THE DEADLY DOZEN: Metal Injection Writers' Collective Top Albums of 2019
Metal Injection celebrated its 15th year of existence in 2019. I've personally been a part of the site for the last four of those, but have been a reader and fan for at least another four. It's been fun to watch this site grow, not just as a fan, but as a contributor. Rob and Frank's commitment to delivering top news and music from metal's biggest names is matched by their willingness to allow many of the staff writers here to share music from the genre's biggest underground names and burgeoning stars. During these list seasons, I use this time to compile and showcase the fusion between the news and features Metal Injection publishes regarding the biggest names in metal as well as the reviews and interviews with other talents that certainly deserve the spotlight. Each year, this collective list is a wonderful snapshot. However, 2019 displayed this a little more vibrantly than in past years.
Submissions were down this year overall. We had 15 writers turn in lists this year compared to 18 from last year—giving a little bit less data for this list. Writers' lists also varied in size and content—ranging from 10 to 20 picks (I put a firm cap on 20 albums for individual lists this year.) Lists also varied from wildly diverse collections of genres to ultra-specific, singular stylistic choices. Interestingly enough, the resultant list captures a nice sample of the diversity within each list and between writers' personal preferences.
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 Anaal Nathrakh's A New Kind of Horror. It was admittedly a divisive pick between staff and fans alike. 2019, on the other hand, had a pretty clear favorite.
Good luck in the new decade, everyone.