Starting next Monday, December 19, and continuing through Friday, December 23, Invisible Oranges will publish its list of the top 50 albums of 2011. We’re featuring 10 albums per day, starting at 50 and counting down to 1.
Our methodology for determining this list was as follows:
All Invisible Oranges contributors and editorial staff (20 people in total) were polled and allowed to cast a ballot. Each voter was given 210 points to divvy up between 20 albums. The hitch: no album could receive more than 20 points or fewer than 1 point. The easiest way to do this was for the voter to allocate 20 points to his or her No. 1 album, while his or her No. 20 album got 1 point (counting down or up from those poles, in one-point increments). Voters choosing to include fewer than 20 albums had their total points allowance diminished commensurately.
When all votes were cast, we added up the total points for each album. The No. 1 album (which will be revealed next Friday) received the most total points; the No. 50 album (which will be revealed next Monday) received the 50th most total points. In all, 229 albums received votes.
In this way, we hoped to achieve something of a democratic system for determining the top albums of 2011. No one person’s taste influenced this list more than that of any other person—it was the result of a collaboration; the sum of our listening habits, personalities and preferences.
Our only parameters were that the albums be somehow characterized as “heavy metal”: EPs as well as LPs were eligible; demos and cassette-only releases were fine, too. We defined 2011 loosely, too: the work didn’t need an official 2011 release date to be eligible—as long as 2011 was the year during which the album made its impact. (We also allowed for consideration albums such as Kvelertak and Opus Eponymous—both of which were released and widely celebrated in 2010 but were released in the United States in 2011.)
Those were the rules we played by. For now, we’re offering a look at what just missed the list: albums 75 to 51. Why start at 75? Well, every one of the 25 albums listed here received at least 20 points: enough to qualify for a single first-place vote, and thus, enough to warrant a mention. But also because, in my opinion anyway, the upper reaches of these lists are often much more interesting than the winners’ circles. Please let us know your favorites of 2011, too, and let us know what we missed. With that, we commence the countdown (and the ensuing arguments)!
75. Crooked Necks – Alright Is Exactly What It Isn’t
74. Ravencult – Morbid Blood
73. Drugs of Faith – Corroded
72. Dornenreich – Flammentriebe
71. Fen – Epoch
70. Russian Circles – Empros
69. Black Tusk – Set the Dial
68. Raspberry Bulbs – Nature Tries Again
67. In Solitude – The World, The Flesh, The Devil
66. Giant Squid – Cenotes
65. Encoffination – O’Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres
64. All Pigs Must Die – God Is War
63. Rotten Sound – Cursed
62. Glorior Belli – The Great Southern Darkness
61. Earth – Angels of Darkness Demons of Light part 1
60. Subrosa – No Help for the Mighty Ones
59. KEN Mode – Venerable
58. Antediluvian – Through the Cervix Of Hawwah
57. Wolvhammer – The Obsidian Plains
56. Acid Witch – Stoned
55. Rotted – Ad Nauseam
54. Jungle Rot – Kill On Command
53. Midnight – Satanic Royalty
52. Oranssi Pazuzu – Kosmonument
51. Rwake – Rest