JP’s Best of 2010
It was a very metal year for me. From being a speaker at Noctis IV the International Metal Music Industry conference, to having Andy Sneap, Sam Dunn and Eric Grief all in the studio at the same time on my radio show discussing the new Accept album, to getting our new book section here at Metal-Rules fired up, to discovering my new favorite fanzine, Chromium Dioxide, to seeing local boys Striker get the global recognition they deserve, 2010 was a truly kick-ass year. It was all sonically backed-up by a full-on, non-stop, metal soundtrack. I managed to hear about 300 new, 2010 albums, but considering there were approx. 5000 albums released this year this is just a drop in the bucket! There is so much quality material being released every year that Year End lists get harder and harder every year. Having heard only 2.5% of the available material released world-wide in 2010 here is what rocked my world.
1. Pathfinder-Beyond The Space, Beyond The Time (GM Records)
I heard about 20 seconds of the band on-line, ordered the CD from Poland instantly and when I heard it jumped right to #1 of the year. Much like last year when another brand new band (Cain’s Offering) came out of nowhere late in the year and took my #1 spot.
2. Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Relentless (Rising Force)
3. Helloween – 7 Sinners (Sony)
4. Wuthering Heights – Salt (Sensory)
5. Rage – Strings To A Web (Nuclear Blast)
6. Reinxeed – Majestic (Liljgren)
7. Golden Resurrection – Glory To My King (Liljgren)
8. Sinbreed-When Worlds Collide (Ulterium)
9. Painside-Dark World Burden (Inner Wound)
10. Myrath-Desert Call (Nightmare)
11. Angels Of Babylon-Kingdom Of Evil (Burnhill Union)
12. Ancient Bards-The Alliance Of The Kings: The Black Crystal Sword Saga Pt. 1 (Limb)
13. Crosswind-Opposing Forces (Stormspell)
14. Signum Regis-The Eyes Of Power (Inner Wound)
15. Soulspell-The Labyrinth Of Truths (Inner wound)
16. Toxxic Toyz-Mutation (Nightmare)
17. Seven Kingdoms-Seven Kingdoms (Indie)
18. Lyraka-Lyraka (Indie)
19. Blacksword-The Sword Accurst (Echoes Of Crom)
20. Wildestarr-Arrival (Furnace Maximus)
Best New Band
Pathfinder-Beyond The Space, Beyond The Time (GM Records)
Best Live Album
Dragonforce-Twilight Dementia. (Roadrunner)
I saw them twice on this tour. The end of an era, capping a run of four brilliant albums.
Skullfist-Heavier Than Metal (Indie) Canadian ass-kickery. A band to watch.
Best Misc. Remake/Covers album/Compilations etc.
Dokken – Greatest Hits. (Cleopatra)
Don sounds better than ever re-recording these classic hits from the 80’s. The four new bonus tracks sweeten the deal.
Best Metal Book
Again like DVD’s there are so many categories of books, biographies, autobiographies, academic works, photo/art books, books of lists, that it is hard to only pick one! These two stood out for me.
The Gospel Of Filth – A Bible Of Decadence And Darkness (FAB) Gavin Baddeley, w. Dani Filth. Technically this came out in late 2009 and you had to pre-order the special ‘Bible Edition’, limited to 1150 copies. The rest of the world got a look at this magnificent work in 2010.
Mean Deviation-Four Decades of Progressive Metal by Jeff Wagner. (Bazillion Points)
The definitive history of all things Prog Metal.
Best metal DVD/Blu-Ray
There are so many different types of DVD’s (Documentaries, video collections, concerts, band histories) it’s hard to rank, so of the dozen I saw this year here is my Top 3 breakdown.
Saxon:Heavy Metal Thunder-The Movie. (Coolhead Productions)
The extended 3 hour version of the movie and three hours of bonus footage. 6 hours of awesomeness.
Documentary honourable Mention goes to Until The Light Takes Us. (Factory 25)
Best Concert DVD:
Yngwie J. Malmsteen-Raw Live. (Rising Force)
An excellent collection of bootleg clips from across the world and across his career.
Misc: Metalocalypse Season Three. (Adult Swim/ Warner)
Discovery of 2010
Orden Ogan-Easton Hope (AFM)
I don’t know how I missed these guys first two albums. Crushing and classic metal for fans of Blind Guardian, Persuader and Savage Circus.
Best concert attended in 2010
Killfest 2010. OverkilI w. Vader, God Dethroned, Evile. Warbringer and Woe Of Tyrants. April 15th, Red Room, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
I only saw about 50 bands this year but the other concerts that stood out were the Ozzy/Halford (Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta) and Hammerfall with Powerglove. (Bar in Calgary, Alberta)
Album disappointments of 2010
Star One- Victims Of A Modern Age. (Insideout) It just didn’t have the magic of the debut.
Greatest hopes for 2011
1. New Manowar album. (Carried over from 2010!)
2. W.A.S.P. Blackie Lawless decides to release the mountain of archived footage (and the long-lost Japanese only video collection) in a cool, historical 3+ DVD set. Blackie also finishes his autobiography he has been rumored to have working on for years. (Also carried over from 2010!)
2. Symfonia. The new band featuring…
André Matos (ANGRA, SHAAMAN, VIPER) – Vocals
Timo Tolkki (STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE) – Guitar
Jari Kainulainen (STRATOVARIUS, EVERGREY) – Bass
Mikko Härkin (SONATA ARCTICA, KOTIPELTO) – Keyboards
Uli Kusch (MASTERPLAN, HELLOWEEN) – Drums
The debut album is out in March. With that kind of fire-power, I’m calling it a (very) early contender for many Top 10 lists in 2011.
3. Fullforce. The new band featuring…
Mike Andersson (CLOUDSCAPE, SILENT MEMORIAL, PLANET ALLIANCE) vocals,
Stefan Elmgren (HAMMERFALL) guitar,
Carl-Johan Grimmark (NARNIA) guitar,
Tommy Larsson (HEED) bass
Anders Johansson (HAMMERFALL, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) drums,
The debut album is out this spring . With that kind of fire-power, I’m calling it a (very) early contender for many Top 10 lists in 2011. (again.)
4. Metal Evolution. Sam Dunn’s 12+ hour History of Heavy Metal documentary series. A good chance to expand on his first film, the excellent and critically acclaimed, Metal: A Headbangers Journey. Should be showing soon on TV and available soon after on DVD with bonus stuff!
5. Metalocalypse Season Four. The only TV series worth watching.