I started this in 2016 in an effort to effectively calculate what we, the Metal Injection writers, were collectively fans of. For 2018, I decided to employ the same strategy as the last two years — a two-step approach. In addition to this, I added a couple more tiebreakers. This initial count does most of the work. Using this method effectively keeps writers on a level playing field no matter how many albums they listed—at least through the first stage. To give you a little bit of a "behind the scenes:" the lot of us are constantly sharing music that we find and like with each other. This consequently leads to many of us liking similar albums. This year was much easier than the previous years. Everything in the top 20 appeared on at least three lists. There was a clear album of the year as well.
Submissions were back up this year overall. We had 18 writers turn in lists this year compared to 16 from last year—giving more data for this list. Genre-specific column lists were also excluded. That means Austin's Tech Death Tuesday isn't here. These lists also varied in size and content—ranging from 5 to 40 picks and featured dozens of different albums. I cross-referenced every list to find common albums and determined which albums appeared most frequently.
Naturally, there were ties between albums. This created "tiers" of albums that immediately capped how high or low an album could finish on a list. Step two was an effort to break ties between albums within these tiers. I took the average position of each album within each of the tiers determined from step one, then from there used auxiliary tiebreakers (the highest individual position, then most instances of that position) and ultimately discovered Metal Injection's collective album of the year. Last year we gave the belt to Converge's The Dusk In Us. It was well-deserved for the mighty veterans who added yet another great album to their storied discography.
Let's figure out who is, effectively, Metal Injection's Album of the Year…