The Top 20 of 2017 Year-End Poll is Now Open!

Posted in Features on December 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

top-20-of-2017-year-end-poll the obelisk

The Obelisk’s Top 20 of 2017 Year-End Poll is open! Cast your votes now for up to 20 of your favorite releases from the year and find out which ones make the final list on Jan. 1, 2018!

I say this every year — I know I do — but I feel like I’m especially curious to see what comes out on top when it comes to everybody’s picks this year. There was just so much, and all of it so varied. It was like an onslaught happening all the time from every angle. It never stopped — it’s December and it’s still going on! — and it seemed like no matter what kind of sound you were into, each week brought some highlight offering that could rightly be considered among the year’s best.

Nonetheless, it’s challenge time. Get your list together, dig out those favorite picks, and make sure you’ve got them in the right order because the Year-End Poll only comes around once a year. As ever, we’ll be using a system wherein a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. Raw votes are of course also counted, and the results from both counts will be posted on New Year’s Day, along with all the lists contributed.

I’ll be getting my list together and adding it as well, but whatever hit a nerve with you, whether it was an album, EP, split, single — anything — toss it in and see where it ends up. At very least it’ll be represented when your list is published on Jan. 1!

Maximum participation and sharing is encouraged and deeply appreciated.

Let’s have some fun:

As ever, I can’t thank Slevin enough for helping to put this all together, and thanks to you for reading and taking part in this ongoing experiment. I can’t wait to see how this one will turn out.

Look for the results and lists on Jan. 1, 2018!

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The Top 20 of 2016 Year-End Poll is Now Open!

Posted in Features on December 1st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

top-20-of-2016-year-end-poll

Welcome to The Obelisk’s Top 20 of 2016 Year-End Poll!

Maximum participation is welcomed and encouraged. By now you know the rules, or if you don’t I’m sure you can guess. Everyone contributes a list of their favorite releases of 2016. I don’t care if it’s an album, EP, single, whatever. Anything that struck your fancy is cool.

All of those picks are rounded up from the form below — it asks for your email just to prove you’re a human being, so please don’t think I’m keeping tabs or selling info or anything like that; I wouldn’t know how even if I wanted to — and will be tabulated at the end of the month. For the last few years, we’ve used a point system wherein a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. Raw votes are of course also counted, and the results from both counts will be posted on New Year’s Day, along with all the lists contributed.

I had a pretty good idea last year what the number one was going to be. What’s 2016’s pick? Not a clue. I’ve got my own list in progress and will be adding it to the poll as well, but I’m dying to see what everyone chooses and what wins out. More than ever it seems there could be multiple options, so if there’s something you feel strongly about, make sure it’s high on your list to get those extra points.

You have my sincere appreciation for contributing your list, and any sharing of the link or commenting or anything else is welcome.

This is meant to be a conversation and a good time, so let’s have at it:

THE POLL IS CLOSED. THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED!

Thanks as always to Slevin for his invaluable assistance in putting this poll together, and to you for reading and taking part in this ongoing experiment. Let’s make this the biggest poll yet.

Results out Jan. 1, 2017!

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The Top 20 of 2015 Readers Poll — RESULTS!

Posted in Features on January 1st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

top-20-of-2015-readers-poll-results

Happy New Year, and thank you. Thank you to everybody who took time out of what I’m sure was a crazy December to cast a vote in the sixth-annual year-end poll. It’s hugely appreciated, and I’m thrilled to note that with a final tally of 388, we not only beat last year’s number of contributors (355), but did so by a wider margin than last year beat 2013. That means a lot to me, so again, thank you for taking part.

I’ve spent the last month watching the results come in as votes are cast, checking the back end of the poll at least once a day, and more than any time I’ve ever done this, 2015 had a clear runaway. I’ll talk about it a bit in the lists, but let me first say that, as has happened every single time a poll’s results go up, the numbers change a bit over the next day or two as things are checked and rechecked. There won’t be any major shifts, but keep an eye on it anyhow.

Below, you’ll find two lists. The first is the weighted tally, working off a point system put together by Slevin that I barely comprehend in which a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. The second, and more suited to my caveman brain, is the raw votes. There are always some subtle differences between the two.

In addition to those, after the jump there are all the lists submitted over the course of the month. They’re alphabetical order.

Enough disclaimers. Here goes:

Top 20 of 2015 — Weighted Results

elder lore
1. Elder, Lore (858 points)
2. Clutch, Psychic Warfare (527)
3. High on Fire, Luminiferous (433)
4. Kadavar, Berlin (404)
5. All Them Witches, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (368)
5. Graveyard, Innocence and Decadence (368)
6. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, The Night Creeper (355)
7. Acid King, Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (320)
7. Goatsnake, Black Age Blues (320)
8. Windhand, Grief’s Infernal Flower (307)
9. Monolord, Vænir (284)
10. Torche, Restarter (232)
11. Ghost, Meliora (211)
12. The Atomic Bitchwax, Gravitron (208)
13. With the Dead, With the Dead (189)
14. Baroness, Purple (182)
15. Snail, Feral (179)
16. Ufomammut, Ecate (167)
17. The Sword, High Country (155)
18. Golden Void, Berkana (152)
19. Dopethrone, Hochelaga (133)
20. Kylesa, Exhausting Fire (132)

Honorable mention to:
Fuzz, II (131)
Royal Thunder, Crooked Doors (130)
Weedpecker, II (123)
Monster Magnet, Cobras and Fire (116)
Freedom Hawk, Into Your Mind (113)

Basically what I see in the above is a lot of agreement. People liked Elder and they liked Clutch. Both were picked often and both placed highly on the lists in which they were included, but it’s worth looking at the drop between the two — 858 to 527 is significant. As with every year it’s been done this way so far, the two lists are pretty consistent, the weighted tally and the raw votes, but the order is different, and this list gauges not only how widespread a given record reached, but how deeply it resonated with those who heard it. A couple well-placed ties add two extra picks to the top 10, and from there things hold pretty steady through number 20, though again, the placement at the bottom of the list is jumbled some compared to the raw votes as well. Speaking of…

Top 20 of 2015 — Raw Votes

elder lore

1. Elder, Lore (207)
2. Clutch, Psychic Warfare (138)
3. High on Fire, Luminiferous (128)
4. Kadavar, Berlin (114)
5. Graveyard, Innocence and Decadence (112)
6. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, The Night Creeper (107)
7. Windhand, Grief’s Infernal Flower (103)
8. Acid King, Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (99)
9. All Them Witches, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (94)
9. Goatsnake, Black Age Blues (94)
10. Monolord, Vænir (82)
11. Torche, Restarter (71)
12. With the Dead, With the Dead (64)
13. The Atomic Bitchwax, Gravitron (62)
14. Ghost, Meliora (61)
15. Ufomammut, Ecate (57)
16. The Sword, High Country (52)
17. Baroness, Purple (50)
17. Golden Void, Berkana (50)
18. Snail, Feral (46)
19. Dopethrone, Hochelaga (43)
20. Fuzz, II (42)
20. Kylesa, Exhausting Fire (42)
20. Royal Thunder, Crooked Doors (42)

Honorable mention to:
Monster Magnet, Cobras and Fire (41)
Mondo Drag, Mondo Drag (38)
Weedpecker, II (38)
Weedeater, Goliathan (37)
The Machine, Offblast! (35)
Goya, Obelisk (34)
Bell Witch, Four Phantoms (33)
Freedom Hawk, Into Your Mind (33)
Spelljammer, Ancient of Days (33)
Ruby the Hatchet, Valley of the Snake (32)
Sacri Monti, Sacri Monti (32)
Death Alley, Black Magick Boogieland (31)
My Sleeping Karma, Moksha (31)

Everything else was under 30 votes. As I alluded above, Elder’s Lore ran away with this one. Within 24 hours of the poll going live, it was ahead by a decent margin, and that margin only increased as the month went on. Granted there were more people than ever taking part in this year’s poll, but it’s also the first release ever to pass 200 votes in this tally, beating out even the formidable likes of YOB’s Clearing the Path to Ascend, which topped last year’s list at 138. That’s an accomplishment in itself, but either way, there was no question what was the Album of 2015, and of course, that’s an assessment with which I agreed as well.

One more time, thank you to everybody who participated, and thanks as always to Slevin for his diligent behind-the-scenes efforts, without which this poll and this site simply would not exist. The man is a hero and should be venerated as such.

Happy 2016 to everybody. I hope it’s a fantastic year for you personally and that your days are filled with good music.

Please find all the lists after the jump, and enjoy. If you find any glaring mathematical errors on the above or there’s something you feel needs to be checked or is missing, let me know in the comments.

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The Top 20 of 2015 Readers Poll is Now Open!

Posted in Features on December 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

top 20 of 2015 readers poll

Welcome to the Sixth Annual The Obelisk Readers Poll!

I actually didn’t realize today was Dec. 1 until last week, but here we are. There’s a month left in 2015 and it’s time to put up the Top 20 of 2015 Readers Poll. Each year has continued to grow from the one before it, and that’s been amazing to watch and I hope it will be the same way this year. It’s certainly been an interesting one.

When we first started out last year, I wasn’t sure what the number one pick would be, and in 2015, I’m even less certain. I’ll admit, I’ve started putting my own list together, and I know what my number one pick is (I’ll post my own list later in the month), but more than any other year I’ve held a Readers Poll — and this is the sixth one, if you missed that above — it’s hard for me to gauge where people might be at in their own preferences.

Bottom line is I’m dying to know, so I won’t bother to delay much more, except to note that, as with the last couple years, we’ll be using a point system to tabulate the results, wherein a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one, as well as tabulating the raw votes — covering all bases as much as possible in hopes of getting an accurate read and giving every record a fair shot.

You know the drill. Add your top picks to the form below and they’ll be tallied up accordingly. Results and individual lists are posted Jan. 1, 2016.

Thanks in advance for taking part in the Top 20 of 2015 Readers Poll:

[THIS POLL IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART.]

Please note that, as always, I have no interest or intention of storing, using, or even taking note of your email address, it’s just there as a means of making sure you’re a real person and not a spambot before the list is submitted. All forms are purged after the results and lists go live on Jan. 1.

Thanks as always to Slevin for his invaluable efforts in making this Readers Poll, and this entire site, a reality.

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Top 20 of 2013 Readers Poll — RESULTS!

Posted in Features on January 1st, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Before we get started with any of this, I want to give a HUGE thanks to everyone who participated in the 2013 Readers Poll. I cannot properly convey how much it means to me personally to have people voluntarily get involved and share their opinions like that. Lists were coming in right down to the wire on New Year’s Eve, and in the end, we had a grand total of 335 participants, up from 2012 and full of thoughtful, excellent picks.

This year, you can see so for yourself, since thanks as always to the technological wizardry (or at least I call it wizardry because I don’t understand how it works) of Slevin, we’ve been able to cull all 335 individual lists and present them in full. You’ll find them after the jump below. And yes, in case you were wondering, that’s an awful lot of lists.

The method by which the picks are measured has also changed some. We used a point system, wherein a 1-4 ranking was worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. To keep things clear, I’m also including the raw vote tally, so you can see what actually got picked the most as well as where individual albums landed on people’s lists.

Here goes:

Top 20 of 2013 — Weighted Results

1. Clutch, Earth Rocker (589 points)
2. Vista Chino, Peace (431 points)
3. Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork (357 points)
4. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Mind Control (354 points)
5. Monster Magnet, Last Patrol (329 points)
6. Kadavar, Abra Kadavar (312 points)
7. Windhand, Soma (291 points)
8. Earthless From the Ages (285 points)
9. Red Fang, Whales and Leeches (276 points)
10. Black Sabbath, 13 (220 points)
11. Blood Ceremony, The Eldritch Dark (217 points)
12. Church of Misery, Thy Kingdom Scum (166 points)
13. Sasquatch, IV (155 points)
14. Carcass, Surgical Steel (136 points)
15. Kylesa, Ultraviolet (129 points)
16. Orchid, The Mouths of Madness (124 points)
17. Samsara Blues Experiment, Waiting for the Flood (114 points)
18. Deafheaven, Sunbather (112 points)
19. Kvelertak, Meir (109 points)
20. Ghost, Infestissumam (103 points)
20. The Melvins, Tres Cabrones (103 points)

Honorable mention also goes to:
ASG, Blood Drive (96 points)
Naam, Vow (95 points)
Alice in Chains, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (90 points)
Pelican, Forever Becoming (90 points)
Gozu, The Fury of a Patient Man (85 points)
Deville, Hydra (79 points)
Lumbar, The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (79 points)

In Solitude, Gorguts and Black Pyramid also has respectable showings, as you can see in the lists themselves. Clutch dominated from day one and never relinquished the lead, but some of the races for the spots behind them were tight, like Queens of the Stone Age and Uncle Acid keeping it close, as well as others. In any case, such unanimity around Earth Rocker was exciting in itself. It was my album of the year too.

Let’s do the raw votes:

Top 20 of 2013 — Raw Votes

1. Clutch, Earth Rocker (142 votes)
2. Vista Chino, Peace (114 votes)
3. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Mind Control (98 votes)
4. Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork (95 votes)
5. Monster Magnet, Last Patrol (91 votes)
6. Kadavar, Abra Kadavar (87 votes)
7. Windhand, Soma (84 votes)
8. Earthless, From the Ages (81 votes)
9. Red Fang, Whales and Leeches (77 votes)
10. Black Sabbath, 13 (71 votes)
11. Blood Ceremony, The Eldritch Dark (68 votes)
12. Church of Misery, Thy Kingdom Scum (50 votes)
13. Sasquatch, IV (47 votes)
14. Kylesa, Ultraviolet (43 votes)
15. Orchid, The Mouths of Madness (40 votes)
16. Carcass, Surgical Steel (37 votes)
17. Ghost, Infestissumam (34 votes)
18. ASG, Blood Drive (32 votes)
19. Kvelertak, Meir (32 votes)
19. Samsara Blues Experiment, Waiting for the Flood (32 votes)
20. The Melvins, Tres Cabrones (31 votes)
20. Naam, Vow (31 votes)

Honorable mention to:
Deafheaven, Sunbather (29 votes)
Alice in Chains, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (27 votes)
Black Pyramid, Adversarial (27 votes)
Gozu, The Fury of a Patient Man (26 votes)
Pelican, Forever Becoming (25 votes)
Causa Sui, Euporie Tide (23 votes)
Jex Thoth, Blood Moon Rise (23 votes)
Lumbar, The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (23 votes)
Russian Circles, Memorial (23 votes)
Cathedral, The Last Spire (22 votes)
Egypt, Become the Sun (21 votes)
Horisont, Time Warriors (21 votes)

Beelzefuzz, Devil to Pay, Deville, In Solitude, All Them Witches, Big Business, Inter Arma and Sandrider also had strong showings at around or just under 20 votes each, and everything else was less than that. Pretty similar makeup to the weighted results overall, with Queens of the Stone Age and Uncle Acid swapped out. Once again though, the moral of the story is that Clutch kicked ass in 2013, and I think that’s something we can all agree on.

One more time, cheers, kudos and gratitude to all that participated in the 2013 Readers Poll. As we move into 2014, I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it all came out and couldn’t be happier to have everyone who got involved included in these results. Here’s to next time around.

All of the lists that were sent in are included here after the jump for your perusal. I hope if you find somewhere my math was fuzzy, you’ll point it out. Otherwise, please enjoy.

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