Nov 162018


It has become an annual tradition at our putrid site to launch our year-end LISTMANIA orgy with the appearance of DECIBEL mag’s Top 40 list. It has become a tradition in part because, in my humble opinion, it’s still the best print publication out there for fans of extreme metal, and in part because they always manage to jump out of the starting blocks first in the race for publishing YE “best of” lists – and they’ve done it again this year. So here we go!

The DECIBEL list will officially appear in the magazine’s January 2019 edition, which hasn’t yet hit my own mailbox, but because it’s out in the world somewhere already, DECIBEL again decided (for the third year in a row) to scoop their own list rather than letting leeches like me leak it. They published the list on-line yesterday, and so I can now again re-publish their list without too much guilt.

Of course, there will be a lot more content in the January issue (which has Deafheaven on the cover), including commentary about each of these 40 albums and why they were selected. You can order a copy of that HERE. Continue reading »

Nov 202017


Every year our LISTMANIA series of posts includes not only lists of the year’s best releases as compiled by our staff, invited guests, and our esteemed readers, but also lists assembled by what we call “big platform” web sites and selected print magazines. And every year, it seems that DECIBEL magazine provides the launch for LISTMANIA by coming out with the first of the lists we see from that category of web sites and print zines — and they’ve done it again this year.

I’m a long-time DECIBEL subscriber, but my hard copy of the January edition, which features Steve Tucker on the cover and includes the YE list, hasn’t hit my mailbox yet. However, today DECIBEL provided an on-line teaser for the issue that included their full ranking of the year’s Top 40 albums.

This is the second year in a row that DECIBEL has scooped their own list rather than letting leeches like me do it, and so I can now again re-publish their list without too much guilt. There is of course a lot more content in the January issue, including commentary about each of these 40 albums and why they were selected (you can read everything else DECIBEL has previewed about the January issue here). Continue reading »

Nov 192015

Decibel Top 40 of 2015


Every year our Listmania series of posts includes not only lists of the year’s best releases as compiled by our staff, invited guests, and our esteemed readers, but also lists assembled by what we call “big platform” web sites and selected print magazines. Today we feature the first of the 2015 lists we’ve seen from that category of web sites and print zines — and fittingly, it comes from the best metal magazine on the planet, DECIBEL.

The list appears in the January edition of DECIBEL, which features Lamb of God on the cover and is beginning to arrive in the mailboxes of subscribers now. My copy is taking its sweet time making it to my mailbox up here in the far northwest corner of the U.S., but a friend on the East Coast sent me pics of the list, which is why I’m able to bring you this post. I know I’m stealing some of DECIBEL’s thunder, because they haven’t posted the list online themselves. But I’ve been doing this thunder-stealing for six years now, and it’s too late to stop. Continue reading »

Nov 162015

Decibel Magazine Tour


We just received the announcement of the line-up for the 2016 edition of THE DECIBEL MAGAZINE TOUR, and it’s a blockbuster: Running from mid-March to mid-April next year, the fifth installment of the tour will feature Abbath (performing not only songs from the band’s forthcoming debut album but also tracks from Immortal’s back catalogue), High On Fire, Skeletonwitch, and Tribulation. There will be regional openers in select markets announced soon.

Here’s further info that accompanied this announcement: Continue reading »

Nov 192014


Above is the cover of the January 2015 issue of DECIBEL Magazine. It includes DECIBEL’s list of the Top 40 Albums of 2014. I haven’t received my copy yet, and for all I know, it hasn’t been mailed yet. But the Top 40 list has leaked, appearing yesterday on a Reddit thread. When I first saw that thread, I decided not to post about the list until I had received my copy of the magazine, but the list has started spreading around pretty fast, and the closely guarded secret isn’t a secret any more, so…

As is true every year, DECIBEL’s list is an interesting one that’s sure to spark spirited debate. The album in the No. 1 position is Pallbearer’s Foundations of Burden, followed by At the Gates, Horrendous, Tryptikon, and Godflesh in the #2 – #5 positions, in that order. The Top 10 also includes Thou, YOB, Vallenfyre, Panopticon, and Morbus Chron. Though I think all 10 of these albums are excellent, I’m especially happy to see HorrendousThou, Vallenfyre, and Panopticon in such high positions because I dearly love those albums and because the bands don’t have quite the high profile of most other bands in the Top 10 — though they deserve to be in that company.

The balance of the list includes many high-profile names I expected to see (e.g., Behemoth, Agalloch, and Mastodon) and others from deeper underground that, like those four I mentioned above, deserve this kind of exposure (e.g., Dead CongregationKrieg, Cult of Fire, Teitanblood, Trap Them, CretinMidnight, Thantifaxath, and Lord Mantis).  Continue reading »

Jan 262012

 (Shortly before The Number of the Blog met its sad demise, TNOTB began publishing an interview series called “Keyboard Warriors” written by a relatively new TNOTB staffer who called himself Rev. Will. Because the archive of TNOTB posts seems to have exploded in a spatter of bits, never to be seen again, we agreed to give these interviews a home here at NCS. We started on Sunday and have been posting one per day this week. Today’s interview was originally published late last year.)

Surprisingly, most professional metal writers actually don’t sport long manes and subscribe to heavy metal fashion like many of their writing subjects do. Maybe it’s because sitting down for hours and slogging it out on the computer keyboard, rushing out multiple reviews and features like a drone, can get really tiring and warm around the rear end; and the fact that long hair causes an itchy hotness to prickle the area around the ears, eyebrows, and the back of the neck as well doesn’t help much.

Being a journalist of any kind is actually quite a daunting job. It is pretty safe to say that journalism related to stuff-that-ain’t-important-from-a-macro-point-of-view (meaning subjects that aren’t essential to a normal human being’s ability to survive in the practical world out there) is a largely unnoticed (and hence, thankless) job that is strictly reserved for the extremely passionate only. And extremely extreme our dear interviewee is when it comes to metal journalism.

This is the easiest interview I’ve edited in this column so far by the way. The power of a magazine’s Editor-in-Chief is not to be taken lightly, folks. The dude even bothered to italicize all object names; I guess being Decibel’s Editor-in-Chief really made him attentive to such small details that usually only matter to metal writers themselves. Damn, interviewees like him really make a budding keyboard warrior like me as happy as a TFD missile warhead. Continue reading »

Dec 252009

Yesterday was a banner day at NCS. More posts in a single day than we’ve managed before. In the category of listmania, we reported about Decibel‘s list of The Top 25 Most Anticipated Records of 2009 and Revolver‘s list of The 20 Best Albums of 2009, and we added the 9th entry to our own list of The Ten Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs of 2009. We gave you a Brutal Truth update, the latest burning-goat news from Gavle, Sweden, and a little something to make you nervous on Christmas Eve. Just goes to show what we can accomplish when we get a break from the day jobs. Maybe you now wish we’d get fewer vacation days.

Today your NCS Authors are resting from our labors — except for arguing about which song should be our tenth and final entry on the Most Infectious list. Assuming we can sort that out and there’s still one of us alive to post the result, we’ll do that tomorrow.

In the meantime, the turkey awaits, and he’s looking kinda nervous.

Hope all of you have a peaceful day. Come see us again tomorrow.

Dec 242009

So you thought we had finally reached the end of year-end “best of” lists for 2009, right? Nope. Yesterday was metal mag day here at NCS. Not only did we find the new issue of Decibel in the mailbox (see the post before this one), but cuddled right next to it was the new issue of Revolver, which includes Revolver‘s list of “The Top 20 Albums of 2009.” Like the new issue of Decibel, this copy of Revolver boasts a cover date from the future (Jan/Feb 2010), which is further proof that Revolver has access to the same quantum wormhole used by the rest of the magazine industry to send copy back in time. If only they’d told me something potentially remunerative, like who won the Super Bowl.

Lots of bands on Revolver‘s list are exactly what you’d expect. But there are some peculiar choices too. For example: Rammstein.  Best of 2009? Really?

To see Revolver‘s list of “The Top 20 Albums of 2009,” continue reading after the jump. And because we had fun in the preceding post showing you the demographic data Decibel uses in selling ads, we might as well show you the same kind of data Revolver uses to describe its audience. Continue reading »

Dec 242009

Those gun-jumpers at Decibel magazine are at it again. Not content to select their list of the Top 40 albums of 2009 in about October (see our previous post about that), the issue that just hit my mailbox (optimistically dated February 2010) includes a feature called “The Top 25 Most Anticipated Records of 2010.” At least Decibel‘s writers poke fun at themselves in the intro that precedes their many following pages of prognostications:

“Decibel‘s always been about more than more past and present: Our powers of clairvoyance increase exponentially with each new day.  Hell, our grip on the future is such that we’re thinking about covering the coming decade’s 100 best metal albums before summer, just to get them out of the way.  As for the list below, remember this: We’ve heard — and utterly endorse — everything on it . . . including the stuff not yet written.”

To be honest, we were thinking of putting together our own list of bands whose new albums we’re stoked to see in 2010.  Might still do that if holiday laziness doesn’t completely gobsmack us. And we really do enjoy reading Decibel every month. But still, just can’t resist poking a little fun.

And in the poking-fun vein, we also came across Decibel‘s 2010 Media Kit. This is the sales piece that the mag provides advertisers to convince them how much folding green metalheads have to spend (yeah, right) and how all you gotta do to collect it is advertise in Decibel. Lot’s of amusing stuff in there, which you can peruse here. There’s a page of demographic data about Decibel‘s audience that’s especially juicy.

So, after the jump, we’ll show you the bands that Decibel has pegged for the The Top 25 Most Anticipated Releases of 2010. We’ll highlight the ones that prompted us to say “Fuckin’ A!” Our reactions to the rest are some combination of “maybe,” “huh?”, and “Uh, no.” And just for kicks we’ll show you that page from Decibel‘s 2010 Media Kit that provides potential advertisers with demographic data about Decibel‘s readers. Enjoy. Continue reading »