I listened to a lot of metal this year, probably the most since my teenage nu-metal era. I tried really hard to keep the list short and I tried really hard to keep a lot of big name popular stuff off the list. Clearly, I failed on both counts. One nice thing that happened without trying hard for was the inclusion of a decent amount of trans/queer and POC musicians as well as artists not from America or European countries (and even after that about half of the list is just straight white dudes). One thing I was surprised about was how hard it was for me to find doom or black metal made by Black or Asian folks. I sought out that music this year and didn’t come up with much. So please definitely share with me if you know of anything that fits the bill.
I loved a lot of records released by Sentient Ruin and Amor Fati this year (and every year). I didn’t want the list to be overrun with their releases and was so strict I ended up only including one per label. Gilead Media, on the other hand, I was not paying attention to and ended up with three spots on the list. Oops. Either way, all three of those labels released a fuckton of amazing music this year. Go buy everything they put out.
I hope you find something new on this list that hits you just right. There’s a lot of variety, from righteous & blissful black metal to impenetrably depressive funeral doom. And every record has a link to the Bandcamp page where you can listen (and a lot of them are set to pay what you can). Let me know in the comments what I missed and what some of your favorites of the year were.
As always: Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for making incredible music.