Dec 092011

We’ve been re-publishing the Best Metal of 2011 lists that we’ve seen on other web sites, focusing on sites that have really big audiences — which sorta means, by definition, that they’re not metal-only sites. So far, we’ve reported about the lists on Pitchfork, NPR, Noisecreep, and PopMatters (and we also included DECIBEL magazine’s Top 40 list and . . . uh . . . Revolver’s list). You can catch up on all that by using this Listmania link.

Today, we’re reporting on The Top 50 Albums of 2011 as selected by Adrien Begrand for MSN Entertainment. MSN Entertainment (which is owned by Microsoft) is another broad-scope entertainment site that includes coverage of music, film, games, videos, celebrity gossip, and a wide range of music. They claim over 23 million unique visitors to the site every month, narrowly edging out NCS in audience size. Once again, we’re featuring their list not because MSN Entertainment is one of our go-to sources for discovering and assessing metal, but because we’re curious about what mass-audience outlets are touting from our precious underground genre.

MSN Entertainment has been rolling out their Top 50 list all week in segments, and as of this morning, the list is now complete. To see the list at MSN Entertainment, along with Adrien Begrand’s comments about each album, GO HERE.

A few thoughts about the list:  Finally, the Devin Townsend Project and Ghost Brigade get some listmania recognition (and Amon Amarth make another rare appearance, too); thrash-lovers will be happy to see Evile’s name on the list; the list includes high finishes for Obscura and In Solitude; straight-up death metal is largely ignored, despite the plethora of good, filthy, old-school offerings this year; and I predict the Top 4 will prove disappointing to many NCS readers.


50. Powerwolf, Blood of the Saints

49. Locrian, The Clearing

48. Witch Mountain, South of Salem

47. Within Temptation, The Unforgiving

46. Ancient VVisdom, A Godlike Inferno

45. Nightwish, Imaginaerum

44. Tombs, Path of Totality

43. Trap Them, Darker Handcraft

42. Origin, Entity

41. Midnight, Satanic Royalty

40. Blut Aus Nord, 777: The Desanctification

39. Amorphis, The Beginning of Times

38. Ghost Brigade, Until Fear No Longer Defines Us

37. Year of the Goat, Lucem Ferre

36. Mastodon, The Hunter

35. The Gates of Slumber, The Wretch

34. Bullet, Highway Pirates

33. Graveyard, Hisingen Blues

32. SubRosa, No Help For the Mighty Ones

31. TesseracT, One

30. Hedvig Mollestad Trio, Shoot!

29. Destruction, Day of Reckoning

28. Graf Orlock, Doombox

27. Shooting Guns, Born to Deal in Magic 1952-1976

26. Evile, Five Serpent’s Teeth

25. Junius, Reports From the Threshold of Death

24. Altar of Plagues, Mammal

23. Devin Townsend Project, Deconstruction

22. Blood Stain Child, Epsilon

21. YOB, Atma

20. Russian Circles, Empros

19. Boris, New Album

18. Falloch, Where Distant Spirits Remain

17. Deafheaven, Roads To Judah

16. Hell, Human Remains

15. Amon Amarth, Surtur Rising

14. Caldron, Burning Fortune

13. Krallice, Diotima

12. The Devil’s Blood, The Thousandfold Epicentre

11. Liturgy, Aesthetica

10. Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestial Lineage

9.  The Atlas Moth, An Ache For the Distance

8.  In Solitude, The World. The Flesh. The Devil

7.  Today Is the Day, Pain Is A Warning

6.  Leviathan, True Traitor, True Whore

5.  Obscura, Omnivium

4.  Opeth, Heritage

3.  Primordial, Redemption At the Puritan’s Hand

2. 40 Watt Sun, The Inside Room

1.  Hammers of Misfortune, 17th Street


  1. What I find interesting is how much better than the Revolver list this MSN list is.

  2. Ooh, interesting, at first glance this “Best Of” list contains 3 (maybe 4, there’s an undecided entry thus far) albums that are on my “Disappointing” list, and the album I have singled out for particular derision.

    Clearly MSN need my superior taste/skills/arrogance. Delete as appropriate.

  3. How is Origin at #42 and Obscura (a great band mind you…but who’s last album I thought was rather disappointing) in the top 5? Which causes me to revert to my original attitude of fuck these lists and the assholes that compile them.

    • I love both bands, but yeah, this is my main problem with the list (which is still very good in many respects) — no love for the death fucking metal. Not enuf necro.

  4. I cant even consider Amorphis metal anymore.

    I am impressed by the entrance of Ghost Brigade to this list but in all honesty why have I not seen PAIN on any of these lists.

    I mean grant it, its not on the more Brutal end but far more metal then half the stuff on most of these lists.

    • Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Pain anywhere I’ve looked. And this is the only metal list I’ve yet seen that includes Amorphis.

      • Pain is under the radar once again.

        But I think You Only Live Twice is a great metal CD. Not to mention that it has worked a a steam valve for Peter in effect making Hypocrisy more badass then ever.

        Has it become obvious that Im a completely biased Hypocrisy fanboy yet?

  5. I was going to say “well maybe they are just his top 50 favourites, maybe they aren’t in actual numerical order and he loves them all just the same” but…no.

  6. Who is this Junius and why don’t you like them, Islander? I listened to a little bit and they seemed pretty cool (I really mean a little bit, like… not even half a song… so there may be something I’m missing :P).

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.