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 »

Nov 232009

Top 40 Hits

A couple days ago, we reported on Decibel magazine’s (premature) publication of its “Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2009” and gave you the list of 40.  Many more “Best of 2009” metal lists will soon be appearing on the netz and the newsstands.  Why do people create these kinds of lists and why do we read them?  Music is a matter of personal taste.  These lists represent the personal tastes of particular critics and fans, no more or less valid than my favorites or yours.  So what’s the fucking point?  I’m not sure there is a fucking point, but I’ll make a stab at it. Continue reading »

Nov 222009


The latest issue of Decibel magazine arrived in my mail on Friday.  Big photo of Mastodon staring me in the face.  Says on the cover that it’s the January 2010 issue.  My calendar says that Friday was November 20 in the year 2009.  Okay, that’s not so unusual — every magazine advance-dates their copy.  (Even a weekly like Time has got an issue on the stands right now dated Nov 30).  I’m not sure when advance cover-dating started or why.  Maybe you know.   I guess if you publish a magazine you can put whatever fucking date you want on the cover.

But guess what’s inside the “January 2010” issue of Decibel:  Their list of the “Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2009.”  Why does that strike me as odd?  Find out after the jump, and I’ll also give you the Decibel Top 40 list.   Continue reading »