I enjoy Decibel. It’s a magazine I happily subscribe to and read from cover to cover each month. In general they’re not as into weirdo black metal as I am, and they like Mastodon more than I do, but all said it’s a great publication. So, yeah, I look forward to their thoughts on things. That said, it’s always easy to nitpick: Looking quickly at their Top 40 Albums Of 2009, Krallice and Funeral Mist should be closer to the top. That, and there’s no Heims. Also, the lack of Absu is strange. All said, though, I like their choices. In fact, four of their top 10 fall into my top 10 (which I’ll be posting closer to the end of the year). Other complaints? I still don’t think Isis’s Wavering Radiant is all that great. Ditto Crack The Skye (though they did position other Georgia bands correctly). I like the nods given to Cobalt, Magrudergrind, the Atlas Moth, and Gaza, all bands who released great albums that might otherwise fall below the radar in other publications. Worth nothing: Scandinavian black metal made a comeback just in time for Until The Light Takes Us and Burzum’s post-prison album. Interesting to me: Gates Of Slumber took a nosedive from Decibel’s 2008 Top 40. Also Interesting: Any guess which NYC band shows up at #8?

40 Funebrarum – The Sleep Of Morbid Dreams
39 Millions – Gather Scatter
38 Municipal Waste – Massive Aggressor
37 Javelina – Beasts Among Sheep
36 Suffocation – Blood Oath
35 Goes Cube – Another Day Has Passed
34 Culted – Below The Thunders Of The Upper Deep
33 Krallice – Dimensional Bleedthrough
32 Brutal Truth – Evolution Through Revolution
31 The Red Chord – Fed Through The Teeth Machine
30 Keelhaul – Keelhaul’s Triumphannt Return To Obscurity
29 Katatonia – Night Is The New Day
28 Gaza – He Is Never Coming Back
27 Goatwhore – Carving Out The Eyes Of God
26 City Of Ships – Look What God Did To Us
25 Burnt By The Sun – Heart Of Darkness
24 The Gates Of Slumber – Hymns Of Blood And Thunder
23 Funeral Mist – Maranatha
22 Mournful Congregation – The June Frost
21 Altar Of Plauges – White Tomb
20 Asphyx – Death…The Brutal Way
19 The Atlas Moth – A Glorified Piece Of Blue Sky
18 Paradise Lost – Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
17 Mastodon – Crack The Skye
16 YOB – The Great Cessation
15 Nile – Those Whom The Gods Detest
14 Magrudergrind – Magrudergrind
13 Obscura – Cosmogenesis
12 Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Agorapocalypse
11 Immortal – All Shall Fall
10 Isis – Wavering Radiant
09 Marduk – Wormwood
08 Tombs – Winter Hours
07 Slayer – World Painted Blood
06 Kylesa – Static Tensions
05 Cobalt – Gin
04 Napalm Death – Time Waits No Slave
03 Coalesce – Ox
02 Converge – Axe To Fall
01 Baroness -The Blue Record

Baroness, Converge, and Coalesce are definitely worthy. YOB and Magrudergrind were both in the last Show No Mercy I did at Pitchfork, if you want more info. Otherwise, have been listening to Paradise Lost’s Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us sorta obsessively now that it’s getting dark at 4PM. Ditto the Katatonia. Decibel’s Top Five That Didn’t Make The Cut:

05 Irritate – Ten Stabs Of Demented Violence
04 Pelican – What We All Come To Need
03 Skeletonwitch – Breathing The Fire
02 PortalSwarth
01 Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue

Comments (96)
  1. Biggest fail on stereogum yet?

  2. Poor taste  |   Posted on Nov 24th, 2009 0

    epic fail

  3. Rrrrick  |   Posted on Nov 24th, 2009 0

    Goatwhore > Magrudgergrind

  4. therevelationkid  |   Posted on Nov 24th, 2009 0

    these titles are wild…at 26 “look what god did to us” at 27 “carving out the eyes of god ” and then at 28 “he is not coming back”…well,why should he…you carved out his fucking eyes!

  5. Damn, I still haven’t heard like half of these. Need to give priority to The Atlas Moth and Absu soon. Oh, Krallice PWND this year.

    • Damn, I didn’t even know that Krallice put out a new record this year! They do totally rip though, saw them back in May with Wolves In The Throne Room, fantastic show. Mick Barr can truly do no wrong.

  6. The new one by Isis was brilliant. Mastodon never disappoints and Converge was incredible too. I’ll have to check out some of the rest of the ones found in the top ten. Nice list. Thanks for posting this.

  7. i don’t know about you guys, but i sure do like lower case brandon more than the upper case Brandon

  8. bryan  |   Posted on Nov 24th, 2009 0

    Where’s Cannibal Corpse? Weren’t they in Ace Ventura in 1994? Seems like that makes their new record worthy of a top 50 mention.

  9. adudefromthenet  |   Posted on Nov 24th, 2009 0

    thanks for sharing this…i appreciate it…i check up on stereogum at least once a day and i love metal, so some of us do listen to this “crap”….
    as for the ratings- i agree that Krallice should have been higher and i’m surprised that Sunn 0)))’s Monoliths & Dimensions didn’t make the list
    also, i would have liked to see Wolves in the Throne Room’s Black Cascade on there…but oh well

    • Check out some animal collective, you will stop liking metal instantly.

      • vjdsaovanovmikfp  |   Posted on Nov 24th, 2009 0

        seriously Crapola, fuck your face.

        i love metal as well as animal collective, beach house and the dirty projectors.

        music is music is music is music. grow up jackass.

      • That’s right! Because once you’ve listened to Animal Collective, you realize “WAIT! There is music I can listen to that would be considered even more unlistenable to others than my agoraphobic nosebleed records! (and to me too)! I” guess you don’t have to be in a metal band to make purposely dissonant music that doesn’t use you know, melody, or song writing. Just 4 indie kid hipsters with ecstacy and protools.
        For the record, I have nothing against metal at all. I haven’t listened to it a lot lately, but that’s more about me than metal. Most metal even at its worst has more talent and melody and etc ad infinitum whatever traits you prefer to animal collective. Like David Cross said, I would rather listen to the death rattle of my child then listen to that shit.

      • Pete  |   Posted on Dec 1st, 2009 0

        Conversely, if you listen to Shrinebuilder, you will stop liking Animal Collective instantly.

      • what the hell does that even mean? you, sir, are a retard.

    • black cascade, yes. gorgeous record.

  10. glaring omission of sunn o)))’s monoliths and dimensions.

    and the inclusion of that marduk record (especially top 10) is embarrassing, especially since they left out peste noire’s ballade cuntre lo anemi francor. krallice is great but these idiots at decibel should really rethink publishing anything that tries suggest they know thing one about black metal.

  11. brandon  |   Posted on Nov 24th, 2009 0

    this seems like such a non sequitur from everything that stereogum posts.

    seriously, who is this for? are there still any metal hipsters left?

  12. Bryan  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    Music IS music. But metal is not music.

    mu·sic (myzk)
    1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony or timbre.
    2. Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.
    a. A musical composition.
    b. The written or printed score for such a composition.
    c. Such scores considered as a group: We keep our music in a stack near the piano.
    4. A musical accompaniment.
    5. A particular category or kind of music.
    6. An aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds: the music of the wind in the pines.

    • colin  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

      honestly, the best reasoning i’ve ever seen…..ridiculous.

      you should’ve just said, hey, metal isn’t music. why? i don’t like it.

  13. jay  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0


    If you dont like it, dont read it. I dont see the problem…

  14. chris  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    animal collective is the best band ever *post a dictionary definition of a subjective art form* HIPSTERS HIPSTERS HIPSTERS blah blah blah LOZ EPIC FAIL YOU GUYS there is not a single stereogum reader who listens to music not currently on the front page of pitchfork

    this article could of been about any genre of music not itunes rock and it would have had the same response. wouldn’t it be cool if stereogum posted a summery of other genres every once in a while, you know, to expand your horizons and all that bs? a metal article here and any other genre could come next. some idiot asked why have a metal article but not electronic or country or w/e but dude MAYBE you have to start somewhere? how can a site expand the music it covers when the first hint of change is met with negativity? It’d be nice to see some variation. but no, it’s not within your small comfort zone so it must be lynched. fucking hypocrites. call animal collective the best band of the decade but name their most scene-saturated, pop friendly output their best album. I like experimental music but only if it sounds like the other 12 bands i listen too!! wouldn’t it be cool if grizzly bear and dirty projectors and animal collective made a supergroup?? then I would only need to drag one album instead of three onto my iphone!!!

    grow a fucking spine you morons, you’re killing music

    • micha  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

      exactly. fucking losers and unpolite wisenheimers all over the place.

    • Joe  |   Posted on Nov 30th, 2009 0

      I’m sorry – but I think there’s actually a wide spectrum of sonic-variation within the “indie scene” — which is pretty much a generic umbrella term that signifies nothing much beyond a kind of silent devotion to Pitchfork’s best new music section (you’re right about that). But, after all, you could conceivably call something like Devendra Barnhart and Fuck Buttons “hipster music” — and aesthetically, they couldn’t be farther apart. Not sure there’s that wide of a spectrum for metal – but then again, the genre is probably more defined and less amorphous.

  15. This is out of place. Try

  16. I can’t believe how ridiculous people are being about this! No, I don’t listen to metal but I’m not going to begrudge the appearance of posts about metal music on Stereogum. In fact, I welcome it, it’s quite interesting to see lists (or other news) about music that is really ‘alternative’ (I’d be the first to admit that the Indie music I like should no longer be referred to as alternative), and it’s refreshing to see a list that isn’t composed of the usual suspects.
    People who are outraged at this or think it has no place here must be complete dickheads; save it for the fucking playground. Honestly, the amount of posts about metal on the blog account for probably less than 10% of its output, and you don’t even have to read it.

    NB. Some of the names/titles are funny. I count 3 references to God(s); 5 to blood and about 11 to death/types of death/death related things or words.

  17. Brian  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    Yeah, I love this, “ewwww, metal isn’t music, ewwww. Let me adjust my oversized cool glasses, ewwwww.” I listen to much of what Stereogum writes about, AND I listen to a lot of metal. I know that’ll probably disqualify me from many of your various collectives of animals parties, but that’s fine. The reason there’s a lot of hipster hate is because of this knee-jerk dismissal of, “Oh, well that’s just not cool and unknown enough. Oh, that just doesn’t fit the parameters of my obvious undying coolness.” I also love the “metal isn’t music” post. Like, a lot. It’s because it’s so ridiculously dumb and non-sensical, it’s has to be a joke. And if it isn’t, wow, lots of laughing in your general direction, sir.

    Tremendous. It’s just hilarity all of this disqualification when there are tons of metal musicians who probably could play circles around most of the people documented on the supposed hipster web sites. But whatever. It is music, you dismissive morons. If you’re not comfortable enough in your tastes that you have to be this way, maybe you should question why you’re listening to what’s in your collection and if that will eventually change once your music “isn’t cool anymore.” That’ll be a hoot.

    And if you don’t like metal, hey, there are other posts on here to read about. or go over the Pitchfork and read their latest Animal Collective 8.9 review. And that’s before they even got the CD out of its case! Imagine how that rating will inflate once they actually hear it! I also am not disparaging Animal Collective, who are a fine band but just a bit overrated.

  18. Brian  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    Coj, see, that’s the right attitude, in my opinion. Nobody is now forced to listen to metal now that it appears more often on here. It’s why I’m certain lots of people’s music collections exist solely on what they’re told to listen to by these web sites. And I know they’re not TOLD to listen to anything, but something in their brain is tell them they’re being told to consume.

    Also yes, there are plenty a hilarious band, album title, song title in metal. It’s part of the charm, I think. My fiancee doesn’t like, nor listen to metal, though she does enjoy the ridiculousness of it all, and even is willing to cite Cobalt’s lyrics, “Burn me down, shoot me in the chest,” at will. I also fully admit that while I love metal, there’s also a part of me that cracks a smile at the stuff sometimes because it’s so silly. And so completely awesome.

    • haha yeah, I can relate to that, a few of my mates are into metal and they occasionally come out with some excellent obscure quote. It seems to be an absurdly quotable genre! And though I say I don’t listen to metal, I would happily admit to enjoying some of it. I’m certain my tastes would probably be very outmoded within the metal community, but I still think early Machine Head (up until and including The Burning Red) and some of Pantera’s stuff are fantastic!

  19. ed  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    nice to see stereogum covering something different. thank you

  20. Cecil P.  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    Are people still being dismissive of metal? Are you guys aware that you sound exactly like the jocks who chanted “Rap music is Crap music” in ’89 and “Disco sucks” in ’79?

    While you worry about how your musical tastes shape other people’s opinion of you, some of us are just out there enjoying all kinds of music just ’cause it feels good.

    As usual, Converge is exactly where it deserves to be: in the top 5.
    I would push Slayer’s World Painted Blood way down the list, possibly off of it completely, and yes, push Krallice way up.

  21. Wilson  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    This is sweet. I usually don’t listen to metal but have been listening to Mastodon and Baroness recently and loving it.

    Stereogum should definitely keep this up, I like reading top 10 lists from genres that aren’t typical indie rock.

  22. Keep posting about metal. I love it and there are not many well written or well rounded forums for discussing what’s going in on that end of the musical spectrum.

    And seriously all you Animal Collective > metal commenters. Do you really listen to Animal Collective? Do you understand that their entire approach is based on drawing influences from anywhere and everywhere? Ever read the liner notes to Person Pitch? Noah likes metal! I can’t believe I’m even bothering to make this arguement.

    Viva metal \,,/

  23. William Shakespeare  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    Not to mention Vampire Weekend’s singer being a huge Metallica fan, and that being a major influence on his playing style.

    Keep posting about metal. I dont even like metal. I dont like Animal Collective either, but I still use this website, and dont care if I scroll past posts about either one

  24. rkb  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    ITT: nerds who never liked slayer

  25. Chud  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    Nice to see this list on here. Love reading Decibel and would recommend it to anybody that doesn’t know much about metal but wants to get into it. Disappointed Graf Orlock wasn’t on this though. Good Grind = Good Time.

    Stereogum should do a country article next and watch the message board riots start.

  26. Gavin  |   Posted on Nov 25th, 2009 0

    Good list.

    Shame people can’t accept that not everyone shares their taste. I don’t understand the contempt some people here feel towards others because they like different bands. I used to be like that when I was 14, so perhaps these people are just kids who will grow to either be more accepting or just total knobs.

  27. Allan  |   Posted on Nov 26th, 2009 0

    Where’s sunn, wolves in the throne room, absu, skeletonwitch, all should’ve made the list son.

  28. Metal sucks! I only like music made by scrawny hipsters with thick rimmed glasses, flannels and beards with acoustic guitars or Synthesizers. I mean Metal’s so loud! How am I supposed to get that indie chick pussy if I’m not blaring dirty projectors and talking about his post modern sound collage in the style of Brahm blah blah blah blah …

  29. P.S. Slayer has a new album? Man I haven’t even thought of slayer since the “ANTICHRIST IN THE NAME OF GOD” album. I guess I didn’t realize how even with the intronet, how much metal flies under the radar for much media.

  30. boo  |   Posted on Nov 26th, 2009 0


  31. dropkick  |   Posted on Nov 26th, 2009 0

    there is plenty of great metal, electronica and hip hop that many sources always overlook. I am glad stereogum is helping broaden the taste of people and teaching them about great music that is overshadowed. metal and hardcore are acquired tastes & it’s not for everyone, but when it’s done right, it is foolish to ignore. i hope this site starts publishing more on underground hip hop & underground metal in the future

  32. ringo  |   Posted on Nov 27th, 2009 0

    what i want to know is: why does stereogum choose to cover metal and not other genres that may not be as ubiquitous as “indie” but still worthy? i’m thinking hardcore/post-hardcore/screamo stuff, but other stuff too. i just don’t get the focus on the totally two unrelated genres of indie and metal.

  33. abstracto  |   Posted on Nov 27th, 2009 0

    I simply ignore metal and honestly never heard of any of these bands, but I’d much rather read 983 more metal columns than another Stereogum Trent Reznor update.

  34. Pete  |   Posted on Nov 27th, 2009 0

    Decibel is the only source that rated the new Baroness album, and they rated it #1 because it’s the best goddamn album anyone has put out all year. Give it a listen. You’ll know it’s true.

    My only complaint with their list is that the Shrinebuilder album isn’t anywhere on there…

    • adudeonthenet  |   Posted on Nov 27th, 2009 0

      i totally forgot about the Shrinebuilder album…yes that does need to be up there, its probably the best stoner/heavy metal album of the year…if you have yet to hear it, it reminds me of Black Sabbath + a little drone influence…highly recommend the album

  35. You have to admit it though, metal bands have some great names. I mean, would you rather be a member of Animal Collective or Funeral Mist? Grizzly Bear or Agoraphobic Nosebleed?

    You’ve got to celebrate metal just for entire lack of anything resembling subtlety.

  36. SICK  |   Posted on Nov 27th, 2009 0

    F O.

  37. Andrew  |   Posted on Nov 28th, 2009 0

    Brandon, what did you think of Stewart Voegtlin’s piece last week in the Village Voice about “fake metal”? Baroness’ “stoner-metal-meets-Ford-truck-jingle approach.” Ouch. Oh, and I also think “Wavering Radiant” was a bit overrated. Pitchfork called it their best album; I think the first two songs were great, the rest of the album was alright at best. “In the Absence of Truth” was better.

    • Just read it after seeing your comment. I agree w/ a few of SV’s thoughts, though he tends to get more riled up about these things than I do. (And I never could stand Trans Am.) Most important part of the writeup, I think, is potentially turning folks onto Slough Feg, whose Ape Uprising should be on the Decibel Top 40, too. Agree with you re: Isis. Wavering is boring. Same with Crack The Skye while we’re on the subject.

  38. “i listen to these bands”

    Then you’re lame.

    “is there some sort of registration of “certain bands you are allowed to listen to AND be on stereogum.”???”


    “if so send it to me”


  39. HeadOvMetal  |   Posted on Nov 28th, 2009 0

    I read this and appreciate it. I like your additions to the list – ABSU should be there.
    This year I also enjoyed:
    Necrophobic – Death To All
    Sulphur – Thorns In Existence
    Den Saakaldte – All Hail Pessimism
    Shrinebuilder – S/T
    Amorphis – Skyforger
    Ancestors – Of Sound Mind

    People hating on metal are probably thinking metalcore. What a shame.

  40. Dave  |   Posted on Nov 28th, 2009 0

    I would say that at least a quarter of the albums on this list should not even be on it at all, and a lot of the albums in the top 10 deserve to be in the bottom 10. its almost as if any old mediocre rock or metal album that has come out this year gets all this unworthy praise. come on, Decibel guys. at least be a little picky.

  41. Kyle  |   Posted on Nov 29th, 2009 0

    Some of the comments here are just as closed-minded as the worst closed-mindedness coming from metal fans. The list was pretty valid for the most part (with the exception of Slayer being ranked so high and Sunn O))) and Bloody Panda’s absence), and I’d say the albums by Converge, Katatonia, Isis, and Pelican are on par with the new releases from Animal Collective, Raekwon, Neko Case, Do Make Say Think, etc.

  42. Joe  |   Posted on Nov 30th, 2009 0

    I don’t know much about metal. But I do know that the names of those bands and albums are ridiculous and seem pulled from an intensely involved game of Dungeons and Dragons. Also – no one cares that you are mad at your parents for making you go to sunday school. Get the fuck over it.

    • Yeah  |   Posted on Jan 23rd, 2010 0

      Yeah, Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend and Frightened Rabbit are such mindblowing band names.

  43. all u people for metal may have a point….but i dont care….. some of us have a built in metal bias cus of the morons we had to deal with in high school…..i spent tons of my time getting stoned with friends forced to listen to this crap… its a bias, but not an uninformed one.

    its just all so stupid and juvenile. musicianship…who cares…..a great musiciain is not some great elusive thing….its probably safe to say the world has at least 2 million great musicians…keep in mind i dont know the general populus of the world….

    and just for the record…..i think Animal Collective are good.. sometimes very annoying……i like Deerhunter way better…..Dirty Projectors are obnoxious adult contemporary noodly dooldy dreck………i have listened to the same Lil Kim song like 100 times in the past month tho…so maybe u might wanna disregard what i say….

  44. Farmer Ted  |   Posted on Dec 1st, 2009 0

    Decibel is for wannabes.
    I feel sorry for them and their readers.
    Just so sad.
    They are always so lonely and never have any dates.
    Don’t they know that everyone is laughing at them behind their backs?
    And that they are a true embarrassment?

    Read a real magazine and get a real year end list.

    Metal Edge is where metal still lives.

    -Farmer Ted

  45. ampac  |   Posted on Dec 1st, 2009 0

    why is the stereogum comment thread all downvotes and opinion bashing? ROOOAARRR!!!

  46. Marc  |   Posted on Dec 2nd, 2009 0

    Metal Edge, the Nu Metal magazine? bahahaha

  47. Jeremy  |   Posted on Dec 3rd, 2009 0

    John Darnielle is in Mountain Goats. I hate them. I think they’re horrible. He suggested Gojira’s “From Mars to Sirius” was better than Mastodon’s “Blood Mountain”. I’d never heard about Gojira. I now own everything they’ve released. The interests of the artists at work in the metal and indie scenes couldn’t be any closer and relevant. If only the listeners shared the same opinions of the bands they’re listening to. But then again, even I hate 90% of what is deemed indie and hip. But I don’t knock it, I just ignore it. The best music of any genre makes you forget that you’re just listening to a disc and makes you feel something…

  48. animal collective fucking sucks, and this list is omiting some great metal and overvaluing some. but it’s good to see this list on here, to expose the jackasses who do not understand music

  49. I thought that Dysrhythmia – Psychic Maps and Tribulation – The Horror should be in the top 10, but didn’t even make the list.

    Thanks for posting this on here, it is exposing the closed-mindedness of the followers you think that Animal Collective is some kind of mind expanding, life altering enlightenment, when it is really just boring drivel marketed toward the indie kid crowd. Metal is the most misunderstood music form, this coming from a guy who listens to bands from any genre, as long as they are actually making interesting, thought provoking music. Animal Collective is not.

  50. dona  |   Posted on Dec 5th, 2009 0

    hear hear!!

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