Dec 312019


(This year we were joined by a Seattle-based writer who goes by the nickname Gonzo. He has contributed both lively concert reviews and equally lively album reviews, and today he brings us Part 2 of a year-end list that sings the praises of 20 albums — the top 10 of them today, and you can read about the first 10 here.)

The top 10 was a tough one this year, but whittling it down to the final product turned out to be a helluva fun time. The theme of the year seemed to be “pushing boundaries,” and I think my #1 choice did that better than any other crazy genre-defying piece of music I heard all year.

While I go smoke the rest of this joint, go read the rest of my list. Continue reading »

Dec 312019


(For the 8th year in a row, here’s our friend Vonlughlio’s list of the best brutal death metal albums of the year that’s about to end.)

So it’s that time of year, at which I am lucky enough to share the top Brutal Death Metal albums of 2019, and what a great year for the genre it has been. As usual, the list-making process has been nothing but a clusterfuck, because it has been difficult to compile my favorite 25 albums released this year. But it must be done, and I can say for this year that I am content with the end result.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Islander for letting me do some write-ups and year-end lists since 2012 for this genre, which is one of my favorites in the Death Metal Universe. I also thank the writers and other contributors of NCS; because of them I can discover great bands each day.

With no further ado, below are my favorite 25 BDM albums of 2019. Later on this will become part of the Blast Family Top 50 BDM albums of the year. So for now, here is the list: Continue reading »

Dec 302019


(This year we were joined by a Seattle-based writer who goes by the nickname Gonzo. He has contributed both lively concert reviews and equally lively album reviews, and today he brings us Part 1 of a year-end list that sings the praises of 20 albums — 10 of them today and 10 more tomorrow.)

Well, here we are — another year of music in the books, and another unnecessarily long stretch of time spent agonizing over which albums I felt worthy of compiling into another year-end list.

I won’t lie — 2019 made things crazily difficult. There were some truly bat-shit releases that laughed in the face of genre typecasting and raised the bar. Conversely, there were some albums that stuck to a particular mold and ended up kicking unholy amounts of ass while doing it. Truth be told, I haven’t had this much fun discovering new music in the better part of a decade

With that, I’ll stop blabbing. Here’s my list. Hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Continue reading »

Dec 302019

(For the 9th 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 2019 Listmania series.)

By the time you read this, the year, and the decade, will be just about over, Listmania will be in full swing, and if you’re anything like me you’ll probably be ready to shove an icepick into your eye if you have to read one more list showing the same 10 albums you’ve seen on a dozen other websites.

Yes, Tomb Mold and Blood Incantation put out really good albums, but unless you’ve been living under a rock you already know that… no one wants to see the same names again and again. So, with that in mind, Islander has once again turned to me to save you out-of-touch causals from the boredom of the mainstream by giving you a brief glimpse into the metal underground. Grab your bullet belts and corpse paint, because only the grim and trve are allowed beyond this point …enjoy the music \m/ Continue reading »

Dec 272019

photo by Luis Roa


(Once again we are fortunate that our Mexican friend Jacobo Córdova — of Majestic Downfall and Zombiefication — has accepted our invitation to share with us his list of the year’s best metal releases (and one disappointment).)

In my opinion, even if 2019 was a great year for Metal releases, it was not as strong as past ones. I feel quality was not that present overall while quantity surely was, but that sucks since there is so much trash released every year that you really need to dig to find gems. That being said, here is my top 10 list from this year, where, at least for me, all are truly stellar releases that deserve to be praised! Thankfully, here quality is everything!!! Continue reading »

Dec 262019


(For the ninth year in a row (!), our friend Johan Huldtgren of the Swedish black metal band Obitus — whose 2017 album Slaves of the Vast Machine (reviewed and premiered here) is their latest release — has again allowed us to share with you his year-end list, which originally appeared on Johan’s own blog.) Continue reading »

Dec 262019


(NCS contributor Todd Manning shares a diverse year-end list of top metal albums (15 of them), and a list of recommended not-metal too.)

This is my fourth year reviewing for No Clean Singing, and I found 2019 to be a bit of a mixed bag. Not that there wasn’t good Metal releases this year, but nothing that would’ve beaten out my top two from last year, Imperial Triumphant and Horrendous. Still though, lots of good albums and even a few great ones graced my ears.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for me in coming up with this list was trying to rate albums that were vastly different in character from one another. Over here you have paint-peeling Grindcore, over there some pastoral Black Metal, maybe a little bit of vile and filthy Sludge for good measure. I really enjoyed the variety, but it’s definitely a case of comparing apples to oranges. Even though my 2018 list certainly possessed some variety in material, it still, to me at least, possessed a bit more thematic consistency. Nevertheless, here goes trying to sort out my best of 2019. Continue reading »

Dec 262019


Pitchfork obviously qualifies for the part of our year-end LISTMANIA series devoted to re-publishing lists by “big platform” cross-genre music sites. Founded in 1995 by recent high school graduate Ryan Schreiber in Minneapolis, it has been based in Chicago since 1999 and has been owned by the Conde Nast conglomerate since 2015. From its humble beginnings, it now boasts an audience of more than 7 million monthly unique visitors.

It’s fair to say that most of those visitors aren’t metalheads. The site’s reputation historically was closely associated with independent underground music, and in the last 10 years their Album of the Year award has gone to Kendrick Lamar three times, as well as other hip-hop artists. This year it went to Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell!.  But as you see, Pitchfork also publishes a list of the year’s best metal. Continue reading »

Dec 242019


(In what used to be an annual tradition, and hopefully will become one again, we present a year-end list of favorite Not-Metal albums by Joseph Schafer (whose NCS moniker was BadWolf). Joseph is a  former NCS writer, ex-Invisible Oranges editor, current contributor to DecibelNoisey, and Consequence of Sound, and a principal co-conspirator in the production of Northwest Terror Fest.)

Sorry it took so long. Last year, the usual hustle and bustle of the holidays totally occupied my time. If you think about it, it’s hard to think of a worse time of year for Listmania than the apex of social and familial pressure that is the end of the year— not to mention the horrid weather that blasts most of the United States as I write this. Regardless, after an abnormally tumultuous 2019, and my decision to skip Listmania the year before, I took the time to outline, as before, my favorite non-metal albums of the year.

Some of these choices should be familiar to anyone who has read my list in years past – I tend to err on the side of my favorites, most of the time. The artists who created five of these choices have turned up on these lists before. Continue reading »

Dec 242019


(For the sixth year in a row, we’re grateful that Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) accepted our invitation to share with us and you a list releases from the past year that made an impact on him. His lists always provide welcome discoveries, and the one this year — which is divided into two parts — is no different. You can find Part 1 here.)

I knew the moment I hit “send” on the first part of this that I’d remember a few records I wanted to write a bit about. That’s one of the nicer things about years like this: there’s so much out there worth listening to that you somehow forget all of it when you’re pressed to talk about it. Like I said previously, this is more of an “odds & ends” part of the shit I filled my ears with in 2019. So rather than fill space with more pointless exposition let’s just get right to it: Continue reading »