Trendkillers #1- Death to List Culture!
In Trendkillers, we will engage the unseen and/or uncontested trends that have permeated metal culture. Death to false idols!
We begin the Trendkillers series with the most tired and meaningless year end tradition in metal culture- the top 10 list. Or is it a top 20, top 40, top 100 list? Do 100 death metal albums even get released in a year, or are some blogs trying to virtue-signal how many albums they are aware of? In any case, many metal bands and musicians consider this the crown jewel of their existence as it’s often the only chance they get to pad their narcissism and reaffirm their perceived importance in the grand scheme of things.
But take a closer look at any of these lists, and you’ll see that it’s often not about which albums are the best- but who the editor is closest friends with, who bought the most ad space on the zine, or who’s PR girl had the lowest cut tank-top. Isn’t it a coincidence that the editor of Decibel Magazine WAS IN one of the bands in a top 10 list of theirs? (editor’s note- #3 in that list). More so, the internet is so over-saturated with lists that being on one has almost no meaning. Every metal site has one, every metal musician has one, every metal journalist has one. We don’t need blogs posting 3 pages of year end lists, we need metal year end lists to die and get buried.
If you’re in a metal band, and you’re basing your self worth on how many lists you get on or how high you got on a list for some blog that you like (but on a post that won’t ever be read again after the first day)- it’s time to retire. Lists don’t matter- they never did, they never will, they are just a means of turning art into praise bating. And know that no matter how hard you work, and how good your album is, Nuclear Blast will be dropping $20,000 per year on ad space in any zine that has any chance of getting you decent album sales. Therefore, a bunch of their guys from the 90’s pushing soulless rehashed garbage will get 3 of the top slots and your confidence will take a hit it can’t afford to be taking.
There is no good that comes from year end lists. As a listener, you don’t need someone to give you a hierarchy of what albums to like this year- we’ve been liberated from that since the fall of the industry in the late 90’s. As a musician, base your value on how your music has expressed what you intended it to express, and stop letting others dictate your successes and failures. As a fan of the purer truths in metal, understand that top 10 lists are tainted by on factors outside of the music itself and reject them wholeheartedly.
I’m proud to announce that DMU will NOT be doing a year end list for 2017 because it’s trendy, lame, overdone, meaningless, and for insecure nobodies. Most of this year’s metal music sucked anyway. So metal sites, shove your top 66 album list up your ass- I don’t care, and guess what, nobody else cares.
Tags: 2017, Album of the Year, Best Metal, music, narcissism, Top 10, Top 20, Trendkillers, Year end lists
29 thoughts on “Trendkillers #1- Death to List Culture!”
That is too bad! You guys usually unearth some cool stuff and leave it for the end of year list.
DMU is so hip they even reject their own trends… and they were rejecting trends before it was trendy to reject trends! Now that’s saying something, though what, exactly, is not really clear.
Blood – Inferno is the only good album from this year. The rest, to the pogroms !
“I’mma write a list of things that suck!”
*writes ‘#1: lists’*
Excellent. You are correct. All of the “Best of” and “Top 10” lists don’t mean anything to a lot of us.
You guys just keep hitting the nails directly on the head with the reviews, especially the quick ones (in bulletpoint form) like the SMR’s.
What’s wrong with the mail/contact page?
Good! They’re always forced as if good metal comes out these days. No one’s going to trade listening to first album Amorphis or Demilich for Serpent Ascending and why listen to Kaeck when 90’s Darkthrone and Burzum already exist?
Not a fan of the Necrotic Disgorgement song either.
Have fun enabling hipsters like Serpent Ascending and Kaeck you faggot.
Go commit suicide.
Well done!! Thank you very much.
Yes, Year End lists are for the weak.
The Top 10 of 2017 could easily be worse than the Middle 10 of 1991.
So, there is a use for a list of, say, Very Good Albums of 2017. Awesome Albums of 2017.
It may be a list of 4, or 7, or 11.
As a listener, I DO need someone to tell me what albums to like, in the sense that I don’t have the wherewithal to tirelessly scour the world of music, so I appreciate DMU’s year-end wrap-ups, such as:
Certainly DMU’s lists aren’t “tainted by factors outside of the music itself”?
How the fuck else would I have heard of Sammath, Kaeck, Tarnkappe, Infamous, even Serpent Ascending, etc?
Granted, I don’t seek NO CLEAN SINGING’s advice on what albums to like, or Toilet Ov Hell, or Invisible Oranges, et al. I’ve come to generally trust DMU over the years, due to their mindset/outlook/philosophy/first principles.
Right, cause this website isn’t trendy:
Keeping with trends Brett did a best of 1999 – 2009: https://www.deathmetal.org/news/best-metal-of-the-decade-1999-2009/
And one can keep searching out the “best of” yearly trend on this site on their own cause my browser puked enough from searching trendy deathmetal.org. It’s super novel you’re not doing a list this year, but really it’s cause 2017 produced trash.
1. There already was a DMU 2017 Year End List.
2. I disagree completely. Of course most year-end lists are retarded, have questionable motivations, an obvious lack of knowledge and context, and should be ignored (which is easy). However, the 2010-2015 DMU lists were enormously valuable to me, and introduced me to music that I would not have come across otherwise. The purpose for this site has always been that it allows me to skip a lot of the bullshit, wasted time, and disappointment that accompanies an interest in underground music.
A possible solution: organize the positive (or at least non-negative) blog reviews so that they’re easily accessible in a sort of running tally. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with what year it is. This site has unearthed a lot of shit that’s worth hearing over the last 10 years that NO ONE else cares about, and that information should be more accessible. Up until now, the year end lists have gone a long way toward fulfilling that purpose.
3. There is a not-often-talked-about bias among younger intelligent metalheads to talk shit about whatever is current because, at this point, underground metal has such a huge back catalog that any sensible enthusiast will spend years swimming around in it before they get to the bottom. Is Kaeck as good as Darkthrone or Burzum? Of course not. But it’s still worth hearing, especially when you know every note of the relevant Darkthrone and Burzum releases by heart.
“A possible solution: organize the positive (or at least non-negative) blog reviews so that they’re easily accessible in a sort of running tally”
That is a good idea. Just because metal-archives copied the idea of a metal reviews site from LARM : The Fourth Reich of Reviews, does not mean, there can’t be a LARM 2.0 version from deathmetal.org.
Would be faster for everybody to access the reviews, find the bands they are curious about.
Yes there already was a 2017 DMU best list: http://archive.is/gRlJD
Whoever archived that is a hero. Is that Bestheicock album good?
It’s listenable but not especially.
Someone please refresh my memory. What albums were added to old “best of” lists right before their erasure? Infester, Varathron, and who else?
I don’t get the point of end of year lists but that’s only because almost all metal has been mediocre since the early 2000s (which was already part of a downward slide from the early 90s)
I couldn’t agree more with this article. These best-of lists are for impostering posers who think they’re cool and are realistically sucking the funderground phallus. If you don’t know what’s best then you just have bad taste anyway.
so, what are the top ten metal albums of this year ?
There is only a “Top 1” this year:
Suffocation – …of the Dark Light
I don’t agree with this. Sure, some of the albums on your end year lists don’t survive the test of time but every year you guys manage to find a few albums that are actually good. All the other major websites have horrible taste in metal anyways. I think you should reconsider doing it, even if there are 2-3 albums you find worthy.
The “list culture” mentioned in the article is only a symptom of the wider illness infesting music journalism. You are clearly aware of this since you mention the issues of music review sites being bought out and lists in general being based off factors other than musical quality. However, boycotting doing an end-year list is an ineffectual way to attack this illness. Exposing metal review sites that accept pay for reviews and generally engage in these sorts of practices for the fraud they are is one thing, but the other half of the coin is providing a real alternative that promotes music based on musical quality.
The underground metal is almost dead. Some kind of innovative like – Desecresy 2015/Timeghoul 1992-1994/Celebrate the Dead/Averse Sefira, are basically will not be inherited.
Tradition and high quality like “Godless Arrogance” is a very few special cases, its appearance was an accident in the development of metal in the 21st Centur, maybe “Promulgation of the Fall” can also be one of these.
Why some readers of this website doesn’t like Kaeck/Tarnkappe/Serpent Ascending, because they even have some of the quality of the real underground metal,but still mediocre, lack of vitality in artistic creation. Old school is old school, because it’s past.
There’s no real need of a list to discern what are DMU’s favourites this year, it’s only a matter of looking back on the albums that received praise here during the last 12 months: Heresiarch, Desecresy, Cromlech, Blood and not really much else.
If someone however feels the urge for an actual list, here’s a DMU-inspired best of, at least for people fluent in Spanish: http://www.elnegrometal.es/los_mejores_discos_de_metal_de_2017.html
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