Dec 042010

The current issue of DECIBEL magazine — the only print metal mag we read any more here at NCS — has been sitting un-read for the last week.  I’ve been too busy listening to music and dealing with, y’know, life. But this issue does list the magazine’s choices for the Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2010, (despite the fact that more than a month was left in the year when this list was compiled). I’ve at least perused the list, and I have to say, I nearly fell out of my chair in pleasant surprise at the No. 1 and No. 2 albums of the year. Hell, I was pleasantly surprised at the list as a whole, and how many choices I thought were right on.

Of course, it’s missing albums I think should be listed (including the two quite recent releases by Evocation and God Dethroned), but there’s a lot of very heavy, very good music on this list.

We thought you might like to see the whole list if you’re not a subscriber and haven’t seen it elsewhere. Here you go, in rank order from bottom of the list to the top:

40. Darkthrone, Circle the Wagons
39. Lantlos, .Neon
38. Hail of Bullets, On Divine Winds
37. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Option Paralysis
36. Decrepit Birth, Polarity
35. Intronaut, Valley of Smoke
34. Early Graves, Goner
33. The Body, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood
32. Father Befouled, Morbid Destitution of Covenant
31. Deftones, Diamond Eyes
30. Nachtmstium, Addicts: Black Mettle Pt. II
29. Christian Mistress, Agony & Opium
28. Unearthly Trance, V
27. Fear Factory, Mechanize
26. Pivixki, Gravissima

(and the Top 25 follow after the jump . . .)

25. Withered, Dualitas
24.  Ghost, Opus Eponymous
23. Integrity, The Blackest Curse
22. Kvelertak, Kvelertak
21. Deathspell Omega, Paracletus
20. Electric Wizard, Black Masses
19. Atheist, Jupiter
18. Burzum, Belus
17. High On Fire, Snakes for the Divine
16. Kylesa, Spiral Shadow
15. Horseback, The Invisible Mountain
14. Coliseum, House With A Curse
13. Sailors With Wax Wings, Sailors With Wax Wings
12. ImmolationMajesty and Decay
11. Castevet, Mounds of Ash
10. The Austerity Program, Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn
9. Nails, Unsilent Death
8. Thou, Summit
7. Ludicra, The Tenant
6. Torche, Songs For Singles
5. Enslaved, Axioma Ethica Odini
4. Dawnbringer, Nucleus
3. Triptykon, Eparistera Daimones
2. Watain, Lawless Darkness
1. Agalloch, Marrow of the Spirit

  25 Responses to “DECIBEL’S TOP 40 EXTREME ALBUMS OF 2010”

  1. Hmmm…. how about, no?

    My list is going to be superior in every way except impact and potential readership.

    Also, am I the only one who thought the new HOF record was a step-down from their last?

    • Hey, don’t underestimate your impact/readership potential. We get big spikes here every time you write something. You must have a large family. 🙂
      Can’t comment on HOF — I’ve never been a big fan.

      • Well i’ve been compiling mine into lists of “Great”, “Good” and “Disappointing”, then am going to put together two sub-lists = my ten favourites, and the ten objectively, critically, artistically “best”. And so far i’ve even forgotten to include both Fear Factory and Barren Earth. So they will have to be mentioned at least.

        But to suggest that both “Mechanize” (good) and “Addicts” (disappointing) were better than “Diamond Eyes” is the one thing I instantly take issue with.

        Along with the unnecessarily high placing of the new Deathspell Omega.

        Plus there’s actually not that much on there which is extremely “heavy” it seems.

        • I haven’t really bothered with the relative rankings so far. Maybe our definitions of “heavy” aren’t in sync, but I consider those releases by Hail of Bullets, Father Befouled, Withered, Atheist, Coliseum, Immolation, and Watain to be heavy. Now, if it were me putting that list together, it would be heavier still. In addition to Evocation and God Dethroned (mentioned in the post), my list would have included The Crown, Grave, Hour of Penance, Byfrost, and Thulcandra, among others.

          • The Watain and Atheist ones aren’t as strictly “heavy” as the others though. The rest of course are, but out of 40… that’s not too many that aren’t all progged out and therefore more obviously “critic-friendly”.

            Many of them are awesome of course, but there have been some bastard heavy and phenomenally good records this year as well.

            • Fair points — I guess I tend to go into lists like the ones that appear in the metal mags with low expectations, and this one was better than I thought it would be.

        • Fuck, I should have mentioned Nails in that selection of albums on the list I’d classify as heavy. I’ve only started listening to it off and on, and it’s pretty crushing. Here’s a taste:

  2. I think Thou and Ludicra definately deserve their places in the top ten but Demonic Resurrection’s The Return to Darkness is surely worthy of a spot in the top 40!

    • I would agree with you about DR’s album. It has deservedly garnered a huge raft of extremely favorable reviews worldwide, and they’re still coming out although it’s been almost a year since the album was first released in India.

  3. This list is as far as lists go pretty great. One thing I do not understand though is that publication’s gargantuan sweatpants boner for Torche

  4. First of all, there is no way any list anybody makes will ever make you happy. These lists are based on opinions, the only one you generally care about in the end is your own.

    Of those forty, I think I’ve heard 4 (bands I’ve heard of before and like), another ten or so where I’ve heard of the band but dislike them, and the rest are bands I’ve probably never heard of and in all honesty won’t even make my “to listen to” pile. Why this antipathy towards unknown bands? Well comparing 2009 and 2010 I’ve taken a lot more chances this year, heard a ton of new bands and 99% have been crushing disappointments. I’m sure I’m missing some gems, but I’m tired of all the shit that’s being released. Now don’t get my wrong plenty of bands I know have released subpar albums this year. Immolation is probably the most obvious example where I simply expect more and better. I’m sure my 2010 list will draw plenty of ire for bands many consider unworthy, or just plain shit.

    If anybody cares my list will be published here:

    • I’ll look for your list. There are 18 albums on the DECIBEL list I haven’t heard and 8 bands I’ve never even heard of. I’ve listened to more albums or parts of albums this year than I think I ever have in my life, and I know I still barely made a dent and undoubtedly still missed lots of music I probably would have really liked. One thing I’ve learned is that most of the albums I like the most, not just this year but most years, will never make this list, or even most lists. But I still can’t help but like reading “best of” lists, partly in hopes of finding some validation for my own opinions since I’m so insecure ;), but mainly to make new discoveries.

      • Most albums I like will never make *any* list 🙂

        My list is quite competitive this year, there are at least two or three albums that I liked but for one reason or another didn’t make the cut. I might make a follow-up post with good remaining albums once I’ve finished the top ten.

  5. You’ve had your copy of the new Decibel for a week!? Mine still hasn’t come in the mail, dammit… 🙁

    Overall a decent list, though of course there’s a few bands I could do without on there, but that pretty much goes for any list…

    • They use different mailing offices to cover the country, and there must be one not too far from Seattle. I’ve noticed before that I get the thing in the mail a lot sooner than people in some other areas.

  6. yeah i disagree with this list. i sometimes think that metal fans are so against metal being introduced into the mainstream that they try to ignore good bands that have a big fanbase. i fully support finding new underground bands but the big bands that have already earned our respect need to be remembered. kataklysm and dimmu borgir should be on this list, two pretty well known bands with great albums out this year. also, why is this the only metal mag you like? im just interested because i want to subscribe to one but i am having a hard time deciding which is the best.

    • I’m not Islander (which is probably a good thing), but out of everything I’ve read, Decibel is still writing about metal and still seems to give a shit about what they’re writing about. I do sometimes pick up a copy of Metal Edge (which I read religiously back in the day), but they have a lot of crap in there – and I don’t mean shitty bands, although they feature more than their fair share.

      Plus, the price is right. Other than the new Flexi-disc offer (which was enough to get me to finally subscribe), I don’t know if they include samplers with the mag, but that’s never been a must have – just a nice bonus (and sometimes the CD’s have been the only thing worth buying a magazine for).

      • Is Metal Edge even still around? I thought it died around the same time as Metal Maniacs…

        Decibel is pretty much the best (and only, that I know of) monthly metal mag in North America. I used to get/read Metal Maniacs and Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles on occasion, but they’ve both since ceased publishing a dead-tree version, only online now. Revolver has gone downhill fast, and then your only other option is to turn to European mags like Metal Hammer and Terrorizer, which are decent from time to time, but a bit pricey.

        I know there are a few other smaller metal mags but I can’t recall their names at the moment…

    • I think the comments above mine pretty much said what I would have said. DECIBEL covers more of the bands and music I’m interested in than any other mag, and the writing is very good — particularly the reviews (even when I don’t agree with them). METAL HAMMER is also good, though I don’t think it’s as good as DECIBEL, and as Kyle notes, it’s pricey for an American to subscribe. I’m letting my REVOLVER subscription lapse. I have so little interest in most of the bands/music it covers these days, I don’t even open it any more.

      • Have you tried any recent Metal Hammer’s? It’s shifting more and more towards a teen-lifestyle magazine.

        And it’s SO pompous… it declares itself “Defender Of The Faith”, bu then spends half each issue having a go at “real metallers” for being too closed minded to accept all the bands it is posting about (consistent defence of BMTH for example) – which has the effect of saying “if you have taste, or believe that metal should be held to a certain artistic standard… then you’re an elitist and obviously have no life”.

        It is the equivalent of all those US bands who declare they’re doing it “for the kids” as if that’s the only available fan-base.

        Oh, and in its recent “75 Bands To Watch For The Future Of Metal” it declared both Attack Attack and We Butter The Bread With Butter as good bands to watch.

        • There’s actually a band called We Butter Bread With Butter?

          God, I’m so glad I’ve been listening to metal as long as I have. I’d hate to have to learn the ropes starting off fresh these days.

    • Forgot to mention that I agree completely about Kataklysm. You pretty much know what their albums are going to sound like — but they sound great to me (including the current one), and I would have included it on a Top 40 list for sure.

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