Jan 042019

an 1888 painting by Vasily Vasilevich Vereshchagin


We’re now at the end of that hybrid week which always ends the holiday season, and which for most people seems to be a mix of fucking off and becoming wage slaves again. Although no one asked me, I thought I’d commemorate the moment by telling you where we are in our posting schedule and what lies ahead (other than another probably shitty year in the outside world).

We’re almost finished with our year-end LISTMANIA series — almost, but not quite. Next week we’ll have at least one more year-end list from a guest, and possibly two or three (I’m crossing my fingers that those latter two, which are a bit uncertain, will pan out, because in past years those particular writer/musicians have delivered highly anticipated and eagerly viewed collections). But either way, we’ll close out the main part of LISTMANIA next week…

…and we’ll also begin the final segment, which is my sole contribution to the series, i.e., the list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, which I’ll roll out in installments every day or two until around the end of February.

Other aspects of our music coverage that have been diminished over the holidays, or as a result of the attention devoted to LISTMANIA, will get back on track, too. Premieres are being scheduled again at an increasingly rapid pace; I’ll have time to begin posting more new-music round-ups again; and I’m getting hints that our regular and irregular writers have reviews of forthcoming 2019 releases in the works (hints are usually the most that I have, because everyone here chooses for themselves what they want to write about, and more often than not the reviews just show up without warning.)

I’m also hoping that either I or one of the other NCS slaves will have time to compile a list of anticipated 2019 releases in the not-too-distant future. I did such a thing last year, and so did Andy Synn. As much as anything else that might be useful from that exercise, it elicits comments from readers that alert us to other releases of interest that we’re not yet aware of.

So, that’s kind of where we are and where we’re headed. Before long we’ll be immersed in what I have every reason to expect will be another stunning year for metal, because the evidence of 2018 just reinforces the point that our beloved genre has been burning like a house on fire, and shows no signs of cooling off.



Because, as you know, I detest posting anything at our site that doesn’t include a music stream of some kind, I’m going to conclude this one with a track I selected in completely random fashion from the massive list of new tracks that I’ve continued to assemble over the holidays even though I haven’t had time (yet) to write about very many of them.

The track I’ve chosen is one that popped up today in a Bandcamp alert I received by e-mail. It’s a song called “WAR” from an EP entitled Ending My Life To Destroy Yours (a title my friend DGR ought to enjoy) by the Ohio black/death/noise band Męka (which shares a member with Mutilated).

This is a vicious, ugly piece of music — because why would you want to launch yourself into another rotten year with anything else? The vocalist screams like a man being boiled in oil; the sound is so distorted that it’s toxic; and it’s just downright morbid, mean, and destructive in its spirit.

The music lumbers and stomps, drenched in an atmosphere of horror, until it seems to collapse under its own weight — and then goes crazy, with a frenetic drum explosion, brutal bass pummeling, and berserker riffing. After your brain has been mangled by that episode, the band start hammering in a highly headbangable fashion, only to shift gears again in order to pave the way for an eerie, miserable, wailing and mewling lead that seems to have psychotropic properties. Meanwhile, the bassist mercilessly brutalizes your ear-drums and the drummer puts on a show, until you’re left in silence with your mind still spinning.

Hell of a song.

Ending My Life To Destroy Yours will be released on February 15th by Redefining Darkness Records.




  1. Does anyone ever do any non-metal lists? I am always curious as to what metalheads listen to on the side.

    • Joseph Schafer, who used to write for us, has put together a non-metal NCS list every year for a while, but he’s been slammed with other stuff this year and I’m doubtful that he’s going to get to it. Here’s what he did last year:


    • For what its worth heres 10 albums I loved that weren’t metal.
      It is possible they were the only non metal things I listened to, but I stand by them.

      Wild Nothing – Indigo
      Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
      Tony Molina – When It Pains
      Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)
      Beach House – 7
      Landing – Bells In New Towns
      Sangre de Muerdago – Noite
      Kurt Vile – Bottle It In
      Iceage – Beyondless
      Warmth – Parallel

    • And the year before!

      The New Year – Snow
      The Effects – Eyes to the Light
      Open City – Open City
      Dan Terminus – Automated Refrains
      Milk Music – Mystic 100’s

  2. I’ll have my list done and mailed to you either tomorrow or Sunday. It’s done, I’m just adding the last few links for the cover art and the bandcamp/youtube links.

    I actually ended up doing two separate lists…so it took me a bit longer to wrap it up

    • I mean, that’s assuming my list was one of the ones you were talking about.

      Otherwise you’re about to get a completely unsolicited list, whether you like it or not 🙂

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