I have a feeling that not many of our readers spend much time at Pitchfork. Extreme metal isn’t exactly Pitchfork’s main brand affiliation. BUT, well-credentialed metal writer Brandon Stosuy has recently revived a monthly metal column at Pitchfork called Show No Mercy, and yesterday he posted his list of “The Top 40 Metal Albums of 2011”. I thought it was a fine, diverse list, and so I’m reprinting it here.
I haven’t heard all the albums on the list, but I’ve heard the majority of them, and if I had the energy and the mental clarity to make a Top 40 list of my own, I think many of the titles on Brandon’s list would be on mine, though not necessarily in the same order (of course). His list is also missing some albums I’ve liked a lot this year — for example, the 2011 releases by Krisiun, Vallenfyre, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Taake, Esoteric, Kroda, Thy Catafalque, Vader, Insomnium, The Devin Townsend Project (Deconstruction), Decaying, Decapitated, Entrails, Ghost Brigade, Xerath, Solstafir, Revocation, Alghazanth, Flourishing, Septic Flesh, Byfrost, Origin, The Black Dahlia Murder, Noctem, The Konsortium, Shining, Acephalix, Kartikeya, Infestus, Anaal Nathrakh, Rudra, Moonsorrow, Puteraeon — and there are more. I’m not saying I’d put all these albums in place of a like number on Brandon’s list, but there would certainly be some replacements. Still, I do like his list.
After the jump, take a gander at the Pitchfork Top 40 — but you should also visit the page where the list appears at Pitchfork because it includes well-done brief descriptions for each of the top 26 albums on the list, plus tracks to stream for each of those. You can get there via this link.
One more thing — that Tombs album that made it to the top of DECIBEL’s year-end-best list (as we reported yesterday) finishes very fucking high on this list, but not at the top spot. That honor goes to . . . well, you’ll see.
40. Weekend Nachos: Worthless [Relapse]
39. Skeletonwitch: Forever Abomination [Prosthetic]
38. Peste Noire: L’Ordure à l’État Pur[Transcendental Creations/Tour De Garde]
37. Absu: Abzu [Candlelight]
36. Machine Head: Unto the Locust [Roadrunner]
35. Mournful Congregation: The Book of Kings [20 Buck Spin]
34. Vanhelgd: Church of Death [Nuclear War Now!]
33. Negative Plane: Stained Glass Revelations [Ajna Offensive]
32. Rwake: Rest [Relapse]
31. Sonne Adam: Transformation [Century Media]
30. Mitochondrion: Parasignosis [Profound Lore]
29. Gridlink: Orphan [Hydra Head]
28. Loss: Despond [Profound Lore]
27. Drugs of Faith: Corroded [Selfmadegod]
26. Atlas Moth: An Ache for the Distance
25. Atriarch: Forever the End
24. Necros Christos: Doom of the Occult
23. Indian: Guiltless
22. Deafheaven: Roads to Judah
21. Thou: The Archer & the Owle EP
20. SubRosa: No Help for the Mighty Ones
19. Vastum: Carnal Law
18. Altar of Plagues: Mammal
17. Krallice: Diotima
16. Trap Them: Darker Handcraft
15. Ash Borer: Ash Borer
14. Autopsy: Macabre Eternal
13. Morne: Asylum
12. Hammers of Misfortune: 17th Street
11. Exhumed: All Guts No Glory
10. Primordial: Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand
09. In Solitude: The World, the Flesh, the Devil
08. Yob: Atma
07. Circle of Ouroborus: Eleven Fingers
06. Wolves in the Throne Room: Celestial Lineage
05. Disma: Towards the Megalith
04. 40 Watt Sun: The Inside Room
03. Ulcerate: The Destroyers of All
02. Tombs: Path of Totality
01. Blut Aus Nord: 777: Sect(s) / The Desanctification
Not a comment on the actual bands listed, but I just have to say this….
Hipster blog is hipster.
Funny enough, that’s exactly what was thinking.
I think HBIH is already taken as a blog name.
Y’know, I didn’t even read the whole list before I originally saw your comment (I guess I cheated and went to the comments early :P) and I went back up to look at it and uhhh… you’re right.
Hahah!! The thing is…I wasn`t commenting on their list so much as Pitchfork itself….
But I`m not particularly familiar with any of the bands, so I`m not sure how hipstery the bands are.
“His list is also missing some albums I’ve liked a lot this year — for example, the 2011 releases by… Fleshgod Apocalypse, Vader, Insomnium, The Devin Townsend Project (Deconstruction), Decapitated, Ghost Brigade, Xerath, Solstafir, Septic Flesh, The Black Dahlia Murder, Noctem, Moonsorrow…”
Just singling those albums out but if I were being uncharitable I’d say that they were omitted for reasons of being “too popular”, or “too European”, for Pitchfork’s notably narrow remit of what’s “in”.
However, confounding that is the fact that this year has been a very good year for dirtier, more old-school death metal inflected records, which is not my personal forte, and hence it hasn’t been as good a year for me as last year was.
Oh, and there’s one album on that list that is also appearing high on everyone else’s list that I REALLY don’t get what people see in it, hence it’s (flame-worthy) inclusion on my own “Disappointing” list.
Yob? I’m just saying that because they’re high on the list and I haven’t heard them and I like the other albums in his Top 10.
“this year has been a very good year for dirtier, more old-school death metal inflected records” — yes it has, which is one reason I’ve been very happy this year. 🙂
Nope, not heard “Yob”.
Although it IS in the top 10. That’s all the clues you’re getting.
Don’t tell me you’re going to slam WITTR?!? (you didn’t really think I was going to leave this along, did you?)
I thought you might leave it alone. But I never think you’ll leave anything along.
Also, jsut to clarify, there’s going to be no “slamming” at all. That’s not my style.
Nor is it the point of the “Disappointing” list. Some of the albums I’ve chosen are “Good” but should have been better, tot he extent that listening to them is a bitter-sweet experience.
The specific album in question is being widely praised yet I find it average at best, barring 2/3 excellent songs.
First, I’m gonna start off with: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?! and secondly: I SMELL HIPSTERS, RRAAAAGHHH! (I have a extreme hat of hipsters, some deep rooted hatred of college hipsters I’ve come into contact with)
To be fair, this list includes the likes of Skeletonwitch, Absu, Mitochondrion, Vastum, Trap Them, Autopsy, Exhumed, Disma, and Ulcerate. Those bands would make a pretty good poster for “Hipsters Out of Metal”.
^ True. But there just appears to be a lot of “tokenism” going on.
And particularly it seems like OSDM is the “token” cool genre of this year.
Again, none of this is a negative to any of the bands involved, as they all deserve exposure and are good (if you think so anyway), they’ve just fallen in with a bad crowd. Ha.
Are you talking about one of these:
Wow. Someone finally found a picture of me on the net.
(Meaning, of course, your “extreme hipster hat”)
That’s not a hat…
THIS is a hat..
Now THAT’S a hipster hat. Self-labeling as a turkey.
Reminds me of this guy I saw Saturday night (at the Arkona / Korpiklaani show) who was wearing a crocheted viking helmet hat (complete with crocheted horns).
Fashion fail, in the hipster-folk-metal category.
Hating hipsters is like recycling old cans.
It`s good for the environment, it makes you feel better, and nothing of real value gets damaged.
All I’ve got to say is there’s no fuckin way that 38 albums are better than Forever Abomination! NO. WAY.
Clearly you haven`t heard the 38 albums I released this year of my anus talking in funny voices.
I got torrent rips of 36 of them. They spoke to my soul. Where can I get the other two?
Phro’s Rectal Recording Repertoire aside, Skeletonwitch is the only thing that
I’ve enjoyed front to back on this whole list.
Yes, but you`ll have to come to my bathroom tonight. We`re having a special double album
release party. By me, I mean my anus and I. Oh, and two bottles of ExLax.
It`ll be a splatteringly good time.
I should have clarified non-anal voiced albums. My bad.
OK, well that makes more sense now.
Isn’t it cheating to name two albums as #1, granted I might agree both of them are worthy, just saying.
Good point. Granted, “777” is supposed to be a trilogy, 3 parts of a united whole, but that doesn’t seem to be an adequate explanation, because then wouldn’t you need to wait for the third album to call “the whole” a single album?
Especially since at this pace the last part won’t be out until next year…
Maruta, yes definitely. The cover to Forward Into Regression is also one of my favorite pieces of album art this year (http://www.metal-archives.com/images/3/1/8/9/318980.jpg?0323)
It’s actually not that bad of a list. I would have sprinkled in some Cavus, Hate Eternal and Origin over Drugs of Faith and Weekend Nachos, but hey, the world isn’t perfect now is it?