Friday, March 12, 2010

The Top 50 Albums of the Last Decade: Recap

Now that I've concluded my list of The Top 50 Metal Albums of the 2000's, I thought I'd provide a bit of a summary. It really was a great decade for metal, seeing the increasing cross-genre mutations as well as the development of new genres.

I suppose many of you are wondering why I didn't call it the top 30 metal albums of the last decade. The explanation that I want you to add your picks is only part of the story. I also thought people would search for a top 50 list a lot more than a top 30 list. I suppose I could have called it the top 100 metal albums of the decade, or the 75 best metal albums of the 2000s, or the top 40 metal albums of the last 10 years. And now people Googling any of those will find this, eventually.

For those who like to keep score, here are the points based on band home country:

Denmark: 3
Finland: 1
France: 2
Germany: 2
Norway: 1
Sweden: 7
U.S.A.: 14

For me, it's not surprising that Sweden, Denmark, and the U.S. are so well-represented on the list. You would expect most of it to come from Scandinavia and the U.S. What is surprising is that France made the list at all--let alone twice. If you would have predicted two great metal bands to come out of France ten years ago, I would have laughed at you. I'm also a bit surprised Finland and Norway didn't have stronger showings. I'm not sure whether that means the U.S. is overrepresented, or if Sweden is, or if both are, but it is puzzling.

Here is the score by record label:

Century Media: 2
Elektra: 1
Epic: 1
Firebox: 1
InsideOut: 1
Ipecac: 1
Listenable: 1
Metal Blade: 4
Metal Mind: 1
Music for Nations: 1
Nuclear Blast: 5
Rebel Monster: 1
Relapse: 5
Roadrunner: 2
Season of Mist: 1
Warner Bros.: 2

It's definitely no surprise that Nuclear Blast and Relapse dominate, being the two finest independent metal labels around. Metal Blade would have been my guess for third-best showing as well. I'm also unsurprised by the fact there was a moderate showing by the major labels, since they tend to pick up some of the greats. So, truly, no surprises whatsoever when you look at it by record label.

And, here is the score by primary genre (which is often open to interpretation):

Black metal: 1
Death metal: 8
Doom metal: 2
Groove metal: 1
Pure heavy metal: 3
Metalcore: 1
Nu-metal: 2
Post-metal: 1
Progressive metal: 5
Sludge metal: 2
Symphonic metal: 1
Thrash metal: 3

Death metal clearly dominates. I would expect this, because it's such a rich genre with many subgenres. If you want to break it down further, 2 are melodic death and 4 are technical death, the latter of which may be a bit over-represented. What is notably absent from the list is power metal, which is not one of my favorites (although I do like some of it), and this is why I invite you to add your picks in the comments to each post. I definitely think black metal is underrepresented as well, and after I realized this I started picking up a lot more of it--so the next time I come up with a list, it should be much better represented.

Check out the whole list and add your favorites here.

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