Sunday, January 3, 2010

Counting down the best Heavy Metal and Movie Soundtrack music of 2009

Now that 2009 is quickly becoming a fleeting memory, all the major media outlets are scrambling to remind the public of what it SHOULD be remembering as the best and worst of the year. Nine times out of ten, these lists are ham-fisted, shameless plugs for that which was the most popular, what is most likely to win awards, with smatterings of unknown indie releases simply to prove that the “experts” aren’t the nose-upturned snobs we know they are.

Whatever happened to culling lists because they were fun? Why not make a list of things that you genuinely like, without any kind of ulterior (or advertising-linked) motive? Ham-fisted concoctions like those you see in mainstream magazines only continue to act as ego-stroking that spoon-feeds us until we become so reliant on those “experts” to tell us what is “good” and what is not. And we ultimately forget that the “experts” are merely people with opinions…just like us.

This is why I agonize over making “best of” lists, because it only serves to express my own personal opinion. If you read any list you find online, you will undoubtedly see a string of comments of both praise and complaint – praising the writer for including some of the reader’s favorites (which was actually a coincidence), or chastising the writer for “forgetting” to include certain things or flat-out telling him/her that he/she is wrong in his/her choices and rankings.

So, with all of that weighty nonsense in mind, I have decided to offer up, to help close out the year properly, a list of 20 heavy metal and movie soundtrack/score albums (respectively) that I felt were great – be they fun, sophisticated, throat-crushing, or just straight-up earworm-y. If you don’t agree with the choices, I applaud you for not being a clone of me.

Read my Examiner feature on the best Movie Soundtracks of 2009 here!

And check out my Examiner feature on the best Heavy Metal releases of 2009 here!

Jolly day!