Mar 042013

(I bet you thought we’d finished our 2012 Listmania series. Think again. BadWolf brings us one more list.)

Three months into 2013, here’s another top 10 about 2012. These are my favorite articles to write every year, and also the most difficult. 2012 in particular was a musical gauntlet. The more promos we get here at NCS and at the other sites I write for, the more metal I listen to, the more I need non-metal records to give myself a break. It’s an infinite feedback loop.

I thought this would be an easy article. So many of my favorite artists in my favorite genres released albums in 2012 that I anticipated the article would write itself. Needless to say, things did not turn out that way. Old favorites like Marillion and Titus Andronicus released middle-of-the-road records. At the same time, I developed a tremendous appetite for hip-hop. One version of this list was entirely populated by rappers, which would have necessitated another top 10 list.

Also, so many metal labels released more-or-less rock records that I debated including them. In the end I opted not to: you know who Graveyard are, and they don’t need me for a cheerleader (seriously, though—listen to Graveyard).

In the end, these ten albums made the cut more-or-less based on play counts alone. They all share certain qualities with my favorite metal albums: intense sound, aggressive or melancholy delivery, vocals. You could call those things the core of my taste. Perhaps they’re also at the core of yours. Continue reading »

Dec 302010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Our regular contributor BadWolf has one more 2010 list. To show how broad-minded we are, we’re posting it. It’s not about our usual music, but it’s worth considering.  And below this post is the third installment in our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs.]

So it’s the end of 2010, and finally the unstoppable torrent of mostly useless end-of-year lists is beginning to come to a close. As always, finding some consensus within the metal community isn’t that difficult—the same albums show up on lots of lists in different places over and over again to remind readers that yes, they should probably go pick up that new Deathspell Omega album and now’s as great a time as ever to get into deathcore or post-sludge or whichever genre those readers have not indulged in yet . . .

But aren’t we all missing something?

It’s been my personal experiences that metalheads as a whole can be slow to appreciate some genres outside our collective approximate comfort zone. I can be that way, at least. Fortunately for me, I have friends and fellow music lovers who expose me to tons of great not-metal records.

There are entire worlds of other genres of music that we haven’t even touched upon. And normally we would continue to not touch upon them, but it’s the end of the year and a great time to add just one more album to your download list in the interest of trying something new and exciting.

So, just for the sake of variety, this is my list of 10 unranked not-metal records that deserve a little love from our community. Every one of these is a good album, but they all have something or other that as a metalhead I find very compelling—a post-punk/dance band with grim, frostbit symphonic arrangements, a tremendous slice of guitar loving hardcore-influenced prog, the most brutal lyricist I’ve ever heard, and so much more await below.  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »