Jan 082019
 

 

(2016 was the year when I discovered Montréal’s Tumbleweed Dealer through their extremely cool third album Tokes, Hatred & Caffeine (and I’m still trying to be patient while waiting for TD4). The band’s main man Seb Painchaud has very expansive and very eclectic musical tastes, and a way with words, and so for a third year I asked him to share a year-end list with us. As before, he pulls us off our usual beaten paths by highlighting some favorite releases that are way outside the usual metal lists… including a lot of very interesting Not-Metal.)

 

So this year we’re going to call it a Top 20 Albums You Should Check Out. If I were to make a top 20 list, I’d waste a lot of space telling you about albums you’ve already heard and will be present on every other list you read. Do you really need to see me overcompensate for my limited vocabulary with swear words to explain that Frontierer and Sectioned dominated the scene with their amazing albums? If so, then here you go: Fuck a cock on a stick its god damn fuck your mother fucking good.

And when you have every established music website and magazine tripping over themselves to talk to you about The Armed, you don’t really need me adding to it. Do we need to discuss Mol? You either hate it or love it, but you probably know about it. And all the big tech death bands released great records that pushed the limits of the human body this year. Only one remembered to include amazing song writing. Let’s not get into a shouting match over which one it was.

It was Obscura. Those Cynic-like robot vocal hooks had me going back for more all year long, Fight me if you don’t agree.

So here is my ‘Top 20 Albums You Might’ve Missed This Year’ (yes the title changed since the opening line). Continue reading »

Jan 072019
 

 

(For the 8th year in a row, we asked our old friend SurgicalBrute to weigh in with his year-end list of favorite albums and/or EPs. As expected, his list adds many names of some especially savage underground releases that haven’t appeared before in our 2018 Listmania series.)

I know you all have been waiting with bated breath, wondering when my list would arrive… because this is MY list we’re talking about, and why wouldn’t you? Unfortunately the delay just couldn’t be helped. Between going back to school, and an unusually busy Christmas season, there wasn’t a whole lot of spare time to go around this year for me to do any writing. Things have finally eased up a bit for me though, so it’s time to get this ball rolling.

Now I’d originally intended this to be a much longer list, as I have listened to a lot of music this year… and I mean a lot… but I was expressly asked not to for fear that I would make the other authors look bad. So being the kind and gracious person that I am, I took pity on everyone else, followed the rules…mostly… and still, without a doubt, created the most metal list of the year. So kick back, open your favorite beer, and turn the volume up as high as it will go, because it’s once again time to separate the casuals from the grim and kvlt…Enjoy the music \m/* Continue reading »

Jan 042019
 

(At last, we reach the fifth and final installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. It includes his Top 10 albums, plus a list of EPs, and one final non-metal entry.)

Here we go into the final installment. One last grouping of albums and one last collection of thudding riffs, heavy guitars, and enough drumwork to leave one’s head spinning by the time it wraps up.

This final ten is all over the place, in terms of both genre and location. My lists tend to be pretty international always, but the consistent bouncing back and forth that is happening in this part has proven to be entertaining in its own right.

This group also reveals just how much of 2018 turned out to be the year of cathartic release for me. Alongside all the genre-bending, all the experimentation, and all of the well-executed groove, I found that every once in a while this year a disc would hit that would just boil down to a half-hour-plus of yelling, and I would relish every single second of it. I’m sure we could credit that to the wider situation of the world these days but I’ve also always been a sucker for turning music into an instrument of release, and for some reason that approach won me over hard this year.

So let’s begin with the final ten, and then a grouping of EPs I enjoyed this year, my final non-metal (ish) release recommendation, and a small (ish) closing paragraph… because why would I ever stop typing after just finishing the final ten?

That’s for crazy people. Continue reading »

Jan 032019
 

 

(We present a 2018 year-end list by NCS contributor Grant Skelton, which consists of 15 miserable, mutilating, and mesmerizing titles, not all of which are metal.)

Salutations fellow metalheads! My choices this year were a bit more of a mixed bag than in previous years. Per our usual MO here at No Clean Singing, I tried to focus on bands whose albums seemed to slip into the proverbial cracks. I hope you find something you like here, and by all means leave me recommendations in the comments. Continue reading »

Jan 032019
 

 

(Here’s the fourth installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. The concluding Top 10 will appear tomorrow.)

A confession: For a long time the only words in this whole writeup prior to me breaking the whole thing into five parts and actually listing the bands was just a whole bunch of swear words. Even though I’ve been doing this for nine years now I still will occasionally try things I learned in writing classes over the years or even some things I’ve read about since then. Stream-of-consciousness writing is one of those, but the only thing I’ve learned from doing that in the context of talking about albums of the year is that I’ve assembled a pretty neat collection of permutations of the word ‘fuck’ that I’ve gathered from popular culture over the years.

It was at this point that I began going back through our review archives so that I could even remember what came out this year. Metal-Archives is also a tremendous help in that regard, since I often can’t remember what I talked about in January unless I’ve listened to it since then. It’s also one of my favorite things to do because I get to have a laugh at how far back I have to go in the segment tagged ‘Reviews’ on the site. I know that we’ve missed more than a few albums, but as it stands now,  our first review of something from 2018 is about forty pages back. And there can be anywhere between five to fifteen albums per page of results — depending on how we grouped them for each article.

I know that’s just reflective of the ‘relentless march of hashtag content’ that the internet has become, but it still makes me smile. If I ever need a reminder that heavy metal is — somehow, despite all the odds and all the editorials about rock music dying — a lively as all hell genre, that’s enough for me. I guess there will always be room for cathartic release via loud instruments, or the various experimentations outside of the tradional music sphere to which this genre loans itself. Continue reading »

Jan 022019
 

 

(Here’s the third installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music.)

Now that I’ve broken it out from the tremendous bulk of the rest of my year-end collective, I’m amused by how much world traveling this specific subset of the list does. It spends a surprising amount of time in France (which has done very well for itself these past few years), some time in the States, some time in Australia, and even manages to touch base with both Canada and Sweden for a few. It is also probably the most varied intsallment so far — the tech-death crews make a strong play here, but you’ll also start seeing some of the prefix-core resurgence that happened recently, as well as some ugly-as-fuck grind (on two fronts). And then there’s however in the hell Author & Punisher might be described.

Oh, did I spoil that Author & Punisher is making an appearance here? Whoops. Well too bad, Beastland is fucking killer but if you want to know why you’ll have to read on and see just where the San Diego noise-engineer found himself. There’s still a lot of list left to go, and knowing me, at least two-thousand more words of intro paragraph left to be written somewhere so let’s get the third chunk of this motherfucker going. Continue reading »

Jan 012019
 

 

(Here’s the second installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music.)

This segment has some interesting patterns in it. The grindcore power hour makes its appearance here, as I’m a sucker for a whole lot of high-speed songwriting over blasting drums, and there’s still some spill-over from the veterans who remained fairly consistent (which you’ll note, defined a lot of part one). As we reach the bottom of the list you’ll start to see some new faces, stunning debuts and incredible full-lengths, and from here the list only gets more and more wild.

As of this writing I’m not sure how to describe the next few segments, but you’ll note that the albums tend to get a little bit more heartfelt, vicious, and a whole lot more passionate as we get further and further into this list. If anything I’d say the immediate thing I’m noting is that the high-twenties of this affair fully sell me out as having had a giant tech-death party. But right now, let us enjoy this current batch of madness as we bounce around from the worlds of grind, to high speed death metal, to a pleasant prog-death and sludge metal break, only to finally close things out with a tremendous crushing of skulls. Continue reading »

Dec 312018
 

 

(DGR is actually turning NCS into a coffee table book, but slowly, one day at a time, from now through Friday.)

About halfway through the year I actually thought I was going to make it through the year-end with a solid Top 30 list and nothing more. For a good chunk of the year, 2018 seemed to move in fits and starts — there would be large batches of album releases and then a couple of quiet weeks, then another small collection, and so on. A lot of the more consistent older guard were on something of an “off year” too, so at first I wasn’t expecting to see a large cast of repeats from two years ago making themselves known. I’ve gotten used to a two-to-three year album cycle, so I half-expected stuff to start pointing towards a real loaded front-half of 2019.

But alas, instead the back-half of 2018 turned out to a be a flood. Not just in bands that I’ve consistently enjoyed either, but a whole bunch of new faces that have either been hammering it out over the years and put out some genuine surprises, or people with some absolutely stunning first-time exposures on my end. Not only that, but who would’ve expected an actually pretty solid -core resurgence, with a lot of groups that had thought to hang it up deciding 2018 would be a good year to resurface and put out some stunningly good releases (at least in some cases).

As a result, 2018 proved to be an absolutely massive year. In some ways I think people’s year-end lists are reflecting just how vibrant the year was for our specific subsection of the musical sphere. While people lament that rock ‘n’ roll is dying or has become lame, heavy metal seems perfectly content to just be the constantly angry and forever roiling collective of music — as if it has found a sort of equilibrium in comparison to the mainstream world outside. Which is how you wind up with stupid shit like this, where I once again have FIFTY (warning ahead of time: if you think this introduction is getting verbose, do I have a surprise for you) albums to talk about in wrapping up this tire fire of a year. Continue reading »

Dec 312018
 

 

To the Teeth is the name of a Facebook-based metal blog that began life in May of 2016. The proprietor, Dutch writer Peter van der Ploeg, regularly posts about new extreme metal songs and full releases, and as the year goes along he adds selected music to a growing Spotify playlist. He also has a Reddit thread in which he often goes into greater depth about what appears more briefly at To the Teeth on FB.

Peter has posted his own personal 2018 Top 50 list, which you can see HERE, but he again compiled a “List of Lists”, as he has done in past years. To do that he began by assembling a population of 87 international year-end lists, which included a lot of “big platform” mainstream publications as well as lists from scurrilous metal-only outlets such as our own; those 87 also included separate staff lists from some sites (such as our own). This year, these were the lists he included in the aggregation process: Continue reading »

Dec 282018
 

 

(For the second year in a row we asked Australian musician Brendan Sloan, the man behind Convulsing (whose new album Grievous has made a fair share of year-end lists itself), if he would allow us to share his YE list of music. As was true last year, this is the most musically diverse list we’ve published — the selections aren’t all metal, but they are all very interesting.)

 

I’ve been counting these down on Instagram, so some of the review text is pulled directly from there, but I’ve tried to modify it to fit this format.

Here’s my weird Advent Calendar of important 2018 releases. Continue reading »