It was a fantastic year for heavy metal, with practically nothing but fluctuation in my mood separating the top 5. For my money, the best albums of 2010 were:
1. High on Fire – SNAKES FOR THE DIVINE
2. Monster Magnet – MASTERMIND
3. Melechesh – EMMISARIES
4. Immolation – MAJESTY & DECAY
5. Enslaved – AXIOMA ETHICA ODINI
6. Triptykon – EPARISTERA DIAMONES
7. 1349 – DEMONOIR
8. Dimmu Borgir – ABBRAHADABRA
9. Kylesa – SPIRAL SHADOWS
10. Madball – EMPIRE
11. Annotations of an Autopsy – THE REIGN OF DARKNESS
12. Deathspell Omega – PARACLETUS
13. Whitechapel – A NEW ERA OF CORRUPTION
14. Sick of it All – BASED ON A TRUE STORY
15. The Dillinger Escape Plan – OPTION PARALYSIS
16. Ion Dissonance – CURSED
17. Dark Fortress – YLEM
18. Kingdom of Sorrow – BEHIND THE BLACKEST TEARS
19. Hate – EREBOS
20. Nevermore – THE OBSIDIAN CONSPIRACY
Best New Band
There’s absolutely no debate about this in my mind – Triptykon’s debut was absolutely phenomenal.
Best metal DVD / Blu-Ray
Sonisphere "The Big Four"
Discovery of 2010
The Anti-Christ Empyrium
A side-project boasting one half of the Akercocke membership. Expect them to tear your ears asunder when their debut hits the streets in 2011.
Album disappointments of 2010
A few names spring to mind, but none proved a greater example of all sizzle, no steak than Cephalic Carnage’s latest joint, MISLED BY CERTAINTY. Playing like a neutered version of former glories, it masked a distinct like of fire in their collective belly with experimentation, only for the result to sound lame.
Best concert attended in 2010
Monster Magnet and Seventh Void at the Electric Ballroom in London, though I have to admit that since the Astoria got torn down, I’ve noticed an increasingly slack attitude from promoters in the English capital that’s made me less inclined to attend gigs with the religious fervor I used to.
Greatest hopes for 2011
That the forthcoming albums by Deicide, Morbid Angel and Biohazard don’t end up in my "Biggest disappointments of 2011" list.