Best of 2010 – Robert Williams
1. Yngwie Malmsteen – Relentless
The album I most looked forward to for the better half of 2010 had to be "Relentless" the latest offering from Neo-Classical metal god Yngwie J. Malmsteen. His last album "Perpetual Flame" was so awe inspiring that the wait for the new record seemed like forever. Upon finally receiving the album I was relieved to find that not only did "Relentless" meet my high expectations, it surpassed them with incredibly catchy songs like "Caged Animal" "Critical Mass" and especially "Look At You Now". I know that everyone has their own personal favorite vocalists for YJM and there are endless debates about who should sing for the king of the six string, but Ripper Owens gets my vote and "Relentless" further demonstrates that together, they are both relentless and unstoppable.
2. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
"The Final Frontier" is another epic and grandiose album from the reigning kings of heavy metal Iron Maiden. I believe this to be the strongest effort from the band since "Brave New World" and can only hope that they continue to release new music, continue to tour and continue to represent everything that is sacred and holy about traditional metal. With news of Judas Priest bidding us farewell and the tragic recent passing of the immortal Ronnie James Dio, all eyes are set on Maiden as the defenders of the throne.
3. Accept – Blood Of The Nations
4. Overkill – Ironbound
5. Ross The Boss – Hailstorm
6. Toby Knapp – The Campaign
7. Halford – Made Of Metal
8. KAOS – The Pits Of Existence
9. Evil United – Evil United
10. Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra
11. Infernaeon – Genesis To Nemesis
12. Icarus Witch – Draw Down The Moon
13. 1349 – Demonoir
14. Panzergod – Forged In Grief
15. Helloween – 7 Sinners
16. Rhapsody Of Fire – The Frozen Tears Of Angels
17. Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones
18. Watain – Lawless Darkness
19. Sodom – In War and Pieces
20. Blind Guardian – At The Edge Of Time
Best New Band
Evil United receives my vote for best new band of 2010. This band is a collaboration between Jason McMaster (Watchtower, Dangerous Toys, Broken Teeth, Ignitor) and Don Van Stavern (Riot, Pitbull Daycare) A full length album of aggressive and technical thrash metal has been recorded, some of which can be previewed at http://www.myspace.com/evilunited
Best Metal DVD/Blu-Ray
Megadeth – Rust In Peace Live
Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson reunited in the early part of 2010 and toured the globe performing the classic "Rust In Peace" album in it’s entirety every night. With Chris Broderick on lead guitar and Shawn Drover on drums, this is arguably the best the band has ever sounded in concert. This Blu-Ray DVD, filmed at the famed Hollywood Palladium forever documents what many consider to be the tour of the year.
Best concert attended in 2010
2010 was an action packed year full of memorable and exciting concerts, so much so that I am left undecided on which show could possibly be the best. I will say that finally seeing Accept in concert was a dream come true for me. There was also the thrill of witnessing Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, three of the "Big Four" lay waste to the AT&T Center in San Antonio. I also caught some fantastic shows at the aforementioned venue by Scorpions as part of their "Farewell Tour" and Iron Maiden prior to the release of their highly anticipated new album. I will hold an abundance of beer soaked memories from shows like a recent Lizzy Borden concert this past spring and who could forget the stage scorching performance that was Primal Fear’s debut in Austin, Texas? Trying to say that any of these shows stood out as being better than the rest would seem unfair. All I can really say is that I’m incredibly thankful for such a productive year by some of my favorite bands who graced their fans with some amazing performances!
Greatest hopes for 2011
I am anxiously awaiting new records from Destruction, Saxon, Jack Starr, Lizzy Borden and loads more. I still hold onto hope that NWOBHM legends Angel Witch will release a new album in 2011, considering that they’ve held a stable lineup now for a few years and added Bill Steer (Carcass) I think this hope is somewhat pitted in reality. I also hope that everyone in the music industry involved in attempting to kill off CD’s in favor of downloadable content, swiftly meet their end in the most gruesome, fiery and painful deaths imaginable.