Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm Calling Shenanigans

Disgruntled geek-elite metalheads can complain all they want, but Decibel Magazine is without a doubt in my mind the most accepted of published metal media currently out there. Unlike the Kerrangs and Revolvers of the world, Decibel seems to have its finger on the pulse of the less publicized and more musically gifted acts out there. While Ozzy, Disturbed and mall-core biz like The Devil Wears Prada frequently adorn the cover of the big wigs, Decibel can be counted on to stay true to it's pure metal roots... most of the time, at least. But after a serious amount of contemplation and listening, I think I can emphatically exclaim like a Swiss alphorner dude that well over 50% of their 2010 Top 40 list was bullshit.

Seriously... Where was Overkill? Alcest? Ihsahn? Or even Periphery? I don't think I'm alone when I suggest that the list, especially some of the top twenty albums, is almost Pitchfork-like in it's highbrow touting of stuff like Nails' Unsilent Death (which was released in limited fashion up until October and clocked in at just over 14 minutes... and don't get me wrong, it's fucking awesome crusty grindcore... but, really?) or The Body's All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood (sure, they can joke about Sunn0))) with everyone else, but when an obscure noise-doom act comes up and makes what is at least a solid record, it's worthy of a high spot?). Don't even get me started on the inclusion of Burzum's fucking tripe, let alone it sitting above Dillinger. And what the fuck... Pivixki? A free form indie-jazz band from Australia? I could rant a hell of a lot longer, but it's gotta be said upfront; how can a mag that consisently gets it at least 60% right and was unafraid to include Trivium's Ascendancy (which Mick will always go to bat for) in their 2005 Top 40 completely shred the manual and suddenly go damn near hipster metal on us?

Now don't get me wrong. I have a profound love for what Albert Mudrian and Cosmo Lee do over thurr. The interviews are excellent; the band spotlights are great; the Decibel Hall of Fame is one of the best features of any metal media group out there. But when they go from honestly touting the best releases and supporting successful bands that have made musically adept and engaging records to digging up whatever "extreme" or "kvlt" gig they can find to wow the uninformed, it deserves to be pointed out and bitched about. Sure, every list is worth scrutinizing and being a dick about to a certain degree. But when it gets like this, one has to question the seriousness or devotion to the cause of actually promoting the best heavy releases of a given year.

/rant finished.

Now, lets go listen to Maiden and all be happy together.

- Jack

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