Saturday, December 12, 2015

Listless 2015 - Part One: No Clean Singing Top 5 EPs

Deth Leppard: Salutations once more, TRV Believers. Welcome to Listless. This will be a new End of the Year Feature on Metal Snob where we take a hard look at what some other prominent metal bloggers and publications considered this year's very best in metal music releases, and with the much appreciated assistance of Brenocide, we will harshly criticize their opinions on the matter accordingly.

Brenocide: This sounds like a cheap knock-off of Listmania over on No Clean Singing. Something everybody should check out instead, because I guarantee they're handling it in a way that's actually worth reading. Unlike some people.

Deth Leppard: See, that's where you're wrong. Listmania is a collection of  the top metal album lists that other metal blogs and metal zines prepared, that Islander then posts on NCS and shares his opinions about said lists and wow yes this is going to be exactly fucking like that.

Bren: Nice. 

Deth: Hey man, if we learned anything from our dealings within the metal community, it's that originality hurts. This is a fight for clicks and we will take them where we'll get them. We're going to be the I, Omega to NCS's Protest the Hero. 

Bren: You could have picked anything else in the metal genre otherwise but you pick that. NCS doesn't have a Protest. They would never have that. It's implied right in their fucking name that is not their can of beans.  

Deth: You know what's implied in your name? That you're some teen angst MTN DEW chugger on Xbox Live.

Bren: Whatever you say, Cock of Ages. 

5. Pyrrhon - Growth Without End

Deth: Turn your head sideways and squint. What does that look like to you?

Bren: Exactly how this EP sounds.

Deth: Haha, come on, you don't think this band rips?

Bren: They're ripping something, alright. What the hell is it with people's draw to squiggly noisecore bands and all 5 million of them that get haphazardly started every day throughout the globe? This is the kind of music people just pretend to like so they can maximize their edge factor among their basement show buddies. It's like, we get it Captain Crust, here's your honorary Underground Merit Badge. You can pin it somewhere to that denim shirt you found in a dumpster. Now you don't have to listen to this anymore, since you've soundly proven your point. Go listen to something good now, we promise, we won't judge. 

Deth: This sort of stuff is an acquired taste, grandpappy. It's like alcohol or coffee or tobacco. It's bitter and weird at first to the untrained palate, but as you try more of it you learn to appreciate the subtle flavors and differences between the tastes that the genre has to offer. I thought this was a kick ass EP. It can't all be Tank.

Bren: It should all be Tank. Utopian concepts aside, my standards for extreme metal are just marginally different from yours. It can be raw and brutal, sure, but there's gotta be some nuance there. I'm not among the camp of metal fans that go around screaming "DEATH 2 ART" in a megaphone, then throw some pots and pans down a stairwell, record it all, and title it "experimental". I'll admit Pyrrhon gets better the more you put yourself through it. There's a progression there, they get to some riffage after a minute and a half of nothing like riffage. But I don't personally find the "ability to tolerate" totally synonymous with "enjoying". I have to wonder about most Grind/Noise fans...

Deth: I find my ability to tolerate you is totally synonymous with our friendship. There's a lot to be said for tolerance. I promise if you give this sort of stuff more of your attention, it will definitely grow on you.

Bren: Like chlamydia. 

4. Exgenesis - Aphotic Veil

Bren: This was definitely something I cherished earlier in the year, and tragically lost track of. I was glad to see it here on this list so I could be reunited with it. I will not make the same mistake of misplacing these guys and their music again. THANKS ANDY YOU BEAUTIFUL PERSON.

Deth: No arguments here. I always figured you were more of a melodeath guy from past posts, and Exgenesis here undeniably continues the tradition of the Swedes doing it best. 

Bren: Did you know that this was actually made by two dudes on separate sides of the globe? Jari Lindholm and Alejandro Lotero. One from Sweden, one from Colombia, (I'll let you guess which one is from where.) They created this project as a sort of online collaboration. I couldn't believe it. It's like these dudes did through file sharing and I'm sure some robust webcam sessions what most band mates couldn't even accomplish standing right next to each other. 

Deth: Wow, that's awesome. It's kind of like us and what we do here. :-) 

Bren: Aww, it is! Except we're not fucking talented. ;-)

Deth: I'm just glad this wasn't more of the same from Andy Synn on this list. I was concerned that this was gonna just end up you and I continuing to argue over the merits of experimental extreme deathgrind.

Bren: I'm glad too. I never enjoy watching you lose.

3. Cryptopsy - The Book of Suffering: Tome I

Bren: Yeah, Cryptopsy's cool.

Deth: BREEE. Cryptopsy has always been cool.

Bren: I'm surprised, honestly. It almost seems like too easy a pick for NCS. The writers there just live and breathe unsigned, underground death stuff. Cryptopsy seems -- I dunno -- dare I say maybe a bit typical for the NCS crew?

Deth: Cryptopsy? Pfft. Too mainstream. 

Bren: So mainstream.  

Deth: What sort of fucked up world do we live in where Cryptopsy is like pop music to us?

Bren: The metal blogosphere is a dark, bottomless void of which no light shall ever touch.

2. Sanzu - Painless 


Deth: I dunno, this seems fine.

Bren: Fine is fine. But if you actually go to the original article we're referring to, Andy shared many solid EPs he thought were worth mentioning before he got to the top 5. How did this one crawl up to number 2 considering what else was on there?

Deth: Well, you claimed to appreciate riffage. You definitely got it with this one, yeah?

Bren: You're starting to catch on that I'm just an impossible man to please.

Deth: I dunno, say what you want, but I think this one's a solid pick. If there's one thing a death metal band needs to kick ass, it's groove. These guys have groove in spades.


Deth: God, you're a dick.

1. Barús - Barús  

Bren: I actually thought this one was pretty damn good. Everybody go on bandcamp and buy Barús' stuff.

Deth: I don't get it. How could you like this and not appreciate Sanzu?

Bren: I dunno if I'd say I didn't appreciate Sanzu, I just thought it was good. I didn't think it was silver medal material. I don't even think this one should get the top spot. But it's got this doom element that I'm a sucker for in good death metal music. A solid release, and I'll give it my letter of recommendation.

Deth: I don't know exactly how I feel. I might go as far as to say this is kind of djents.

Bren: Oh man, it does djent, doesn't it?

Deth: Is the ruthlessly perfect true metal elitist Brenocide actually going to come out in favor of a djent album on his blog?

Bren: It's not an album, guy. It's an EP. I'm still in the clear.

Deth: So overall, any final thoughts on Andy's EP list?

Bren: Well, we can certainly attest to No Clean Singing staying true to their namesake. And while of course there's some ways Andy and my musical opinions differ, I really have to give him credit for showcasing the variety of flavors present in modern, underground extreme music. Death metal has a lot more going for it these days than I often give it credit, and that's on display here in what I can say is a pretty solid list. I might have arranged it differently, but these guys know their stuff, and their blog belongs in everybody's bookmarks.

Go check out No Clean Singing. They have a much better blog than ours. Tune in next time on Listless, when we shoot quite a bit higher in the blogosphere and check out what the gents at Metal Injection thought was good music this year.  

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