May 042022

photo by Catherine B Photografie

(We’re into May 2022, so what the hell are we doing with a continuation of our LISTMANIA 2021 series? Well, it’s because Seb Painchaud, the main man behind the Montréal band Tumbleweed Dealer, didn’t really exhaust his 2021 recommendations with the year-end list he gave us last December (here). In this supplemental list he proves again that he has very expansive and eclectic musical tastes, un-confined by the boundaries of metal.)

As prophesied in my year=end list, I have returned with a whole list of shit I slept on last year. Now, that title might perfectly describe how I completely missed out on some of these albums until it was too late, but in other cases my relationship to them isn’t always of the ‘feces I laid dormant on’ variety. I like making this second list because it lets me name-drop some albums I really enjoyed but left off the yearly rundown for various reasons. I feel an AOTY candidate requires a deeper connection than just pure enjoyment with the listener. But then again, that might just be me being a fucking music snob. So some of these might just be simpler/more to the point/honestly in some cases better than the stuff on the aforementioned previous list.

So here is a list of 2021 releases I feel you should check out if you haven’t already… Continue reading »

Jan 142022


Unless something else arrives by surprise (which sometimes does happen), it’s time to wrap up our 2021 LISTMANIA series.

As in years past we posted an extensive series of lists. As usual, some of them were re-postings of lists that appeared at “big platform” web sites and print magazines, and others were prepared by our own stable of race-horse writers. But once again we had a large group of lists from other guests and old friends. Plus, we’ve again received valuable, extensive lists in reader comments on THIS POST (new lists can still be added there).

In this article I’m setting forth links to all of the 2021 year-end lists that we published, divided into categories and listed within each category in the order of their appearance. For people who are looking for the best metal that 2021 had to offer, these lists and our readers’ lists provide a tremendous resource, as they have in past years. Continue reading »

Jan 112022

To the Teeth is the name of a Facebook-based metal blog that began life in May of 2016, and has expanded into a newsletter format. 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 had 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 2021 Top 25 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 97 year-end lists from 26 international critics, magazines, blogs, and other publications. Those included a lot of “big platform” mainstream publications as well as lists from metal-only outlets such as our own; those 97 also included separate staff lists from some sites (such as our own). These places were the sources of the lists that Peter included in the aggregation process:

Angry Metal Guy, Bandcamp, Banger TV, Consequence of Sound, Cursed, Cvlt Nation, Decibel, Forbes, Heavy Music HQ, Invisible Oranges, Kerrang, Last Rites, Loudwire, Metal Hammer UK, Metal Hammer DE, Metal Insider, Metal Injection, Metal Sucks, Nine Circles, No Clean Singing, PopMatters, Revolver, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, The Quietus, To The Teeth, Toilet Ov Hell, Treble and We Are the Pit

All together, these lists included a total of 656 records. Continue reading »

Jan 102022

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our annual LISTMANIA series includes re-posts of lists from “big platform” music sites and selected print zines, but we usually don’t re-post lists from other metal blogs because that truly would make this long series virtually endless. But as we’ve done in many previous years, we’ve again made an exception for Brutalitopia, because through a variety of MDF hijinks over the years, the NCS crew have become fast friends with the guys behind BrutalitöpiaTom, Mick, and Durf. The following is a Top 10 synthesis they compiled from their individual lists originally published at their site — which you can find HERE.


Once again we survived and are living through the maddening times that are pandemic life, so in lieu of the true and infinite wisdom of family members and friends there were some good ol’ tunes to get us by in the 2021st year of our dark lord.

We at Brutalitöpia got off our collective asses and brought new columns, whether it be weekly bearded workouts or 6 songs from each of us monthly (6+6+6 for the unencumbered, isn’t Mick funny?) Since we do our very best to do exactly what we want, when we want to do it, this annual exercise seemed the perfect example of 11th hour magic that we take pride in over at the Töp, so read on NCS friends and be astounded by the amount of copy/paste and micro edits from our actual lists, hell read them too if you want, otherwise this aggregate below should do. Durf even blurbed about albums not from his list.

Several beers deep, or deep in thought you ask? You, yes you the reader, can decide. Let’s kick 2022 in the balls before it has the chance to be another downer, read on below, onward and upward.


Continue reading »

Jan 042022

(As our 2021 Listmania series winds its way to the end we are again delighted to present one of our most anticipated features in the series every year — a year-end list from our friend Austin Lunn of Panopticon, whose latest album …And Again Into the Light has rightly found its way onto many a 2021 YE list itself.)

Hello again,

I want to take this opportunity to preemptively apologize for the intense length of my list here… I swear I actually cut stuff out… but there was just so much amazing music this year, I decided to sacrifice brevity for thoroughness and make a list that is, from my view, obscenely long.

This list is in no particular order… it’s just a long list of records I thoroughly enjoyed this year… I am sure after this is posted I will be kicking myself because someone in the comments will express their disappointment in me by saying “ what, no _________?” And I’ll inevitably say to myself ,” dammit I can’t believe I forgot that!”

2021 was a gnarly year and presented a lot of huge changes for me and my family, as well as many changes for people we know. Many tragic events, joyous triumphs, crushing losses, and heartbreaks. In the end, all I can do is express gratitude to the folks who were there for me, and to the folks I was able to be there for…. I am appreciative of the sense of community I have had the privilege to enjoy this year. I hope to return this favor as best as I can.

So thanks for kindness, friendship, and support. And thanks for MUSIC.

Here’s my list: Continue reading »

Jan 032022


(For the 11th (!) 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 that haven’t appeared before in our 2021 Listmania series, and this year there’s perhaps even more variety on offer than usual, though the prose is just as curmudgeonly as ever.)

Given the amount of time it took me to get my act together and actually write something up, I have a feeling I’m going to be the poor schlub who gets to close out this year’s Listamania [not quite]. That means the only people probably reading this are the completionists, the perpetually bored, and that one guy who claims to actually enjoy my list each year (I see you back there Deckard). You know what though…that’s fine. Everyone knows they always save the best shit for last, and that’s exactly what this is, the best goddamn metal list you’re going to find this year. Why is that? Because, you casual, my taste is objectively superior to everyone else. Now, if there are no other stupid questions, let’s go over the ground rules.

First, this is my top 25 releases for the year… plus a whole lot of honorable mentions. No compilations and I don’t do split albums… man, do I not like split albums. Second, descriptions are going to be short and to the point. If you want to read poorly worded music dissertations, Metal-Archives is that way. As it is, I’m already late enough turning this in, and I sincerely doubt you all have any interest in watching me struggle to come up with 25 different synonyms for “vicious” and “crushing”. Finally, yes… I did indeed fail to include that overproduced tech/prog/melodic bore-core album that you had in the number one position of your own list. No, it was not great. Yes, you should be ashamed of yourself for even suggesting it to me.

Everyone got all that?

Good… then let’s get on with the music \m/ Continue reading »

Dec 302021


(In this essay NCS contributor Gonzo brings his 3-part YE lists to a close with a Top 10 ranking of favorite albums.)

I could write an intro here, but with this being my third and final installment into this series, the thought of being so redundant fills me with untold amounts of existential dread.

In the interests of avoiding that (because there’s already enough existential dread in this godforsaken world), this list is #1 to 10 of my favorite releases from 2021. Continue reading »

Dec 302021


(Relative NCS newcomer Nathan Ferreira weighs in with a Top 20 year-end list and a healthy group of honorable mentions as well.)

HI NCS readers! In case you haven’t been bombarded by lists enough in the past few weeks, here’s my personal round-up of choice cuts.

This was my first year writing for this website, so I don’t really have the same sort of cred some of the veterans do around here. My taste is not particularly obscure, nor esoteric and unusual. There’s probably some overlap with other lists you’ve seen. I’m a generic metalhead (and proud of it!).

Still, this was the first year in a while I really focused on keeping up with new music, so I’d bet there’s a couple of things in this list you missed – I know I missed a bunch of stuff. Hopefully I can establish myself as more of a regular contributor in 2022 because this website is cool as shit.

Now, on to the thing! Continue reading »

Dec 302021


(Our friend Vonlughlio has once again prepared a year-end list that focuses on his favorite metal genre, brutal death metal, and today we present all 25 of his ranked selections.)

Hello dear readers, it’s been a long time since I wrote for NCS due to 2021 being full of challenges, from having COVID at the beginning of the year and changing jobs. Basically, having no time to do BDM reviews for NCS. Hopefully for 2022 I will be more active in that regard. Before getting into it, I would like again to thank Islander and his collaborators for doing a great job like always.

For this year I will not be adding comments in each of the positions as I’ve done in previous years (due to lack of time). Hopefully, dear reader, you will click the players and give the bands a listen in the hopes of your liking them. I also will not include Honorable Mentions (again due to lack of time, and there are so many lol). One other thing that changed this year is the triple tie for the Number 1 spot. Those albums are the most-played in this household and I could not pick just one.

Anyways, check out the list and I hope you like what you find, and that you can show support to the bands however you can. Continue reading »

Dec 292021


(Yesterday we posted Gonzo‘s year-end list of Top 10 EPs and album honorable mentions, and today we begin his list of Top 20 albums for 2021, divided into two parts.)

Now that I’ve gotten the EPs and honorable album mentions out of the way, it’s time to start cranking out a list that I’ve spent far too much time organizing (and agonizing over) in my head: My top 20 full-length releases of 2021.

Before we get into this, can we just take a second to stare in complete awe at the towering monolith of head-spinning amazement that was heavy music in 2021? Just off the top of my head, it was a banner year for subgenres like tech-death, sludge, post-metal, and seemingly everything in between. It was also a great time for labels like 20 Buck Spin and Relapse. Some of this was the injection of new blood into the mix, as there were some truly noteworthy debuts and breakouts. The old guard showed up in force, too, with some surprising out-of-nowhere returns to form. And my personal favorite: Getting my fucking subatomic particles rearranged by discovering a new band that simply blows my doors off.

All of that happened this year and then some. Even with the inclusion of my honorable mentions, the actual list of releases I enjoyed this year is way more than what I’ll be talking about here. But in the interests of brevity (as well as staying on top of my day job), here’s the first half of the vaunted top 20. Continue reading »