Top Albums of 2011: 75 to 51


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)!

— Mike Nelson

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