During this time of the year, many sites, magazines and others in the music industry release their lists of what they believe are the best albums of the year, including rock and metal. These ‘best of’ lists are, of course, subjective to whoever put them together but some sources certainly carry more influence on their lists than others, like the top 20 metal albums by Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone is one of the biggest publications in the industry and it definitely has some impact on what they believed were the best releases of the year because of their reputation. Next year, you will see some of the listed albums in the store with a brand new sticker saying “voted top 20 best metal album by Rolling Stone,” so when someone like Apple comes up with a ‘best of’ list, you can be sure people will pay attention.
Apple Music revealed its ‘best of 2015’ in rock and metal, and it seems to be a bit of a mess. Their selection, however, is based by region. Alabama Shakes‘ Sound & Color is ranked the best rock album in the United States and in Australia, the best rock album of the year goes to Tame Impala‘s Currents. Canada’s best rock album is Bring Me The Horizon‘s That’s The Spirit. The thing here is that Apple doesn’t specify that their selections are based on regional bands, and having UK’s BMTH as Canada’s best album doesn’t really support that theory either.
You may be wondering, what about the metal category? It seems like Canada and United States doesn’t even have one. Only the UK and Australia got a winner for the ‘best of 2015’ and, once again, appears to be regional with Bring Me The Horizon‘s That’s The Spirit and Parkway Drive‘s Ire selected respectively.
Even if you think about the subjectivity of these lists or selections, you have to consider that the opinion of the largest digital distributor in the world and one of the biggest companies in the planet can have some influence. The market in North America may be a lot bigger in other genres like pop, hip-hop or others that Apple didn’t even consider on making a selection for metal in these regions or maybe they believe no one really cares enough to even want one. Congratulations to BMTH and Parkway Drive for, at least, having some regional recognition by Apple.
[UPDATE:] Since this story was initially written, iTunes has more than made up for it. Their editorial department has come out with a list that’s topped by Tribulation’s excellent Children of the Night. There’s also a top 25 songs in metal, as well as a list of the 30 best hard rock albums (topped by Failure’s excellent The Heart is a Monster) and an accompanying playlist.