Editor’s Note: Once upon a time, and for many years in the earlier life of NCS, Seattle-based Joseph Schafer wrote with us under the pseudonym BadWolf. From NCS he went on to become the editor of Invisible Oranges, and since then has written about music and culture for the likes of Decibel, Noisey, Consequence of Sound, Bandcamp, and more, in addition to collaborating on the production of Northwest Terror Fest. But this time of year he sometimes returns to NCS with a year-end list, and has surprised us this year by doing it again. This time his list includes a Top 10 of not-metal selections, a Top 10 of metal selections, and a list of honorable mentions.
My New Year’s resolution has been to drink almond milk instead of half-and-half and as a result the first lesson I’ve learned in 2021 has been: you can’t microwave that particular nut-based creamer. As such, my fingertips are burnt, so let’s keep this brief – and by brief I mean under two thousand words.
First things first: 2020 fucking sucked. Is there any other way to put it? Fuck the last year. Many of my closest comrades lost their jobs and endured quiet personal hells in isolation while white nationalists tried to overturn the country and a literal plague killed our loved ones. Not to mention, no live shows. Yuck. It’s probably not over but at least the worst of it seems behind us – that is, so long as you wash your hands wear a mask and take the damn vaccine.