Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Hey it’s almost Thanksgiving, and you know what that means: long-lead print publications are publishing their year-end lists! The great metal glossy Decibel dropped theirs today, and there’s a lot to talk about on this thing, so let’s dig in. At No. 1 is Converge’s All We Love We Leave Behind, a totally deserving choice, although predictable to the point of being an afterthought. The same could be said of Baroness’s Yellow & Green at 2, I think. (The last time Baroness and Converge released new albums — in 2009 — dB had Baroness at 1 and Converge at 2.) After that things get kinda weird. I’m pleasantly surprised to see Evoken’s Atra Mors at 3 — it’s an amazing funeral doom album; I just didn’t expect to see it so high (beating out even labelmates Pallbearer, whose profile is much higher, and whose album IMO is slightly superior). I’m stunned that Swans’ The Seer is so low — the only viable explanation is that it’s not “metal” enough to be given serious consideration for the highest reaches of the list, but too relevant to Decibel’s audience to ignore entirely, although that’s not exactly a great excuse. I’m kinda shocked to see Dawnbringer’s terrific Into The Lair Of The Sun God left off the list entirely — not just because it’s one of the year’s best albums (which it is), but because their last, 2010′s Nucleus, came in at No. 4 on that year’s dB list (between Enslaved and Torche, who are reliably ranked high on this year’s list). Other notables? I’m a huge Agalloch fan but the one-long-song Faustian Echoes EP doesn’t need to be on this list when other things are absent; I’m thrilled to see Mutilation Rites’ fantastic debut included here, as well as Samothrace’s Reverence To Stone, although the latter probably should have been in the top 10 if not the top 5; I’m kind of perplexed by the absence of Black Breath and Kreator, but very, very happy to see High On Fire in the top 20, because that sucker is a masterpiece. The two biggest points of note, though, for me are:

1. There is almost NO black metal on this list. Unless I’m overlooking something, only Farsot, Agalloch, Blut Aus Nord, Enslaved, and Mutilation Rites even have traces of the genre in their sound, and none is black metal in any true (troo) sense. Just a bad year for black metal? (I don’t necessarily think it was, FWIW.) Or the end of the genre’s time in the spotlight?

2. There is almost NO Profound Lore on this list. Just … Evoken and Pallbearer, right? (Pretty sure Agalloch self-released Faustian Echoes.) It’s weird to see metal’s best label so poorly represented, especially when they had a pretty great year: Aside from Dawnbringer, where’s Ash Borer, Atriarch, Indesinence, Bosse-de-Nage … ?

All right, end rant. Here’s the list (buy the issue here, although I’d encourage you just subscribe to the magazine). What do you think?

Decibel’s Top 40 Albums Of 2012

40 Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
39 Meshuggah – Koloss
38 Agalloch – Faustian Echoes EP
37 The Shrine – Primitive Blast
36 Incantation – Vanquish In Vengeance
35 Samothrace – Reverence To Stone
34 Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud
33 Panopticon – Kentucky
32 Saint Vitus – LILLIE: F-65
31 Mutilation Rites – Empyrean
30 Author & Punisher – Urus Americanus
29 A Life Once Lost – Ecstatic Trance
28 Asphyx – Deathhammer
27 Farsot – Insects
26 Gaza – No Absolute For Human Suffering
25 Inverloch – Dark/Subside
24 Swans – The Seer
23 Horrendous – The Chills
22 Killing Joke – MMXII
21 Early Graves – Red Horse
20 Liberteer – Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees
19 High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis
18 Napalm Death – Utiltarian
17 Torche – Harmonicraft
16 Grave – Endless Procession Of Souls
15 Satan’s Wrath – Galloping Blasphemy
14 Testament – Dark Roots Of Earth
13 Cattle Decapitation – Monolith Of Inhumanity
12 Blut Aus Nord – 777: Cosmosophy
11 Municipal Waste – The Fatal Feast
10 Pig Destroyer – Book Burner
09 Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol
08 Royal Thunder – CVI
07 Enslaved – Riitiir
06 Neurosis – Honor Found In Decay
05 Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction
04 Witchcraft – Legend
03 Evoken – Atra Mors
02 Baroness – Yellow & Green
01 Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

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Comments (41)
  1. How can you have Pig Destroyer and not Pug Destroyer?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNTzA6gMtrk

  2. I really enjoyed Grand Magus this year. Kind of hokey riff-metal album in the same vein as Dawnbringer (which is superior I think). Also Bosse-de-Nage and Samothrace I really enjoyed. Krallice I guess would be up there. Years Past Matter was released this year right?

  3. while i loved Yellow & Green, no way in hell it was metal album.

    • I think Decibel calls the list “Top 40 Albums” because they want to have a place for albums like Yellow & Green and The Seer which may not be explicitly metal but are not totally out of place on a diverse list like this.

  4. Well, neither is Swans. I don’t think an album has to be metal to make the list, just “extreme.” Last year’s Opeth album was even less metal and it was in the top 5.

  5. … And let the 2012 listopalooza BEGINNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!

  6. Sort of a weak metal year, IMO, after a KILLER 2011. Still some very good releases. I’d probably have Pallbearer at #1 on the strength of “Foreigner” alone. The first 5 minutes of that one are about as perfect as you can get in metal.

    I’d stick Nachtmystium and Yakuza on the list–neither were the bands’ best work, but still very, very good albums. “Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams” on the Nachtmystium album was probably one of my favorite metal tracks this year, too. Maybe the first truly “happy” sounding black metal song?

  7. I love Decibel, but can’t pretend to understand any of their year-end lists. I also can’t believe Dawnbringer were dissed. Makes no sense, given how great the new one is. I’m glad to see the Baroness album up there after the beatdowns it received, but it’s even higher than I’d expect! Pleasantly surprised to see Witchcraft and Royal Thunder up high, but then where are Graveyard and Christian Mistress? Neurosis are cool of course, but their labelmates/buds Ufomammut kick the shit out of that album. Similarly, I’d take the Conan album over Pallbearer’s, which I like, but would rate it down closer to the Saint Vitus.

    • Yeah, pretty glad Royal Thunder made it to rep the more straight ahead rock side of metal (with a lady singer to boot), but Graveyard are still the standard bearers in that department and that Christian Mistress might be my favorite metal album of the year (although, I’m several months behind).

  8. yeah, it’s sort of weird to see The Seer that low on the list. Either keep it off and say you’re sticking to metal or move up to where it belongs. Converge and Baroness are solid choices at #1 and #2. I really liked the new Blut Aus Nord album, I’d probably put that one even higher than they already have. I haven’t really heard a majority of the stuff on here, since this was basically the first year I actually got into metal, but now I have a whole list of albums to check out!

  9. Sad to see that Selenelion by Vaura got so overlooked this year, it was definitely one of the most unique metal albums to come out in a while. Also there were some great black metal releases this year (Krallice, Nachtmystium, Ash Borer).

    I do think that Converge and Baroness are very fitting for the top spots, but personally I’d flip their positions. Nothing else sounded like that Baroness album this year, and it totally reinvented the band

  10. Yeah, seriously, where the fuck is Bosse-de-Nage? That album’s great. I don’t dabble with metal as much as other genres but I think my top10 goes (I’m not including Swans but that would be #1 if I did)
    1. Bosse-de-Nage – III
    2. Pig Destroyer – Book Burner
    3. Gojira – L’Enfaunt Savauge
    4. Krallice – Years Past Matter
    5. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
    6. Liberteer – Better to Live on Your Feet than Die on Your Knees
    7. Baroness – Yellow (not green, I though the Yellow side was way better)
    8. Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
    9. Drudkh – Eternal Turn of the Wheel
    10. Primitive Weapons – The Shadow Gallery

  11. Yellow & Green was lame as FUCK Y’ALL AND YOU DON’T EVEN WANT TO ADMIT IT OH MY GOD

    but hey, where’s my Killer Mike? He’s metal as shit. Fuck this magazine/website/newsletter/whatever. ‘nother bowl of captain crunch

  12. Glad to see L’Enfaunt Savauge on here but only #40? Groundbreaking Death Metal is always slept on…

  13. A Life Once Lost > Meshuggah? GTFO

  14. Thrilled to see Gaza on the list (Salt Lake represent), but they should be higher. Biggest omissions: Black Breath, Acephalix, Goatwhore.

  15. Nice to see the inclusion of Blut Aus Nord, a lot of people seemed to forget that actually came out this year and rounded off one of the best bodies of work to come around in a long, long time.

  16. I have a strange feeling that Decibel really likes metal.

  17. Have to wonder how much attention you guys were even paying to black metal. New Deathspell Omega, Dodecohedron, Necrite…all of these bands dropped awesome cds on our heads this year, imo. DSO is one of the elite BM bands and you guys say there was little good black metal out there. Get out of your metalhead bedrooms and explore the world. ;)

    Good list overall, but irked that you missed some of the best black metal of the year. :)

    • I think the Deathspell Omega record got overlooked because it’s an EP, and didn’t arrive with the fanfare of Paracletus. But you’re right, it is great.

  18. where is Graveyard- Lights Out? Light years better than Witchcraft and a lot of stuff on this list. Also two of the dudes from Witchcraft are in a band called Troubled Horse who just put out an album this year called “Step Inside”, which probably should have got a nod too. Sweden FTW

  19. This list is dogshit, but if you look at the magazine’s staff member’s monthly picks you’d understand. Those people aren’t that hardcore. It’s a damn shame that Metal Maniacs got the boot. And Terrorizer costs too fucking much. Some of these bands they listed are so goddamn weak. Where the fuck was Ihsahn, Goatwhore, Deathspell Omega, Nile, Anaal Nathrakh, and as much hype as the zine built up around Nachtmystium it didn’t even make the list??? Their covers always says Americas only extreme metal magazine…well, where in the fuck are the extreme bands?

  20. Torche is awesome.

  21. PROPAGANDHI – Failed States

  22. So Agalloch – Faustian Echoes EP and Inverloch – Dark/Subside, but not Deathspell Omega – Drought?…

    Also Farsot – Insects came out last year… Like others I’m surprised Bosse-de-Nage – III isn’t in the list especially since its “artsy and post”…

    They have stupid throwback crap like The Shrine – Primitive Blast, but not Horseback – Half Blood which is actually unique and heavy at times….

    Though I’m very happy to see Author & Punisher – Urus Americanus and Panopticon – Kentucky!

  23. Old Man Gloom – NO

  24. I think someone screwed up and put Gojira and Meshuggah at the wrong end of the list.

  25. No BTBAM? ):

  26. I know I’m a little late to the party, but It’s good to see Witchcraft and Pallbearer so high on the list. No Christian Mistress? Wow. I’m actually surprised, considering Agony & Opium ranked at 29 on the 2010 list. Also, why is dB so madly, head-over-heels in love with Converge? On their Top 100 Albums of the Decade list a few years ago, they included literally EVERY album Converge released that decade, with Jane Doe at number 1. Man, talk about over-representation. Jeez.

  27. lol @ this list. lol @ cattle decap being top 40 anything. lol @ swans being much lower. lol @ how shit municipal waste are. lol @ that sterile retro crap Witchcraft being No4.

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