Heavy Blog Is Heavy: 2011 In Retrospect

Well here we are again. I did one of these retrospective posts last year, and if nothing else it was great to see what Jimmy, myself, and the other fine chaps who help us to do what we do have managed to achieve. Before I say anything else, I’d like to thank Jimmy, Dan, Gunnar, Damien, Noyan, Evan, Cody, Mitch and Michael, as well as our since departed friends Paul, Peter, Jeff, and Tim, as well as sometimes contributors Stefan, Caleb, Ed Newman and Justin Gosnell. All those guys have been awesome, and make my time here more than worth it. Give ’em a round of applause people!

Right, down to business: once again we gathered in a pow-wow around the communal peace-pipe (also known as Dormition….ah-ha-ha-ha!) and cast out memories back over the past twelve months; a year of some pretty astounding accomplishments if I do say so myself. Hit that jump to find out exactly what we got up to, and maybe catch up on stuff that you may have missed! After all, it’s a well known fact that it’s cooler to come to the party long after it has already started…

Highs

In January we got our first glimpse of Vestascension. It took me until February to catch onto what was happening, but over the months we got pretty close with those guys, and even had guitarist and producer Justin Gosnell on to write a column for us a few times.

February saw Jimmy take to the Twittersphere to postulate that the only thing that would make Devin Townsend‘s roster of cameo talent for Deconstruction more awesome would be if Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan got involved. He let his feelings be known to both parties, and we all know how that turned out!

Back in the third month of the year, we noted how many progressive metal releases were coming out – including The Human Abstract‘s Digital Veil, Scale The Summit‘s The Collective and Obscura‘s Omnivium – and so we dubbed the month Prog-Metal March and had a WHOLE lot of fun, including daily doses of prog, reviews, themed columns and give-aways. Bet you’re sorry if you missed it.

Jimmy’s review of Animals As Leaders new album Weightless – written and posted on October 12th, the same day it leaked – was picked up by the band almost immediately and posted to their 99,000-odd Facebook fans. It saw 4060 views that day, just over 1300 the next, and has since become our number one viewed post of the year and all time, with over 12,000 look-sees.

Our most popular non-review post this year was again Jimmy’s, when he informed the world in June that the new Opeth record would feature no death metal vocals. That’s sitting on about 10,000 at the moment. He’s the boss-man for a reason you know!

Speaking of stats…

Stats time!

I’m not typically a numbers geek, but I check the old charts at least once a week to see how we’re doing, and holy moly have I had a grin on my face these past twelve months.

We finished 2010 having lured some number of your into our midst a grand total of 282,534 times. We were pretty proud to have reached over 38,000 views in the month of December 2010, which was our best month ever.

Things only got better from there. By the end of January 2011 we had reached 49,279, and had more than doubled that by August. Our best month by far was October with 134,641, and we finished the year with 1,118,703 views total. That’s almost four times the visits we had a year ago. That’s insane for us. Thank you all, so much.

In 2010 we made 1,020 posts, and I challenged us to beat that target in 2011 – and beat it we did! We made 1,676 new posts, which is absolutely fantastic. I’d love to know how many words that is overall, but fuck you am I counting them all. The overall archive is now up to 2,836 posts.

Last year we joined Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm. That turned out to be a pretty profitable move, as our constant spamming of your Facebook feeds yielded over 56,000 visits, a more modest 4000+ from Twitter, and about 600 from Last.fm. Our second top referrer was Metalsucks, which pretty much figures as, chuh, they practically worship the ground that we hover two inches above, yah? Kidding aside, big thanks to Axl and Vince for their invaluable help, along with the fine chaps at Got-Djent, That’s Not Metal, The Number Of The Blog and No Clean Singing, who were also massive gents and made us feel super loved.

As for reasons you might have come here, apparently the most important thing to you lot was System of a Down. After that, and rather head-bloatingly, you were actually Googling us. Some of you came looking for a review of Asking Alexandria‘s Reckless And Relentless. You were likely disappointed. Slightly disturbingly, just over 1400 found us by searching ‘suicide’, and would have found little comfort in Jimmy’s 2010 post telling you that it was pretty metal, but that they probably didn’t have the balls to do it right. Sorry guys.

The Fallen

As ever, there were down-sides to 2011, and we thought it only right to pay our respects to the dear and departed. Fallen warriors included, but were not limited to:

  • Mike Starr, formerly of Alice In Chains (March 8th)
  • Henke Frykman of Disfear (March 25th)
  • Scott Columbus, formerly of Manowar (April 4th)
  • Seth Putnam of Anal Cunt (June 11th)
  • Michael ‘Würzel’ Burston, formerly of Motörhead (July 9th)
  • Jonas Bergqvist of Lifelover (September 9th)
  • Cory Smoot of GWAR (November 3rd)
  • Jonas Christiansen of Slavia (November 17th)
  • David Gold of Woods of Ypres (December 21st)

We also lost metal stalwart Mario Comesanas of satellite radio station Liquid Metal Sirius XM on June 14th, and well-respected funny man Ryan Dunn of Jackass on June 20th. On the upswing, Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski of Behemoth, who we wished well at the end of 2010, has come back stronger than ever after fighting leukemia, and seems to be on the mend. We hope for his continued health!

Bands-wise, we lost quite a few, both permanently and on hiatus. Peep these through your ever-flowing tears:

  • The Bled
  • Disturbed (hiatus)
  • Down I Go
  • Fall In Archea
  • The Famine
  • Fear Before
  • God Dethroned
  • The Human Abstract
  • Lifelover
  • Ludicra
  • Oceansize
  • Thrice
  • Thursday
  • With Words

Thankfully we did have a few returnees, including Black Sabbath and System Of A Down. No wonder SOAD were so searched for…

Elsewhere, we laid a few columns to rest, including Best Of British and, ironically, For Whom The Bell Tolls. We did have a resurgence of our ‘Five Reasons’ feature, however, this time looking at metalcore.

In other miscellaneous news, we reviewed a grand total of 213 albums, took a look at album art with our graphic artist Stefan, and once in a while broke off from telling you shit to talk about shit. We discussed the virtues of actually reading what is written rather than what you want to see, the realms of digital sound, the importance of genre (and how little complaining about it achieves, except making you sound pathetic), Spotify, and a whole bunch of other useless crap.

I also started a Fantasy Football league (soccer, to some of you) that, whilst no longer reported on regularly, is still ongoing. I top both ladders, but there is still just under half of the season to go, and everything to play for.

That’s about it really. In essence, we had a great year, and we hope 2012 is even better!

– CG

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