that!
Hmmm… I wonder if I did something to inadvertently cause the theft of your 2016 list by The Void. Hopefully that won’t discourage you from contributing when we ask for YE lists this year. And thanks for all your support.
Definitely not – a list is already in the works. And thank you again for the best metal site on the web!
Happy Birthday NCS and thanks for all the years of good fucking pancake!
HAHA! I wonder how many other people are old-timey enough around here to remember good fucking pancake. Made my day to see it. 🙂
I’m sure there are a few left. I love to see people WTF at the shirt when I wear it, Good times!
Your still here because you have good writers writing thoughtfully about good music. Seems simple, but so many sites just can’t seem to maintain those standards in the face of fashion, trends, ads, etc. Happy birthday! Keep on keep on keep on \m/
Thanks for the very nice compliments, and for your loyalty.
Congratulations on the eight years! That truly is impressive for a website on the interhole.
And thank you, Islander, for all that you do. I’m sure we all can be very thankful that you have a fucking day job that allows you the time to maintain this site as well as you do. Thanks to all the writers as well, who amazingly do their work for free.
I’ve been on the site, under two or three different names probably, since about 2010. I stop by a couple maybe three times a week nowadays. Although my musical tastes have wandered somewhat from the extreme underground realm, every couple visits something catches my eye (or ear), and lo, I find something new and exciting. I thank you and everyone who contributes for that.
So, here’s to the years to come! May they be many. And loud.