Jan 022013

(Here’s the second part of TheMadIsraeli’s multi-part rollout of his list of 2012′s best metal. Sample songs are at the end of the post. And you can find the first 5 albums on his list here. Despite the numbering, the albums are presented in no particular order.)

Alright, here is the tonnage of br00tz edition of my top 20 of 2012.  This might seem short compared to the previous part of this list, but really, death metal is either really fucking brutal, technical, and memorable all at the same time, hence making it good, or it’s not, am I not right?  Let’s get this underway eh?

6: CryptopsyS/T

Not only did Cryptopsy manage to prove that the Cryptopsy name still had life left in it, but Jon Lavessuer also came back and helped the band write one of their best since None So Vile.  It’s a mangled, twisted, bloody stump that beats your skull in mercilessly from second one onward.  Definitely an undeniable win. Continue reading »

Jan 022013

Our year-end Listmania series here at NCS can be divided into two categories. First, we post a handful of metal lists created by metal print publications (though this year we only reported DECIBEL’s list) and so-called “big platform” web sites, i.e., sites who cover genres of music well beyond metal but have very large audiences. Second, we post the year-end lists of our staff writers and numerous guest contributors.

The one thing we haven’t done up to now is re-publish year-end lists that have appeared at other metal blogs and sites, mainly because if I started down that road, I wouldn’t know where to stop. I’ve seen a lot of good lists at a lot of other sites compiled by people whose opinions I respect, but I really wouldn’t know how to pick just a few without falsely implying that I think better of those writers than of others.

But I am making one exception today, primarily out of a desire to further expand the range of recommended metal for those of you who are using our Listmania series as a menu of new music to explore. This list comes from a writer (with whom I’ve had no personal contact, just to be clear) who goes by the name autothrall — a name I suspect is already familiar to many of you. He’s responsible for about 99% of all the reviews that appear at a blog called From the Dust Returned. Continue reading »

Jan 012013

(In this, the longest post we’ve yet had the temerity to publish, DGR provides many 2012 lists, several awards, and assorted musings about the year in metal.)

This list initially started as something of an archive of my time spent at NoCleanSinging this year, since I was over at another site when I began writing it. I wanted to archive all the stuff that I thought that you guys would be into, so it started as a list of all the great death metal and doom metal I listened to throughout the year – plus a list of disappointments, so I could say it was “DDD” and make a whole bunch of boob jokes throughout the whole thing in order to highlight the sheer level of class with which we conduct ourselves here.

Well, things change…and now I’ve sat my fat ass down here with a full list. That, and due to the fact that there’s so much music I want to talk about this year, I feel that by separating the albums into genres that I enjoyed and explored this year, I can at least show that there was a ton more great music than just the scant ten that we limit ourselves to throughout the year. Some of these may pop up again in the actual Top Ten list you’ll find at the end of this post, but know that a lot more of them would’ve been there had I not enjoyed myself so much throughout the year.

I’ve patterned this after the list I did last year where I not only provided the actual top albums that I enjoyed but categorized a bunch of others, because I am so goddamned wishy-washy that I can’t fathom trying to name just ten. 2012 was a weird year, too, because it seemed like it was going to be slow in the beginning, but then every album that was released seemed to be just killing it. New bands, established bands, pretty much everyone with the exception of the usual garbage and a couple of bands that “Disappointed” me (underwhelmed, more like) were absolutely killing it. Because of that, this list became something more of a 2012 year in review with a Top 10 albums for myself and a whoooooole lotta bullshit to fill the space between. Continue reading »

Jan 012013

(With this post TheMadIsraeli begins a multi-part rollout of his list of 2012’s best metal. Sample songs are at the end of the post.)

I needed a break from Kataklysm.  I’ve hit the point in the discography where listening hurts right now, so I figure it’s time for me to do that top albums of the year list thing.

Putting together this list has been easy and hard at the same time.  2012 in hindsight for me didn’t provide as consistently killer of a bounty as 2011 did. However, what was killer still results in a bunch of excellent bands fighting tooth and nail in my head to be on this list.  For me, this was a year for death metal and melodic death metal.  Most of what really caught my ear saw either of those two styles being done well, being done excellently with old school aesthetics, or being so well written and cohesive it obviously stood above the rest.

First, I thought we’d start with the more prog or melodic stuff on my list.  There will be proggy and melodic shit later on in this list, but it’ll be under a different category.  I mostly stuck to more recent bands or first time releases for this section.

So without further ado, here is the first part of my top 20.  These first five albums are presented in no particular order because I couldn’t even possibly begin that level of scrutiny amongst a collage of already stellar works. Continue reading »

Dec 312012

(We welcome back guest contributor BreadGod with his list of the year’s best albums. I’ve taken the liberty of adding links where bands on his list were previously mentioned at NCS.)

2012 came and went, the world didn’t end, and everyone felt like an idiot for believing in all of that apocalyptic bullshit. One thing’s for certain: this was one of the best years – if not the best year – in metal history. The number of awesome metal albums released during this year is unprecedented. It was really hard for me to make this list, but after much listening and pondering, I narrowed it down to ten albums I feel are the best of 2012. First, my honorable mentions:

Abominable PutridityThe Anomalies of Artificial Origin


Axis of LightBy the Hands of the Consuming Fire

AylwinSoil And Cold

BarrowlandsDemo 2012

BitwaGlory To Swietowit

BuriedThe Only Promise
Continue reading »

Dec 312012

(Continuing with this year’s edition of Listmania, I again invited Johan Huldtgren of the killer black metal band Obitus to share with us his year-end list, because I’ve consistently found his musical tastes to be solid and interesting. Once again, he agreed. An expanded version of this list appears on Johan’s blog.)

I suspect few will be surprised by my choices this year. The list sees the return of many previous candidates, however a few newcomers have managed to make the cut this year, some fairly high up. Samples have been included to give you a taste, so you can either realize how correct I am or question your sanity for even reading this list. Now take it away in the comments.

10: BlodhemnHolmengraa

This sounds and feels just like the early to mid 90’s. There is nothing new here, but for someone who enjoyed the music of that era this certainly brings it back to life.


Continue reading »

Dec 302012

(As our Listmania series continues for this rapidly closing 2012, we welcome guest writer Fork Tongue and his list of overlooked gems from the underground.)

Hello faithful NCS readers! 2012 was a helluva year in metal. When I hear old school metalheads say that we will never see another era like the mid 80’s through the early 90’s, it gets under my skin a bit. Old school metalheads talk about the days of yesteryear with a gleam in their eye and a chip on their shoulder. As well they should, as it was a great time for the music we all love. But after a bleak period from the mid 90’s through the mid 2000’s (at least in the mainstream) there has been a metal renaissance.

It’s been building and building, and in 2009 it hit what I thought would be it’s pinnacle. I was wrong. 2009, 2010, 2011, and now 2012 have all been unbelievable years that rival or better “the good ol’ days”, and anyone who doesn’t think so isn’t looking hard enough or is just an old fuddy duddy. There are tens of thousands of metal bands, so yes, there is more crap to wade through, but the law of averages tells you there’s also more truly great stuff out there than at any point in metal’s relatively short history. My list will show this, as it’s all about the overlooked gems of the year. Long live the renaissance!

No long-winded descriptions here. I’ll let the music speak for itself. Continue reading »

Dec 302012

(Our trollish fiend friend Trollfiend has emerged from his lair at ALSO, WOLVES and delivers this year-end list.)

One of the things I like about folk metal is that it seems to be largely free of kvlt haters.  You’ll rarely if ever hear someone slag on a band as not being ‘true’ folk metal.  That may be in part because no one can really seem to settle on a definition of the genre; quite a few people suggest that it’s not a genre at all.  But assuming for the nonce that those people are a) asshats and b) wrong, I think it’s safe to say that “metal played with or featuring folk or traditional rhythms and/or instruments” probably covers the spectrum pretty well. In fact it’s a damn loose definition; by those criteria I could easily call Nile a ‘folk metal’ band.

Of course, that’s a lack of kvlt haters within the genre.  Plenty of people outside the genre slag on folk metal all the time, probably because it’s not BRUTAL enough for them.  But that’s okay; not everyone likes the same shit, and if all you care about is BRUTAL, you can look at pretty much all the other “best of” or “top 10” lists that have cropped up everywhere like rancid boils.  I can save you the trouble of slogging through all of those lists, though, because they all say Pig Destroyer.

No, what I’m about to offer you is my baker’s dozen of the best folk metal albums of 2012 as chosen by me, the guy who likes this kind of shit.  That makes me an expert.  Also, because people seem to think folk metal is a fad that died out in 2009 (or should have) I am largely populating this list with new, newish, or up-and-coming bands just to make the point that it hasn’t gone away and is going to stick around like herpes, i.e., whether you want it to or not.  And it will probably itch like a motherfucker.  So you won’t see Enslaved’s RIITIIR or Korpiklaani’s Manala or Eluveitie’s Helvetios on here, which is fine, because I’m sure they’ll be covered elsewhere. Continue reading »

Dec 292012

(In this guest post, NCS supporter Kazz lights the way through his list of the Top 40 metal albums of 2012, with selected commentary.)

This is a top 40. But instead of just writing some stuff about the top 10 (or, frighteningly, all 40) I just picked out a few releases that I felt were under the radar and needed to have some more words on the internet about them (except for my number one pick, which I couldn’t resist adding my 2 cents on). I’ll start at 25 because all the albums I wanted to write about are in that portion.

25.  Arkhamin KirjastoTorches Ablaze

24.  Six Feet UnderUndead

23.  ForefatherLast of the Line

Forefather isn’t reinventing the wheel here, but they’re playing a style that they’ve been one of the leaders in for over ten years. Their melodic/epic take on Viking/folk metal is full of memorable and stirring hooks. Vocals alternate between competent rasps and soaring cleans while keyboards add some texture to their driving Anglo-Saxon anthems. Continue reading »

Dec 292012

(We welcome back Louisville-based music writer Austin Webber with his personal round-up of the year’s best metal, organized by genre and accompanied by lots of music. This is a really diverse list with lots of names that haven’t appeared in our previous lists. The album art for almost all of these picks is also amazing.)

2012 was a great year for a wide range of metal subgenres and one that also solidified its future through the progression of many genre-muddying acts to quite interesting results! I’ve decided not to elaborate on the merits of this year’s obvious biggies and a large number of other bands because they are already on everyone else’s lists, and thus you’ve  been made aware of them too many times. A few here you may know, but hopefully you find something new. That’s my goal and the reason for this list.

For albums I already reviewed through my gig with LEO Weekly (a local Louisville, KY print publication with additional online component) I will paste in my reviews of them instead of writing a short synopsis. Continue reading »