Sinister – the exclusive 9CD+DVD BOX out in February

January 6th, 2011
by EvilG
Sinister - Altered Since Birth

Sinister - Altered Since Birth

Metal Mind Productions is proud to announce the release of the exclusive box containing the full discography of one of the best death metal bands around – Sinister.

The box entitled “Altered Since Birth” contains 8 studio albums, live DVD, a compilation of demo tracks plus a booklet containing a full biography based on an exclusive interview, the complete discography, lyrics to all songs and a selection of amazing archive photos. The cover artwork was done by the well known Polish graphic designer – Graal.

This Dutch band has been polluting the scene with its vile and marvelously brutal music for over 20 years, which easily makes them one of the most recognizable European extreme bands of all times. The group’s impressive discography of nine LPs and one DVD is a testimony of undying devotion to brutal aggressive music. This collection captures the true essence of Sinister, delivering 10 discs of powerful and mind-crushing death metal…

The box includes the following albums:

CD 1 – Demo-Nica (compilation)

CD 2 – Cross The Styx

Bonus tracks:

1. Epoch of Denial (live)

2. Cross the Styx (live)

CD 3 – Diabolical Summoning

Bonus track:

1. Sadistic Intent (live)

CD 4 – Hate & Bastard Saints

Bonus track:

1. To Mega Therion (live)

CD 5 – Aggresive Measures

Bonus tracks:

1. Into the Forgotten (live)

2. Enslave the Weak (live)

CD 6 – Creative Killings

Bonus track:

1. Bleeding Towards the Wendigo (live)

CD 7 – Savage Or Grace

Bonus track:

1. Barbaric Order (live)

CD 8 – Afterburner

Bonus tracks:

1. The Grey Massacre (live)

2. Men Down (live)

3. Altruistic Suicide (live)

4. Afterburner (live)

CD 9 – The Silent Howling

DVD – Prophecies Denied

Metal Mind Productions set the release date for 14th February in Poland, 21st February in Europe and 5th April in USA. Full details to be announced soon.

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KORPIKLAANI: New Music Video Online Now

January 6th, 2011
by EvilG
KORPIKLAANI: "Ukon Wacka"

KORPIKLAANI: "Ukon Wacka"

Finnish folk metal pioneers, KORPIKLAANI, have made the music video for their brand new drinking hymn “Tequila” available for viewing below. The track comes off their new album, Ukon Wacka, which will be released in Europe on February 4, 2011 and in North America on February 15, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The track listing for the CD is as follows:

01. Louhen Yhdeksäs Poika
02. Päät Pois Tai Hirteen
03. Tuoppi Oltta
04. Lonkkaluut
05. Tequila
06. Ukon Wacka
07. Korvesta Liha
08. Koivu Ja Tähti
09. Vaarinpolkka
10. Surma

North American Bonus Track:
11. Iron Fist (MOTÖRHEAD)

Check out the cover artwork below.

According to the band, “Ukon Wacka, or Ukon Vakat, is a pagan sacrificial feast from ancient times, on which a special made beer richly flowed. As can be expected from the title, this album has an ancient and very folky feel and is totally in Finnish. To make the lyrics understandable for non-Finnish people, we will add an English description/translation in the booklet as usual. The album consists of 10 songs, among which you will find a song name ‘Tequila’, which is especially written for (and inspired by) our South American fans, with whom we celebrated such hard times, and who welcomed us so warmly, when we were touring in South America. Another surprise is the title song, ‘Ukon Wacka’, in which a special guest features: the famous Finnish singer Tuomari Nurmio! Last but not least features a tribute song (‘Päät Pois Tai Hirteen’) to the Finnish rock band PEER GÜNT, a great and underestimated band. We hope and expect that this album will give you as much joy as we had making it; a big folky feast for all!”

Karkelo (English translation: “Pleasure” or “Party”), the sixth album from KORPIKLAANI, was released on June 26, 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Petrax studio in Hollola, Finland.

KORPIKLAANI‘s previous CD, Korven Kuningas, came out on March 21, 2008. The CD entered the album chart in the band’s home country at position No. 16.

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AVANTASIA: ‘The Flying Opera’ DVD Artwork Unveiled

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG
AVANTASIA: 'The Flying Opera' DVD

AVANTASIA: 'The Flying Opera' DVD

AVANTASIA — the project led by EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet — is putting the finishing touches on its two-disc DVD, “The Flying Opera – Around The World In 20 Days”, for an early March release via Nuclear Blast Records in Europe and Avalon Marquee in Asia.

According to a press release, “The DVD is a documentary of the legendary 2008 world tour of AVANTASIA, when the band hit the road for the first time to write a new chapter in metal history; traveling around the world with a giant all-star ensemble to bring the metal opera on stage and play on three continents within a few days, crossing the dateline and eventually playing to a total of 400,000 people within only a few weeks. The first DVD contains a live concert with a running time of almost two hours featuring footage filmed at the headlining shows of Wacken Open Air (Germany) and Masters Of Rock (Czech Republic). On the second DVD there will be a movie, ‘Around The World In 20 Days’, that gives fans the opportunity to join AVANTASIA backstage and take a look at the surroundings and the thrill behind the scenes that go along with an extensive undertaking such as this. The DVD set will portray AVANTASIA 2008 when it all started.”

“The Flying Circus – Around The World In 20 Days” will be available as a two-disc DVD set featuring the documentary movie, a live concert film, and additional bonus material. It will be also available as a double live album on CD and as a limited-edition two-CD/two-DVD box set.

Commented Tobias: “I am so proud of this DVD package and the featured footage, even though it took a little longer to finally complete it. It gives people an idea of what an impact the first appearance of AVANTASIA on stage had, and you will get an idea of how everything went beyond our expectations and what the roots and the seeds for the current AVANTASIA tour are. It portrays one year in AVANTASIA’s history, maybe the most important year in the project’s history because that is when a studio project became a traveling institution.

“There are many metal operas, but we made it something real, something to take hold of. Something alive…”

AVANTASIA kicked off its “The Metal Opera Comes To Town” world tour 2010 on November 30 at Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland. Joining Sammet in AVANTASIA’s touring lineup are a number of special guests, including GAMMA RAY/ex-HELLOWEEN guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen, Bob Catley (MAGNUM), Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN), Amanda Somerville, Olli Hartmann and Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN).

Although rumors keep circulating about further shows from AVANTASIA in 2011, a statement on Tobias’ official web site makes it clear that after AVANTASIA’s December 2010 world tour, there will be no more tours or festival appearances from the project apart from the Wacken Open Air show in August 2011.

AVANTASIA released its new epic masterpiece on April 3, 2010 as regular CDs (“The Wicked Symphony” and “Angel Of Babylon”), two separate double picture vinyls, and as a beautiful collector’s edition with an AVANTASIA picture book.

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THREAT SIGNAL Announces Two New Members

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Canadian metallers THREAT SIGNAL have parted ways with drummer Norm Killeen and guitarist Adam Weber and have replaced them with Alex Rudinger from Frederick, Maryland and Chris Feener from Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, Canada, respectively. THREAT SIGNAL vocalist Jon Howard said, “I caught wind of Alex‘s drumming through YouTube. He has a large number of drumming videos, including covers and originals. My jaw dropped when I first saw this kid play! Chris also has a ton of self-recorded videos on YouTube. I haven’t seen a guy shred like this in a long time!”

Regarding Killeen and Weber‘s departures, Howard said, “It was a mutual decision between us all to part ways, and there are no hard feeling whatsoever. We are still great friends. We shared some amazing times together and we will never forget that. We love [them] guys and wish [them] all the best.”

THREAT SIGNAL is currently writing material for its third album and plans to hit the studio sometime in the spring. Howard said, “All I can say for now is that the new material is heavier than anything we’ve done before! Get ready kids, THREAT SIGNAL is gonna tear you some new holes this year!”

THREAT SIGNAL recently completed the “Threat Over Europe 2010” headlining tour with RAUNCHY (Denmark), SYBREED (Switzerland), M.A.N (Sweden) and ILLIDIANCE (Russia).

THREAT SIGNAL‘s sophomore album, “Vigilance”, sold around 1,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 32 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. Released in September 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records, the CD was produced by vocalist Jon Howard and mixed by Greg Reely (FEAR FACTORY, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY).

THREAT SIGNAL members Jon Howard and Pat Kavanagh are also involved with ARKAEA, the band featuring FEAR FACTORY members Raymond Herrera (drums) and Christian Olde Wolbers (guitar).

Canadian metallers THREAT SIGNAL have parted ways with drummer Norm Killeen and guitarist Adam Weber and have replaced them with Alex Rudinger from Frederick, Maryland and Chris Feener from Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, Canada, respectively. THREAT SIGNAL vocalist Jon Howard said, “I caught wind of Alex‘s drumming through YouTube. He has a large number of drumming videos, including covers and originals. My jaw dropped when I first saw this kid play! Chris also has a ton of self-recorded videos on YouTube. I haven’t seen a guy shred like this in a long time!”

Regarding Killeen and Weber‘s departures, Howard said, “It was a mutual decision between us all to part ways, and there are no hard feeling whatsoever. We are still great friends. We shared some amazing times together and we will never forget that. We love [them] guys and wish [them] all the best.”

THREAT SIGNAL is currently writing material for its third album and plans to hit the studio sometime in the spring. Howard said, “All I can say for now is that the new material is heavier than anything we’ve done before! Get ready kids, THREAT SIGNAL is gonna tear you some new holes this year!”

THREAT SIGNAL recently completed the “Threat Over Europe 2010” headlining tour with RAUNCHY (Denmark), SYBREED (Switzerland), M.A.N (Sweden) and ILLIDIANCE (Russia).

THREAT SIGNAL‘s sophomore album, “Vigilance”, sold around 1,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 32 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. Released in September 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records, the CD was produced by vocalist Jon Howard and mixed by Greg Reely (FEAR FACTORY, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY).

THREAT SIGNAL members Jon Howard and Pat Kavanagh are also involved with ARKAEA, the band featuring FEAR FACTORY members Raymond Herrera (drums) and Christian Olde Wolbers (guitar).

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Best of 2010 – EvilG

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

EvilG – Best of 2010

There’s been some great new albums and bands this year and I got to see some great concerts. The below lists summarize what I’ve been listening to this year. Hopefully 2011 will have as much awesome metal!!

 

Top 20 albums


1. Blind Guardian – At The Edge of Time

Blind Guardian

2010 saw the release of Blind Guardian’s best album since 1999’s NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE-EARTH. Combining the bands heavier and thrashier moments with the epic and folk elements, they have created an album that appeals to all longtime fans of the band.

2. Gamma Ray – To The Metal

Gamma Ray

As a major Kai Hansen fan-boy, it’s not easy to put this album at #2…but the album is a slight step down from the majesty of LAND OF THE FREE PART II (2007). However, it does still show that the band are at the top of the power metal genre.

Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy

Nevermore


4. Wuthering Heights – Salt

Wuthering Heights


5. Halford – Made of Metal





6. Sabaton – Coat of Arms

Sabaton


7. Forbidden – Omega Wave

Forbidden


8. Ratt – Infestation

Ratt



9. Helloween – 7 Sinners

Helloween



10. Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony / Angel Of Babylon

Avantasia


11. Death Angel – Relentless Retribution

Death Angel


12. Accept – Blood of the Nations

Accept



13. Ozzy Osbourne – Scream

Ozzy


14. sHEAVY – Disfigurine

sHEAVY


15. Rhapsody of Fire – The Frozen Tears of Angels

Rhapsody of Fire


16. Firewind – Days of Defiance

Firewind


17. Fear Factory – Mechanize

Fear Factory



18. Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned

Kamelot


19. Magic Kingdom – Symphony of War

Magic Kingdom



20. Wizards of Kaos – New World Mistress

Wizards of Kaos


Best New Band: WIZARDS OF KAOS

 

There’s been a number of great new bands emerge with their first full-length album in 2010: Holy Grail, ReVamp, Ancient Bards, Sons of Liberty, Pathfinder, and others I’m no doubt forgetting. However, there is one new band whose hard-rocking metal groove rose above this year (helped no doubt  by the number of times I’ve seen them live). That band is Wizards of Kaos and the album is NEW WORLD MISTRESS. Check them out here: myspace.com/wizardsofkaosmusic.

Best DVD/Blu-Ray

There’s been some great metal released on video this year with the Big 4 and Heaven & Hell and while those two  have better packaging and more money behind them (therefore the availability in Blu-ray and the superior video quality), it is Primal Fear’s 16.6 Live Around the World Combo [CD+DVD, Live, Special Edition] package that was the best for me.

Primal Fear


I was blessed by the metal gods and was able to see Primal Fear twice on the 16.6 world tour – first in Montreal (REVIEW) and then in May of 2010 in Toronto. Both shows and the bulk of the DVD features the line-up of:

Ralf Scheepers: Vocals

Mat Sinner: Bass

Randy Black: Drums

Henny Wolter: Guitar

Alex Beyrodt: Guitar

(European shows feature guitarist Magnus Karlsson)

I can say with confidence that they have really captured their live essence on this live CD/DVD package. They execute the songs perfectly with Ralf Scheepers showing why he’s one of the best metal singers of all time!

Best EP / MCD

Rhapsody of Fire – The Cold Embrace of Fear

Rhapsody of Fire

Best Stadium Concert

Ozzy with Halford 

Ozzy Ozbourne with Halford opening. Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario. Nov. 27th, 2010.

This was one of the best concerts I’ve seen. Ozzy played for over 2.5hrs and didn’t want to leave the stage. He clearly loves the music and his fans. Ozzy’s voice was in top shape all night – amazing for a man whose been through what he’s been through and at 62 is still kicking ass!  Having the Halford band as the opener was a perfect pairing. Two legends together on tour…hard to top that one! The Canadian Carnage tour (Megadeth, Slayer, Testament) came close but I have to give it to Ozzy/Halford.

Best Club/Theatre Concert

Primal Fear 

Primal Fear, The Opera House, Toronto, Ontario. May 24th, 2010.

Primal Fear are at the top of their game and hearing Ralf Scheepers live and hitting all the notes with such power is pure metal magic. What an amazing show…excellent selection of songs and having Pamela Moore share the stage for a few duets with Ralf was a special treat.

Best Metal Book

I AM OZZY 

I Am Ozzy. What a great read…full of laughs and memorable stories! It’s particularly awesome for the early years and the Black Sabbath story. Things are a little sparse for the 80’s and 90’s but that would be my only complaint. This is one of the best metal books I’ve read and it re-energized my infatuation with Black Sabbath.

Runner up: MUSTAINE.

Best local band (St. John’s, NL, Canada): sHEAVY

 Steve (vocals) of sHEAVY - Live Nov. 20th, 2010.

Hands down this has to go to sHEAVY. Despite their main songwriter/guitarist Dan Moore quitting to start his own band (Wizards of Kaos), sHEAVY released two new studio albums in 2010 and played several live shows. Led by front-man, Steve Hennessy, the band has dominated the local metal scene here since the early to mid 90’s and thankfully there is no end in sight for their reign!

Disappointments of 2010

Symphorce – Unrestricted: I’ve loved this band for a long time and their previous release BECOME DEATH was one of my top picks for 2007. So what’s went wrong with UNRESTRICTED? Is it the diversion of the members to other bands and projects that has made song-writing suffer? Is it the change in record labels? I don’t know what happened, but try as I might, I could not get into their new album and I’m pretty bummed out about it. The songs lack the memorability and hooks and just sounds mediocre.

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier: I LIKE this album but it’s not what I want from them. I refuse to accept that this is their style now with the boring clean intros and the same ole songs over and over for the past 10 years. I want a return to the straight-forward, hard-hitting, dueling guitar metal of albums like PIECE OF MIND, POWERSLAVE, and NUMBER OF THE BEAST. Anything else will always be somewhat of a letdown.

Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila: Despite the strength of the title track, this album is not memorable and is made up of a bunch of cover songs…fail! Skip the album and read his bio by the same name. Reading that was more enjoyable than listening to this. In the bio he basically says how he’d like to have a solo career like Ozzy Osbourne. Well Vince, it’s not gonna happen with an album like this to tour on. Get Steve Stevens back on guitar and get an album of original more metal-sounding material that is more like the first solo album (EXPOSED (1993)) and then just maybe you can have a solo career.

Non-album disappointment: The passing of the voice of metal…Mr. Ronnie James Dio. 🙁

Greatest Hopes for 2011

SCHEEPERS: The release Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) first solo album is fast approaching. I can’t wait to hear it and I expect great things!!!!

JAG PANZER – The Scourge of the Light: It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven long years since the release of the last Jag Panzer studio album (Casting the Stones (2004)). I’m expecting their new one will kick ass and satisfy all their fans.

Daniel "Ethereal Magnanimus" Heiman back in Lost Horizon: It seems clear that the remaining members of Lost Horizon are not going to get a new singer to replace Daniel. Considering that the band released one of the best albums of the past decade (AWAKENING THE WORLD (2001)), it’s a real shame they only did two albums. Even if Daniel won’t rejoin – it would be awesome if he could even return as a paid session musician so we can hear him again over the bands magical metal!

PERSUADER – New album in 2011? Please!

SLAYER – New album in 2011? I know this won’t happen…why can’t they have 2 years between albums? WORLD PAINTED BLOOD was a 2009 release…why not have a new one sometime in 2011?



The Death of CORE!

I wish that the saturation of metalcore bands would come to an end. Sure, there is room for a few of them, but it seems like nearly every band coming out of America is some form of core (metalcore, thrashcore, deathcore, applecore, sludgecore, gravycore, spicecore, fuckoffanddiecore?) Give it a rest already! There is room for more than screamo vocals over half-baked slayer/pantera meets mallcore breakdown riffing. Mehhhhhhh….

Judas Priest:

The recent announcement that Judas Priest’s next tour will be their last was sad news. I really hope this is not the end for them. I know they are getting up there in age, but after just seeing Halford live, and hearing him pull off solo and Priest material in fine-form I wonder why the end of the band is at hand. I know they want to go out on a high, but if they still have the magic – why not keep the machine rolling? Even if they scaled back and did shorter tours and concentrated on song-writing and releasing new material, that would be enough for me. Sadly, I’ve yet to see Judas Priest live since I live at the end of the earth an no one tours here. However, in 2011, I will have to make it to a Priest concert…it will be bittersweet for sure.

Savatage – How many years have I listed this in this section? Why don’t the guys use their TSO downtime to release a new METAL album with Jon and Zakk on vocals? Wouldn’t that be awesome? It seems like it will never happen, but I’m still hoping it will someday!

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Best of 2010 – Waspman

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Best of 2010 – Waspman

1. Blind Guardian – At the Edge of Time

Blind Guardian

This year I got what I asked for as BG came back with yet another masterpiece.

2. Accept – Blood of the Nations

Who would have thought that replacing Udo was what the band needed to make another kick-ass album? This is easily the shocker of the year and the best Accept album since BALLS TO THE WALL.

3. Atlantean Kodex – The Golden Bough

4. Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy

5. Sons of Liberty – Brushfires of the Mind

6. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

7. Fozzy – Chasing the Grail

8. Dark Tranquillity – We Are the Void

9. Kalmah – 12 Gauge

10. Ufomammut – Eve

11. Helloween – 7 Sinners

12. Melechesh –  The Epigenesis

13. Sabaton – Coat of Arms

14. Wuthering Heights – Salt

15. Vanden Plas – The Seraphic Clockwork

16. Cradle of Filth – Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

17. High On Fire – Snakes for the Divine

18. Soulitude – Wonderfool World

19. Black Label Society – Order of the Black

20. Halford – IV – Made of Metal

Best new band

First Signal – First Signal

Melodic hard rock just doesn’t get any better than this.

Best EP/MCD

Acrassicauda – Only the Dead See the End of the War

The story behind the band is fascinating (check out the HEAVY METAL BAGHDAD dvd), but fortunately Acrassicauda put out four of the best thrash songs of the year.

Best Metal DVD/Blu-Ray

The Big Four

A metal concert doesn’t get much bigger or better than this. A true event.

Discovery of 2010

Atlantean Kodex – The Golden Bough

THE GOLDEN BOUGH is absolutely mind-blowing epic metal. I must hear more.

Best Live Album

Jeff Scott Soto – Live At Firefest 2008

JSS is a pro and this album proves he can get it done on his own.

Disappointments of 2010

The Passing of Ronnie James Dio

This one goes without saying. Goodbye Ronnie, and thanks for sharing your brilliance with us for all these years.

Jorn – Dio

There’s no doubt that Jorn’s heart was in the right place, but this covers album just falls flat.

Masterplan – Time to be King

Not a good year from Jorn Lande in my eyes. This album just smacks of rehashed filler – I expect more from a band this loaded with talent.

Ratt – Infestation

All of the ingredients of an awesome Ratt album are there, but somehow the end results just don’t click with me at all.

Greatest Hopes for 2011

New kick ass Jag Panzer album

…with officially released cover art, track listing and everything! The wait is killing me.

Seeing Accept/Sabaton live

I’ve been dying to see these bands live for years and I’ll finally get the chance this year!

Seeing Judas Priest live…for the last time (?!?)

If it is true that the band is going to quit touring after this year, here’s hoping they go out in style and put on their biggest stage show ever.

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Best of 2010 – Thorsten Zwingelberg

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Best of 2010 – Thorsten Zwingelberg

1. Lordi – Babez for Breakfast

2. Blind Guardian – At The Edge of Time

3. Hardcore Superstar – Split your Lip

4. Suicidal Angels – Dead Again

5. Anihilated – Scorch Earth Policy

6. Sodom – In War and Pieces

7. Van Canto – Tribe of Force

8. Athorn – Phobia

9. Cradle Of Filth – Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

10. Nelson – Lightning Strikes Twice

11. Imagika – Portrait of a Hanged Man

12. Sister Sin – The Sound of the Underground

13. Sabaton – Coat of Arms

14. Crazy Lixx – New Religion

15. Avatar – Avatar

16. Pro Pain – Absolute Power

17. Grand Magus – Hammer of the North

18. Smoke Blow – The Record

19. Heathen – The Evolution of Chaos

20. Engrained – Deep Rooted

 

 

Best new band

Engrained – Deep Rooted

 

Best Metal DVD/Blu-ray

Big Four – Live from Sofia, Bulgaria

 

Discovery of 2010

Dread The Forsaken – Unbound

 

Best concert attended in 2010

Festival: Wacken Open Air, Auust 2010

Club: Thrash Fest in Hannover: Kreator, Exodus, Death angel, Suicidal Angels; 10. December 2010

 

Album disappointments of 2010

 

Iron Maiden

Greatest hopes for 2011

That Wacken will be awesome and that Ozzy lives to play that show 😉

 

The new Vicious Rumors album. It’s gonna kick ass!

 

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Best of 2010 – Theis

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Best of 2010

Eluveitie – EVERYTHING REMAINS (AS IT NEVER WAS) 1

Equilibrium – REKREATUR 2

Kivimetsän Druidi – BETRAYAL, JUSTICE, REVENGE 3

Tarot – GRAVITY OF LIGHT 4

Svartsot – MULMETS VISER 5

Mortemia – MISERE MORTEM 6

Sabaton – COAT OF ARMS 7

Barren Earth – CURSE OF THE RED RIVER 8

Dimmu Borgir – ABRAHADABRA 9

Immolation – DEATH AND DECAY 10

Seven Kingdoms – SEVEN KINGDOMS 11

Magica – DARK DIARY 12

Therion – SITRA AHRA 13

Magic Kingdom – SYMPHONY OF WAR 14

Burzum – BELUS 15

Thaurorod – UPON HAUNTED BATTLEFIELDS 16

Kamelot – POETRY FOR THE POISONED 17

Iron Maiden – THE FINAL FRONTIER 18

Ancient Bards – THE ALLIANCE OF THE KINGS 19

Mael Mórdha – MANANNAN 20

Album disappointments of 2010:

Elvenking

– I had expected a return to the elements of HEATHENREEL, WYRD & THE WINTER WAKE after THE SCYTHE and the so-so release of TWO TRAGEDY POETS … AND A CARAVAN OF WEIRD FIGURES but in the end I am really disappointed with RED SILENT TIDES: It is not captivating and lacks interesting aspects at many levels.

Best debut:

Thaurorod – UPON HAUNTED BATTLEFIELDS

Hopes for 2011:

   1. To see Eluveitie doing a headlining show!

   2. The expected release of the new Nightwish album

   3. The reassembling of Luna Mortis: that would be so cool since their debut was awesome!

   4. To see a lot of bands I have not experienced live before!

Best concert in 2010:

Eluveitie

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Best of 2010 – Robert Williams

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Best of 2010 – Robert Williams

1. Yngwie Malmsteen – Relentless

Yngwie Malmsteen

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.

 

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Best of 2010 – Shawn Jam Hill

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Shawn Jam Hill’s Top 20 of 2010

1. The Acacia Strain, Wormwood (Prosthetic)

The Acacia Strain

Ridiculously downtuned miasma of heaviosity as delivered by metal’s most misanthropic crew. Vincent Bennet’s tortured vox are worth the price of admission. Goes great with sadness.

2. Black Tusk, Taste The Sin (Relapse)

Killer jams channeling the meat and potato metal of Motorhead and sludging it up just ever so slightly. Goes great with a 12 pack of PBR.  

3. High On Fire, Snakes For The Divine (E1)

Matt Pike’s scorched earth guitar tone is ratcheted up past 11 on this dizzying platter where speed metal (Snakes For The Divine) and crusty doom (Bastard Samurai) cohabitate quite nicely. Goes great with a coupla Magick Stixx.

4. Kingdom Of Sorrow, Behind The Blackest Tears (Relapse)

Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta and Crowbar/Down’s Kirk Windstein get their Southern fried classic rock groove on for this soulful slab of anthemic jams, stadium-ready for bangers the world over to hoist lighters and plastic cups of beer on high. Goes great with booze.

5. Comeback Kid, Symptoms + Cures (Distort/Victory)

Winnipeg’s hardcore heroes come into their own with a seriously catchy platter channeling NYHC like it’s 1989. Goes great with pogo-ing.

6. Parkway Drive, Deep Blue (Epitaph)

These Aussies deliver bowel-loosening breakdowns and a killer guitar tone with their heavy take on metalcore. Try not to bang your head. Goes great with flip flops.

7. The Absence, Enemy Unbound (Metal Blade)

These Floridians worship at the feet of At The Gates but their take on European styled power metal jams are cemented with kick-ass vox and dueling leads that go on way past the horizon. Goes great with a studded gauntlet and some invisible oranges.

 

8. As I Lay Dying, The Powerless Rise (Metal Blade)

Tim Lambesis and crue lay down yet another slab of catchy ass-kickery that pummels as equally as it soothes this metalhead’s desire for a big piece of awesome, though the clean vox can be a stretch. Goes great with a Bible reading.

9. Carnifex, Hell Chose Me (Victory)

Dense as a day old bagel, these San Diego devil worshippers will strip the chrome off yer tailpipe with their punishing brand of metallic excellence. Goes great with an exorcism of two.

10. Kylesa, Spiral Shadow (Season Of Mist)

A grand homage to all things ‘90s (think phaser pedals, dueling he/she vox and a very good approximation of Billy Corgan’s tone circa Siamese Dream) mashed up against a sludgy wall of noise. Goes great with Moroccan Blonde.

11. Terror, Keepers Of The Faith (Century Media)

Scott Vogel and his loyal henchman dish out a mosh-inducing frenzy of sick riffs and pissed-off reality jams. Goes great with basketball jerseys and tear-away shorts.

12. Impending Doom, There Will Be Violence (Facedown)

A stuttering banger of a record brimming with bass drops and atmospheric shred as they pledge allegiance to J.C. and the Man Upstairs. Goes great with tonic water and the host.

13. Kill The Client, Set For Extinction (Relapse)

Balls-out Texas grindcore blared at an inhuman volume while vokiller Champ Morgan spews vitriol faster than BP can wreck an entire ecosystem. Goes great with Chomsky and a fifth of Jack Daniels.

14. Legend, Valediction (Rise)

Pledging allegiance to the riff, these bruisers knuckle dust your brainpan into wispy threads of unconsciousness through big bad six-string attack and a stomping mid tempo mosh. Goes great with a Chelsea grin.

15. Oceano, Contagion (Earache)

These deathcore merchants have weathered an (unfounded) attack on their credibility since their previous platter, Depths, went viral. This is big burly metal of the highest order so back the funk up. Goes great with hammer smashed faces.

16. Bison BC, Dark Ages (Metal Blade)

These Vancouverites are either really flipping high on Mother Earth or way smarter than their hairy as hell brand of metal gives them credit for. Goes great with wayyyy too many cold ones.

 

17. After The Burial, In Dreams (Sumerian)

Dropping bombs with their 8 string (!) guitars blazing like molten lava, these young dudes harness the technicality of Lamb Of God and stuff it mile-high with crushing breaks, alternate reality fret board wizardry and vokills vacillating between the maw of hell and a heartfelt croon. Goes great with extreme guitar tunings.

18. Misery Index, Heirs To Thievery (Relapse)

Jason Netherton’s voluminous hatred for society and the politics that bind us all together in a big democratic ball of shiite provided never-ending fodder for ruminations on the ills of governance. That the blast beats and crazy solos shred hard is a sweet add-on indeed. Goes great with socio-political screeds.

19. MyChildren, MyBride, Lost Boy (Solid State)

More uncompromising heaviosity from Alabama’s top tier purveyors of Christian metalcore, these young dudes reap heaps of volume from their gear while frontman Matthew Hasting’s enigmatic delivery seals the deal. Goes great with chips n’ pop.

20. The Chariot, Long Live (Good Fight)

Artsy iconoclast Josh Scrogin leads his band of merry men through the looking glass and back while effortlessly touching on emo, punk rawk, metal and hardcore. A very unique band. Goes great with more Magick Stixx.

 

Best New Band

Black Breath diverge from Converge then meet up with Lemmy and Philthy Animal for way too many pints. Heavy Breathing (Southern Lord) remains an instant classique.

Discovery of 2010

Savannah Ga. lifers Black Tusk put the death back in death n’ roll as their amphetamine fuelled joyride never slows down. I hope they are allowed to cross the border and come to Canaduh in 2011!

Best Concert 2010

I saw Despised Icon play their final jam in Ottawa on October 14, 2010. It was a poignant display of an incredible band bowing out on top of their game; seeing them 7+ times just wasn’t enough. The fact that we brought our beautiful little man home from the hospital that day (and his mom let me go to the metal show!!) made the whole day one I will never forget! Levi Hill was only 4 days old for Chris sakes!!  

Album Disappointment 2010

Bring Me The Horizon

I love Britain’s Bring Me The Horizon. They shred like their pants are on fire, have many sweet breakdown laden jams that peel paint and frontman Oli Sykes really has star appeal. Then they put out 2010’s There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret. Employing strings, soaring electro-tinged female vox and exceptionally weak songwriting makes this bloated slab of insipid emo garbage the worst fifteen bucks I spent all year. I will never go see BMtH ever again.  

Best DVD

Heaven & Hell: Neon Nights

Absolutely commanding the stage at Wacken, Iommi, Dio, Butler and Appice rage through such ball-burners as Children Of The Sea to a rapturous European audience. Ronnie James Dio was never filmed live again for his untimely demise came but 11 months later. R.I.P. the tallest Elf that ever walked among us.

Greatest Hope 2011

Well, I thought Philly’s A Life Once Lost would have dropped their much anticipated bomber by now but, label-less and adrift, Robert Meadows and his kin are behind the 8 ball to produce some truly spectacular Messhugah 7/8 worship. They will not fail for they are one of the truly great bands of the last decade, hands down. Soooo Heavvvvy!!

 

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Best of 2010 – Rick

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Ricks’ Best of 2010

1. Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy

Nevermore

Nevermore’s last release, THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOUR, was a monster release. It is one of the best in their catalogue and set the bar high when it came to a follow-up. So when THE OBSIDIAN CONSPIRACY was released I had a healthy dose of apprehension. Could Nevermore meet the expectations created by TGE? They not only met those expectations, they exceeded them. TOC took the bands shredding technical elements and infused a much more song-oriented approach to create a disc that shows a new side to the band. Could they have surprised me more? Not in a million years!

 

2. Crashdiet – Generation Wild

Crashdiet

Swedish sleaze/glam heavyweights Crashdiet almost dethroned Nevermore for the #1 spot in my top 20. It is rare for me to be surprised by anything in metal yet Crashdiet did it this year. Little did I know that there was still a band that could capture so well the vibe of 80s glam metal and update it for the new millennium. Crashdiet, along with Crazy Lixx, Reckless Love and a host of other young bands are determined to never let the 80s be forgotten while creating some of the best new music I have heard in quite awhile.

3. Crazy Lixx – New Religion

4. Blind Guardian – At the Edge of Time

5. Avantasia –The Wicked Symphony

6. Thunderstone – Dirt Metal

7. Vanden Plas – Seraphic Clockwork

8. Reckless Love – Reckless Love

9. Ratt – Infestation

10. Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned

11. CircleIICircle – The Consequence of Power

12. Machines of Grace – Machines of Grace

13. Firewind – Days of Defiance

14. Heathen – Evolution of Chaos

15. Death Angel – Relentless Retribution

16. Accept – Blood of the Nations

17. Helloween – 7 Sinners

18. Ozzy – Scream

19. Astral Doors – Requiem of Time

20. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

 

Best New Band

Reckless Love

This is the year that I realized that there were still amazing bands out there making amazing 80s influenced music without making it a colossal joke. Unfortunately the joke is on the music world to some extent as most of these bands come from Sweden and Finland and most of us here in North America have no idea of their existence.  Reckless Love are one of these great bands that released their debut self titled CD this year after being together in one form or another for the last 9 years. The disc is full of fun hard rockin, metal influenced tracks that hearken back to the days when big hair and metal were mainstream in society. This Finnish group takes their music very seriously but adds just the right amount of fun to make this one of the better discs that I have heard this year. I expect great things from them as they are now working on a new CD.

 

Discovery of 2010

The New Wave of Sleaze. The name does not do this movement justice. There are dozens and dozens of bands out there that are paying homage to the 80s while at the same time putting their own modern spin on that classic sound. The main bands that got me hooked were Crazy Lixx, Mama Kin, Crashdiet and Reckless Love but there are so many good bands that I can’t list them all. If you think that there aren’t bands making good hard rock and metal with that 80s glam twist then check out these bands. Go deeper and you will be amazed at how much good music is out there.

 

Biggest Disappointments

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

I wanted to love this release. I mean I really wanted to LOVE this disc. Maiden have been on of my favourite bands since I discovered them in 1983. This disc left me very underwhelmed. I liked it and at the same time past glories left me yearning for more. I know that this isn’t 1986 but a mere good CD isn’t enough from one of the greatest in the genre.

Savatage!

This is it, the last mention of Savatage. Every year I hope they will release a new CD and every year it never happens. With Jon off doing TSO and Pain there doesn’t seem to be any urgency for anything Savatage related. I have given up hope…

Ratt

The band finally comes together, adds Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot) and releases an awesome CD that ranks up there with the best of their career. Then the house of cards falls apart yet again and the band is again of indefinite hiatus. You would think that adults could set aside their silly little squabbles. I guess not.  

Biggest Hopes for 2010

1. Riot is set to release a new CD in 2011. It’s about time that the THUNDERSTEEL lineup released some new material!

2.   The members of RATT will set aside their differences and release another awesome CD!   

 

Best DVD

The Big 4: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria

This was history in the making. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax are among the most influential bands in the history of metal. To get them all together for one show was a historic feat in itself and this DVD is the evidence that even in metal old grudges can be laid to rest.

 

Best EP / MCD

Rhapsody of Fire – The Cold Embrace of Fear

Part symphonic metal, part movie soundtrack yet as a whole very interesting.

Best Local Band

sHeavy.  St. John’s, Newfoundland Canada is home to one of the better Stoner/Doom metal bands. sHeavy have been going strong now for the better part of a decade and a half and in 2010 released 2 CDs. There seems to be no stopping the band as they have become more prolific and play more live shows than at any point in their history. Its hard to call sHeavy a “local” band when they have toured Europe and recorded with Mike Butcher (Black Sabbath) but I will always remember seeing them for the first time in a smoky bar and feeling the spirit of Ozzy channeled through a curly velvet clad Steve Hennessey.  The epitome of Metalness!

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Best of 2010 – Marko Syrjala

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Best of 2010 – Marko Syrjala

1. RATT: INFESTATION

Ratt

2. ACCEPT – BLOOD OF THE NATIONS

3. MOTÖRHEAD: THE WÖRLD IS YOURS

4. AIRBOURNE: NO GUTS.GLORY

5. SCORPIONS: STING IN THE TAIL

6. SLASH: SLASH

7. BLACK LABEL SOCIETY: ORDER OF THE BLACK

8. HELLOWEEN: SEVEN SINNERS

9. BUCKCHERRY: ALL NIGHT LONG

10. HARDCORE SUPERSTAR: SLIP YOUR LIP

11. HALFORD: MADE OF METAL

12. KROKUS: HOODOO

13. DANZIG: DETH RED SABAOTH

14. AVANTASIA: WICKED SYMPHONY & ANGEL OF BABYLON

15. STONE SOUR: AUDIO SECRECY

16. IRON MAIDEN: FINAL FRONTIER

17. KEEL: STREETS OF ROCK’N ROLL

18. Y&T :FACEMELTER

19. OZZY OSBOURNE: SCREAM

20. PRETTY MAIDS: PANDENOMIUM

BEST NEW BAND

THE DAMNED THINGS

BEST DVD

ALICE COOPER: THEATRE OF DEATH

MEGADETH: RUST IN PEACE LIVE

ANNIHILATOR: LIVE AT MASTERS OF ROCK

 

DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR

Stone Sour. I didn’t listen to Stone Sour before but after seeing their triumphant performance in Swedenrock, I became a fan instantly. What a great band!

CONCERT OF THE YEAR

KISS: SONIC BOOM OVER EUROPE –tour

SWEDENROCK 2010: w/ AEROSMITH, GUNS’ROSES, BILLY IDOL, CINDERELLA, WASP, SLAYER, DANZIG, STONE SOUR, PRETTY MAIDS, USO, ANVIL, RAVEN, STEEL PANTHER, UNISONIC, JORN, TREAT, MSG, GARY MOORE etc…

SONISPHERE, PORI, FINLAND:  w/ IRON MAIDEN, ANTHRAX, ALICE COOPER, ALICE IN CHAINS, IGGY POP, SLAYER, THE CULT and HIM

ALBUM DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE YEAR:

1. Ozzy Osbourne: SCREAM

Although Mr.Madman hasn’t released a decent album since 1995 OZZMOSIS it was still both sad and frustrating to hear another weak release from him. The songs are weak and the production sounds horrible. It’s somehow understandable that album does try sound modern but as a result it sounds anything else but Ozzy Osbourne. With only one great track, “Let Me Hear You Scream”, this one goes directly into Ozzy’s weakest album to date… or perhaps not? Maybe this one and DOWN TO EARTH can share that dubious honor?

2. IRON MAIDEN: The Final Frontier

It’s strange to notice now that when Iron Maiden’s reunion album BRAVE NEW WORLD was released back in 2000 it was some kind of disappointment compared to all those expectations what I had back then. DANCE OF DEATH was even more disappointing and although A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH certainly has its moments it’s still not a great album though, as a whole. There are definitely some good tracks on THE FINAL FRONTIER like “El Dorado” and “When the Wind Blows” but that’s not enough when we’re talking about fucking Iron Maiden album here. All in all, now afterwards, it must be said that BRAVE NEW WORLD is a true masterpiece compared to any of its successors. This is the fourth Kevin Shirley produced Maiden album and I really hope it’s going to be his last with the band. To be honest, it’s almost unbelievable how band of this level can release such an album with such a scrappy sound. Hopefully this won’t let be the very last Maiden studio release. Otherwise it will leave a little poor impression behind of this legendary band. 

3. ANNIHILATOR: ANNIHILATOR

Annihilator has been musically lost for years and this latest self titled opus doesn’t make any exception here. Although it’s a way better that its predecessor METAL it’s still just a complication of bland songs with some great riffs and parts every here and there. Waters is still the man on guitar, there’s no doubt about it, but for some reason he has lost his ability to write decent albums since a brilliant WAKING THE FURY which was released already in 2002. Time for some changes maybe?   

GREATEST HOPES FOR 2011

1. New studio albums of KISS, Whitesnake and Alice Cooper. Need to say more? There are never enough releases from the classic bands like these?

2. Anthrax. Perhaps they will finally their new album to get released? It’s been under works over six years already… Although there’s plenty of time to beat Axl’s record in here…

3. Amazing festivals and tours coming… Sonisphere w/ Big Four, Swedenrock and a brand new European KISS tour on the summer. Sounds amazing!

 

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Best of 2010 – Luxi Lahtinen

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

Best of 2010 – Luxi Lahtinen

01. Melechesh – THE EPIGENESIS (Nuclear Blast Records)



It´s hard to fight against the fact THE EPIGENESIS is loaded with amazing tracks. Melechesh has developed a sound that is very unique in the Metal world; there´s a never-ending flow of great songs on this record – and their whole concept for their ´Mesopotamian Metal´ has truly culminated on THE EPIGENESIS. It´s even scary to think how they are ever going to top this very record in question with their forthcoming releases in the future? That – of course, will remain to be seen…  

02. Heathen – THE EVOLUTION OF CHAOS (Mascot Records)

Heathen´s comeback album THE EVOLUTION OF CHAOS was probably one of the most sought Thrash Metal albums in my personal list 2010, pretty much fulfilling all my expectations that I had in advance toward it. The guys´ song writing skills on their comeback album, were unquestionable: There´s speed, there´s aggression, there´s heaviness and everything else really strongly present on Heathen´s impressive Thrash record. THE EVOLUTION OF CHAOS more than proved itself why some comebacks of long disbanded Metal bands are worth your time..   

03. Helstar – GLORY OF CHAOS (AMF Records)

Helstar still keep on impressing me from one album to another. The band´s THE KING OF HELL 2008 album was a true jackpot for them – and now GLORY OF CHAOS continues the band´s tradition as one of the finest head-banging and fist-pumping Metal acts there´s to offer nowadays. James Rivera´s voice only gets better hand-in-hand the same way when the whole band is aging – and getting even angrier and more mean sounding from one album to another. Just a brilliant album from the Helstar maestros again. Long live the hellish stars for them!!

04. Accept – BLOOD OF THE NATIONS (Nuclear Blast Records)

05. Ares Kingdom – INCENDIARY (Nuclear War Now! Productions)

06. Demonic Resurrection – THE RETURN TO DARKNESS (Demonstealer Records)

07. Overkill – IRONBOUND (Nuclear Blast Records)

08. Profanator – DEATHPLAGUED (Stormspell Records)

09. Sotajumala – KUOLEMANPALVELUS (Cobra Records)

10. Spazmosity – WELCOME DEATH (Khaosmaster Productions)

11. Hail of Bullets – ON DIVINE WINDS (Metal Blade Records)

12. Immolation – MAJESTY AND DECAY (Nuclear Blast Records)

13. Fallen Angels – ENGINES OF OPPRESSION (Metal On Metal Records)

14. Space Eater – AFTERSHOCK (Stormspell Records)

15. Tarot – GRAVITY OF LIGHT (King Foo Entertainment)

16. Unholy Lust – TASTE THE SIN THROUGH THE FIRE (Blood Harvest Records)

17. Watain – LAWLESS DARKNESS (Season of Mist)

18. Weapon – FROM THE DEVIL´S TOMB (Agonia Records)

19. Forbidden – OMEGA WAVE (Nuclear Blast Records)

20. Iron Maiden – THE FINAL FRONTIER (EMI Music)

Best New Band

Krypts

Old-school Death Metal done right. Murky, eerie, corpse-heavy – and coming with a strong flavor of an old graveyard.

Discovery of 2010

Profanator

This blackened Mexican Thrash horde simply came from the bushes for me, and put my socks on fire. Profanator´s 2nd album DEATHPLAGUED captures all those essential elements that make savage and vicious Thrash Metal so tempting and appealing for myself personally. Expect nothing but 100% thrash-tastic sonic violence!

Best EP of 2010

Krypts – OPEN THE CRYPT (Detest Records / Me Saco Un Ojo)

Best Stadium Concert of 2010

Seeing Iron Maiden at Sonisphere festival in Pori, Finland on August 8th 2010. Maiden´s performance is almost like a larger-than-life-itself experience – and you can hardly argue about this fact if you are a longtime follower and fan of the band.

Best Club Concert of 2010

Sadistic Intent at Dante´s Highlight in Hell-sinki on September 30th 2010, as a part of Black Mass Ritual III. These old-school Death Metal warriors from LA, always sound and look very impressive whenever they climb onstage, and unleash their furious and evil inner beasts out from themselves.

Biggest Disappointment of 2010

Just too many to mention… Off the top of my head, perhaps no. 1 disappointment for me this year obviously was Judas Priest making an announcement they stop making extensive world tours after their final farewell “Epitaph” tour in 2011. Well, aging won´t come alone, so…

Saddest News of 2010

Hearing one of the major voices of Heavy Metal, Ronnie James Dio, had passed away due to a stomach cancer. That was the day for me when I felt the whole Heavy Metal community worldwide was together as one, mourning his death. Gladly, Ronnie´s music will live forever.

Greatest Hopes for 2011

1. Hearing new material from bands like Autopsy, Possessed, Sadistic Intent, Testament, Sacrifice, Paradox, Destruction, Heathendom, Agent Steel (with Cyriis on vocals – FUCK YEAH!), Moonsorrow, Onslaught, Krypts, Survivors Zero and so many other bands, too.

2. Without any doubts, 2010 was overall a great year for Metal, so hopefully 2011 will continue to be much like 2010 was album release-wise. Time will obviously tell…

3. Seeing many great Metal acts playing at (Metal) gigs and festivals in Finland during 2011. Autopsy, Accept, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Ozzy Osbourne, Absu, etc. – and the list shamelessly goes on and on and on…

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Best of 2010 – LORD OF THE WASTELAND

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

LORD OF THE WASTELAND’S BEST OF 2010

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2010


1. Triptykon ~ EPARISTERA DAIMONES

Triptykon

The build-up to this record, personally, was phenomenal.  Hearing that Celtic Frost had imploded following the gargantuan MONOTHEIST, followed by the teaser snippets of songs posted on the Triptykon MySpace page had me foaming at the mouth upon the day of release.  That sort of anticipation usually leads to disappointment but EPARISTERA DAIMONES surpassed all expectations by delivering a crushingly heavy, dark abyss of a record that has held up strongly through the year.

2. Fear Factory ~ MECHANIZE

Much like Triptykon, Fear Factory had an awful lot riding on its new record.  With Dino Cazares back in the fold and Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera out, Fear Factory fans expected a lot, but at the same time, weren’t sure what to expect.  MECHANIZE picks up right where OBSOLETE left off a dozen years earlier but still sounds fresh and modern.  One of the band’s best releases to date.

3. Melechesh ~ THE EPIGENESIS

4. Accept ~ BLOOD OF THE NATIONS

5. Orphaned Land ~ THE NEVERENDING WAY OF ORWARRIOR

6. Ratt ~ INFESTATION

7. Dommin ~ LOVE IS GONE

8. Deftones ~ DIAMOND EYES

9. Therion ~ SITRA AHRA

10. Overkill ~ IRONBOUND

11. Death Angel ~ RELENTLESS RETRIBUTION

12. Scorpions ~ STING IN THE TAIL

13. Halford ~ MADE OF METAL

14. Dimmu Borgir ~ ABRAHADABRA

15. Avantasia ~ ANGEL OF BABYLON/THE WICKED SYMPHONY

16. Intronaut ~ VALLEY OF SMOKE

17. Immolation ~ MAJESTY AND DECAY

18. Dark Tranquillity ~ WE ARE THE VOID

 19. The Crown ~ DOOMSDAY KING

 20. Forbidden ~ OMEGA WAVE

BEST NEW BAND OF 2010

Dommin

A mix of Danzig, Volbeat and 80s Goth-rock, Dommin’s debut album, LOVE IS GONE, brought a fresh twist to heavy music in 2010.  Lots of hooks and dark melodies made this record one that had a lot of re-plays over the year.

BEST METAL DVD/BLU-RAY OF 2010

Rush ~ BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE

Flawless in its production, broad and all-encompassing in its content, this Blu-Ray is the crown jewel for any Rush fan.

BEST LIVE ALBUM OF 2010

Down ~ DIARY OF A MAD BAND

This one has been dogged by delays for a few years but Down made it worth the wait by including a snazzy package and accompanying documentary DVD.

BEST EP OF 2010

Beneath The Massacre ~ MARÉE NOIRE

These Canadians were among the first in the deathcore genre and still know how to annihilate everything its path with well-timed breakdowns, rapid-fire guitars and sub-guttural vocals.

BEST COMPILATION/COLLECTION OF 2010

Lamb Of God ~ HOURGLASS: THE ANTHOLOGY

Not really a "hits" package but it certainly includes the bulk of Lamb Of God’s best moments.

BEST METAL-RELATED BOOK OF 2010

MUSTAINE ~ Dave Mustaine & Joe Layden

Megadeth’s mainman finally unleashes his autobiography on the masses.  Full of interesting stuff…but Megadave’s ego has never been bigger!

BEST DISCOVERY OF 2010

Forbidden

This Bay-Area thrash band never really found its way on to my radar back in the late-eighties but Forbidden’s new CD, OMEGA WAVE, made me go back and explore what I overlooked on their first two records, 1988’s FORBIDDEN EVIL and 1990’s TWISTED INTO FORM.

BEST CONCERT OF 2010

Ozzy Osbourne/Halford

The last few times I saw Ozzy live were less than memorable, so I went into this show more for Rob Halford’s solo material than for The Prince of Darkness.  The addition of new guitarist Gus G. has really added some spark to Ozzy’s live show, though, and witnessing him tear through a set of many long-lost gems allowed him to rise to the top of the year’s concert heap.

WORST CONCERT OF 2010

Great White

Jack Russell’s health issues have all but silenced a once powerful voice and a strong frontman.  Many in the crowd were saddened and embarrassed at Russell’s current state as she struggled to hit even the mid-range notes of the band’s biggest songs.  The show must go on but when the show is reduced to the singer barely able to sing and performing while seated on a stool or hobbling around on a cane, it may be time to draw the curtain.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2010

1. Airbourne ~ NO GUTS NO GLORY

The anthemic RUNNIN’ WILD set the bar high for these Aussie rockers and NO GUTS NO GLORY was a big letdown.  Not a bad CD but doesn’t possess the same unforgettable songs that stick in your head as its predecessor did in 2007.

2. All That Remains ~ FOR WE ARE MANY

THE FALL OF IDEALS was a great CD but OVERCOME and this year’s FOR WE ARE MANY crossed over into auto-tuned hell.  That and an obvious reliance on studio production tricks leave me in fear of where this band is headed.

3. Gamma Ray ~ TO THE METAL

Gamma Ray has been on a steady decline for years but TO THE METAL was a real stinker.  Generic power metal at its worst.

4. Nevermore ~ THE OBSIDIAN CONSPIRACY

Somehow Nevermore has come up with its first dud, following the genius of THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOR and ENEMIES OF REALITY.  All the necessary elements are there—Warrel’s vocals and Jeff’s guitars are top-notch—but something got lost along the way.

5. In This Moment ~ A STAR-CROSSED WASTELAND

Following the incredible maturity shown on its sophomore effort, 2008’s THE DREAM, In This Moment decided to forget about Maria Brink’s stellar voice and writing hook-filled songs.  Instead, the band reverted back to the generic screaming and paint-by-numbers songs found on its debut.  What the hell were they thinking????

GREATEST HOPES FOR 2011

1. New CDs from Morbid Angel, Sodom, Deicide, Pig Destroyer, Neuraxis, DevilDriver, Evergrey, Within Temptation and Amon Amarth.

2. The Devin Townsend Project ~ DECONSTRUCTION and GHOST

3. King Diamond/Mercyful Fate DVDs

4. More time available to devote to writing and contributing to the mighty Metal-Rules.com!!!!!!!

5. Trans-Siberian Orchestra adds Calgary on to its winter tour schedule again.

 

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Best of 2010 – JP

January 5th, 2011
by EvilG

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.

Best EP 

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.

Best Documentary: 

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.

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