So I Heard You Liked Stats?
I'm an easily bored person, and I also love stats. Couple that with a lockdown and a website with a lot of data, and you get some stats about Metal Storm! I collected some data from the numerous Top 100 lists for each genre and the overall Top 200 Albums list for this first article. We'll have a look at some genre stats and see which genres of rock and metal are the most popular amongst Metal Stormers. So on that note, let's get started!
Let's begin with the top 200 and the genres that are most represented in it.
Tied for last place are stoner metal, metalcore, post-metal and a personal favorite of mine, avant-garde metal, all of which sadly only have one album in the top 200. Then comes alternative metal, with only two albums in there, both of which are from Tool, right under speed metal and its 4 releases, two of those being from Running Wild. Gothenburg reaches the next level with 5 albums, primarily those from In Flames and Dark Tranquillity.
Symphonic metal has a surprisingly high total of 13 albums in the top 200. Although symphonic black helped, it's still a nice surprise to see them this high. And two other surprises, with 14 releases each in the top 200 are folk and gothic metal. I'm especially surprised by the latter one; I didn't know it was that popular, as I never really checked the genre out myself. Folk metal is a pretty stigmatized genre, but with the help of household names like Ensiferum, as well as folk black like Negură Bunget, it successfully made it up there.
Coming up next with 16 releases is good old rock. Brought up by AC/DC, Rush or Porcupine Tree, it has so many classics that I'm even surprised it's not higher, but the fact that Jethro Tull or The Doors are invisible probably helps it stay down there. 8th place is reserved to power metal, with no less than 17 albums in the list; it ranks quite high for a genre that so many people hate. The classics from Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, Helloween and Gamma Ray of course help it get up there.
And if you thought rock was high, here comes hard rock, with 19 albums and almost only classics. Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, everyone knows these bands, which is most likely why they're so high up there. Another genre I didn't think was that popular is doom metal, up with 20 albums. Of course Black Sabbath and Candlemass help it be so high, but bands like My Dying Bride or Katatonia also have their share in that success. Sadly, no funeral doom album is included here.
Finally coming to the big ones, black metal stands at a quite low 5th place with 23 albums. I'm quite surprised it isn't higher, but the fact that there's no Burzum in there shows that the classics of the genre maybe aren't as appreciated as I thought they were. Darkspace III is awfully close to getting in though, with 160 votes at the time of writing this, so maybe one day more black metal gems will make it go up to 4th or 3rd place. Unsurprisingly high as well is thrash metal, with 29 albums. I for sure thought it'd be higher because of the fact that it's pretty much the most popular metal genre ever, but the modern scene being a bit stale might have kept it to only the 80's classics. Once again, metal legends like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, and even proggier acts like Vektor and Coroner made it here.
The other giant of extreme music is of course death metal, with 31 releases in the top. Fantastic bands like Cynic, Atheist, Bolt Thrower, Nocturnus and of course Death made it there to no one's surprise. It could be even higher if you count Gothenburg and extreme power as subgenres of death metal. But completely destroying it comes heavy metal, with no less than 43 albums in there. Of course, the fact that it's where it all started and that so many legendary bands made classic releases definitely helps a lot. Iron Maiden of course, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow all have at least one spot in that list.
And first place, completely annihilating all of its rivals, with more than a quarter of the list, 56 albums, is prog. We already talked about Tool earlier, Led Zeppelin, Porcupine Tree and Rush also, but other classics like Dream Theater, Edge Of Sanity or even Death, but most importantly the monstruous Opeth come and pump up this genre's score. And it could be even higher, thanks to the fact that Atheist, Nocturnus or Coroner aren't even considered prog.
Sadly, some genres were completely left out of the list. RIP nu metal, deathcore, drone, glam, hardcore and grindcore.
Let's proceed with which bands are the most represented in the top 200. There are 78 bands with only one album in the top, such as Anthrax, Deep Purple, Ayreon, Gojira, Bolt Thrower, Mayhem, Carcass, Van Halen, Dissection, Cynic, Atheist and Nocturnus. 36 bands only got 2 albums, including Dream Theater, Megadeth, Emperor, Tool, Pantera, Motörhead and Symphony X.
Now let's get on to the big ones.
The first band with 3 albums in the top is Metallica, with Master Of Puppets, Ride The Lightning and ...And Justice For All. Of course no one can deny their influence, and it's even surprising that Kill Em All didn't make the cut there. Next up is another one of the big four: Slayer. With Reign In Blood, Seasons In The Abyss and South Of Heaven, they made a big name for themselves as being the most frantic and aggressive of the big four. Without Reign In Blood, we might not have had death metal. They even inspired black metal, with their first album commonly categorized as first wave black.
Moving on, the only power metal band with more than 2 albums in the top is Blind Guardian, with their most famous being of course Nightfall In The Middle Earth. They're definitely one of the biggest power metal bands (3rd to Nightwish and Children Of Bodom on this website), and one of the most influential as well. They've absolutely earned their place here. Surprisingly high next is Porcupine Tree. Led by their very well known frontman Steven Wilson, they've released some classics, like Fear Of A Blank Planet and In Absentia. I didn't think they were so popular, but them being so high will for sure please their fans.
The only folk band here is Moonsorrow, most notably with their release Kivenkantaja. I never listened to them so I can't really say anything but it's cool to see them high. And finally, the last one with 3 albums in the top is My Dying Bride, the only representatives of death doom here. Their most well known masterpieces are of course Turn Loose The Swans, The Angel And The Dark River and The Dreadful Hours. Quite happy to see them here, although more death doom would have been appreciated.
Moving on to the bands with 4 albums, Judas Priest is the first one here. Of course, no one could deny their influence and importance in the metal world; from Sad Wings Of Destiny to Firepower, they truly knew how to reinvent themselves, peaking with Painkiller in 1990. Continuing with another mythical band, Led Zeppelin comes next with their four very well named albums: Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II, not Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin IV and Physical Graffiti. No need to explain their influence of course. Also with 4 albums are Rush, masters of prog rock since the 70's up to their very last album, Clockwork Angels in 2012. Their most notorious albums are of course Hemispheres, 2112 and Moving Pictures. Their influence on the whole prog genre is one of the most important, especially with technical pieces like "YYZ" that inspired bands such as Dream Theater a lot. Finishing off the 4 albums group are the death metal pioneers themselves, Death. Not only were they one of the first death metal bands ever, but they also were a big part of creating technical and progressive death metal, even going full prog on their final release, The Sound Of Perseverence. They don't have 4 releases here for no reason, especially the highly acclaimed Symbolic, loved by a great portion of metal fans.
Only two bands have 5 releases in the top 200. Both of these bands were pioneers of metal and are to this day some of the most well known and most popular metal bands in the world. First off of course is Black Sabbath, the very inventors of the genre itself. Their self-titled, Paranoid, Master Of Reality and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, as well as Heaven And Hell, are all must haves for metal fans and take places in the top 200. Second one is of course, you all guessed it, the most popular metal band in the world, Iron Maiden. With legendary records like The Number Of The Beast, Powerslave, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, Somewhere In Time and Piece Of Mind, it's to no one's surprise that they end up that high. Their 80's run was legendary and deserves its spot very well.
Finally, above them all, with 6 albums in the top, the second most popular band on the website, one of the most beloved prog acts of all time is of course Opeth. They truly reign on this website in ranking, with a perfect streak from 1995 to 2008 and almost half of their discography in the top 200. Their most famous ones are of course Deliverance, My Arms, Your Hearse, Morningrise, Ghost Reveries, Still Life, and by far one of the most beloved albums ever created, Blackwater Park. There's no denying they're one of the most important bands of the last few decades, taking the very important decision of completely changing their style. Everyone seems to love them and there's no mystery as to why they're ranked so high.
To finish off with genre stats, I went into every genre's top 100 and calculated the average grade of its best albums. Let's start with genres that don't even have 100 albums with a better rating than 8/10:
Nu metal starts this section; with only 15 releases, that's not even enough albums for a top of the year. Average ranking here is 8.22/10, and the biggest bands in the list are Rage Against The Machine, Linkin Park and Avatar. Deathcore with 21 albums gets an average score of 8.23/10. Big names like Born Of Osiris, Shadow Of Intent and After The Burial appear in the list.
Next comes Suomi metal, with 23 releases, and I have to say I have absolutely no idea of what that genre even is. The most popular band seems to be Sentenced with 5 albums in there, but Charon and Entwine both also have a big place with 4 and 3 albums in that list, respectively. The average score for Suomi metal is 8.29. Glam somewhat raises the bar with 25 albums this time. The likes of Twisted Sister, KISS, Quiet Riot and Mötley Crüe bring the score up to 8.24 on average. Math metal jumps up a step with 35 albums, most notably by Meshuggah, Periphery and The Dillinger Escape Plan, and an alright average of 8.28. Of course, it never really was a popular genre, so that explains what it's doing down there.
Gothenburg got 51 albums and an average of 8.33. The genre has some nice classics like of course In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy and Soilwork, but it still has a big stigma, notably with all the copying and pasting in the scene, and in the end not many artists are really noteworthy, which is probably why it doesn't have 100 albums in its top. Hardcore makes it up to 53 albums with an average score of 8.26, and bands such as Discharge, Suicidal Tendencies, Kvelertak and Stormtroopers Of Death. I'm not 100% agreeing with the crossover thrash in there but you know, it gives more stats to deal with so why not.
The next level is obtained by grindcore, with 59 albums in there, 9 of them being from Napalm Death, another 9 of them being from Anaal Nathrakh, and an average score of 8.26. Metalcore gets one step closer to 100 albums with this time 75 releases but an abysmal average of 8.11. Some of my personal favorites in there are Between The Buried And Me, Converge and Protest The Hero. Industrial metal gets even closer to 100 albums with a nice total of 86 in there, notably by Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, Fear Factory and Strapping Young Lad. It's got a pretty low 8.27 though, and never really was that big of a genre even with the late 90's/early 00's boom. Sludge is awfully close with 97 albums this time, so some quite trustable data. The average of the genre is 8.3, with albums from Mastodon, Acid Bath, Slugdge and Down.
Before getting on to the big ones, let's all have a minute of silence for drone metal, which doesn't even have any album in its top 100.
Starting off is post-metal, with an average of 8.3133. The genre is dominated by Isis, which claims the first two spots in the list, followed by some classics from Cult Of Luna, The Ocean and Pelican, but also some post-black like Numenorean or Deafheaven. It's never really been the most popular genre, and it shows. Next up is stoner metal with a slightly better average of 8.3322. Mastodon takes the first spot, but a lot of legends of the genre are here, like Electric Wizard, Kyuss, Soundgarden, Queens Of The Stone Age and even Boris (which somehow doesn't appear in the drone category? I'm not 100% sure how this website works).
With an average of 8.3516 comes symphonic metal next. Completely ruled by Therion, who have no less than 7 albums in that top 100, but also Epica with 6, Virgin Steele with 5, Cradle Of Filth with another 5 and Haggard with 4, it's clearly a genre dominated by established bands, although more recent releases from Wilderun also made it here. Alternative metal comes following at 13th place with a nice average of 8.372. One interesting thing about this genre is that it's not really precise; you can pretty much put whatever you want in there as long as it doesn't fit in any genre. Tool, Infectious Grooves, System Of A Down, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine, even Sepultura and In Flames have alternative albums, which shows that it's not really the most precise genre out there, although it's quite popular.
Gothic etal, the next one, is a genre I've never checked out, as I already stated earlier. The top bands seems to be Paradise Lost, with no less than 6 albums in there, with other major bands being Tristania, Moonspell, Cradle Of Filth, Theatre Of Tragedy and Lake Of Tears. It sits there at a pretty good 8.4271. Stepping up to 11th place is my beloved avant-garde metal, which is actually much higher than I thought it'd be, at a pleasant 8.4835. With masterpieces from Dog Fashion Disco, Arcturus, Ved Buens Ende, Sigh, Unexpect, Mr. Bungle, Shaolin Death Squad and Virus, it truly has a lot to offer, thanks to the lack of true categorization similar to alternative metal. I'm however a bit disappointed that Carnival In Coal didn't make it there.
Now getting onto the really big genres with power metal, that jumps up to an average of 8.6473. The obvious big bands here are Helloween, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Kamelot, Gamma Ray, Children Of Bodom… you know the drill. It's not really surprising to find it so high. The next one surprised me though; folk metal stands at 9th with a very good 8.6579. Most of the list is actually folk black though, so in the end it's not that big of an oddity. Primordial, Ulver, Kampfar, Vintersorg, Orphaned Land, Negură Bunget and Falkenbach are here to prove my point, although different kinds of folk are here with Empyrium, Ensiferum, Moonsorrow, Amorphis, Wilderun...
Next up is your good old hard rock! Nothing really surprising here, standing at 8.6609 are household names like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and even some big bands not usually prominent on the site like The Doors and The Who. It's pretty much almost only classics, to no one's surprise, so that's why it's so high. Then comes doom metal, at 8.669. It's quite a popular genre and bands from earlier categories make an appearance here, like Empyrium, Paradise Lost and Black Sabbath, but also some other classics like Katatonia, Saturnus, My Dying Bride, Ecstatic Fear, Candlemass, Uaral, Warning and Poema Arcanus. Although Thergothon doesn't make it in there, a fair amount of funeral doom is still featured, from the likes of Shape Of Despair, Doom:VS and Ahab.
Following, at 8.6849 is thrash. No need to present the bands and albums here, everyone knows their big 4 and co. Although the inclusion of Annihilator, Coroner, Vektor and Mekong Delta makes me quite happy, I'm a bit disappointed that Voivod didn't make the cut, but oh well this website is hard to please. The fact that Death is here also somewhat confuses me, as I've never really considered them thrash, but I'll leave genre categorization to the admins. A tad bit higher, at 8.6854 is regular heavy metal. Once again, no need for presentation, everyone knows Judas Priest, Dio and Iron Maiden, the latter one definitely ruling the genre with 8 albums in there. Nothing really surprising here so let's move on to the next one.
4th place is reserved for black metal, with a sweet 8.7023. Cult, or rather should I say kvlt classics are here, from Windir, Emperor, Mayhem, Burzum and all of their Nordic friends, to some other well known ones like Darkspace, Summoning and Deathspell Omega, along with some more surprising ones like Potentiam, Ved Buens Ende and Nocte Obducta, which shows that black metal fans on this website have some pretty nice tastes. And right above black sits, of course, death metal, at a slightly higher 8.7069. Once again, nothing really surprising here; Cynic, Death, Atheist, Bolt Thrower, Gojira and Morbid Angel are here, along with sweet releases from Krabathor, Kalisia, Gorguts and Psycroptic. The only reservation I'd have would be with Dissection and Sepultura, which I don't really think belong to the genre.
Next up, and to my surprise not at first place, is progressive metal, with an excellent 8.7215. Of course Dream Theater, Tool, Symphony X and Devin Townsend are here, although they're all topped by Opeth's 7 releases in the list. Voivod made it here to my pleasant surprise, along with Blotted Science, Pin-Up Went Down, Sieges Even, In The Woods… and even Polkadot Cadaver. The only questions I have here are why prog death, prog thrash and other prog variants didn't appear in the list; maybe prog is just considered secondary to the other genre. Anyways, pretty high grade, could be even higher.
And at the very top is your regular good old-fashioned rock. I think one thing that helped a lot here is that the bands that are usually invisible, like Jethro Tull and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The higher spots of the list are dominated by prog acts such as Rush, King Crimson, Transatlantic, IQ, and surprisingly Dog Fashion Disco, which makes it up to 9th place, above a lot of classics, and I find that quite funny. It reigns up here at a nice 8.7333.
Obviously the fact that there are so many classics considerably boosts up many of these genres, and the way Metal Storm builds each list kinda makes it not so accurate, but these still are useful indications as to which genres are the most popular.
Thanks for sticking to the end of that way too long article; maybe I'll do a part 2, who knows! Hope you enjoyed these stats and the little photo edits I did here and there, they were most definitely painful to do with my nonexistent PhotoShop skills. Until then, see you all next time, and thanks for reading.
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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