Listmania season is in full swing. So far, we’ve reprinted the Best Metal of 2011 lists from Pitchfork and NPR, not because they have deep credibility in the scene but because they’re heavily trafficked web sites and because I thought the lists were better than expected. But today we’ve got a list from a source that unquestionably does have credibility.
Yes, the current issue of DECIBEL magazine (the only print metal magazine we read at NCS) arrived at the NCS Island in yesterday’s mail, and that issue includes the magazine’s list of the Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2011. Some of the names on that list have already surfaced on the internet — including the band whose album DECIBEL named the best of the year (Tombs) — because record labels and bands who made the list have been posting about it. But I didn’t know the full list until greedily opening the mag last night. And of course, I can’t resist providing that list for your amusement after the jump.
You’re going to see some of the same band names that have already appeared on both the Pitchfork and NPR lists. Fifteen bands appeared on both of those lists, and 13 of those 15 are also on the DECIBEL list — Tombs, YOB, Hammers of Misfortune, deafheaven, Ulcerate, Krallice, Negative Plane, 40 Watt Sun, Trap Them, Mournful Congregation, Disma, Autopsy, and Exhumed. (Altar of Plagues and Ash Borer were on the other two lists but not DECIBEL‘s).
You will also see names that weren’t on the other lists. For example, technical death metal rears its head through the appearance of Origin and Obscura, and old-school death-doom is represented through the welcome appearance of Vallenfyre. I was also happy to see Revocation highly placed on the DECIBEL list, and surprisingly — though not without justification — Inquisition, Hate Eternal, and Brutal Truth are in the Top 10. You definitely weren’t going to see those names at Pitchfork or NPR.
On the other hand, wait ’til you see who DECIBEL names for the No. 2 and No. 3 albums of the year. They’re certainly not my picks for those spots; they wouldn’t even be in my Top 20. But what the fuck, half the fun of Listmania is the generation of controversy.
And speaking of controversy, DECIBEL (like Pitchfork and NPR) found no place on their list for albums we really liked here at NCS, though the DECIBEL list includes more of our favorites than the other two. To name some of the bands whose well-liked albums are missing from the honor roll: Fleshgod Apocalypse, Vader, Insomnium, Anaal Nathrakh, Entrails, The Devin Townsend Project, Decapitated, Ghost Brigade, Hull, Xerath, Solstafir, Septic Flesh, Shining, Textures, Lock Up, The Black Dahlia Murder, Noctem, Moonsorrow.
And we got Junius at No. 10, but Amon Amarth’s Surtur Rising wasn’t deemed good enough even to be named No. 40? Go figure.
And finally, because this list was compiled approximately two months before 2011 comes to an end, it’s missing recent releases such as Dwellings by Cormorant. Sigh.
Here’s the list:
40. Graf Orlock, Doombox
39. Rwake, Rest
38. Krallice, Diotima
37. Hammers of Misfortune, 17th Street
36. deafheaven, Roads To Judah
35. Darkest Era, The Last Caress of Light
34. Origin, Entity
33. Negative Plane, Stained Glass Revelation
32. Absu, Abzu
31. Machine Head, Unto the Locust
30. Mournful Congregation, The Book of Kings
29. Crowbar, Sever the Wicked Hand
28. Vallenfyre, A Fragile King
27. Skeletonwitch, Forever Abomination
26. Gridlink, Orphan
25. Moab, Ab Ovo
24. Disma, Towards the Megalith
23. Atriarch, Forever the End
22. Fucked Up, David Comes To Life
21. Ulcerate, The Destroyers of All
20. Subrosa, No Help For the Mighty Ones
19. Drugs of Faith, Corroded
18. Obscura, Omnivium
17. Trap Them, Darker Handcraft
16. Revocation, Chaos of Forms
15. Autopsy, Macabre Eternal
14. False, False
13. Exhumed, All Guts, No Glory
12. Primordial, Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand
11. Graveyard, Hisingen Blues
10. Junius, Reports From the Threshold of Death
9. Inquisition, Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm
8. 40 Watt Sun, The Inside Room
7. YOB, Atma
6. Hate Eternal, Phoenix Amongst the Ashes
5. Brutal Truth, End Time
4. In Solitude, The World, The Flesh, The Devil
3. Mastodon, The Hunter
2. Opeth, Heritage
1. Tombs, Path of Totality