Dec 272019

photo by Luis Roa


(Once again we are fortunate that our Mexican friend Jacobo Córdova — of Majestic Downfall and Zombiefication — has accepted our invitation to share with us his list of the year’s best metal releases (and one disappointment).)

In my opinion, even if 2019 was a great year for Metal releases, it was not as strong as past ones. I feel quality was not that present overall while quantity surely was, but that sucks since there is so much trash released every year that you really need to dig to find gems. That being said, here is my top 10 list from this year, where, at least for me, all are truly stellar releases that deserve to be praised! Thankfully, here quality is everything!!! Continue reading »

Dec 182018


(Mexican maestro Jacobo Córdova has had a busy year, with great new albums released in 2018 by both of his bands Zombiefication and Majestic Downfall — both of which we reviewed, HERE and HERE — but he found time to once again share with us his lists of the year’s best metal releases (and a couple of disappointments)).

Another year, another list, and I want to thank once again No Clean Singing for giving me the opportunity to share my top albums of the year. 2018, for me, was once again a stellar year in Metal releases (will it ever stop!!!). Many highlights and great comebacks took place, but unfortunately I will just pick 10 not to bore you to death (well maybe 15). So with no further introduction, let’s get down to it. Continue reading »

Jul 262018


Few people would probably notice, but I write very few album reviews unless they’re accompanying our premiere of a full album stream (and occasionally I include brief ones as part of a Sunday SHADES OF BLACK post). It’s not for lack of interest, but for lack of time. But I’ve been inspired by my friend DGR‘s massive catching-up exercise this week, in which he funneled 13 reviews our way in one fell swoop. There’s no way I can catch up to that extent, but I found myself with a little extra time over the last 24 hours, and so I’ve made a small effort to recommend two recent releases by bands near and dear to my black heart. One more will follow this review today.


In his brief introduction to DECIBEL‘s premiere stream of Zombiefication‘s new album earlier this month, Dutch Pearce wrote that “this Mexican duo seem to have undergone a potent metamorphosis” since their last releases, and that “Below the Grief  bombards the listener with sounds both reminiscent of the past and completely novel in the realm of death metal.” Although he didn’t elaborate, I would agree. Continue reading »

Mar 132018


I returned to Seattle last night after more than a week in Iceland, which was glorious in all sorts of ways, from the music at Oration Fest to our day trip on Sunday around the Golden Circle (which included stops at the Þingvellir National Park, the geothermal area in Haukadalur, the Kerið volcanic lake, and the stunning Gullfoss waterfall pictured above).

I’m trying to get back into the usual swing of things at NCS, but it hasn’t been an easy transition. I catch myself just staring into space and day-dreaming about the trip. The fact that metal didn’t obligingly stand still while I was gone makes the transition even tougher. I think it’s hardly even worth trying to catch up with all the new music that emerged since I left Seattle roughly 10 days ago. I decided it would be less stressful just to focus on some of the music I discovered this morning.


I’m leading off this collection with the song I heard most recently this morning out of all of these — a new track by the Mexican death metal band Zombiefication, who have been favorites of ours around here for many years. The new track is “Blood Falls“, and it comes from a new album entitled Below the Grief, which will be released later this year by Doomentia. Continue reading »

Dec 182014


(We’re delighted once again to bring you a “best of the year” list from our friend Jacobo Córdova, the man behind the magnificent Majestic Downfall from Mexico, and a fixture in the lethal Zombiefication as well.)

I am very grateful for being able to share with all NCS readers, and for the second year in a row, what I consider to be the best releases of 2014. Once again I want to say that although I didn´t listen to everything I wish I had gotten my ears on in 2014, I certainly got to a lot of it, and my overall view of the year for Metal is quite positve.

This time, and to make it a bit different from last year, I will have other “sections” mentioning great albums that although not released this year, had something special and came to life this year (at least for me, since their dues were not paid on time).  Continue reading »

Jul 142014

If you’re like me, you have a hard time getting your game face on for the work week when Monday mornings roll around. But assorted friends of mine pointed me to two new songs yesterday that seem tailor-made to juice up all those sluggish Monday-morning brains out there, and I’ve also included a review of a murderous two-song EP plus one phenomenally good new Zombiefication track I found on my own that will finish the job nicely. Death fucking metal.


In June 2013 I praised a three-song demo by Detroit’s Temple of Void, which included some truly staggering, mega-weight riffs and a blanket of indigo melodies, usually delivered at a lumbering pace, along with elements of viscera-draped death metal a la Autopsy, a pummeling of Bolt-Thrower-style hammer blows, and some inspired psychedelic guitar solos. Now these dudes have finished a full-length album (Of Terror and the Supernatural), and yesterday an advance track became available for listening.

“Savage Howl” is a fitting name for this thing. The big gear-grinding guitar chords are savage, the gruesome deep-throated vocals are savage, the morbid melodies are savage, and when the band start rolling out a repeating cycle of enormous, stomping riffs, you will headbang savagely. This is top-shelf supernatural death/doom and a really enticing teaser for the album to come. Continue reading »

Jun 172014

Lots and lots of excellent new metal has begun streaming on the web over the last 24 hours — too much for me to gather together in a single post. But I’m going to make a start with this round-up of flesh-eating goodness, beginning with news of two full-album streams.


Taman Shud, the forthcoming new album by Vancouver’s Auroch, is already garnering a slew of highly favorable reviews. It will get one more as soon as I can kick myself in the ass hard enough to translate my own feelings into feeble words.

But in the meantime, you can hear the entire album for yourselves, because yesterday Profound Lore launched a full stream on YouTube — and I’ve embedded it after the jump. The album will be released on June 24 and can be pre-ordered here or purchased in digital form at Bandcamp. Continue reading »

May 052014

I have mixed feelings about Cinco de Mayo. I grew up in central Texas, and celebrated the date every year after a certain point. On the other hand, the certain point was when I reached drinking age, which was the age at which my friends and I could convince winos to buy us tequila at liquor stores. That became a road to misery.

My first exposure to tequila was at age 16 on a high school Spanish Club trip to Monterrey. One of my buds, who was fluent in Spanish without having to be taught, evaded the teachers by climbing out a hotel window and down a fire escape on our first afternoon there, returning with a couple of bottles. That night I never made it out of the bus that took our teachers and us to some restaurant. I said I was sick, and that was no fuckin’ lie.

Even now, all it takes is the smell of straight tequila to bring on a wave of nausea. Doesn’t mean I’ve given up on it (there have been many subsequent tequila poisoning experiences in the many years since that Monterrey trip), but these days I prefer to take my poison in a margarita. Goes down easier, though a high percentage of the time I still wind up crouched over a toilet begging for mercy.

But I don’t mean to suggest that Cinco de Mayo is nothing more than a chance to get shit-faced. There’s rich history behind the date as well, but in my mind it’s also an excuse to revisit some Mexican metal. That’s another form of poison I can’t seem to resist. Continue reading »

Dec 172013

(We invited Jacobo Córdova, whose latest album under the name of Majestic Downfall – “Three” — is a doom/death highlight of 2013 and who is also a member of the mighty Zombiefication — to tell us about his favorite releases of 2013, and here’s what he had to say.)

After being offered to do a top 2013 list for, I decided to take the challenge since I am fond of this kind of nonsense. The criteria for my list has to do with releases that I truly invested time and dedication throughout the year and that I know well from the inside out. I get angry when people like/hate one release upon listening to it once and making an opinion. That is bullshit.

Ok, now to the list. The top 10 releases come with some words, and in the end you will find another list of great runner-ups.

Just one thing: These may not be the best releases of the year, they are just based on my opinion and experience. I may have missed a lot, but worry not, I will catch up eventually. And just for the Records, Watain’s The Wild Hunt is the record I heard the most this year, I wish it had not been that way. The only Soulless release I like is the Grave one! Continue reading »

Jul 222013

(Guest contributor KevinP managed to snag an interview with Jacobo Cordova, whose latest album under the name of Majestic Downfall — “Three” — is a doom/death highlight of 2013. You can tell that Jacobo is a cool guy because he continued with the interview even after Kevin insulted the Dallas Cowboys. I would just like to add, on a personal note, that the Giants suck.)

 K:  Ok, just so you know I did my homework here. You were in a dark/doom metal band from Mexico called Antiqua, left in 2006 to start Majestic Downfall and moved to Dallas, TX.  So, why the change, why Texas, and most importantly, please tell me you loathe the Dallas Cowboys, like any self-respecting human being does?

J:  First of all, stay away from the Cowboys! They are too big for you ja.  I won´t go any further on their might, it is well known!


K:  Chinga tu Cowboys. JAJAJAJA

J:  Ok, about Majestic Downfall starting in Dallas, TX. I can tell you that I moved there in 2005 cause I got a job offer and that is when I moved to the States from Mexico.  Being there and not playing for 5 years since I left Antiqua, I could afford a home studio and that is when it all started.

In 2007 I recorded my first demo and from there everything became history till today and the new album release.  Regarding Antiqua, some of the ideas of the first Majestic Downfall album were unfinished or not recorded riffs of that band so I had a start already.  And regarding your homework done, nah, you have no idea, I don´t even want to know your shitty team. Continue reading »