THE BEST METAL ALBUMS OF 2010, AS CHOSEN BY METAL MUSICIANS THEMSELVES — PART VIII
FEATURING MEMBERS OF DRAGONFORCE, A LIFE ONCE LOST, ALL SHALL PERISH, CANCER BATS, THE ACCUSED, AIRBOURNE, ABSU, WOE, WHILE SHE SLEEPS, DIAMOND PLATE, MALEFICE, MUTANT SUPREMACY, GENGHIS TRON, AND TRENDKILL BOOKING AND RECORDINGS
For 2010, we decided to do something special as part of our regular end-of-year festivities here at MetalSucks — namely, ask musicians from across the vast spectrum of the metalsphere (or, in a few cases, the almost-metalsphere) what their favorite albums of the year were. Death metallers, thrash metallers, black metallers, stoners, grinders, and djenters alike graciously contributed lists to MS, and we’ve be running them in groups of ten to twelve musicians at a time twice a day all week.
After the jump, check out the eighth and final group… we hope you enjoy seeing what some of metal’s heaviest hitters were into this year as much as we have!
(And please note that these are musicians and that they, um, have a lot on their minds. So some of ‘em named albums that actually came out last year. Please don’t freak out.)
FREDERIC LECLERQ, DRAGONFORCE
1. Disturbed, Asylum — Because I’m on their DVD. Haha, nah, just because I love Disturbed. This album is just as brilliant as the others. Favorite song is “Innocence,” if you care.
2. Stone Sour, Audio Secrecy — Super catchy, excellent songs, perfect album to go training (yeah, I try to do that).
3. Daath, Daath — Brutal and technical. Love the dark atmosphere of this album.
4. Watain, Lawless Darkness — Simply 666 :)
6. Exodus, Exhibit B: The Human Condition — Always need a bit of thrash metal!! Very energetic, old school!
7. Papa Roach, Time for Annihilation — I’ve discovered them pretty late, but I like their energy live! This new album will manage to put a lot of this energy in your CD player/iPod/mp3 player/whatever.
8. Atheist, Jupiter — Very happy to see them back, and with a good album!!
9. Burzum, Belus — Just because! it’s not super amazing, but I found it kinda funny to buy the new Burzum on iTunes. But, yeah, the music is good.
10. Darkthrone, Circle the Wagons — Gotta love Darkthrone. Well, I do.
BOB MEADOWS, A LIFE ONCE LOST
1. Torche, Songs for Singles — For many reasons this band holds a special place inside. Great hooks and absolutely thee heaviest riffing east of the Mississippi.
2. The Secret, Coagula — Got a chance to play with this band in Italy, and this record floored me. I look forward to our next meeting.
3. Nails, Unsilent Death — So for three guys,I do not think it gets any heavier, faster or more pissed — take notes.
4. Goatsnake, Flower of Disease (reissue) — So it is a reissue, but wow, I fell in love with a classic.
5. Boris with Ian Astbury, BXI — One of my favorite bands, I stumbled across a YouTube clip of them and Ian doing “Riders on the Storm” and it left me speechless.
6. Cough, Ritual Abuse — Classic doom riffing with three guys sending an audio assualt like no other band is doing it — bravo.
7. Rock Bottom, Born to Hate — The riffs are catchy, the lyrics are cheesey, but Rock Bottom delivers a heavy Crowbar/Entombed sounding EP.
8. Trash Talk, Eyes & Nines — Somewhat capturing the essence of Black Flag, Bad Brains, Negative Aapproach — they thrive on heavy riffing and pissed live shows.
9. Agitator, Enter Vice Lords — You will one day be a fan of this Doylestown band – crucial songs and one of the most underrated front men in the scene today.
10. The Acacia Strain, Wormwood — Plain and simple – – heavy as fuck, but not as heavy as the new ALOL record.
ADAM PIERCE, ALL SHALL PERISH
1. Watain, Lawless Darkness
2. Deftones, Diamond Eyes
3. Agalloch, Marrow Of The Spirit
4. Those Poor Bastards, Gospel Haunted
5. Black Breath, Heavy Breathing
6. Crime in Stereo, I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone
7. Nachtmystium, Addicts: Black Meddle Part II
8. Cancer Bats, Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones
9. Ludicra, The Tenant
10. Periphery, Periphery
LIAM CORMIER, CANCERT BATS
1.Black Breath, Heavy Breathing — This is my pick for best album of the year. Raw brutality from start to finish.
2. Comeback Kid, Symptoms + Cures — Loud and pissed off HC played by dudes old enough to be pissed off about something.
3. Kylesa, Spiral Shadow — Stoner metal mixed with The Pixies (in a good way).
4. Dead To Me, African Elephant — Punk rock reggae party!
5. Electric Wizard, Black Masses — These guys put out awesome records and you’re just like “obvi.”
6. Trash Talk, Eyes & Nines — Best dudes playing power violence = good times.
7. Sleigh Bells, Treats — Sometimes dancing is fun
8. Dillinger Escape Plan, Option Paralysis — Ben + Jeff shred, Greg croons, Liam has a sick beard and new guy Billy plays salsa beats. Sweeeeet times.
9. The Sword, Warp Riders — These guys stopped trying to kill dragons and went to space to just listen to Clutch and be awesome.
10. Black Mountain, Wilderness Hearts — Canadian stoner rock more on the hippy end of things makes for great chill out jams.
DORANDO HODUS, THE ACCUSED
1. Swarming Hordes – Discography — Holy Fuck!! Now defunct, but probably the greatest metal band out of Seattle ever. Bold statement, I know, but the true local Kvlt knows well, these guys melted faces, slashed throats, and bruised minds to the maximum. Some people out there compared them to The Champs, but truth be told, they were way better than that. Naturally, when we at metal casa found out our buddy Tom at trademark was pressing a limited run of these (42), we were very stoked. Mine’s number 9, which one is yours?
2. Lesbian, Stratospheria Cubensis — Yeah, I like the music I play, and I’m proud of us on this one, so what?!
3. AoK Suicide Forest, AoK Suicide Forest — Lief is a Portland, Maine buddy from way back when, he used to be in Conifer and She-Level. This is a self-release from his new project that is heavy doom prog in all the right ways, still on repeat in my player.
4. WahWahExitWound, 3 Woodpeckers — Top notch Seattle heavy prog, also self-released, features members of Girth and Evangelist, these doods are totally badass. If we’re lucky, the skin beater in this band may up bashing for the Accused in 2011!!
5. Master Musicians of Bukkake, Totem 2 — Seattle’s dark psych masters, featuring B.R.A.D. from Asva, Burning Witch, the Accused on Vox, tread lightly if you’re on lsd!
6. Black Breath, Heavy Breathing — The big bruisers from Bellingham don’t fuck around! The new one from these bros is way punishing. You like Motorhead and Entombed right?! Get it! Totally catchy, get stuck in your head, stomping riffs. Spit on the Cross is one of my favorite tunes to wake up in the morning and prepare to kick some serious ass!!!
7. Nile, Those Whom the Gods Detest — Technically 2009, but I don’t care, I haven’t heard anything this good in 2010. Probably one of my favorite bands out there since Gorguts disappeared. As far as musicianship is concerned, these guys can’t be topped in my book, hail the new kings of death metal!!
8. Immortal, All Shall Fall — I haven’t explored the new black metal albums in 2010 as much as I would have liked to, so I’m a bit behind the curve, but these guys are the kings to me, and I didn’t miss this one! Call me nerd, but this is great for battling the Pacific Northwest weather with strength, mountains of Icccce!! Bring on the Apocalypse!!
9. High on Fire, Snakes for the Divine — Pike’s solo’s are ruling on this one, as is much of the riffing, par for the course HOF, with some new dynamics thrown in… son of a bitch!!
10. Witchery, Witchkreig — Picked this one up on a whim, knowing well I should be familiar with these guys, was not dissapointed by some serious thrashtastic riffing! With guest solo’s from Andy LaRoque, Kerry King, Gary Holt, Lee Altus, and Jim Durkin, how could you go wrong?!!
JOEL O’KEEFE, AIRBOURNE
1. Meatloaf, Hang Cool Teddy Bear — This album really is one of the greatest albums ever to blast out of a stereo. Bat Out of Hell got me arrested for speeding, so there’s no telling what laws I’ll break with this one.
2. Slash, Slash
3. The Poor, Round One
4. Kiss, Sonic Boom
5. Lynyrd Skynyrd, God N’ Guns
6. Bruce Springsteen, Promises
7. RATT, Infestation
8. AC/DC, Backtracks
9. Jerry Lee Lewis, Last Man Standing
10. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Mojo
PROSCRIPTOR MCGOVERN, ABSU
1. Stargazer, A Great Work of Ages
2. Sabbath Assembly, Restored To One
3. Autopsy, The Tomb Within
4. Deathspell Omega, Paracletus
5. Titan, Sweet Dreams
6. Ghost, Opus Eponymous
7. Exciter, Death Machine
8. Enslaved, Axioma Ethica Odini
9. Electric Wizard, Black Masses
10. Melechesh, The Epigenesis
Honorable Mention: King Crimson, In The Wake Of Poseidon vs. Islands – 40th Anniversary CD/DVD-A Reissues
SHANE MADDEN, WOE
1. Anathema, We’re Here Because We’re Here — Their first new material in seven years and it’s perfect. The songs hit right where they need to. The theme I take from this album is that they’ve moved on from all the years of ultra-miserable tunes, albeit great ultra-miserable tunes, onto something positive, maybe bright.
2. Nachtmystium, Addicts — This album is an awesome development from Assassins and it upped the ante for breaking into new territory in the black metal realm. The great mix of psychedelia and awesome songwriting make this the most interesting black metal out there.
3. The Ocean, Anthropocentric — Ultra-heavy, proficient, powerful, consistent, memorable and original.
4. The Ocean, Heliocentric — The heavy moments rock but it’s the quiet numbers that make this album a pleasant surprise and an awesome listen from start to finish.
5. Deftones, Diamond Eyes — I originally doubted this album after hearing the title track prior to it’s release but after one or two listens the subtleties that make this album awesome became apparent. Heavier and stripped down compared to Saturday Night Wrist, this album maintains Deftones’ role as an essential band. Sleeper pick of the year.
6. Castevet, Mounds of Ash — These guys were onto something huge when they started performing as a tight-as-hell drum and guitar two-piece and they took it to an amazing place with this album. The originality and technicality is top-notch. Each member’s performance on this record is absolutely killer. I can’t wait for what’s next.
7. Grinderman, Grinderman 2 — You can’t go wrong with this album.
8. Ludicra, The Tenant — There isn’t a bad song on this album. Each one is unique but they’re cohesive enough to tie the album together into a unified experience. “In Stable” rules particularly hard.
9. Enslaved, Axioma Ethica Odini — Yet another amazing release from Enslaved. They seem to have brought back some of the more metal aspects of their sound to the forefront after the past few superb, proggy album, but still without recycling or rehashing.
10. Drudkh, Handful of Stars — While I can’t admit to very much familiarity with this band’s past work this album is a great listen. I love the production. The relative simplicity demonstrates that songwriting trumps filler, flare, and studio magic every time.
MAT WELSH, WHILE SHE SLEEPS
1. Comeback Kid, Symptoms and Cures
2. Bring Me The Horizon, There Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is a Hell Let’s Keep It A Secret
3. The Ghost Inside, Returners
4. Sick of It All, Based on a True Story
5. Deftones, Diamond Eyes
6. Bleed from Within, Empire
7. Cancer Bats, Bears, Mayors, Scraps and Bones
8. While She Sleeps, The North Stands for Nothing
9. Your Demise, The Kids We Used to Be
10. Lower than Atlantis, Far Q
KONRAD KUPIEC, DIAMOND PLATE
1. Joe Satriani, Blackswans and Wormhole Wizards — If I had to pinpoint a single person that inspired me to pick up the guitar,I could easily say that without Satriani I wouldn’t the guitarist that I am today. Everything about this album rules – the playing, the songwriting, the production. It took me back to when I was a kid learning guitar for the first time and reminded me also of why I will always strive to get better and better at guitar. His best album in years, by far.
2. Johnny Cash, American VI – Ain’t No Grave — Some of the most chilling and yet powerful songs of the year. The final recordings of Johnny Cash are darker than any metal release in 2010, hands down. Rick Rubin is one of my idols, and the way he connected with Cash on his American Recordings is stuff that every producer should dream of doing on albums.
3. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Option Paralysis — I’ve always been a fan of bands that I have a hard time categorizing into a specific genre. Dillinger Escape Plan transcend any genre barrier. The songwriting is even better and more accessible than on past albums, but they didn’t sacrifice their chaotic moments one bit.
4. Heathen, The Evolution of Chaos — Along with Testament’s The Formation of Damnation and Exodus’ Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A, I thought this was the best release from old Bay Area thrash bands coming back. Lee and Kragen totally rip on this one! This album also gets my vote for sickest album art.
5. Zuul, Out of Time — Thin Lizzy didn’t release an album this year (RIP Lynott), but this is the next best thing. This record was one of the most spun all year, and I only got it a few months ago. A fellow Chicago-area band, the whole LP just rocks.
6. Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare — I used to really not be too fond of this band, but this album changed that. The songwriting and overall musicianship is top-notch, and to make such a strong album after the death of a key member/songwriter really says a lot. Don’t write them off as another bullshit mainstream band; they’ve got something that I was surprised to find because a lot of bigger bands are missing it these days – substance.
7. Atheist, Jupiter — Comeback album of the year that completely blew my mind. Throw away your new “technical” deathcore albums and get this now. Syncopated odd-time breakdowns can never match how jazz-infused death metal should really sound like. Born of Osiris/After the Burial/etc., out, Atheist in.
8. Nevermore, The Obsidian Conspiracy — Waited five years for this album, and it was definitely worth the wait. Everything about this album is epic, and Jeff Loomis still remains one of my favorite guitarists to date.
9. Iron Maiden, The Final Frontier — Maiden never, ever disappoint and that is why they are one of the biggest bands in the world (and very rightfully so). Possibly my favorite band of all time. This was a great solid album that I listened to a ton of times. Classic songs that immediately get stuck in your head.
10. Bonded By Blood, Exiled To Earth — Our fellow Earache labelmates and good friends Bonded by Blood definitely belong on this list. The riffs and solos on this album still make me flat-out dizzy. Plus, Ralph Patlan nailed an awesome mix of a modern record that still has that old-school feel to it.
Honorable mentions: Alter Bridge, AB III, Danzig, Deth Red Sabaoth, High on Fire, Snakes for the Divine, Nas & Damian Marley, Distant Relatives
TOM HYNES, MALEFICE
1. Deftones, Diamond Eyes
2. Periphery, Periphery
3. The Sword, Warp Riders
4. Hate, Erebos
5. Fear Factory, Mechanize
6. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Option Paralysis
7. Ion Dissonance, Cursed
8. Decrepit Birth, Polarity
9. The Crown, Doomsday King
10. Korn, III: Remember Who You Are
WINSLOW, MUTANT SUPREMACY
1. Bloody Sign, Chaos Echoes — Killer French Death with power and morbid atmosphere to spare. Songwriting, production, dynamics… they fucking nailed it all. Get these gents to the states, Ibex Moon / Blood Harvest.
2. Stargazer, A Great Work of Ages — People always talk shit when they hear the name of this band, but I dare someone to say that this album name could be more fitting. These guys write epics of esoteric who-the-fuck knows what subject matter, but they take you places; ancient possibly alien places that are well worth a million listens to gather all the melodic fragments they weave into their craft.
3. Stench, In Putrescence — Kickass. Amazing cuts of death metal with just enough of a black soul. I’m thoroughly impressed at the improvements made since their already killer sound on their 2009 EP, Reborn in Morbidity. The bass sounds fucking awesome. Two members of Tribulation, who are also definitely worth investigating.
4. About 50 Different Bands Featuring Elektrokutioner — This year alone from the guy: 4 releases from Decrepitaph, a full length from Tombstones, an EP from Eternal Suffering, a demo and a full length and a compilation from Scaremaker, an EP from Wooden Stake, a demo from Loathsome, two EPs and a full length from Encoffination, an EP and full length from Beyond Hell, an EP and full length from Father Befouled, and probably a dozen other things I’m not aware of. How the fuck? All of them good to great as well. Is it Texas?
5. Defeated Sanity, Chapters of Repugnance — Utterly crushing. Ever feel like being dragged to death by a tank (in the most enjoyable possible)? Perfect balance of ridiculous technicality and efficiency of attack. None of the twelve million notes on this album went to waste. If the sample a minute into “Coerced into Idolatry” doesn’t make your skull cave in, maybe you’re in the wrong genre of music. Bavaria’s harboring sonic terrorists. R.I.P. Wolfgang Teske
6. Immolation, Majesty and Decay — The kings remain unfuckwithable, eight albums in. Reaffirm your allegiance to slithering chaotic greatness.
7. Overoth, Kingdom of Shadows — Ireland, eh? I don’t know where they were during death metal’s infancy, but better late than never. Overoth could hold a world seminar on simple and deadly.
8. Severe Torture, Slaughtered — The latest salvo fired from The Netherlands has landed on churches and graveyards everywhere, slaughtering the pious and violently exhuming the rotten dead. Severe Torture’s riffs are some kind of smart bomb like that.
9. Weapon, From the Devil’s Tomb — A legion of ten million djinn must have helped in the creation of these sinister odes to mysticism and satanic glory. Riffs for eons.
10. Perdition Temple, Edict of the Antichrist Elect — To be awfully lazy about it, I’m considering this the sequel to Angelcorpse’s “Exterminate” (the ‘corpse’s guitar player is the singer and string-annihilator on this record). Therefore, fuck yeah.
666 / Special Mention: Mutant Supremacy, Infinite Suffering — Combines the best aspects of all of the aboveH
HAMILTON JORDAN, GENGHIS TRON
1. Coffinworm, When All Became Nothing
2. Autechre, Oversteps
3. Triptykon, Epariseta Daimones + Shatter E.P.
4. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, The Social Network Soundtrack
5. Immolation, Majesty and Decay
6. Killing Joke, Absolute Dissent
7. Hail of Bullets, On Divine Winds
8. Kvelertak, Kvelertak
9. Black Breath, Heavy Breathing
10. Kylesa, Spiral Shadows
VIRGIL PALAZZOLO, TRENDKILL BOOKING, TRENDKILL RECORDINGS
1. Deathspell Omega, Paracletus — Bringing something more to black metal. Creative, dissonant, dark, evil, wow…
2. Ion Dissonance, Cursed — Mixing a ton of things, from grindcore to metallic and tortured hardcore with 8-string Meshuggah style and sound. Killer band on stage as well!
3. Cynic, Re-Traced — Open minded, great experimentation on their own songs, not an easy work for sure… The “Radiohead of death metal,” just perfect as always.
4. Immolation, Majesty and Decay — Death metal gods, awesome and inspired riffing. Robert Vigna kills!
5. The Chariot, Long Live — C’mon, no words needed, pure energy, massive sound, impressive and intense live shows…
6. Hangman’s Chair, Leaving Paris — One of the best European stoner rock acts. Massive guitars and wonderful vocals, a must have for all heavy music fans.
7. Watain, Lawless Darkness — Dissection is dead, long live Watain! Blood everywhere, horns up!
8. Animals as Leaders, Waves Of Babies –Tosin Abasi is one of the best guitar players on earth. Creative but not only technically demonstrative, a real feeling and a really particular but great hands position.
9. Collapse, promo track — Pretty simple, starting where Cephalic Carnage stopped. New ex-CC guitar player’s band. They’ll make some noise next year for sure!
10. Daughters, Daughters — Love their style on this one, a perfect mix of their previous stuff.
11. BONUS : ALL FUCKIN’ 2010’S TRENDKILL RECORDINGS RELEASES!