Jan 042017


(We present Part 2 of our friend Vonlughlio’s 2016 year-end list. This segment is devoted to favorite brutal death metal albums, and tomorrow’s third part will delve into other genres.)

To begin, I would like to thank Islander for being able to share with all of you readers the music I love. Also to the contributors of NCS — thanks to them, I have discovered great bands.

As some of you might know, one of my favorite genres is Brutal Death Metal, and when I began  making my year-end Top 50 list I felt that some bands in this and other genres were left out (there are always some regardless). And so I decided to make two year-end album lists, one that will be only for BDM releases, and the other containing bands from other genres, such as Death, Black, and Technical/Death.

So here are my Favorite Brutal Death Metal Albums of 2016: Continue reading »

Jan 042017


(For the third year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. This year, we’ve divided his year-end thoughts into four parts, and this is the second, which flows his introductory essay and a list of the 11 2016 albums he listened to the most — here.)


Continue reading »

Jan 032017


(Wil CIfer’s series of year-end lists for 2016 continues with this selection of 10 favorite releases in the vein of hardcore punk.)

Yeah I know, we are talking metal on this site, but I think there is enough crossover here to appeal to the more open-minded readers. In some places the line between hardcore and metal is more clearly defined; many of these selections are heavier than most of the bands on your top metal lists.

This list will encompass anything that is a bastard son of punk, from grindcore to emo. This was an emotionally charged year, but none of these albums is really that political. And yet everyone tried to console themselves after the election by saying at least punk will get good. Well, the tried and true NOFX’s have gotten old and might not have been bad, they just are not as good as any of the bands on the top ten hardcore punk albums of 2016 list. Continue reading »

Jan 032017


(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 we’ve again made an exception for Brutalitopia, because through a variety of MDF hijinks over the years, the NCS crew has become fast friends with the Brutalitopia miscreants. Besides, how could I resist the opportunity to post that GIF that Mick made?)

Hello No Clean Singing!  We’re Brutalitopia, a Chicago/North New Jersey (not the swamp part tho) based metal blog.  We put up our individual Best of 2016 lists here, here, and here, and then Islander was kind enough to let us combine our lists through the power of math and share it here with all of you (personally, I think he’s trying to get Listmania to last the whole year).  Continue reading »

Jan 032017


(For the third year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. This year, we’ve divided his year-end thoughts into four parts, and this is the first.)

As far as I am concerned, 2016 was a great year for music as a whole. However, too many people who have lost the will and the passion to discover new music (especially new metal music) are trying to convince others that only the ’80s or ’90s were striking periods. In fact, many releases of 2016 are going to remain classic in the years to come. With the flooding of the market, the non-artistic approach of many bands, the easy access to underground gems, and the short attention span of listeners, it requires more determination than before to discover and appreciate the worthy ones.

It is now crucial that we should all oppose the pseudo-elite disgusting ”YouTube” reviewers and their forged expertise. We should oppose the ordinary propaganda with their new trends and the new ”hot” names. We should oppose new releases from old, once great bands who used to produce masterpieces but corrupted their art and their vision and became nothing but caricatures of themselves. Continue reading »

Jan 022017


(Wil Cifer continues his series of year-end lists with a Top 10 ranking of progressive metal releases.)

Progressive means you allow your music to progress. If you are putting out the same album of indulgent noodling, I don’t care if it is under the guise of a rock opera or not, your sound is not evolving; you are not progressive.

So these are not albums serving as bookends to keyboard solos, and are all more focused on the songs rather than trying to just make musicale bukkake. Many genres are touched on within this list. Some are more black metal than others, some are death metal, some are hard rock, but they all break the mold and embody progressive metal even without operatic vocals and frilly shirts. Here are my choices for the top 10 progressive metal albums of 2016. Continue reading »

Jan 022017


(For the 6th year in a row, I asked our old pal SurgicalBrute to weigh in with his year-end list of favorite albums and EPs. As expected, he names a lot of underground releases that haven’t appeared before in our 2016 Listmania series.)

When I was asked once again to do my year-end list (something I’m growing to suspect, more and more, is a way for Islander to get back at me for being a loudmouth in the comment section the other eleven months of the year), I honestly wasn’t sure if I would have anything to contribute. When I write a list, I don’t want it to be just about which albums I liked, I like for it to be interesting, to hopefully show people a bunch of stuff they either forgot about or haven’t heard before.

Now, for whatever reason, my interests have been all over the place this year, and it seemed to me like I wasn’t giving metal my usual level of attention… until I sat down to really look over the music I discovered this year. At this point I can only conclude that, even distracted, I’m still more metal than 99% of the planet, because the amount of music I ended up wading through was beyond ridiculous. The act of narrowing down this list would have sent the untrve among you running for the nearest door, but fear not… I’m a professional.

So, now that we’ve gotten that rambling bit of egotistical back-patting out of the way… here’s my list of the best metal albums for 2016… enjoy \m/ Continue reading »

Dec 302016



(Here’s the fourth and final 2016 list from NCS contributor Wil Cifer. Follow these links to check out his Top 10 lists for black metal, doom, and death metal.)

When it comes to defining sludge, the density is the prime factor, so I find myself throwing in anything that is not dark enough to be doom. Sludge generally holds true to its punk rooks, but projects defined as stoner metal are also being included here. That doesn’t mean there is not legit sludge all over this list, as sludge is the dirty crust punk cousin of doom. Some sludge bands have just grown up and gotten more rock ‘n’ roll over time, so what sludge is has changed some over the years and this year’s crop is certainly evidence of that fact. Some of these bands might even think they are doom or have gotten their start as a doom band, but now have smoked too much pot to keep it that dark. So heaviness is often an organic by-product of the sounds compiled here with the top ten sludge albums of 2016. Continue reading »

Dec 302016



(For the sixth year in a row, I invited my friend Johan Huldtgren of the Swedish black metal band Obitus — whose new album Slaves of the Vast Machine will be released in early 2017 by Black Plague Records and Hypnotic Dirge Records — to share with us his year-end list. Once again, he agreed. This list previously appeared on Johan’s own blog.)

As Listmania season is upon us I can only once again conclude that there are many, many albums that I’ve missed. However, this is why series such as these are helpful; without all the other lists I’d never have known what I’d missed. Luckily I didn’t see too many of my picks in the other main lists, so hopefully this list will give you something new to check out. Continue reading »