While trying to do other things that we actually create ourselves here at NCS, I’m still keeping one eye out for the “Best of 2011” lists being generated by heavily-trafficked web sites and zines. Yesterday I spotted the “Best Metal Albums of 2011” published by Noisecreep, which is the hard rock and metal web site of AOL.
You may not be a daily Noisecreep visitor, but a fuckload of other people are, so I was curious about what they’re touting. AOL may seem like last century to most metalheads, but the Noisecreep demographic must still have something going for it, because they premiere a lot of songs by a lot of good metal bands, and even though I’m too fuckin lazy to research the quantitative achievements of their site traffic, metal labels sure as hell do.
Looking at their list, after looking at the lists by other big-platform sites like Pitchfork and NPR, I’m beginning to notice a trend: Whoever is putting these lists together has got at least one finger on the pulse of the underground, even if their other fingers are lovingly wrapped around the genitalia of their readers. In other words, the Noisecreep list includes some surprisingly “fuck yeah!” albums, as well as some “what the fuck, are you serious?” albums. Check out the list after the jump, along with some editorial comments by me.
Here’s the Noisecreep countdown (which you can see, with Noisecreep’s explanations and sample songs, at this place):
11. Insomnium: One For Sorrow [FUCK YEAH!]
10. Vektor: Outer Isolation [FUCK YEAH!]
9. Times of Grace: The Hymn of Broken Man [WHAT THE FUCK?]
8. August Burns Red: Leveller [NOT BAD, BUT TOP 11? UNH UNH]
7. Ulcerate: The Destroyers of All [FUCK YEAH!]
6. Mastodon: The Hunter [NOT TOP 11 ON MY LIST, IF I HAD A LIST]
5. Trap Them: Darker Handcraft [FUCK YEAH! AND WTF IS THIS DOING ON NOISECREEP?]
4. The Devil’s Blood: The Thousandfold Epicentre [HUH??? I DON’T KNOW THIS BAND.]
3. Junius: Reports From the Threshold of Death [WHAT THE FUCK?]
2. Krallice: Diotima [FUCK YEAH!]
1. Craft: Void [FUCK MY FUCKING EAR HOLES, WITH THE REACH-AROUND AND THE GOLDEN SHOWER, YEAH!]
Seriously, in a million years, did you see Craft coming at Numero Uno?? If you say you did, then I sayin you lie.
Please let me explain that reach-around and golden-shower comment. I’m not sayin that Void is the album of the year. I haven’t even listened to the whole thing. I’m just fuckin big-eyeballed chuffed that something this razored and bloody made the top of the Noisecreep list.
Is Craft worth checking out? Yes, they definitely are. I found out about them late (because I am lame) by seeing their name on other “Best of 2011” lists, and I’m really glad I did. And isn’t that the best reason to have Best of the Year lists?
Here’s Noisecreep’s explanation of the choice. This is an exact quote. See if you can detect the difference between Noisecreep and NO CLEAN SINGING:
“Besides boasting some of the best song titles of the year (‘I Want to Commit Murder,’ ‘Succumb to Sin’), ‘Void’ lands a spot on our list for its no-nonsense take on brute black metal. Reminding us of Darkthrone in many moments, Craft also show off a penchant for punk-styled riffs throughout ‘Void.’ That aspect of the Swedish group’s sound is what makes the album hooky in many moments. It might have taken them six years to follow up their ‘F— the Universe’ album, but if they’re going to release records as great as ‘Void,’ we’ll give Craft all the time they need.”
P.S. I don’t know why this list is a Top 11 instead of a Top 10. Maybe they had a tie for 10th. Or maybe they just wanted to be anarchic. In an arithmetic way.