Dec 232022

(One of the perennial highlights of our year-end LISTMANIA series are the articles Neill Jameson has contributed, and we’re very happy that he’s done so again this year. This one is the third of a 5 (or 6?) part installment of Neill‘s lists for 2022.)

I spent a solid half hour during a meeting at work googling Shakespearean English to try to cobble together the title for this one which was both a great use of company time as well as a fine opportunity for someone with a dry dick and classical education to tell me I used the terms wrong. I’m nothing if not a giver.

I said way back when in the first piece I wasn’t going to do theme lists. I guess this is a good time to admit to you that I’m a filthy liar and I should feel shame but instead it’s mostly glee at being dishonest to twelve or thirteen people at once outside of my immediate family. Anyway, here’s dungeon synth. Continue reading »

Dec 232022

(At last, the end is upon us. Not the end of our year-end LISTMANIA series (we’re bringing more lists next week), but the end of DGR‘s annual countdown, featuring his Top 10 albums of the year, and a couple of EPs too.)

The final day of the year-end list always has a mixed trove of emotions coming along with it. There’s the relief of finally being able to shut the book on a year – though generally that’s become less and less true as the years have gone on, there’s always something you’ll spot during the holidays that came out two days beforehand – and the greater relief in finally being able to cast this collected musical works out into the wild.

The second one is far more exciting for me because even though it’s just a fifty-album list – and I reiterate, with some surprisingly painful cuts this year, even on stuff I reviewed and enjoyed – there’s knowing that many people may find something in that pile that they’d previously overlooked or just hadn’t gotten a chance to get around to yet. I draw a lot of joy out of knowing that people found music that way – I imagine many people who’re prone to recommending music do – because it makes me feel like even though I’m basically in a ten-foot space clear across the world, I’ve improved someone’s life somewhere in the world incrementally. Even when its a forty-minute long endless blastbeat with someone yelling about the annihilation of the world over the top of it.

This final ten probably won’t shock a lot of you, and looking at it, there’s quite a few bands that’ve been mainstays within my lists over the years. Positions have changed and there’s a couple of new additions, but much like Andy‘s personal top ten, I have my few that I couldn’t help but constantly be drawn into throughout 2022. Continue reading »

Dec 222022

(One of the perennial highlights of our year-end LISTMANIA series are the articles Neill Jameson has contributed, and we’re very happy that he’s done so again this year. This one is the second of a 5 (or 6?) part installment of Neill‘s lists. And to be clear (again), Neill wrote the title of this feature himself.)

There’s no real need for me to write anything more than welcome to part II of my annual titterings. We’re going to start this one with a fucking bang.

Continue reading »

Dec 222022

(Today we pick up DGR‘s 50-piece year-end countdown with an installment that includes the choices from No. 20 through No. 11.)

We’re in the final reaches of the year-end list and the numbers just seem to be getting lower, no matter how much I try and stop them. This is usually the point in my year-end dunce-cap demonstration wherein the wheels start falling off. Often, when I’m doing these, they happen in a few quick bursts as caffeine-fueled fits of pique and this year is no different – though I like to think I’ve spaced it out a little better as I’ve discovered that doing these all over the course of a day and a half probably is not the healthiest way to be approaching things. So, I says, what if I try two whole days? We’ll see how that works out.

I mentioned it yesterday but this block of the list is going to be a wild one, but also one where you’re going to spot a few critical darlings. I’ve got a few tailor-made-for-DGR bands here, as well as some groups who have just been consistently good and the latest additions to their discography are worthy as well. Tomorrow will be the conclusion of this whole affair, which means I’ll likely be at my spiciest by then so that’ll be something to look forward to.

In the meantime, let’s kick things off with a band whose name I am likely to hear shouted from a few states away from the moment this entry is spotted. Continue reading »

Dec 212022

Here’s another entry in the part of our annual LISTMANIA orgy where we re-post lists of metal from “big platform” web sites and print zines — the kind of places that get a lot more eyeballs on them than filthy little metal-only hovels like ours.

Rolling Stone magazine should need no introduction, so I’m not going to provide one. Two years ago we didn’t include a Rolling Stone metal list in our year-end LISTMANIA series — because they didn’t publish one. Though we surmised that they had jettisoned the idea permanently, their Top 10 metal list made a return in 2021, and this year they’ve expanded the list to 15 names. Continue reading »

Dec 212022

(NCS writer Todd Manning wades into our year-end LISTMANIA series with his picks for the year’s 15 best albums, plus separate lists for EPs, compilations, and “metal adjacent” records.)

I love year-end lists. I love the thought that goes into making them. And once mine are finished, I will pour over everyone else’s lists with a notebook in hand, searching for all the releases I missed. There’s always more music.

All this is to excuse my overly long article this year. You have a Top 15 albums, a top seven EP and compilation list, and a small metal-adjacent list. Because this is for the nerds like me. I wrote the kind of year-end list I would want to find with tons of bands to possibly follow up on.

And I should also note, that while I am probably biased, I think 2022 has been an absolutely stellar year for my hometown. Four Indianapolis-based bands made my year-end list and I think they deserve to be there regardless of our shared locale. I hope you agree. Continue reading »

Dec 212022

(Today we continue the week-long rollout of DGR‘s year-end list with Part Three, covering his picks from 30 through 21.)

Looking back over older lists, day three always seems like the wildest one because we really start getting into the part of the list where the cuts start to hurt and anything resembling an actual ranking really starts to take shape, though to be fair at this point in the game I’m still mostly basing it off of just how much I remember listening to any particular release throughout the year.

This part of the list has a pretty wild spread I think, although your favorite abyssal death metal group somehow still hasn’t managed to break through the wall just yet, which I apologize for. Apparently the drywall around here is a lot tougher to get through than I would’ve thought. We have another EP in the fight here and then from there the blastbeat nerds get to fully take the stage for a while. If you’ll allow me one spoiler, I was pleasantly surprised by how well my opinion of Immolation‘s latest held up, so keep an eye out for that release. Somehow that band made an album befitting just how monstrously huge their sound has become over the years.

Otherwise, it’s time to keep the 2022 funeral pyre burning and brush off our year-end regalia and hope we can get a few more days out of it before having to toss it into an incinerator because buddy, I will tell you right now, ain’t nothing going to get some of those stains out other than fire. Continue reading »

Dec 202022


(One of the perennial highlights of our year-end LISTMANIA series are the articles Neill Jameson has contributed, and we’re very happy that he’s done so again this year. This one is the first of a handful of Parts we’ll be publishing. To be clear, Neill wrote the title of this feature himself.)

I think I’ve struggled with the introduction to this more than the actual list. If 2022 was a flavor it would be lukewarm soft-serve dogshit with a sprinkling of cardamom for that nice little pop at the end. We could sit and examine the state of the world but that’s an increasingly depressing affair and this is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, afterall. So instead I’ll just get into the reason for the season. 

I spent a lot of time with cassettes and eps this year so the bulk of the forthcoming prattlings will focus around that. I’ve tried to do theme pieces in the last two years but really the only one I’ll do is the coup de grâce with my favorite releases of the year. So until then nothing on these lists is in any kind of order. Hopefully one or two selections tickles you and if so then please support the artists directly, especially since Bandcamp is now taxing the fuck out of us. I’ve included links where I could find them. 

If I write about anything that came out at the end of 2021 and you’re excited to educate me on it, don’t.  Continue reading »

Dec 202022

(Today we continue the week-long rollout of DGR‘s year-end list with Part Two, encompassing his picks from 40 through 31.)

Day two keeps us in the upper reaches of the 2022 year-end party wherein the world burns and I keep typing away because I don’t know how to do anything else. It took four years to get breathing right and another six to understand walking, so someday I’ll figure out how to be a functioning adult, but in the meantime I’ve got heavy metal navel-gazing to do and ain’t nothing going to get in the way of that mess.

This section of the list handles the bulk of your rank thirties and things remain as chaotic as ever in this here segment. A little less artsy than the upper segment was but about as heavy, because the subgenres of death metal start to arrive strong here. There’s a good 80% of this subsection that could just be cateorized as fast and violent. and to be honest with you, thats perfectly fine by me.

Most of these are albums that powered me through my year by the sheer force of ‘dumb’, with only one being a progressive show-piece, which – if you know anything about my listening habits – you may have already guessed. If not, you certainly will not be surprised by the name that does show up. Let’s continue our tumble down the year of 2022. Continue reading »

Dec 192022

(Long-time NCS contributor Wil Cifer weighs in here with his picks for the favorite Top 20 metal albums of the year.)

Making end of the year lists for me is more than just creating content, it is a celebration of the music that helped me make it through another year. I pound these out for a variety of blogs I write for but this one is close to my heart as it celebrates one of my favorite genres of music… metal. Of course I am always pushing metal to the forefront no matter who I write for, but some publications pigeonhole me as the goth guy or the punk dude, which are both genres I am into and their influence crosses over into some of the albums listed below, but with this list my sole focus is metal.

I am always thankful for Islander for giving me a voice here as my tastes often fall on the fringes of what is normally covered here. My tastes were shaped by growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Ozzy and King Diamond, along with my fetish for post-punk and goth that Cvlt Nation is normally my platform to discuss, though when it comes to metal I normally gravitate to sonically darker and dynamically melodic sounds. .
This year I tightened my definition of metal for this particular list. There might be a few hardcore-leaning albums on here, but they are metallic enough to satisfy the scrutiny of my jaded ears. In doing this I sacrifice albums I was partial to such as the new ones from Messa and Hangman’s Chair, but you can find me giving them praises in other corners of the internet. Similar can be said of albums by bands gracing many other lists on many other blogs . Bands like Chat Pile, Callous Daoboys, Dead Cross, Brutus, KEN Mode, and City of Caterpillar. All made wonderful albums I enjoyed, but they are all noise rock, post-hardcore and screamo, once again not belonging on a METAL list. However if you are into those genres, I highly recommend all of those artists. Continue reading »