As part of our year-end LISTMANIA series, we bring you lists of the year’s best metal from a few print zines with wide circulation and from some cross-genre web platforms that get orders-of-magnitude more eyeballs than we do. In the case of most of these other lists, we do this as a way of peaking at what the wider world sees, since our world is very narrow and subterranean. In this post, we’re looking at Rolling Stone and NPR. It won’t take you long to read the metal names on these lists.
Last week, the venerable Rolling Stone magazine posted on their web site a list of the 50 Best Albums of 2016. This list isn’t limited to metal. In past years, Rolling Stone has published a separate list of the year’s best metal, but I’m not sure if they will do that this year. So what I did was to scroll through that “50 Best” list and carve out the metal names, which I’m listing below along with their rank on the list.
The full article appears here, with accompanying explanations for the choices:
36. Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct
Yep, that was it.
Beyoncé’s Lemonade grabbed the top spot.
I’ll repeat what I’ve written in years past, because it remains true: NPR (formerly National Public Radio) is an American national treasure, one that has somehow survived as a non-profit national radio and on-line broadcaster (with 900 public radio station members) despite largely weaning itself from governmental support and being the target of repeated political attacks by the American right wing. According to the web analytics site Alexa, its online site is the 124th most popular of all U.S.-based web sites and the 630th most popular in the world.
A few days ago NPR Music posted a list of its “Best 50 Albums of 2016“. It’s a cross-genre list, reflecting the broad demographic of NPR Music listeners. In past years I’ve siphoned off the metal albums from the overall list and have presented them as part of our LISTMANIA series. This year, not a single metal album appeared on the list.
You may nevertheless wish to peruse the list, and you can find it here:
NPR did include this statement elsewhere on the NPR Music part of the site: “The NPR Music team will publish genre-based lists throughout the month of December. Check back frequently for deeper dives.” Maybe there will be a separate metal list, even though no metal was deemed worthy of their Best 50 Albums list, but I doubt it.
P.S. As noted by heisshane in the Comments below, NPR also put out a list of their top 100 songs of 2016, and it included three metal tracks:
78. Vektor – “Charging the Void”
82. SubRosa – “Troubled Cells”
92. Oathbreaker – “10:56 / Second Son of R.”