Mastodon, Converge and Slayer Rule the Top Metal Albums in Exclaim!'s 2009 Readers Poll
Published Jan 29, 2010Exclaim! Readers' Favourite Metal Albums of 2009:
6. Unleash the Archers
8 (tie). Every Time I Die
8 (tie). Fucked Up
9. Buried Inside
1. Mastodon Crack the Skye (Reprise)
"This is a big, sprawling epic made to stand alongside the best work of veteran groups such as Pink Floyd. Crack the Skye contains a dizzying array of themes including wormholes, souls and the story of Mad Monk Grigori Rasputin. The 11-minute mini-opus about Tsarist Russia nearly sounds like a simply crafted pop song. But, it's like a pop song with a greater kick then shot(s) of vodka!"
Wayne Yuzik, Saskatoon Saskatchewan
"Expansive metal that can appeal to the new metalhead and old-school banger like myself."
Ron Veilands, Pickering Ontario
"Metal reached another level and the bands that always had it never lost it."
Todd Glock, Medecine Hat Alberta
"All it took was Brendan O'Brien to make this band realize that the vocalists should actually learn how to sound good. This is the first Mastodon album you can listen to from beginning to end."
Andrew Rollins, Cornwall PEI
"To be fair, I don't listen to a lot of metal. My roommate does, and this album stood out more than the others I heard him play."
Aaron Berr, Toronto Ontario
"This album smokes."
Clint Miller, Port Coquitlam BC
2. Converge Axe to Fall (Epitaph)
"I feel bad for Coalesce, should have put out Ox last or next year so they could get best metal album of the year, but as it stands this is an easy selection."
Iris Taborsky-Tasa, Vancouver BC
"This album is one of the most unique hardcore albums I've ever heard. Converge are truly doing something groundbreaking here. It's one of the heaviest albums I've ever heard yet it's still very catchy."
Michael Siegrist, Guelph Ontario
"Truly a band that never ceases to amaze by exploring and by not being afraid to stray from the trends to build more and more upon their own style."
Olivier Couillard, Quebec City Quebec
"In what has to be a banner year for metal, Converge deliver hand over bloody fist in a photo-finish for best of 2009. How? They kept up and even surpassed their usual breakneck pace, but threw in amazing hooks (yes, hooks on a Converge album, how'd that happen?), a Tom Waits homage and a most unexpected yet totally appropriate coda. Fist-to-the-jugular awesome."
J.F. Allard, La Prairie Quebec
"Only two other albums have ever given me goosebumps, one of those being Jane Doe. I will be listening to this in ten years. Forget the guest spots, this album is not about that, this album is about melting your face off. Done and done."
Dali Shaw, Kelowna BC
3. Slayer World Painted Blood (American)
"'It's just awesome but Slayer usually is!"
Kelly Pollock-Clemet, Toronto Ontario
"Although raised fist keep to the same formula, just tweeking it enough to sound new."
Tim Duncan, Ottawa Ontario
"'Some awesome old school thrash, and still put on an excellent show live."
Tom Cowan, Edmonton Alberta
4. Baroness Blue Record (Relapse)
"If red is an aggressive colour, Blue is a new one!"
Mathieu Beausejour, Charlemagne Quebec
"Rock or metal, however you label these guys this album rocks. Even if you have no interest in the metal scene these guys bridge the gap and made another solid record."
Scott Wolfe, Winnipeg Manitoba
"Doesn't fit a metal subgenre. Lots of spots where they take a left turn when you expect them to go right. Great album."
David Peplinski, Waterloo Ontario
"This album perfectly encompasses everything perfect in the genre today; the right amount of heavy without over bearing; melodic parts, but not too much for it to start sucking, and catchy! Goddamn! Album of the year."
Nick Green, Waterloo Ontario
"Savannah, Georgia's answer to Black Sabbath, Baroness, have released one of the most inventive metal albums of its time with Blue Record. It's pretty obvious to see that by naming their albums after colours (rather than after dragons or whatever metal bands name their albums after) and using similar album covers that they are trying to create a cult like following in the same vain as Led Zeppelin or Weezer. However, this album is no gimmick. Solid guitar tones and atmospherics courtesy of John Congleton - producer of Explosions in the Sky and St. Vincent - give this record a distinct sound usually associated with the aforementioned indie rock artists. In it' brief 44 minutes Blue Record takes you on a psychedelic soundscape that may be the closest things the genre has to a Dark Side of the Moon or OK Computer. I can't wait to hear their Kid A."
Matthew Ritchie, Halifax Nova Scotia
"Turn it up!"
Troy Blackmore, Richmond BC
5. Metallica Death Magnetic (Vertigo)
(*Editor's note: We are aware that Death Magnetic came out in 2008; it topped our 2008 Readers Poll.)
"Really dislike this type of music - it's too loud, too twangy and gives me a headache."
Irene Dalzell, Winnipeg Manitoba
"I have always love Metallica."
Tasha Inman, Prince George BC
"So awesome and so Metallica."
Iainah Miller, Calgary Alberta
6. Unleash the Archers Behold the Devastation (Independent)
"This band is almost a cross-over into the rock world. I enjoy the female vocals combined with the hard sound of metal. They are great live and the writing is incredible. They are young, hard working and talented."
Kate Hayes, Surrey BC
"Such a rad band that portrays everything I see in the metal industry needs, good solid fucking music, smash yourself with a brick sets and overall greatness and true metal style."
Corey de Bungie, Chilliwack BC
"Every song is solid, coherent and unique. The mixture of smooth and harsh vocals and the extremely high standard of music used makes it one of my favourite albums of the year."
Erica Wilson, Victoria BC
"They are a breath of frsh air in the Canadian metal scene with kick ass female vocals (clean) and heavy vocals (male) and excellent guitaring. This band need more recognition because they are the only ones in Canada doing this style very well!"
Mike Carradine, Victoria BC
7. Priestess Prior to the Fire (Teepee)
"I would normally classify Priestess as more hard rock, but the new album has a nice metal edge to it, and I love it! It has been played daily pretty well since I got it."
Andrew MacDonald, Sault Ste Marie Ontario
"Long-awaited album from Montreal bangers did not disappoint."
Sarmad Rizvi, Calgary Alberta
8 (tie). Every Time I Die New Junk Aesthetic (Epitaph)
"The perfect combination of furious hardcore, melodic rock, and crushing metal. Party album of 2009."
Chris de Jong, Saskatoon Saskatchewan
"Killer riffs and some really great vocals. Everything you need from a hardcore album."
Timmy Chandler, Toronto Ontario
"ETID get older. ETID get harder. ETID get that much more amazing."
Shane Saunderson, Toronto Ontario
8 (tie). Fucked Up The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador)
(*Editors Note: The Chemistry of Common Life was also released in 2008.)
"Accessible hardcore punk is what to be in 2010."
Adam Boult, Fredericton New Brunswick
"Hardcore isn't a genre I paid attention to till this album came out."
Alex Cameron, Vancouver BC
"Only thing that comes close to metal that I bought this year, and it's still pretty awesome."
Scott Blenkarn, Ashton Ontario
9. Buried Inside Spoils of Failure (Relapse)
"Heavy music from Ottawa continuing in the tradition of Neurosis, His Hero is Gone, Isis, and other Ottawa legends Union of Uranus. Stripped down from there last offering Chronoclast, but they still keep their formula of heavy music that is still interesting to listen to with compelling lyrics."
Ryan Hough, Ottawa Ontario
"Lots of great albums out this year. Baroness's Blue Record came a very close second for me but this album makes me focus on the music and sit thinking in silence about it after the album has played through."
Brett Reib, Edmonton Alberta
"I know this was released a long time ago, but its a beautiful album and still probably my favourite."
Tyler Belliveau, Oakville Ontario
10. Isis Wavering Radiant (Ipecac)
"Great return to focus for these greats. After the over-thought, meandering of In The Absence Of Truth (don't get me wrong, it was still decent) it was nice to see Aaron Turner and company return to show all the others how it's done...properly."
Chris Ostein, Lively Ontario
"A wonderful album full of resonance and drive, this album combines space with attitude."
Mario Gautreau, Moncton New Brunswick
"A discovery for me. I didn't now that this way singing could even exist before that."
Stephanie Culakowa, Montreal Quebec