While awaiting the rollout of our own series of posts devoted to the year’s best metal, I continue to keep an eye out for year-end lists published by what I’ve been calling “big platform” web sites. By “big platform” sites, I mean those that have web traffic which greatly exceeds even the biggest metal-only sites. By definition, this means that they cover music or other forms of entertainment beyond metal. They may not be as trve as the sites that are completely devoted to metal, but I have fun watching what they say in their year-end posts, in part because their articles are written for a broader audience.
This year I’m including a year-end metal list by a “big platform” site that wasn’t included in our round-up last year. It’s called Loudwire.com, and it’s the national music website covering active rock and heavy metal of the Townsquare Media Group. Townsquare Media says that it’s “the largest music focused advertising network online consisting of over 1,500 music sites and reaching over 60 million people each month”. It also owns 250 radio stations, including 18 “active rock” radio stations nationwide. Loudwire has over 585,000 Facebook fans and reports that it receives more than 1.2 million unique visitors per month. This means that it edges out NCS traffic by a hair.
Yesterday, Loudwire published its staff list of the 10 Best Metal Albums of 2012. Though I wouldn’t agree with all the picks on the list (e.g., I don’t think Lamb of God’s Resolution is one of the year’s 10 best metal albums), I wasn’t surprised by most of the albums on there. I think we will see most of them on a great many lists this year. But there were two exceptions: Woods of Ypres seemed like an unusual stylistic choice, given what else is on the list, though I’m not criticizing the pick because I haven’t heard the album, and I wouldn’t have guessed the album that Loudwire picked for No. 1. Here’s the list: