1. Black Country Communion – BLACK COUNTRY
There’s a reason why Glenn Hughes was one of Ronnie James Dio’s favorite singers – the guy is amazing. I knew from the first spin of this album that 2010 wasn’t going to get any better. Heavy, bluesy, emotive, and original, I’ll still be listening to BLACK COUNTRY well into 2011.
2. Cough – RITUAL ABUSE
There were some great doom albums in 2010, but RITUAL ABUSE was above and beyond the best. Gut wrenchingly heavy, Cough accomplished more in five tracks than some bands do their entire careers.
3. Ghost – OPUS EPONYMOUS
4. Intronaut – VALLEY OF SMOKE
5. High on Fire – SNAKES FOR THE DIVINE
6. Triptykon –EPARISTERA DAIMONES
7. Misery Index – HEIRS TO THIEVERY
8. Broughton’s Rules – BOUNTY HUNTER 1853
9. Kingcrow – PHLEGETHON
10. Sigh – SCENES FROM HELL
11. Danzig – DETH RED SABAOTH
12. Electric Wizard – BLACK MASSES
13. Mortiis – PERFECTLY DEFECT
14. Kylesa – SPIRAL SHADOW
15. Flotsam & Jetsam – THE COLD
16. Monster Magnet – MASTERMIND
17. Zoroaster – MATADOR
18. Cathedral – THE GUESSING GAME
19. Annihilator – ANNIHILATOR
20. Armored Saint – LA RAZA
Best New Band: Ghost
Ghost reminds me of why I fell in love with metal in the first place. These spooky Swedes get it; I hope the rest of the world catches on.
Best Metal DVD/Blu-Ray:
Fuck the Facts – DISGORGE MEXICO – The DVD
The live portion of the DVD puts other concert films to shame, and the art house film attached to it disturbs you in the way that extreme music is supposed to. Fuck the Facts are the definition of DIY; you need to know this band.
Discovery of 2010:
That the underground is indeed alive and well. A lot of the bigger releases of this year left me feeling rather “meh,” but the sheer volume of indie/self released material that I heard in 2010 more than made up for it. Some of it was certainly better than others, but you can’t ignore the kind of passion and motivation that only metal inspires. Proof positive that metal does indeed rule.
Best Concert Attended: CYNIC
Getting to see Cynic perform FOCUS in its entirety easily makes this my favorite show of 2010. Getting to see them perform the majority of TRACED IN AIR at the end of the FOCUS set easily makes this one of my top 5 shows of all time. Getting to see Paul Masvidal reprimand a douchebag frat boy in an Affliction t-shirt in front of the entire audience? Priceless.
Biggest Album Disappointments:
Atheist – JUPITER
I really, really, REALLY wanted to like this album. Is it terrible, no, but if the name on the cover wasn’t associated with albums like PIECE OF TIME or UNQUESTIONABLE PRESENCE, would anyone care? Sometimes it’s better to leave the past in the past…
Greatest Hopes for 2011:
1) The return of CROWBAR!!!! February 2nd can’t happen fast enough.
2) New albums from Obscura, Pestilence, and Origin will get the taste of JUPITER out of my mouth.
3) The possibility of a new Saint Vitus album. Please guys, make this happen.