Jan 072019
 

 

(For the 8th year in a row, we asked our old friend SurgicalBrute to weigh in with his year-end list of favorite albums and/or EPs. As expected, his list adds many names of some especially savage underground releases that haven’t appeared before in our 2018 Listmania series.)

I know you all have been waiting with bated breath, wondering when my list would arrive… because this is MY list we’re talking about, and why wouldn’t you? Unfortunately the delay just couldn’t be helped. Between going back to school, and an unusually busy Christmas season, there wasn’t a whole lot of spare time to go around this year for me to do any writing. Things have finally eased up a bit for me though, so it’s time to get this ball rolling.

Now I’d originally intended this to be a much longer list, as I have listened to a lot of music this year… and I mean a lot… but I was expressly asked not to for fear that I would make the other authors look bad. So being the kind and gracious person that I am, I took pity on everyone else, followed the rules…mostly… and still, without a doubt, created the most metal list of the year. So kick back, open your favorite beer, and turn the volume up as high as it will go, because it’s once again time to separate the casuals from the grim and kvlt…Enjoy the music \m/* Continue reading »

Dec 272017
 

 

(For the 7th year in a row, I asked our old pal SurgicalBrute to weigh in with his year-end list of favorite albums and EPs. As expected, his list (presented in alphabetical order) adds names of underground releases that haven’t appeared before in our 2017 Listmania series, including some that (gasp!) include clean singing.)

 

What to say?….What to say?…What to say? I mean, was it a good year for metal…of course it was…that observation is trite and tired. It’s not 1996 any more, we’re not stuck using dial-up and getting our heavy metal information exclusively from magazines. There is a constant stream of new music to be found at your fingertips if you want it, and the chances of us ever seeing another year like 2002 (one of the weakest I can remember) are extremely unlikely.

How good was it, though? Well that depends. If you were looking for something new and unique, you were probably let down a bit, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s not what makes or breaks a year. I’m not looking for anything genre-defining, I just want to kick back and listen to some killer music, and by that measure I can’t find a single thing to be disappointed about.

So, with that said, let’s get on with the list….Enjoy! \m/ Continue reading »

Jan 022017
 

 

(For the 6th year in a row, I asked our old pal SurgicalBrute to weigh in with his year-end list of favorite albums and EPs. As expected, he names a lot of underground releases that haven’t appeared before in our 2016 Listmania series.)

When I was asked once again to do my year-end list (something I’m growing to suspect, more and more, is a way for Islander to get back at me for being a loudmouth in the comment section the other eleven months of the year), I honestly wasn’t sure if I would have anything to contribute. When I write a list, I don’t want it to be just about which albums I liked, I like for it to be interesting, to hopefully show people a bunch of stuff they either forgot about or haven’t heard before.

Now, for whatever reason, my interests have been all over the place this year, and it seemed to me like I wasn’t giving metal my usual level of attention… until I sat down to really look over the music I discovered this year. At this point I can only conclude that, even distracted, I’m still more metal than 99% of the planet, because the amount of music I ended up wading through was beyond ridiculous. The act of narrowing down this list would have sent the untrve among you running for the nearest door, but fear not… I’m a professional.

So, now that we’ve gotten that rambling bit of egotistical back-patting out of the way… here’s my list of the best metal albums for 2016… enjoy \m/ Continue reading »

Jul 172016
 

Rearview Mirror

 

(While your lazy editor is away partying, our old friend and guest contributor SurgicalBrute steps up to make sure our Rearview Mirror series continues for another week.)

As I’m sure you all have heard by now, Islander has decided to skip out on doing actual important things this weekend, like entertaining us with new music, so he can spend time hanging out and partying. That means that you readers get the distinct honor of having me host this week’s installment of The Rearview Mirror.

Now, this is a good-news/bad-news sort of situation for you guys. The good news, for those who don’t know me, is that digging up bands is kind of my thing. I’m always on the lookout for stuff that’s been overlooked or forgotten. The bad news is, I’m not much of a writer, even on my best days, and since I’m basically speed-writing this late Saturday evening, we can safely say it isn’t going to be one of my best days… So just bear with me as we look back on Hazael. Continue reading »

Dec 212015
 

NCS Best of 2015 graphic

 

(For yet another year, our old friend SurgicalBrute has delivered into our greedy hands another year-end list of favorite releases, and one of the most extreme underground collections we will post this year.)

I listen to too much damn music, that’s all there is to it. All year long I feel this constant desire to dig through as much metal as possible because there’s always something new and enjoyable to discover and I want to hear it all. It’s one of the reasons I’ll never understand people who say things like “it was a bad year for metal”, because as far as Im concerned, its never a bad year for metal (hell, as I type this out, there are less than 30 days left in the year and I’m still finding great new bands).

Of course, everything has a downside… December has rolled around once again and now I have to figure out how to narrow this massive list down to something far more reasonable. Fortunately, using my scientific method of cheap Scotch and a dart board, I came up with twenty albums (as well as five EP’s) that should be on any metal fan’s year-end list (and just in case you don’t notice, these are in alphabetical order). Continue reading »

Dec 222014
 

 

(For the fourth year in a row our old friend SurgicalBrute weighs in with his list of the year’s best metal.)

Okay, let’s be honest… When it comes to end of the year lists, no one really cares about these intro paragraphs. They’re usually some anecdote about how this was a such great year in metal, and truthfully, we all know I could be writing erotic hobbit fan fiction up here and most of you wouldn’t notice… You’re going to skip right to the music. So I’m just going to make a couple of quick points

First, I don’t know if it was the abnormally grim and frosty weather that we got last winter, but this past year seemed to be a particularly strong one for black metal… at least for me.

Second, this was probably the hardest list I’ve written. Lots of good albums came out this year, but there wasn’t a whole lot that actually stood head and shoulders above the rest. It just seemed like a year full of very solid, enjoyable releases.

So, with that out of the way, on to the important stuff (…and no, there’s no particular order to this). Continue reading »