Top 2015 Metal Releases:
This graph shows the top 18 metal releases for 2015, based on what percentage of lists the release appeared on in the data. Only bands clearing the 10% threshold are shown. These 18 bands made up 32% of the top ten list occurrences. In other words, they showed up 151 times out of the 470 potential slots (47 websites with 10 entries each). The top 6 bands made up 16% of the top ten list occurrences.
Ghost's Meliora took the top spot, appearing on 29.79% of the lists. Interestingly, last year, four bands were higher than this percentage and Behemoth's The Satanist appeared on 37.5% of the 2014 lists. This year the leading bands weren't quite so dominant.
Here are the top releases in list format:
Ghost - Meliora
Deafheaven - New Bermuda
Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls
Tribulation - Children of the Night
Mgła - Exercises in Futility
High on Fire - Luminiferous
Baroness - Purple (Abraxan Hymns)
Cattle Decaptitation - The Anthropocene of Extinction
Horrendous - Anareta
Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
Panopticon - Autumn Eternal
Between the Buried and Me - Coma Ecliptic
Enslaved - In Times
Intronaut - The Direction of Last Things
Lamb of God - VII: Sturm Und Drang
Myrkur - M
Royal Thunder - Crooked Doors
Slayer - Repentless
Top 2015 Metal Sub-Genres:
This graphs shows a breakdown of the same data while looking at the sub-genre of the entries. The numbers add up to over 100% because bands can have more than one genre. In fact, having multiple genres was the most common arrangement this year by a fair margin. This 41.7% is a jump from last year's 30.25% rate for what I've labeled as hybrid genres.
In pure genre terms, black metal was the most popular this year. You'll also notice that non-metal releases were more popular than almost all of the sub-genres. Non-metal releases also jumped from 2014's 12% to 17% this year. As I explain in the methodology below, genres information, including metal versus non-metal, was decided using the Metal Archives.
Top 2015 Record Labels:
|1/13/2016 Update: The Prior Version of this Chart Inadvertently Omitted 20 Buck Spin|
I did not attach label data to non-metal bands because this graph is intended to illustrate the degree of record label dominance in the world of metal. The above 22 labels together took up 60.43% of the 470 available year end list slots. Nuclear Blast and Century Media consisted of 16.8%, down from last year's 20%. The cut off here is at the .85% level to keep the graph reasonably readable.
For those interested in economics, if you were to view the top-ten releases as their own separate market, the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index for the above labels would be .0254, indicating a competitive market, and one that is more competitive than last year's.
Notes on My Methods:
- Information on genres, whether a band was metal or not, and label data were pulled from the Metal Archives.
- In an attempt to avoid imputing my own taste biases, the vast majority of the websites were selected from the top google search results (with cookies/tracking disabled) for terms like “top/best 2015 metal” and the like.
- I excluded mid-year lists, sub-genre lists, worst-of, and “most underrated” type lists.
- I accessed 47 websites because this was about as many as I could find by using the above method and by adding lists from websites I personally read.
- No bands were excluded for not being metal. If a list included a band, I included it.
- Only the top 10 from any list were included. This was done to have some continuity across websites in terms of the weight of their data. I excluded sites with lists of less than 10; this way each website is on equal footing.
- Since different websites can have in-house tastes, websites with multiple lists were selected only once, and at random.
- Other than looking at only the top 10, rankings were not considered or averaged. Rankings like these are what is known as ordinal data and typically cannot be averaged in a meaningful way.
- As a quick example, suppose List 1’s author thinks we had a weak year and would rate their #9 album at 73/100 and their #2 spot only 75/100. We can’t meaningfully compare this with List 2’s author rating their #9 album a 80/100 and their #2 100/100 because we have only rankings, and not ratings.
- No individual website’s list is reproduced here, neither is the entire dataset.
- I gathered label data only on metal bands. It’s also important to keep in mind that not every label releases music every year.
- The list of websites accessed is in the spoiler tag below. Yes we know that many of them are awful websites with even worse taste, but there are a lot of good ones in there too.