POLL: The Top 20 Albums of the 2010s — VOTE NOW!

top 20 of 2010s poll header

A year-end poll is nothing new around here. A decade-end poll, however, feels more like a special occasion. Here we are, on the cusp of entering the 2020s, and it’s time to take a look back at the decade that was. The landmarks. The albums that helped paint toward a brighter (or darker) future of heavy. The innovators, the purists, everything.

The same rules as the year-end polls apply. Here they are in the same cut-and-paste I’ve been using for years because I still don’t really understand it but it’s all set up by Slevin so I just roll with it: You submit your list of up to 20 favorites on the form below. Anything from 2010 to whatever’s coming out this and next month is eligible. At the end, there are two lists, one of the raw votes, and one 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.

And while we’re here, eternal gratitude to Slevin for setting up and running this poll.

We’ll do it for two months, from now until Jan. 1, and I’ll post the results on Jan. 9. I don’t think I’ll do a separate year-end poll for 2019 unless the demand for it is significant, but of course anything released this year is eligible for that as well.

Maximum participation is sincerely appreciated. Here’s the form:


Everyone’s individual poll lists will be posted as well with the results.

Since 10 years is a long time, I thought I’d link to the past lists. You’re stuck with my list for 2010, since there wasn’t a poll that year. All the others are the poll results from 2011-2018, and I’ve never found a better resource than that for assessing what came out in a given 12 months.

The Obelisk Top 20 of 2010

Top 20 of 2011 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2012 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2013 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2014 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2015 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2016 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2017 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2018 Year-End Poll

Thank you in advance for taking part, sharing the link, etc. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to seeing how it all comes out. Please note your email is neither stored nor used. Only asking for it to prove you’re not a bot. Much appreciated.

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18 Responses to “POLL: The Top 20 Albums of the 2010s — VOTE NOW!”

  1. Andersen says:

    Gonna be fun!

  2. Maxime says:

    Gonna be hard.
    Also, yes, we need a seperate year-end pool for 2019 !

  3. Sam Judson says:

    Submitted. Could have easily done a top 50. I took this too seriously.

  4. Max says:

    Submitted. Strays pretty far from what is normally covered here on The Obelisk. Curious for the results.

    Also, yes, we need a seperate year-end pool for 2019! [2]

  5. Mat Fridman says:

    Some years I didn’t put a ton of thought into my year end list and ended up forgetting some album I loved. Well, this year I really put effort into compiling my list. But then I saw you’re doing a decade best list. Do yourself a favor, skip the year end list. The work you’d be required to do in order to put out year end and decade best lists is uncalled for. Please JJ, just take that time to do something for yourself. But if you could put out your own year end list it would be appreciated. I always discover some real gems in your list I overlooked. Thanks

  6. Brian says:

    I would love to see a 2019 best of list from readers as well as this decade list, but understand if it is a lot of extra work. Love this idea, but I sure was not ready for it. Probably going to be a lot of albums I miss that I will remember later, but that may be half the fun, rediscovering some older stuff I haven’t listened to in awhile.

  7. Wombat60 says:

    Best of the 2010s was a great idea JJ, it’s been a lot of fun going through music from the past decade, thanks for the impetus.

    Also, I’ll buy a pair of sweat pants if you have a 2019 poll.

  8. Scott Heller says:

    That was quite an effort. I went through my entire collection of music I bought from 2010 to present. The list was 60 albums. It was super hard to get it down to 20. I am sure a lot of my last 8-10 or so will not be on anyone else’s list but that is also cool… Look forward to the full results. The album I put as number one is not my fave but one that I think was probably the most influential of the last 10 years as so many bands have followed in their footsteps to try to emulate their sound and feel..

  9. Dutch gus says:

    Having a crack at this but feel like it’s turning out pretty ‘conservative’.
    With a one year list there’s room for some far out stuff, but picking 20 from the decade is turning out pretty much just Colour Haze… Neurosis… Yob…

  10. Adam says:

    Should have paid better attention. Posted a list for 2019 not the decade.

    Will have to think about this. Yob, OM, Bell Witch, Graves at Sea, Elder, Sasquatch, Kikagaku Moyo, The Heavy Horses, Electric Moon, Graveyard, off the top of my head.

  11. Justin O'Gorman says:

    I just foud this site a few months ago. I submitted my picks and I’m excited for the results. I live in Canada so I’m not sure how many Canadian bands will be recognized on here but the album “Alchemy” by “Hemptress” is on my list. Also, it would easily be my #1 for 2019. Hoping for a separate 2019 list also.

  12. SabbathJeff says:

    Fwiw, another vote for a top 20 2019. Haven’t sifted through the decade list contenders, but so much awesome shit came out this year that I’d love to examine your thoughts (and everyone elses) on the year alone, even a cursory glance, just lists/no reviews. You put sooo much appreciated effort into this site, JJ. EVERYTHING we do is half-assed as perfection is an unachievable idea; yet half-assed is 50% better than no ass at all. The number of times I’ve spun Kings Destroy & Sturgill Simpson, disparate though they are, for the life of me I don’t have the top 5 this year sorted, let alone 20. That riff at the end of Larvae on Monolords’ No Comfort ALONE puts that slab into the top 10, easy. Give us riff Mardi Gras, please: I’ll toss you some reads if you show me your lists.

  13. dutch gus says:

    Put my (today) list in before faffing around with it any more.
    Tricky exercise, how do you balance ‘artistic merit’, personal preference, significance in context of influence…?
    Arbitrarily in my case.
    Decided that Yob, Wren, Neurosis, and Elder were only allowed one album.

  14. Obvious & Odious says:

    Still working, down to 30 albums with 13 “locks”. Seventeen battling for the last 7 spots

    I decided no more than 1 album from any band. Because i felt like it. Still going to be some favorite groups that don’t make it

    What do we do with EPs? It’s a dilemma. Not a Time Travel Dilemma, but a Mountains & Reminiscence dilemma

  15. Colin M. says:

    I’m waffling on whether I am even brave enough to try to narrow this down. This year’s top 20 was brutal enough. All I know is that Horn Of The Rhino’s “Weight of Coronation” is a lock for top 3. Beyond that… *gulps*

  16. Christopher Tichenor says:

    I only looked at your 2010 list after submitting my list.

    I considered Grinderman 2, but thought, “Naw, that doesn’t quite fit the site.”

    And then there it is on your 2010 list…

  17. Danthemanrocks says:

    Too hard to narrow down albums but there has suprisingly been a single total stand-out song for me across the decade, head and shoulders above some other really excellent stuff: Marrow by YOB. Completely and utterly perfect. No amount of listens seems able to fade it. Usually makes me weep like a baby. And so I stuck that album into the poll and nothing else :-)

  18. Obvious & Odious says:

    Still making changes on Dec 31st. I have put an inordinate amount of time into this list. Sorry Om, My Sleeping Karma, Hotel Wrecking City Traders….it just wasn’t your decade. Unless this were a Top 25, in which case it totally would have been your decade!

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