Dec 132018
 

 

(Andy Synn‘s week-long round-up of metal in 2018 continues with this list of his picks for the year’s ten best albums across a range of metal genres — one of which hasn’t been released yet and is reviewed here.)

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that any attempt to craft a “Top Ten” list that represents the wide variety and near-infinite density of the modern Extreme Metal scene is doomed to failure. There’s simply too much of it, too many different competing styles and sub-genres, for a mere ten albums to cover.

That doesn’t stop me trying every year though, so what you’re about to read is my latest effort to capture a clean snapshot of the very best of the best from the past twelve months.

Interestingly this list seems to differ significantly from the various other sites and zines I’ve been keeping an eye on, though that’s not by conscious design. It also skews in a surprisingly “progressive” direction overall, which is not something I anticipated when I first began trying to piece it together, with a massive 70% of the albums featured here making use of clean vocals in some form or another.

In demographic terms, this year’s list features two entries from the USA, two entries from Germany, one from Portugal, one from Iceland, and three from the UK – which, again, wasn’t by design – as well as one international collective whose members come from all across Europe.

It also runs the gamut of practically the entire twelve-month period, with the “oldest” album on here having been released all the way back in the first week of January, while the “youngest” entry won’t even be out until the 21st of December! Continue reading »

Jun 052018
 

 

As mentioned yesterday, I’ve been missing in action at NCS for the better part of the last two weeks, attending one metal festival and helping present a second one. The last of these new music round-ups I was able to prepare came on May 18th. Since then, the flood of new metal has continued unabated rather than politely waiting until I could pay attention again. As a result, there’s perhaps even more than the usual degree of randomness in the following selections.

And speaking of randomness, I decided to include some country music at the end, which I learned about through a conversation on Sunday with Austin Lunn (Panopticon). And since I’ve now dropped his name, maybe you’ll be more likely to give the song a chance.

CHURCHBURN

The dark handiwork of Nestor Avalos adorns the new album by Rhode Island’s Churchburn, the name of which is None Shall Live…The Hymns of Misery. It will be released on July 13 through the Armageddon label. Some new members have joined the band since their last album four years ago, and guest performers appear on the album as well. The first advance track, “The Misery Hymns“, is the song I’ve chosen to lead off today’s playlist. Continue reading »