With the new year rushing to an end and the holiday season rushing toward us even faster, it will become even more difficult for me to compile these collections. Among other things, our annual LISTMANIA orgy consumes a lot of my NCS time. Even though I don’t prepare my own list, I do track down album art and embed codes for album streams for the lists made by others, and conform the formats to our usual style, and do lesser or greater amounts of text editing. And speaking of year-end lists, I’m sitting on a slate of eight of them by both musician guests and NCS writers that I’m planning to begin rolling out next week, with a few more yet to come.
New music, of course, doesn’t stop appearing just because the holidays and the end of the year are almost upon us. In fact we’ve been getting recent reminders that maybe a lot of year-end lists were made too soon, as well as indications that 2020 is going to start off with a BANG!, at least in terms of forthcoming metal albums, if not in terms of North Korean missile launches, or maybe that too.
Anyway, to underscore that last observation I’ve chosen a couple of very impressive late-year releases, a few tracks from 2020 records, and one new stand-alone single — and as usual I’ve mixed things up a bit just so you don’t get too comfortable.
This new Black Aevum EP is one of two releases in today’s collection that Rennie (starkweather) messaged me about just yesterday. He wrote about a third one, too (by Reasoning Reflections), but I haven’t made it to that one yet — because I got completely drawn into the two you’ll find here. In fact, in the case of Black Aevum I only intended to quickly check out one song just to see what was going on, and the next thing I knew 23 minutes had passed and I was tempted to start again from the beginning right away.