Secret to Placing in Decibel's Year-End Top 5 Revealed!

First we'd like to congratulate Tombs on topping our annual list of the Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2011. It was, of course, well deserved. Not all our readers may agree with it, but then again there's no satisfying the most extremely extreme readership in all of metaldom. You're an opinionated lot, and we love you. Most of you. So, we are here today to reveal what seems to be the key to a band placing its album in the Top 5 of our vaunted list: craft beer. Sure, intangibles like "good musicianship," "excellent songwriting" and "killer image" come into play, but there's no denying the link between the majority of 2011's Top 5 placers and craft beer. Sure the sample size is small (one year), but please allow us to make stuff up elaborate.

#1 Tombs, Path of Totality: Needless to say, we showcased bassist Carson Daniel James' love of craft beers and involvement in the craft beer world in this very forum. Exhibit 1-A.

#3 Mastodon, The Hunter: A German lager bearing their name was brewed by Mahr's Brau for Mastodon's appearance at Sonisphere back in July 2009. Exhibit 3-A.

#5 Brutal Truth, End Time: It's no coincidence that BT front man Kevin Sharp's Decibel column "Grinding it Out" is next to our own "Brewtal Truth" craft beer column. Sharp has also been known to tip a few cold ones with Dave Witte, the metal world's true ambassador to fine beer. Exhibit 5-A: just open up the damn magazine and look at the two columns side by side. Sheesh, do we have to do everything for you?

(And who knows, had Jeff Hanneman not decided to rock this Heinie-inspired guitar back in 2009, World Painted Blood might have actually found its way into the Top 5, instead of languishing at #7. Maybe he should switch to Ninkasi's Sleigh'r.)

But getting back to Dave Witte, based on our latest revelation regarding how bands can assure themselves a place in our yearly Top 5, it's pretty much a lead-pipe lock that his latest effort with Municipal Waste will be topping our list at the end of 2012. Other contenders, if they put out albums in 2012 include Pelican, Clutch, Amon Amarth and Hansen (they're putting their name on a new brew called MmmmHops IPA that's sure to be killer).

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