Jan 252022
 


Skepticism

 

In looking back at the songs I’ve included in this list so far (you can see all of them here), it occurred to me that I hadn’t paid much attention to doom. That realization influenced me in the choices I made for today’s installment, which gives glimpses of the genre’s night-blooming diversity, because part of my aim in doing this list is to provide snapshots of what the last year brought us in metal, across a swath of genres.

But of course the songs must be infectious to qualify, and these are, even if the contagion they bring us is heartbreak.

SKEPTICISM (Finland)

Skepticism is the first funeral doom band whose music I ever heard, long ago. It was a gripping discovery. Skepticism always draws my attention for that reason, but also because of the band’s remarkable consistency over a career that spans three decades. Their latest work, 2021’s Companion, was as powerful and immersive as I’ve always come to expect. As is often the case with stand-out albums, it was home to more than one song I wanted to put on this list, but alas, my self-imposed rule compelled me to pick only one. Continue reading »

Jan 242022
 


Portrayal of Guilt

 

Today I begin the final full week for the rollout of this list (plus Monday of next week, and maybe including next weekend too). I did promise myself I would stop at the end of January, even though I know I’ll feel the list will be incomplete.

I have a hard time explaining why I grouped the following three songs together. I think there are a few stylistic similarities in the records that included the first two, but only a few. The third one really isn’t connected to the others at all. I guess I just wanted to make sure I added them to the list before running out of gas by February 1st. To see the preceding songs on the list, GO HERE.

PORTRAYAL OF GUILT (U.S.)

Let me tell you, this first pick was a damned difficult one — because this Texas band released a bunch of songs in 2021 that made it onto my list of candidates (with a lot of them suggested by our readers). Those candidates were spread across two albums the band released last year (We Are Always Alone and Christfucker), and a split with Chat Pile. To make the choice even more difficult, these dudes are such creative sonic alchemists that the songs go in very different directions, making the decision something of an apples-oranges comparison. Continue reading »

Jan 212022
 


Primeval Well

 

No, we’re not like an elevator in a hotel. We don’t skip 13. In my way of thinking, 13 is a lucky number — a prime one. And I’ve chosen three prime cuts to include in this installment of the list. The first two have important folk ingredients, from traditions separated by about 5,000 miles. The third one is more extreme than the first two, but is also intensely memorable.

To check out the songs on the list that have preceded these three, and to understand what the list is all about, use THIS LINK. Continue reading »

Jan 202022
 


Chainsword

 

Can you tell how I settled on this trio of songs for today’s installment? Could it be that I focused on the “C’s” in my alphabetized list of candidates? Why yes, that could very well be true. In fact, it is true.

It also pleased me to choose songs that reflected the recommendations of my long-standing NCS comrades DGR and Andy Synn, plus of course one of my own choosing. Not that I would have picked a song just because DGR or Andy pushed for it, because this is my list after all, and they’re just my servants. But in my infinite wisdom I agree that their two recommended songs are worthy choices.

(You’ll find the preceding Parts of this list (and an explanation of what it’s all about) through THIS LINK.

CHAINSWORD (Poland)

After my Norwegian friend eiterorm brought the cover of Chainsword‘s 2021 album to my attention I readily agreed that we needed a five-nipple pentagram chain emblazoned on out site. Little did I know that the band’s just-released single from the album, “Daemonculaba“, would kick my ass as hard as it did. Continue reading »

Jan 192022
 


Zmarłym

 

You could call this installment of the list a “Shades of Black” segment. Each band plays black metal, but the styles are quite distinct from each other. All three of these songs got stuck in my head the first time I heard them, and I still enjoy re-living the experiences many months later.

The grouping is book-ended by two Polish bands, with an Italian solo project in the middle, and I hope the songs I’ve chosen will induce you to explore the full releases they came from because all three are worth the time.

If you happen to be cruising into this list for the first time, you’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK. Continue reading »

Jan 182022
 


The Crown

As you can see, we’ve made it to 10 installments of this list, and this one brings the total number of songs identified so far to 30. If I’m able to continue at the current pace, revealing another 3 songs every weekday from now to the end of the month (when I’m going to try to force myself to stop), we’ll reach a grand total of 19 Parts and 57 songs, so we’ve now crossed the halfway mark. On the other hand, I might decide to throw in one more segment at some point so we have an even 20 Parts and 60 songs.

By the way, you’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK. Continue reading »

Jan 172022
 

Today we reach the eighth installment of this 2021 Most Infectious Song list. You’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.

I didn’t really have any organizing principle for grouping the following three tracks together, though I did think the transition from the first two tracks to the third one made for an eye-opening change. I should add that all three bands received a lot of support from the folks who contributed ideas for this list, although there wasn’t much consensus about which song from each album was the most deserving.

Continue reading »

Jan 142022
 

Welcome to the eighth installment of this expanding list. You’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.

This trio of tracks may seem a bit odd, since it includes something from a band whose name is known by throngs across the globe and then two tracks by bands who are probably known to the average NCS visitor but whose profiles are ant-like in comparison to that of the opening band. In my own addled head, what unites these songs is that all three furnish riveting dramatic intensity, and of course they’re all damned memorable.

GOJIRA (France)

It may surprise some of you to know that we used to write about Gojira a lot. It may also surprise you to learn that the most popular post in the history of this site, based on its 32,074 page views (at last count), is one entitled “Why Gojira is the Best Metal Band in the World“, which was written in August 2010 by one of the people who started NCS with me (but fairly quickly lost interest). As a sign of his devotion, his body sports tattoos of imagery from the Gojira song “Vacuity”. Continue reading »

Jan 132022
 


Kryptan

We arrive at the lucky Part 7 of this expanding list. You’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.

Today I’m doing what I did yesterday — choosing songs that I previously picked for a playlist that I and my comrades Andy Synn and DGR shared through one of our Gimme Metal guest DJ appearances last year. I picked them back then because I thought they were damned contagious, and I’m choosing them for this list for the same reason. I also included the last two of today’s trio because I’ve neglected thrash in this list so far, and it’s time to at least partially fill that void.

Continue reading »

Jan 122022
 

Welcome to Part 6 of this expanding list. You’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.

All three of the songs featured today were included in my part of the playlist that DGR, Andy Synn, and I put together for a September 2021 guest DJ appearance on Gimme Metal (and speaking of which, we three are doing another guest DJ appearance on January 25th). I included these three songs for a reason — because all three are so damned infectious. They had all gotten stuck firmly in my head by that point, and I was eager to infect other people with them. Obviously, I still am.

FIAT NOX (Germany)

Last year we had the honor of premiering a new EP by this German band (In Contemptuous Defiance) in advance of its October release by Personal Records. In an accompanying review I wrote that this new release “further elevates the place of Fiat Nox as a band capable of creating marvelously dynamic and multi-faceted music that gets the blood racing with its muscular, hard-charging aggression but also creates wholly enthralling atmosphere through its emotionally powerful melodies”. Continue reading »