PopMatters is a popular culture web site with broad coverage of music, film, television, books, comics, software and video games — you name it. It distributes a syndicated newspaper column, its articles get picked up regularly by the mainstream media, and it claims a readership of more than 1 million unique visitors per month. In other words, it fits the profile of “big platform” web sites whose lists of 2011’s best metal we’ve been re-publishing here at NCS over the last few weeks — not because these lists are necessarily ones we’d recommend as reliable arbiters of extreme music, but because we’re curious about what metal is being touted to big segments of the reading public (many of whom aren’t likely to be metalheads).
Recently, PopMatters published its list of “The Best Metal of 2011”, ranking the chosen albums from #20 to #1. The list was compiled by Adrien Begrand, Chris Colgan, Brice Ezell, Craig Hayes, and Dane Prokofiev (who has contributed to NCS under a different pseudonym). To see the list with accompanying descriptions and explanations of the choices along with sample tracks from the listed albums, use this link.
You will see some names that have appeared on every list we’ve published so far. You’ll also see some new entries, including — finally – Amon Amarth, as well as Dir En Grey, Leviathan, and (gasp) Liturgy. I predict that many of you readers who dwell deep in the underground of metal will find too much hipster in this list, and I suspect most of you are going to disagree about the placement of the Top 5 albums. Anyway, the PopMatters list is right after the jump.
20. Unearth, Darkness In the Light
19. Primordial, Redemption At the Puritan’s Hand
18. Dir En Grey, Dum Spiro Spero
17. Machine Head, Unto the Locust
16. Revocation, Chaos of Forms
15. Scar Symmetry, The Unseen Empire
14. Krallice, Diotima
13. Amon Amarth, Surtur Rising
12. Blut Aus Nord, 777: Sects
11. Russian Circles, Empros
10. Between the Buried and Me, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues
9. Becoming the Archetype, Celestial Completion
8. Obscura, Omnivium
7. The Atlas Moth, An Ache For the Distance
6. Leviathan, True Traitor, True Whore
5. Liturgy, Aesthetica
4. Opeth, Heritage
3. Wolves In the Throne Room, Celestial Lineage
2. Hammers of Misfortune, 17th Street
1. 40 Watt Sun, The Inside Room