Dec 152014

As part of our continuing effort to re-publish “best metal” lists by certain magazines and “big platform” web sites, we’re now bringing you The 20 Best Metal Albums of 2014 as chosen by the staff of SPIN — which used to be a print magazine from 1985 – 2012 but now currently runs as a webzine.

I’m actually just guessing that SPIN qualifies as a “big platform” site, since I haven’t found any statistics about their on-line viewership. They used to have a substantial newsstand presence and they do currently have more than 525,000 likes on Facebook, so I guess that means something.

I also can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a list of metals’s Top 20 albums. I’ve seen a list re-published (here) at the PRP, and I’ve seen Kim Kelly’s introduction to the metal list at, (which has spawned some nasty backlash from people who were offended by the use of words such as “racism”, “politics”, and “feminism” in the same sentence as “metal”), but last time I checked, the list itself wasn’t there.

Anyway, though I don’t claim a great deal of familiarity with SPIN’s content, they seem to cover indie rock to a much greater extent than metal. But their Top 20 list of the best metal albums — as re-published by The PRP — is very good, at least by my lights.

Take a look below. Presumably the list will reappear at this location (unless it’s there right now and has succeeded in disguising itself from my web browser):

20. Avichi – “Catharsis Absolute“
19. Midnight – “No Mercy For Mayhem“
18. Artificial Brain – “Labyrinth Constellation“
17. Caina – “Settler Of Unseen Snares“
16. The Alarune – “The Process Of Self-Immolation“
15. The Atlas Moth – “The Old Believer“
14. Diocletian – “Gesundrian“
13. Primordial – “Where Greater Men Have Fallen“
12. Coffinworm – “I.V.I. VII“
11. Nux Vomica – “Nux Vomica“
10. Behemoth – “The Satanist“
09. YOB – “Clearing The Path To Ascend“
08. Dead Congregation – “Promulgation Of The Fall“
07. Earth – “Primitive And Deadly“
06. Thou – “Heathen“
05. Indian – “From All Purity“
04. Pallbearer – “Foundations Of Burden“
03. Blut Aus Nord – “Memoria Vetusa III – Saturnalian Poetry“
02. Electric Wizard – “Time To Die“
01. Eyehategod – “Eyehategod“

  11 Responses to “LISTMANIA 2014: SPIN MAGAZINE’S 20 BEST METAL ALBUMS OF 2014”

  1. “The” Alraune? Thats a great record anyways. This list isnt so bad.
    Behemoth, Pallbearer and YOB. I will see them on every list, but I just cant get into any of them.
    Artificial Brain was a solid mention!

  2. Profound Lore loves this list.

  3. The top 2 albums here didn’t really do it for me, but most of the rest of the list I can get behind. Dead Congregation, Primordial and Alraune are the best imo.

    • Agreed on Electric Wizard. Just listened to it while reading their Decibel cover story, and it bored the hell out of me (also, Jus Oborn comes off as a hypocrite and a dick in the interview).

  4. there’s some great stuff on this list : )

  5. This is a good list surprisingy! A lot of underground releases. There’s also a lot of doom metal and Profound Lore as well but that’s never a bad thing!

  6. Perhaps I can offer an explanation as to why that intro generated so much backlash. Let’s look at the sentence in question:

    “Metal is still dogged by the issues that arise from its deep-seated conservative values, but thanks to an increase in conversations about racism, politics, and feminism, those on the right side of history have gained solid ground.”

    The reason why there was so much backlash against this sentence is because it represents social justice’s encroachment into metal. First off is the ridiculous assertion that metal has “deep-seated conservative values”. The word conservative means “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion”. The metal scene can hardly be called conservative what with its liberal use of profanity, blasphemy, and drugs. Not only that, but most metalheads I know are liberal. Of course, to social justice warriors, anything that isn’t fullblown communism is “conservative”.

    Then there’s the part about “an increase in conversations about racism, politics, and feminism”. Last time I checked, social justice warriors weren’t really having conversations with metalheads so much as they were dictating down to us and telling us how horrible we all are, as can be seen by these articles:

    Then there’s the phrase at the end: “the right side of history”. There is no other phrase that reeks of self-righteousness more than “the right side of history”. Communists believed they were on “the right side of history” too, and they ended up killing a hundred million people in the past century.

    In short, that intro generated backlash because they saw that social justice warriors are trying to come into the metal scene, neuter it, and turn it into a tool for disseminating their propaganda. Social justice warriors claim they just want to make metal better and more inclusive. Don’t believe a single word they say. They said the exact same thing to the gaming community. Next thing everyone knew, they got Grand Theft Auto V pulled from Australian Target stores because it “promotes violence against women”.

    Do not be fooled by the term “social justice”. There is nothing social or just about social justice. Social justice is communism in disguise. The goal of social justice is to bring to the western world an ideology that, despite having slaughtered a hundred million people in the past century, refuses to die.

    Metalheads saw what social justice warriors did to the atheist community. They saw what they tried to do to gaming. They don’t want the same thing to happen to metal. This is why that intro caused such a backlash.

    • This is crazy talk! I feel like I’ve tuned in to the Fox News of Metal. Seriously, the idea that there’s some “social justice” movement afoot that’s going to “neuter” metal or turn it into a “propaganda” tool is just hysterical rhetoric. It’s simply not going to happen — not a chance in hell. Fifty years’ worth of completely fruitless mainstream criticism of metal tells us that. And in this particular case, anyone who has paid any attention to the kind of music Kim Kelly writes about would know that “neutering” metal isn’t even remotely on her agenda. Furthermore, the idea that metal can’t have balls unless it’s homophobic, misogynistic, and racist is bizarre.

      More generally, the idea that someone must be a “communist in disguise” if they’re offended by homophobia, racism, or misogyny is equally outlandish and downright insulting. Since when did respect for human dignity define someone as a fellow traveller with bloodthirsty dictators who slaughtered hundreds of millions? Give me a fucking break.

      This whole “metalgate” thing is ridiculously overblown. I’ve done my best to ignore it because it’s so ridiculous. Probably should have just ignored this comment, too.

      • Yeah. That was one fucked up, reactionary, oh god i’m threatened by something, oh god the communists are coming… stream of wtf-ery

    • Oh goddammit!… A lot of those people on twitter were gamers, not metalheads, they dont know any better. You at least should know just what utter bullshit this whole argument is. We literally have a pseudo-genre called NSBM, do you honestly think its possible to shame or bully metal fans over their music

      I’ll be the first one to call out how overly thin-skinned tumblr slacktavists can be, and yes Im sure they see metal as something to attack, but the idea these people could somehow infiltrate metal culture and start dictating anything is absurd.

      For one, metal journalists just dont have that kind of authority in our subculture…any metalhead worth the name dosnt wait to be told which bands they should like, they go out and find them. So the journalists are in no way capable of becoming gatekeepers keeping “bad” music down.

      Second, metal journalism isnt a giant echo chamber..its made up of various people with various outlooks on life. You dont like what one person is pushing, you actually have the option to go to another site thats more inline with your thoughts. People have the right to talk about and criticize metal, it only becomes a problem when other viewpoints are silenced.

      Finally, I know you know Grim Kim’s taste in metal, and her history in the genre. You dont have to like her politics, but at least respect her experience, shes not some poser noob. Attack her statments if you have to, but no one should be attacking her or anyone else for expressing an opinion

  7. These SOBs. Where is Horrendous?

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