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November 24, 2009

Decibel's Top 40 Albums Of 2009

thubmnail icon: Decibel's Top 40 Albums Of 2009

I enjoy Decibel. It's a magazine I happily subscribe to and read from cover to cover each month. In general they're not as into weirdo black metal as I am, and they like Mastodon more than I do, but all said it's a great publication. So, yeah, I look forward to their thoughts on things. That said, it's always easy to nitpick: Looking quickly at their Top 40 Albums Of 2009, Krallice and Funeral Mist should be closer to the top. That, and there's no Heims. Also, the lack of Absu is strange. All said, though, I like their choices. In fact, four of their top 10 fall into my top 10 (which I'll be posting closer to the end of the year). Other complaints? I still don't think Isis's Wavering Radiant is all that great. Ditto Crack The Skye (though they did position other Georgia bands correctly). I like the nods given to Cobalt, Magrudergrind, the Atlas Moth, and Gaza, all bands who released great albums that might otherwise fall below the radar in other publications. Worth nothing: Scandinavian black metal made a comeback just in time for Until The Light Takes Us and Burzum's post-prison album. Interesting to me: Gates Of Slumber took a nosedive from Decibel's 2008 Top 40. Also Interesting: Any guess which NYC band shows up at #8?

40 Funebrarum - The Sleep Of Morbid Dreams
39 Millions - Gather Scatter
38 Municipal Waste - Massive Aggressor
37 Javelina - Beasts Among Sheep
36 Suffocation - Blood Oath
35 Goes Cube - Another Day Has Passed
34 Culted - Below The Thunders Of The Upper Deep
33 Krallice - Dimensional Bleedthrough
32 Brutal Truth - Evolution Through Revolution
31 The Red Chord - Fed Through The Teeth Machine
30 Keelhaul - Keelhaul's Triumphannt Return To Obscurity
29 Katatonia - Night Is The New Day
28 Gaza - He Is Never Coming Back
27 Goatwhore - Carving Out The Eyes Of God
26 City Of Ships - Look What God Did To Us
25 Burnt By The Sun - Heart Of Darkness
24 The Gates Of Slumber - Hymns Of Blood And Thunder
23 Funeral Mist - Maranatha
22 Mournful Congregation - The June Frost
21 Altar Of Plauges - White Tomb
20 Asphyx - Death...The Brutal Way
19 The Atlas Moth - A Glorified Piece Of Blue Sky
18 Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us
17 Mastodon - Crack The Skye
16 YOB - The Great Cessation
15 Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest
14 Magrudergrind - Magrudergrind
13 Obscura - Cosmogenesis
12 Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Agorapocalypse
11 Immortal - All Shall Fall
10 Isis - Wavering Radiant
09 Marduk - Wormwood
08 Tombs - Winter Hours
07 Slayer - World Painted Blood
06 Kylesa - Static Tensions
05 Cobalt - Gin
04 Napalm Death - Time Waits No Slave
03 Coalesce - Ox
02 Converge - Axe To Fall
01 Baroness -The Blue Record

Baroness, Converge, and Coalesce are definitely worthy. YOB and Magrudergrind were both in the last Show No Mercy I did at Pitchfork, if you want more info. Otherwise, have been listening to Paradise Lost's Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us sorta obsessively now that it's getting dark at 4PM. Ditto the Katatonia. Decibel's Top Five That Didn't Make The Cut:

05 Irritate - Ten Stabs Of Demented Violence
04 Pelican - What We All Come To Need
03 Skeletonwitch - Breathing The Fire
02 Portal - Swarth
01 Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue

Posted at 4:43 PM by brandon in


Biggest fail on stereogum yet?

Posted by: Crapola at 11/24/09 4:57 PM  | Reply
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Quite possibly.

Posted by: hubs  in reply to Crapola's comment at 11/24/09 4:58 PM  | Reply
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don't hate on metal and metal won't hate on u. if you wanted people to hate pretentious indie music-listeners you're mos def keeping that dream alive with ur all-knowing stupidity.

Side note: Converge's Axe To Fall is a great record.

Posted by: defwfwgregregreg  in reply to hubs's comment at 11/24/09 5:14 PM  | Reply
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If you want to talk about big fails Stereogum, I can't believe you haven't published Q's list. It's been out for a long while.

Posted by: Gray  in reply to Crapola's comment at 11/24/09 10:13 PM  | Reply
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epic fail

Posted by: Poor taste at 11/24/09 5:00 PM  | Reply
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hi ohhhhh epic fail guy is here. i'm so freaking original with my hilarious "epic fail". loser.

Posted by: muddy balls  in reply to Poor taste's comment at 11/24/09 6:16 PM  | Reply
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Nobody listens to this crap on stereogum. So yes, this is an epic fail.

Posted by: Crapola  in reply to muddy balls's comment at 11/24/09 6:19 PM  | Reply
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i listen to these band and i'm on stereogum. is there some sort of registration of "certain bands you are allowed to listen to AND be on stereogum."??? if so send it to me cause i'd like to know.

Posted by: charlie fog  in reply to Crapola's comment at 11/24/09 8:43 PM  | Reply
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Yes but the registration link is always so hard to find. I think it might be somewhere in the top left, I'm not sure.

Posted by: AJackson profile link  in reply to charlie fog's comment at 11/24/09 9:24 PM  | Reply
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are u sick?

Posted by: micha  in reply to Crapola's comment at 11/25/09 7:29 AM  | Reply
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Goatwhore > Magrudgergrind

Posted by: Rrrrick at 11/24/09 5:13 PM  | Reply
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Posted by: Bob K.  in reply to Rrrrick's comment at 11/25/09 10:55 PM  | Reply
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these titles are 26 "look what god did to us" at 27 "carving out the eyes of god " and then at 28 "he is not coming back"...well,why should carved out his fucking eyes!

Posted by: therevelationkid at 11/24/09 5:33 PM  | Reply
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Damn, I still haven't heard like half of these. Need to give priority to The Atlas Moth and Absu soon. Oh, Krallice PWND this year.

Posted by: totalvibration profile link at 11/24/09 5:47 PM  | Reply
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Damn, I didn't even know that Krallice put out a new record this year! They do totally rip though, saw them back in May with Wolves In The Throne Room, fantastic show. Mick Barr can truly do no wrong.

Posted by: Weeam profile link  in reply to totalvibration's comment at 11/26/09 3:34 PM  | Reply
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The new one by Isis was brilliant. Mastodon never disappoints and Converge was incredible too. I'll have to check out some of the rest of the ones found in the top ten. Nice list. Thanks for posting this.

Posted by: SubSickAlien profile link at 11/24/09 6:13 PM  | Reply
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i don't know about you guys, but i sure do like lower case brandon more than the upper case Brandon

Posted by: grover profile link at 11/24/09 6:37 PM  | Reply
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Where's Cannibal Corpse? Weren't they in Ace Ventura in 1994? Seems like that makes their new record worthy of a top 50 mention.

Posted by: bryan at 11/24/09 6:38 PM  | Reply
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thanks for sharing this...i appreciate it...i check up on stereogum at least once a day and i love metal, so some of us do listen to this "crap"....
as for the ratings- i agree that Krallice should have been higher and i'm surprised that Sunn 0)))'s Monoliths & Dimensions didn't make the list
also, i would have liked to see Wolves in the Throne Room's Black Cascade on there...but oh well

Posted by: adudefromthenet at 11/24/09 7:03 PM  | Reply
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Check out some animal collective, you will stop liking metal instantly.

Posted by: Crapola  in reply to adudefromthenet's comment at 11/24/09 7:06 PM  | Reply
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seriously Crapola, fuck your face.

i love metal as well as animal collective, beach house and the dirty projectors.

music is music is music is music. grow up jackass.

Posted by: vjdsaovanovmikfp  in reply to Crapola's comment at 11/24/09 9:27 PM  | Reply
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You are scum.

Posted by: Zero7teen profile link  in reply to vjdsaovanovmikfp's comment at 11/24/09 9:58 PM  | Reply
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That's right! Because once you've listened to Animal Collective, you realize "WAIT! There is music I can listen to that would be considered even more unlistenable to others than my agoraphobic nosebleed records! (and to me too)! I" guess you don't have to be in a metal band to make purposely dissonant music that doesn't use you know, melody, or song writing. Just 4 indie kid hipsters with ecstacy and protools.
For the record, I have nothing against metal at all. I haven't listened to it a lot lately, but that's more about me than metal. Most metal even at its worst has more talent and melody and etc ad infinitum whatever traits you prefer to animal collective. Like David Cross said, I would rather listen to the death rattle of my child then listen to that shit.

Posted by: I'm Me, You're You! profile link  in reply to Crapola's comment at 11/26/09 2:44 PM  | Reply
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black cascade, yes. gorgeous record.

Posted by: brandon profile link  in reply to adudefromthenet's comment at 11/24/09 7:07 PM  | Reply
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glaring omission of sunn o)))'s monoliths and dimensions.

and the inclusion of that marduk record (especially top 10) is embarrassing, especially since they left out peste noire's ballade cuntre lo anemi francor. krallice is great but these idiots at decibel should really rethink publishing anything that tries suggest they know thing one about black metal.

Posted by: Tony Bones profile link at 11/24/09 8:12 PM  | Reply
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this seems like such a non sequitur from everything that stereogum posts.

seriously, who is this for? are there still any metal hipsters left?

Posted by: brandon at 11/24/09 8:15 PM  | Reply
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Just.... why does there need to be an entire regular thing for metal? I don't get it. You don't do that for electro or country or folk or WHATEVER. It just doesn't make any sense, is all.

Posted by: Elliot profile link  in reply to Scott's comment at 11/25/09 12:56 AM  | Reply
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Don't like it, don't read it. To me, Brandon's postings on metal are the best thing on this site.

Posted by: carson  in reply to Elliot's comment at 11/26/09 11:31 AM  | Reply
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Posted by: DT  in reply to brandon's comment at 11/24/09 10:44 PM  | Reply
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geesh, i guess i should've figured some metal fans are going to down vote comments that "naysay" metal.

i will say that i've been exposed to a good amount of metal and can appreciate but still probably have the unfair bias of associating metal with people who are stupid and the absurdity of mayhem, just as many feel those who listen to dirty projectors and animal collective just of recent are unoriginal and posers.

but seriously, to someone above, monoliths & dimensions? really?
i was pissed when critics ate that shit up.

Posted by: brandon  in reply to brandon's comment at 11/25/09 4:35 PM  | Reply
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Music IS music. But metal is not music.

mu·sic (myzk)
1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony or timbre.
2. Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.
a. A musical composition.
b. The written or printed score for such a composition.
c. Such scores considered as a group: We keep our music in a stack near the piano.
4. A musical accompaniment.
5. A particular category or kind of music.
6. An aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds: the music of the wind in the pines.

Posted by: Bryan at 11/25/09 12:14 AM  | Reply
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honestly, the best reasoning i've ever seen.....ridiculous.

you should've just said, hey, metal isn't music. why? i don't like it.

Posted by: colin  in reply to Bryan's comment at 11/25/09 12:46 AM  | Reply
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If you dont like it, dont read it. I dont see the problem...

Posted by: jay at 11/25/09 2:07 AM  | Reply
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animal collective is the best band ever *post a dictionary definition of a subjective art form* HIPSTERS HIPSTERS HIPSTERS blah blah blah LOZ EPIC FAIL YOU GUYS there is not a single stereogum reader who listens to music not currently on the front page of pitchfork

this article could of been about any genre of music not itunes rock and it would have had the same response. wouldn't it be cool if stereogum posted a summery of other genres every once in a while, you know, to expand your horizons and all that bs? a metal article here and any other genre could come next. some idiot asked why have a metal article but not electronic or country or w/e but dude MAYBE you have to start somewhere? how can a site expand the music it covers when the first hint of change is met with negativity? It'd be nice to see some variation. but no, it's not within your small comfort zone so it must be lynched. fucking hypocrites. call animal collective the best band of the decade but name their most scene-saturated, pop friendly output their best album. I like experimental music but only if it sounds like the other 12 bands i listen too!! wouldn't it be cool if grizzly bear and dirty projectors and animal collective made a supergroup?? then I would only need to drag one album instead of three onto my iphone!!!

grow a fucking spine you morons, you're killing music

Posted by: chris at 11/25/09 4:03 AM  | Reply
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exactly. fucking losers and unpolite wisenheimers all over the place.

Posted by: micha  in reply to chris's comment at 11/25/09 7:28 AM  | Reply
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This is out of place. Try

Posted by: Diego at 11/25/09 7:23 AM  | Reply
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I can't believe how ridiculous people are being about this! No, I don't listen to metal but I'm not going to begrudge the appearance of posts about metal music on Stereogum. In fact, I welcome it, it's quite interesting to see lists (or other news) about music that is really 'alternative' (I'd be the first to admit that the Indie music I like should no longer be referred to as alternative), and it's refreshing to see a list that isn't composed of the usual suspects.
People who are outraged at this or think it has no place here must be complete dickheads; save it for the fucking playground. Honestly, the amount of posts about metal on the blog account for probably less than 10% of its output, and you don't even have to read it.

NB. Some of the names/titles are funny. I count 3 references to God(s); 5 to blood and about 11 to death/types of death/death related things or words.

Posted by: Coj profile link at 11/25/09 9:52 AM  | Reply
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Yeah, I love this, "ewwww, metal isn't music, ewwww. Let me adjust my oversized cool glasses, ewwwww." I listen to much of what Stereogum writes about, AND I listen to a lot of metal. I know that'll probably disqualify me from many of your various collectives of animals parties, but that's fine. The reason there's a lot of hipster hate is because of this knee-jerk dismissal of, "Oh, well that's just not cool and unknown enough. Oh, that just doesn't fit the parameters of my obvious undying coolness." I also love the "metal isn't music" post. Like, a lot. It's because it's so ridiculously dumb and non-sensical, it's has to be a joke. And if it isn't, wow, lots of laughing in your general direction, sir.

Tremendous. It's just hilarity all of this disqualification when there are tons of metal musicians who probably could play circles around most of the people documented on the supposed hipster web sites. But whatever. It is music, you dismissive morons. If you're not comfortable enough in your tastes that you have to be this way, maybe you should question why you're listening to what's in your collection and if that will eventually change once your music "isn't cool anymore." That'll be a hoot.

And if you don't like metal, hey, there are other posts on here to read about. or go over the Pitchfork and read their latest Animal Collective 8.9 review. And that's before they even got the CD out of its case! Imagine how that rating will inflate once they actually hear it! I also am not disparaging Animal Collective, who are a fine band but just a bit overrated.

Posted by: Brian at 11/25/09 9:57 AM  | Reply
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Coj, see, that's the right attitude, in my opinion. Nobody is now forced to listen to metal now that it appears more often on here. It's why I'm certain lots of people's music collections exist solely on what they're told to listen to by these web sites. And I know they're not TOLD to listen to anything, but something in their brain is tell them they're being told to consume.

Also yes, there are plenty a hilarious band, album title, song title in metal. It's part of the charm, I think. My fiancee doesn't like, nor listen to metal, though she does enjoy the ridiculousness of it all, and even is willing to cite Cobalt's lyrics, "Burn me down, shoot me in the chest," at will. I also fully admit that while I love metal, there's also a part of me that cracks a smile at the stuff sometimes because it's so silly. And so completely awesome.

Posted by: Brian at 11/25/09 10:03 AM  | Reply
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haha yeah, I can relate to that, a few of my mates are into metal and they occasionally come out with some excellent obscure quote. It seems to be an absurdly quotable genre! And though I say I don't listen to metal, I would happily admit to enjoying some of it. I'm certain my tastes would probably be very outmoded within the metal community, but I still think early Machine Head (up until and including The Burning Red) and some of Pantera's stuff are fantastic!

Posted by: Coj profile link  in reply to Brian's comment at 11/25/09 3:35 PM  | Reply
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nice to see stereogum covering something different. thank you

Posted by: ed at 11/25/09 10:45 AM  | Reply
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Are people still being dismissive of metal? Are you guys aware that you sound exactly like the jocks who chanted "Rap music is Crap music" in '89 and "Disco sucks" in '79?

While you worry about how your musical tastes shape other people's opinion of you, some of us are just out there enjoying all kinds of music just 'cause it feels good.

As usual, Converge is exactly where it deserves to be: in the top 5.
I would push Slayer's World Painted Blood way down the list, possibly off of it completely, and yes, push Krallice way up.

Posted by: Cecil P. at 11/25/09 12:10 PM  | Reply
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This is sweet. I usually don't listen to metal but have been listening to Mastodon and Baroness recently and loving it.

Stereogum should definitely keep this up, I like reading top 10 lists from genres that aren't typical indie rock.

Posted by: Wilson at 11/25/09 12:31 PM  | Reply
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Keep posting about metal. I love it and there are not many well written or well rounded forums for discussing what's going in on that end of the musical spectrum.

And seriously all you Animal Collective > metal commenters. Do you really listen to Animal Collective? Do you understand that their entire approach is based on drawing influences from anywhere and everywhere? Ever read the liner notes to Person Pitch? Noah likes metal! I can't believe I'm even bothering to make this arguement.

Viva metal \,,/

Posted by: Lew Zealand profile link at 11/25/09 1:47 PM  | Reply
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Not to mention Vampire Weekend's singer being a huge Metallica fan, and that being a major influence on his playing style.

Keep posting about metal. I dont even like metal. I dont like Animal Collective either, but I still use this website, and dont care if I scroll past posts about either one

Posted by: William Shakespeare at 11/25/09 3:30 PM  | Reply
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ITT: nerds who never liked slayer

Posted by: rkb at 11/25/09 3:37 PM  | Reply
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Nice to see this list on here. Love reading Decibel and would recommend it to anybody that doesn't know much about metal but wants to get into it. Disappointed Graf Orlock wasn't on this though. Good Grind = Good Time.

Stereogum should do a country article next and watch the message board riots start.

Posted by: Chud at 11/25/09 7:14 PM  | Reply
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Good list.

Shame people can't accept that not everyone shares their taste. I don't understand the contempt some people here feel towards others because they like different bands. I used to be like that when I was 14, so perhaps these people are just kids who will grow to either be more accepting or just total knobs.

Posted by: Gavin at 11/25/09 9:54 PM  | Reply
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Where's sunn, wolves in the throne room, absu, skeletonwitch, all should've made the list son.

Posted by: Allan at 11/26/09 12:43 PM  | Reply
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Metal sucks! I only like music made by scrawny hipsters with thick rimmed glasses, flannels and beards with acoustic guitars or Synthesizers. I mean Metal's so loud! How am I supposed to get that indie chick pussy if I'm not blaring dirty projectors and talking about his post modern sound collage in the style of Brahm blah blah blah blah ...

Posted by: I'm Me, You're You! profile link at 11/26/09 2:47 PM  | Reply
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P.S. Slayer has a new album? Man I haven't even thought of slayer since the "ANTICHRIST IN THE NAME OF GOD" album. I guess I didn't realize how even with the intronet, how much metal flies under the radar for much media.

Posted by: I'm Me, You're You! profile link at 11/26/09 2:48 PM  | Reply
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Posted by: boo at 11/26/09 3:19 PM  | Reply
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there is plenty of great metal, electronica and hip hop that many sources always overlook. I am glad stereogum is helping broaden the taste of people and teaching them about great music that is overshadowed. metal and hardcore are acquired tastes & it's not for everyone, but when it's done right, it is foolish to ignore. i hope this site starts publishing more on underground hip hop & underground metal in the future

Posted by: dropkick at 11/26/09 5:37 PM  | Reply
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what i want to know is: why does stereogum choose to cover metal and not other genres that may not be as ubiquitous as "indie" but still worthy? i'm thinking hardcore/post-hardcore/screamo stuff, but other stuff too. i just don't get the focus on the totally two unrelated genres of indie and metal.

Posted by: ringo at 11/27/09 12:26 AM  | Reply
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I simply ignore metal and honestly never heard of any of these bands, but I'd much rather read 983 more metal columns than another Stereogum Trent Reznor update.

Posted by: abstracto at 11/27/09 2:06 AM  | Reply
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