Decibel Top 40 Albums Of 2010

People had a lot to say about Decibel’s Top 40 Of 2009. I think this year’s list is even more worthy of a debate. As mentioned in the past, I’m a fan of the magazine — besides the New Yorker, The Believer, and the new-look Bookforum, it’s the only publication I read cover to cover (beer column included). (Sorry Terrorizer, I’m not all that into UK show reviews.) That said, it’s always fun taking apart a list. I agree with a lot of the records that show up here, not always their placement. For instance, I like Torche’s Songs For Singles OK, but it shouldn’t be in the Top 10. And, though it’s a good one, Enslaved’s Axioma Ethica Odini hasn’t hit me like Vertebrae did. I’ve made no secret of my love/like for the newest ones by Agalloch, Burzum, Triptykon, Kylesa, Lantlôs, Dawnbringer, Ludicra, Nails, Darkthrone, Sailors With Wax Wings, Atheist, Kvelertak, Ghost, etc., and I’m putting on a show in a couple of days with the band at No 2 — but again, the placement’s not always right. (And there are stinkers.) Did they get No. 1 right?

40 DarkthroneCircle The Wagons
39 LantlôsNeon
38 Hail of Bullets – On Divine Winds
37 The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis
36 Decrepit Birth – Polarity
35 IntronautValley of Smoke
34 Early Graves – Goner
33 The BodyAll The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood
32 Father Befouled – Morbid Destitution Of Covenant
31 Deftones – Diamond Eyes
30 NachtmystiumAddicts: Black Meddle Part II
29 Christian MistressAgony & Opium
28 Unearthly TranceV
27 Fear Factory – Mechanize
26 Pivixki – Gravissima
25 WitheredDualitas
24 GhostOpus Eponymous
23 Integrity – The Blackest Curse
22 KvelertakKvelertak
21 Deathspell OmegaParacletus
20 Electric Wizard – Black Masses
19 AtheistJupiter
18 BurzumBelus
17 High On FireSnakes For The Divine
16 KylesaSpiral Shadow
15 Horseback – The Invisible Mountain
14 ColiseumHouse With a Curse
13 Sailors With Wax WingsSailors With Wax Wings
12 Immolation – Majesty And Decay
11 CastevetMounds of Ash
10 The Austerity Program – Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn
09 NailsUnsilent Death
08 Thou – Summit
07 LudicraThe Tenant
06 TorcheSongs for Singles
05 Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini
04 DawnbringerNucleus
03 TriptykonEparistera Daimones
02 WatainLawless Darkness
01 AgallochMarrow of the Spirit

The above links go to the appropriate HTC post on the mentioned band, in case you want to supplement your discussion with some sounds from the listed album. (Look for me to add write ups and appropriate MP3s for a track from Ghost’s awesome Opus Eponymous tomorrow and 2007 list heavies Deathspell Omega on Friday.) I don’t want to give anything away re: my 2010 list (look for it the end of December), and not all of these will appear on it, but to get things rolling … no Swans? Locrian? Though, agreed, Horseback is a worthy inclusion. To continue with more obviously “metal” choices, where’s Cathedral’s The Guessing Game? Abscess’s Dawn Of Inhumanity? Salome’s Terminal? Maybe Alcest? Or, as far as the blackened stuff, Drudkh, Profanatica, Krieg, Winterfylleth, woe, and Satanic Warmaster? Just throwing out ideas, food for thought. Likewise: I imagine some of you curious about what happened to the Ocean. I’ll stop, you start.

Comments (37)
  1. I know it’s a cliché for people to say “this is not even metal!”, but seriously, Torche? SWWW? Deftones? Other than that, not too bad a list, I guess, despite the omission of Negura Bunget, Altar of Plagues and Year of no Light.

  2. I was surprised to see Kanye on the list.

  3. So did metallers not like the Twilight LP?

    • Does anyone know if there is specific reason that Decibel constantly snubs Southern Lord releases in general? Something I’ve been wondering about for a while now.

    • I love the Twilight album, and think its bs that it is not on the list. It’s easily in my top 5 of the year.

  4. Thats all you read? There’s some great magazines out there

  5. I love Decibel, but usually find their lists to be VERY hit-and-miss with me. This is no exception.

    Love the Deftones, Watain, Atheist, Darkthrone, Decrepit Birth. Wish Kvelertak was higher, but it’s not for everyone. My issues: Torche? Burzum? Fear Factory? Those records were yawn-inducing. and NAILS!?! After having seen their fucking abysmal live show i refuse to listen to the record, but i cannot believe those clowns are getting this much love.

    Should be here: Arsis, Shining.

  6. I’ve never been able to get into Agalloch — it just doesn’t click for me.

    Stuff I Liked More Than Some of the Stuff They Liked:

    Black Breath
    Slough Feg
    The Crown

    I’m only now hearing the newest Ash Pool and am digging it, and I like that new Magrudergrind EP that all the grindcore folks think they aren’t allowed to like. And that Twilight LP was a real stinker.

  7. disappointed to see no alcest, krieg or harvey milk

    seriously though, where the fuck is “Satan Worshipping Doom?”

  8. Twilight, Altar of Plagues, Culted (did that record come out this year or last?), & Mose Giganticus deserves an honorable mention.

  9. definitely agree with agalloch at number one, for sure best album of the year. As you mentioned brandon why the hell are woe, krieg, drudkh, and alcest not here? don’t know if deftones or fear factory should be on there, but that’s not much different than anybody else. I;m really glad thou made the list that is a badass album, but like you said torche is WAYYY too high, and watain as well. Other than all that, top ten is pretty great. I;m also actually really happy that lantlos made the list i figured alcest would get all the praise and lantlos would be left out, guess not.

    • I also find it funny that everybody on stereogum shit on the story about decibel’s top forty of 09. Glad we metalheads have a separate section of stereogum now free of prejudice haha, nice work brandon.

  10. Nods to US Christmas and Motorpsycho would’ve been nice. The Enslaved guys gave Heavy Metal Fruit some acknowledgement on their top 5 lists, at least.

  11. I’m happy to see The Austerity Program get some accolades. Seems like these guys are hype-proof.

  12. I was disappointed to see Unearthly Trance so low on the list. V was an incredible record and probably their best; it certainly deserved to be in the top 10, if not top 5. The Howling Wind also deserved to be on there somewhere- another crusher of an album. Coffinworm, Harvey Milk and Alcest could have displaced some trash. Stuff I’m glad they included: Ludicra, Castevet (though the vocals now grate on my nerves a little) Dawnbringer, Thou. And re: Agalloch, Marrow is a pretty amazing album (I’m still a little partial to Ashes, though.) I guess they’re going to be hated on now that they’re getting proper recognition, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

  13. Where’s Shining (Norway Jazz-metal Shining, not Swedish Shining) on this list? Blackjazz was one of the best albums of the year by far.

    Also, no Ocean. And Intronaut should definitely be further up the list.

    Other than that it’s an alright list.

  14. I agree on the absence of Black Breath. Should have been on the list. I really liked The Secret’s new one, too.

  15. It would have been great to see Yakuza make the list. Of Seismic Consequence is amazing.

  16. It’s disappointing that Swans missed the list, but at least they got #1 right.

  17. No Zoroaster. miss…

  18. My absolute favourite for this year is Abigor’s “Time is the Sulphur in the Veins of the Saints”. And if we include in the list albums released in December 2009, I would like to mention Nokturnal Mortum’s masterpiece “The Voice of Steel”, which was out on December 24.

  19. the torche EP was amazing, not sure why people are complaining. “Out Again” is my favorite song of the year.

    Immolation should be top 5. Agree that the list is missing Slough Feg and Shining.

  20. DSO at 21? Is that a misprint?

    It absolutely is a stronger release than Axioma…Is that even really open for debate?

  21. I think this list covers the year in metal quite well actually, sure Twilight, Krieg, and Trap Them were left out but, Torche’s EP was FANTASTIC. I saw them live as well and they deserve the 6th place. Glad to see the new Kylesa on there as well, sure it may not be as heavy but if you look at it from a non-traditional metal standpoint it is quite fantastic. I think this list summed up the year quite well, especially having Agalloch at #1.

  22. Good list but you forgot Yakuza. I’m sure that was an oversight.

  23. Sorry, I meant Decibel, not YOU as in Stereogum. In the process of reading the list, I forgot who compiled it. So, is Stereogum making a top 40 heavy list for ’10?

  24. Does Brandon not like The Austerity Program? They’re one of my favorites but I don’t believe you’ve ever really mentioned them. I don’t know about the Top Ten placement but I think they deserve to be on there.

  25. I’d have put .neon by Lantlos higher, added Blessed and Cursed by Devil Sold His Soul and Majesty and Decay by Immolation…also, yeah, Monument to Time End. But Agalloch’s album definitely takes the top spot in my book.

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