Dec 222015

Pitchfork-Best metal Albums


We’re well into our own putrid site’s lists of the year’s best metal, but yesterday we got the last of the “big platform” metal lists I’ve been waiting on, and so I’m interrupting our own roll-out to bring it your way.

This one is a Top 25 list (with honorable mentions as well) prepared by Brandon Stosuy, the chief metal writer for Pitchfork. Pitchfork is a Chicago-based online music magazine, which proclaims that it is “the most trusted voice in music, celebrating and exploring emerging artists and established pioneers across all genres”. The site also claims an audience of more than 7 million unique visitors per month.

In October of this year, Pitchfork was acquired by Condé Nast, which also owns more than 20 other magazines or online brands, including Bon Apetit, The New Yorker, GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Golf Digest.

Not surprisingly, this list includes many of “the usual suspects”, by which I mean albums that are routinely appearing on the majority of lists I’ve seen at these larger sites (and elsewhere). But I was happy to see that it also includes some albums that deserve broader recognition than they have received at many of these heavily trafficked portals, including the releases by Obsequiae, False, Skepticism, and Dead To A Dying World.

However, I expect some eyebrows to be raised around here (to put it mildly) by Pitchfork’s choice as the Best Metal Album of 2015.

To read Brandon Stosuy’s comments about the albums and listen to music streams, go HERE. Pitchfork also published separate year-end metal lists by five other contributing writers, and you can see those by following this link.


25. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower

24. Myrkur – M

23. Noisem – Blossoming Decay

22. Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs

21. False – Untitled

20. Pinkish Black – Bottom of the Morning

19. Vastum – Hole Below

18. High On Fire – Luminiferous

17. Kowloon Walled City – Grievances

16. VHÖL – Deeper Than Sky

15. Skepticism – Ordeal

14. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

13. Bosse-de-Nage – All Fours

12. Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls

11. Locrian – Infinite Dissolution

10. Sannhet – Revisionist

09. Horrendous – Anareta

08. Mgła – Exercises In Futility

07. Dead To A Dying World – Litany

06. Baroness – Purple

05. Khemmis – Absolution

04. Panopticon – Autumn Eternal

03. Bell Witch – Four Phantoms

02. Tribulation – The Children of the Night

01. Deafheaven – New Bermuda


Honorable Mentions:

My Dying Bride: Feel the Misery [Peaceville]
Cruciamentum: Charnel Passages [Profound Lore]
Krallice: Ygg Huur [self-released]
Leviathan: Scar Sighted [Profound Lore]
Crypt Sermon: Out of the Garden [Dark Descent]
Vattnet Viskar: Settler [Century Media]


  1. Deafheaven? Gorguts put out the best METAL album this year – don’t deny it. Stop trying to be different – you’re only appealing to hipsters. Have fun with that. I thought I’d found a credible metal music site to frequent. Apparently not – laters!

  2. Anyway, now that the obligatory “outrage” post has been posted… is anyone REALLY surprised by the fact that they’ve got Deafheaven as no. 1?

    I mean, I’m pretty sure that with only a little bit of effort, we could have made a list last month which would have had a pretty good chance of predicting 90% of what appears here.

    Again (as I’ve said before) Pitchfork have a certain demographic to cater to, and part of the Year End requirements at many of the bigger sites/zines (whether consciously or unconsciously) seems to be the need to reassure their readership that they’ve got great taste by tailoring their lists to match – a case of circular self-confirmation bias as it were.

  3. Pfffffff….

  4. Man, I’m no journalist and I know way, way less than most, but that list seems pretty “safe”…

  5. As somebody who has followed Brandon around for his year-end lists regardless of what site he’s been on, this is probably his most disappointing I’ve come across. Particularly the write-ups/justifications for each. I used to sense a passion for the music he had listened to in the previous year, but these are so brief and surface-level I don’t get any sense of what he truly enjoyed and why. This list comes across as lazy compared to his past efforts. For shame.

  6. Fan Service list is windy. But not the worst!

  7. I feel like Ive read this list already

  8. I’m very disturbed by the lack of Slayer on this list 😉

  9. Mostly the usual suspects here, though Noisem and Sannhet haven’t shown up on many lists I’ve seen. That Noisem in particular deserves more attention – everyone was (correctly) all over them with Agony Defined, but there hasn’t been as much excitement over them this time around, even though I’d argue their evolution towards a grindier sound has made them leagues better.

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