Dec 082016

NCS The Best of 2016 graphic


Here’s another entry in the part of our annual LISTMANIA orgy where we re-post lists of metal from “big platform” web sites and print zines — the kind of places that get a lot more eyeballs on them than festering little metal-only hovels like ours.

To justify our selection of Noisey for this part of the series, consider these statistics: Noisey is the on-line music channel of Vice Media, which began as a Montreal-based print magazine in 1994 and has expanded into a global media presence. Noisey was started in 2011 and now has 1,132,220 Facebook followers and (according to this site) receives about 839,500 unique visitors and 1,477,520 page views per day.

Yesterday Noisey published its staff’s list of “The Best 100 Albums of the Year“. By my count, 10 of those albums are metal. Nine of those 10 appear to have made the list as a result of recommendations by Noisey editor Kim Kelly, whose by-line appears on the mini-reviews that accompany those 9 picks. The 10th one is Devil Is Fine by Zeal and Ardor, and a different author’s by-line accompanies that feature.




For those of you who have the time and inclination to listen to genres of music other than metal, you might find some things worth exploring by reading the entire Noisey Best 100 list (here). What I’ve done is extracted the metal titles from the list, along with where they appeared in the ranking — and here they are:

86. Naðra – Allir vegir til glötunar
81. Storm of Sedition – Decivilize
73. Mare Cognitum – Luminiferous Aether
64. Void Omnia – Dying Light
54. King Dude – Sex
53. High Spirits – Motivator
42. Cemetery Piss – Order of the Vulture
30. Cultes Des Ghoules – Coven, Or Evil Ways Instead of Love
20. Oathbreaker – Rheia
6. Zeal and Ardor – Devil Is Fine

Not surprisingly given the source of most of these picks, this list is a hell of a lot closer to my own wheelhouse than most of the other “big platform” metal lists I’ve been re-posting. Granted, it wouldn’t take a lot more to do that than picking something other than Metallica’s new album as the year’s top metal release. But apart from not including Metallica, this grouping of 10 picks includes many albums I thought were great ones this year — and also served as a reminder of several that I never got around to hearing in full (hello Storm of Sedition and Oathbreaker).

I don’t know by what process Noisey determines where to put releases like these among the other 90 albums on the list. It makes my head hurt thinking about how you would compare these albums to releases by such artists (for example) as Frank Ocean, Culture Abuse, Car Seat Headrest, or Sturgill Simpson. But I’m mainly glad to see this kind of music on the list at all.

To check out the full list and to read the mini-reviews for the 10 picks excerpted above, go here:


  1. Agreed. Great picks.

  2. I’d probably include Planes Mistaken for Stars (71) on the metal list, partly because I reviewed it for Metal Bandcamp, ergo it must be metal. But they’ve never really fit into any one genre that I know of, except for made-up ones created by reviewers for the sake of having something to call them.

    • I did stop and think for a minute when I came to that one, but it became painful so I quickly moved on.

      • And besides, then you would have had 11 instead of a nice round 10. We can’t have that sort of thing.

        • I confess that played a role in my thinking. Or not thinking. 🙂

          • Oooh, this Planes Mistaken for Stars is pretty nice. Glad to hear some early nineties style loud rock that doesn’t sound like a complete retread. That being said they do remind me of Molly McGuire, a band from KC, whose first album Sisters Of… came out in 1994 and should be required listening for any PMfS fan. Plus MM has their old stuff on BC for cheap. Yes, I love metal and am comfortable admitting that I also love grunge and associated loud stuff.

  3. Thanks for posting about this, bud! Still working on my personal list, too. Next time we cross paths, I’ll tell you alllllll about the hours of arguing/discussion/despair that went into this list (and the other ones coming next), and what it takes to bullishly insist that albums like these make it onto them…


    • As you’ll see in this comment thread, lots of us are eager to see your personal list. Whenever it appears, I’ll at least amend this post to share the link. And someday, yes, I’d love to hear how this full list got assembled and ranked. 🙂

  4. Lmao, number 1, 2 and 3 on their full list is utter shit.

  5. Obligatory:

    “Deafheaven”? That’s laughable! 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!

  6. I still don’t know what the name “Cemetery Piss” means. Maybe some reference to pissing on someone’s grave? It always makes me think or the Jeff Hanneman quote about how he would never use cliche lyrics like “spitting on your grave”, or something like that. Now I need to listen to some Slayer.

  7. One bad thing about Kim working for Noisey full time now…I legit miss reading her personal Year End lists as they popped up on various websites

    • I miss making them 🙁

      • How does that work anyway…Are you even allowed to make one for another site? (I.E….an obviously non-profit website like this one)

        …and if Im out of line asking that, you totally dont have to answer.

        • Nah, it’s cool! Since I’m full-time at Noisey, I’m not really supposed to contribute to other music sites (even non-profit metal ones)—I can swing it once in awhile, but my boss is especially adamant about keeping year-end stuff “in the family,” as it were. Bah humbug.

          • That blows, but I get where you guys are coming from…These lists pull attention like flies to shit, makes sense you all would want to aim that at your site

        • If you hadn’t asked, I would have, except more sneakily. 🙂

          • Ive got a plan….like maybe Kim conveniently wanders over to the Readers List post and accidentally lists 25 bands in the comment section…well, I mean, what are you going to do, right? You’d be obligated to leave that comment up like the upstanding blog owner that you are

  8. Very solid picks. Glad to see the Naðra album getting some attention – while I don’t think it will quite be a Top 10 for me, it deserves appreciation as a very interesting and melodic black metal album. A sort of ‘runner up’ for me I think. Rheia will likely feature on my Top 10, they sort of lost me with Eros|Anteros but Rheia grabbed me and hasn’t really let go. That Cultes Des Ghoules album is something I’ve been sort of attempting to listen to in chunks given the length of it, and what I’ve heard so far is really cool. Great ideas behind it as well, very ambitious. Super creepy vibe.

  9. I agree. I always looked forward to Kim’s picks each year.

  10. I’m going to be slightly contrarian here but there’s not one record on that list that stood out as something I’d give repeat listens to. Sure, they’re all quite unique, but with the possible exception of CDG which given the length of it I’m still trying to digest, but there isn’t one there that has really stayed with me.

    I thought that Oathbreaker record was a mess. The non-traditional elements blend well but the more straight ahead stuff is really not that exciting. Seeing them live in a few weeks here though, perhaps that’ll convince me.

    Cemetary Piss? Come on.

    • Sorry, but Cemetery Piss is awesome!

    • To be completely honest, I feel the same way, although I have to give credit for Zeal and Ardor for their experimental mash up of music genres, this might be the only album I have heard in full because of this interesting mix, even if the album as whole was a let down.

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