Oct 082019
 

photo by Vamperess Imperium

 

Beginning with 2014, Semjaza, the main creative force behind the Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, has shared with us his year-end lists of favorite metal and non-metal releases. However, rather than prepare year-end lists for 2018, Semjaza embarked on a much more extensive project that would not be limited to releases from that year, but would encompass recommended music across the significant span of his listening (a significant span both in years and in genres). Most of this project was completed many months ago, and therefore does not include many of this year’s releases — and the delays in beginning to post it have been our own, not his.

But now we begin, with this post, which includes an introduction and lists of favored split releases and full-length releases, and a special focus on French black metal. Further installments will appear in the coming weeks.

Having listened to metal music since I was a little kid, I have seen various great and not-so-great things happening within this very movement. Most people prefer to either keep silent or to completely ignore the bad things for their own reasons, which I do not really care to elaborate on. I have been amazed by what is overly promoted within the metal scene right now. It is scary how easy it is for some to either fall into the trap of stupid advertising campaigns or simply follow any trends and ignore real soulful music. I can get the following of trends by the rather very young listener, who is easily convinced, but not from the ones who know what this music really stands for, or those who have been listening to this kind of music for many years. 

Most of the big labels can happily promote their paid advertisement releases with great reviews, and many listeners just buy the trends made by the system. The main thing that really bothers me concerning this is the following: The advertised bands end up having the budget they need to tour and record, but the underground bands lack the money to record and properly mix and master their albums (there are obviously exceptions; there are exceptions to every rule).

Therefore, I decided it is just a fine day to stare once again inwards and post some of the releases I have listened to a lot over the past year (old and new, known and not so known) in order to spread an alternative mindset.  Thanks to NCS, this will reach more people than just a Facebook post, a medium that I use in order to spread great music created by others, as well as my own creations. Continue reading »

Jan 102018
 


Artwork by V.I

 

(For the fourth year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade and also a member of the formidable Acrimonious, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. This year, his year-end thoughts will again be presented in multiple parts, of which this is the fourth and final. Part I, in which Semjaza listed his 10 most-listened-to albums, is herePart II, which included additional inspirational releases, is here; Part III, which listed favorite EPs, demos, and splits, is here.)

 

Non-metal most-listened releases

  Continue reading »

Jan 092018
 


Artwork by V.I

 

(For the fourth year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade and also a member of the formidable Acrimonious, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. This year, his year-end thoughts will again be presented in multiple parts, of which this is the third. Part I, in which Semjaza listed his 10 most-listened-to albums, is here, and Part II, which included additional inspirational releases, is here.)

 

Most-listened EPs, Demos, and Splits

Continue reading »

Jan 082018
 


Artwork by V.I

 

(For the fourth year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade and also a member of the formidable Acrimonious, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. This year, his year-end thoughts will again be presented in multiple parts, of which this is the second. Part I, in which Semjaza listed his 10 most-listened-to albums, is here.)

 

Additional inspiring metal albums

 

I am one of those who respected the devoutness of Ancient Records since the very first steps of the label. Swartadauþuz and Sir N. decided to continue separate ways but they both still release great spiritual art. In order not to spam the list with most of their releases, I decided to state that one simply ought to buy their releases.

Listen here: https://mysticismproductions.bandcamp.com/

and here: https://svartrit.bandcamp.com/ Continue reading »

Jan 022018
 

 

 

(For the fourth year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade and also a member of the formidable Acrimonious, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. This year, his year-end thoughts will again be presented in multiple parts, of which this is the first.)

 

Upon contemplating which albums I listened to and bought this year, I comprehended that the list is vast. I don’t view my lists at NCS as the regular end-year lists since I am not completely interested in that. This is an opportunity to spread the message and, along with it, some of the releases that spoke to me each year. This is by no means a way to review these albums. With the over-flooding of the mainstream, I see lists including the same albums over and over again. That’s one of the core reasons I decided to appear regularly at a web-zine like NCS.

With that being stated, I prefer a no year list than another tasteless list with the same bands that engulf the magazines and the internet. It is infrequently that a list can do anything to me personally. Some of us are here to prove that brain-dead paid reviews or public relationship praise aren’t the solitary reasons to write such articles. Continue reading »

Jan 062017
 

 

For the third year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. 

This year, we’ve divided his year-end thoughts into four parts, and this is the fourth, which follows his introductory essay and a list of the 11 2016 albums he listened to the most (here), an additional list (here) of 14 albums that also received a lot of his attention, and an additional group of albums by bands from his home country, favorite 2016 EPs, and more (here). Part 4 consists of: Continue reading »

Jan 052017
 

 

For the third year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed.

This year, we’ve divided his year-end thoughts into four parts, and this is the third, which follows his introductory essay and a list of the 11 2016 albums he listened to the most (here) and an additional list (here) of 14 albums that also received a lot of his attention. Part 3 begin as follows: Continue reading »

Jan 042017
 

 

(For the third year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. This year, we’ve divided his year-end thoughts into four parts, and this is the second, which flows his introductory essay and a list of the 11 2016 albums he listened to the most — here.)

 

ADDITIONAL ALBUMS THAT I ALSO LISTENED TO A LOT FROM THIS
YEAR ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Continue reading »

Jan 032017
 

 

(For the third year in a row we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, to share with us his lists of favorite releases, and he again agreed. This year, we’ve divided his year-end thoughts into four parts, and this is the first.)

As far as I am concerned, 2016 was a great year for music as a whole. However, too many people who have lost the will and the passion to discover new music (especially new metal music) are trying to convince others that only the ’80s or ’90s were striking periods. In fact, many releases of 2016 are going to remain classic in the years to come. With the flooding of the market, the non-artistic approach of many bands, the easy access to underground gems, and the short attention span of listeners, it requires more determination than before to discover and appreciate the worthy ones.

It is now crucial that we should all oppose the pseudo-elite disgusting ”YouTube” reviewers and their forged expertise. We should oppose the ordinary propaganda with their new trends and the new ”hot” names. We should oppose new releases from old, once great bands who used to produce masterpieces but corrupted their art and their vision and became nothing but caricatures of themselves. Continue reading »

Jan 052016
 

Thy Darkened Shade art

 

(Once again we invited Semjaza, the main man behind the superb Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, to share with us his lists of favorite releases from 2015, and we thank him for doing so.)

No need for a truly lengthy introduction since this is my second list at No Clean Singing, but here is the music that I enjoyed most during 2015.

There is much great music and too little time, therefore, lock yourselves in your home, listen, buy, and play music (read and meditate as well). Then, go outside in the wilderness for more inspiration, away from the vermin and towards the black earth.

I will hereby present my eleven most important albums of 2015, along with some other ones that I cherished this year. Apart from my ultimate best album, which is “The Book of Souls” by Iron Maiden, there is no particular order in the following list. Continue reading »