Once upon a time everything seemed to slow down during the holiday season… or at least everything other than the consumerist frenzy of gift-buying. But now in many ways the final weeks of the year seem as busy and eventful as all the other weeks, both at work and almost everywhere else. This year we even got announcements of a new nuclear arms race that no one asked for — what better way to celebrate peace on earth and good will to men!
I did notice a fall-off yesterday in the flood of messages arriving in the NCS e-mail in-box, but there were still a lot of new-music announcements, and I found even more in my Facebook news feed. There’s a risk that much of what I saw and heard will be overlooked, with many metal-oriented sites and blogs taking time off and many fans diverted from their phones and computers by holiday activities. So I decided, for the hell of it, to devote this Christmas Eve round-up exclusively to news and music streams that appeared (or that I discovered) for the first time yesterday.
Mind you, what follows isn’t everything I noticed, or even everything I enjoyed. I’ve made these selections to provide diversity of sound, and I’ve saved a few nasty things for tomorrow because NCS always does its best to reduce Christmas Day to a smoldering ash heap — praise and glory to Sol Invictus! Continue reading »