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 »

Aug 102017


(Tomorrow — August 11Relapse Records will release the debut EP of Poison Blood, a collaboration between multi-instrumentalist Jenks Miller (Horseback) and vocalist Neill Jameson (Krieg). On the eve of that release we’re fortunate to host the premiere of a full music stream, introduced by this review from our editor.)

1993 was a remarkable year in which the landscape of second-wave black was being shaped by the likes of Darkthrone’s Under a Funeral Moon, Enslaved’s Víkínglígr Veldí, Immortal’s Pure Holocaust, Burzum’s Det Som Engang Var, Dissection’s The Somberlain, Ulver’s Vargnatt, Varathron’s His Majesty At the Swamp, Emperor’s first (self-titled) EP, and Strid’s End of Life. In the midst of all that, Beherit released Drawing Down the Moon.

That album seems to have come from a blood-freezing netherworld different from everything else around it in those halcyon days of creative upheaval. Even heard today, it still sounds unlike almost everything else that claims the increasingly amorphous (and often abused) label of “black metal”. Continue reading »

Jul 142017


Well, that didn’t last long. Two days ago, when I posted the last SEEN AND HEARD round-up, I announced a plan to post other shorter-than-usual compilations of new music both yesterday and today. Having failed to post one yesterday, that means I’m now back to serving up a more typical groaning smorgasbord of new stuff, enough to challenge the most gluttonous of listeners. Et voila, music from nine bands!


Poison Blood is a collaborative effort by Jenks Miller (Horseback) and vocalist Neill Jameson (Krieg), the latter of whom is a valued contributor to NCS. We’re told that these two came together as fans of each other’s work and a mutual appreciation for Beherit’s classic Drawing Down the Moon LP and the experimental deathrock of cult UK act Rudimentary Peni“.

I confess that I haven’t yet listened to all of their self-titled debut EP — which will be released on August 11 by Relapse — but I’m really enjoying the two tracks that have surfaced so far in the run-up to the release date. The first of those is “The Scourge and the Gestalt” and the second is “Deformed Lights“. Continue reading »