Thoughts On Decibel’s 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of The Decade Issue

Posted by on December 7, 2009

dB_cover_top100of00s_largeAnd here’s #1 on our Year-End List Of Metal Lists.

The folks at Decibel were nice enough to send over a copy of their special edition 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of The Decade magazine in hopes of a plug, and well, I’m just enough of a whore to do it. Our bros at MetalSucks covered it too, with entirely too much text for me to process, but I probably agree with whatever they say.

In all seriousness, though, this is the best $6 a metalhead could spend – especially a young one who started high school after 2005. It’s a terrific read, cover-to-cover, and the sort of thing you’ll dust off in 5 or 10 years and re-read with joy.

I won’t get too into the list itself, because frankly, these types of things are usually an exercise in futility. They’re always just a little off and stir up tons of controversy.

Decibel‘s stab at it, however, is just about the best possible outcome I could expect. The write-ups for each album are fantastic and the list is generally well thought-out. My only complaints are the exclusion of Tool’s two releases and Glassjaw’s Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence (yes, one could argue they aren’t metal, but the list does feature At The Drive-In and The Paper Chase). Decibel also does itself a disservice by taking up a shit-ton of spots by using nearly every release this decade by Converge, Mastodon, Opeth, ISIS, Jesu, Neurosis and The Dillinger Escape Plan, but to be fair, those releases individually did pretty much account for 90% of listenable music in the 2000’s.

What the list does (except for the omission of Lateralus) unquestionably get right is its top 10 spots, with Converge’s Jane Doe deservedly taking the top spot, followed by seminal releases from Cave In, Mastodon, Opeth, ISIS and other risk-taking and innovative artists from an era that will be remembered more for silly derivative sub-genres and MySpace-buzz-one-stream-wonder burnouts.

The issue also includes two bonus “Hall Of Fame” pieces from previous issues for its #1 and #3 albums, Jane Doe and Mastodon’s Remission, which are both fantastic reads.

Here’s what the issue did for me: after reading through, I made a massive collection of playlists of albums from the past decade that I love and have huge significance to me, but haven’t listened to in a few years for one reason or another. And I’m a cynical curmudgeon who can’t think of anything good when pressed to come up with best-of lists. In that sense, this magazine is a success and a must-read.

Categorised in: Lists

  • Mike

    Where’s the likes of Psycroptic’s tech-death masterpiece The Scepter of the Ancients? Mercenary’s prog/melodic death opus The Hours That Remain? Wintersun’s close to perfection self-titled album? Then underground classics such as Garden of Shadow – Oracle Moon, Byzantine – Oblivion Beckons, the inclusion of any Amon Amarth album, Cynic’s Traced in Air and plenty of others that have been excluded for non-metal albums.

    However, glad they recognized Arsis, Withered and Decapitated (wrong album however).

  • Martin

    lots of core based stuff…

  • Mike, you have to think about the impact these albums had rather than just how good they may or may not be.

    I’ll give you Cynic, which was a nice comeback story and a great record, but the rest? I don’t think any of them did anything to progress the genre or became particularly notable. Not to say the list isn’t perfect, as not every album on it fits that criteria, but I think they were as close as one can get.