Dec 212020
 

 

(We have reached the end of the 2020 lists prepared by Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood), and he closes with the cream of the crop, a lucky 13. We’re again very grateful to have had the chance to share these lists with you.)

And now, friends, we’ve come to the end of an unusually (for me) long list of “best of’s”. In any given year I tend to challenge people who post top 40 to see if they actually listen to any of the dreck they swear made their year a few weeks after list season is over, so I guess in twelve months I’ll report back. I stand by my initial assertion that industry types are mostly full of shit and don’t actually pay attention to what they put on these lists, save that they want to promote some (usually awful) record or try to appear important on some esoteric scale.

Which one am I? Probably the latter except I don’t have anything to hock this year. I still think people that do top 50 or more lists each year are fucking liars, though.

Here’s the best of the year: Continue reading »

Dec 182020
 

 

(We’ve reached the penultimate Part in the 2020 year-end lists by Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) that we’ve been fortunate to share with you. The focus of this one is Albums (10 of them). The preceding installments can be found behind these links: Part I, Part II, Part III.)

It hasn’t just been because 2020 turned into whatever you want to call it that we’ve seen a massive surge in quality, captivating music, but rather we’re at one of those rare points in time where there’s  an overflowing of talented and creative people who’ve all somehow climaxed at once. I’m sure there’s some kind of joke there but I’m sure most of you were sick of my shit two paragraphs in on Part I (if not earlier) so I’ll just get into the meat of this piece.

Probably a joke there, too. Continue reading »

Dec 162020
 

 

(We continue rolling out a series of year-end lists compiled by Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood). You can (and should) find Part I here (which was also devoted to EPs, Demos, and Splits) and Part II here (which was devoted to dungeon synth).

I don’t have very much of an eye for detail, no matter how much I bullshit about it on my resume, and because of that I constantly miss things when I do lists like this, plus the first two lists (did you read them? You should, they’re remarkable.) were pretty long and attention spans are short.

Really it’s just because I rushed through it like everything else in life, which is why my chapter in the USBM book stops around 2001. Anyway here’s more EPs, demos, and splits. Continue reading »

Dec 152020
 

 

(We are grateful once again to be able to share year-end lists compiled by Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood), which this year comes in multiples parts, of which this is the second one. Part I is here.)

As foretold in the first chapter of these lists (I’m trying to get into character), this part in our 2020 journey will be solely dungeon synth releases, of which there have been 16 released just since I typed that first sentence.

This genre has become fucking overwhelming, especially with people being stuck at home, so it feels like there’s a glut of new projects clogging the drain, causing a sewage overflow of forgettable cassettes that are selling out simply because people like buying shit that’s “limited”. And the culture that’s grown up around dungeon synth? That’s another article someone will bitch about that I don’t need to write.

That’s not to say there aren’t great things being released and I know I missed a great deal of them, so this is more just a list of my favorite releases this year and very obviously limited in scope. Enjoy. Continue reading »

Dec 242019
 

 

(For the sixth year in a row, we’re grateful that Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) accepted our invitation to share with us and you a list releases from the past year that made an impact on him. His lists always provide welcome discoveries, and the one this year — which is divided into two parts — is no different. You can find Part 1 here.)

I knew the moment I hit “send” on the first part of this that I’d remember a few records I wanted to write a bit about. That’s one of the nicer things about years like this: there’s so much out there worth listening to that you somehow forget all of it when you’re pressed to talk about it. Like I said previously, this is more of an “odds & ends” part of the shit I filled my ears with in 2019. So rather than fill space with more pointless exposition let’s just get right to it: Continue reading »

Dec 232019
 

 

(For the sixth year in a row, we’re grateful that Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) accepted our invitation to share with us and you a list releases from the past year that made an impact on him. His lists always provide welcome discoveries, and the one this year which is divided into two parts — is no different. Look for Part 2 tomorrow.)

Going over my year-end thing from last year I’m struck with how dour of a tone it takes and I’m reminded of how difficult I found putting that list together. Not that the choices I made were bad, far from it, but those were the only records I could pull out of last year that I felt anything for. Only two of them remain in rotation, maybe three. Kind of self-fulfilling since nearly every time I’ve been given the honor to thrust my tastes at you I always warn of how people don’t actually pay attention to the records on these lists a few weeks after the new year starts. I guess this means I’m not better than any of you since I’m guilty of the same thing, and now my entire world is crumbling. Also I quit smoking a week ago.

Any of this only matters because I’ve had a much more difficult and, honestly, awful year than I have in… well… years, and yet the only reason this list is a lot tougher than 2018 is because this has been an incredible year for music and I’ve only scratched the surface with this list. Much like 2017, I have to do two pieces for shit I think you should give a listen to. Hope you get something out of them. This first part will focus on the full-lengths while the second part will be the fucking myriad odds and ends this year that kept dropping like a rat shitting in a hoarder’s dining room. Continue reading »

Dec 272018
 

 

(For the fifth year in a row, we’re grateful that Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) accepted our invitation to share with us and you a list releases from the past year that made an impact on him. His lists always provide welcome discoveries, and this year is no different.)

I have to be honest, this year I really didn’t listen to a lot of new records. I guess there’s a bunch of reasons why, each one more boring than the last. Sort of like most of the year-end lists I’ve seen on social media the last six weeks. Am I just getting too old and burned out to enjoy some of this shit? I mean that seems like a solid enough reason rather than just coming out and saying a lot of “popular” (I guess) metal this year felt disposable, and while a lot of you will rise up to tell me I’m a fucking moron I’d be willing to put a solid six or seven dollars down that you won’t be listening to the majority of your year-end list in two years.

Last year I had a massive list and I still stand by the bulk of it. 2017 was a great year for new music. 2018? I dunno, I’ve been distracted. I haven’t even listened to the new Drudkh yet. I’m sure it’s great. I’m sure a lot of great stuff happened this year and I’m sure a lot of it is under my radar and possibly yours too. I don’t want anyone to have the impression I feel like I have superior tastes to you when I do these lists; I don’t. And neither do you. We all should listen to what we enjoy without having to worry about what some asshole a few seats over is going to think. Continue reading »

Jul 272018
 

 

(This is Todd Manning’s review of the new split by Integrity and Krieg, which will be released by Relapse Records on August 3rd.)

Oftentimes, split recordings are an opportunity for two lesser known bands to introduce each other to their respective fan bases. It is representative of the camaraderie of the underground, and one of both Metal and Hardcore’s most beloved formats. What we don’t see as often are two well-established acts doing a split together. While there are a few examples, such as Napalm Death’s work with the Melvins and Converge, these exceptions prove the rule.

The latest exception now comes from the pairing of Hardcore legends Integrity and Black Metal juggernaut Krieg. It’s unlikely these groups got together as some sort of calculated marketing move, but rather out of a mutual respect for one another. Continue reading »

Dec 192017
 

 

(For the fourth year in a row, Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) kindly accepted our invitation to share with us his list releases from the past year that meant the most to him. It comes in two parts. In this second part, Neill’s list is devoted to splits, reissues, and “non-metal odds and ends”. Part I, which includes albums and EPs, is HERE.)

 

Still with me? Thanks, I promise this won’t be as wordy. 2017 was also a great year for splits, reissues, and dark music that doesn’t fall into the “metal” category but is worth your attention just the same. That seems like enough of an intro, let’s dive right in. Continue reading »

Dec 182017
 

 

(For the fourth year in a row, Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) kindly accepted our invitation to share with us his list releases from the past year that meant the most to him. It comes in two parts; we’ll have Part II for you tomorrow.)

2017 was a really great year for music, a year that comes only once every ten years or so for me. Nearly every subgenre had at least one recording this year that I could see listening to in a few years time. That’s always been something that perplexes me regarding this time of year: how many of the records on some people’s top 175 of the year are actually going to stay in their lives beyond a few bylines during the year it was released? With so much shit being pressed into these massive lists, not to mention the literal thousands of releases that don’t make the cut, how much time do we really give these records, to let them sink in, and to really look at them as the benchmarks of the ending year?

In the end none of these lists mean much beyond the bands (hopefully) being proud of what they accomplished and our own ego stroking, as writers, to basically force our tastes onto you. What matters is what you get out of a record, even if your favorite didn’t make anyone’s list. Who gives a fuck as long as it’s a meaningful record to you. Here’s what records ended up being meaningful to me this year: Continue reading »